Chapter 1: Evolution Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 1: Evolution Deck (57):
1

Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus

the two theologists who proposed "natural truth" and "revealed truth"

2

Roger Bacon

urged against religious dogma and told people to "look at the world"

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Francis Bacon

advocated experimentalism as a way to verify and rigorously test all things

4

Nicklaus Copernicus

an astronomer who theorized that the earth revolves around the sun, not the other way around, like theologists believed

5

Galileo Galilei

an astronomer who supported the Copernican theory, and was placed under house arrest for 14 years because of it. He was also later forced to recant his scientific views.

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Isaac Newton

the english physicist who discovered gravity

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James Usher

an archbishop who declared that the earth was created in 4004 BC

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catastrophism

the theory that the Earth’s landscape is shaped by global catastrophes

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gradualism

the theory that the Earth’s geological features are a result of slow, continuous processes

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uniformitariansim

the theory that geological processes have remained “uniform” throughout all of history. For example, the rate at which sedimentation occurs has remained constant over the Earth’s entire history.

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biogeography

the study of the past and present distribution of individual species and entire communities

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adaptation

a particularity of structure, physiology, or behavior that increases an organism’s chance of survival and reproductive success

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niche

the role of a species in the community of which it is part. It is the sum of an organism’s adaptations, resources, and trophic interactions with other organisms.

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natural selection

the differential reproductive success of members of a species

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artificial selection

the process by which desirable traits are selectively bred in plants and animals

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survival of the fittest

variations that provide the greatest survival and reproductive advantages will be propagated at a greater rate than variations that are disadvantageous

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selective pressure

when an outside force affects the composition of a population by favoring certain traits over others

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half-life

the number of years required for half of the isotope to decay into another, more stable, element

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coevolution

the reciprocal evolution of two or more interacting populations

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transition fossils

fossils of organisms that seem to present a direct lineage between ancestral and present-day organisms

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cladogenesis

a pattern of change characterized by the branching of a lineage into different paths

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mass extinction

where the number of taxonomic families drops sharply

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phylogeny

the evolutionary history of a species or a group of related species

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natural selection

the process by which favorable variations become more frequent in the gene pool

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vestigial structures

structures that are present in an organism yet have no apparent function

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homologous structures

equivalent structures between species with common ancestors

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analogous structures

structures that have superficial and functional similarities, not because of common ancestry, but because of convergent evolution

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convergent evolution

structures with similar functions arise separately in different species

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species

a group of organisms that can breed with one another in a wild, free-ranging condition to produce fertile offspring

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speciation

the process by which new species arise

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adaptive radiation

the evolution of many related species from an ancestral species in a relatively short time. Can occur when the ancestral species exploits many new ecological niches.

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prezygotic isolation

barriers to reproductive events that take place before fertilization

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postzygotic isolation

barriers to reproduction that occur after fertilization has taken place

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morphotype

different types of individuals of the same species in a population; a morph

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allopatric speciation

a form of speciation that occurs when populations become geographically isolated from one another

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selective pressure

an outside force that affects the composition of a population by favoring certain traits over others

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theory

a comprehensive explanation based on a broad set of observations

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hypothesis

a proposed explanation for an observation

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the heterotroph hypothesis

attempts to explain how the first life on earth evolved

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prokaryote

a one-celled organism that lacks a nuclear membrane, and can be divided into the subgroups bacteria and archaea

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eukaryote

an organism that has a nuclear membrane in its cell

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stromatolites

dome-shaped fossils of bacteria (prokaryotes) that are between 3.5 and 4 billion years old

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reducing atmosphere

an atmospheric condition that lacks free oxygen, and may contain such reactive gases as hydrogen and/or carbon monoxide. The chemicals in this type of atmosphere can act as reducing agents—they donate electrons. This characteristic allows for the synthesis of organic molecules.

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biotic

living organisms in the environment

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abiotic

the nonliving environment

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oxidizing atmosphere

an atmosphere that contains high amounts of oxygen

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protobionts

aggregates of molecules that might have been precursors to cells

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heterotroph

takes in materials and processes them

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coacervates

aggregates of polymerized molecules, such as starches and proteins, that self-assemble

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polymers

molecules made up of individual subunits bonded together to make one long chain

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proteinoids

abiotically produced polypeptides

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microspheres

formed when proteinoids self-assemble to surround water and exhibit some characteristics of a membrane

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liposomes

a shell of lipids that self-assembles to surround water and molecules

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ribozyme

an RNA molecule that can catalyze chemical reactions

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nucleotides

subunits of RNA

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catalyst

a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change

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RNA

a polymer made up of subunits called nucleotides