Lecturer 16: Mendel Theory

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30 Questions

What did Darwin consider himself in terms of religious belief?

Deist

What did Darwin believe about the creation of the universe?

It was designed by a creating intelligence

What was the subject of Darwin's last book?

The action of worms

What did Darwin first notice the action of in the 1830s?

Worms

What did Darwin's uncle suggest was responsible for the disappearance of material on the ground?

Worms

What did Darwin believe about the compatibility of his theories with religion?

They were compatible with some religious beliefs

What was the focus of Charles Darwin's book, 'The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms'?

The significance of soil formation by worms and their role in burying archaeological artifacts

What did Darwin's experiments with the 'worm stone' reveal?

Worms are only active to a certain depth

What was the major point of Darwin's book about earthworms?

To demonstrate the significant impact of earthworms on soil fertilization and landscape rounding

Who introduced the germ plasm theory, challenging the long-held belief about heredity?

August Weissman

What did Francis Galton test in his challenge to Darwin's provision hypothesis on heredity?

Darwin's provision hypothesis on heredity using statistical methods and experiments with rabbits

What did Charles Darwin conclude about worms in relation to hearing and intelligence?

They react to vibrations but cannot hear, and demonstrate basic forms of intelligence by distinguishing shapes

What causes the magnetic particles in new rock to point north?

The cooling of the rock

What was discovered after World War II that led to the mapping of the undersea using magnetic stripping?

Sea floor spreading

Why are the rocks on the sea floor younger compared to those further away from the ridge?

They are still being formed

What is the solution to the mystery of the Wallace line?

Australia and Antarctica were once connected with South America

What is the main reason behind the discovery of the gigantic mountain ridge running down the planet?

Necessity to map the undersea using magnetic stripping

Why do old rocks at the bottom of the Earth matter in solving some of the problems Darwin and his contemporaries could not solve?

They provide evidence of the movement of the Earth's crust

What were Mendel's two laws that laid the foundation for modern genetics?

The Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment

Who rediscovered Mendel's work in 1900?

Three scientists

What did Hugo de Vries postulate in relation to genetics?

The theory of mutation

What did Mendel's experiments with pea plants demonstrate?

Inheritance follows specific rules and ratios

How was De Vries' mutation theory initially perceived in relation to Darwin's theory of natural selection?

As an alternative

What did Mendel's work and the mutation theory contribute to the understanding of?

How new forms of species and traits arise

Who proposed the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance in 1903?

Walter Sutton and Theodor Boveri

Who demonstrated that genes are located on chromosomes through experiments with fruit flies in 1910?

Thomas Hunt Morgan

Who proposed the theory of continental drift?

Alfred Wegener

Who revolutionized molecular genetics with the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953?

Watson and Crick

Who provided evidence such as palaeomagnetism and the discovery of the mid-Atlantic ridge to support plate tectonics?

Multiple scientists contributed to this

Who explained the mystery of the Wallace line, a distinct boundary between Asian and Australian species?

The movement of tectonic plates

Study Notes

Key Developments in Evolutionary Biology

  • Mutation theory emerged as a rival to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, challenging the idea of natural selection as the sole source of variation in species.
  • In 1903, Walter Sutton and Theodor Boveri proposed the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance, suggesting that chromosomes are the hereditary units and genes are located on them.
  • Thomas Hunt Morgan's experiments with fruit flies in 1910 demonstrated that genes are located on chromosomes, leading to the integration of Mendel's theories with the Chromosome Theory of Inheritance in 1915.
  • This integration initially challenged Darwinism, as Morgan believed that natural selection could only eliminate the unfit, not create novelty, contrary to Darwin's view that natural selection generates novelty.
  • The modern synthesis, from 1936 to 1947, reconciled Mendelian genetics and Darwinian natural selection, affirming genetics as a powerful confirmation of evolution by natural selection.
  • The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 revolutionized molecular genetics and provided a deeper understanding of the actual molecule in cells.
  • The age of the earth was a major point of contention, with physicist Ernest Rutherford's application of radiometric dating, using radioactivity to estimate the age of the earth, leading to the discovery that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old.
  • The mystery of the Wallace line, a distinct boundary between Asian and Australian species, was explained by the movement of tectonic plates, with the Australian plate pushing up materials from within the earth and leading to the separation of species.
  • The theory of continental drift, first proposed by Alfred Wegener, was initially ridiculed but gained support with evidence such as identical rocks and fossils on either side of the ocean.
  • Plate tectonics, accepted in the 1950s and 1960s, integrated evidence such as palaeomagnetism and the discovery of the mid-Atlantic ridge, leading to a better understanding of the movement of tectonic plates and the earth's magnetic field reversals.
  • The integration of mutation theory, chromosome theory, the modern synthesis, the structure of DNA, radiometric dating, and plate tectonics contributed to a comprehensive understanding of evolutionary biology and the age of the earth.
  • These key developments in evolutionary biology challenged and expanded foundational theories, leading to a more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms driving species variation, inheritance, and the history of the earth.

Test your knowledge of key developments in evolutionary biology with this quiz. Explore the integration of mutation theory, chromosome theory, the modern synthesis, the structure of DNA, radiometric dating, and plate tectonics, and their impact on our understanding of species variation, inheritance, and the earth's history.

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