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Flashcards in Task 4 - evolutionary Theory Deck (21)
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Darwin - medical school Edinburgh

- got introduced to geology, history of earth and fossils


Darwin - college Cambridge

-courses of Mathematics, classics, theology
-botany lectures! ( from Henslow)


Main findings - Darwins voyage

1) fossils in Patagonia
2) Geographical distribution patterns of South American rhea
3) animal life of Galapagos


Charles Lyell

-reaction of biblical authority as source of geological explanation
-earths surface shows no evidence of stages
-constant changes
-earth had no beginning/ending

-> inspired Darwin: he believed in the power of small and gradual changes


3 main parts in Darwins theory

1) Inheritance -> gleicher vorfahre

2) variation

3) Selection -> link between new variations and chances to survive (zufällig)



Gaps in Darwins theory

- wasn’t understood what origin of life was
- no idea how variations in characteristics were passed down to generations


Reactions to evolutionary theory

-many accepted evolution but not mechanisms he proposed
-speculation about duration of natural selection & time necessary for species to change
-basis for social Darwinism


Evidence for evolution - then

-diversity of living things
-variation within single species
-appearance and disappearance of species
-comparing fossils!
-comparing embryos
-distribution of species in many lands
-variations in species dependent on how long they were separated


Allopathic speciation

-new species due to long-term physical separation


Sympatric speciation

-same geographic region


Darwins role in Psychology

-stated that humans & animals have a lot in common -> comparative psychology
-lead to research in individual differences
-evolutionary psychology informs all fields of psychology
-breaks down barriers between traditional sub disciples of psychology


Eugenics (positive, negative)

-set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of human population
-negative eugenic: discourage reproduction by those with undesirable traits
-positive eugenics: encourage reproduction by those with desirable traits

-controlling reproduction


Social Darwinism

-Darwins theory used to justify certain political, social and economic views
-emerged in America, mid 1940s
-used to justify Laisser-faire behavior at home & colonalisation in rets of world


Misunderstandings with Evolutionary theory

1) There is NO DIRECTION in genetic changes
-> genetic material has no knowledge of the environment, cannot change in desirable direction

2) Organisms do NOT become BETTER or stronger


Francis Galton ( 1822-1911)

- influenced by Darwin
- searched to find evidence for inheritance of features -> especially mental qualities
-founder of modern eugenics
-wanted to show heredity of intelligences -> basis for intelligence tests


Lamarck (1744-1829)

-organisms acquire new characteristics as a result of active adaptation to their environment
-minimized role of selection
- new variations come to existence because organism are ACTIVELY and PURPOSEFULLY striving to better themselves
-> then pass characteristics down to next generation

-theory of use and disuse


Herbert Spencer (1820-) not complete yet!

-prefers theory of Lamarck
- survival of the fittest -> Darwin borrowed this term


Jenkins Dilution problem

-when organism with new feature is placed among group
-> new feature will not expand but dilute in pool of preexisting features

Darwins response:
->evolution only possible when change in environment favores a whole group at the same time


James McKeen Castell (1860-1944)

-American psychologist
-first professor of psychology in the US
-psychology was regarded as lessers science/pseudoscience
-helped establishing psychology as a legitimate science
-visited Germany, met Wilhelm Wundt -> assistant of him
-role in introducing experimental technique and importance of methodology in America
-research on intelligence
-founded several major psychology journals


James McKeen Cattell - Connection Darwin

-believed in eugenics
-inspired by Darwin to study the psychology of individual differences
-he encountered that men of science were likely to have fathers who were clergymen or professors
-inherited ability but environment also plays an important role in development


Thomas Malthus

-inspired Darwin
-food increases linearly
-population exponentially
-> more children than can survive -> selection