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Nothing in biology makes
sense except in the light
of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhanksy
What is a theory?
A theory is a broad, overarching
explanation to explain a natural
phenomenon
Little doubt that it is true
Generally incorporates a pattern and a
process
Evolution - theory that
All organisms are related to each other by
common ancestry (pattern)
All organisms have changed over time
primarily in response to natural selection
(process)
Landmarks in Evolutionary
Biology
Aristotle
340 B.C.
Invents scientific natural history while
pursuing marine biology on the island
of Lesbos
Carolus Linnaeus
1730-1770
Founds field of taxonomy
Georges-Louis Leclerc,
Comte de Buffon 17301770
Catalogues all
known life in his
Historie naturelle
Georges Cuvier
Founds comparative
anatomy; classifies
the invertebrates in
more detail than
Aristotle did
1795
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck
Argues that a process of
organismal evolution can cause
differences observed between
species but gets mechanism
wrong (inheritance of acquired
characteristics)
Produces an evolutionary tree
of the animals as good as those
produced a century later