Evidence for Evolution

Classified in Biology

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Redi's Experiment
1668, Francesco Redi demonstrated that the maggots found in rotting meat came from fly’s eggs
1.     Redi placed pieces of meat in the same jars
2.     The first he left open, the second one he covered with some fabric and the third he covered with a cork
3.     The three jars were left in the same place and after a few days he saw that there were maggots in the first two jars but not the third one

Pasteur’s Experiment
Louis Pasteur demonstrated that microorganisms were not created from spontaneous generation.
1.     Pasteur placed meat soup in two flasks and bent their neck into an S-shape
2.     He sterilised the liquid by heating it and after two weeks saw that it didn’t decompose
3.     He cut the neck of one of the flasks and after a few days he observed that the soup in the flask had decomposed
4.     The soup in the other flask remained unchanged
Conclusion: The S-shape neck let air in but not microorganisms. When the neck was cut, organisms entered causing decomposition

Miller's Experiment
The scientist Stanley Miller put a mixture of gases which were believed to be present in the primitive atmosphere into a container and applied high voltage electric shocks. The reaction produced several organic compounds including amino acids.
This was proved wrong because those were not the gases of the primitive atmosphere

Panspermia Theory
Supported by scientists like Svante Arrhenius, claims that life on earth arrived from outer space as microorganisms trapped inside meteorites and all other living things evolved from these. Molecular Panspermia states the same but with organic molecules

Embryological Evidence
In 1866 Ernst Haeckel explained his biogenetic law. It states that embryonic development is a summary of evolution. When embryos of different species are similar, there is an evolutionary relationship between them. The closer the species the greater the similarities

Biogeographical Evidence
The geographical distribution of animal and plant species can be explained according to theories of evolution. As time passed isolated groups of animals evolved in different ways creating new species

Molecular Evidence
The study of molecules found in living things reveals that the higher the molecular similarities between two organisms, the closer their evolutionary relationship. When we compare the amino acids sequences of different species, we can accurately establish how closely related they are from an evolutionary point of view.

Other Evidence
Coevolution is the process through which two species mutually influence each other during their evolution
Mutualism: an interaction between two species in which they both benefit.
Parasitism: when a particular species benefits from another one.
Mimesis: capacity of some species to look like other species or the environment in order to ensure their survival
Domestication of species shows that artificial selection has profound effects on domesticated animals
Stratum in which a fossil is found indicates how old it is.

**Theory of Spontaneous Generation**

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