We explain what evolution is and what the theories on the development of species according to Darwin and religion, among others, consist of.
What is Evolution?
The concept of evolution refers to the change of condition that gives rise to a new form of a particular object of study or analysis. It is important to note that evolutions are gradual processes, changes that occur gradually and can only be observed over time.
The term evolution has its most basic use in biology, in particular, to refer to the emergence of the species that inhabit the world. Still, it also has complementary services in other sciences.
Biological evolution is produced by modifying the genetic composition derived from the need to adapt to the environment where living beings live. All natural species have had changes, and those that have not been able to carry out these processes have become extinct.
This evolutionary process began in the primitive sea, where the first life was generated. From there, the molecular compositions were altered, preserving certain similarities that allow us to account for the complete evolutionary chain.
What are the theories that explain evolution?
Man has faced this evolution differently to explain it in a way that fits his interpretation of the world. Let’s look at some theories that have been more or less accepted within societies:
- Theory of acquired characteristics. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck assumed that the characteristics acquired throughout the existence of an individual would also be characteristics of his offspring, giving a vital role to what we know as heredity. As in the case of the first giraffes stretching their necks to get food, the habit ends up predominating in the entire species.
- Mutation theory. Gregor Mendel proposed a solid idea regarding this inheritance, differentiating recessive from dominant genes. This is how the concept of mutations began to take hold. This term refers to the permanent changes in the genetic material of a cell, which can occur due to the action of mutagenic agents or due to errors in the copying of the genetic material during cell division processes.
- Mutations were believed to introduce new species, the definitive evolution source.
Religion. Religion has for centuries had a position against all evolutionary theories. The first response has always been creationism, the direct interpretation of the Bible that explains the origin of species through God or a similar figure who creates them. With time and the growing evidence for evolution, religious scientists moved away from this categorically creationist doctrine.
- Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The theory that obtained the most consensus within the scientific community was that of Charles Darwin. He speaks of natural selection among living organisms since most fail to survive. The consequences of this selection are adaptation, diversification and a constant struggle of species in which only the strongest will survive. This position was later complemented by Wallace, who raised the issue of the dynamics of these changes and the common ancestor of all species. The combination of these two positions is, without a doubt, the one agreed upon by the majority of the scientific community today due to how complete it explains the processes that all species went through.
In the case of the human race, there is an evolutionary chain that begins, it is believed, more than 5 million years ago with Australopithecus and a series of hominids that gradually abandoned the characteristics of the monkey and took on those of the human being ( species known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens).
The term was extrapolated, and evolution is spoken of to refer to other things that are not limited to the biological, among which are physics (which describes the movement of an object as the evolution in time of its place in space), psychology (which believes that evolution is the change in behaviour or attitude) or epistemology (which attributes the concept to transformations in theories or ideas).