A Report On The Theory Of Evolution

1112 words - 4 pages

IntroductionOf sciences' many unanswered questions, the question of where mankind came from and how we came to earth is one of the most renowned. The theory of evolution is but one of the numerous theories put forward in hope to answer this question.The Theory of EvolutionThe Theory of Evolution was first proven in 1859 by Charles Darwin, an English naturalist. The theory essentially refers to rising changes that occur in a population over time. These changes are genetic, meaning that when reproduction occurs, the changes can be passed down to offspring. Occasionally, these changes can cause an organism to inherit new characteristics that give them an advantage over other animals in their environment. A common misconception that people make is to confuse Darwin's Evolution with Lamarckian Evolution.There are two major mechanisms that drive evolution, the first is natural selection; the process of an organism becoming more adapted to its environment through genetic mutation. The second is genetic drift, an independent process that creates random changes in the frequency of traits in a population. Although the alterations by genetic drift and natural selection in any one generation are small, they accumulate as generations go on and, in time, can cause substantial changes in organisms.Biological Evolution can also be broken down into subcategories. Convergent evolution, for example, refers to the similar traits that have developed by themselves in different species because of similar environments. Another type, Co-evolution, occurs when the evolutionary history of two species is closely linked; an example of this is the co-evolution of Barnacles and Whales. A third type, adaptive radiation, occurs when one old species quickly branches into many new species to fill an environmental gap.The Lamarckian Theory of EvolutionCharles Darwin was not the first to come up with the theory of evolution. In fact, many scientists before him had investigated evolution; including his own grandfather. The Lamarckian theory was one of the theories of Evolution. The Lamarckian theory fundamentally states that the characteristics that an organism acquires in its life time, but does not have genetically, are transmitted to its offspring. This theory has now been disproved as modern technology has allowed scientist to see that only genetic characteristics can be passed down to offspring. This means that Lamarcs' suggestion of organisms evolving through environmental changes is incorrect.Evidence of EvolutionGalapagos IslandsCharles Darwin was born on the 12th of February 1809; he came from a family of famous scientists and geologists. He developed his interest in natural history whilst studying medicine in the Edinburgh University. It was his visit to the remote Galapagos Islands that made him start thinking about evolution and natural selection.The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands in South America; Charles Darwin came across the Galapagos Islands...

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