ANTA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Retinal Detachment

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ANTA01 Lecture 2 - Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (Film)
Key Notes
As Darwin questions why the kind of fossil he exists doesn’t exist anymore, FitzRoy’s
explanation relates with the Bible; it is clear that Darwin does not accept but doesn’t say
Darwin’s idea of natural selection – narrator says it is the best idea ever
o It is about who we are, what we’re made of, and what our life means
o Deepest discovery science has made
The idea of evolution in Darwin’s time was looked down upon as they were all against
those ideas
o Because of this, he didn’t say anything
Finches in Galapagos island
o Talked about in lecture
o Darwin theorized the origins of different species based on finches being on
different islands
o Found that the finches on this island were quite unique just to that island, but he
didn’t categorize the birds to their islands which was a shock to many
o When FitzRoy says that it is unique to that island because God put them there,
Darwin doesn’t agree (it makes no sense to him)
o Comes up with the idea that each new specie that is born is similar to the parent
(he relates it to the tree of life) as mountains don’t change over time, but finches
did (their beak sizes), and both mountains and finches existed on this island
The idea that all living things were related
Key to Darwin’s thought: given enough time, anything can take place by the laws of
o Example of rainforest and how this provides evidence: praying mantis in the
rainforest completely disguised in the leaves however none like this would be
found in North America; the disguisable mantis would survive and reproduce
more than the others
Darwin had the idea that traits were passed on but couldn’t find an explanation
o This is now explained by DNA
For example: mutations result in new traits
Darwin’s observations were a result in observing that all individuals were different from
one another
Why was it called natural selection?
o The forces of nature will select who will survive
o Relation to Darwin: organisms are struggling for reproductive success
Another example: Valerie’s retinal tear
o Example of imperfections in the human eye
o Relation: evolution modifies every time
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