Lecture 1 - Intro - 1 Lecture 1: Evolution: facts,...

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1 Lecture 1: Evolution: facts, theories, and Theories 1. Present the Cobb County, Georgia "Evolution Disclaimer" sticker 2. What is Evolution? Change over time . Simply put, life on earth has changed over time. 3. At it's most basic, the present-day Theory of Evolution states : All life on earth is descended from a single* common ancestor. The physical properties of the set of living organisms have changed over time, from the original very simple pre-cellular life form to the present diversity of life on earth, by accumulating changes in the genes. 4. Note that the Theory of Evolution has four fundamental components, which can be formally phrased as hypotheses : (1) all living organisms on earth are descended from a single common ancestral organism (* or a very, very few ancestors), and (2) the material properties of the set of living organisms have changed over time (3) from the original very simple, pre-cellular life form to the present diversity of life on earth (4) by accumulating changes in the genes. H1: all living organisms on earth are descended from a single common ancestral organism Principle 1: common ancestry H1Alt: Life originated many times, perhaps (but not necessarily) at different times. H2: the material properties of the set of living organisms have changed over time Principle 2: Change over time H2Alt: the material properties of the set of living organisms have NOT changed over time H3: from the original very simple, pre-cellular life form to the present diversity of life on earth
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2 Principle 3: Directional change, ON AVERAGE, from simple to complex H3Alt: The original (common ancestral) life-form was not a very simple, pre-cellular entity (e.g., the original life-form was a dog, or a Loch Ness Monster) H4: by accumulating changes in the genes. Principle 4: Evolution is a genetic process H4Alt: The material diversity among organisms is not due to differences in the genes. 5. What's missing from the above description? (Natural Selection) What ABOUT natural selection? Is it required for the Theory of Evolution? No, but it is almost universally believed to have a primary role in the diversification of life. 6. What is a scientific hypothesis? Take as a working definition (modified from P. D. Medawar): "A statement of what might be true, with verifiable deductive consequences". " Deductive consequences" implies a functional structure of: "If hypothesis A is true, then empirical result B should be observed and empirical result anti-B should not be observed. 7. What is the difference between a scientific hypothesis and a non-scientific hypothesis? A scientific theory is actually or potentially falsifiable . That is, we can at least conceive of evidence that would falsify or refute the theory. For example, if I were to drop an eraser and it were to shoot up to the ceiling, that would be evidence that is contradictory to the predictions of the Theory of Gravity. 8.
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2010 for the course PCB 4683 taught by Professor Williams,j during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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Lecture 1 - Intro - 1 Lecture 1: Evolution: facts,...

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