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The Modern Picture of Evolution

  1. Dec 16, 2009 #1
    I know there have been debates on the roles of punctuated equilibrium, phyletic gradualism, and punctuated gradualism.

    It would seem to me intuitively that evolution would be a dynamic process combining mechanisms, but of course intuition can be misleading.

    Is there a mainstream consensus on this question?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2009 #2
    I'm probably being awfully biased here, but I'd say punctuated equilibrium is what most respectable biologists would agree upon as of the past few years.
  4. Dec 16, 2009 #3
    Does that imply that the gradual models either do not happen or happen very rarely?
  5. Dec 16, 2009 #4
    I'd agree that it's likely a combination of theories.

    Evolutionary change can be occurring continuously throughout the existence of a given species. These changes will eventually "build up" to the point where some event; such as a rapid series of small genetic changes, a massive change, or an environmental factor, will force a speciation event.

    In this example, you have gradualism and punctuated equilibrium both coming into play.
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