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Lecture 2

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Sherry Fukuzawa

Lecture 2 – Biology and Evolution May 9, 2013 Lab will be covering genetics 1. Origin myths  All human cultures seem to have a theory of belief surrounding the origins of humans 1. Universal concept - 2. Attempts to explain the creation or origin of our species 3. Always places humans as the ultimate product of that creation (i.e. relationship of humans to animals  Universal explanations o How humans came into existence o How humans are the ultimate products of creation o Relationship of humans and other animals 2. Fixity of Species  No change in time  Species, once created can never change  Reflected powerful religious system in Europe – middle ages  Accepted that all living things created by god  Main idea until we came up with the concepts of Darwinism 3. Great Chast of Being th  1 proposed by Aristotle in 4 century BC o Aristotle still believed in fixity of species  All animals arranged in a hierarchy that progressed from simplest to most complex  Placed humans in a direct relationship with other species – with humans at the top of the hierarchy 4. Genus and Species – John Ray, 17 Century  Saw that certain plants & animals could be distinguished from other groups by their ability to reproduce with one another and produce viable offspring  Placed reproductively isolated groups of individuals in a category called “species”  Recognized that some species shared similarities called genus  Coined the term species “plants and animals that can reproduced viable offspring that can go on to subsequently reproduce”  Grouped similar species into genus 5. Systema Natura; Linnaeus, 1735  Classified living things into a hierarchy of taxonomic categories  Used binomial nomenclature  Standardized Ray’s species Lecture 2 – Biology and Evolution May 9, 2013 6. Uniformitarianism: Lyell, 1833  Processes shaping the earth are the same today as they were in the past – uniform & continuous in nature  Time scale of the earth is in millions of years – set the timeline of the age of the earth back millennia – he realized that the earth had been around for millions of years  Creationist  Geological processes of the past are uniform, continuous, and cyclic – still going on today 7. Survival of the Fittest; Malthus, 1798  It is said that Darwin read his book  Coined the Survival of the Fittest  Political Economist  Speculated that: o Human populations multiply geometrically o Food resources grow arithmetically  Therefore o Human populations will outgrow resources unless there is a constant check to maintain a certain population size o Not everyone born can possibly survive 8. Transformation; Lamarck, 1809  Most influential pre-Darwin evolutionist  First to bring into context evolution or change (transformations) in regards to generations and species  Non-darwinian features: o Inheritance of acquired characteristics – i.e. any characteristics that you acquire during your lifetime, you can pass onto your offspring o Orthogenesis – humans are arranged with animals in a hierarchy of complexity o Vitalism – evolution is self-motivated 9. Darwinism  Charles Darwin, 1809 – 1882  Alfred Wallace, 1823 – 1913  Born in England – went to medical school but dropped out because couldn’t take sign of blood  At 22 went on 5 year nature journey on the SS-Bugle  Selection is the key to evolution  Struggle for existence means that those individuals with favourable variations survive & reproduce more successfully Lecture 2 – Biology and Evolution May 9, 2013  Three observations: 1. Biological variation within all species – limiting factor that is controlling population size 2. All species capable of reproducing at a faster rate than food supply 3. Competition for limited resources  Five Deductions: 1. Individuals with favorable traits have an advantage 2. Traits are inherited and passed on to the next generation 3. Environment determines which traits are favorable 4. Over geological time, successful variations accumulate so that later generations may be distinct from their ancestors
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