Descent with Modification: A Darwinian View of Life

May 20th, 2015
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• Keen observers of living things have long noted that organisms are well suited to their environments, that there is a rich diversity of life on Earth, and that life shows a striking unity.• Charles Darwin’s fascination with “endless forms most beautiful” led him to propose a scientific explanation for these broad observations.

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Chapter 22Descent with Modification:A Darwinian View of LifeLecture OutlineOverview: Endless Forms Most BeautifulKeen observers of living things have long noted that organisms are well suited to their environments, that there is a rich diversity of life on Earth, and that life shows a striking unity.Charles Darwins fascination with endless forms most beautiful led him to propose a scientific explanation for these broad observations.On November 24, 1859, Darwin published his hypothesis in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, ushering in the era of evolutionary biology.Darwin defined evolution as descent with modification, proposing that Earths many species are descendants of ancestral species that were very different from those alive today.Evolution can also be defined more narrowly as a change in the genetic composition of a population over time.Evolution is both a pattern and a process.The pattern of evolutionary change is revealed in observations about the natural world.The process of evolution consists of the mechanisms that have produced the diversity and unity of living things.Concept 22.1 The Darwinian revolution challenged traditional views of a young Earth inhabited by unchanging species.At age 22, Charles Darwin set out on a sea voyage that began his intellectual voyage toward the fundamental concept of modern biologyHis hypothesis had its roots in the work of many other individuals.The Greek philosopher Aristotle (3

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