Evolution theory, also known as evolutionary theory, or the theory of evolution, is based on the idea that all life on earth is related and gradually changes over time. The theory primarily explains the ongoing speciation of life since its emergence on Earth.
The word theory entered the English language in the late sixteenth century meaning conception, mental scheme, speculation. Arts and sciences began using the word in the seventeenth century but in a different meaning.
Contrary to popular belief, in science, a theory is not the best-educated guess scientists have at the time about a certain natural phenomenon. On the contrary, a scientific theory is a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with modern scientific methods.
A scientific theory is a framework for observations and facts in the natural world, and it does not only address existing scientific data but also makes future predictions. Hence, scientific theories are repeatedly tested and confirmed through experiments or observation.
Following are some examples for scientific theories:
Change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations is called evolution.
We know that evolution is a fact thanks to massive evidence from other branches of science such as paleontology, genetics, zoology, and molecular biology. Evolution theory merely explains what the mechanics of evolution are, and how it works.
Following are some examples for observable evolution
Darwin’s Evolution Theory
Discovered in the mid-nineteenth century by the English scientist Charles Darwin, evolution theory is based on the idea that all life on earth is related and gradually changes over time. The theory primarily explains the ongoing speciation of life since its emergence on Earth.
Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection with the publication of his book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859. With this, Darwin started a fierce argument among his peers but the massive evidence coming from various other branches of science has established evolution’s truth beyond a reasonable doubt before the twentieth century.
Darwin’s theory of evolution is based on key facts and the inferences drawn from the populations of species he had observed:
Contemporary Evolution Theory
We know that evolution is a fact thanks to massive evidence from other branches of science such as paleontology, genetics, zoology, and molecular biology. Evolution Theory merely explains what the mechanics of this fact are, and how this fact works.
That evolution is a fact does not mean evolution theory will not change and get better. Facts remain the same, theories improve over time.
Evolutio theory is, like other scientific theories, a living theory. Subsequently, as our scientific knowledge progress so will evolution theory.
It has been more than 150 years since Darwin discovered evolution through natural selection. In the last 150 years, many more discoveries were made in evolutionary biology that Darwin had no way of knowing at the time. As a result, the contemporary evolutionary theory reflects those discoveries in evolutionary biology.
The three main differences between Darwin’s evolution theory through natural selection and the most current evolution theory are as follows: