Evolution part 1

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Evolution part 1

  1. 1. BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION: THE PROCESS Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  2. 2. Wanting What You Can’t Have •A Scientific Theory Can’t Give You: • Theological or metaphysical truths • An ethical or moral system • The meaning of life ! Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  3. 3. Wanting What You Can’t Have •A Scientific Theory Can’t Give You: • Theological or metaphysical truths • An ethical or moral system • The meaning of life ! • A Good Scientific Theory Can: • Reveal connections between seemingly disparate facts • Motivate and guide a research program • Predict new observations • Answer one question and create two new ones Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  4. 4. Biological Evolution Background and Basics Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  5. 5. “Endless forms most beautiful…” Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  7. 7. 24,000 Species of Orchids Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  12. 12. The Wee Beasties Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  13. 13. The Wee Beasties Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  14. 14. The Wee Beasties Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  15. 15. What is responsible for all of this variety in life forms? Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  16. 16. Three Pre-Darwinian Beliefs About Evolution Special Creation • Species created independently. Unrelated to each other • Unchanging - created as you see it right now • Young Earth - 6000 years old Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  17. 17. Three Pre-Darwinian Beliefs About Evolution Special Creation Random Assembly • Species created • Random independently. Unrelated to each other • Changing • Unchanging - created as • Species related but you see it right now random variations • Young Earth - 6000 years on ancestral forms old Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  18. 18. Three Pre-Darwinian Beliefs About Evolution Special Creation Random Assembly • Species created • Random independently. Unrelated to each other • Changing • Unchanging - created as • Species related but you see it right now random variations • Young Earth - 6000 years on ancestral forms old Lamark • Evolution by necessity • Acquired Characteristics Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  25. 25. Random Generation of Organisms is Mathematically Implausible and Inconsistent with Observed Order within Ecosystems Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  26. 26. Lamark Lamarck's evolution theory of the early 1800's (before Darwin) proposed that species evolved by necessity. According to Lamarck's theory, for example, a short-necked giraffe initiates evolution of a longer neck out of perceived necessity. Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  27. 27. Darwin’s Alternative to Special Creation, Acquired Characteristics, and Random Assembly Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  28. 28. Basics of Natural Selection n Variation in traits between members of a species n Some traits are passed across generations (heritability) n Some heritable traits affect reproductive success n Those traits gradually become more frequent in a population Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  29. 29. Basics of Natural Selection n Variation in traits between members of a species n Some traits are passed across generations (heritability) n Some heritable traits affect reproductive success n Those traits gradually become more frequent in a population Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  35. 35. Basics of Natural Selection n Variation in traits between members of a species n Some traits are passed across generations (heritability) n Some heritable traits affect reproductive success n Those traits gradually become more frequent in a population Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  36. 36. Domestication and Inheritance of Traits Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  37. 37. Domestication and Inheritance of Traits Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  38. 38. Domestication and Inheritance of Traits Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  39. 39. Domestication and Inheritance of Traits Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  40. 40. Domestication and Inheritance of Traits Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  41. 41. Humans selectively breed plants and animals for certain traits. Nature automatically engages in a selective breeding program Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  43. 43. Basics of Natural Selection n Variation in traits between members of a species n Some traits are passed across generations (heritability) n Some heritable traits affect survival and reproductive success n Those traits gradually become more frequent in a population Wednesday, June 2, 2010
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  51. 51. Basics of Natural Selection n Variation in traits between members of a species n Some traits are passed across generations (heritability) n Some heritable traits affect survival and reproductive success n Those traits gradually become more frequent in a population Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  52. 52. • Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria • Influenza • Alcoholic Fruit Flies • Lactose Tolerant Adult Humans Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  53. 53. Basic Implications • Ecosystem: Organisms are all part of a highly interconnected web of life. – When one variable changes, new survival challenges spread through the system and drive selection. Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  54. 54. Basic Implications • Ecosystem: Organisms are all part of a highly interconnected web of life. – When one variable changes, new survival challenges spread through the system and drive selection. • Subtle factors drive big effects because biological changes are cumulative. – Compound interest Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  55. 55. Basic Implications • Ecosystem: Organisms are all part of a highly interconnected web of life. – When one variable changes, new survival challenges spread through the system and drive selection. • Subtle factors drive big effects because biological changes are cumulative. – Compound interest • Complexity emerges from the application of simple laws Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  56. 56. Summary • Darwin Provided an Alternative to Uniformitarianism and Random Assembly Accounts of Species. • Natural Selection • Same Underlying Inheritance and Variation Mechanisms that Enable Domestic Selection • Struggle for life • Variation of characteristics • Differences in reproductive success • Inheritance • Gradual, Cumulative Change Wednesday, June 2, 2010
  57. 57. Closing Comments Natural Selection is Silent on Issues Related to Theology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Morality, and the Meaning of Life. Scientific theories: Motivate research programs - answer one question and create two. Connect disparate facts Predict observations Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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