Physical Anthropology

What is Evolution



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So what is Evolution?

'In biology, evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population from generation to generation. These traits are the expression of genes that are copied and passed on to offspring during reproduction. Mutations in these genes can produce new or altered traits, resulting in heritable differences (genetic variation) between organisms.'

taken from wikipedia...

and from here http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-definition.html

" 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 snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."

- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986 "




i love that line, ''merely change" heh.




Evolution is blind, it doesn't care about you. It isn't progress driven, it is driven through adaption.




The 'fittest' organisms are the most adaptable, not brute strength or any other quality.

There are dead ends in Evolution and species die out relatively quickly, think 10 million years at the most... there are for example certain pheasants that have evolved breeding plumage that renders them flightless, this leaves them vulnerable to foxes and such. Does Evolution care? no, it can't it is a process. It is in fact more like a dharma. Things die and so allele frequency shifts... death is ultimately a necessary part of the cycle and once you have bred, well as they say you have fulfilled your 'prime directive'. It makes no sense to create immortal beings, things cannot adapt and change as quickly and responsively... if at all.

Evolution is at times, ruthless, brutal, bloody and may at times make no 'common' sense at all, but that is OK because there is no director or designer anyway... what would you expect from a blind god?

Evolution has no need of you or god.

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