10. Evolution and Natural Selection

10. Evolution and Natural Selection - Evolution & Natural...

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The theory of evolution - Evolution sometimes characterized as “just a theory” - That puts it on the same level as: o Atomic structure (once thought to be a cubic model -> Rutherford/Bohr model -> Quantum mechanics) o The attraction of large bodies in space Gravitation -> General Relativity Confusion of evolution - There has been a confusion of ideas o Evolution o The origin of life o Religion - Origin of life is not known o We have ideas, some data, but no solid conclusions - The supposed conflict between religion and evolution Two ideas of evolution - Evolution really consists of two ideas o Evolution (change) has occurred Change in organisms is well documented o Natural selection is a mechanism that can drive evolution The theory of natural selection is well supported The poster boys of evolution - Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin Evolution - Idea of evolution actually predates Darwin and Wallace - Ancient Greek philosophers ~ 520 B.C. - de Buffon suggested evolution occurred
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o said that the environment was the agent of change proposed no mechanism, only an agent provided no facts or experimentation o the idea suffered for a lack of support and clarity Influences on Charles Darwin - Influences on Darwin and his proposed mechanism of evolution - Lyell’s Principles of Geology o Catastrophism (huge natural catastrophes) vs. uniformilitarianism (continual changes over a long period of time) o The steady accumulation of very small changes - Artificial selection o Rapid change in animals/plants over generations - T. Malthus (population biologist): observation of excess reproduction - Journey on the H.M.S. Beagle (1831) o Observations of variation in the Galapagos o Darwin’s finches The Galapagos Islands - A series of small islands 600 miles off the coast of Equador, South America Darwin’s Finches (figure 1.7) - Galapagos birds had differences in their beaks, food sources, and habitat Significance of Galapagos - Darwin observed many birds o Thought to be finches, wrens, blackbirds, jays, etc. o
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course BIOL 110 taught by Professor Mason during the Fall '07 term at Purdue.

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10. Evolution and Natural Selection - Evolution & Natural...

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