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Evolving evolution - Essay Example

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“Evolving Evolution” by Rosenfield & Ziff (2006) identifies the disparities between traditional Darwinian theory and modern understandings of evolution brought to light through technological and scientific growth. The article conducts a rather in-depth historical progression…
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Evolving Evolution BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE HERE Evolving Evolution Introduction “Evolving Evolution” by Rosenfield & Ziff (2006) identifies the disparities between traditional Darwinian theory and modern understandings of evolution brought to light through technological and scientific growth. The article conducts a rather in-depth historical progression from the time of Darwin into contemporary evolutionary research to help the reader identify with how attitudes and perspectives have changed in evolutionary theory. Many of the critiques regarding Darwin’s stand on evolution are justified through modernization in this field of study
Exploring “Evolving Evolution”
The article offers the three constructs of Darwinian theory that include natural selection, heredity, and variation. Darwin believed that evolution was a gradual process where randomized changes to genetic profiles occurred while the organism sought “favorable variations” (Rosenfield & Ziff, 2006, p.1). Thus, Darwin believed that evolution consisted of unpredictable conditions that would best suit the organism for adaptability to a changing environment. However, advancing researchers such as Mendel began to recognize tangible genetic characteristics in organisms that were directly related to evolutionary changes with a new emphasis on genetic heredity. Not wanting to completely refute Darwin position, a new variation on Darwinian theory known as Modern Synthesis was released in the 1940s that began to recognize genetic importance in evolutionary patterns. Brakefield (2006) refers to the neo-Darwin knowledge of genetics as a catalyst for what Darwin believed as random mutations as genetic morphology, the real constraints on classical natural selection theory.
The article then describes further contemporary knowledge of the nature of the double helix as an explanation of how biological mutations occur, which in this case supported Darwin’s view that evolution occurs over time. The article describes Darwin’s view on the complexity of the eye as a means of describing certain knowledge inconsistencies during Darwin’s time period in an attempt to ascribe eye evolution to his classical view of natural selection. Offers Lamb (2011), a contributor to Scientific American, the eye is often regarded by opponents of evolution as “a system that cannot function in the absence of any of its components and therefore cannot have evolved naturally from a more primitive form”. Darwin, himself, argues that such complexity makes it difficult to support classical evolutionary theory, but acknowledges that elongated periods of time made such adaptations probable under his view of natural selection. In a way, he is logically suggesting that ignorance contributes to this gap in knowledge.

Conclusion
The article continues forward describing modern advancements in genetics and various evolutionary patterns of varying organisms. Largely, the article supports Darwin’s assumptions about evolutionary patterns, but makes acknowledgement that science broadens the classical perspective. This seems to the point of the article: To suggest that Darwin laid the foundation for our current understanding of evolution and that thoughtful scientific studies and analyses, though much more advanced, add clout to many assumptions made by Darwin with a certain level of forgiveness for the lack of tangible research knowledge that existed in his time. The article makes room for further advancements to overshadow existing knowledge, thus placing this generation under the microscope into the future for gaps in knowledge identified by future researchers.
References
Brakefield, Paul M. (2006), Evo-Devo and Constraints on Selection, Institute of Biology –
Leiden University, Retrieved September 16, 2012 from
http://eeb19.biosci.arizona.edu/Faculty/Dornhaus/courses/materials/papers/other/Brakefield%20evo%20devo%20constraints.pdf
Lamb, Trevor D. (2011). Evolution of the Eye [Preview], Scientific American, Retrieved
September 16, 2012 from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=evolution-of-the-eye
Rosenfield, I. & Ziff, E. (2006), Evolving Evolution, The New York Review of Books, Retrieved
September 16, 2012 from http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2006/may/11/evolving-evolution/?pagination=false Read More
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