Introducing Evolution: A Graphic Guide
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Introducing Evolution explores evolutionary theory from its origins to its reception across history and how it has been developed and refined. Drawing on the latest findings from genetics, ecology, and animal behavior, it unravels the central and often misunderstood concepts, notably natural selection and the selfish gene.
biologists classify all living things on earth. The other empire is known as the prokaryotes. Prokaryotes have a very simple cell structure – their cells have no proper nucleus, for example. In eukaryotes, the cell structure is much more complex. The genes are packed away in a central nucleus… And there are lots of other structures outside the nucleus called organelles. In all eukaryotic cells, there are little structures called mitochondria. These provide the energy for the rest of the cell.
(1632–1704), who claimed that the human mind is like a “blank slate” on which different cultures can “write” anything they want. Evolutionary theory does not deny that individual human development is very flexible. But it is also shaped by strong regularities. If it weren’t, how could we explain the fact that there are so many similarities between the various cultures of the world? Human Universals Cultural diversity dazzles and impresses us, but we shouldn’t let it obscure the important fact
to solve a particular problem that our ancestors faced. In the words of Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, the mind is not a general-purpose problem-solver, but a collection of lots of particular problem-solvers. It is more like a Swiss-Army knife than a single blade. Massive Modularity The particular problem-solvers in the human mind are called modules. Scientists have found some evidence that our capacities for vision and language are subserved by modules. But some evolutionary psychologists go
animals began to colonize the land. Some were invertebrates, meaning that they had no backbone; these include the insects. Others were vertebrates, meaning that they had backbones. Land-dwelling vertebrates include amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. All vertebrates are descended from the bony fist that first appeared in the seas some 400 million years ago. These fish probably used their bony fins to crawl up the beach out of the sea. Gradually, they became adapted to life on land. Four
cannot be due to genetic differences, since they have the same genes. All the differences between identical twins must therefore be due to differences in their environments. Mutation or Incorrect Copying The second condition for natural selection is that the copying process is not perfect. Some of the time, at least, the offspring must differ from the parents in some way. It is easy to see that this happens in nature. Occasionally, a person is born with hair all over their body. Sometimes, a