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anthropology 300

chapter 2

TermDefinition
Creation The idea that the universe and all living organisms were created by God in an instant as part of God's Grand Design.
Fixity of species The idea that, since God and His Grand Design were perfect, there was no need for change. The universe and everything in it was fixed and unchanging, and species, once created, never change.
Great Chain of Being The idea that all God's creations had a permanent place in the divine order of things, and could be arranged in a hierarchy that progressed from the simplest organisms to the most complex with humans at the top.
4004 B. C. The date, calculated by Ussher, at which it was believed that creation of the universe and everything in it took place. According to this belief, the earth is less than 10,000 years old.
Linnaeus Physician and Naturalist. Developed a four level classification system (Systema Naturae) for living organisms. Standardized the use of two Latinized names (binomial nomenclature, genus and species) for each living organism.
Linnaeus (cont.) Systema Naturae based on his perception of the Divine Order of Creation in which similar appearing organisms were understood to be close to each other on the Great Chain of Being (see Great Chain of Being).
Binomial nomenclature Naming by two names; the naming of each organism by two names, genus and species.
Species A group of organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring; a group of organisms reproductively isolated from other groups of organisms.
Genus (pl. genera) A group of closely related species.
Lamarck Botanist and Zoologist. Developed an explanation, called Lamarckism or Inheritance of Acquired Traits, of how organisms changed through time. Stressed the importance of interactions between organisms and the environment in the evolutionary process.
Lamarckism First, but incorrect, evolutionary explanation of change in species. "Inheritance of Acquired Traits". Proposed that organisms could acquire new traits in response to environmental change, and that those new traits would be inherited by their offspring
Cuvier Paleontologist and Anatomist. Introduced the concept of extinction to explain the disappearance of animals represented by fossils. A believer in fixity of species, he developed a hypothesis called Catastrophism to explain those extinctions.
Catastrophism Cuvier: why fossils of extinct organisms existed.The earth had undergone a number of cataclysmic events, shaping geological features of earth and large extinctions. After, restocking by new organisms from unaffected regions and new creation events.
Lyell Geologist. Developed a hypothesis, called Uniformitarianism, to explain how geological forces shaped the face of the earth through time. Emphasized the immense age of the earth.
Uniformitarianism Theory that all the geological forces that shape the face of the earth today have acted in a uniform fashion all through time. Lyell's thought the earth could not be six thousand years old, opposed Catastrophism, and provided for immense geological time.
Malthus Clergyman and Economist. Noted that all organisms produce more offspring than can be supported by the environment, and that the tendency to overproduce is kept in check by nature (resource availability).
Darwin Developed ideas on natural selection, an evolutionary explanation of how species can change through time.
Wallace Naturalist. His ideas on causes of change in species were similar to Darwin's, papers by both were presented at the Linnaean Society in 1858. Darwin, concerned that Wallace would be credited with his working for over 30 years, published Origin of Species.
On Origin of Species Darwin, concerned that Wallace would be credited with the ideas he had been working on for over 30 years, published in December 1858.
Natural selection The process, proposed by Darwin and Wallace, that leads to change in species through time (evolution), due to differential net reproductive success between individuals.
Selective pressures Forces of the environment that influence reproductive success in individuals.
Reproductive success The number of offspring an individual produces and rears to reproductive age; an individual's genetic contribution to the next generation.
Fitness A measure of an individual organism's net reproductive success compared to other individuals of the same species. Measured not just by the number of offspring, but by the number of offspring that have the opportunity to have offspring of their own.
Evolution Preliminary definition: Change in species through time.
Microevolution Changes occurring within species
Macroevolution Changes that occur only after many generations, such as the appearance of a new species (speciation)
Created by: bonnie_cp