Physical Anthropology

What is Evolution Evolution in Action how Evolutions Works how we Evolved how Genes Work Darwin

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Evolution is the theory that life forms gradually adapt and change over millions of years.  Evolution, like the theory of gravity, says that it is most likely that natural laws have allowed predictable patterns that can be tested with science.  Like all theories, evolution is based on empirical evidence from biology, geology, archaeology and more.

Evolution says that we, and all life forms, are ultimately related. We came to be through natural processes that are continual and ongoing, and although evolution says nothing about a creator who began the process, most scholars do not feel a need to invoke the existence of a creator for evolution to be. Nor do most dismiss the possibility.

Think of evolution much the same way as you think of any other science, astronomy, geology and biology, and there is no reason to think there is anything unusual, or conspiratorial about it.

We are obviously bi pedal hominids, and no completely full standing other primates currently exist, although clearly there are some in the fossil record, such as Neanderthals.

The most obvious daily context we have for evolution is in epidemiology.  The evolution  of microbes is so patently reliable, that mutations in bacteria and virus can happen in just months, or even weeks, so we know that living things predictably evolve, and we count on it, or we could not create medicine or treatment of pandemics and disease.

Without predictable patterns of evolution through these mutations, there would be little point to medicine at all.

Evolution happens through natural selection. It was this means that set Darwin upon the course of realizing how small mutations changed organisms over time. Those organisms that are best adapted to any given environment will more effectively procreate and pass their genetic material on to further generations.

All evolution, by natural selection, is driven by the environment.  Evolution by artificial selection, that is, as seen in live stock breeding, and laboratory microbes, has been in play for thousands of years, and is daily seen in how we cultivate crops for optimum advantages of any certain “stock.”  Even such artificial breeding, is based on the environment, we are in effect controlling the environment, when we choose one sheep to be bred to another sheep, to create just the size, shape and color of sheep we choose.

The idea of separate human races, is purely cultural.  There is no basic DNA difference between a pygmy from Africa, a Swedish super model, or a Andean Peruvian. Social Darwinism, or the idea of one race superiority is falsely based on an idea of separate races, so social Darwinism, has been proved a corrupted science.

What our relationship is to other organisms is crucial for life on earth. We live in daily co existence and co evolution with other plants and animals.  We need them to survive, and they all need the balance of one another, such as pollinators need pollen, and seeds need animals to disperse trees and plants.

Nature works toward balance and diversity, always optimizing the greater number of genes to support a higher number of organisms. Extinction events, such as the meteor that struck and led to a dying off of the dinosaurs, are rare, and again, are environmental drivers of evolution.

The decline of dinosaurs led to small mammals eventually proliferating, and leaving more progeny. Those progeny led to higher orders of primates, and finally to human beings, who are the first to realize our origins through science.

More about this author: Christyl Rivers

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