Monday, September 10, 2007

Evolution by Natural Selection

Today we learned about Evolution by natural selection.

I have called this principle, by which term Natural each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the Selection.

-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

We learned:

-- Species have been evolving since the beginning of time and that the earth was not the same now as it was billions of years ago.

-- The fossil record is a clear indication of evolution and natural selection because the fossils show that there are differences between the dead species and the living species, and the advantages that the living species had over the dead species.

-- LaMarck, a contemporary of Darwin, believed that species acquire traits during their life time. NOT TRUE!! It takes a species many generations to evolve and acquired adaptations! That is why if you get a nose job in your life time, your children will still inherit your original nose.

-- Lastly, we talked about the endemic species on the Galapagos Islands. The finches were of great importance because through study of these birds, Darwin was able to conclude and support his theory of evolution and natural selection. This is because the finches all had evolved to eat different foods and survive differently.

Vegetarian Finches

Here is a video from YouTube about a man who actually camped out on the Galapagos Islands for two years and documented his stay there:

That’s about it. This was the first blog so I wasn’t to sure how to go about it but I hope I was helpful. If anyone has any questions, comments, corrections, or anything please feel free to comment and I will get back to you when I can.

Addition Websites that can be helpful:

  • Toward the middle of the page there is a section that illustrates the four main parts of Darwin’s Theory:
    Evolution and Natural Selection

  • This is actually a website where you can plan a trip to the Galapagos Island. The website has a lot of interesting pictures as well as prices and travel packages: Galapagos Tours

Look Mrs. Foglia: A Red-footed Booby!

PS. If any one has any trouble posting photos, let me know and I'll show you how.

1 comment:

KB Foglia said...

Wow! Talk about setting the bar high! Excellent use of color and graphics. Great job, Jess! I LOVE the Red-footed Boobies! Now I have to go out and get red shoes.

Let me catch one wrong turn on our Sherpa's path though. The statement was "It takes a species many generations to evolve and acquire adaptations!". Acquired traits is a red flag to an evolutionary biologist. It wreaks of a LaMarckian view of evolution and that has been very well-refuted from experimental evidence and our understanding of genetics. To acquire traits suggests that change has happened in an individual creature's lifetime and then passed on to their offspring and we know that is not how genetics works.

The other issue with that statement is that individuals don't evolve. Individuals are either selected (survive and reproduce). Only populations evolve -- their average characteristics change over time -- more individuals have the adaptation that allowed their parents to survive and reproduce.

Got it? If you are not sure of the difference yet...ask for more clarification! Be an active learner and ask for help. DISCUSS!

BTW, Here's an interesting link on learning: Learning and Remembering.