2011-11-02 -- Evolution of Evolution

2011-11-02 -- Evolution of Evolution - The Evolution of...

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The Evolution of Evolution History 108 November 2, 2011 Prof. November
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Organizational Note We did not have a normal class on 10/31 Visit to Special Collections There is therefore no 10/31 lecture on Blackboard. We’ll be covering Darwin on 11/2 (today) and we’ll continue the discussion of evolution on 11/7 The assigned readings have NOT changed
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Using History to Understand Evolution The debate surrounding evolution is not new It even predates Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Now, however, the debate is much more polarized and much less informed than it was Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was a product of his personal experiences and his society (Victorian England) Tensions between Enlightenment and Romantic approaches to understanding the world Specific preoccupations of Victorian gentlemen
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Some Misperceptions Charles Darwin was not anti-religion His theory grew out of theological debates It’s simplistic to cast him as the “Devil’s Chaplain” “What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horridly cruel works of nature!” Darwin’s ideas and influence often confused with those of the neo-Darwinists of the 20th century.
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Darwin, the Historian’s Treasure Charles Darwin wrote prolifically He refined his thoughts on almost everything by writing published matter is the tip of the iceberg: there are also notes, diaries, drafts, revisions, correspondence He knew most major British intellectual, industrial, and political leaders of his day “Darwiniana” still being rediscovered e.g. Darwin’s involvement in the abolition of US slavery
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Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Charles Darwin born into intellectual privilege and immense wealth Grandfather: Erasmus Darwin Grandfather: Josiah Wedgwood Young Charles interested in natural world Fables about natural history Poor student; mostly self-taught Natural history as escape Medical education in Edinburgh (1825-1826) Charles flunks out
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2011-11-02 -- Evolution of Evolution - The Evolution of...

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