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Chapter

Cover Evolution

Mutation and Variation  

This chapter explores mutation and variation under the context of inheritance. It highlights how genetics offers a vast trove of information about the history of life on Earth and the evolutionary factors acting on living species. The replication of DNA is an exquisitely precise affair, but errors can still be made which make mutations the ultimate source of genetic variation in all organisms. Generally, mutations come in various forms and these differ in how much of a genome they affect. Some species have mechanisms that contribute to inheritance and play a role in evolution regardless of genetics.

Chapter

Cover Evolution

What’s the Evidence?  

This chapter examines the evidence for evolution that we can see through looking at fossils, anatomy, biochemistry, ecological genetics, and genomics. Fossils are the most familiar evidence for evolution since they gave proof of life in the past geological ages. Anatomy studies the structure of living organisms and its comparison to other groups of organisms gives clues to evolutionary relationships. The science of biochemistry depends on the development of tools and techniques that spark new insights into the natural world. Genomics, on the other hand, showcases the formation of species such as DNA. The chapter also gives an overview of developmental biology which capitalizes on the emergence of genomics.

Book

Cover Evolution

Douglas J. Futuyma and Mark Kirkpatrick

Evolution offers expertise in evolutionary genetics and genomics, the fastest-developing area of evolutionary biology. The text emphasizes the interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses, thus acquainting readers with the process of science. It addresses major themes — including the history of evolution, human evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory framework. In addition, it examines levels of biological organization ranging from genomes to ecological communities.

Chapter

Cover Evolution

The Evolution of the Theory: Changing Views  

This chapter discusses the changing views into the development of an evolution theory. Modern Synthesis is a set of tools for thinking which builds a model of the evolving living world. Modern Synthesis emerged from the re-interpretation of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species following the re-discovery of Gregor Mendel's work on genetics and the establishment of August Weismann's cell theory. The chapter notes how natural selection is known to be the main driver of evolutionary change, which is observed through the shifts in allele frequencies in populations. Additionally, behavioural systems, symbolic systems, and epigenetics help explain evolution theory.