Evolution is the scientific theory explaining the appearance of new species and varieties through the action of various biological mechanisms (such as natural selection, genetic mutation or drift, and hybridization)

Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the expressions of genes that are passed on from parent to offspring during reproduction or Evolution

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Objections to Evolution

Objections to Evolution Objections to evolution have been raised since evolutionary ideas came to prominence in the 19th century. When Charles Darwin published his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, his theory of evolution (the idea that species arose through descent with modification from a single common ancestor in a process driven by natural selection) initially met opposition from scientists with different theories,...

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Adaptation

Adaptation In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a phenotypic trait or adaptive trait, with a functional role in each individual organism, that is maintained and has...

Religious Views of Charles Darwin

Religious Views of Charles Darwin Charles Darwin’s views on religion have been the subject of much interest and dispute. His pivotal work in the development of modern biology and evolution theory played a prominent part in debates about religion and science at the time. In the early 20th century, his...

Development of Darwin’s Theory

Development of Darwin’s Theory Following the inception of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection in 1838, the development of Darwin’s theory to explain the “mystery of mysteries” of how new species originated was his “prime hobby” in the background to his main occupation of publishing the scientific results of the Beagle voyage. He was settling into married life, but suffered...

Reactions to On The Origin of Species

Reactions to On The Origin of Species The immediate reactions to On the Origin of Species, the book in which Charles Darwin described evolution by natural selection, included international debate, though the heat of controversy was less than that over earlier works such as Vestiges of Creation. Darwin monitored the debate closely, cheering on Thomas Henry Huxley’s...

Publication of Darwin’s Theory

Publication of Darwin’s Theory The publication of Darwin’s theory brought into the open Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection, the culmination of more than twenty years of work. Thoughts on the possibility of transmutation of species which he recorded in 1836 towards the end of his five-year voyage on the Beagle were followed on his return by findings...

Inception of Darwin’s Theory

Inception of Darwin’s Theory The inception of Darwin’s theory occurred during an intensively busy period which began when Charles Darwin returned from the survey voyage of the Beagle, with his reputation as a fossil collector and geologist already established. He was given an allowance from his father to become a gentleman naturalist rather than a clergyman, and his first tasks were...

Molecular Evolution

Molecular Evolution Molecular evolution is the process of change in the sequence composition of cellular molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins across generations. The field of molecular evolution uses principles of evolutionary biology and population genetics to explain patterns in these changes. Major topics in molecular evolution concern the...

History of Molecular Evolution

History of Molecular Evolution The history of molecular evolution starts in the early 20th century with “comparative biochemistry“, but the field of molecular evolution came into its own in the 1960s and 1970s, following the rise of molecular biology. The advent of protein sequencing allowed molecular biologists to create phylogenies based...

Universal Darwinism

Universal Darwinism Universal Darwinism (also known as generalized Darwinism, universal selection theory, or Darwinian metaphysics) refers to a variety of approaches that extend the theory of Darwinism beyond its original domain of biological evolution on Earth. Universal Darwinism aims to formulate a generalized version of the mechanisms of variation, selection and heredity proposed by Charles...

Speciation

Speciation Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. The biologist Orator F. Cook coined the term in 1906 for cladogenesis, the splitting of lineages, as opposed to anagenesis, phyletic evolution within lineages.[1][2][3] Charles Darwin was the first to describe the role of natural selection in speciation in his...

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Acceptance of Evolution by Religious Groups

Acceptance of Evolution by Religious Groups Although biological evolution has been vocally opposed by some religious groups, many other groups accept the scientific position, sometimes with additions to allow for theological considerations. The positions of such groups are described by terms including “theistic evolution”, “theistic evolutionism” or “evolutionary creation“. Theistic evolutionists believe...

Microevolution

Microevolution Microevolution is the change in allele frequencies that occurs over time within a population.[1] This change is due to four different processes: mutation, selection (natural and artificial), gene flow and genetic drift. This change happens over a relatively short (in evolutionary terms) amount of time compared to the changes termed macroevolution which is where greater differences in the population occur. Population...

Macroevolution

Macroevolution Macroevolution is evolution on a scale at or above the level of species, in contrast with microevolution,[1] which refers to smaller evolutionary changes of allele frequencies within a species or population.[2] Macroevolution and microevolution describe fundamentally identical processes on different scales.[3][4] The process of speciation may fall within the purview of either, depending on the forces thought to...

Mutation

Mutation In biology, a mutation is an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extra chromosomal DNA. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication, mitosis, and meiosis or other types of damage to DNA (such as pyrimidine dimers that may be caused by exposure to radiation or...

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Reaction to Darwin’s Theory

Reaction to Darwin’s Theory The immediate reactions to On the Origin of Species, the book in which Charles Darwin described evolution by natural selection, included international debate, though the heat of controversy was less than that over earlier works such as Vestiges of Creation. Darwin monitored the debate closely, cheering on Thomas Henry Huxley’s battles with Richard Owen to...

Charles Darwin

Who is Charles Darwin? Charles Robert Darwin, (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered...

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Social Effects of Evolutionary Theory

Social Effects of Evolutionary Theory The social effects of evolutionary thought have been considerable. As the scientific explanation of life’s diversity has developed, it has often displaced alternative, sometimes very widely held, explanations. Because the theory of evolution includes an explanation of humanity’s origins, it has had a profound impact...

Neo-Darwinism

Neo-Darwinism Neo-Darwinism is generally used to describe any integration of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection with Gregor Mendel’s theory of genetics. It mostly refers to evolutionary theory from either 1895 (for the combinations of Darwin’s and Weismann’s theories of evolution) or 1942 (the “modern synthesis“), though it can mean any new Darwinian- and Mendelian-based theory...

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Evolutionary Ethics

Evolutionary Ethics Evolutionary ethics is a field of inquiry that explores how evolutionary theory might bear on our understanding of ethics or morality. The range of issues investigated by evolutionary ethics is quite broad. Supporters of evolutionary ethics have claimed that it has important implications in the fields of descriptive ethics, normative ethics, and metaethics....

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