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EVOLUTION

EVOLUTION
Can be explained
through

EVIDENCE

PATTERNS OF
DESCENT

Such
as

Fossils

Which
show

Homologous
structures

Distributio
n of
species

Genetic
similarities

Common
traits in
embryo

Adoptive
radiation

Punctuated
equilibrium

Coevolutio
n

Convergen
t evolution

Divergen
t
evolution

Gradualism

EVOLUTION
Evolution refers to the cumulative change in a population of organisms

over time.

Many people think of evolution as something that takes a long period of

time or something that might require millions of years.

Today, with the experience in antibiotic and pest resistance, it has been

discovered that bacteria and insects can go through an evolutionary fast


track.

Within weeks, a population of bacteria can virtually reinvent themselves

because they can reproduce quickly, generate mutations at a rapid rate,


and transfer adaptive traits among the different members of their
population.

They have the ability to evolve quickly due to their adaptive characteristics

that allow them to survive the killing effects of drugs, reignite infections, or
infect more hosts in a single cough.

EVOLUTION
All the life forms that descended from a common ancestor and evolved

can later on be divided into three major groups of organisms-archaea,


bacteria, and eukaryote.

EVOLUTION
Our present and extensive knowledge of evolution is a contribution of

many scientists who were bold enough to understand how life started on
the planet. Until the end of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth
century, most naturalists believed that species have been created
separately and remained unchanged from the time of their creation. This
long held belief was grounded in the teaching of Plato.

EVOLUTION
With the idea of creationism predominating the

common thinking at that time, other scientific


exploration unfolded new facts, which contradicted
the idea of a single creation and unchanging species.

Naturalists became curious as to how different groups

of organisms of organisms are unique in different


parts of earth. They began to hypothesize that
populations of organisms might have evolved or
changed over a period of time. Several of the notable
scientists at that time that supported this idea were
George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, and even
Charles Darwins grandfather, Erasmus Darwin.

GEORGE-LOUIS LECLERC, COMTE


DE BUFFON

CHARLES DARWIN

ERASMUS DARWIN

The first person to have challenged the old notion was the French

naturalist Jean Baptiste Lamarck who proposed the idea that species,
including humans, descended from other species.

He attributed the change to natural laws (not to miracles) and proposed a

mechanism of the change. Lamarck believed in two mechanisms: (1) the


physical desire off an animal determines how the body will develop
and (2) changes in organ size caused by use or disuse can be
inherited by the offspring. This particular hypothesis by Lamarck was
then called by scientists as the theory of acquired characteristics.

The cellular mechanisms involved in heredity were not

known until mid-eighteenth century. There were


scientists who were able to make detailed observations
and come up with a deeper explanation on how living
things evolve.

Paleontologists supported the idea that the natural

world is in a constant change and that plants and


animals evolved from simple organisms. The discovery
of the extinct marine reptile, plesiosaur, along with
other fossils, also supported the idea of evolution.

EXTINCT MARINE REPTILE

PLESIOSAUR

OTHER FOSSILS

Geologists have also observed physical evolution, which further

contradicted the timetables stated by creationism.

Geologists made concrete discoveries by analyzing Earths erosion,

volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, proving that Earth could be


millions of years older and that it must be undergoing major but slow
continuous change over time.

Naturalists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace who have worked

independently, drew almost identical explanations on how the mechanisms


of evolution might have occurred.

Charles Darwin went on a five-year journey aboard the HMS Beagle (1831-

1836) to map the coastline of South America. His trip to the Galapagos
Island near Ecuador had impressed Darwin because of its unique set of
plants and animals and the variability of any single species.

He spent all his time during exploration making full sketches and

observations, accumulating pieces of evidence that could shed light on the


origin of species.

Alfred Russel Wallace also traveled to South America to collect plants and

animal specimens.

He also noticed the variations among members of the population of the

organisms he observed.

Similar to Darwin, Wallace also devised a theory supporting his

observations. In 1858, Wallace published several researches on the theory


of evolution which included natural selection as a mechanism for the
changes among organisms from a common ancestor, as well as the idea of
survival of the fittest.

Darwin attracted more attention the following year when he published his

monumental and well-documented manuscript, on the origin of species by


means of natural selection.

Wallace and Darwins observations from their voyages in the islands of

South America and Galapagos provided evidence that evolution had


occurred. Darwin returned to his homeland still puzzled on how evolution
might have occurred. However, he laid out some important conclusions still
accepted today.

According to Darwin, individual members within a population of species are

varied and some of these variations could be inherited by future


generations, and that members of a population have the capacity to
produce more offspring than the environments capacity to provide food,
shelter, or space, which leads to competition.

Darwin concluded that some individuals whose hereditary characteristics

favored them to cope more efficiently in their local environment are more
likely to survive and produce offspring than individuals that do not possess
those traits.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most

intelligent, but the one most responsive to change

-Charles Darwin, 1809

Due to this mechanism, certain inherited traits flourished, becoming more

common in a population across many generations. He called this


mechanism natural selection. These inherited traits or adaptations can
be physical, physiological, or behavioral processes, which allow an
organism to be better fitted to their current environment. Over time,
natural selection paved the way for favorable traits to be modified or
maintained to improve and increase the organisms chance of survival and
reproduction.

SCIENCE CONNECTIONS:
Evolution of resistant pest populations is common in agriculture today.
Due to their fast evolutionary track, over 500 pest insect species today

have evolved resistance to at least one pesticide for a period of 40 years.

In addition, even the fast evolution of pathogens and weeds has been

observed. Therefore, resistant management is now considered as part of


the integrated pest management techniques to prevent or slow down the
rate of resistance development.