Peripatus Home Page pix1Black.gif (807 bytes) EvolutionUpdated: 03-Feb-2017 



Notes about evolution.

Keywords: evolution, variation, selection, natural selection, speciation, macroevolution


Living things are observed to change in important and sometimes fundamental ways over the course of many generations. If all we are seeking is a definition for a word, then this is what evolution means.

But a deeper understanding must at least attempt to account for the detailed patterns of change observed on all timescales, including the very long timescale of the fossil record, to provide a mechanism for such change, and explain how and why it works.

xxxx something about Darwin’s original notions xxxx

‘Descent with modification’ is the unifying theory of all biology. In the famous words of Theodosius Dobzhansky, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (ref).

Evolution by natural selection leads to improved adaptation: not to perfection. There is an old joke about two explorers suddenly confronted by a lion. One says, resignedly, that there is no point in running, because the lion can easily outrun both of them. But the other, who has already taken to his heels, shouts back over his shoulder, “I don’t need to outrun the lion. I only need to outrun you.”

And that is how that works. To obtain an advantage, one does not need to be perfect; only better than the ‘competition’.

Studies in Evolution

No time for that my essay is due tomorrow

 Peripatus Home Page pix1Black.gif (807 bytes) Evolution

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