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natural selection and the effects of environmental change

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Introduction

Natural Selection and the Effects of Environmental Change Human beings-as is every form of life on Earth-are the product of millions of years of random, unintentional mutations to the DNA of, at every stage, a less complex and more poorly suited organism. It is a process whereby something of low entropy keeps decreasing; whereas in the physical world, the general rule is the opposite, and things become less ordered as time unfolds, increasing in entropy1. There exists many qualms as to the origin of life on Earth, how it got here in the first place being the question scientists fail currently to categorically answer. But the defiant achievement to be even at the starting line is just the first improbable event (although a different topic to evolution) that allows such biodiversity, immensely complex structures such as the human brain (the most complex structure, in the universe, known to man) and a universal law, describing how every known organism got to the state it is at, to even exist at all, let only be, via completely unconscious mutations to DNA (a nucleic acid), malleable to its environment. The theory of evolution began with the work of an Austrian born scientist, whom used the freedom of being a monk to carry out genetic research in plants. His work provided the means to eliminate the idea of blending inheritance (this theory possessed flaws that simply don?t match reality, such as the differentiation in human, say, height, would gradually decrease, thus ...read more.

Middle

The fish with 2 useable eyes can thus see more and in this case gain an advantage as they may see a predator to hide from, or see some food as they have +50% extra vision. This is the stage where the random DNA mutation has happened and the process of natural selection is not random. Darwinian evolution often faces sceptics for many reason, maybe the person doesn?t truly understand it, probably because it is so simple, yet it explains a world of such extensive complexity. In fact Richard Dawkins, now a strong advocate for evolution, admits that as a child he found it difficult to accept, to such an extent he was actually religious. Because of its apparent difficulty to understand many people settle for the easily comprehendible bronze age and pre-medieval (and many other stories originating from other cultures and tribes) myths and legends that appeal to people as they are intuitive (and comforting as it states their life was started and is guarded by a principle everybody can relate to, human beings), whereas Darwinian evolutions is famously and excellently counter-intuitive, as is most genius explanations of the world. Here, Quantum Mechanics, Einstein?s theories of relativity and QED spring to mind. Misunderstandings of the Theory of evolution How can the world?s life exist solely by chance? This is often considered a reasonable argument, but the fact is something as complex as an eye didn?t (and has never been argued by any scientist) ...read more.

Conclusion

The theory of evolution explains how animals seem to, so perfectly suit their environment, as if they were designed. Appendix An excellent analogy of entropy, albeit, completely unrelated to evolution, is in the BBC, Wonders of the Universe, where Professor Brian Cox uses the idea of a sand castle, subject to the desert winds, and how it, most probably will be blown away into a sand pile. As mentioned, the origin of life to begin with is unanswered, and argued about, and also provides creationists and gap in science to worship, but one of the most likely beginnings of life is that, about 4.5 billion years ago, pools of ?primordial soup?(-Stephen Hawking) gave rises to life by chance. Literally as the molecules of amino acids (the building blocks of life) collided with each other, over an estimated period of millions of years they gave rise to the most basic for of life we could imagine, less complex, in fact, than a bacteria cell (the argument of how improbable this is, is dealt with later through the use of astronomically large numbers and statistics) . Once DNA existed, evolution can take over, in a surprisingly simple and not so improbable manner. I got this example from a clip of Richard Dawkins (and in this link David Attenborough) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=497ALUtMC6E. ?can we doubt... that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind??- Charles Darwin. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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Although the key ideas about evolution through natural selection are covered in this essay it could be structured much better. Sometimes language is used carelessly and ideas could be presented more effectively and more clearly by using more scientific terms. Some sections would benefit from greater attention to detail and more thorough explanations.

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Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 25/10/2014

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