Friday, March 27, 2009

A Concise Explanation of the Theory of Evolution

Evolution, as Richard Dawkins puts it, is the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators. It explains the diversity of the planet through the mechanisms of natural selection and random mutation. The genes passed on from generation to generation are done so in a copying process that is not perfect, leading to small mutations in the genes of the offspring. These mutations are mostly harmless and will go on unnoticed. A small portion will be highly detrimental; however, another small portion will be ever so slightly beneficial to the organism. This organism will then be more likely to pass its genes on and this mutation will spread throughout the population. Over a long enough period of time, visible changes begin to stack up, and, if a portion of the population is isolated from the rest, sexual reproduction may become impossible between the isolated groups. This event is known as speciation. This simple but powerful theory explains how all the organisms on the planet arose from much simpler forms of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment