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Lecture 2

BIO206H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Uniformitarianism, Meiosis, Uracil


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIO206H5
Professor
Dr
Lecture
2

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ANT101 Biology & Evolution
A Brief History of the Development of Thought on Human Evolution
1. Origin Myths
All human cultures seem to have a theory of belief surrounding the origins of humans
Universal Explanations
How humans came into existence
Relationship of humans & other animals
How humans are the ultimate products of creation
2. Fixity of Species
Species, once created can never change
Reflected powerful religious system in Europe
Accepted that all living things created by God
3. Great Chain of Being
1st proposed by Aristotle in 4th century BC
All animals arranged in a hierarchy that progressed from simplest to most complex
Humans at top of hierarchy
4. Genus & Species
John Ray , 17 century
Saw that certain plants & animals could be distinguished from other groups by their ability
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”
5. Systema Natura; Linnaeus, 1735
Classified living things into a hierarchy of taxonomic categories
Used binomial nomenclature
Standardized Ray’s species & genus, & added class & order
Creationist
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
Creationist
7. Survival of the Fittest; Malthus, 1798
Speculated that
Human populations multiply geometrically
Food resources grow arithmetically
Therefore
Human populations will out grow resources unless there is a constant check to
maintain a certain population size
Not everyone born can possible survive
8. Transformation; Lamarck, 1809
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Most influential pre-Darwin evolutionist
Non-Darwinian features:
Inheritance of acquired characteristics
Orthogenesis
Vitalism
9. Darwinism
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882
Alfred Wallace, 1823-1913
selection is the key to evolution
Struggle for existence means that those individuals with favorable variations survive &
reproduce more successfully
Three observations
1. Biological variation within all species
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
5. Geographical isolation may lead to a new species
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