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Flashcards in Ch2 Development of Evolutionary Theory Deck (24)
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Stasis vs. Change

- Things not changing, (geographic landscapes and organisms) everything exists like it always had
- Idea of change is relatively new in Western science (17th century)
- Not used to gradual change, all changes had been earthquakes etc.. No one had seen the evolution of a new species


Fixity of Species

- The notion that species were created once and did not change after that
- “God’s great design”- Driven by Christianity



- Forms could only be perceived by the mind
- "reality existed as the form of the thing we interpret as in-perfect"
- It was our imperfection that prevented us from seeing things in their true form



- Great Chain of Being
- Ordered, hierarchical, static view
- Essentialism- all things exist in a fixed position as they are where they are
- Simple to complex


European Middle Ages (5th -15th AD)

- Ideas of Christianity were the only “truth”
- To challenge this idea was punishable by death
- All life on earth was created by god exactly as it exists today
- Fixity of Species
- Why anatomical structures look and work the way they do
God the "grand designer" made everything in a perfect form to meet the purpose they were required


European Enlightenment (17th-19th C)

- Socio-political, economic, and scientific revolution
- Set off by debate about whether earth revolves around the sun



- The idea that we are the centre of the universe
- The sun revolves around the earth



- Argued earth goes around the sun
- Challenged the perception that we are the centre of the universe, and suggested that we are just one of many planets


Three Major Paradigm Shifts

1. Time
2. Diversity
3. Mutability


Time: James Usher

Based his chronology on:
- Lifespan of makes from the old testament
- Length of Reign of kings
- Theorized the age of the earth and the age of mankind 4004


Time: James Hutton

- Uniformitarianism
- Erosion, replacement, etc. of rocks, and realized that these changes must have taken an infinite amount of time to get to where it is now
- Came up with the idea that the same forces that were operating in the past and present are the same, sediments build up, volcanoes emerge


Time: Georges Cuvier

- He proposed that there were "addition" events that happened after catastrophic events, creating more animals (god)

- Father of vertebrate palaeontology
- Developed comparative method that established extinction as a fact
- Compared fossils to living forms of those animals
- **Did not believe in evolution


Diversity: John Ray

- Came up with species and genus
- Placed reproductively isolated organisms into categories
- Groups of plants and animal separated from other groups by ability to mate and produce fertile offspring


Diversity: Carlous Linnaeus

- Founded modern method of taxonomic classification
CLASS Mammalia
ORDER Primates

- Included humans in the scheme – controversial


Mutability: Count Buffon

- Founder of zoogeography
- Strong links between biology and geography


Micro vs. Macroevolution

- Change in frequency of characteristics within a population over the span of a few generations
- Speciation events, generally occurring over a long period of geologic time


Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

1809 book “Zoological Philosophy: Exposition with Regard to the Natural History of Animals”

Two laws:
1. Use and disuse
- Use or disuse will cause development or reduction of parts

2. Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics
- Changes resulting from use and disuse can be transmitted to offspring


Thomas Malthus

1978 book “An Essay in the Principle of Population”
- In nature, populations increase in size but the amount of resources stay the same
- Competition for resources
Reproductive Fitness
- A measure of success of an individual in the production of offspring across generations


Sir Charles Lyell

Principles of Geology
- Built on Hutton’s work to demonstrate forces of wind, water, erosion, flooding, frost, decomposition, volcanoes, earthquakes etc. and how they produced the geological landscape of today
- Most are slow acting


Charles Darwin

1844 book “Vestiges if the Natural History of Creation”
1859 “On the Origin of Species”
- 5-year scientific voyage on the HMS Beagle 1831
- Galapagos Islands- studied the differences in finches’ beaks


Natural Selection

1. All individuals vary
- size, colouration, behaviour, speed, health, prowess, ect. - some of this variation is heritable (passed onto offspring)
2. All populations reproduce at rates in excess of resources
3. Competition for resources occurs among individuals within populations

Therefore favourable traits will be passed to next generation



- Later generations become more and more distinct from their ancestor
- Over time new species will appear


Opposition to Evolution (USA) (After ww1)

- After WW1 conservative Christians in the United States wanted to resort to “traditional values”
- Tried to ban the public mention of evolution
- In 1925 in Tennessee a law passed that banned evolution
- This continued in some states until 1968


Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham

- February 4th, 2014 debated the question “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins”
- Drew significant national attention, more than 3 million live viewers when it happened
- Many scientists feel that even debating this with creationists gives their ideas too much credit and validity