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Lecture 2

BIOL 2P05 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Phylogenetic Tree, Archaea, Microsporidia

Biological Sciences
Course Code
Adonis Skandalis

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Evolution Lecture #1-2 Tuesday January 5, 2016
oUnifying theme in modern biology but use of word has changed over
oDarwin: “descent with modi&cation
(Latin) = to unroll
oi.e. to unpack structure present in compact form
Historical perspective
(1) Pre-Darwin
oterm coined by Albrecht von Haller
odevelopment of an individual from a preformed representation in the
embryo to the &nal organism
(2) Darwin’s Time
oprogressive development of life from simple to complex
oi.e., change in species on earth (as evidenced, eg., by fossil record)
(3) Post-Darwin
ogenetically based heritable change in one or more characteristic in a
population or species through time
ochange in gene frequency over time
Early embryological meaning
= growth of embryo in womb as expansion of preformed
miniature of complete organism already present in fertilized ovum (or
oPreformation hypothesis
oAccording to Latin root, this is a proper use of the term!
Changes in our perception with respect to evolution in the last
100 years…
1. Expansion of time scale of life
2. Concept of the changing universe
3. Elimination of design.
4. Elimination of miracles.
5. Man as part of nature.
6. Spontaneous generation.
(1) Expansion of the time scale
o6 days of creation
o7th century Archbishop James Ussher worked back through the biblical
patriarchs to Adam and discovered that Creation occurred in 4004 B.C.
oJohn Lightfoot, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, set &nal act of creation of
man as 9 a.m., Sunday October 23rd, 4004 B.C.

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Evolution Lecture #1-2 Tuesday January 5, 2016
oBy mid-19th century geologists had determined that the earth was
much older than expected … possibly a few million years old
o[Currently – earth 4-5 billion years old]
(2) Concept of Changing Universe
oTraditional view – universe static
o6 days of Creation and then earth (and all its creatures) as we see it
oNot only a Christian belief – seen also in Greek philosophy
oPlato (428-348 B.C.)
oSpecies concept = initial mold exists for all later (perhaps imperfect)
replicas of that species
oEidos = “transcendent ideal form imperfectly mimicked by its earthly
o2500 years ago, Plato describes his cave allegory, which we now call
oEssentialism states that everything has a perfect form and all we see is
a deviation from the perfect form
oBiological essentialism has hindered evolutions discovery and
Plato’s Cave
oIt is necessary to fully understand Plato’s cave allegory in order to
understand how it has hindered our evolutionary discovery
Inherent Essentialism
oDeveloping children seem to have an inherent need to classify
oThis leads to a poor understanding of evolution
oDawkins describes this as having “essentialism burned into our
mental DNA
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