Notes for Lecture #2

Darwin and evolution

Copyrighted 1996. May not be reproduced for commerical purposes

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Further reading for the interested:

Some interesting links to science and creationism discussion groups

Scientific theories and scientific facts

Evolution as a Scientific fact

Evidence for descent with modification

Evidence from Biogeography

Darwin observed that organisms on isolated islands appear closest to organisms on the nearest mainland. The Voyage of the HMS Beagle 1831-36 Armadillos and fossil Glyptodonts.



  • Both found in the same locations in South American.

    Variation between species on the Galapagos Islands

    Each island has a slightly different species of finch, all of which appear close to a single species found on the South American mainland.

    Evidence from Functional Morphology

    Vestigial Organs Humans have muscles to move their ears Humans have a vestigial tailbone Vestigial toes in the horse Vestigial limbs in whales and snakes

    Vestigial toes in the horse

    Vestigial pelvis and femur in whales

    Vestigial pelvis and femur in some snakes

    Evidence from functional morphology

    Fossils: The Hard Evidence for evolution

    Classic example: Evolution of the hoof

    Evidence from comparative embryology

    Evidence from animal breeding

    More recent evidence

    Molecular evidence of shared ancestry