Lecture 4 - Evolution & Laboratory

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Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course
HPS211H1
Professor
Chen- Pang Yeang
Semester
Summer

Description
HPS211 Lecture 4 MAY24/2011 - Introduction to new concepts in the 19 century (i.e. evolution, cells, genes, energy, etc.) th - 19 . c., a period marked by institutionalization and professionalization of science th  The # of people who became engaged in science (professionally) grew in the 19 century  Emergence of professional (scientific) associatin/organization  Universities – the center of scientific research - Intense application of science in industries, especially physical science  A part of science became tech-oriented/practical arts - 19 century = High modernity Evolution I. Evolution before Darwin - General view in 17 and 18 c., (i.e. Linnaeus)  Species are invariant  Taxonomy reflects God’s plan  Linnaeus later stated that change can occur in species (very minor) within closely-related species - Rising materialistic theory during Enlightenment  Buffon’s origin of the earth and changes of species  Beginnings of evolution theory – movement away from religious explanation (?) for species - New evidence from fossils and comparative anatomy  Fossils revealed very different species in past  Anatomy suggested kinship between species  Species underwent transformation - Jean Baptiste Lamarck  Professor at Museum of Natural History, Paris  Wrote Zoological Philosophy (1809)  Leading researcher on invertebrates - Lamarck’s theory ofevolution:  Species undergo changes in characters; they are not invariant (just look at man-bred domestic animals and plants)  Variations of species are not random; they have a direction: toward adaptation to environment  Mechanism of evolution: inheritance of acquired characters - Lamarck’s Adaptive Mechanism of Evolution  Change in environment varies the activities of living beings  As the new environmental condition stabilizes, activities become a habit  New habit forces animals or plants to overuse some organs, while disuse some others  The overused organs become prominent, the disused organs degenerate  Acquired change of character passes down to next generation  Incremental changes over generations lead to salient difference  transformation of species  Uses giraffes as explanation/example  Giraffe strengthened their neck to adapt to the environment - Lamarck’s theory of evolution was considered radical - Cuvier  difficult for species transformation, since characters interlocked in an integrated system  Species extinct, not evolve - Religious extension of Cuvier: natural theology  William Paley: Natural Theology (1802)  Argument of design - Other evolutionary theories were linear, progressive  “Grand chain of being” tradition II. Darwin’s Early Life - Charles Darwin  from a prominent family in England  His father, Erasmus, was a prominent figure during the Industrial Revolution  came from an intellectual family  Abandoned medical education in Edinburgh  Pursued art degree at Cambridge (preparation for clergyman)  Not a professional scientist; amateurish  “amateur” naturalist  Self-studied natural history - Darwin voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle between 1831-37  Shi p meant to charter the coasts of South America  Witnessed the geological/volcanic force in the Indus Mountains  saw its effect on the land  Darwin believed in uniformitarianism and volcanism (?) III. Affirmation of Evolution - Stayed for a month on Galapagos islands  Observed a variety of species (i.e. birds and finches, etc.)  Observed different kinds of finches inhabit different areas of the island  Brought back observation to England and inquired with a naturalist  indicated that finches were different species  Darwin sceptical – believed the differen kinds of finches were just variation of the same species - Discover Species in Making  Galapagos finches looked like different species to naturalists  But nature can’t create so many species in a small area  Must be variations within the same species  No sharp boundary between species and variations  The Galapagos finches are species in making. They witness the continual branching of species. This is evolution  Question: What is the mechanism of evolution? IV. From artificial selection to natural selection - Like Lamarck, Darwin got ideas from domestic animals - Lamarck: variations due to animals adapting human-controlled environment - Darwin: variations due to man-made selection  Some wolves have long legs and slim figures, some not  Long-legged slim wolves are selected for breedings  Their children are more likely long-legged, slim  Over generations, wolves domesticated into hounds - Variations due to artificial selection  species and higher categories due to natural selection - Thomas Malthus  Wrote Essay on the Principle of Population (1798-1826)  Population growth exceeds resource growth  Competition for resource, struggle for existence  Unfitted demise, fitted survive  Against poverty-relief welfare  Consistent with libertarian capitalism in Victorian Britain  $ to poor leads to poor
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