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Lecture 3

Biology 1001A Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Speciation

Course Code
BIOL 1001A
Tom Haffie

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Biology 1001A Lecture 4: Why Evolution is True
“Humans Evolved from earlier species of animals”
Some people have problems with this idea
The majority of people agreed with this idea
Bar graph on slide
Most ppl against the idea of evolution have problems with the above statement
Views on Human Evolution
Most people agreed with creationism
Natural Selection
Humans have evolved over millions of years from earlier forms of life, but there was no spiritual
Teach the Controversy?
Another poll in the US
What should be taught in publicly funded classes??
oDarwins Theory
Most Popular idea was both, teach both and let the kids decide
Analogous to teaching med students germ theory vs possession of demonic disease
When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity it is not necessarily the case that
the truth lie exactly halfway, it is possible for one side to simply be wrong
Evolution as a fact and a theory
What do scientists mean by a theory?
What do we mean by a fact?
What is the theory of evolution?
What empirical evidence supports evolution?
What is a theory?
An assumption based on limited knowledge…a conjecture
A scientific theory
oA coherent set of testable hypotheses that attempt to explain facts about the natural world
Atomic theory
Germ theory of infectious disease
Gravitational theory
oFundamentally different than a ‘hunch’
What is a fact?
An assertion for which there is so much evidence that it would be perverse to deny it –SJ Gould
Sometimes we cannot just prove something, instead scientists attempt to support or refute theories by
repeated testing
Test a theory by attempting to falsify it
What makes a theory scientific does not make it automatically correct
Theories graduate to fact-hood after repeated testing fails to falsify them
Unfalsifiable assertions are not scientific
Russell’s Teapot
oAssertion that cannot be falsified
oSo small undetectable
oNot scientific
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