Short_history_of_evolution

Short_history_of_evolution - A Short History of Evolution...

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A Short History of Evolution
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Objectives Evolution before Darwin Darwin’s evolutionary theory Modern Synthesis and the present
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Evolution before Darwin Evolutionary biology essentially began in 1859 with the publication of “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin Previous to this time… Anaximander in Ancient Greece (6 th Century B.C.) believed that species were formed from water, and that humans and other animals descended from fish. Empedocles (5 th century B.C.) proposed that heads, limbs and other organs were joined at random and only some combinations were fit for survival Plato developed the concept of idealism: the idea that all natural phenomena are imperfect representations of the true essence of an ideal unseen world
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Evolution before Darwin cont. Aristotle: Plato’s initial concept of eternal ideals was further elaborated by Aristotle, who envisioned a static world in which the Deity had created fixed essences , which are templates for all species Gradation from inanimate to barely animate through plants and invertebrates up to “higher” forms in a Scala Naturae or Scale of Nature, moving from least perfect to most perfect Christianity expanded on this: God’s creation must follow a plan- the ladder of nature, or Great Chain of Being Permanent and unchanging since change would imply imperfection in the original creation This was among the prevailing beliefs in Darwin’s time
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Linnaeus (The Father of Taxonomy) Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) established the framework for modern classification (the binomial system e.g. Homo sapiens ) in Systema Naturae in the hope of discovering the pattern of God’s creation
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Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) Philosophie Zoologique (1809) Species change over time into new species How this modification occurred differed considerably from Darwin’s ideas Inheritance of acquired characteristics eg “ use and disuse E.g. giraffe’s neck
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Evolution Before Darwin Erasmus Darwin – Darwin’s grandfather also proposed that species are modified descendants of earlier forms Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)- father of comparative anatomy, paleontology, and a proponent of catastrophism : the widely held belief that the Earth’s features had been primarily modeled by great catastrophes that resulted from forces that no longer operate today
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Catastrophism and Christianity In Europe, Catastrophism arose a consequence of trying to reconcile geological history with the age of the Earth according to the Bible. In 1654, Archbishop James Ussher declared the
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course BIOL 301 taught by Professor Pickard during the Spring '09 term at Waterloo.

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Short_history_of_evolution - A Short History of Evolution...

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