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Evidence of Evolution

An overview of the evidence that has led to the overwhelming acceptance of evolutionary theory as a useful and productive scientific explanation.

Jeremy Mohn

on 29 January 2012

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Transcript of Evidence of Evolution

Evidence of Evolution fossils embryology molecular sequences biogeography "It will be determined to what extent the phylogenetic tree, as derived from molecular data in complete independence from the results of organismal biology, coincides with the phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of organismal biology. If the two phylogenetic trees are mostly in agreement with respect to the topology of branching, the best available single proof of the reality of macro-evolution would be furnished."

Emile Zuckerkandl & Linus Pauling
"Evolutionary Divergence and Convergence in Proteins" (1965) There are patterns in the way in which species occur geographically, based on such factors as where they originated, how far they dispersed, and how changes in the Earth affected their distribution.
These patterns are best understood as the result of a combination of historical factors such as common descent, speciation, extinction, continental drift, and glaciation. Example: Wallace's Line is a boundary that separates the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea (a transitional zone between Asia and Australia). West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin are present. convergence of evidence Related organisms have similar developmental stages despite adult differences.
This evidence supports the hypothesis that all animals are related and descended, with modification, from a common ancestor.
We can even observe certain structures appearing early in development, which disappear later as the organism matures. Whale embryo with
hind limb buds Snake embryo with
hind limb buds "New knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory." Pope John Paul II independent verification

Detailed analysis of these completely seperate lines of evidence produces nearly identical phylogenetic trees. This convergence was predicted! one final quote homologous structures vestigial structures atavisms Hipbones and ear muscles of whales
Hipbones and rudimentary legs of some snakes
Muscles in the human tailbone and human ear, human wisdom teeth, and “goose bumps”
Fingernails on manatee flippers …a type of homologous structure that is no longer used as it is in most other organisms that have it.
“Vestigial” does not necessarily mean useless or nonfunctional. It literally means “not fully developed.” …similar structures found in more than one species that share a common ancestor.
Homologous structures are revealed by comparing anatomy, cellular similarities and differences, and studying embryological development.
Homologous structures are best explained as having all derived from the same body part in a common ancestor. …traits from a distant evolutionary ancestor that have reappeared in modern-day organisms
Wallace's Line is now understood to be the result of the convergence of tectonic plates. Hawaiian Freshwater Streams
Only five native fish species inhabit freshwater Hawaiian streams, each with its closest living relatives elsewhere in the Pacific region.
How did they get there? All five species are amphidromous, meaning that they swim out to sea as larvae and spend several weeks drifting with the plankton. Lentipes concolor
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