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Chapter 17

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Tristan Long

Chapter 17 Darwin Fossils and Developmental Biology171 Recognition of Evolutionary Change Aristotle oObserver of nature and natural historyoBelieved both inanimate objects and living species had fixed characteristics Natural theologyoAll different organisms had been created by god and they could never change or go extinct and new species cant arise Biogeography comparative morphology and geology promoted growing awareness of change GeorgeLouis Leclerc le Comte de BaffonoConfused of why animals have some features that they dont useoSuggested animals must have changed since their creation and that vestigial structures must have been of use before oVestigial structures useless body parts Georges Cuvier oLayers of fossils represented organisms that had lived successive times in the pastoCatastrophism each layer of fossil represents the remains of organisms that had died in a local catastrophe such as a flood Jean Baptiste de Lamarck oProposed first comprehensive theory of biological evolution oPerfecting principle caused organisms to become better suited environment o2 mechanisms fostered evolutionary change Principle of use and disuse body parts grow in proportion to how much they are suedUnused structures get weaker and shrink Inheritance of acquired characteristics changes that an animal acquires gets passed down to offspring oNow know that this is not true oMade 4 important contributions to the development of evolution All species change through time Changes are passed from one generation to the next Change in response to their environment Existence of specific mechanisms that caused evolutionary change 172 Changes in Earth James Hutton oArgued slow and continuous physical processes acting over long periods of time produced earths geological features Movement of water in a river slowly erodes land creating deep canyons oGradualism earth changes slowly contrasted with Cuviers castastrophism Charles Lyell oGeological processes that sculpted the earth surface over long periods of time volcanic eruptions earthquakes are the same as the processes we observe todayoUniformitarianismoGeological processes proceed very slowly not just few thousand years 173 Charles Darwin 1831 set sail on HSM Beagle first heading westward to South AmericaUsed Lyells book and was primed to apply gradualism and uniformitarianism to the world Noticed the animals on the Galapagos Islands all looked a bit different and some looked very similar to animals on distant islands oSaid they were all descended from South America and that each species changed when isolated on a particular island
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