Concepts of Biology (BIOL115) - Dr. S.G. Saupe (; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321

Evolution Readings & Questions

Zoological Philosophy - Jean Lamarck (1809)

  1. What is the role of the environment in Lamarck�s explanation?

  2. What scientific approach is suggested by Lamarck�s statement:  �Nothing of all this can be considered as hypothesis or private opinion; on the contrary, they are truths which, in order to be made clear, only require attention and the observation of facts.�

  3. Was Lamarck�s explanation scientific?  Why or why not?

  4. Can you propose any other explanations for Lamarck�s observation about the disuse and use of organs?

 On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type - Alfred R Wallace (1858)

  1. How would you characterize Wallace�s idea that �The life of wild animals is a struggle for existence?�  How is Wallace�s view scientific?

  2. Wallace claims that �Useful variations will tend to increase, unuseful or hurtful variations to diminish.�  How does this occur?  What evidence does he cite?

  3. How does Wallace�s explanation differ from Lamarck�s?

  4. What do you think of Wallace's critique of Lamarck's hypothesis?

 On the Origin of Species - Charles Darwin (1859)

  1. What led Darwin to formulate his ideas about the origin of species?

  2. On what did he base his explanations?

  3. What did Darwin propose as the origin of species/

  4. What was the relationship of Lamarck�s� and Wallace�s work to Darwin�s?

  5. Was Darwin�s explanation scientific?  Why or why not?

  6. How did Darwin attempt to determine how modifications of a species are accomplished?

  7. How did Darwin explain the incomplete nature of his ideas?

 Essay:  (this one is not necessary for extra credit)
Write a brief essay on the nature of scientific knowledge as demonstrated in the development of the theory of evolution.  Cite at least two quotes from the reading to support your discussion.  Your essay should incorporate the concept of adaptation , natural selection and descent from common ancestors.


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Last updated: December 02, 2004     � Copyright by SG Saupe / URL: