1.0) Fossil evidence and the theory of evolution
The Fossils age conforms to evolution ideas. Fossils record support evolution theory, by evidencing incremental development of organisms. According to those evolution ideas, prokaryotes evolved first and the oldest fossils are thought to be of prokaryotes. The Eukaryotes followed, and later vertebrates evolved. Human being were the last in the evolution. The fossils records consist of many transitional fossils which show how intermediate species progressed from one species to another. Similar species are likely to have different fossils, especially when analyzed over a period of time showing modification and subsequent changes, which evidence evolution.
Fossils show possible changes from simple living organizations to more complex ones. These changes are seen when sediment layers are analyzed from various parts of the world. The records show the evolution process that took place in early ages to the present ages. For example when the records are analyzed it is evidenced that vertebrates evolved from invertebrates.
Many of the preserved and existing fossils have similar characteristics to the currently living organisms showing that the fossils and the organism had similar evolution change and ancestry. For example, the extinct and modern horses’ skeleton are similar, evidencing possibility of common ancestor. Fossils helps in detecting homologous structures which acts as evidence for evolution theory. For example many vertebrates have a common fore limb, but its uses varies with the species. The similarity shows that they evolved from a common ancestor.
Some fossils show more than one characteristic, and in such cases, they help in evidencing two different organisms for example, according to evolution theory, mammals evolved from ancient reptiles, and it is evidenced by the transitional fossils. The fossils show that the evolution began with small organisms, which evolved to new and large organism with the progress of the evolution process. Characteristics of new organisms, are the modified older, organisms characteristics. The fossils shows the relationship between new organisms and older organisms.
2.) Dinosaurs did not live when humans appeared on Earth
Dinosaurs are believed to have dominated in the earth for many years, long before human beings. This is believed to have been caused by meteor impact. According to great impact theory, climatic changes occurred on earth as a result of meteor striking. The struck is believed to have caused extinction of dinosaurs. General theory shows that the dinosaurs had quited the earth, for about sixty five million years before human. Their disappearance is believed to be related to either evolution to flying birds, or because of floods. Dinosaur is believed to have been existing before the start of floods, as evidenced by their fossils.
The floods, may have had indirect effects to the dinosaurs. The bones of dinosaur are found in the fossils records. This makes people believed they lived before the floods. However, there are possibilities that some larger dinosaurs survived the floods, but because the floods destroyed their sources of food. This means that no dinosaur could have survived after the floods because of lack of food. Those which survived floods died of hunger.
According to scientists, cretaceous – Tertiary mass extinction (K-T event) caused a mass extinction of dinosaurs. They argue that comet impact or asteroid collided with earth, emitting debris and dust, which took many years shrouding the sky, with considerable cooling effects on earth. The effects of the event were harsh for dinosaurs.
Evolutionists argue that the dinosaur bones and human bones were not buried together, meaning that they did not live together, they also argue that the radiometric rock dating shows that rocks stratified with dinosaur bones are about sixty five million years ago, but those with human bones are less than five million years ago. This means that dinosaur lived long before human beings.
3.) Changes in tools’ forms and functions in human use
Human culture and technology changes with their evolution. The changes occurred with increase in intelligence, and the tools used had influence on human evolution. This has been linked with the human brain. The greater the capacity the more sophisticated tool were made and used. On the other hand the tools had influence on the cultural lifestyle of man. The tools used determined the mans food, because they were used to dig, hunt or make metal weapons.
Stone tools were the initial tools used, especially about two and a half million years ago, by the H. habilis. The tools were made of pebbles as a result of simple strikes of the pebbles initially the stone tools were small in size, but the size increased to large hand-axes which were made of quartzite and flint. The large stone tools were initially rough but later more subtle strikes were added on the flakes side, making them a little bit smooth levolllis technique, was later developed which was composed of strikes which enabled making of needles flattened needles, slicers and scrapers, with the need for more sophisticated stone tools, specialized and refined flint tools such as skimmers, blades and knives were developed and bone tools use started (Kapit, 1991, pp .87).
The tools were made of locally available raw materials such as antler and bone. Tools were developed, depending on the use, and development in their evolution process.
The stone tools, used forty thousand years ago involved sharp edged blade tools, were mainly used in scrapping and cutting. Although H. habilis used just stones, the H. sapiens used other materials such as bone, antler and bones. The materials were used to make non-utilitarian items.
The magdalenian stone tools, had a wider variety, such as harpoons, bone needless, and microliths, the technology was common during the last ice age, and was practiced by the reindeer hunters.
4.) Major points of disagreement between creationist and evolutionary theories of Earth’s life development
Creationists theory argues that every creature on the earth was created by God and they disagree on the evolution theory. Creationists base their arguments on the biblical scriptures particularly Genesis. They consider the evolution to be just a mechanism, with the world being an entire result of divine creation.
The evolution theory argues that the existing complex organisms evolved from tiny and simple organisms, the theory basis its argument on evidences from fossils, while he creationists theory basis its evidence on the divine scriptures from the biblical book of Genesis. Old earth creationism accepts results geology but strongly rejects evolution.
The disagreement between the two theories have always existed especially when a scientific research comes up with findings or conclusions that don’t tally with the creationists scriptures interpretation. In this case, the creationists rejects the whole conclusion, the methodology the underlying scientific theories in the research.
The major points of disagreements between the two theories include, Time frame, man from monkey, Ancestry and Random and Arbitrary development.
Time Frame – According to scientists evolution started in the past four and a half thousand million years, and they use carbon date to date the existing fossils records, to prove their arguments. The creationists dates the creation to have taken place about five thousand seven hundred and sixty eight years ago, when Adam appeared, and adds extra seven days the days God took to complete creation activity.
Man from monkey – According to evolution theory, man evolved from monkeys, and apes, this disagrees with the creationists arguments that God created Adam from soil and gave him breath by breathing through his nostrils. Creationists expounds their argument saying that man is unique from other created creatures, because of their unique creation method (Usborne, 1994).
Ancestry – Evolution considers all species to have evolved from a common, simple ancestor, but the creationists considers different animals to have been creatively independently, meaning no ancestor exists.
Random and arbitrary development – Evolution considers all creatures to have arisen from a random, arbitrary process whereby chance events determined the emergency stage. This is different with creationists who consider the entire creation design to have been specified by the sole creator.
5.) physical phenomena and their effects on Earths structure
landslides, ground shake, ground failure, surface faulting,and tsunami.
sliding of tectonic plates.
mountains, massive plateaus, lava deposits, cones domes, and influences the rugging of volcanoes peaks.
pulling or pushing of tectonic plates, mantle plumes, and thinning and stretching of earth’s.
tectonic force, gravitational force and frictional force.
The Earth constitutes a crust and mantle, which are composed by rocks . Earthquake usually occurs when underlying rocks slip past each other, releasing seismic energy. P-wave and S- waves are usually involved. P-waves can travel through liquids but the S-wave can not. Earthquake is associated with surface faulting, whereby the deep forces in the Earth makes the surface to fracture, and the two sides move in different directions.
When seismic shear wave encounters a granular and saturated soil, it distorts the structure of the Earth making the void spaces to collapse. The disrupted soil transfers the soil grains to water pores , increasing the pore water pressure. Increased pressure can either enhance drainage, or limit, adding more pressure. When the pressure outweighs the soil column weight, the granular soil layer looses its solid form, and takes a liquid form,encouraging deformation of Earth’s surface.
Surface and body waves makes the ground to shake. The strength of the shake is determined by the waves magnitude. P-waves initiates, whereby they propagate through the earth’s surface, and S-wave follows which makes structures and the ground to vibrate (Usborne, 1994).
Earthquake causes landslides. Rocks fall and fragment forming steep slopes. When shallow debris, rock slumps and soil slides due to earthquake they form steep slopes. An undersea earthquake causes tsunami.
Volcano is usually earth’s crust opening that releases molten rock. It causes mountains, plateaus, lava deposits , cones domes, and influences the rugging of volcanoes peaks. Volcanoes are caused by pulling or pushing of tectonic plates, mantle plumes, and thinning and stretching of earth’s crust.
Mountains are usually solid and permanent. Mountains grow in size to form a triangular profile. The profile is achieved through interaction of a number of forces, and application of energy.
Tectonic forces: The force cause two plates to collide, causing compressional forces which breaks the earth crust to form large blocks. When the force progresses, the blocks continue to be produced and continue to pile up, and with time they form a mountain.
Gravitational force: As mountain builds they are subjected to vertical gravity force. The intensity of the force increases as the mountain becomes teller.
Frictional force: This force acts on the earth’s crust, whereby it causes sliding of crustal blocks. The smoother the surface, the easier and lower the friction, and vice versa. Frictional force is more applicable in shallow levels, as will enhance the formation of faults as rocks break. At deeper levels, in presence of of high temperature and pressure rocks liquidities and tends to flow.
The steeper the mountain grows the greater the erosion of the earth’s materials. The rocks are taken from one place to another. Erosion competes with tectonic processes as it moves the formed materials from higher elevated areas to lower elevated areas
6.) Earth Rotation and Revolution
The earth rotates around its axis, usually towards the East in counter clockwise move. The earth’s axis where the earth rotates about is usually 23.5°. The rotation usually takes an hour to cover a thousand miles, meaning that it takes about twenty four hours for the earth to rotate around. The effects of this rotation is what we call a day. Day and night results form the earths’ rotation.
When the earth tilts, it combined with its orbital motion, seasons are formed. The tilt of the earth earth’s orbit. The rotation is characterized by four major dates, the march equinox, solstice September and solstice in December (Kapit, 1991, pp. 35).In all the dates, the earth’s axis angle is usually constant with regard to ecliptic plane and the star, but the position of the axis changes with regard to sun through out the cycle. These changes which involves the height of the sun explains the occurrence of seasons. The change controls, the duration and intensity of sunlight in various earths locations (Usborne, 1994). During the September, and march equinoxes the circle illumination focuses on the North and South poles. The June solstice the illumination circle focus at 66.5°N the arctic circle, whereby the region the latitude gets twenty four hours day light, and the December solstice gives darkness twenty four hours darkness.
Rotation creates time zones which differs in local noons and determines the apparent movement of planets, stars and moon across celestial sphere.
The earth takes 365.25 days to make a complete revolution around the sun, usually in elliptical orbit. The revolution causes seasons, the summer and winter.
7.) Fundamental human needs
Human beings interact with each other as they live life cannot be full without each other and human happiness in achieved either directly or indirectly from other individuals in the society. Fundamental human needs are basis for this happy living, and are laid out as an hierarchy. These needs are either basic, or advanced. Physiological need such as excretion, food, breath water, homeostasis and sex are basic individuals require security in various aspects such as health security, body or rather physical security, moral security, employment security and property securing among others.
Meeting safety and physiological needs, is not enough. Human beings need esteem, whereby he/she respect others and expects similar respect from them, confidence, self esteem as well as achievements. One need to be moral, creative, able to solve problem and free from prejudice. Physical need include needs that enhance proper development of an individual. They include sleep, clothing and food. Provision of physical needs enhances mental and emotional growth. Many cultures ensure that physical needs are provided to all individuals and particularly the babies because people believe that providing for physical needs enhances dramatic baby’s growth, giving healthy and strong bodies to the child.
Spiritual needs influences spiritual health. Spirituality ensures that individuals fulfill their life’s purpose by engaging in the individuals special gifts and talents. Individuals require spiritual guidance in order to live free of worries, anxiety and fear and to be able to love one self as well as others. The spiritual growth is enhanced by sharing love with others unconditionally. This can be achieved, through family members, friends and individuals in the community. Spiritual health can be achieved by a number of practices such as:
Prayer – which is believed to reduce stress and enhance relaxation. Prayer enables individuals to state their needs to God for intervention, and is giving thanks to individual desires. People believe that being thankful to desires makes God to fulfill the desires.
Gratitude – It is believed that gratitudes enhances self acceptance and joy. Being grateful for what one has, rather than worrying for what one don’t have easily eliminates negative attitudes.
Meditation – Meditation has both physical and spiritual health benefits. It relieves stress, enhances relaxation, minimizes pain, and improves immunity. When an individual meditates, there is a likelihood of new life’s insight, as it enhances healing of past emotional hurts. People of various cultures premeditates, while walking, sitting, jogging. The process involves focusing on transpiring moments, emptying he mind for future concerns.
Fire exposure: Fire place is believed to have health benefits, as it clears the negative energies, and facilitates physical diseases curing. The native Americans life purpose is believed to be discovered through connecting with great spirits and sweat lodges made by wood fires.
8.) Major phyla and classes of animals, and their Characteristic
-dorsal nerve cord,
-no nervous system
-no tissues organs
– polyp body
– loose tissue layer,
– radial symmetry
– stinging cells
– primitive nervous system
-incomplete digestive tract -nervous system has nerve ganglia
-complete digestive track
-closed circulatory system -bilateral symmetry
-reproduce gonochoristically and sexually
– circum-oesophageal ring
Mammals in this Plylum have a true coelom, majority have a continuous gut with anus, poor open circulatory system, sub epidermal calcareous plates, and do not have excretory organs. They reproduce gonochoristically and sexually, live in marine environment, have circum-oesophageal ring, varying body shape, but has no head. Their body has a 5-rayed symmetry, radial and a time bilateral. Their water vascular system is used to feed tentacles ((Edwards , 1990, pp. 76).
They are usually aquatic, live free, and live as parasites, their nervous system is primitive with exception of tapeworms, their digestive system is usually incomplete, meaning that they use same opening to ingest and engest, and have a bilateral symmetry.
The body of the animals in this phylum are usually enclosed in a shell which has a single, double or eight parts, for example chiton’s shell has eight parts, clams shell has double parts and snail has a single part. Their digestive tract is incomplete, the nervous system has nerve ganglia that enables them to make fine and directed movement. The feeding structure of the animals is composed of teeth in a row-radula. Majority live in marine environment as free animals. They are characterized by ventral muscular foot, which is adapted to ensure swimming like in the case of squad, burrowing like in case of clam and scrawling like in the case of snail.
The animals in this phylum are characterized by the segmented bodies with chitin exoskeleton. Their digestive tract is complete, have bilateral symmetry, and have jointed appendages.
The phylum is composed of unsegmented roundworms which are live freely or parasitic. They have a bilateral symmetry primitive nervous system and a digestive system composed of mouth and anus.
The animals in the phylum have a dorsal nerve cord, gill silts and notochord.
Their body plan is polyp, has loose tissue layer, have radial symmetry, stinging cells that are adapted for defense. Corals are characterized by the way they creates Calcium Carbonate reefs around their soft bodies.
Their body have neither nervous system, tissues organs or appendages. Majority are asymmetrical, and have pores through which they circulate water as they feed. They have an internal skeleton composed of silica or calcium carbonate.
They move using fluid filled hydrostatic skeletons, have complete digestive track, closed circulatory system, bilateral symmetry, segmented bodies, and majority live freely, with a few number living as ecto-parasites.
9.) Adaptations of mammals
The mammals in this order are hoofed and their toes are even in number. The animals foots symmetry passes between the third and fourth digits unlike the add toed ungulates the symmetry plane usually runs down the third toe. They have reduced number of ankle bones and astragalus bone usually bears the weight. These characteristic enables the mammals to run efficiently and fast.
Adult mammals have no teeth and have baleen plates which enables the mammal to forage effectively. They do not have hair, have few external protuberances, and their body is parabolic enabling them to swim, very fast. They can hold deep dives with high pressures, because of their ability to respond to pressure increase. The mammals lungs is equipped with extra capillaries, enabling them to exhale almost all the air. Their red blood cells concentration is twice high of terrestrial mammals enabling a higher circulation of oxygen. The animals can make deep and prolonged dives because their respiratory and circulatory system redistributes the blood, and are able to lower the heart rate to half rate as compared to normal dives. They can tolerate both lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
Mammals in this order, have a unique cranio-dental morphology. They have long snout, unrectratable claws, and their masticatory apparatus are diverse. Their teeth are coated with enamel microsturctures, traits that enable majority of the mammals in the order to hunt their prey, and to feed effectively. The unrectratable claws hold the prey tight while canine tears it up. The enamel coating enables the animal to crack-bones of their prey.
The order is composed of bats. Bats have skeletons that are adapted to make powerful flight. They have light and slender bones, their fibula and ulna are short, and have fused cranial bones to reduce weight. their flight muscles are attached on a keel on their sternum. Their wing membrane gets support from the arm and four elongated fingers, unlike other flying vertebrates, whose wings are supported by the arm and a single finger. The bat’s wings first digit is small, and with claws, to help the bats to walk on ground and to climb trees.
Animals in this order have webbed feet and claws, to enhance climbing and gliding. They have long limbs and their tails are connected with skin. The long limb are usually stretched out to enable the animals to leap from high trees.
10.) Differences between flowering and non-flowering plants and their adaptations.
Flowering plants have a number of characteristics that differentiates them from non-flowering plants.
Flowers are one of the major characteristics that differentiates flowering plants from other seed bearing plants. They help the plants in surviving the terrestrial ecosystem. In cases of non flowering plants, they neither produce seeds nor flowers, instead they produce, microscopic specks which represents living material. Some of non-flowering materials are non-photosynthetic. They do not have have chlorophyll- the green coloring matter, but they produce spores just like other non-flowering plants (Edwards , 1990, pp. 38 ).For example fern, a non- flowering plant has spores on the underside of their leaves. The flower holds both the male and female gametes, meaning that the flower is the entire reproduction system of flowering plants, unlike the non-flowering plants whose reproduction is enhanced through vegetative propagation.
The male part of flowering plant is usually shorter when compare to non- flowering plants. Studies show that the size of the male part in these plants is about three cells. Flowering plants usually takes a shorter period to evolve as compare to non flowering plants because they they produces smaller amounts of pollen. The small amounts of pollen takes less time to get appropriate female plant, and specifically the ovary where fertilization takes place. Fertilization after pollination in flowering plants begins almost immediately, unlike in non- flowering plants where the duration between pollination and fertilization takes longer duration and to some extents even an year. This explains the reason why the the formation of seeds in flowering plants takes shorter duration compared to non-flowering plants. In vegetative reproduction, involves the use of cuttings from the parent plant, joining of two plants, and use of underground bulbs. This means that the subsequent new plant is similar to the parent plant in both appearance and characteristics.
Stamens of flowering plants are equipped with two pairs of pollen sacs, and are usually light as compared to respective organs in non-flowering plants. These adaptations diversifies the pollination of the plants, and they have played a major part in limiting self pollination. Since non – flowering plants do not have flowers, they lack all the components of the flower.
Flowering plants have ovules are covered by a closed carpel, which ensures diversity in pollination syndrome, while preventing self fertilization. After fertilization the carpel in most of these plants becomes the fruit, which develop and bear fruits which enhances further diversity especially through seed dispersal. Non -flowering plants do not have flowers, and no ovules.
In flowering plants, endosperm is formed immediately after fertilization, and before the zygote starts dividing. Endosperms are necessary because they provide nutrients to the zygote, cotyledons embryo, and seedling especially at the early stages of development. In non-flowering plants, Endosperms are not formed, simply because there is no sexual reproduction.
Flowering plants are adapted to self and cross pollination. In self pollinating plants they produce pollen in anthers which are usually long and the stigma are short to receive the pollen grains. The cross- pollinated plants have scents that attract insects especially the bees, which carry the pollen from one plant to another. Flowers brightly colored petals which facilitates cross pollination.
Non-flowering plants are vascular, a factor that enables the plant to survive in hot and harsh climate. They can hold water for a long duration in bulbs tubers and other structures.
11.) Role of plants in the carbon exchange cycle.
Respiration and photosynthesis are the major processes that facilitates Carbon exchange on land. Carbon is one of the many abundant elements in the universe, and has a great role in many lives. Carbon component in a molecule determines the molecules status, whether organic, or inorganic. Many Organisms use carbon for energy, structure, or for both. Carbon occurs in various forms. It can either be solid, like in the case of calcium carbonate, graphite, wood and diamond, or as gas like in the case of Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide. Carbon changes in form as as it moves along its cycle, which involves the geosphere, biosphere, oceans and atmosphere.
Plants play a role in the biological Carbon cycle. Biology is the major component of this cycle, and it involves the movement of Carbon between land atmosphere, and ocean. The movement takes place in two major processes – respiration and photosynthesis. Multicellular organisms and plants require Carbon dioxide and sunlight to synthesize sugars through metabolic breakdown. The process is a major source of energy required for organism’s growth, movement and reproduction.
In plants, two major chemical reactions involved in taking Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,and releasing it back to the atmosphere ( Photosynthesis and respiration).
Organic matter (C6H12O6 ) + 6O2 6CO2 + 6 H2O + energy
Energy (sunlight) + 6CO2 + H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2
Green plants leaves absorb the sunlight during the day, and get Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The plants’ roots also absorb Carbon from inorganic matter in the soil. After the utilization the Carbon is changed to Carbon dioxide, and is released to the atmosphere. At night, in absence of a sunlight, photosynthesis do not take place. but respiration is never changed (Edwards , 1990, pp 103). This causes imbalance in atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration, and subsequent seasonal changes. For example, in Northern hemisphere, during winters, the plants sheds their leaves, stopping photosynthesis, and increasing respiration. This increases the concentration of atmospheric Carbon dioxide. During Springs the the plants produces leaves, enabling photosynthesis to take place. Combination of respiration and photosynthesis reduces the concentration of atmospheric Carbon dioxide.
Marine plants use Carbon to make Calcium Carbonate shells. When these plants die, they get buried at the bottom of the sea or ocean. As they continue to lie on the bottom, they are continually compressed. When the process continues for long time, they transform to a solid Carbon, usually Limestone.
Edwards , G. (1990). Biology, the Easy Way. New York :Barrons
Kapit, W. (1991). Geography Coloring Book. New York: Harper Collins .
Usborne. ( 1994). Usborne Book of World Geography. London: Usborne.