Re: Evolution being slow ...

From: Bill Stoddard (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 06:35:09 PDT

> "James Tauber" <> writes:
> > > James, I wondered the same thing -- is this really evolution, but they
> > used
> > > the word, quite breathlessly. Dave
> >
> > Evolution seems to be a *very* overloaded term.
> >
> > At one end of the spectrum (the 'micro' end) it can just mean a shift in a
> > gene pool's proportions due to some genes favouring survival (ie natural
> > selection / survival of the fittest)
> > At the other end (the 'macro' end) it can mean the origin of all species
> > from primordial soup.
> >
> > Completely different things (although the latter relies on the mechanism of
> > the former)
> What makes them differerent? I thought that speciation was made up of
> the gradual changes, and that there weren't always objective lines
> between species, anyway, just subjective ones.

A theory called "Punctuated Equilibrium" is all the rage now (though the idea has been around for
quite some time). In PE theory, evolution does not occur at a constant gradual rate across large
populations. In PE, evolution occurs rapidly in small population groups followed by long periods of
genetic stability in the population. Google it.

Bill (Curley Q Link, the missing Link) S.

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