Lamarck was the first to propose a coherent theory of evolution, according to which all living beings have evolved from earlier, simpler forms under the pressure of their environment. Although the details of the Lamarckian theory had to be abandoned later on, it was nevertheless the important first step.
Several decades later Charles Darwin presented an overwhelming mass of evidence in favor of biological evolution, establishing the phenomenon for scientists beyond any doubt. He also proposed an explanation, based on the concepts of chance variation now known as random mutation and natural selection, which were to remain the cornerstones of modern evolutionary thought. Darwins monumental Origin of Species synthesized the ideas of previous thinkers and has shaped all subsequent biological thought. Its role in the life sciences was similar to that of Newtons Principia in physics and astronomy two centuries earlier.
The discovery of evolution in biology forced scientists to abandon the Cartesian conception of the world as a machine that had emerged fully constructed from the hands of its Creator. Instead, the universe had to be pictured as an evolving and ever-changing system in which complex structures developed from simpler forms. While this new way of thinking was elaborated in the life sciences, evolutionary concepts also emerged in physics. However, whereas in biology evolution meant a movement toward increasing order and complexity, in physics it came to mean just the opposite a movement toward increasing disorder.
1. Which of the following is a definition of evolution propounded by Lamarck?
A. Evolution is a process of genetic mutation.
B. Evolution is a process of natural selection.
C. Evolution results from chance variation.
D. Evolution is a result of influence of external factors.
E. Evolution is a process of conservation.
2. It can be inferred from the passage that Origina of Species
A. is independent of and different from earlier theories.
B. is congruent to Principia.
C. accommodated previous theories.
D. has changed all subsequent theories.
E. was the first theoretical work on evolution.
3. It can be inferred from the passage that scientists began turning away from Cartesian model because
A. Physics was moving toward disorder.
B. Cartesian followers thwarted the emergences of new concepts in physics.
C. the unity found among biologists from Lamarck to Darwin was nearly absent among physicists.
D. there was no cornerstone in physics just as it was there in biology.
E. Cartesian model of the world was more of a mechanistic paradigm incapable of evolution.
4. It can be inferred from the passage that, the author is critical of
A. Lamarcks theory of evolution.
B. chance variation as explained by Darwin.
C. Newtons theory of physics.
D. the emergence of post-Darwinian biologists and their claims.
E. development in physics post-Cartesian times.