BIO 1030 Lecture Notes - Lecture 38: Georges Cuvier, Biogeography, Uniformitarianism

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BIO 1030 Lecture 37-38
Lecture 37 was student presentations
Darwin’s theory of evolution
oNaturalist abroad the HMS beagle
o5 year voyage through the southern hemisphere
oMission to expand navy’s knowledge of natural resources (water and food) in
foreign lands
oObservation led Darwin to conclude that biological evolution occurs
Contrary to current beliefs of his time
Before Darwin
oPeople had an entirely different way of viewing the world
Thought that earth was a few thousand years old
Thought that species remained the same since creation
oExplorers brought back fossils found in strata (layers of sedimentary material or
rock)
oGeorges Cuvier founded paleontology
Study of fossils
He believed the fixity of species yet strata showed a succession of
different forms over time
Catastrophism
Explains appearance of new forms as replacing old forms due to
local catastrophe
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck
oEvolution occurred and that adaptation was the cause of diversity
oConcluded more complex forms descended from less complex forms
oInherited of acquired characteristics
Darwin’s ideas close to Lamarck BUT
oSpecies are suited to the environment through no will of their own
oNatural selection is the means for speciation
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