General overview The evidence for evolution Darwin and other 19th-century biologists found compelling evidence for biological evolution in the comparative study of living organisms, in their geographic distribution, and in the fossil remains of extinct organisms. The amount of information about evolutionary history stored in the DNA and proteins of living things is virtually unlimited; scientists can reconstruct any detail of the evolutionary history of life by investing sufficient time and laboratory resources. Darwin, CharlesOverview of Charles Darwin’s life, with a focus on his work involving evolution. The following sections identify the most productive of these sources and illustrate the types of information they have provided. The fossil record Paleontologists have recovered and studied the fossil remains of many thousands of organisms that lived in the past. This fossil record shows that many kinds of extinct organisms were very different in form from any now living. It also shows successions of organisms through time see faunal succession, law of ; geochronology: Determining the relationships of fossils with rock strata , manifesting their transition from one form to another. When an organism dies, it is usually destroyed by other forms of life and by weathering processes. On rare occasions some body parts—particularly hard ones such as shells, teeth, or bones—are preserved by being buried in mud or protected in some other way from predators and weather.
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It boasts a membership of over 17 million, 2.
To keep from being accused of bias.
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Tweet Much of the evolutionary theory is based on natural selection. How does this process really work? This article will help clarify exactly what is wrong and what is right about this popular foundational theory.
Evolutionary psychologists explain sex differences as based on differing parental investment.
He did not discuss the evolutionary causes of such a change, raising suspicions of vitalism. Wagner argued for developmental bias, structural constraints on embryonic development. Gould and Richard Lewontin proposed biological “spandrels” , features created as a byproduct of the adaptation of nearby structures.
They accept that some structures such as the cell membrane self-assemble, but question the ability of self-organisation to drive large-scale evolution. Saltationism and Mutationism Saltationism   held that new species arise as a result of large mutations. It was seen as a much faster alternative to the Darwinian concept of a gradual process of small random variations being acted on by natural selection. It was popular with early geneticists such as Hugo de Vries , who along with Carl Correns helped rediscover Gregor Mendel ‘s laws of inheritance in , William Bateson , a British zoologist who switched to genetics, and early in his career, Thomas Hunt Morgan.
These ideas developed into mutationism , the mutation theory of evolution. The primroses seemed to be constantly producing new varieties with striking variations in form and color, some of which appeared to be new species because plants of the new generation could only be crossed with one another, not with their parents.
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Research suggests that domestication took place by approximately 6, years ago. It is supposed that the horse was first used by a tribe of Indo-European origin that lived in the steppes north of the chain of mountains adjacent to the Black and Caspian seas. Influenced by climate , food, and humans , the horse rapidly acquired its present form. Cave painting of a bull and a horse; in Lascaux Grotto, near Montignac, France.
The differences between genders are not based psychologically but are influenced socially.
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Tweet Lamarck was the first biologist to propose a mechanism for evolution. He proposed that organisms acquired features as they needed them. A giraffe would require a long neck because it strove to eat leaves high up in the trees, and birds that did not like swimming, but collected food in shallow water, would develop long legs and become waders.
Alters and Sandra M.
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How Does Natural Selection Work
Important We believe any unbiased reader will realize that we were fair with our treatment of the two models in the table above. Yet, although the theory of evolution matches the facts in some cases, evolution is still an unproven theory. By now, you may believe it should be your first choice also. Unlike many others that preceded us, we attempted to find a clear defense of evolution for two reasons: To keep from being accused of bias.
To keep from making claims that someone could refute later.
It also fits well with many evolutionary psychological theories.
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Alternatives to evolution by natural selection
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British Dictionary definitions for evolution evolution noun biology a gradual change in the characteristics of a population of animals or plants over successive generations: Used in various senses in medicine, mathematics, and general use, including “growth to maturity and development of an individual living thing” s. Modern use in biology, of species, first attested by Scottish geologist Charles Lyell.
Charles Darwin used the word only once, in the closing paragraph of “The Origin of Species” , and preferred descent with modification, in part because evolution already had been used in the 18c. But Victorian belief in progress prevailed along with brevity , and Herbert Spencer and other biologists popularized evolution. A continuing process of change from one state or condition to another or from one form to another. The theory that groups of organisms change with passage of time, mainly as a result of natural selection, so that descendants differ morphologically and physiologically from their ancestors.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. The modern understanding of the origins of species is based on the theories of Charles Darwin combined with a modern knowledge of genetics based on the work of Gregor Mendel. Darwin observed there is a certain amount of variation of traits or characteristics among the different individuals belonging to a population.