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ANP 202 Early Evolutionary Thinkers

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ANP 201
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1/13/14 Constructing a Scientific Theory of Evolution: Early Evolutionary Thinkers Ch. 2 Big Questions 1. How did the theory of evolution come to be? 2. What was Darwin’s contribution to the theory of evolution? 3. What has happened since Darwin? The Development of a Scientific Theory of Evolution *Among others… Carolus Linnaeus (1758), Comte de Buffon (1750s), Jean Lamarck (late 1700s), Charles Darwin (1800s) Early Europeans *Aristotle proposed that humans and other forms of life were eternal and unchanging *View adopted by early Christians -The world was created in a perfect form and it has remained unchanged since that time -The earth is relatively young (~6000 years old) Beginnings of Evolutionary Thought *Explorers and scientists began to question these longstanding views as early as the 15th century *Breakthroughs in multiple scientific disciplines 1700-1800s *Eventually resulted in Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution by natural selection Geology *James Hutton (1726-1797) *Charles Lyell (1997-1875) *Uniformitarianism: processes that were at work in the geologic past are still at work today *The earth is older Paleontology *Robert Hooke (1635-1703) -Microscope -Fossils represent past life-forms *Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) -Comparative anatomy -Fossils found in geologic strata provide the history of past life-forms Taxonomy and Systematics *Carolus Linnaeus (1701-1778) *System of classification of life-forms system natura (1735) *Binomial nomenclature (two-name system) *Genus = Homo *Species = sapiens 1/13/14 Linnaeus *Still assumed “fixity of species” and the hierarchy of species *BUT, had the idea of classifying species according the “degree of relationship” between them (big contribution) Demography *Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) -Developed the concept of characteristics for survival -If unchecked the human population would increase geometrically and indefinitely -Human population sizes are limited by food supplies -Those who can successfully compete for food survive Biology *Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) *Developed idea that species might change in appearance over time *Stated goal was not just the description of this change, but the explanation of this change *Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) -Attempted to explain how living organisms could have
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