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EVOLUTION FINAL 2 - Murdock 1 Zak Murdock BioEE 2070 Fall...

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Murdock 1 Zak Murdock BioEE 2070 Fall 2009 3 December 2009 As defined biologically, evolution can be described as that change which occurs in the genetic material of a population of organism from one generation to the other (Haviland 251) . Even though those changes produced in any given generation are normally small, distinctions accumulate with the emergence of each generation and over time, causes substantial changes in the population thus resulting in the emergence of a whole new species (Richards 58) . The foundation of evolution is the genes which are passed on from one generation to the next and produce an organism’s inherited characteristics . Through history evolution has been a hot topic for discussion and written works . John O . Reiss the author of, Not by Design, Retiring Darwin’s Watchmaker , suggests that a number of aspects of evolution, mainly Georges Cuvier’s principle of “condition of existence,” have been misinterpreted by generati o ns o f ev o luti o nary bi o l o gists, including Charles Darwin himself . Throughout his book, Reiss essentially forms a significant basis f o r an accurate understanding o f ev o luti o n . Reiss’s aim in part four of his book , is to systematically root out teleological language from evolutionary biology by using the term of Cuvier, “conditions for existence”, instead of the “natural selection” of Charles Darwin . Evolution can be said to be the product of two opposing forces and processes that constantly bring in variation making variants either to become more rare or more
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common (Haviland 255) . These variations occur in two major ways that is either from the transfer of genes between species and between populations or from the mutation of genes . There are two main mechanisms which determine which variants are to become more rare or common within a given population that is natural selection and genetic drift (Michael 615) . Natural selection is that process which causes helpful traits that is those traits that increase the chances of survival as well as reproduction to become more common within a given population causing harmful characteristics to become rare . On the other hand genetic drift is an independent process which produces random changes in the frequency of behavior in a given population and is as a result of the role that chance plays in whether a specified trait will be passed on as people survive and reproduce from generation to generation (Lennox & Wilson 65) . Charles Robert Darwin who was an English naturalist realized that all species of life have evolved with time from common ancestors while John O . Reiss happened to discover organisms while in college and concentrated all his efforts in studying natural history and ecology (Haviland 256) .
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