Darwin's Thinking

15.2 Darwin’s Thinking Notes
 Nevada State Science Content Standard: L.12.D.1 Students know organisms can
be classified based on evolutionary relationships. E/S
 Objective:
Students will state how Hutton and Lyell described geological change.
 Set: Now that you have a little background into Charles Darwin, lets look
at some of the ideas of others that shaped his thinking.
 Key Vocabulary
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*James Hutton was a scientist who attempted to explain how rock layers form
and change over time.
* James Hutton’s and Charles Lyell’s work suggested that Earth is many
millions of years old.
* Hutton thought that rocks from the sea floor could be pushed up very high to
form mountains or mountain ranges.
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* In the 1800s, Charles Lyell emphasized that past geological events must be
explained in terms of processes observable today.
* What did Darwin learn from reading the work of Hutton and Lyell? The
Earth is very old.
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* Lamarck proposed that organisms have an innate tendency toward complexity
and perfection.
* Lamarck’s theory of evolution includes the concept that new organs in a
species appear as a result of the actions of organisms as they use or fail to use
body structures.
* Although his idea was incorrect, Lamarck was one of the first people to
propose a scientific explanation for evolution.
* According to Lamarck, evolution resulted from the inheritance of acquired
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* Malthus presented the idea that only famine, disease, and war could prevent
the endless growth of human populations.
* The economist Thomas Malthus suggested that there would soon be
insufficient food for the growing human population.
* When babies are born faster than people are dying, the size of the population
grows or increases.