Evidence for Evolution Three types of evidence: –Fossils –Anatomical –Molecular
Fossil Evidence Fossils- any traces of dead organisms –dinosaur bones –insects trapped in tree sap –leaf impressions –footprints
Paleontology Study of fossils is called Paleontology A paleontologist is a scientist who studies fossils. Paleontology can be divided into 4 divisions of study
Four divisions of Paleontology Invertebrate Paleontology Vertebrate Paleontology Paleobotany Micropaleontology
Types of Fossils Preserved original or altered hard parts of organisms (examples: shells of clams, oysters, snails. Teeth, bones) Molds or casts Trace fossils (example burrows, tracks, trails)
Method of Preservation depends on three things: The original composition of the organism It’s environment The forces that affected the organic remains after death
Fossil Evidence Transitional species- species that have been found in the fossil record that are intermediates between two other species in the evolutionary process. –Radiometric dating- a dating technique that measures amount of radioactive material in a rock or fossil. –Relative dating- a dating technique that estimates the date of a fossil by relating it to the age of the layers of rock around it.
Fossil Evidence To fossilize an organism must be buried by sediment. –In swamps, mud, tar pits, or the ocean bottom. –Hard stuff fossilizes (bones, nails). –Radiometric and relative dating are used to find out how old the fossil is. Relative Dating Radiometric Dating
Fossil Evidence Fossils show: –Life has been around for millions of years –Transitional species link older to newer species –Darwin proposed the idea of transitional species, though he had no evidence –Today we have evidence: Archaeopteryx Tiktaalik Fossil, etc.Tiktaalik Fossil Whales
Fossil Evidence Whales--60 million years of evolution –Descended from 4-legged wolf-like animals that were also ancestors to cows and horses –Fossil evidence shows slow loss of legs –Pelvis still remains with no rear legs
Anatomical Evidence Anatomical evidence- evidence for evolution which is based on similarities and differences between the physical structures of different species. What can we tell about the relatedness of the three species below?
Anatomical Evidence Homologous structures-Bone structure the same (homo) but not function Bird wing, dolphin fin, and a human arm –Function these structures is not the same! –Show that these species shared a common ancestor. –Similar structures resulted from accumulated mutations and modifications.
Anatomical Evidence –Analogous structures- Bone structure different but serve the same function. Function = flight Butterfly wing, bat wing, fly wing These structures, although they have the same function, are not built the same! Show different species evolved structures with similar function through different evolutionary pathways. EVOLUTION IS NOT RANDOM!
Vestigial structures- Structures that no longer serve a function These structures are the remnants of an evolutionary past and show common anatomy with other species
Evidence for Evolution ***Mutations and sexual reproduction are a cause of variation in a species’ DNA. DNA mRNA protein –Transcription- copying the DNA code into mRNA –Translation- converting the code of mRNA into a long chain of amino acids protein –Differences in DNA are seen in differences in protein
Molecular Evidence Molecular evidence- evidence concerning the comparison of DNA and protein molecules between species Ultimate tools for scientists studying evolution Same genetic basis for all organisms: A, C, T, and G shows we are all related
Molecular Evidence Species with more similar DNA are more closely related on the evolutionary tree—less time to accumulate mutations (and, therefore, differences) Common ancestor- any species in the past from which two or more species has evolved. Sharing a Gene Pool = speciation event = mutation
What evolution IS NOT Biological Evolution... Is NOT an educated guess, it is a THEORY Is NOT something one should believe in...(it's based on science, not faith). Is NOT just concerned with the origin of humans...(no more than any other species). Was NOT discovered or first explained by Charles Darwin...
What evolution IS NOT Is NOT the same thing as natural selection…natural selection is the driving force that causes evolution Is NOT something that happened only in the past... Is NOT something that happens to individuals...(it happens to POPULATIONS). Is NOT an accidental…mutations that cause variation are
What evolution IS NOT Does NOT have any evidence against it Was NOT contrived to undermine religion...(we tried to make sense of observations of life in a testable way). Does NOT deny the existence of God; God is neither required nor eliminated. For all we know, evolution could be part of God's creation, but science cannot determine that. If these popular misconceptions about evolution are all wrong, then what IS evolution?
What evolution IS Biological Evolution is... The genetic change of a population of species over time. The idea that new species develop from earlier species by accumulated genetic mutations It has been directly observed in some species, and inferred in many others from evidence mainly in anatomy, embryology, paleontology, geology, and molecular biology.
What evolution IS The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection holds the high status of near certainty: it’s a scientific theory There are no observations of life, living or extinct, that evolution cannot explain. Why is evolution controversial anyway?