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Midterm

midterm 1- study sheet This is a very thorough study sheet including material from both the text book and notes (class and my own). will guarantee you atleast an 80 if studied well.


Department
Earth Sciences
Course Code
EARTHSCI 1083F/G
Professor
Cameron Tsujita
Study Guide
Midterm

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STUDY SHEET
Q: Why study the history of life?
A: Fossils are the time machines that provide us with information of the past life and rocks are the only
fossils that can tell us what happened in the past. To know where humans came from; this can only be
known due to fossils. To know what happened billions of years ago, why some species came billions of
years ago and then went extinct. To find out how ancient things lived, interacted, and why they died.
This is the work of Paleontologists.
Q: Why is evolution important to us?
A: One of the unifying threads in ancient history that help guide research in areas such as medicine to
computer programming. Evolution is constant (happening now), helps us understand why certain
species respond to certain environments and climate change in certain ways, and why us being humans;
we respond in certain ways. Helps us understand the bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Evolution is one
of the key ideas to modern civilization. We are experiencing the same environmental behaviors such as
in the past however, it was not brought upon in the past by humans, and therefore in order to figure out
what is happening today, we must look at the past. THE PRESENT IS THE KEY TO THE PAST.
Evolution in Greece- before Darwin, everyone in Greece believed that everything originated from air or
water and every living thing had the desire from moving from the lowest to the highest, finally becoming
the divine.
Spontaneous Generation- living things can appear fully formed from inorganic matter. For ex. Maggots
came from rotten meat, frogs from slime, etc.
Kant- species that had similarities, appeared from the same ancestral source.
Erasmus Darwin- believed that species could grow or kill their organs, depending on how much and
often they used them. He stated that earth and species must have been evolving for millions of years
before humans came along. He also stated that life evolved from a single common ancestor. He also
stated that sexual selection and competition could create and cause changes in species.
Lamarck- believed in the same theory as Darwin, along with that species wanted to better adapt
themselves to their environment, and that an organism could pass its characteristics to its offspring
acquired in its lifetime, aka INHERITENCE OF ACQUIRED CHARACTERISTICS- all evolutionary change is
the sum of small changes over many generations, that developed during lifetime of individual organisms
due to changes in environmental conditions, or needs of an organism.
Cuvier- He was an expert on dinosaurs. Theory of Catastrophism- this held that there had been violent
and sudden catastrophes such as great floods and the random formation of major mountain chains. This
resulted in plants and animals in those areas to be killed and new plants and animals to be formed and
moved in from other areas. OR, geologic changes occur in large, brief revolutions. He compared fossils

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to living beings, and classified them in the same group. Introduced concept of extinction, believed that
organisms could just die but had to be replaced by new ones.
Charles Lyell- believed that there had been smaller progressive changes. He said that earth must be very
old and must have experienced the same earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, etc. like today. Theory of
Uniformitarianism- originally developed by James Hutton, stating that the natural forces now changing
the earth’s surface have been operating in the past much in the same way. THE PRESENT IS THE KEY TO
THE PAST. He wrote “Principles of Geology” which Charles Darwin read on his trip. This book re-stated
Hutton’s concept of Uniformitarianism, emphasized importance of geologic time, and impressed on
Darwin the concept that the end result of slow or incremental changes over long periods of time can be
very dramatic. In other words, Darwin started to think that if the changes took as long as the predictions
of Lyell and Hutton, then the changes in living beings would have occurred in a very long time into new
species.
Thomas Malthus- populations produce way more offspring than resources available for them, therefore
famine, disease, poverty, etc. are controlled by divine forces to kill them which is controlled by God. This
theory made Charles Darwin believe that the individuals who are the strongest in terms to be able to
survive with no or very less food, survive at the end and get to pass their traits to the next generations.
For example, light colored moths on dark colored trees are easy targets therefore won’t survive for long,
and vise-versa.
James Ussher- Anglican archbishop counted the generations of the Bible and added it to modern history,
and came up with a fixed date of creation: October 23, 4004 BC- October 29, 4004 BC. During his
lifetime, his calculations were more questioned than his approach. Doctor Charles Lightfoot, Cambridge
University in England, agreed with him and set the time of 9:00 AM. This fit perfectly with the
concept/theory of the Great Chain of Being: This meant that God created an infinite and continuous
series of life forms, each on grading into the next, from simplest to most complex, and that all organisms
were created recently and they remained unchanged since then. The purpose of having this was that all
beings had their place in order, God being on the top, and minerals at the bottom.
George-Louis Leclerc- based on cooling rate of iron balls, came up with that it took 75000 years for earth
to cool to its present state. Believed in change of organisms through time but could not provide sound
mechanism to prove it.
Leonardo DaVinci- one of the first to recognize fossils for what they were- he states that the remains of
living things could have originally been deposited in soft sediment until they dried out and hardened.
Linnaeous- described plants and animals based on their appearance and method of reproduction. He
came up with 2 Latin names: Genus and Species. Every genus could have several species and all genuses
were a part of the larger organisms of the living things. This method is used today in naming and
describing the organisms in biology. He came up with binomial system of recognizing organisms.
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Buffon- suggested that humans and apes are related, along with that living things/species evolve and
change in time based on their environments. He states that natural phenomena should be explained
with natural laws rather than theological doctrine.
Aristotle- believed that there were a set number of images in the world, some engraved in rocks and
others in flesh and blood. Mystic forces produced images in stones and fossils.
Nicholas Steno- Danish physician, he concluded that fossils are remains of once-living things.
Robert Hooke- recognized cells in fossilized wood. Studied fossils in vertical range of wood, and proved
that some of the fossil organisms do not exist today.
William Smith- Evolution was irresponsible. Organisms couldn’t go forward and then move backward.
So, they could only go in a single direction, but not a single path. Principles of Faunal Succession-
established a means of determining the relative ages of the strata by the fossils they contain. So if strata
could only go in one direction and not go back, this would tell us how old that strata is by the fossils it
contains as it won’t go back to add fossils or different strata to it.
Charles Darwin- went on the Beagle, to conduct a voyage around the world (Canary Islands), focusing on
mapping and geologic exploration in South America (explores the southern coastline and takes
oceanographic measurements). This is where he discovered bio diversity (same species, different
appearances), along with his first earthquake. He started to think about biogeography on this trip, along
with struggle for existence while observing a fight between two species. Populations must be kept in
check of famine, war, disease, etc. or else they will grow too large to be supported. He also started
thinking about factors that influence survival and extinction of species, difference in the appearance of
land bird species, why some people can tolerate harsh environments and others can’t. He wrote about
the concepts of natural selection. He also introduced the term adaptive radiation, which refers to this
sort of branching evolution in which different populations of a species become reproductively isolated
from each other by adapting to different ecological niches and eventually become separate species. He
also believed in descent in modification, which means that those individuals having a variation that
gives them an advantage in staying alive long enough to successfully reproduce are the ones that can
pass their traits more frequently to the next generation. This leads in their traits becoming more popular
and the population growing. Natural selection in his terms was that nature selected the best adapted
varieties to survive and to reproduce specific creatures. For example, certain birds (finches)have beaks
that help them get food which helps them in their environment, others have beaks shaped in a way that
help them in collecting nectar which is amazing for them in their environment. However, they all
originate from the same ancestral species. Nature selects individuals based on diversity of forms and the
nature of environmental stress imposed on individuals. Years of deliberation- Darwin believed that
organisms haven’t just changed over time but also by chance. Darwin spent years after years in trying to
find more evidence in support to his theory as he was very hesitant in revealing his findings. He spent
about 20 years in this process. Darwin finally chose to write and reveal his information upon receiving
Wallace’s essay. Darwin’s term, “survival of the fittest”/ Divergence in form means that the species
that have the best traits in a specific environment survive and can produce offspring. There was a
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