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This slide show introduces the topic of evolution, provides useful definitions, facts, concepts, history, and a link to the complete works of Charles Darwin Online, and a link to an "Inherit the Wind" ...

This slide show introduces the topic of evolution, provides useful definitions, facts, concepts, history, and a link to the complete works of Charles Darwin Online, and a link to an "Inherit the Wind" website.

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Introduction to Evolution 2011 Introduction to Evolution 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to Evolution Dr. Michael L. Foster 2011 Fosterconsultingandfacilitation.vpweb.com
  • Dr. Michael Foster
  • On The Origin of Species
    • The Complete Works of Charles Darwin -ONLINE
      • http://darwin-online.org.uk/
    View slide
  • Important Definitions
    • Empirical – measurable or quantifiable.
    • Anthropomorphism – to attribute human perspectives to the actions, behaviors, motivations of other organisms.
    • Anthropocentrism- the belief that humans are the focal point.
    • Uniformity – physical laws are the same now as they were in the past.
    • Mechanism – scientific explanations or causes for events or phenomena.
    View slide
  • Historical Background
    • The Scala Natura – The Great Chain of Being. Since order is superior to disorder, God’s creation must follow a plan. This is a gradation from inanimate objects to barely animate life forms, through plants, invertibrates, etc. It must be COMPLETE AND WITHOUT GAPS; PERMANENT AND UNCHANGING (NO EXTINCTION).
  • Historical Perspectives
    • ESSENTIALISM – All species have an external, immutable essence, but each individual had imperfections. Variation is accidental imperfection. It is meaningless. Only essences matter.
  • Historical Perspectives
    • DEISM – Belief in an all-knowing all-powerful God; Deity.
      • Final Causes – the purposes for which things occur. The will of God.
      • Efficient causes – the mechanisms that cause events to occur. Mechanistic or naturalistic explanations.
  • Historical Perspectives
    • As late as the 18 th century the role of natural science was to catalog and make manifest the plan of creation so that we might appreciate God’s wisdom.
  • Historical Perspectives
    • The Principle of Plentitude and Harmony of Nature
      • 1 st half of the 19 th century. Tha materialist rationalism of the enlightenment yielded romanticism and idealistic philosophy – the belief that nature has a harmonious and transcendent order.
  • Problems
    • Extinction – the geological record shows extinction. This is not compatible with special creation ideas.
    • Earth is of advanced age – millions or BILLIONS. Certainly more than 10,000 years which is the age of earth according to religious doctrine.
    • October 23, 4004 BC – Time of creation according to Bishop Usher (Biblical Scholar)
  • People who influenced Darwin Read “An Historical Sketch” in “Origin”
    • Lamark - 1809 Philosophie Zoologique
    • Charles Cuvier – respected zoologist and paleontologist. Believed in extinction.
    • Franz Unger- Studied variation. Trained Mendel.
    • William Charles Wells – studied variation in human skin color – races.
  • People who influenced Darwin – see Historical Sketch of “Origin”
    • Charles Lyell - “Principles of Geology”
      • Challenged the age of the earth. Estimated Earth’s age to be 3.2 billion years old over 120 years ago! Inspired Darwin to ask questions and to think!!
  • People who influenced Darwin – see Historical Sketch of “Origin”
    • Robert Chambers – 1844. Combined science and religion. Upset both. Caused scandal.
    • Patrick Matthew – (1790- 1874) –advanced the idea of natural selection and evolution by common descent in a book published in 1831 (BEFORE DARWIN) called “On Naval Timber and Arboriculture” –It went un-noticed!
    • Alfred Russell Wallace – Co-discoverer of Theory!
    • He uncovered contradictions to Harmonious Nature idea…
  • Progessivism
    • Late 17 th century. A more materialist view was forced by Newton’s explanation of physical phenomena.
    • 18 th Century – Age of Enlightenment – faith in progress and the power of reason. Question old beliefs. The natural world could change.
  • Uniformitarianism
    • Observations of geology should be explicable by processes that we can observe in the present era.
      • The earth must be so old that we can perceive “no vestage of a beginning or prospect of an end”
      • Also known as actualism,
  • Darwin’s Idea
    • Evolution = undirected, purposeless (random) variation coupled with the blind, uncaring process of natural selection.
  • Evolution Since Darwin
    • Neo-Darwinism
    • The rediscovery of Mendel’s work…
      • Problems with Darwinian Evolution
        • Blending Inheritance
        • Recombination
        • Continuous Variation
        • Hidden variation
        • Quantitative genetics
        • Multifactorial and polygenic traits
  • The Evolutionary Synthesis
      • Mendel, Chetverikov, Dobzhansky, Hardy, Weinberg, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Mayr, Simpson, Huxley….
      • All contributed to development of neo-darwinism.
  • “Inherit the Wind”
    • http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/inherit/intro.html
  • Visit me online! Fosterconsultingandfacilitation.vpweb.com