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Evidence of Evolution
Transcript of Evidence of Evolution
Evolution is "so overwhelmingly established that it has become irrational to call it a theory."
-- Ernst Mayr (1904-2005)
New layers cover older ones, creating a record over time.
Fossils can be dated using radioactive decay
The fossil record show that a succession of organisms have populated Earth throughout a long period of time.
Support (proof?) for a VERY old Earth.
Similarities in characteristics resulting from common ancestry
Similar structure, similar development, different functions
Evidence of close evolutionary relationship (recent common ancestor)
Comparing DNA & protein structure.
Life uses a universal
All organisms use DNA as their genetic material.
The code used by ALL ribosomes is universal. A bacterium can make a human protein if given the proper recipe.
Artificial selection (aka "
") can use variations in populations to create vastly different “breeds” & “varieties”.
This has been used by humans for livestock and crop production since before recorded history
Insecticide & drug resistance:
Insecticide doesn’t kill all individuals.
Resistant survivors reproduce.
Resistance is inherited.
Insecticide becomes less & less effective
Time to clean up a few more misconceptions about evolution!
The Complexity Fallacy:
Evolution is not goal-oriented ("
An evolutionary trend does not mean that evolution is goal-oriented.
Surviving species do not represent the peak of perfection.
Evolution can only work on what is present. There is a lot of "jerry rigging" & compromise in evolved physiology.
A Related Aside
Structures that serve little or no function.
Remnants of structures that were functional in ancestral species
Deleterious mutations accumulate in genes for non-critical structures without reducing fitness
Similarities in adaptations resulting from similar evolutionary pressures.
Different structures, different development, similar functions
Similar embryological development in closely related species.
All vertebrate embryos have similar structures at different stages of development
Building “family” trees:
Closely related species (branches) share same line of descent until their divergence from a common ancestor. As this happens, genetic differences accumulate.
Fewer differences in DNA/protein sequences = more recently diverged.
What can whole genome sequence data tell us about evolution of humans?
Primate Common Ancestry?
The original evidence that informed Darwin & Wallace.
Organisms found in a particular area tend to be more closely related to eachother than they are to organisms found in other areas.
Dark vs. light variants
What was the selection factor?
Early 1800s = pre-industrial England
lichen growing on trees = light colored bark
Late 1800s = industrial England
factories = soot coated trees
killed lichen = dark colored bark
Mid 1900s = pollution controls
clean air laws
return of lichen = light colored bar
The belief that life is too complex to have evolved without the intervention of an "intelligent designer".
Who can say? Certainly not science (Why not?)
BUT...if we assume a designer, it seems pretty lazy (or maybe just really mean).
There is a whole lot of "unintelligent design" in life. Suggesting that whatever drives evolution doesn't care about aesthetics, elegance, or anything other than "whatever works".
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Why We Think It Didn't Go Down Like This
Make Sure You Can
The major ways science differs from other modes of thought:
- All ideas are not created scientifically equal. Evidence is required. Spectacular claims require spectacular evidence
- Scientific thoughts can
NEVER BE PROVEN
(only supported). Scientific thoughts can be disproven easily (happens all the time)
Hypotheses vs. Theories vs. Laws:
: A Testable statement about the universe.
: A major unifying framework, supported by all evidence currently known.
: A deduced fact that will always hold true if given certain conditions (not typically used in Biology).
"It's just a theory": Hallmark of the scientifically illiterate
Tiktaalik: a transition fossil between fish and amphibians
Archaeopteryx: Dinosaurs to Birds
"Lucy": an Australopithecus
Show evolutionary links between groups of organisms
A fossilized flower from the Eocene (~50mya)
Analysis of fossilized ankle bones places cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) in a lineage with other even-toed ungulates
A Geological History of the Earth
Homology in the tetrapod limb plan
Homology in insect head anatomy
Homology in Great Ape Skeletons:
People used to think whales were fish!
The Fools! (Closer to "legless Hippos")
I am not a fish!
Convergence in Human and Octopus Eye
Wings have evolved multiple times (flying is a good niche)
They look similar because they both swim fast
Human Eye (Blind spot)
Octopus Eye (no blind spot)
The controversial human appendix
Notice Anything in common?
Map of human genome
Similarities between human and chimpanzee chromosomes
Fancy Pigeon breeding was the Pokemon of 19th century Europe
Native Americans bred Teosinte into Corn
Phylogeny of Domesticated Dogs & Cats
Demonstration of variation in domesticated species
Map of Biogeographical Zones
Convergence in Squirrel like mammals
There are many dead branches on the "Tree of Life"
It sucks when your mating call is someone else's dinner bell
Living Like A Colonial Insect Works for Me!
Once upon a time I had eyes...
(Naked Mole Rat)
Life destroying asteroids are known to show up from time to time!
If I was designing a heart, I'd give blood more than one route through it
Choking to death? Blame Evolution!
Is this what "Intelligent" Design Looks Like?
Protein sequence comparrison
Why is evolution a scientific theory?
How does evidence from multiple scientific disciplines and domains support the modern theory of evolution?
How does the same evidence refute common critiques of evolutionary theory?
Explain why evolution is a product of the scientific process.
Explain how each area of evidence described in this presentation lends support to the modern theory of evolution, and provide examples from each area.
Describe why the critiques of evolution discussed in this presentation (teleology and intelligent design) are examples of bad logical reasoning.
It doesn't happen like this