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We Believe in Evolution

It's a very controversial topic but evolutionary theory tries to understand the process by which nature has developed variations and diversity on one hand and maintaining certain strains or features on the other. And this is just one aspect of it.

In this opinion piece by Razib Khan, he shares his thoughts as an evolutionary geneticist and reconciling that with his worldview and how he thinks that evolutionary theory has, in a way, formed a good foundation for us to understand the natural order.

Charles Darwin founded the discipline of evolutionary biology along with Alfred Russel Wallace. Evolutionary ideas were in the air before Darwin, but his central contribution was to offer a mechanism through which species could change over time: natural selection operating upon heritable variation. Darwin also established the broad contours of the questions that evolutionary biologists explore even today.
The most surprising aspect of Darwin’s work is that it did not have a correct scientific theory of inheritance: He didn’t know what caused organisms to vary in ways that could be passed down from parent to child, which is to say he didn’t know about genes. Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk, pioneered the field of genetics at the same time that Darwin’s fame was rising, but genetics as an organized body of research emerged only in the first decade of the 20th-century.
Genetics provided the answer of how variation is maintained. Population genetics created the mathematical basis upon which 20th-century evolutionary biology developed, becoming the “Neo-Darwinian Synthesis.”

There is no doubt that evolution is the mechanism by which organisms adapt to their environment and the different situations that occur in nature. It is genetics that maintains variation among organisms and helps us to study the dynamics of interaction and inheritance among other things. 

Further research is being done for us to get a more thorough and comprehensive grasp of evolutionary biology and theory. But we cannot deny that organisms have been evolving. From structures to behavior, we can observe the changes that occur in living things over time.

-via Evolution News

(Image credit: Suzanne D. Williams/Unsplash)


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