Notes for Evolution - The Triumph of an Idea - Chapter 2

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or to Understanding Evolution Chapter 2

General guide on these review questions here

Chapter 2 - The Origin of Origin of Species ("Like Confessing a Murder")

General Questions:

a) What key pieces of evidence did Darwin accumulate to support his theory of how evolution might operate to "adapt" an organism to its environment?

b) What objections was he faced with?

c) What other biologists made key contributions during the 19th century?


Featured Book: Origin of Speciessource of image

Links: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

I. Introduction

II. Archetypes and Ancestors

RQ Ev-2.1: How did Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire think that lobsters resembled humans in terms of the way their respective bodies are organized?

Challenge for students with molecular interests:
Read about an updated version of Geoffroy's hypothesis, called the "dorso-ventral inversion" hypothesis: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - (pdf: 5)

Owen's proposed vertebrate archetype (Source of image)

Key Terms: archetype

RQ Ev-2.2: How did Darwin's view differ from the German poet Goethe's and the biologist Owen's concepts of archetype? (see also p. 50)

III. Confusion and Heresy

RQ Ev-2.3: How did the book …Principle of Population by the English economist, Thomas Malthus, influence Darwin?

IV. "Like Confessing a Murder"

RQ Ev-2.4: Why was Darwin reluctant to share his ideas about evolution?

V. Back into Hiding

VI. Natural Selection Unsealed

RQ Ev-2.5: How did a letter to Darwin from Alfred Russel Wallace get Darwin to finally present his ideas about natural selection?

Wallace's book Darwinism is currently for sale on eBay and Darwin's signed book The Descent of Man recently sold on eBay for much more than Huxley's Man's Place in Nature, which includes the Figure on p. 52 of Zimmer and below far right.


VII. "There is a grandeur in this view of life"

RQ Ev-2.6: How was Darwin's recollection of a cold snap near his Down House used by him to argue for a part of his notion of natural selection?

VIII. Ape versus Bishop


RQ Ev-2.7 (Challenge Question): When was Charles Darwin born and what other famous person was born on exactly the same day in history?

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or to Understanding Evolution Chapter 2

This page created 2/3/03 © D.J. Eernisse, Last Modified 2/11/03, Links Last Completely Checked 2/6/03