What is Evolution

Evolution is the change that occurs from one state to another in an object or subject, as a product of a process of progressive transformation. It can refer to genetic changes in a species, to the development of a person (biological or qualitative), to the progression of historical stages, to the phases of a situation or to the transformation of an object and of nature in general.

Etymologically, the word evolution comes from the Latin expression evolutionformed by the contraction of the word exwhich means ‘out’, with the conjugation of the verb I will be backwhich means ‘to turn around’.

Some synonyms or terms related to evolution They are: transformation, development, variation, alteration, change, growth, advancement, improvement, movement or progress.

The word is frequently used to refer to the qualitative improvement of a person, situation, historical context, object, etc. Therefore, expressions such as personal evolution, technological evolution, scientific evolution, economic evolution, etc. are common.

evolution in biology

In biology, evolution is specifically related to the study of the processes of transformation of species, that is, the processes of adaptation and genetic mutation that generate structural changes in living beings. That is, the concept of evolution in nature is defined as the changes in the genetic records of a biological population (animal or plant) through generations.

Theory of the evolution of species

The theory of the evolution of the species was presented by Charles R. Darwin and Alfred Wallace in the year 1859, in a book entitled The origin of species. It was preceded by the investigations and theories of Lamarck, who had already pointed conclusions in that direction.

According to the authors, the human being (homo sapiens) is the result of the evolution of other species such as the homo erectus and the homo habilis, an affirmation that challenged the prevailing creationist theory in the 19th century. Darwin also postulated that the evolution of species was the result of natural selection and adaptation.

You may be interested:  Meaning of Monograph

Today, there are different hypotheses on the table about the causes of evolution. These are:

  1. natural selection: theory of evolution by natural selection and adaptation (Darwin’s thesis).
  2. population reduction: less variety of genes.
  3. the way of reproduction: which gene reproduces more.
  4. genetic mutation: a type of gene is reduced.
  5. gene flow: migration of genes to other places.

See more details about the Theory of Evolution.

convergent and divergent evolution

In the study of the evolution of species, we speak of convergent and divergent evolution. Convergent evolution occurs when two species of different phylogenetic origins evolve to generate similar structures or elements. For example: both hummingbirds and butterflies developed the same type of tongue to extract nectar from flowers.

Divergent evolution is one in which species with a common origin but which have been separated, evolve unequally to adapt rapidly to environmental conditions, either through mutation or natural selection. for example, those mammals that resulted from reptiles and developed limbs to adapt to a new ecosystem. Some of them turned two of their limbs into arms, like apes, and others kept their limbs as legs.

see also

  • Natural selection
  • cultural relativism
  • Darwinism