Chapter 2: Science and the Development of Evolutionary Theory Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 2: Science and the Development of Evolutionary Theory Deck (48)
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1

adaptation

a state of existence or a process by which an organism is or becomes better suited to its circumstances of life

2

niches

the conditions of environments in which organisms live, including climate, space, predator-prey relationships, and mate availability

3

morphology

study of the size, shape, and configuration of an organism and its various parts

4

analogous

a similarity in structure or function resulting from independent adaption to comparable circumstances in life, rather than evolutionary descent

5

pheromone

a chemical signal capable of causing a specific response in members of the same or closely related species

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epistemology

the study or theory of knowledge, including its production, validation, and application

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secular

separate and apart from religious tradition or edict; worldly

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contingency

being dependent on the occurrence or existence of a prior event or thing

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methodology

the study of the methods applied to research generally or within a particular discipline

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Darwinism

evolution resulting from natural selection acting on random variation in populations, through which more fit individuals are favoured in "the struggle for existence"; as conceived by Charles Darwin

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a priori

arguing from cause to effect; deduced from prior knowledge or presumption

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theory

explanatory statements or arguments related to particular sets of phenomena supported by observation or experiment

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phylogenetic

relating to evolutionary histories of ancestry and descent; also phylogeny

14

allometry

refers to patterns of size and shape change among parts of organisms at different sizes, or among related organisms either living or extinct

15

null hypothesis

in statistics, a proposition that there is no difference among samples, conditions, outcomes, etc., that can be disproved through experiment or observation

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data

observations, measurements, facts (known or assumed) that form the basis for a conclusion; singular datum

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sample

a subset of a whole that represents its qualities with regard to the characteristics under study; for example, if three-quarters of a population of university students have a piercing, approximately the same proportion in a sample selected from that population should have a piercing

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assumption

a condition or feature unverified or uncontrolled but taken to be as stated for the purpose of argument

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Law of Superposition

layers ("strata"; singular "stratum") within a sedimentary geological deposit are laid down from oldest to most recent, permitting assignment of relative dates to items contained in the deposit

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seminal

relating to "seed"' in this context, a seminal work is one that becomes a foundation for generations of subsequent ideas and developments

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paradigm

a conceptual framework within which bodies of theory are developed, directing the course of future investigation

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stasis

a state of equilibrium characterized by the absence of change

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paleontology

the study of fossilized life forms

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immutable

unchanging over time, or unchangeable; an idea traceable to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, stating that forms exist today as they were when created, have not changed in the past and cannot change in the future

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geocentrism

the concept that the earth is the centre of the known universe, around which all other heavenly bodies revolve; attributed to the Greek astronomer Ptolemy but known before his time

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essentialism

Plato's idea that what exists in the world and is experienced by the human senses is an imperfect representation of an underlying, perfect, and immutable ideal, or essence, knowable only by the mind

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Great Chain of Being

Aristotle's ordered, hierarchical, and static view of the world

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teleology

a perspective proposing that there are end points, or "final causes," toward which natural phenomena are oriented and suggestive of a design, goal, or purpose in the world

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heliocentrism

the now well-established view that the planets in our solar system revolve about the sun; the Copernican model also incorporates the essential ideas of the daily rotation of the earth on a tilted axis

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taxonomy

the method by which organisms are classified and assigned to a group (a taxon; plural, taxa) based on shared biological, ecological, and behavioural relationships