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Darwin and Natural Selection

By ananya28082000 Aug 12, 2013 924 Words
Darwin and Natural Selection

1.Yes, this article is credible information. Daniel O’Neil, who is the Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Behavioral Sciences Department in Palomar College, wrote the article.

2.Based on the reading, we can infer that Darwin’s upbringing as a child was quite luxurious and opulent. We can interpret this from the facts that O’Neil tells us, such as his father, Robert, had the largest medical practice outside of London at the time and his mother, Susannah Wedgwood, was from a family of wealthy pottery manufacturers. The author also hints us by mentioning that Charles lived in a large house with many servants. We can also infer that he had a period of grief in his life, as the author tells us that his mother, Susannah, passed away, and he lived with his father and sisters.

3.This late 18th century theory of James Hutton states that the natural forces now changing the shape of the earth's surface have been operating in the past much in the same way. The most important implication is that the earth is very old and that the present is the key to understanding the past.

4.No, all people did not agree with uniformitarianism. An opposing theory to uniformitarianism is the theory of catastrophism. This theory states that the earth's geological landscape is the result of violent cataclysmic events. Advocates of this theory usually believe that there have been a number of wide-spread violent and sudden natural catastrophes that have destroyed most living things. This idea was used by George Cuvier to explain the extinction of species.

5.After returning to England, Darwin identified 13 species of finches which he had collected from the Galapagos Islands. To Darwin this was puzzling, since he knew of only one species of this bird on the mainland of South America, nearly 600 miles to the east, where they had all presumably originated. He observed that the Galapagos species differed from each other in beak size and shape, and also noted that the beak varieties were associated with diets based on different foods. He concluded that when the original South American finches reached the islands, they dispersed to different environments where they had to adapt to different conditions. Over many generations, they changed anatomically in ways that allowed them to get enough food and survive to reproduce. Darwin came to understand that any population consists of individuals that are all slightly different from one another. Those individuals having a variation that gives them an advantage in staying alive long enough to successfully reproduce are the ones that pass on their traits more frequently to the next generation. Darwin called this decent with modification. Hence, the Galapagos finches provided a great evidence of the fact that, in a very real sense, nature selected the best-adapted varieties to survive and to reproduce. And hence, these observations supported the theory of natural selection.

6.After reading Malthus’ essay on the Principles of Population in 1838, Darwin came to realize that all plant and animal populations have this same potential to rapidly increase their numbers unless they are constantly kept in check by predators, diseases, and limitations in food, water, and other resources that are essential for survival. Darwin also realized that the most fit individuals in a population are the ones that are least likely to die of starvation and, therefore, are most likely to pass on their traits to the next generation.

7. “Peppered Moths” had varieties that vary in wing and body coloration from light to dark. When moths landed on trees darkened from pollution killed lichen, and other blackened surfaces, the dark

colored ones were harder to spot by birds who ate them and, subsequently, they more often lived long enough to reproduce. Over generations, the environment continued to favor darker moths. As a result, they progressively became more common. Hence, the discovery of “peppered” moths further supported Darwin’s observations of the finches since it was another excellent example of evolution resulting from natural selection an provided more evidence for Darwin’s forming theory.

8. The main point of the clip is based on how evolutionary history is filled with "arms race" relationships between organisms locked in struggles of adaptation and escalation. This is an example of coevolution. These “arms race” relationships can occur between species that are predator and prey, competitors, or even between organisms linked by mutually beneficial symbiosis.

9.Darwin did not believe that evolution follows a predetermined direction or that it has an inevitable goal. His explanation that evolution occurs as a result of natural selection implied that chance plays a major role. Also, unlike other scientists of the time, such as Lamarck, Darwin did not believe that evolution inevitably produces more complex life forms and that the ultimate result of this process is humans

10. Darwin was born at a time when radical politics in Europe had provoked a conservative backlash and desire for stability. Established elites, slow to accept radical changes, were wary of new ideas that challenged traditional views of the "natural order" and mankind's place within it. Since his theories of evolution and natural selection were sure to disrupt his comfortable relationships with more traditionally minded people -- including his wife, Emma -- Darwin developed his ideas in private. . Hence, because of this widespread Christian evangelical fervor in England, and due to the fear of being charged with sedation and blasphemy, he delayed in publishing his work for many years.

11.Dennis O’Neil. Anthro Palomar. Palomar College, 1998-2012. Web. 8 Aug 2013

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