Lines of Evidence in Evolution

Topics: Evolution, Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species Pages: 4 (1392 words) Published: March 29, 2011
Evolution is the process by which all living things have developed from primitive organisms through changes occurring over billions of years, a process that includes all animals and plants. Exactly how evolution occurs is still a matter of debate, but there are many different theories and that it occurs is a scientific fact. Biologists agree that all living things come through a long history of changes shaped by physical and chemical processes that are still taking place. It is possible that all organisms can be traced back to the origin of Life from one celled organims. Human evolution is one of the most looked at aspects of anthropology. To figure out how humans can adapt and develop there are many aspects that must be looked at, these aspects of evolution are called lines evidence of evolution, which deal with the physical and biological aspects of humans. These lines of evidence are the main things that are studied in order to understand evolution. The lines of evidence that are to be reviewed in this paper are Comparative anatomy, biogeography, molecular evolution, and fossil evidence.

The first and line of evidence is the aspect of comparative anatomy. The study of comparative anatomy predates the modern study of evolution. Early evolutionary scientists like “Buffon and Lamarck”(O’Neil, pre Darwinian theories) used comparative anatomy to determine relationships between species. Organisms with similar structures, they argued, must have gained these traits from a common ancestor. Today, comparative anatomy can serve as the first line of reasoning in determining the relatedness of species. Species can be related by determining if it has a comparative structure with another species. These comparisons can be one of three types, these being homologous, analogous or vestigial structures. A homologous structure is a part of the body that has the same origin and structure, but may have a different function for different animals. For example the limbs of an...
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