Monday, 21 June 2010

How Evolution Works - The Plan

I have decided to do a series of posts explaining how evolution works. I realised that it could be very useful and will allow me to talk about one of my favourite subjects, so hopefully it will be educational. I have a 13 part plan though it may change. If anyone would like to suggest things I am missing I will happily try to fit them in, I will also accept any criticisms, preferably constructive, as I can alter them here on the blog and potentially make them more useful.

I intend to start off slow, with the basics, then take it up a step at a time to some of the more complex subjects, even ones I am not so sure about myself. The plan is as follows:

1) Natural selection
2) Speciation
3) Genetic variation
4) Gene regulation and heterochrony
5) Endosymbiosis and multicellularity
6) The evolution of irreducibly complex structures
7) Other mechanisms (including genetic drift, sexual selection, epigenetics etc.)
8) Patterns in the fossil record
9) The level of selection
10) Evolvability
11) Contingency and convergence
12)  The micro and macro evolution debate
13) Extras I missed

Some may seem to be in odd places, for example drift could have been mentioned earlier. The distinction between micro and macro evolution may seem odd to be at the end, but my reason for this is that a lot of people, creationists in particular, focus on it without understanding the basics. It goes beyond the basics and so I have left it for later. I do this also because I think it is irrelevant for grasping much of evolution.

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