1036 Words Apr 18th, 2015 5 Pages
The Facts of Evolution
1. What is the point Shermer is trying to make in this article?
Shermer’s point is that evolution is a historical science and it did in fact happen and there is a lot of evidence to support that it did.
2. What was Darwin’s contribution to our understanding of coral reefs?
Our understanding of coral reefs is now that there aren’t different kinds of coral reefs but rather all coral reefs are in different stages of development.
3. Who was Darwin’s “one long argument” with? What was his view? How was it different from the Darwinian one?
Darwin’s “one long argument” was with theologian William Paley. Paley’s view was Intelligent Design; the correlation of the works of god and the words of god. Darwin’s
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7. What are the random and non-random processes in evolution as identified by Richard Dawkins? What makes them random and non-random respectively?
Genetic mutations and the mixing of parental genes in offspring might be random, but the selection of genes through the survival of their hosts is anything but random. Natural selection and evolution is unconscious and cannot look forward to anticipate what changes are going to be needed for survival.
8. What was wrong with Shermer’s example of a “polar bear” as a transitional species when he was talking to his daughter?
It implies that polar bears are transitioning to become marine mammals, which is incorrect. They are already well adapted for their lifestyle, but if global warming continues perhaps something new will happen.
9. Why are fossils so difficult to come by?
There are a lot of factors, from the stomachs of predators, scavengers, feeders, even making it to fossilization and then somehow finding its way back to the surface through geological forcers and discovered a million years later.
10. Why is it that genetic change can occur more quickly in small groups? Why is it important for the evolution of new species?
When a species gives rise to a new species the small group breaks away and becomes geographically/reproductively isolated from its ancestral group. As long as it remains small and detached, the founder group can experience fairly rapid genetic changes.
11. What does Shermer mean by the
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