The Process of Evolution Drives the Diversity of Life

7 July 2016

Evolution, the changing of organisms to better fit their environment, is the driving force in life’s diversity. Though not widely accepted, due to religious beliefs of the origin of life on Earth, evolution is known to many scientists as the most important way to understand biology. According to Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Though this may not technically be true, this broad statement almost underwhelms the importance of evolutionary changes in every organism on the planet. Charles Darwin once said that “ It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

He was one of the first to think this. In fact, Aristotle, one of the most respected philosophers of civilization, believed generally what the Old Testament proposed: organisms alive during his time had been there since the creation of life on Earth. Darwin proposed his theory of evolution after studying the work of paleontologists studying fossils. After studying the erosion of cliffs and the organisms hidden inside them, Darwin began to suppose that slow processes similar to erosion could produce biological change. The idea that evolution completely drives the diversity and unity of life may seem like a big pill to swallow if you don’t completely understand the concept.

The Process of Evolution Drives the Diversity of Life Essay Example

After studying fossils, Charles Darwin began a journey around the world. He compared the fossils of organisms on different continents that had similar appearances and bone structures and noted similar plants. Soon, he began noting animal adaptations and realized that the origins of life could have been related to this process. Darwin eventually concluded that descent with modification by natural selection explained the unity and diversity of life, as well as the match between organisms and their environments. Evolution is one of the most important discoveries in the scientific world, and it truly enlightened us as to how organisms developed to become what they are today.

However, I think what Dobzhansky truly meant by saying, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” was that without Darwin’s theory, we would never have made any true biological progress. Scientists would have gone on thinking that organisms to study would eventually run out. Our progress in the treatment of disease would have been severely damaged because scientists never would have understood how different diseases could adapt to become separate strains. Biology is not only the study of life; it is the study of progress because without the study of life, our civilization would have been doomed from the start.

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