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About several theories of evolution (Essay Sample)


The instructions on the paper were to discuss several theories of evolution. The paper talks about several theories of evolution, how they occur, and their net effects on biological species. It also discusses the evidences of evolution.

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Evolution is the process by which generations of species undergo some changes in their biological traits over a given period. There are two theories that explain the process of evolution. They include phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. Scientists maintain that evolution can only happen as described by the theories (National Academy of Sciences 78).
Phyletic gradualism is a theory that explains a slow and consistent process of evolution that occurs in biological species. It further maintains that change in characteristics of these taxonomic groups involves splitting of the hereditary features of the species into different traits in the subsequent generations. On the other hand, punctuated equilibrium is an evolutionary theory, which holds the belief that the process of change in biological characteristics is extremely fast. Punctuated equilibrium occurs immediately, and with respect to geology. People rarely notice the changed forms of the species because they exist and disappear very fast (Cook 53).
Punctuated equilibrium makes the prediction of an impossibility in recording the characteristic changes whenever there is registration of an evolutionary process. For instance, there may be records of the ancestors of some species having resided at a certain place. At the same time, there could be a new taxonomic group undergoing evolution in a different area. The theory also predicts a reduction in the likelihood of ossification among the members (Ross 108).
Several processes can lead to rapid evolution. These include rivers that contain toxic substances and changes in climate. Rivers with toxicants can result in the evolution of the fish that lives in its water. These toxicants remain on the riverbeds and do not undergo any process of break down. Scientists have made a discovery that fish, which lives in rivers contaminated with PCBs, normally evolve and develop some forms of characteristics that poisons from PCBs do not affect. The evolution happens very fast and in response to the effects of the toxicants present in the water of the rivers (Grant 133).
Climate change also culminates in a faster evolutionary process that may lead to a rapid change in the DNA of the species. After analyzing the DNA of penguins that existed more than six thousand years ago and those that are still existing, scientists discovered that there was an alteration in the sequence of the genes before ending up with the current species. This happened without any variation in the physical appearances of the penguins (Grant 134).
Environment is one of the factors that may lead to relative stasis. Semi-permanent stableness of the environment is one of the key factors that encourage evolutionary stasis. Any climatic change may result in the development of a new ...
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