Lecture+6-1 - Lecture 6: Evolution and Genetics Our...

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Lecture 6: Evolution and Genetics Our knowledge of genetics and natural selection has developed out of conflicting cosmologies. Creationism is part of a biblical worldview. It assumes that the universe and all living things were created by God. The differences and similarities we see among living things are part of God’s will. Using the book of Genesis as evidence, biblical scholars calculated that the world was created in 4004 B.C. All human physical variation had to be traced to the three sons of Noah and their wives. Linguistic variation originated at the Tower of Babel, and so on. Carolus Linnaeus, the great taxonomer, worked within this cosmology. Catastrophism developed as an alternative attempt to make sense of the fossil record. Why is there no record of today’s species in the ancient past? Why do so many ancient species no longer exist today? Perhaps they were destroyed by floods, fires, and other natural catastrophies, after which God created new species to live alongside surviving species. Evolutionism , or transformism , assumes that existing animal species evolved gradually out of common ancestors. Evolutionists were influenced by Charles Lyell’s geological principle of uniformitarianism . In this view, long-term changes in geological forms are best explained by the cumulative effect of ordinary processes that are occurring today. In other words, canyons are made by the gradual erosion of soil by running water. Islands
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course ANTHRCUL 101 taught by Professor Kirsch during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Lecture+6-1 - Lecture 6: Evolution and Genetics Our...

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