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An Introduction to Evolution Essay

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An Introduction to Evolution

     What is Evolution? Evolution is the process by which all living things
have developed from primitive organisms through changes occurring over billions
of years, a process that includes all animals and plants. Exactly how evolution
occurs is still a matter of debate, but there are many different theories and
that it occurs is a scientific fact. Biologists agree that all living things
come through a long history of changes shaped by physical and chemical processes
that are still taking place. It is possible that all organisms can be traced
back to the origin of Life from one celled organims.

The most direct proof of evolution is the science of Paleontology,
or the study of life in the past through fossil remains or impressions, usually
in rock. Changes occur in living organisms that serve to increase their
adaptability, for survival and reproduction, in changing environments. Evolution
apparently has no built-in direction purpose. A given kind of organism may
evolve only when it occurs in a variety of forms differing in hereditary traits,
that are passed from parent to offspring. By chance, some varieties prove to be
ill adapted to their current environment and thus disappear, whereas others
prove to be adaptive, and their numbers increase. The elimination of the unfit,
or the "survival of the fittest," is known as Natural Selection because it is
nature that discards or favors a particular being. Evolution takes place only
when natural selection operates on apopulation of organisms containing diverse
inheritable forms.

HISTORY

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759) was the first to
propose a general theory of evolution. He said that hereditary material,
consisting of particles, was transmitted from parents to offspring. His opinion
of the part played by natural selection had little influence on other
naturalists.
Until the mid-19th century, naturalists believed that each species
was created separately, either through a supreme being or through spontaneous
generation the concept that organisms arose fully developed from soil or water.
The work of the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in advancing the classifying
of biological organisms focused attention on the close similarity between
certain species. Speculation began as to the existence of a sort of blood
relationship between...


... middle of paper ...


...y different. For example, the wing of a bird and the wing of a
butterfly are analogous; both are used for flight, but they are entirely
different structurally. Analogous structures do not indicate evolutionary
relationships.

     Closely related fossils preserved in continuous successions of rock
strata have allowed evolutionists to trace in detail the evolution of many
species as it has occurred over several million years. The ancestry of the horse
can be traced through thousands of fossil remains to a small terrier-sized
animal with four toes on the front feet and three toes on the hind feet. This
ancestor lived in the Eocene Epoch, about 54 million years ago. From fossils in
the higher layers of stratified rock, the horse is found to have gradually
acquired its modern form by eventually evolving to a one-toed horse almost like
modern horses and finally to the modern horse, which dates back about 1 million
years.

CONCLUSION TO EVOLUTION

     Although we are not totally certain that evolution is how we got the way
we are now, it is a strong belief among many people today, and scientist are
finding more and more evidence to back up the evolutionary theory.


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