What is Evolution

What is Evolution - What is Evolution? ost non-scientists...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
What is Evolution? ost non-scientists seem to be quite confused about precise definitions of biological evolution. Such confusion is due in large part to the inability of scientists to communicate effectively to the general public and also to confusion among scientists themselves about how to define such an important term. When discussing evolution it is important to distinguish between the existence of evolution and various theories about the mechanism of evolution. And when referring to the existence of evolution it is important to have a clear definition in mind. What exactly do biologists mean when they say that they have observed evolution or that humans and chimps have evolved from a common ancestor? One of the most respected evolutionary biologists has defined biological evolution as follows: "In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution . .. is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

What is Evolution - What is Evolution? ost non-scientists...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online