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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Genevieve Dewar

ANTA01 Chapter 2: A Brief History of Evolutionary Thought The discovery of evolutionary principles took place in Western Europe, advances in scientific thinking that data back to the 16 century. Concept of Evolution and Human Origins What is Evolution? How does it work? • Natural Selection • Adaptation to the environment • Sexual selection • Variability exists in a population • Occurs in population, not individuals What is a Species? – Produce viable and fertile offspring and breed together – Shares a genetic profile Enormous ability – Similar in appearance (deer) and variable (dogs) – Might all live in one part of the world or in many parts of the world (adaptation to many places) – Share behavioural traits (social groups, food, reproductive strategies) – Distinguish between members of own species and others Humans are found in all parts of the world. Charles Darwin, first explain the basic mechanics of the evolutionary process “The Origin of Species”, 1859 Opportunities to travel around the world, opened interests in natural science Natural selection: the most critical mechanism of evolutionary change; refers to genetic change or changes in the frequencies of certain traits in populations due to differential reproductive success between individuals Story of creation is based on Genesis (Adam and Eve creation story); everything made in 6 days; beginning of human, animals and technology James Ussher, History of origins: Origin of the Earth and therefore humans based on his interpretation of the Bible • October 23 4004 BC @9:00am (later addition) Fixity of species: the notion that species, once created, can never change; an idea opposed to theories of biological evolution Precursors to the Theory of Evolution John Ray – Developed the concept of species – Plants and animals could be distinguished from other groups by their ability to mate with one another and produce offspring – Species: groups of reproductively isolated organisms into single category ANTA01 – Genus: species shared similarities with other species; second level of classification Carolus Linnaeus – Developed a method of classifying plants and animals – Binomial nomenclature: genus and species names are used to refer to species – Taxonomy: the branch of science concerned with the rules of classifying organisms on the basis of evolutionary relationships Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon – Recognized the dynamic relationship between the external environment and living forms – Groups of organisms migrated to new areas, they were altered as a result of adaptation to a somewhat different environment – To learn about the earth, study the earth” processes are known, natural and observable Erasmus Darwin – Expressed his views that life had originated in the seas and that all species had descended from a common ancestor Jean-Baptiste Lamarck – Suggested dynamic relationship between species and the environment such that if the external environment changed – Animals activity patterns would change to accommodate the new circumstances – Inheritance of acquired characteristics (use-disuse): alteration would make the animal better suited to its habitat, the new trait would be passed on to its offspring First mechanism (2&3 are wrong) **exam 1. Adaptation to the environment 2. Progression towards perfection 3. Inheritance of acquired characteristics Giraffe stretch their necks to eat better leaves on the top of the tree (adaptation to the nature); Physical, not genetic Georges Cuvier – Introduced the concept of extinction to explain the disappearance of animals represented by fossils – Catastrophism: the view that the earth’s geological landscape is the result of violent cataclysmic events – If only 6000 years old, then global and violent catastrophes to explain canyons, mountains…. Reverend Burnet (1681 AD) found slow erosion Thomas Malthus – Humans can increase their food supplies and aren’t dependent on natural resources ANTA01 – Population size is limited by the availab
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