There are dozens of theories to be had on evolution and its existence. However, there are far fewer about the rate of evolution and how this came to be. Specifically two theories have been created throughout the centuries by some of the greatest scientists of all time, Charles Darwin and Eldridge & Gould. In his Origin of Species, Charles Darwin theorized of the idea of phyletic gradualism, a rate of evolution focused on the slow change of species over long periods of time. Eldridge and Gould, however, proposed an opposing theory in which evolution happens in a quick burst followed by long amounts of relative stasis known as, punctuated equilibrium.
In his theory on phyletic gradualism Darwin claims that most change is due to the accumulation of small adaptations or mutations over time as a way of explaining the evolution of species. This idea stemmed from his theories on natural selection which in and of itself is a driving force behind this change. In this theory the species on a whole evolves as a constant occurrence so as for an entire species to become anew over long amounts of time. In an essay comparing phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium the author describes the characteristics of phyletic gradualism as, Natural selection gradually changes the average features of a species by preferentially removing less fit individuals from the breeding stock.
[...] (1978). Evolution: Continuous Changes in Life . In H. L. Levin, The Earth Through Time (p. 139). Philidelphia: Saunders. Luskin, C. (2004, September 14). Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record. Retrieved January from Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center: http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1232 Punctuated Equilibrium. (n.d.). [...]
[...] In said essay Casey Luskin writes, “However, Darwin recognized that the fossil record did not contain fossils of these "intermediate" forms of life To be sure, it should be acknowledged from the outset that there are various fossils evolutionists have claimed are examples of intermediates, including Acanthostega(an amphibian), Archaeopteryx bird), and Ambulocetus land mammal)”. (Luskin, 2004). Such evidence of lack of intermediate or evolving life forms in the fossil record display clearly a loss of short amounts of time through which great changes in species and organisms occurred. Thus these missing links are evidence in and of themselves of the existence of punctuated equilibrium. So how do we know this long history of life we so theorize about every actually existed? [...]
[...] Both were created by scientists at the forefronts of their field and have evidence that attests to their existence in the layers of our earth. While we cannot distinctly say either are right or wrong we can look and apply them to our future of evolution to see where we one day may end up. One thing is certain, however, we are constantly changing and evolving and one day, we will be those fossils in the rock layer and someone else will be wondering about us. REFERENCES Evolution and the Fossil Record. (n.d.). Retrieved January from Geology-West Virginia University: www.geo.wvu.edu/~kammer/g231/evollec.pdf Levin, H. L. [...]
[...] Evolution and its theories There are dozens of theories to be had on evolution and its existence. However, there are far fewer about the rate of evolution and how this came to be. Specifically two theories have been created throughout the centuries by some of the greatest scientists of all time, Charles Darwin and Eldridge & Gould. In his Origin of Species, Charles Darwin theorized of the idea of phyletic gradualism, a rate of evolution focused on the slow change of species over long periods of time. [...]
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