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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking & Shifting Paradigms

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Larry Sawchuk

Lecture 2 - The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking & Shifting Paradigms Monday, September 17, 2012 11:20 AM Evolution Micro  Process  Living populations  Generations (25-30 years) Macro  Product  Fossils  100,000 years 15-49 years old - typical age for reproduction Anthroposcopic  You don't see the blood type or any other internal qualities  However there is a lot of variation among the individuals Human Variation during the 17th and 18th century  Awareness of human (plant, animal) diversity emerged in the "age of European exploration"  The age of European exploration o On ships - they started to appreciate variation  The concept of human variation challenged Creationism (all humans descended, unchanged, from an original pair) o Creationism goes back to the 1600s - believes everyone descended from 2 individuals, Adam and Eve  How could such diversity exist? Individual variability within a population (polymorphic) and also among "ethnic" groups (polytypic)? o Monomorphic - everyone's the same Early Thought on the World (Pre-Darwinian Thinking) **EXAM QUESTION  The world was the product of grand design  The world was static & unchanging  Typological thinking was the norm o The ideal Caucasian, or the ideal Asian  Variation was the product of imperfection Early Thoughts  Humans existed independent of nature  The earth was relatively young  James Ussher **EXAM  17th century archbishop  Pegged date of Creation to 9 am October 23, 4004 B.C. o From the Bible **EXAM (Genealogical reconstruction)  Major early approaches to explaining VARIATION and CHANGE in the natural world during the 19th century: o Great Chain of Being  A revival of Aristotle's view of idealized living forms  One proponent was the French naturalist: Jean Baptiste Lamark Great Chain of Being  Comprehensive framework for interpreting the world (including inanimate objects)  Every kind of living organism is linked in an enormous chain guided by divine principles  Steps in the chain organised so that an organism differed from those above and below by least possible difference Principles Underlying the Great Chain of Being  Continuity: single line - those with similarities closest together  Plentitude: no gaps in the cahin; a benevolent God created all possible organisms  Unilenear Graduation: a single hierarchy depending on degree to which they depart from divine ideal (angels highest, humans just below and represent "the highest perfection of nature") Great Cha
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