Introduction to Evolution

If every fossil were magicked away, the comparative study of modern organisms, of how their patterns of resemblances, especially of their genetic sequences, are distributed among species, and of how species are distributed among continents and islands, would still demonstrate, beyond all sane doubt, that our history is evolutionary, and that all living creatures are cousins.  Fossils are a bonus.  A welcome bonus, to be sure, but not an essential one.  It is worth remembering this when creationists go on (as they tediously do) about "gaps" in the fossil record.  The fossil record could be one big gap, and the evidence for evolution would still be overwhelmingly strong.  At the same time, if we had only fossils and no other evidence, the fact of evolution would again be overwhelmingly supported.  As things stand, we are blessed with both.

--Professor Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

To understand evolution, humans must think in much larger units of time than those we use to define our lives.  After all, evolutionary change isn't apparent in days, months and years.  Instead, it's documented in layers and layers of rock deposited over 4.6 billion years.
--From "Deep Time" a page on the
PBS Evolution Website on guard against giving interpretations of Scripture that are far fetched or opposed to science, and so exposing the Word of God to the ridicule of unbelievers.
--Saint Augustine

In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next.  Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.
-- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986

Understanding Evolution  (off site)

Understanding evolution and science (off site)
Matthew F. Bonnan, Ph.D.
Dept. Biological Sciences, Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455

What Is Science?  (off site)
Jason Rosenhouse

How Do You Spot A Bad Scientific Argument?  (off site)
Jason Rosenhouse

300 million year old rock (off site)
Lauren Becker

 Evolution is a Fact and a Theory (off site)

Evolution as Fact and Theory  (off site)
Stephen Jay Gould

Evolution for Beginners (off site)
On Ken's home page, click on the link "Beginners"

Ken Harding

What is Evolution? (off site)

Evolution Education Resource Centre (off site)

Talk.Origins FAQ (off site)

Major Tenets of Evolution (off site)

Evolution Happens! (off site)

Biology: The Truth About Where We Stand
Scott Field

The Evolution Fact FAQ (off site)
M. R. Leipzig

Tiny Clues Big Answers
Chet Raymo

Improbable Probabilities (off site)
"Assorted comments on some uses and misuses of probability theory"
Mark Perakh

ncse_logo_top.gif (1955 bytes)

Voices for Evolution  (off site)
National Center for Science Education

The 2009 Stephen Jay Gould Prize
"The winner of the 2009 Stephen Jay Gould Prize is Eugenie C. Scott."

Humans as the World's Greatest Evolutionary Force  (off site)
Stephen R. Palumbi

The Panda's Thumb  (off site)

UF [University of Florida] study: Barren Siberia, of all places, may be original home to animal life  (off site)
Joe Meert and Bruce Lieberman

ON SCIENCE columns  (off site)
George Johnson

80 Years of Watching the Evolutionary Scenery  (off site)
Ernst Mayr

What is a Species, and what is not? (off site)
Ernst Mayr

A Brief Description of Science  (off site)
Frank Steiger

Visual Evolution (off site)
Edward T. Babinski
"Seeing is believing - so here is a small amount of the visual evidence of biological evolution. Please use this site to promote the beauty and elegance of rationalism and science."

Natural Selection: How Evolution Works  (off site)
Interview with Douglas Futuyma

Evolution  (off site)
"a journey into where we're from and where we're going"

How Anti-Evolutionists Abuse Mathematics  (off site)
Jason Rosenhouse

How is Evolution Useful?  (off site)
"Evolution is the conceptual paradigm that ties
together all the life sciences"

Practical applications of the Theory of Evolution  (off site)
The Talk.Origins Archive, "Index to Creationist Claims"
edited by Mark Isaak

Principles of Existence - Chapter 2....Evolution (off site)
Copyright © Robert Stewart, 2005. All rights reserved
A most succinct descriptions of the evolutionary process.

Evolution by Accident (off site)
"The main conclusion of this essay is that a large part of ongoing evolution is determined by stochastic events that might as well be called 'chance' or 'random.'"
Laurence A. Moran

Richard Dawkins on evolution by natural selection (off site)
"The path to complex life is one of the greatest human insights in history, says Richard Dawkins"

Fossils and Football: The origin of species and life on the football field have a lot in common (off site)
Randy Horick
13 September 2007

Biographica (off site)
"A summary of dramatis personae of the online biology/creationism debate."
Compiled by Wesley R. Elsberry

Evolutionary Theory (off site)
A theory of changes in organic design through controlled random mutations and contingent selection
Francis Steen, revised 25 March 2001

Tennessee vs. John Scopes - The "Monkey Trial" 1925 (off site)
Douglas O. Linder

Science, Evolution, and Creationism (off site)
The National Academies Press

"The National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine recently released Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a book designed to give the public a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom."

Scientists Know Better Than You--Even When They're Wrong (off site)
"Why fallible expertise trumps armchair science—a Q&A with sociologist of science Harry Collins"
JR Minkel

Evolution and Creationism in America's Classrooms: A National Portrait (off site)
Michael B. Berkman, Julianna Sandell Pacheco, Eric Plutzer

A New Step in Evolution (off site)
"One of the most important experiments in evolution is going on right now in a laboratory in Michigan State University. A dozen flasks full of E. coli are sloshing around on a gently rocking table. The bacteria in those flasks has been evolving since 1988--for over 44,000 generations."
Carl Zimmer