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ANT203 September 20.pdf

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Xueda Song

LECTURE 2 THE DEVELOPMENT OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORYSurprising coincidence Darwins On the Origin of Species published in 1859Alfred Wallace wrote out an almost identical theory of evolution in 1858How did occur to them both at nearly the same time The foundations for the realization had been laid throughout the recent pastEarly World ViewsExistence of a divine creator whose creation was perfect and in no need of changeFixity of Speciesonce created organisms remained unchanged having been perfectly adapted to their environmentsno concept of extinction fossils were considered the remains of dead organisms or of former ones who hadnt survived the biblical floodhaving all been created individually by God species were not interrelatedthe Great Chain of Being proposed by Aristotle Scala naturaebased on physical similarities between organismhumans did not belong to the animal kingdom and were placed above ita Grand Design Gods plan for the universestemmed from the argument from design complexitydivinityRecent creation James Ussher dated creation as having occurred 4004 years before his time based on biblical genealogies this made a conception of evolution unlikely as dramatic change within such a time frame is not feasibleWhat changedwith travel came the discovery of plants and animals not mentioned in Genesis as well as the realization that the earth was not flat which prompted speculation about the nature of the universethe Scientific Revolution began in 1514 with Copernicus challenge of Aristotelian geocentrism with the heliocentric theoryGalileo 1600s resurrected heliocentrism and successfully showed that there is movement and change in the universethe 17th century brought discoveries physics gravity laws of motion anatomy and inventions telescope microscopeFigures that set the stage for Darwin and Wallaces discoveryJohn Ray 16271705father of natural historyan ordained priest who emphasized that the world was divinely created in its present state consistently supported fixity of speciesformally defined species with the criteria of reproductive isolationfirst to use genus to categorize species which shared broad similarities
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