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Flashcards in Evolution Deck (7):

What is the theory of evolution?

Darwin's theory that all species of living things have evolved from simple life forms that came about over three billion years ago. They evolved to how they are today through natural selection


What is natural selection?

Organisms within a species have varied characteristics due to differences in the genes. Organisms that happen to have the characteristics that enable them to survive in their environment are more likely to breed successfully, thus passing on the genes that allowed them to survive (among other genes) to future generations


Why was Darwin's theory only gradually accepted at his time?

It went again contemporary beliefs that God created all life within seven days
He couldn't produce sufficient evidence to convince many scientists
The mechanism by which his theory would work (the scientific workings of his theory) was not understood until 50 years after he published it


What were other theories of how life came about, including Lamarck's, based on?
Why is Darwin's theory superior?

The idea that changes happened during an organism's life, and these would be passed on to its offspring.
In the vast majority of cases, this inheritance cannot occur, because external things hardly ever affect genetic information


How can we understand and represent the relationships between organisms?

Using models such as an evolutionary tree and studying the similarities and differences between organisms to determine where they ought to go


How might a relatively rapid change in a species come about (evolution happens over millions of years)?

When a new form of a gene develops as a result of a mutation, and there is an environmental change


Why might there be various theories for one thing?

Scientists may produce different hypotheses to explain similar observations. These hypotheses must be investigated in order to support or refute a theory