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Evidence for Evolution

  Biodiversity and biogeography | Comparative anatomy and development | Fossil record | Molecular biology and genetics

The extensive evidence in support of both fact and theory of evolution comes primarily from studies of the fossil record, molecular sequences, and comparative anatomy. Here you'll find some pivotal resources, on the Web and in books and articles, that summarize the intersecting and overlapping lines of evidence for evolution.


Featured Multimedia Resources
Riddle of the BonesRiddle of the Bones Piece together clues to how one of our early ancestors looked as you examine images from four significant fossil finds of A. afarensis.

Resource Type: Web Activity

Biogeography: Polar Bears and PenguinsBiogeography: Polar Bears and Penguins The north and south polar regions of Earth are inhabited by very different organisms. Why are there no polar bears in the Antarctic, and no penguins in the Arctic?

Resource Type: Image

Evolution of the EyeEvolution of the Eye Zoologist Dan Erik Nilsson demonstrates how the complex human eye could have evolved from simple light-sensitive cells. From Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea."

Resource Type: Video
Length: 4 min, 8 sec


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Biogeography: Polar Bears and Penguins

Biogeography: Polar Bears and Penguins
The north and south polar regions of Earth are inhabited by very different organisms. Why are there no polar bears in the Antarctic, and no penguins in the Arctic?

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Graphic

Evidence for Evolution


Island Biogeography: ecology, evolution, and conservation

Island Biogeography: ecology, evolution, and conservation
This textbook synopsis provides a condensed introduction to the field of biogeography. Hosted by the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution

Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution
This site explains how fossil, molecular, biogeographic, and comparative anatomical studies provide evidence for evolution. The illustrations must be loaded individually, but are worth the trouble. Hosted by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence

Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence
In this article, author P. Wesley Edwards discusses the gamut of evidence for evolution, showing converging lines of evidence from the fields of paleontology, biogeography, molecular biology, embryology, and comparative anatomy. Hosted by the Freethought Debater.

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Evidence for Evolution


Island Biogeography and Evolution

Island Biogeography and Evolution
In this activity, high school students perform biogeographic analysis to infer the evolutionary history of a group of three lizard species in the Canary Islands. Teacher instructions and a variety of possible outcomes of the activity are included. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


Observed Instances of Speciation

Observed Instances of Speciation
This Talk.Origins discussion begins with a clear and thorough explanation of the difficulties of the species concept, then moves on to review the extensive primary literature (to 1995), organized by speciation mechanism. The bibliography is enormous. Hosted by Talk.Origins.

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Evidence for Evolution


On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species

On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species
This 1855 text, written at Sarawak in Borneo, represents Wallace's early thinking on the origin of species, pre-natural selection. Hosted by Western Kentucky University.

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Evidence for Evolution


On the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago

On the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago
In this 1859 manuscript, Wallace details the geographical placement of various groups of animals in the archipelago and pinpoints the location of the dividing line, now called "Wallace's Line," dividing Eurasian and Australasian fauna. Hosted by Western Kentucky University.

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Evidence for Evolution


Speciation

Speciation
This site provides a clear explanation for how three basic evolutionary mechanisms -- sympatric, allopatric, and parapatric speciation -- work. Hosted by the University of Miami.

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Evidence for Evolution


Species, Speciation and the Environment

Species, Speciation and the Environment
In this article, paleontologist Niles Eldredge chronicles the history of the study of speciation, highlighting the notion of punctuated equilibrium. The links and bibliography can take you to additional useful information on the topic of species and speciation. Hosted by actionbioscience.org.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography

The Evidence for Evolution: Biogeography
This site explains how the biogeography of organisms, which keeps closely related species in fairly close proximity, provides further evidence for evolution. The role of plate tectonics in determining geographic locations of organisms is also discussed. Hosted by Nova Southeastern University.

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Evidence for Evolution


Biodiversity is a Guarantee of Evolution

Biodiversity is a Guarantee of Evolution
This transcript of an interview with Nobel Prize-winning microbiologist Werner Arber reveals his opinions about the origins of biodiversity and its evolutionary and ecological consequences. By Serafin Garcia Ibanez [UNESCO Courier 49 (1996): 4-8].

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Evidence for Evolution


Biogeography

Biogeography
This college-level text provides a thorough introduction to the principles of biogeography, and includes the original map of zoogeographic regions drawn by Alfred Russel Wallace. By James H. Brown and Mark V. Lomolino [Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Crowding Innovation out of Evolution

Crowding Innovation out of Evolution
This "Research News" article examines the theory that evolution produces some threshold level of biodiversity and then diversification levels off as all the available "ecospace" gets filled. By Richard A. Kerr [Science 266 (1994): 1163-1167].

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Evidence for Evolution


Early Cambrian Paleogeography and Tectonic History: A Biogeographic Approach

Early Cambrian Paleogeography and Tectonic History: A Biogeographic Approach
This analysis shows how biogeographical and geophysical studies can inform each other, using the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia during the early Cambrian as a case in point. By Bruce S. Lierberman [Geology 25 (1997): 1039-1043].

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Evidence for Evolution


Early Hominid Biogeography

Early Hominid Biogeography
This paper compares hypothetical biogeographical patterns of primitive hominids with known dispersal patterns of Plio-Pleistocene African mammals. By David S. Strait and Bernard A. Wood [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96 (1999): 9196-9201].

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Evidence for Evolution


Endless Forms: Species and Speciation

Endless Forms: Species and Speciation
This book contains up-to-date information about species concepts, speciation modes, reproductive isolating mechanisms, and hybridization. Edited by Daniel J. Howard and Stewart H. Berlocher [Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution on Islands

Evolution on Islands
Intended for an advanced scientific audience, this book provides an introduction to the field of island biogeography and individual chapters detailing biogeographical studies of plants and animals. Speciation receives much attention, and the bibliography is extensive. Edited by Peter R. Grant [New York: Oxford University Press, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Genes, Peoples and Languages

Genes, Peoples and Languages
In this book, the author explains the historical spread of genes, peoples, cultures, and languages through Europe in the past 5,000 years, based on genetic, anthropological, and biogeographic evidence. By Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza [Translated by Mark Seielstad. New York: North Point Press, 2000].

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Evidence for Evolution


Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
This book is a biogeography of diseases, culture, and historical development. By Jared Diamond [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1997].

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Evidence for Evolution


Populations, Species, and Evolution

Populations, Species, and Evolution
The abridged version of the classic 1963 text Animal Species and Evolution explains the biological species concept in the context of animal evolution. By Ernst Mayr [Cambridge: Belknap, Harvard University Press, 1970].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Beak of the Finch

The Beak of the Finch
This book is a beautifully written chronicle of more than three decades of study of evolution observed firsthand among the Galapagos finches. By Jonathan Weiner [New York: Vintage Books, 1999].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Geographical Distribution of Animals

The Geographical Distribution of Animals
This enormous two-volume text essentially explains "what lives where and why," based on Wallace's developing tenets of zoogeography. By Alfred Russel Wallace [New York: Harper, 1876].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Origin and Function of Biodiversity

The Origin and Function of Biodiversity
In this scientific paper, the author explains how biodiversity originates, evolves, and becomes extinct. In addition, he discusses the importance of biodiversity to an ecosystem's ability to adapt to environmental change. By O.T. Solbrig [Environment 33 (1991): 16-26].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions

The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
In this book, the author explores current patterns of extinction, and why they are happening, in the context of island biogeography. By David Quammen [New York: Scribner, 1996].

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Evidence for Evolution


Variation and Evolution in Plants

Variation and Evolution in Plants
This classic work explains classification of plant species, many of which do not conform to the biological species definition, and how speciation occurs among plants. By G. Ledyard Stebbins [New York: Columbia University Press, 1950].

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Evidence for Evolution


Vent Fauna and Plate Tectonics

Vent Fauna and Plate Tectonics
This short paper discusses the relationship between current biogeographies of hydrothermal vent communities and past configurations of Earth's tectonic plates. By Laura Garwin [Nature 379 (1996): 492].

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Evidence for Evolution

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Evolution of the Eye

Evolution of the Eye
Zoologist Dan Erik Nilsson demonstrates how the complex human eye could have evolved from simple light-sensitive cells. From Evolution: "Darwin's Dangerous Idea."

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Evidence for Evolution


Common Past, Different Paths

Common Past, Different Paths
This time-lapse microphotography of developing embryos shows the common ancestry of all vertebrates. Footage from NOVA: "Odyssey of Life."

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Evidence for Evolution


Tetrapod Limbs

Tetrapod Limbs
This illustration shows the remarkable similarities between the bones in the forelimbs of various tetrapods, all of whose limbs serve very different functions.

Image

Graphic

Evidence for Evolution


Comparative Embryology: The Vertebrate Body

Comparative Embryology: The Vertebrate Body
Developing embryos of five species are illustrated in this graphic. The accompanying article discusses the similarities and differences between the embryos at various stages of development.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm

The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm
In this full-text article from the 1979 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin present their well-supported, though still controversial, argument against the notion that all phenotypic traits are adaptations. Hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Evidence for Evolution


Adaptive Compromises & Imperfections: Primate Pelves: Birth Problems in Humans

Adaptive Compromises & Imperfections: Primate Pelves: Birth Problems in Humans
This series of sketches shows the relative sizes of primate newborns and the adult female pelvis, revealing the mismatch that occurs in humans. As the human brain has increased in size, the pelvic opening has not kept pace. Hosted by ENSI.

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Evidence for Evolution


Adaptive Compromises & Imperfections: Where Airways and Foodways Cross: Choking

Adaptive Compromises & Imperfections: Where Airways and Foodways Cross: Choking
These sketches show how the changed position of the human larynx, relative to that of our closest relative, the chimpanzee, causes a potential choking hazard during eating. Hosted by ENSI.

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Evidence for Evolution


Darwin's Evidence: Rudimentary Organs

Darwin's Evidence: Rudimentary Organs
These lecture notes, from a New York University course on evolutionary biology, provide a brief overview of the scientific argument that rudimentary structures reveal the evolutionary history of an organism.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence for Jury-Rigged Design in Nature

Evidence for Jury-Rigged Design in Nature
This article explains how phenotypic constraints can be imposed by the evolutionary history (phylogeny) of a species. After the introduction, there are lists of examples of these "maladapted" organisms and descriptions of the elaborate tactics some must employ to get around their handicaps. Hosted by Talk.Origins.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution

Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution
This site explains how fossil, molecular, biogeographic, and comparative anatomical studies provide evidence for evolution. The illustrations must be loaded individually, but are worth the trouble. Hosted by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence

Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence
In this article, author P. Wesley Edwards discusses the gamut of evidence for evolution, showing converging lines of evidence from the fields of paleontology, biogeography, molecular biology, embryology, and comparative anatomy. Hosted by the Freethought Debater.

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Evidence for Evolution


Eye-opening Gene

Eye-opening Gene
This article summarizes the new findings that challenge the traditional view that eyes have evolved independently in many animal lineages and includes a very focused bibliography of additional references. Hosted by Science News Online.

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Evidence for Evolution


Irish Elk Antlers

Irish Elk Antlers
This site describes and shows fossil images of the extinct Irish elk, whose immense antlers are thought to have been a product of sexual selection. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


Journey into Phylogenetic Systematics

Journey into Phylogenetic Systematics
This site thoroughly and clearly presents the purpose, methodology, and implications of cladistic systematics, which seeks to organize living things by their evolutionary relationships. Also included is an exceptionally useful glossary of phylogenetic terms. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


Mimicry

Mimicry
This page offers succinct explanations of the three types of mimicry: Batesian, Mullerian, and aggressive. By M.Tevfik Dorak.

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Evidence for Evolution


Phylogeny of Life

Phylogeny of Life
This site showcases the diversity of life, organized by evolutionary relationships. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


Some Adaptations & Imperfections

Some Adaptations & Imperfections
Suitable for the high school level and up, this table lists a variety of unusual features found in humans and other animals, and asks you to determine which are vestigial, contrivances, atavisms, and adaptations. Hosted by ENSI.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Evidence for Evolution: Comparative Anatomy and Embryos

The Evidence for Evolution: Comparative Anatomy and Embryos
This site explores Darwin's idea of descent with modification, which leaves behind structural similarities in related descendants. Whether comparing embryos or adults, such homologous structures indicate evolution from a common ancestor. Hosted by Nova Southeastern University.

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Evidence for Evolution


Climbing Mount Improbable

Climbing Mount Improbable
In this book, the author provides a comprehensive account explaining that evolution occurs as a result of many small steps of change. Readers will also find elaborate discussions of the evolution of such things as spider webs, flight adaptations, and dozens of independently evolved eyes. By Richard Dawkins [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996].

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Evidence for Evolution


Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches

Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches
This classic book details the findings of Peter and Rosemary Grant, who made firsthand observations of the evolution of Darwin's finches on the Galapagos Islands. By Peter Grant [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986].

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution and Tinkering

Evolution and Tinkering
In this paper, the author explains how evolution progresses by modification of existing structures, which causes some less-than-optimal designs. By Francois Jacob [Science 196 (1977): 1161-1166].

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Evidence for Evolution


Exaptation - A Missing Term in the Science of Form

Exaptation - A Missing Term in the Science of Form
In this technical paper, the authors argue that "adaptation" should refer only to features that still hold their original adaptive purpose, while "exaptation" should be used to describe features that originated for another pupose and have been co-opted for their current adaptive function. By Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth S. Vrba [Paleobiology 8 (1982): 4-15].

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Evidence for Evolution


Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes

Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes
In this collection of essays, the author clearly explains how structural and functional limitations, phylogeny, and natural selection together impose design constraints on organisms. These constraints have produced a wide array of less-than-perfect, and sometimes quite bizarre, features. By Stephen Jay Gould [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1983].

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Evidence for Evolution


Homology: The Hierarchical Basis of Comparative Biology

Homology: The Hierarchical Basis of Comparative Biology
Written for an advanced scientific audience, this text explains how the concept of homology is a central theme underlying studies from molecular biology to ethology and evolutionary biology. Edited by Brian K. Hall [San Diego: Academic Press, 1994].

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Evidence for Evolution


Ontogeny and Phylogeny

Ontogeny and Phylogeny
In this book, the author scrutinizes Haeckel's biogenetic law of "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" and reviews the newer well-supported notion of heterochrony among related organisms, even those with a distant common ancestor. By Stephen Jay Gould [Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977].

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Evidence for Evolution


Structural Homologies

Structural Homologies
This video examines a variety of homologous structure in insects, vertebrates, and plants, and explains how homologies can be used to infer common ancestry. Produced and directed by Jack Smith [Princeton, N.J.: Films for the Humanities, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Blind Watchmaker

The Blind Watchmaker
In this book, the author refutes the creationist claim that living things are so complex that they must have been purposefully designed, showing instead that they have been produced by a "blind" watchmaker -- natural selection. By Richard Dawkins [1986. Reprint, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection

The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection
In this book, the author makes a clear, if technical, argument for the evolution of biological complexity among certain groups of organisms, citing design constraints imposed by physical and chemical laws as important drivers of such evolution. By John Tyler Bonner [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History
In this essay, the author describes the anatomy and origin of the panda's thumb, which is not really a thumb at all, as an illustration of how imperfections in design can sometimes offer the best evidence for evolution. By Stephen Jay Gould [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1980].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Shape of Life: Genes, Development, and the Evolution of Animal Form

The Shape of Life: Genes, Development, and the Evolution of Animal Form
Written for an advanced audience, this book explains how genes from primitive ancestors constrains the development of modern animal species. By Rudolf A. Raff [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996].

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Riddle of the Bones

Riddle of the Bones
Piece together clues to how one of our early ancestors looked as you examine images from four significant fossil finds of A. afarensis.

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Evidence for Evolution


Becoming a Fossil

Becoming a Fossil
This video segment describes how the Australopithecus afarensis skeleton known as Lucy could have been fossilized. Footage courtesy of NOVA: "In Search of Human Origins."

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolving Ideas: How Do We Know Evolution Happens?

Evolving Ideas: How Do We Know Evolution Happens?
This video for high school students focuses on one of the several lines of evidence for evolution -- fossils, highlighting the evolution of whales from land-dwelling mammals to the aquatic creatures we know today.

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Evidence for Evolution


Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler: How Fish Came Ashore

Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler: How Fish Came Ashore
In this transcript of an interview filmed for Evolution: "Great Transformations," Neil Shubin and Ted Daeschler describe the transition of vertebrate life from water to land.

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Evidence for Evolution


Ted Daeschler and Neil Shubin: Early Tetrapod Fossils

Ted Daeschler and Neil Shubin: Early Tetrapod Fossils
In this transcript of interview filmed for Evolution: "Great Transformations," Ted Daeschler and Neil Shubin describe the discovery and significance of some of their key fossil finds.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution and the Fossil Record

Evolution and the Fossil Record
Beginning with the evolution of our universe, this book chronicles the origins of life on Earth and subsequent patterns of evolution and extinction, as evidenced by the fossil and geologic records. By Keith Allen and Derek Biggs [Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990].

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Evidence for Evolution


Accuracy of Fossils and Dating Techniques

Accuracy of Fossils and Dating Techniques
This article summarizes and aims to debunk some creationist claims about the fossil record and then provides a simple explanation of absolute and relative dating methods used to date fossils. Hosted by Actionbioscience.org.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence of Evolutionary Transitions

Evidence of Evolutionary Transitions
At this site, vertebrate paleontologist Michael Benton describes two missing links: the one between reptiles and birds, and the many steps between reptiles and mammals. Hosted by Actionbioscience.org.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution

Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution
This site explains how fossil, molecular, biogeographic, and comparative anatomical studies provide evidence for evolution. The illustrations must be loaded individually, but are worth the trouble. Hosted by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence

Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence
In article, author P. Wesley Edwards discusses the gamut of evidence for evolution, showing converging lines of evidence from the fields of paleontology, biogeography, molecular biology, embryology, and comparative anatomy. Hosted by the Freethought Debater.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution: Fact and Theory

Evolution: Fact and Theory
This article succinctly describes the patterns in nature that evolutionary theory seeks to explain, plus known mechanisms of evolution and lines of evidence that evolution is a fact. At the end, you'll find links to information on a wide variety of related topics. Hosted by Actionbioscience.org.

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Evidence for Evolution


Introduction to the Cetacea: Whales and Dolphins

Introduction to the Cetacea: Whales and Dolphins
This site contains an article that looks at the evolution of the ancestors of today's whales and dolphins, written by paleoantologist Dr. Hans Thewissen. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


Learning from the Fossil Record

Learning from the Fossil Record
This in-depth site is an interesting source of articles about fossils, phylogenetics, and much more. Hosted by University of California Museum of Paleontology.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Evidence for Evolution: The Fossil Record

The Evidence for Evolution: The Fossil Record
This site describes and visually depicts the major types of fossils and explains the processes by which they form. Hosted by Nova Southeastern University.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Geologic Time Scale

The Geologic Time Scale
This site contains a summary of the geological time scale, with links to the organization's online publication Geologic Time and a guide to the major fossil groups. Hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Record of Time

The Record of Time
This site contains a tutorial on fossil formation and dating techniques. Hosted by Palomar College.

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Evidence for Evolution


Time Machine

Time Machine
This site helps students understand deep time with the ENSI "Time Machine" lesson.

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Evidence for Evolution


Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ

Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ
For students of paleontology and evolutionary biology, the site contains an extensive bibliography of mainly primary literature. Also included is a massive manuscript describing an impressive array of transitional vertebrate species, as known from the fossil record. Hosted by Talk.Origins.

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Evidence for Evolution


Whale Origins

Whale Origins
This site contains some best guesses about the origin of whales. Links lead to more information about each of the six groups of archaeocetes, or "old whales." Hosted by the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.

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What does the fossil record tell us about evolution?

What does the fossil record tell us about evolution?
This site explains how the fossil record alone provides sufficient evidence for evolution and provides links to other FAQs on related subjects. The Evolution sites are placed within the larger Agnosticism/Atheism topic, which will cause many to bristle, but the information is accurate. Hosted by About.com

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Evidence for Evolution


Zoom Dinosaurs

Zoom Dinosaurs
This site contains a comprehesive look at fossils, including fossilization, dating of fossils, and fossils found on all the continents. Hosted by EnchantedLearning.com.

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Evidence for Evolution


Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism

Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism
In this thoroughly logical and clearly written book, the author disassembles one inconsistent creationist argument after another, leaving in each one's place a clear summary of the scientific evidence for evolution. Evidence comes from a variety of sources, including the fossil record. By Philip Kitcher [Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983].

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Evidence for Evolution


Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
This book contains hundreds of articles on many dinosaur-related topics. Edited by Kevin Padian and P.J. Currie [San Diego: Academic Press, 1997].

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolutionary Biology, 3rd ed.

Evolutionary Biology, 3rd ed.
An excellent college-level textbook for the serious student of modern evolutionary theory. Chapter 6 deals with fossil evidence of evolution. Chapter 22 discusses evolution at the level of the gene. By Douglas J. Futuyma [Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution

Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution
In this book, the author neatly summarizes major elements of evolutionary theory and attempts to reconcile a belief in God and an acceptance of evolution. By Kenneth R. Miller [New York: Cliff Street Books, 2000].

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Evidence for Evolution


Genetics and the Origin of Species

Genetics and the Origin of Species
This influential work provides an exceptionally clear, though technical, synthesis of the early theory of population genetics, along with data showing genetic differences between species. The book provided evidence for the genetic basis of evolution. By Theodosius Dobzhansky [New York: Columbia University Press, 1937].

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Evidence for Evolution


Hooking Leviathan by its Past

Hooking Leviathan by its Past
This article clearly presents the fossil discoveries which have built an increasingly convincing case that whales evolved from land-based species. By Stephen Jay Gould [Natural History, May 1994].

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Evidence for Evolution


Human Origins: The Fossil Record, 3rd ed.

Human Origins: The Fossil Record, 3rd ed.
This pictorial guide provides illustrations of each of the major steps in human evolution. Accompanying each image is general information about the specimen plus its approximate age and geographical location. By Clark Spencer Larsen, Robert M. Matter, and Daniel L. Gebo [Prospect Heights, Ill.: Waveland Press, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Lessons from the Past: Biotic Recoveries from Mass Extinctions

Lessons from the Past: Biotic Recoveries from Mass Extinctions
This review paper discusses the effects of mass extinctions on macroevolution. According to fossil evidence, it seems that extinctions create evolutionary opportunities for biodiversity "rebounds" by clearing niches for new species. By Douglas H. Erwin [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98 (2001): 5399-5404].

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Evidence for Evolution


Once We Were Not Alone

Once We Were Not Alone
This paper discusses the theory that, while only one species of hominids, Homo sapiens, survives today, several hominid species once coexisted. A proposed "family tree" for hominids is given, plus hypothetical locations and reasons for extinction for each species. By Ian Tattersall [Scientific American, January 2000: 56-63].

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Evidence for Evolution


Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution

Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution
Designed as a response to creationism, this book provides students, educators, and general readers with the evidence for evolution, an explanation of evolutionary processes, a refutation of the claims of creationists, and insight into the nature of scientific inquiry. By Douglas J. Futuyma [Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 1995].

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Evidence for Evolution


Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy

Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy
Written for a lay audience, this book explains how evolutionary theory informs philosophical issues such as morality and reasoning. By Michael Ruse [Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years after Simpson

Tempo and Mode in Evolution: Genetics and Paleontology 50 Years after Simpson
This collection of papers focuses on molecular and fossil lines of evidence for evolutionary change. Edited by Walter M. Fitch and Francisco J. Ayala [Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1995].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Book of Life

The Book of Life
This book, which chronologically surveys evolution, includes submissions from renowned experts Jack Sepkoski, Michael Benton, and others. Dynamic illustrations and graphs complement the strong writing. The book will appeal to students and general readers wanting an in-depth review of the history of life. Edited by Stephen Jay Gould [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2001].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Complete Dinosaur

The Complete Dinosaur
This collection of manuscripts by various dinosaur experts is a compendium of all that is currently known about dinosaurs, from their appearance to their extinction, as deduced from fossil evidence. Edited by James O. Farlow and M.K. Brett-Surman [Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1997].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Emergence of Whales: Evolutionary Patterns in the Origin of Cetacea

The Emergence of Whales: Evolutionary Patterns in the Origin of Cetacea
This book, intended for an advanced scientific audience, provides a detailed survey of what is currently known about the evolution of modern whales from a group of terrestrial ungulates. Edited by J.G.M. Thewissen [New York: Plenum Press, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


The End of Evolution

The End of Evolution
In this book, a geologist describes investigations of the fossil evidence that two major mass extinction events have occurred on Earth, then convincingly argues that humans are currently causing the third mass extinction. By Peter Douglas Ward [New York: Bantam Books, 1994].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Origin of Birds and the Evolution of Flight

The Origin of Birds and the Evolution of Flight
This article examines the extensive and compelling evidence supporting the hypothesis that birds are living dinosaurs whose adaptations for flight began as adaptations for hunting. By K. Padian and L. Chiappe [Scientific American, February 1998, 38-47].

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Evidence for Evolution


Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
In this book, the author describes the discovery and analysis of the fossils of the Burgess Shale and shares his belief that the history of life is not a gradual progression toward a higher end; instead, he suggests chance and contingency play a greater role in determining extinction and survival of life on Earth. By Stephen Jay Gould [New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1981].

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Type

Format

Topics Covered


The Common Genetic Code

The Common Genetic Code
Paul Nurse describes his research that showed that humans share some genes with organisms as different from us as simple brewer's yeast. Footage from Secret of Life: "Immortal Thread."

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Evidence for Evolution


Matt Scott: Molecular Architects

Matt Scott: Molecular Architects
In this transcript of an interview filmed for Evolution: "Great Transformations," Matt Scott describes the process and implications for finding genes that control animal development.

Interview

Text

Evidence for Evolution


Mike Levine: Basic Body Plans

Mike Levine: Basic Body Plans
In this interview filmed for Evolution: "Great Transformations," molecular biologist Mike Levine describes his work with homeotic genes in embryonic development.

Interview

Text

Evidence for Evolution


Walter Gehring: Master Control Genes and the Evolution of the Eye

Walter Gehring: Master Control Genes and the Evolution of the Eye
In his interview filmed for Evolution: "Great Transformations," Professor Walter Gehring describes the evoluton of the eye and his research into the genetic switch that controls their formation.

Interview

Text

Evidence for Evolution


Birds and DNA

Birds and DNA
Using photos of a variety of bird species, this site explains how grouping organisms on the basis of appearance can lead to errors in phylogenetic determination, while groupings based on DNA sequence analysis can "see past" convergently evolved morphologies to give accurate phylogenies. Hosted by Museum Victoria.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution

Evidence Supporting Biological Evolution
This site explains how fossil, molecular, biogeographic, and comparative anatomical studies provide evidence for evolution. The illustrations must be loaded individually, but are worth the trouble. Hosted by the National Academy of Sciences.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence

Evolution: Converging Lines of Evidence
In this article, author P. Wesley Edwards discusses the gamut of evidence for evolution, showing converging lines of evidence from the fields of paleontology, biogeography, molecular biology, embryology, and comparative anatomy. Hosted by the Freethought Debater.

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Evidence for Evolution


Fossils cast doubt on Molecular Clock

Fossils cast doubt on Molecular Clock
This summary of an original scientific paper questions the concept of the so-called "molecular clock" used to calculate how long ago two or more species diverged, based on conflicting fossil evidence. Hosted by the Australian Broadcasing Company, News in Science.

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Evidence for Evolution


Miracles and Molecules

Miracles and Molecules
In this critical review of Michael Behe's book Darwin's Black Box, evolutionary biologist Dr. Doug Futuyma explains that the findings of molecular biology have provided additional, and exceptionally strong, evidence for evolution. Several example molecules are discussed. Hosted by the Boston Review at MIT.

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Evidence for Evolution


The Molecular Anatomy of an Ancient Adaptive Event

The Molecular Anatomy of an Ancient Adaptive Event
This article explains how molecular phylogenetic and other biochemical techniques were used to determine that one key enzyme evolved into two distinct forms billions of years ago. Hosted by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

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Evidence for Evolution


Evolution and the Myth of Creationism

Evolution and the Myth of Creationism
This book provides a thorough yet clearly written explanation of the various lines of evidence for evolution. By Tim N. Berra [Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999].

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Homeobox Genes, Fossils and the Origin of Species

Homeobox Genes, Fossils and the Origin of Species
In this technical paper, the author proposes a new model of evolutionary change to explain the sudden appearance of new species in the fossil record. While others, such as Gould, have proposed periods of rapid evolutionary change, the author explains how more gradual molecular changes might lead to speciation "events" in the fossil record. By J.H. Schwartz [Anatomical Record 257 (1999): 15-31].

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Evidence for Evolution


Mitochondrial Pseudogenes: Evolution's Misplaced Witnesses

Mitochondrial Pseudogenes: Evolution's Misplaced Witnesses
Written for an advanced scientific audience, this paper describes Numts (nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA), relics of ancient mitochondrial DNA that provide insights about very primitive phylogenies. By Douda Bensasson, De-Xing Zhang, Daniel L. Hartl, and Godfrey M. Hewitt. [Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 (2001): 314-321].

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Evidence for Evolution


Molecular Evolution and Adaptive Radiation

Molecular Evolution and Adaptive Radiation
Surveying a tremendously diverse variety of organisms, this text explains how molecularly derived phylogenetic trees offer new perspectives on evolutionary relationships between organisms within a lineage. Edited Thomas J. Givnish and Kenneth J. Systma [New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997].

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Evidence for Evolution


Molecular Evolution: Evidence for Monophyly of Metazoa

Molecular Evolution: Evidence for Monophyly of Metazoa
This text, written for an advanced audience, presents recently discovered molecular evidence that indicates that a single protozoan ancestor gave rise to all metazoan animals. Edited by Werner E.G. Muller [New York: Springer Verlag, 1998].

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Evidence for Evolution


Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution

Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution
This book is a valuable treatise on using molecular data as a tool in evolutionary studies, including descriptions of methods. This text also covers evolutionary history and conservation biology. By J.C. Avise [London: Chapman and Hall, 1994].

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Evidence for Evolution


Patterns in Evolution: The New Molecular View

Patterns in Evolution: The New Molecular View
In this book, Lewin, a science journalist, explains how recently developed molecular techniques have provided a new line of evidence for evolutionary studies. By Roger Lewin [New York: Scientific American Library, 1997].

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Evidence for Evolution


The Descent of Birds

The Descent of Birds
This article explores the conflicting views of the evolution of birds. While fossils suggest there were two groups of birds during the Cretaceous period and that only one group survived to give rise to modern birds, molecular evidence indicates that all birds descended from the same common ancestor, a survivor of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. By Carl Zimmer [Discover 16 (1995): 40-42].

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Evidence for Evolution

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