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Lecture 13

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University of Toronto St. George
James Thomson

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: 1 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 changes 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 Development of darwin’s ideas on evolution – exploration - John S. Henslow at Cambridge, botanist; parental influence on Darwin didn’t want to be
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