Theory of Evolution
- Evolution refers to the progressive change of organisms as
they descend from ancestral species.
- Important names in the history of theory of evolution are:
- Jean Baptiste Lamarck
- Charles Darwin
- Alfred Russell Wallace
- There are four common mechanisms of evolution.
- Natural selection
- Genetic drift,
- Gene flow
- Lamarck developed the fist comprehensive theory of evolution.
- Lamarck, a French Zoologist, proposed that organisms increased
in complexity through time because of an innate tendency.
- He proposed that interactions of organisms and environment
drove the process of evolution.
- He proposed that patterns of use and disuse drove the
evolution of adaptations.
- His theory states that every organism was continually striving
for greater complexity.
- Lamarck’s theory was an important step to the studies on
evolution, eventhough it was proved that acquired characters
cannot be passed to offspring.
- Charles Darwin was born in 1809 – Shrewsbury, England.
- He was graduated in medicine from Cambridge University.
- Darwin used the term “descent with modification” for
- His theory states that all organisms – animals, plants, fungi,
all organisms – are descended from a remote common ancestor.
- He stated that all species evolved from earlier species.
- Organisms change in time, usually very slowly, or evolve
overtime to become a new species.
- He explained the mechanism of natural selection
as members of a species possessing more desirable traits will
have more offspring and survive to reproductive maturity.
- Other mechanisms of evolution include genetic drift and
mutation, which were discovered after Darwin.
- The famous idiom Survival of The Fittest refers
- Individuals whose characteristics are well suited to their
- Individuals whose characteristics are not well suited to
their environment either die or leave fewer offspring or
- The term artificial selection refres to the
intervention of humans ensures that only individuals with the
more desirable traits produce offspring.
- He explained his theory in his publication On the Origin of
Species - 1859.
- Darwin received several scientific awards in his life time.
- He died in April 1882.
- Alfred Russell Wallace, was naturalist and explorer lived in
Europe during the time of Darwin.
- He developed the same theory of evolution by natural selection
- The idea of evolution has remained controversial for a long
- Lamarck proposed the fist comprehensive theory of evolution,
which was a prelude to Darwin's theory.
- Darwin's theory has had tremendous impact on science,
philosophy, and the way humans viewed the world.
- Alfred Russell Wallace was a contemporary of Darwin who also
explained the same theory of evolution by Darwin.
- Antibiotic resistance is an evolutionary phenomenon of
tremendous clinical significance.
Dr John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of
Charles Darwin Online
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