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11 Dec 2010
Lecture 1
Evolution: The Central unifying Concept of Biology
Key Concepts/ Terms:
Descent with modification
Inheritance of acquired characters
Common Ancestor
1)Origins of evolutionary thought: Before Darwin and After Darwin
2)How evolution is studied: Evolutionary History and Evolutionary mechanism
3)Evolution, fact and fiction: Misconceptions and Evolution and scientific theory
Levels of Biological Organization:
Populations (populations evolve)
1)Number One:
a.Evolution is the central unifying concept of biology
b.One of most influential concepts of western thought
c.All aspects of biology have a firm beginning in evolution
d.Made up of two revolutionary ideas that contrast
i.Changing universe concept replaced static world view
ii.Causes of phenomena in purposes but evolution has no purpose, its an inevitable
outcome of interactions between organism and their environment
e.Before Darwin many scientists challenged view of permanent and unchanging world
f. Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck presented mechanism of evolution based on inheritance of
acquired characters (change in life time then pass on changes)
i. Individuals alter their morphology and behaviour according to their environment,
then these changes are passed on (use and disuse alter organisms structure)
ii.Also believed evolution involved progression along continuum from simple to complex
forms (believed that some organisms are less complex because they havent had time
to become complex)
iii.He was wrong but introduced term evolution to scientific world
g.William Paley: Argument from design, believed that if something has a function it has a
h.Charles Darwin provided first complete theory of evolution in The Origins of Species
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