by Miller & Levine
[complete Table of Contents]
the pull-down menu to jump to any of the Book's 40 Chapters:
PBS Evolution Web Site
An essay on
the NOVA website by Joe Levine, coauthor of BIOLOGY)
the Darwin Exhibit
at the American Museum of Natural History
Guide to the Exhibit)
is a Theory? (Video from the Darwin Exhibit - featuring author Ken
Miller) Requires RealPlayer.
Darwin's Theory of Evolution
chapter, students will read about how Darwin developed his theory of evolution
and some of the evidence that supports this theory. The links below lead
to additional resources to help you with this chapter. These include Hot
Links to Web sites related to the topics in this chapter, the Take It
to the Net activities referred to in your textbook, a Self-Test you can
use to test your knowledge of this chapter, and Teaching Links that instructors
may find useful for their students.
15-1: The Puzzle of Life's Diversity
During his travels,
Charles Darwin made numerous observations and collected evidence that
led him to propose a revolutionary hypothesis about the way life changes
Darwin observed that the characteristics
of many animals and plants varied noticeably among the different islands
of the Galápagos.
15-2: Ideas That Shaped Darwin's Thinking
Hutton and Lyell helped scientists realize
that Earth is many millions of years old, and the processes that changed
Earth in the past are the same processes that operate in the present.
Lamarck proposed that by selective use
or disuse of organs, organisms acquired or lost certain traits during
their lifetime. These traits could then be passed on to their offspring.
Over time, this process led to change in a species.
Malthus reasoned that if the human population
continued to grow unchecked, sooner or later there would be insufficient
living space and food for everyone.
15-3: Darwin Presents His Case
In artificial selection, nature provides
the variation among different organisms, and humans select those variations
that they find useful.
Over time, natural selection results
in changes in the inherited characteristics of a population. These changes
increase a species' fitness in its environment.
Darwin argued that living things have
been evolving on Earth for millions of years. Evidence for this process
could be found in the fossil record, the geographical distribution of
living species, homologous structures of living organisms, and similarities
in early development.