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January 7, ] volution is the cornerstone of modern biology.
It unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. It is not a difficult concept, but very few people -- the majority of biologists included -- have a satisfactory grasp of it. One common mistake is believing that species can be arranged on an evolutionary ladder from bacteria through "lower" animals, to "higher" animals and, finally, up to man.
Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology. Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. For example, Lodish, et. Misunderstandings about evolution are damaging to the study of evolution and biology as a whole.
People who have a general interest in science are likely to dismiss evolution as a soft science Scientific evolution short essay absorbing the pop science nonsense that abounds. The impression of it being a soft science is reinforced when biologists in unrelated fields speculate publicly about evolution.
This is a brief introduction to evolutionary biology. I attempt to explain basics of the theory of evolution and correct many of the misconceptions. Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time.
A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.
The English moth, Biston betularia, is a frequently cited example of observed evolution. The frequency of the dark morph increased in the years following. Their frequency was less in rural areas. The moth population changed from mostly light colored moths to mostly dark colored moths.
The increase in relative abundance of the dark type was due to natural selection. Soot from factories darkened the birch trees the moths landed on. Against a sooty background, birds could see the lighter colored moths better and ate more of them. As a result, more dark moths survived until reproductive age and left offspring.
The greater number of offspring left by dark moths is what caused their increase in frequency. This is an example of natural selection.
A single organism is never typical of an entire population unless there is no variation within that population. Individual organisms do not evolve, they retain the same genes throughout their life. When a population is evolving, the ratio of different genetic types is changing -- each individual organism within a population does not change.
For example, in the previous example, the frequency of black moths increased; the moths did not turn from light to gray to dark in concert. The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution.
The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution. Larger changes, such as when a new species is formed, are called macroevolution. Some biologists feel the mechanisms of macroevolution are different from those of microevolutionary change.
Others think the distinction between the two is arbitrary -- macroevolution is cumulative microevolution. The word evolution has a variety of meanings.
The fact that all organisms are linked via descent to a common ancestor is often called evolution. The theory of how the first living organisms appeared is often called evolution. This should be called abiogenesis. And frequently, people use the word evolution when they really mean natural selection -- one of the many mechanisms of evolution.
Common Misconceptions about Evolution Evolution can occur without morphological change; and morphological change can occur without evolution.
Humans are larger now than in the recent past, a result of better diet and medicine. Phenotype is the morphological, physiological, biochemical, behavioral and other properties exhibited by a living organism. Most changes due to environment are fairly subtle, for example size differences. Large scale phenotypic changes are obviously due to genetic changes, and therefore are evolution.Articles home page Creation vs.
Evolution 0. Introduction and table of contents The following is an organized presentation on the creation vs. evolution controversy. a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, often resulting in the development of new species.
The mechanisms of evolution include natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, mutation, migration, and genetic drift. EVOLUTION TRENDS The "INFORMATION AGE" & its Evolution into the "Holographic Age" Challenges & Realistic Goals For Survival & Creating A Desirable Future.
The top problems with evolution explained using scientific evidence against evolution. In the creation evolution controversy, it is clear not only that the theory of evolution is wrong, the theory of evolution is false, but that the theory of evolution is a lie.
This essay will focus on: the early evolution of our eukaryote ancestor during Precambrian period, plastids origin along the algae family due to second endosymbiosis; discuss the evidence that supports the theory, including further examples of endosymbiosis. Evolution in (Brownian) space: a model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum.