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Evolution Notes

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University of Pittsburgh
Biological Sciences
BIOSC 0160

3/18 Chapter 24: Evolution Diversity of Life • Diversity: number of species o There are 1.9 million described species o Still, many remain undescribed o Estimate of total number: 12.5 million • Disparity: anatomical and behavioral variety o Diversity is more than numbers o Consider disparity in:  Genetic information  Anatomy  Behavior • Ecological Diversity: communities and ecosystems o Extensive variety in who lives together and how they affect the environment Age of Earth • 4.6 billion years old • Evidence o Layering of rocks  Layers are super thick  E.g. Grand Canyon: observed rates of deposition are slow o Radioisotope dating o Other evidence • Hutton and Lyell o Hutton: gradualism (1795) 3/18  Profound change results from slow but continuous geological processes o Lyell: uniformitarianism (1830)  Processes are uniform  Building and erosion balance out • Extension of these ideas: Earth is very old The Fossil Record • Cuvier: pioneered paleontology (late 1700’s) o History of life is recorded in fossils o Extinction occurs o Sequence of fossils is not the result of evolution Linnaeus • Linnean Hierarchy Kingdom  Phylum  Class  Order  Family  Genus  Species • “God creates, Linnaeus arranges” o Creator’s design is revealed o E.g. Animalia  Chordata  Mammalia  Primates  Hominidae  Homo  Sapiens o Rules: genus is capitalized, both words are either underlined or italicized Lamarck • Proposed evolution; first cogent theory o Spontaneous generation occurs constantly o Each new form is simple at first o Each form evolves up a ladder of life toward perfection • Argued for adaptation o Organisms adapt to their environment 3/18 o Mechanism: “felt needs”
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