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Lecture 13

BIO120H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Linnean Society Of London, Botany, Beagle

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James Thomson

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Lecture 13
Charles Darwin, 150 anniversary of origin of species, 200 from his birth
1. Evolution the central unifying concept of biology
2. Development of Darwin’s idea
3. Evolution facts and fiction
Theory of evolution
- Living things change gradually from one form into another over time
- Creationism
Two controversial ideas:
- Changing universe replaced view of a static world
- Evolution has no purpose; blind mechanistic process; just happens, not for anything
Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, 1744-1829: 1st to use the term evolution, a pioneer, overthrew the idea of
creation; got the mechanism wrong: the inheritance of acquired characters; never did experiments, just
made observation
Every organism on earth is in linear track to get more complex
Individuals do not evolve theory of evolution; individuals genetics is fixed, but population genetics
Eg. Giraffe’s neck
August weisman: info passes only through germ cells, therefore, genetic info cannot pass from soma to
gemetes and onto next generation; not reversible process
Alfred Russell Wallace & Darwin: Wallace was amazing collector, wrote a manuscript and sent it to
Darwin on his idea.
- Return from beagle 20 years
- 1844: wrote but did not publish an essay on netural selection
- 1856: work on natural selection
- 1858: Wallace manuscript
- July 1858: linnean society presentation in London of Darwin-Wallace paper
- 1859: publication of the Origin
The origin of species
- All organisms have descended with modification from common ancestors
- The major agent of modification is natural selection operating on variation among individuals
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