What is evolution? Over time, through millions of years plants and animals have changed over time, in order to increase their chances of survival
as well as to adapt to their environment. Evolution doesn’t happen overnight, in a couple of days, weeks, months, or years. It is a slow process that takes a very long time to notice. “The word evolution can be used in many ways, but in biology, it means descent with modification. In other words, small modifications that occur at the genetic level (within the DNA) when a new generation descends from an ancestral population of individuals within a given species”. (strangescience.net, 2014) Over time the modifications fundamentally alter the characteristics of the whole population. When the population accumulates a substantial number of changes and conditions are right, a new species may appear. The main principle of evolutionary theory is that all living things including humans are related to one another through a common ancestor from earlier forms of life about 3.85 million years ago.
Charles Darwin an English naturalist and geologist, was best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors. “The term "natural selection" was popularized by Charles Darwin who intended it to be compared with artificial selection, now more commonly referred to as selective breeding”. (Wikipedia, 2014) While in the Galapagos Islands while on “the voyage of the beagle”, Charles Darwin discovered finches that where the same species, yet depending on their environment had different types of beaks. “In 1859, he set out his theory of evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation. He defined natural selection as the "principle by which each slight variation (of a trait), if useful, is preserved". (Wikipedia, 2014) The concept was quite simple, the individuals that best adapted to their environments are most likely to survive and reproduce. If the traits which have helped to survive are inherited, that leads to a progressive evolution of particular populations of a species, and populations that evolve to be sufficiently different eventually become different species. For example, a group of beetles that live on a black sand environment are being picked off by birds. There are a few variations between the beetles; there are light as well as dark beetles. The light ones are seen much easier and are the ones being picked off, as the black less-visible ones have a much higher chance of survival are the ones who are able to survive in that environment. As years go by, the light beetles slowly become extinct in that particular environment and the darker ones through inheritance have evolved through natural selection and are able to survive.
Fossil records can show proof of evolution in every living species, and how they change slowly over time, but there is a problem. There just isn’t enough fossil record evidence to show the relationship between the two “Charles Darwin”. (http://darwin200.christs.cam.ac.uk/ , 2014) Evolution occurs in many ways, one being Natural Selection, but there is a lack of fossil evidence to prove of this. (http://www.ooblick.com/, 2014) “The history of life on Earth is recorded in sediments and rocks as fossil remains. When fossils are considered in the context of geological history, scientists can begin to describe the changes in organisms that have taken place over vast expanses of time. Here we'll explore how fossils form, how they are prepared, and what they can tell us about life on earth, past and present.” (http://animals.about.com/, 2014) That being said, clearly Natural Selection should show in fossil records and may do so, over time. For example, the finches Charles Darwin explored in the Galapagos, through natural selection and evolution over time the species evolved to best survive in their environment. It may take years, but I...
References: 1. http://www.strangescience.net/evolution.htm. © 2007-2014 by Michon Scott - Updated March 27, 2014.
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_anatomy. Updated February 22, 2014.
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