Essay about Evolution Notes

Submitted By Taylorms90
Words: 877
Pages: 4

I. Early Ideas about Evolution (10.1)
A. Early scientists proposed ideas about evolution
1. Evolution- process of biological change by which descendants come to differ from their ancestors
2. Other scientists besides Darwin came up with idea

B. Four scientists important in development of evolution theory
1. Carolus Linnaeus (1700’s)- developed classification system to name living things (grouped by similarities)
2. Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1700’s)- proposed species shared ancestors instead of arising separately
3. Erasamus Darwin- Darwin’s grandfather. Proposed that all living things were descended from a common ancestor
4. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck -proposed theory that all organisms evolved toward perfection and complexity.
a. Proposed changes in environment caused an organism behavior to change, leading to greater use or disuse of a structure or organ
b. Organism then passed changes on to offspring

C. Theories of geologic change set stage for Darwin’s Theory
1. Age of the Earth was key issue in early debates
a. Many thought Earth on 6000 years old
b. Discovery of fossils created controversy
2. James Hutton (late 1700’s)- proposed that Earth very old. Said geologic change occurred gradually (called gradualism)
3. Charles Lyell (1830)- published “Principles of Geology”. Also said Earth must be very old. Said changes in Earth occurred at constant rate over time
a. Same changes we see happening today
b. Greatly affected Darwin’s thinking.

II. Darwin’s Observations (10.2)
A. Darwin observed differences among island species
1. Differences between species studied on Galapagos Islands
2. Noticed variations well suited to animals environment (variation- differences in physical traits)
3. Studied birds, tortoises and said some how adapt to their surroundings (adaptation- a feature that allows an organism to better survive in environment)

B. Darwin observed fossil and geologic evidence supporting ancient Earth
1. Discovered fossil evidence of species changed over time
2. Suggested that modern organisms have relationship to fossil forms
3. Earth must be very old (supported Lyell’s theory)
4. Darwin said, like the Earth, organisms must change gradually over time

III. Theory of Natural Selection (10.3)
A. Several key insights led to Darwin’s idea for natural selection
1. Artificial Selection- process by which humans changes a species by breeding it for certain traits
a. Darwin compared what he learned about breeding to his idea of adaptation
b. Said that in nature, environment creates selective pressure instead of humans in artificial selection
2. Natural Selection- mechanism by which environment is selective agent
a. Darwin used work of others to develop theory
b. Said adaptations arose over many generations (called process “decent with modification)

B. Natural selection explains how evolution can occur
1. 4 main principles to theory of natural selection
A. Variation- variations in populations are basis for natural selection.
b. Overproduction- organisms produce more offspring than will survive (creates competition)
c. Adaptation- Some adaptations allow organism to survive at higher rate and individuals are “naturally selected” to survive and produce offspring
d. Descent with Modification- Over time, natural selection will result in species with adaptations that are well suited for survival
2. Fitness- measure of ability to survive and produce more offspring relative to other members of a population

C. Natural selection acts on existing variation
1. Natural selection acts on phenotypes (not genetic material itself)
2. As environment changes, different traits will become beneficial.

IV. Evidence of Evolution (10.4)
A. Evidence for evolution in Darwin’s time came from several sources
1.Fossils- supported Darwin’s “descent with modification”
2. Geography- Darwin realized that finches found on Galapagos Islands