ANTH 203

Development of Evolutionary Theory



Linnaeus - classification of plants and animals places humans in the order Primates.

Jean Lamarck


FIRST systematic evolutionary theory - based theory on the inheritance of acquired characteristics.

Charles Darwin


ADAPTATION - the link of geographical variation in
related species to environmental differences.

“Struggle for existence” in which more offspring are born than can survive to reproduce.

Five major point of Darwinian evolutionary theory
1. Organisms produce more offspring than can survive to reproduce.
 2. Because numbers of individuals in a species are usually constant, there must be a high death rate.
3. Individuals in each species vary in their characteristics.
4. Natural selection: variants that fit their environment better will be favoured over those less fit. Fitness is defined by differential reproductive success. Better fit individuals pass on their beneficial characteristics in greater numbers because they have more offspring that survive and reproduce.
5.Following generations will continue to exhibit and refine adaptations

Charles Lyell

1830 - 1833

“Principles of Geology” - promoted “uniformitarianism”, the idea that the earths form was derived from SLOW and GRADUAL processes of uplift, erosion and deposition.

Fleeming Jenkin


Blending inheritance, single favorable mutations would be diluted out of exist
- Darwin undermines his own theory

Curie & LaBorde


Atomic energy - making Kelvin's age estimates for earth meangingless