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BODYINTRODUCTION TO EVOLUTION What is Evolution Evolution is the process by which all living thingshave developed from primitive organisms through changes occurring overbillions of years a process that includes all animals and plants Exactly howevolution occurs is still a matter of debate but there are many differenttheories and that it occurs is a scientific fact Biologists agree that all livingthings come through a long history of changes shaped by physical andchemical processes that are still taking place It is possible that all organismscan be traced back to the origin of Life from one celled organimsThe most direct proof of evolution is the science of Paleontology orthe study of life in the past through fossil remains or impressions usually inrock Changes occur in living organisms that serve to increase theiradaptability for survival and reproduction in changing environmentsEvolution apparently has no built-in direction purpose A given kind oforganism may evolve only when it occurs in a variety of forms differing inhereditary traits that are passed from parent to offspring By chance somevarieties prove to be ill adapted to their current environment and thusdisappear whereas others prove to be adaptive and their numbers increaseThe elimination of the unfit or the survival of the fittest is known asNatural Selection because it is nature that discards or favors aarticular being Evolution takes place only when natural selectionoperates on apopulation of organisms containing diverse inheritable formsHISTORYPierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis 1698-1759 was the firsttopropose a general theory of evolution He said that hereditary materialconsisting of particles was transmitted from parents to offspring Hisopinionof the part played by natural selection had little influence on othernaturalistsUntil the mid-19th century naturalists believed that eachspecies wascreated separately either through a supreme being or throughspontaneousgeneration the concept that organisms arose fully developed from soil orwater Thework of the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in advancing theclassifying ofbiological organisms focused attention on the close similarity betweencertainspecies Speculation began as to the existence of a sort of bloodrelationshipbetween
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