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Chapter 2 notes

by: Nicole Notetaker

Chapter 2 notes ANTH - 18630 - 003

Nicole Notetaker

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Just as the name suggests, these notes are covering Chapter 2, any questions, just email me and I will clarify.
Human Evolution
Dexter Zirkle
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Notetaker on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH - 18630 - 003 at Kent State University taught by Dexter Zirkle in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see Human Evolution in ANTH at Kent State University.

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Date Created: 09/20/16
Chapter 2 notes Big questions The conflict of Darwin During the 1700s a scientific revolution was beginning to start. Before the later part of the 1700s, the work that was done by people like Lyell and Hutton was seen as blasphemy. Darwin used the findings of many of these scientists to build his theory of Evolution. “Darwin drew on information from the five scientific disciplines: Geology, Paleontology, Taxonomy and Systematics, Demography, and… Evolutionary Biology” (pg. 24) Geology: Modern day scientists have come to the conclusions that the earth is 4.6 billion years old and has changed dramatically over that span of time. The foundation of geology began with the Scottish scientist James Hutton whose focus was on how wind, rain and other natural forces affected the planet’s surface. He saw the erosion was caused by rain and wind and that in turn the products of erosion formed “strata” or geologic deposits of things like sand rock and soil. Hutton was operating on the principle of Uniformitarianism; which is to say that he believed that whatever natural forces were at work now, had also been at work in the past. His findings were later picked up by Charles Lyell who used his finding about strata and it’s formations to put forth a literal “mountain of evidence” (pg. 25). Paleontology: The study of paleontology began with the study of fossils and the study of fossils in some sense began with Robert Hooke’s study of the “microscopic structure of fossil wood” (pg. 25) His big discovery was that the fossil wood that he was studying was once alive. Hooke was followed by Georges Cuvier who studied the “structural makeup of many kinds of animals” (pg. 25). Through his study of fossils, he “reconstructed the… appearance, physiology and behavior” (pg. 25) of past animals. By doing this, he began to prove that these fossils were from animals that had been extinct for a long time. He also invented - so to speak – the principle of catastrophism (see definition on page 3 of these notes) Taxonomy and Systematics: Taxonomy was first used with a “commonsense approach” (pg. 26) (i.e. animals and plants are only placed in broad groups such as all felines are cats). “John Rey advocated personal observation, careful description and consideration of plants’ and animals’ many attributes” (pg. 26) Carl von Linne or Carolus Linnaeus developed the system of binomial nomenclature. A system where all plants and animals are given “a higher-level genus… and a lower-level species” (pg. 28) Demography: One of the scientists that is said to be one of the most influential on Darwin’s ideas was Thomas Malthus. He wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population in which he states that population size is limited by food supply and that those that survive are the ones that can best compete for it. Evolutionary Biology: Evolutionary Biology began when scientists in the 1700s began to hypothesize that “organisms… change over time” (pg. 28). Chevalier de Lamarck came up with a theory that in essence says that an organisms inherits traits (from its “parents”) that have been acquired by their parents in their parents own lifetime. This theory is better known as Lamarckism. Darwin’s Grandfather also had the idea that if an organism needs something to help it compete for food, it will then acquire the needed trait over the span of its lifetime. Darwin’s Contribution Darwin’s understanding of the findings of the men that founded these 5 scientific disciplines helped him for his theory of evolution. Hutton and Lyell helped him to see how natural catastrophes could lead to changes to the face of the earth. Cuvier led him the conclusion that some of the fossils he discovered could be the product of animals that once lived but don’t live any longer. “Malthus’s ideas about reproduction” (pg. 32) opened Darwin’s eyes to the possibility of inheritance of beneficial traits. When Darwin brought his conclusions together he was encouraged to write what would be On the Origin of Species. In part due to the fact that another man Alfred Russel Wallace had come to many of the same conclusions and Darwin wanted to make sure that his voice was heard. So he did publish the aforementioned book 15 months afterward. Since Darwin: Mechanisms of Inheritance, the Evolutionary Synthesis, and the Discovery of DNA Mechanisms of Inheritance About the same time that Darwin Published On the Origins of Species, a monk named Gregor Mendel was conducting research on inheritance. Blending inheritance (see definition on page 3) was held to be true until after Mendel disproved it with his pea experiments. (Side note, due to the obscurity of Mendel’s publication, blending inheritance was still thought to be true until his work was discovered by “Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries” (pg. 36)) In his experiments he found that Inheritance could be predicted mathematically and that his pea plants traits didn’t blend. Evolutionary Synthesis The combination of the Mendelian theory of inheritance and Darwin’s evolutionary theory provoked an out pouring of new questions for scientists to answer. Questions like “Why do some genes increase in frequency, some decrease in frequency and some show no change? How do new genes appear?” (pg. 36) that opened the door to a new branch of evolution biology called population genetics (see definition on page 4 of these notes). Through this new branch of study, scientists discovered the other 3 causes of evolution, mutation, gene flow, and genetic drift. (The first of four being natural selection) The Discovery of DNA James Watson, Rosalind Franklin and Francis were the first to discover that DNA has a double-helix structure. This was due to Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction “to produce high quality images of DNA” (pg. 37) Also as an aside note, a lot of people believe that Franklin was not credited in Watson and Cricks published paper, and this isn’t true. While they did not include her name in the theoretical paper that they wrote together, that article was only one of three. Her name did appear on one of the other papers that was more “data rich”. Key Terms Adaptions: “Changes in physical structure, function, or behavior that allow an organism or species to survive and reproduce in a given environment” (pg. 22) Adaptive Radiation: “A process in which organisms diversify rapidly into a multitude of new forms” (Slide 10 in the week 2 slides) Allele: “Alternate form of a gene” (slide 23 in the week 2 slides) Blending inheritance: A disproved theory saying that a child was exactly half of their mom and exactly half of their Dad. Catastrophism: A doctrine put forward by Georges Cuvier that states that events like flooding, volcanic eruption, etc.… are the cause of changes to the geologic structure of the earth Chromosomes: “The strand of DNA found in the nucleus of eukaryotes that contains hundreds or thousands of genes” (pg. 36) Demography: “Study of populations” (Slide 10 in the week 2 slides) Deoxyribonucleic acid: “A double stranded molecule that provides the genetic code for an organism, consisting of phosphate deoxyribose sugar, and four types of nitrogen base” (pg. 37) Dominant: “Refers to an allele that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype and that simultaneously masks the effects of another allele, if another one is present” (pg. 35) Evolutionary biology: “Study of Organisms and their changes over time” (Slide 12 in the week 2 slides) Evolutionary synthesis: “A unified theory of evolution that combines genetics wit natural selection” (pg. 36) Fossils: Physical remains of part or all of once living organisms, mostly bones and teeth, which have become mineralized by the replacement of organic with inorganic materials. (pg. 21) Gemmules: “The units of inheritance supposedly accumulated in the gametes so they could be passed on to the offspring.” (pg. 33) Gene: “Basic unit of inheritance. A sequence of DNA on a chromosome, coded to produce a specific protein.” (Slide 23 in the week 2 slides) Gene flow: “Random exchange of alleles between populations of organisms (AKA: Migration)” (Slide 29 in the week 2 slides) Genetic Drift: “Random change in allele frequency from one generation to the next. Having a greater impact on small populations.” (Slide 29 in the week 2 slides) Genotype: “The genetic makeup of an organism; the combination of alleles for a given gene.” (pg. 36) Geology: “The study of Earth’s physical history” (pg. 24) Habitat: A place where an organism naturally lives Lamarckism: See evolutionary biology paragraph page 2 Mendelian inheritance: “The basic principles associated with the transmission of genetic material, forming the basis of genetics, including the law of segregation and the law of independent assortment” (pg. 36) Mutation: “Random change in a gene or chromosome, creating a new trait, that may be advantageous (good), deleterious (bad), or neutral in its effects.” (Slide 29 of the week 2 slides) Natural Selection: “The process by which some organisms, with features that enable them to adapt to the environment, preferentially survive and reproduce, thereby increasing the frequency of those features in the population.” (pg. 22) Paleontology: “The study of fossils” (slide 12 in the week 2 slides) Phenotype: “The physical expression of the genotype; it may be influenced by the environment.” (pg. 36) Population Genetics: “A specialty within the field of genetics; it focuses on the changes in gene frequencies and the effects of those changes on adaptation and evolution” (pg. 36) Recessive: “An allele that is expressed in an organism’s phenotype if two copies are present but is masked if the dominant allele is present.” (pg. 35) Species: “A group of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile, viable offspring” (pg. 22) Systematics: “The study and classification of living organisms to determine their evolutionary relationships with one another” (pg. 24) Taxonomy: “the classification of organisms into a system that reflects degree of relatedness” (pg. 24) Uniformitarianism: “the theory that processes that occurred in the geologic past are still at work today” (pg. 25) Larsen, Clark. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. W.W. Norton & Company, 2016.


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