Portal:Evolutionary biology

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The Evolutionary Biology Portal

Introduction

Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth, starting from a single common ancestor. These processes include natural selection, common descent, and speciation.

The discipline emerged through what Julian Huxley called the modern synthesis (of the 1930s) of understanding from several previously unrelated fields of biological research, including genetics, ecology, systematics and paleontology.

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Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer. He holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Dawkins moved to England with his parents at the age of eight, and completed his education at the University of Oxford. He first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme, playing a significant role in the foundation of memetics as a scientific field of study. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to evolutionary biology with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism's body but can stretch far into the environment, which includes the bodies of other organisms. He has since written several best-selling popular books, and made regular appearances on television and radio programmes discussing evolution, creationism, intelligent design, and religion. In addition to his biological work, Dawkins is well-known for his views on religion. He is an outspoken antitheist and atheist; a secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and a supporter of the Brights movement.

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  • ...that adaptations enable living organisms to cope with environmental stresses and pressures?
  • ...that maintained gene flow between two populations can also lead to a combination of the two gene pools, reducing the genetic variation between the two groups?
  • ...that all forms of natural speciation have taken place over the course of evolution, though it still remains a subject of debate as to the relative importance of each mechanism in driving biodiversity?
  • ...that despite the relative rarity of suitable conditions for fossilization, approximately 250,000 fossil species are known?
  • ...that genetic sequence evidence thus allows inference and quantification of genetic relatedness between humans and other apes?

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