Development_of_Evolutionary_Theory_[1]

Development_of_Evolutionary_Theory_[1] - Historical...

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Historical Development of Evolutionary Theory
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Topics of Today’s Lecture • What is evolution in a biological sense? • Why is knowledge of evolutionary biology important? • Historical development of ideas about evolution before Darwin • A short biography of Charles Darwin • Darwin and Natural Selection
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General defnition : change or modifcation through time (e.g., galaxies and language evolve) Biological or organic evolution : Change in the properties oF organisms that transcend the liFetime oF a single individual Changes over time in characteristics that have a genetic basis • Change in the genetic composition oF a population over time. • Examples: Antibiotic resistance in bacteria; insecticide resistance in insects, Formation oF a new species oF beetle. WHAT IS EVOLUTION?
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Evolutionary Theory explains the origin and patterns of living diversity Modern species are descendants of other past species. Evolutionary change results from genetic transformation of species over many generations. New forms of life arise through the splitting of lineages (speciation) resulting in a tree of life (phylogeny) whose twigs are the millions of species living today. Evolution occurs primarily, but not exclusively, through natural selection. Individuals with better genes leave more offspring causing genetic change in populations over time.
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“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973
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Ancient Greeks There is Purpose in Life: Natural Order "Will of God” Scala Naturae or “the ladder of life”
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Important discoveries led to a divergence of religious and scientiFc ideas in the 16th - 18th Centuries Western Clerics : Earth is young, created for a purpose and at the center of creation: Archbishop James Usher used lineages in the Old Testament to estimate an age of 6011 years (created Oct 23, 4004 BC) Physicists and Astronomers
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course BIOL 240 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at S.F. State.

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Development_of_Evolutionary_Theory_[1] - Historical...

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