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Q: Organisms have evolved physiologically and anatomically to adapt to their environment. Select one species from the text or another source. How have their traits evolved by natural selection
to maximize their ability to maintain homeostasis and equilibrium?
A: Evolution refers to the natural (as opposed to supernatural) origin and transformation of the living inhabitants of the planet earth throughout its geological history to the present day. Many have speculated on evolution since the time of the Greeks. [ The ideas which have come down to us, however, originate in the European Enlightenment. This period saw the beginning of Newtonian mechanics,
mathematics and other modern scientific developments, including John Ray's species concept and C. Linnaeus' system for classifying organisms. The power of rational thought in science to explain the material universe presented a deep challenge to received wisdom, especially the biblical account of creation according to the Christian Church. Evolution by natural processes - as opposed to special creation by God - was already on the mind of most educated people. Linnaeus came to accept a limited transformation of species later in his life; other prominent figures who wrote on the possibility of evolution include the naturalist, G.L. Buffon and Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. The first comprehensive theory of evolution is due to Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1809) who was very much a product of the Enlightenment, both in his determination to offer a naturalistic explanation of evolution and in his systems approach. Thus, he dealt at length with physics, chemistry and geology before embarking on presenting evidence that biological evolution has occurred. He also suggested a mechanism of evolution, whereby new species could arise through changes in the relationship between the organism and its environment in the pursuance of its basic needs, which produce new modifications in its characteristics that become inherited after many successive generations. Lamarck's theory was widely misrepresented to be merely "the inheritance of acquired characters", or caricatured as changes resulting from the "wish" fulfillment of the organism. Half a century later, Charles Darwin was to include a number of Lamarck's ideas in his own theory of evolution by natural selection. The theories of evolution and heredity are closely intertwined in their historical development. ]
markworley|Points 340|
Asked 1/15/2013 10:14:15 PM
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