Concept relationship stories and theories of origins

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concept relationship stories and theories of origins

Jul 30, The idea that species gradually change over many generations is the Darwin's book On the Origin of Species, first published in , begins . "Try to explain that in any other way than the fact that those relationships are based on a . This all happened thousands of years ago, but the story is not over. Human Origins Initiative, Broader Social Impacts Committee with them many assumptions about science, about religion, and about their relationship. traditions of practice, literatures, sacred texts and stories, and sacred places that A theory in science is the highest form of scientific explanation, not just a “mere opinion. Read chapter The Origin of the Universe, Earth, and Life: While the The age of the universe can be derived from the observed relationship between the . as a result of advances in theory, instrumentation, or the discovery of new facts. from a single flood, they would certainly favor the idea of such a flood, but they do not.

The essences at the end of each particular stage of the worlds are by nature prepared to be transformed into the essence adjacent to them, either above or below them. This is the case with the simple material elements; it is the case with palms and vines, which constitute the last stage of plants, in their relation to snails and shellfish, which constitute the lowest stage of animals.

It is also the case with monkeys, creatures combining in themselves cleverness and perception, in their relation to man, the being who has the ability to think and to reflect. The preparedness for transformation that exists on either side, at each stage of the worlds, is meant when we speak about their connection. Great chain of being and Natural theology Drawing of the great chain of being from Rhetorica Christiana English: However, contact with the Islamic worldwhere Greek manuscripts were preserved and expanded, soon led to a massive spate of Latin translations in the 12th century.

Europeans were re-introduced to the works of Plato and Aristotle, as well as to Islamic thought.

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Christian thinkers of the scholastic school, in particular Peter Abelard — and Thomas Aquinas —combined Aristotelian classification with Plato's ideas of the goodness of God, and of all potential life forms being present in a perfect creation, to organize all inanimate, animate, and spiritual beings into a huge interconnected system: As the universe was ultimately perfect, the great chain of being was also perfect.

There were no empty links in the chain, and no link was represented by more than one species. Therefore, no species could ever move from one position to another. Thus, in this Christianized version of Plato's perfect universe, species could never change, but remained forever fixed, in accordance with the text of the Book of Genesis.

For humans to forget their position was seen as sinful, whether they behaved like lower animals or aspired to a higher station than was given them by their Creator. It formed a part of the argument from design presented by natural theology. As a classification system, it became the major organizing principle and foundation of the emerging science of biology in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Thomas Aquinas While Christian theologians held that the natural world was part of an unchanging designed hierarchy, some theologians speculated that the world might have developed through natural processes. Thomas Aquinas went even farther than Augustine of Hippo in arguing that scriptural texts like Genesis should not be interpreted in a literal way that conflicted with or constrained what natural philosophers learned about the workings of the natural world.

He saw that the autonomy of nature was a sign of God's goodness, and detected no conflict between a divinely created universe and the idea that the universe had developed over time through natural mechanisms.

Aquinas rather held that: It is as if the shipbuilder were able to give to timbers that by which they would move themselves to take the form of a ship. Evolutionary ideas of the Renaissance and Enlightenment Pierre Belon compared the skeletons of humans left and birds right in his L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux English: He wrote of natural modifications occurring during reproduction and accumulating over the course of many generations, producing races and even new species, a description that anticipated in general terms the concept of natural selection.

In the late 17th century, Ray had given the first formal definition of a biological species, which he described as being characterized by essential unchanging features, and stated the seed of one species could never give rise to another. The term gradually gained a more general meaning of growth or progressive development.

The explanation of Buffon's rejection of transformism has taken many forms, most of these referring back to an early article by A.

concept relationship stories and theories of origins

See Bowlerchp. Similar to Aristotle's concept of the substantial form—the metaphysical foundation for the essential identity of offspring and parent through sexual generation— Buffon's internal mould functioned in a similar way. The species is maintained in time and given its ontological reality by the passing on in a repeating material series an immanent formal principle. But this implied for Buffon a significant redefinition of the concept of an organic species.

This redefinition has affected the tradition of natural history and biology since the s Sloanin Ruse and Richards ; Gayon The empirical sign of this essential unity of the species over time is the ability to interbreed and produce fertile offspring, a criterion that takes precedence over similarities of anatomy or habits of life.

The horse and ass must be two different species because they cannot interbreed and produce fertile offspring, whatever may be their anatomical resemblances. The dogs, on the other hand, must, in spite of great morphological differences between breeds, constitute one species because of their interfertility. This created the conceptual basis of his concept of race as distinguished from a Linnean Variety. To explain these changes, Buffon appealed to slight alterations in the organic molecules in response to environmental conditions that could in turn affect the internal moulds.

Buffon subsequently made some steps toward combining the thesis of the historical degeneration of species with his theory of historical cosmology in The Epochs of Nature, published as a supplement to the Natural History in — In this imaginative synthesis, Buffon combined a history of the Earth with a historical sequence of the emergence of living forms Buffon In this treatise Buffon offered a naturalistic solution to the two inherited Cartesian dilemmas.

First, his schema was offered as a realistic account.

History of evolutionary thought

The Cartesian language of counterfactualism has disappeared. Second, he integrated the history of living forms into this naturalistic history of the world.

Further naturalizing his theory of the internal moulds and organic molecules, both were now seen to arise by natural laws from the natural attraction of different shapes of matter and from the changes in matter as the earth cooled from its origin in matter cast off by the sun.

The Epochs also offered a schema for a historical sequence of forms, beginning with marine life and plants and eventually resulting in present forms. This naturalistic account even verged on incorporating the origin of human beings, although this issue is left vague.

Humankind appears, without explanation in the text, in a non-paradisal state in the northern latitudes of Eurasia, surrounded by ferocious animals, earthquakes and floods, and in a primitive social condition that required collaboration for survival. Buffon's liberal use of a form of spontaneous generation that allowed for the origin of even major animal groups from the clumping together of organic molecules as the earth cooled, rendered the actual derivation of forms from previous forms unnecessary.

In several respects, the development of genuine transformist theories by Buffon's successors required a much more restricted use of the possibility of spontaneous generation. The work was never translated into English and it seems to have played an insignificant role in anglophone discussions, in contrast, for example, to the major impact of the works of Linnaeus, which received a wide British exposition and translation.

The boldly speculative character of the Epochs was also at odds with the new professionalized inquiries into geology and natural history undertaken by a younger generation of naturalists who may have adopted Buffon's naturalism and extension of geochronology, but not his grand rhetorical style Rudwickchp.

On the other hand, the Epochs had an important history in the Germanies. The treatise was quickly translated into German and it seems to have played an important role in the development of German historicism Reill in Gayon et al, Although linkages are unclear, the importance of Buffon's work for the development of progressive, rather than degenerative, theories of historical transformism sketched out by Johann Gottfried Herder — in the first volume of his Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit —91 is suggested by several lines of evidence.

For Immanuel Kant, the Epochs formed the foremost example of a genetic history of nature Naturgeschichteas opposed to a Linnean description of nature Naturbeschreibung.

This set up within the German tradition an opposition between two alternative projects in natural history that persisted into the nineteenth century Sloan a; Wilson in Smith Subsequent reflections drew most inspiration from the theoretical developments by Buffon's one-time understudy and the occupant of the new chair of invertebrates Vers from —, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck — Lamarck developed the theory of species change over time to the point that it introduced a new term—transformisme—to describe the theory of species change into the scientific literature.

Formulated within the most prominent institution dedicated to natural history, Lamarck's theoretical views also had the necessary material conditions for their elaboration in relation to extensive museum collections of materials. Adopting from his earlier method of arrangement of the plant groups in his work on French botany in which he had ordered groups serially from most complex to most simple, Lamarck adopted a similar method for the invertebrate groups.

These taxonomic rearrangements took place before Lamarck made any public declaration of his views on species transformism. This linear rearrangement of the invertebrates provided him with an empirical base from which his transformist theory was then developed Burkhardt In view of the many interpretations of Lamarck's views sincethe primary features of Lamarck's theory need to be carefully detailed. In most fundamental terms, his theory of species change was tied to his reversal of the taxonomic ordering of forms originally presented in his early systematic arrangements.

In his first arrangements, these were ordered as a series of animal groups arranged in a simple linear series that began with the most complex forms cephalopods and terminated in the least organized infusorians. The evolutionary theory he developed involved the claim that this new order of arrangement was also the sequence in which forms had been historically generated one from another over time.

The following claims formed the core of his theory: The origin of living beings is initially through spontaneous generation. This action is confined, however, to the origins of the most structurally-simple forms of life—infusoria. All subsequent forms necessarily have developed in some way in time from the elementary beginning in these simplest microscopic forms.

These material agencies produce the spontaneous generation of the infusorians and also provide the impetus by which these give rise to forms of higher complexity, the radiarians, and so on up the series. Lamarck's appeal to the causal role of Newtonian aetherial fluids, however, grounded his theory on a concept of active matter rather than on special superadded vital forces, and in this respect it can be termed a theory of vital materialism.

concept relationship stories and theories of origins

The principal axis of Lamarckian transformism is a linear series, realized in time. This moves from simpler forms up a scale of organization to more complex forms. This results in an axis of fourteen primary groups, terminating in the mammals. Position on the series is defined primarily in terms of the structural and functional elaboration of the nervous system.

The best-known feature of Lamarckianism in the subsequent tradition—the theory of transformism via the inheritance of acquired characters—functions as a subordinate, diversifying process through which major animal groups are adapted to local circumstances. Such adaptation is not, however, the primary cause of transformation from group to group up the series.

Consequently, in contrast to Darwin's later theory, the primary evolution of life is not through local adaptation. Major transformations between lesser groups may, however, occur through the action of use and disuse of structures. For example, the transformation of primates into humans presumably has occurred by means of this adaptive process.

Revisions of the third point constitute the most significant change in these five points afteralthough the connection of these changes to Lamarck's more general theory remain unclear. Both in the diagram supplied as an Appendix to the Zoological Philosophy and in the Introductory Discourse to the later Natural History of Animals Without VertebraeLamarck presented a branching image of group development.

Likely responding to his younger colleague Georges Cuvier's — criticisms of linear relationships see belowLamarck admitted a more complex pattern of group relations, with some showing independent lineages and even different points of origin. This issue was not, however, developed in any theoretical elaboration by Lamarck himself, and has not had significant impact on the historical understanding of Lamarckianism.

Some of these elements in Lamarck's later theory did, however, have some impact on British readings SloanThe reception of Lamarck's views remains a topic of active scholarly exploration see www. Less concerned with the issue of species transformism than with the implications of comparative anatomy, Geoffroy St.

Hilaire proceeded to work out the implications of the inner anatomical similarities of vertebrates. Hilaire drew attention to the implications of comparative anatomy for the unity of the animal kingdom. In the mids, St. Hilaire developed a more historical position on the relation of the unity of type to issues of the fossil record and to the development of life Guyaderchp.

ByGeoffroy St. This led him into direct opposition to the claims of his one-time friend and colleague, Georges Cuvier. Cuvier's researches in comparative anatomy and paleontology led him to conclude to the contrary that animals were formed on a series of four distinct and autonomous body plans embranchements that may display some unity of type within the embranchements.

Cuvier denied, however, the possibility of such unity between these plans, and developed this into a general anti-transformist argument that formed the mainstay of subsequent critiques of transformism into the Darwinian era. Hilaire and Cuvier Appel This debate also forms one of the historic encounters between differing conceptions of biology that affected many aspects of nineteenth-century life science.

It drew division lines within French, and even British, biology over the relation of organisms to history, and it directly engaged the possibility of species change. This debate also served to focus issues within French life science in a way that significantly affected the later French reception of Darwin. This debate eventually was to involve issues of paleontology, comparative anatomy, transformism of species, and the relation of form to function.

Nonetheless, the tradition of Geoffroy St. Outside official Academic French science, Geoffroy Saint Hilaire's theories had broad appeal to those who saw the relevance of developmental embryology for issues of group relationship, an issue that Cuvier, as a moderate preformationist, had ignored. The renewed interest in the relationship between evolution and developmental biology at the present has stimulated new interest in Geoffroy's views Guyader The new awareness of the importance of issues raised within British medical discussions, and the impact of French and German discussions on the British context have only recently been appreciated in rich detail Rupke ; R.

Richards ; Sloana; Desmond Darwin's early Edinburgh mentor, Robert Edmond Grant —provided a crucial link between the Continental discussions centered around Lamarckianism and the Cuvier-Geoffroy debate, and Darwin's early formation.

Coming into contact with Darwin in his years as a young medical student at the University of Edinburgh —27Grant served as Darwin's first mentor in science. Subsequently, Grant became the holder of the first chair in comparative anatomy at the new University College London.

How do we really know that one species evolved into another? View image of Microraptor was a dinosaur, but almost a bird Credit: It is also possible to observe the evolution of a new species as it happens But as we have dug up more and more remains, a wealth of " transitional fossils " has been discovered.

These "missing links" are halfway houses between familiar species. For instance, earlier we said that chickens are ultimately descended from dinosaurs. In a team led by Xing Xu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences described a small dinosaur called Microraptorwhich had feathers similar to modern birds and may have been able to fly.

It is also possible to observe the evolution of a new species as it happens. This little group of birds had formed a new species Ina single medium ground finch arrived on an island called Daphne Major. He was unusually large and sang a somewhat different song to the local birds.

He managed to breed, and his offspring inherited his unusual traits.

concept relationship stories and theories of origins

After a few generations, they were reproductively isolated: This little group of birds had formed a new species: This new species is only subtly different from its forebears: But it is possible to watch far more dramatic changes as they happen. Richard Lenski of Michigan State University is in charge of the world's longest-running evolution experiment. It's a very direct demonstration of Darwin's idea of adaptation by natural selection SinceLenski has been tracking 12 populations of Escherichia coli bacteria in his lab.

The bacteria are left to their own devices in storage containers, with nutrients to feed on, and Lenski's team regularly freezes small samples. They have adapted to the specific mix of chemicals he gives them. The mixture they live in includes a chemical called citrate, which E.

concept relationship stories and theories of origins

But 31, generations into the experiment, one of the 12 populations started feeding on citrate. This would be like humans suddenly developing the ability to eat tree bark. All living things carry genes, in the form of DNA The citrate was always there, says Lenski, "so all of the populations have [had] the opportunity in a sense to evolve the ability to use this But only one of the 12 populations has found their way to do this.

He was able to go back through older samples, and trace the changes that led to the E. To do this, he had to look under the hood. He used a tool that wasn't available in Darwin's day, but which has revolutionised our understanding of evolution as a whole: Genes control how an organism grows and develops, and they are passed on from parent to offspring.

When a mother chicken lays lots of eggs, and passes that trait onto her offspring, she does so through her genes. All modern life has descended from a single common ancestor Over the last century scientists have catalogued the genes from different species.

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It turns out that all living things store information in their DNA in the same way: What's more, organisms also share many genes. Thousands of genes found in human DNA may also be found in the DNA of other creaturesincluding plants and even bacteria. These two facts imply that all modern life has descended from a single common ancestor, the "last universal ancestor", which lived billions of years ago.

By comparing how many genes organisms share, we can figure out how they are related. That suggests they are our closest relatives. We have a common ancestor with chimpanzees "Try to explain that in any other way than the fact that those relationships are based on a sequence of changes through time," says Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.

These changes are called mutations. This complex chain of events helps explain why only one population evolved the ability. It also illustrates an important point about evolution.

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A particular evolutionary step may seem extremely unlikely, but if there are enough organisms being pushed to take it, one of them probably will — and it only takes one. But evolution doesn't always make things better. Its effects are often, to our eyes at least, rather random. The mutations that lead to changes in an organism are very rarely for the better, says Moran.

In fact, most mutations have either no impact, or a negative impact, on the way an organism functions. Animals that live in dark caves often lose their eyes When bacteria are confined to isolated environments, they sometimes pick up unwelcome genetic mutations that get passed on directly to every generation.

Over time, this gradually hampers the species. For instance, animals that live in dark caves often lose their eyes.