2 pages/≈550 words
The Nature of Evolution Research Paper #2 (Research Paper Sample)
The Nature of Evolution: Selection, Inheritance, and History
The Nature of Evolution
Evolution theory is one of the great intellectual revolutions of human history. The theory continues to change human perception of the world and existence. Charles Darwin documented a logical theory of evolution and supported it with great evidence. Most scientists, in Darwinâ€™s time, fully believed that each adaptation and each organism was the creatorâ€™s work (McCaffrey, 2009). There have been mixed reactions towards the theory of evolution, and many scientists have come up with evidence in support of different theories. This essay seeks to address the nature of evolution: selection, inheritance, and history.
The history of evolution began with the original contributions of Darwin on evolutionary change. In addition, he provided thoughtful explanations of the consequences of evolution for human understanding of modern biological diversity and life. According to Darwin, species change over time and space. The speciesâ€™ representatives today are different from those in the recent past. Populations also divide into different species over time, which share a common ancestral population (McCaffrey, 2009). These differences extend into the fossil record and provide ample support for Darwinâ€™s theory.
According to Darwin, evolutionary change is slow and gradual. He supports this claim with the long episodes of organic change in the fossil record. In addition, in Darwinâ€™s time, no naturalist observed appearance of new species (Zvirin, 2010). Many paleontologists and biologists have, since then, documented a wide spectrum of slow to rapid rates of evolutionary change within lineages. According to Theunissen (2012), the primary mechanism of change over time is natural selection. It causes changes in traits of organisms from generation to generation within lineages.
The process of natural selection is entails inheritance, variation, differential survival and reproduction, and high population growth. Organisms exhibit individual variation in behavior and appearance. These variations may involve hair color, voice properties, body size, facial markings, or number of offspring (Theunissen, 2012). However, some traits show little or no variation among individuals, for example, number of eyes in vertebrates. While such traits are heritable, other traits are influenced by conditions of the environment. Each generation experiences substantial mortality. The high rate of population growth leads to struggling for resources and survival for the fittest. Some individuals possess traits that suit the struggle for the limited resources. According to Darwin, struggle for existence favors individuals with variations over others changing the frequency of traits within the population...
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