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Theory of Evolution

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Theories and the Theory of Evolution
Joy Dawson
Colorado Technical University

Author Notes
This paper was prepared for SCI 101- 1401A taught by Professor Scott Christensen on January 17, 2014.

Theories and the Theory of Evolution

Evolution, a natural selection theorized by Charles Darwin and backed by many other scientist based on the scientific method. All theories must be capable to conduct testable predictions. Predictions are performed by observation and experimentations that are then to be conducted to give the theories authentication to the predictions. Darwin theory depends on slow, consistent, gradual change in organisms which in time will become a new species. Other evolutionary theories propose that evolution occurred in rapid periods of time or that a designer intervened during different times to modify or create organisms. The controversial debate of punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism still exists, but the interesting research continues with fossil records, patterns of punctuated equilibrium, and maybe even more with the use of innovations of today. It is safe to say that scientists agree there is two models of growth which theorizes evolution of species can emerge. A species can change by phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium or both. Scientist believes species with a shorter evolution change is mostly by punctuated equilibrium, however, those with a longer progression developed mostly by gradualism. Phyletic gradualism happens gradually in variation and selection where change occurs “slow, constant, and consistent” over long periods of time leading to change in population (necsi). Phyletic gradualism is in difference to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which suggests change comes in spurts where periods of slight change and then one or few massive changes occur. The species tend to change quickly over a few generations yet tend to settle once again to a time period of little change. Many of the information learned about species of the past lye with the findings of fossils and the records keep on them since humans first began to study them in a systematically.
In my opinion, the fossil record is the leading cause to the continuance of debates among evolutionists. The main issue concerning fossil record is that it is lacking or unfinished. Geneticists and theoreticians uphold Darwin’s gradualism claims that lack of transitional procedures result to the rarity of fossilization and the imperfection of the fossil record. Others stand for punctuated equilibrium again meaning evolution happens quickly in spurts followed by long periods with very little change. It is because of this reason, transitional procedures are not found in the fossil record. The organism was only around for a short time frame causing chances of them becoming a fossilized was very low. “Punctuated equilibrium predicts that a lot of evolutionary change takes place in short periods of time tied to speciation events” (Berkeley 2013). Factors which are responsible for the periods of relative stasis consist of isolation of a small amount of a species from the rest of its population. When a population undergoes strong selection it changes than evolves very rapidly causing no fossils representing transitional customs are preserved due to the small population size. Once this change have occurred a reintroduction transpire by reuniting of the isolated population with their related ancestry. The isolated population expands into the previous past range forming larger population sizes, which may result in the former isolated branch of species to out-compete their ancestral population, causing extinction. The larger population size along with a larger range reverts to the first step with irregular fossil preservation causing a pattern in the fossil record. In most cases, the observation leans towards spurts of evolution in the fossil record. It is argued (phyletic gradualism) that the fossils obtained are only “time slices” of actual history (Berkeley 2007). The spurts are an illusion of a lot of time that has past which looks like a spurt. In conclusion we know many ways to obtain information or intelligences by reason, experiences, or the use of scientific explanations, and tests. Even though science contains obvious facts and testable theories, many questions remain a mystery. A question that evolves outside the boundaries of science and the scientific method are left to an individual to decide rather religion, art, philosophy will give the answer they seek (Trefil & Hazen, 2010). As time continues on, one can hope or discovery and provide clarification to how evolution supposedly occurred. Until then, the controversial debate of punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism still exists, but the interesting research continues with fossil records, patterns of punctuated equilibrium, and maybe even more with the use of innovations of today.

Sholmiya Bar-Yam, (2010) Evolution Retrived from unknown, Truth in science (2007) Evolution 101, (2010) The Big Issues Retrived from Trefil, J., & Hazen, R. (2010). The sciences: an integrated approach (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

Unknown, Wikipedia (2010) Phyletic gradualism

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