From lecture: What was the world-view before Copernicus? And after?



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From lecture:

  • What was the world-view before Copernicus? And after?

  • What is the Great Chain of Being (Scala Naturae)?

  • What are the contributions of Copernicus, Buffon, Cuvier, Linnaeus, Lyell, and Malthus?

  • Understand the components and limitations of the Scientific Method.

Plate 1-1

  • What observations did Darwin make while on board HMS Beagle, to cause him to question the assumption that species were immutable?

Plate 1-2

  • What method did Darwin use to answer questions about the unchanging character of plants and animals?

  • What processes did Darwin think could account for the unique distribution of plants and animals?

  • What observations did Malthus make in his Essay? How did they affect Darwin's reasoning?

  • How does natural selection reshape and transform species over time?

Plate 1-3

  • What were the findings of von Baer about comparative embryology?

  • What principle did Ernst Haeckel propose?

  • What do we get from ontogeny about the transformation of species over time?

Plate 1-4

  • What does the comparative anatomy of the vertebrate brain demonstrate about evolution?

Plate 1-5

  • What does the transformation series of the gill arches in fish to the hearing mechanism in mammals demonstrate about the evolutionary process?

Plate 1-6

  • Why are the structures of the mammalian forelimb considered to be homologous?

  • What movements occur at the joint between the ulna and humerus and at the joint between the radius and humerus?

  • Know the names of the bones of the forelimb and their relative position (proximal, distal) in the limb.

Plate 1-7

  • Understand the difference between a homodont and heterodont dentition.

  • Understand the difference between a polyphyodont and diphyodont dentition.

  • Know the names and functions of the four types of mammalian teeth.

  • Know the names and movements of the muscles of mastication.

  • Understand the following terms: omnivorous, insectivorous, herbivorous and carnivorous.

Plates 1-8 & 1-9

  • Understand the phenomenon of convergent evolution.

Plate 1-10

  • Understand what it means for a trait to be dominant or recessive.

  • Understand the principle of particulate inheritance and its importance to understanding natural selection.

Plate 1-11

  • Understand Mendel's Law of Segregation and its importance for explaining how variation is produced and maintained over generations.

  • Understand the following: gene, allele, locus, homozygous, heterozygous, genotype, phenotype, gamete, recombination, genotypic and phenotypic ratios, homologous chromosomes and alleles.

Plate 1-12

  • Understand how Mendel's Law of Independent Assortment explains how multiple characteristics are inherited simultaneously.

  • Be able to construct Punnett Squares to predict the outcomes of monohybrid and dihybrid crosses.

Plate 1-13

  • Know the following: cell cycle, interphase, mitosis, cytoplasm, chromatin, chromosomes, sister chromatids, centromere, cell membrane, nuclear membrane, centrioles, spindle fibers, equatorial plane.

  • Know the products of mitosis.

Plate 1-14



  • Know where sex cells are produced, the special characteristics of sex cells, and what distinguishes the sex cells of females and males.

  • Understand how the products of meiosis differ from those of mitosis.

Plate 1-15

  • Understand linked genes and their effects, sex-linked genes, mutations as the source of new variation, and crossing over.

Plate 6-1

  • Understand how sexual reproduction, through the recombination of genes, is a source of variation within populations.

  • Know the three phases of the ovarian cycle.

  • Know the differences between oogenesis and spermatogenesis

Plate 1-16

  • Understand the evolutionary forces of genetic drift and gene flow

Plate 1-17

  • Understand the results of the Grant’s study on Daphne Major Island for our understanding of natural selection and for the nature of evolutionary outcomes.

Plate 1-18

  • What did Alfred Wegener conceive?

  • Are the ratites the result of convergent evolution?

  • What are Pangaea, Laurasia, and Gondwanaland?

Plate 1-19

  • What’s the difference between the stratigraphic and chronological time scales?

  • Know the major events of the Precambrian.

  • the age of the earth and of the oldest fossils;

  • when atmospheric oxygen began to be produced;

  • when eukaryotes appeared; and

  • when metazoans appeared.

Plates 1-20 – 1-22

  • Know the major events of the Phanerozoic eras, such as what animals dominated the landscapes.

Plates 2-1 – 2-5



  • Know the major types of molecules of life.

  • Know the structure and components of DNA

  • Know how and where DNA replication takes place.

  • Know the structure and components of RNA and how it differs from DNA

  • Know what proteins are made of, what codes for them, and the role they play in organisms.

  • Know how and where Protein synthesis occurs.

  • Know what transcription and translation refer to.



The Growth of Evolutionary Science, D.J. Futuyma, 1982

  • What is the importance of Aristotle’s distinction between final causes and efficient causes on post- medieval thought?

  • Before the rise of science, where were the causes of events sought?

  • Why is the sufficiency of efficient causes so important for modern biology?

  • How did the Mendelian geneticists differ from the Darwinians? When were these differences resolved?


Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought, E. Mayr, 2000

  • How does evolutionary biology differ from other sciences? What does this difference mean with regard to how hypotheses are tested?

  • What is typology or essentialism?

  • What is teleology?

  • How does Darwin do away with Determinism? Why does Mayr state: “Despite the initial resistance by physicists and philosophers, the role of contingency and chance in natural processes is now almost universally acknowledged.”


Evolution in Action, J. Weiner, 2005

  • What did a group of molecular biologists discover while working with the Grants on Daphne Major Island?

  • Know one example of how humans have been acting as the selective agent on an animal species.


The Illusion of Design, R. Dawkins, 2005

  • What simple little algorithm does Dawkins write in a phrase?

  • According to Dennett, what is the greatest barrier to the public’s acceptance of Darwin’s idea?

  • Can positive evidence against evolution be found?

  • Does the unpleasantness of a proposition have any bearing on its truth?

  • Is evolution a theory?


Why Should Students Learn Evolution? B.J. Alters & S. Alters, 2001

  • Know some examples of how understanding evolution has practical considerations affecting day-to-day life.

  • Why do organisms have a variety of non-adaptive features that coexist amidst those that are adaptive?

  • What does scientific literacy mean?


Designer Thinking
, M.S. Blumberg, 2005

  • To what single concept do reason and instinct reduce to for understanding many features of biological history?

  • Design has proven its rhetorical effectiveness for centuries. To what does it appeal?

  • What argument did David Hume use to refute the argument from design?

  • What did Romane think to be the primary source of novel behavior?

  • What two things did Thorndike’s experiments demonstrate?

  • What has Henry Petroski shown about the inventions of humans?

  • Does logic guide human actions?


The Perimeter of Ignorance, N. D. Tyson, 2005

  • Why did Newton invoke God to explain the solar system?

  • About what did the 17th c Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens invoke God?

  • Galileo clearly distinguished the role of religion from the role of science. What did he say the bible tells us?

  • What evidence does Tyson marshal to argue against the “clockwork universe”?

  • Science is a philosophy of discovery. What does Tyson call Intelligent Design?



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