Darwin10 - Darwin's Precursors and Influences 1....

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Darwin's Precursors and Influences 1. Transmutationism n Karl Ernst von Baer (left) Von Baer showed that embryos of species that were similar went through similar stages, and this work is not entirely discredited, although it has been greatly modified in the light of later research 12 . The modern view is that embryos tend to retain embryological (i.e., not adult) features of ancestors and its import for evolution is greatly reduced, now explained by common descent and natural selection rather than providing evidence for these theories. However, since selection can act even in utero (for example in terms of disease resistance), there is no expectation by modern evolutionary theory that all features are retained. Haeckel's dream that we could reconstruct the primordial ancestor of a group of related organisms from the early embryos of those organisms is now entirely discredited - in fact it was challenged even in his own time, although it found its way into the textbooks. Left: A diagrammatic representation of von Baer's
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Darwin10 - Darwin's Precursors and Influences 1....

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