Difference between revisions of "Biological evolution"
(definition, straight from the horse's mouth)
Revision as of 08:34, 10 April 2008
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations. 
Textbook author Douglas J. Futuyma wrote:
- Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions." - Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates (1986)