Theory of Evolution

Biology Unit 4

Theory of Evolution

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Biology Unit 4
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Topic 5: On the wild side
23. Describe the role of the scientific community in
validating new evidence (including molecular biology,
eg DNA, proteomics) supporting the accepted
scientific theory of evolution (scientific journals, the
peer review process, scientific conferences).
Darwin's theory was very controversial in its day and still is for some people. There are now new
types of evidence supporting the theory available to us:
The DNA molecule is the same in all organisms. This supports Darwin's idea of descent from a
common ancestor.
DNA and proteins contain a record of genetic changes that have occurred by random
mutations over time, indicating gradual change within and between species. By studying DNA
(genomics) and proteins (proteomics) these changes can be identified. Comparing the DNA
or amino acid sequences in different species can show how closely related species are in
evolutionary terms. The more similar the sequence, the more closely related the species.
Assessing the speed of mutation in DNA has shown that species have evolved over vast
periods of time, as Darwin thought.
Text Book: p. 58 - 61


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