Copyright © 2008 Spencer C. H. Barrett
Prof. Spencer Barrett
Evolution: The Central Unifying Concept of Biology
Page numbers for suggested readings are given from
, by Peter
Raven and colleagues (McGraw-Hill), for the 8th (2008) and 7th (2005) editions.
ed.: pp. 8–12, 64, 434;
ed. pp. 8–12, 396, 504
descent with modification, inheritance of acquired characters,
microevolution, common ancestor, macroevolution
The notes for Lectures 1–11 are largely summarized from material presented in the following texts. Other
references are given directly in the text.
Purves, W.K., G.H. Orians and H. C. Heller.
Life: The Science of Biology.
(4th Edition) Sinauer Associates,
Raven, P.H., and G. B. Johnson. 1989. Biology. (2nd Edition) Times Mirror, Mosby Publishing, St. Louis, Missouri.
Futuyma, D.J. 1986. Evolutionary Biology. (2nd Edition) Sinauer Assocs., Sunderland, Massachusetts.
Campbell, N.A. 1993. Biology. (3rd Edition) The Benjamin/Cummings Publ. Comp., Redwood City, California.
Origins of evolutionary thought: (a) Before Darwin (b) After Darwin
How evolution is studied: (a) Evolutionary history (b) Evolutionary mechanisms
Evolution, facts and fiction; (a) Misconceptions (b) Evolution as a fact not a hypothesis
Evolution is the central unifying concept of biology and affects almost all other areas of
It is considered to be one of the most influential concepts of Western thought.
theory of biological evolution is made up of two revolutionary ideas that contrast with earlier
views of the world.
First, the concept of a
replaced the long unquestioned view of
Second, people had long looked for the causes of phenomena in
and is an inevitable outcome of interactions between organisms and their
In all scientific disciplines, the major ideas and even the questions asked are the products of