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Lecture 7

HPS211H1 Lecture 7: Lecture Notes 03-09-2016
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Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code
HPS211H1
Professor
noahstemeroff

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HPS211 – 03/09/2016
The Genetic Revolution
Nature is a machine (mechanical philosophy)
-The mechanisms of the living world possesses such a complex structure and purpose that
it could only have been produced by a benevolent creator.
-For example, the human eye: It is perfectly suited for our environment—so it must have
been created specifically for that purpose.
-What about diversity? By compiling a detailed taxonomy, John Ray set out to detail ‘gods
handiwork’, gods rational pattern.
1. Fit: “… the exquisite adaptation of one part to the whole, and to their conditions of
existence…”
2. Diversity: the sheer number and variety of different biological forms.
-Same gaol, different mechanism
Darwin & Natural Selection
-Evolution occurs via the change in heritable traits of a population over time.
-In competition, individuals with certain variants of a trait may survive and reproduce
more than individuals with other less successful traits.
-Three tasks Darwin had to answer:
1. To prove that evolution was a fact—the route that all existing creatures had assumed
their present form.
2. To provide a plausible mechanism to explain how change over time led to adaptation
(Natural Selection).
3. To provide an explanation of heredity: how “like begets like”—the similarity between
parent and offspring—while accounting for variation upon which selection acted.
Pangenesis
-The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868).
-The idea is that different parts of the body released “gemmules” (small copies of
themselves) that are passed on to reproductive organs and transmitted to the offspring.
-Each individual therefore a unique mix of parents, grandparents.
-This was a form of ‘blending inheritance’.
Fleeming Jenkins
-Darwin’s theory of evolution could not be valid if blending inheritance occurred.
-Mathematically proved that advantageous traits would eventually be ‘swamped’ or
diluted.
-The “MS” is characterized as having fixed this by conciliating genetics and evolutionary
theory
Francis Galton
-Rabbit Experiments; blood transfusion to see if the exchanging the blood effected their
offspring, refuted Pangenisis
-Pangenesis seen in nature
August Weismann
-Sequestration of the Germline
-Hereditary info only flows germline to some, not vice versa
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Description
HPS211 – 03/09/2016 The Genetic Revolution Nature is a machine (mechanical philosophy) - The mechanisms of the living world possesses such a complex structure and purpose that it could only have been produced by a benevolent creator. - For example, the human eye: It is perfectly suited for our environment—so it must have been created specifically for that purpose. - What about diversity? By compiling a detailed taxonomy, John Ray set out to detail ‘gods handiwork’, gods rational pattern. 1. Fit: “… the exquisite adaptation of one part to the whole, and to their conditions of existence…” 2. Diversity: the sheer number and variety of different biological forms. - Same gaol, different mechanism Darwin & Natural Selection - Evolution occurs via the change in heritable traits of a population over time. - In competition, individuals with certain variants of a trait may survive and reproduce more than individuals with other less successful traits. - Three tasks Darwin had to answer: 1. To prove that evolution was a fact—the route that all existing creatures had assumed their present form. 2. To provide a plausible mechanism to explain how change over time led to adaptation (Natural Selection). 3. To provide an explanation of heredity: how “like begets like”—the similarity between parent and offspring—while accounting for variation upon which selection acted. Pangenesis - The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication (1868). - The idea is that different parts of the body released “gemmules” (small copies of themselves) that are passed on to reproductive organs and transmitted to the offspring. - Each individual therefore a unique mix of parents, grandparents. - This was a form of ‘blending inheritance’. Fleeming Jenkins - Darwin’s theory of evolution could not be valid if blending inheritance occurred. - Mathematically proved that advantageous traits would eventually be ‘swamped’ or diluted. - The “MS” is characterized as having fixed this by conciliating genetics and evolutionary theory Francis Galton - Rabbit Experiments; blood transfusion to see if the exchanging the blood effected their offspring, refuted Pangenisis - Pangenesis seen in nature August Weismann - Sequestration of the Germline - Hereditary info only flows germline to some, not vice versa Experimental Biology - desire to “experimentalize” biology like other sciences. - Darwinian theory appeared old fashioned, overly conjectural, and speculative. Saltationism - evolution worked through “sudden leaps” or “saltations.” - evolution occurring as a slow, gradual process. - Key Saltationists 1. Hugo de Vries (1848-1935) o “Mutation Theory” o Coined the term Pangenes, shortened it to genes 2. William Bateson (1861-1926) o the word genetics as referring to the study of heredity. o Refused to believe that “Mendelian factors” (genes) were physical entities. 3. T.H. Morgan (1866-1945) o Proved the inheritance of “sex-linked mutations” o Heredity defined by the heredity of discrete units on the chromosome Mendelians - Bateson, de Vries and T.H. Morgan unified by a shared an interest in the work of Gregor Mendel. - supplying the “Laws” that showed heredity information was transferred not through “blending” accounts as Darwin had believed, but through the transmission of discrete “units”. Gregor Mendel - hybridization experiments -
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