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Evolution

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The beginning of the earth has been a mystery, boggling the minds of the erudite and the simple minded alike for years. The topic of creation vs. evolution has become increasingly controversial. In biology, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though changes produced in any one generation are normally small, differences accumulate with each generation and can, over time, become substantial changes in the population. Such similarities among species suggest that all known species are descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pools process of gradual divergence). Evolution is supported in many different ways, but one major category pointing to its validity is fossils. Through fossil dating, hominoid fossils, and, evolution has become the theory accepted by the majority of those in the scientific forefront.

Evolution is supported through fossil records. The study of the sequence of occurrence in rocks reveals the relative time in which organisms lived. This technique shows that one layer of rock is older or younger than another. Later through the discovery of radioactivity, scientists were given the opportunity to learn the age of fossils and rocks . Through these records, a vague timeline is illustrated of the evolutionary change that has been occurring over the past four billion years. This proves that the earth is much older then creationist would like to argue. A popular criticism of the fossil records is that the gaps in this timeline are enough to disprove the line all together, but the more that is learned about the evolution of specific species line’s, the more these gaps or missing links in the chain are filled with transitional fossil specimens. A specific example of this is the Archaeopteryx. This was the earliest and most primitive bird known . The London specimen of this bird was discovered only two years after the publication of On the Origin of Species. Fossils records are one factor that works to make evolution true beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evolution is supported through hominoid fossils. Hominoids are those belonging to the super family Homiondea which includes apes, humans, and, sub-species in between this spectrum. Evolution refers to the slow process of human adaption over millions of years, so hominids are crucial in giving legitimacy to the concept that humans were slowly developed and that there ancestry is rooted in another species. The roots of humanity are believed to be located in South Africa where the earliest hominoids are discovered. Many hominids fossils of fragmented body and skull have been discovered. One of the more famous examples is Lucy, discovered by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray in 1974 At Hadar in Ethiopia . Lucy was an adult female of twenty-five years olds and is placed into the Australopithecus afarensis category. Hominids are a major support of evolution.

Evolution is supported by transitional fossils. Transitional fossils are the remains of intermediary forms of life that illustrate an evolutionary transition. Such fossils would serve as evidence to the principle that life is developed through evolving organisms, which again, points to one ancestral source. In the time of Charles Darwin, knowledge of fossil records were scarce, and He himself said in regards to the lack of transitional fossils "this is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” , since then scientists became more enlightened in transitional fossil groups and more were discovered, as he also predicted. Some examples are the Nautoloidea, this is a group of marine cephalopods belong to the subclass Nautioidea. Nautioidea’s begin in the late Cambrian and are represented today by the living Nautilus . This is one of the many examples of one transitional forms discovered through fossils linking one species to another. Examples of these links are fish to tetra pods, amphibians to amniotes, and dinosaurs to birds. Transitional forms are a major support of evolution

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