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Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Resource library
What is the history of evolutionary theory?

Resources:

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Species, speciation and the environment  Advanced
Niles Eldredge gives a historical overview of scientists' thinking on the process of speciation, along with modern perspectives on this issue.
This article appears at ActionBioscience.org.

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History of evolutionary thought
In this section, you will see how study in four disciplinary areas — Earth's history, life's history, mechanisms of evolution, and development and genetics — has contributed to our current understanding of evolution.

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Darwin and Wallace: Natural selection
Darwin and Wallace came up with the idea of natural selection, but their idea of how evolution occurs was not without predecessors.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Jean Baptiste Lamarck: Early concepts of evolution
Darwin was not the first to propose that life evolves; Lamarck and naturalists before him also considered the possibility that species change over time.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Webcast: Endless forms most beautiful
In lecture one of a four part series, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll discusses Darwin and his two most important ideas: natural selection and common ancestry.
This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

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The complete works of Charles Darwin online
This website makes the largest collection of Darwin's works ever assembled freely available online. Browse On the Origin of Species, read Darwin's letters, or analyze his field notebooks.
This resource appears at darwin-online.org.uk.

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Ernst Haeckel: Early evolution and development
Ernst Haeckel initiated early studies of development and how it relates to evolution; however, his most famous idea (that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny) is now known to be inaccurate.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Evo in the news: Happy 200th, Darwin!
This news brief, from February 2009, celebrates Darwin's bicentennial by examining what we've learned about the evolution of the Galapagos finches since Darwin's time.

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Darwin
This website, which was produced to accompany an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, describes Darwin's life and how his ideas transformed our understanding of the living world.
This article appears on the American Museum of Natural History website.

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Ernst Mayr: Speciation
Ernst Mayr conceptualized the process of speciation by geographic isolation, a key element in modern evolutionary theory.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Gregor Mendel: Discrete genes are inherited
Though unknown to Darwin, Gregor Mendel's discoveries about the nature of genetic inheritence ended up being critical to the theory of evolution.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Ronald Fisher, JBS Haldane, and Sewall Wright: Random mutations and evolutionary change
Ronald Fisher and colleagues made the connection between Mendelian genetics and real world evolution. Their approach, called population genetics, revealed how mutations can arise and spread through a population.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Stephen Jay Gould: Evolution and development for the 21st century
The work of Stephen Jay Gould dramatically influenced modern thoughts on how developmental change factors into macroevolution.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Thomas Hunt Morgan: Chromosomes, mutation, and the birth of modern genetics
Thomas Hunt Morgan and colleagues worked out the physical basis of Mendelian genetics (the chromosome) and established the field of genetics, an essential component of modern evolutionary theory.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Wallace and Wegener: Biogeography
Alfred Russel Wallace's studies of species ranges and Alfred Wegener's conception of continental drift provide compelling evidence that much of a species’ present distribution can be explained by its evolutionary history.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Wilson, Sarich, Sibley, and Ahlquist: Genetic similarities
Researchers have used various methods to assess genetic similarity between species, but all provide evidence of the species' evolutionary relationships.
This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

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Cells within cells: An extraordinary claim with extraordinary evidence  Advanced
When biologist Lynn Margulis revived the strange-sounding idea that the merging of cells played a prominent role in the evolution of complex life, the scientific community roundly rejected the notion. Today, this idea is accepted as a textbook fact. Learn more about the evidence and social factors that spurred the acceptance of this key aspect of evolutionary theory.
This article is available from the Understanding Science website.

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¡Feliz cumpleaños número 200, Darwin!
Este 12 de febrero se cumplirían 200 años del nacimiento de Charles Darwin, y todo el mundo esta invitado a la fiesta. Numerosos grupos alrededor del mundo — desde niños en las escuelas primarias, hasta museos e iglesias — celebraran la ciencia de la evolución con conferencias públicas, clases, obras teatrales, exhibiciones artísticas y muchísimas galletas con forma de tortugas. 'Evolución en las noticias' de este mes contribuye a la celebración mediante la revisión de un tema cercano y querido por Darwin: los pinzones de Galápagos...

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Evolution: A progression of scientific thought  Advanced
This educational infographic retraces the history of evolutionary thought from pre-Darwinian times to the present. It's available in English, French, German, and Spanish.