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Lecture 2

BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Falsifiability, Heredity, Gradualism

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Spencer Barrett

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BIO 120 Lecture 2 Notes
The theory of evolution
Living things change gradually form one from into another over
It is controversial at rst because it challenges view of special
creation (direct creation of all things in e"ectively their present
Theory of evolution involved two controversial ideas
Concept of a changing university (dynamic), instead of the view
of a static world
Evolution is a change of no purpose, instead of the view that the
causes of all phenomena had to have a purpose
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (the guy who got the mechanism of evolution
He is the rst to use the term evolution
Linear rather than branching view of life (Darwin brought up the
idea of evolution tree)
First to provide a causal mechanism—the inheritance of acquired
characters (individuals have some changes according to the
environments and those changes are transmitted directly to the
descendants because individuals don’t evolve, only
population evolve, you born with the genes you have and you
die with those genes, your genes are not evolving through your
An example of Lamarck’s mechanism which is wrong:
The gira"e’s neck is getting longer and longer through
stretching in the life time
It will pass on the longer neck to o"spring
Why was Lamarck wrong? (August Weisman Germplasm Theory)
Inheritance only by germ cells (gametes); somatic cells
(soma) do not function as agents of heredity
Thus genetic information cannot pass form soma to
gametes and onto next generation
The direction that genetic information 7ows in one
direction only from DNA to protein but never in reverse
Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace co-discover the chief
mechanism of evolution (Natural selection) the correct
Events leading up to the publication of “The origin of Species”
After return form Beagle (a ship that will go around the world for
4-5 years to make map, and this gives him a lot of experiences
and evidences) 20 years taken up with accumulation of evidence
for the theory of evolution
1844: wrote but did not publish an essay on natural selection
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