What animals evolution has failed


Introduction to the theory of evolution
  • Ernst Mayr is one of the leading evolutionary scientists of the 20th century. His introductory article provides a good overview of the nature of modern evolutionary theory.
  • time lapse
  • The time from the Big Bang (a period of around 16 billion years) to the present day reveals astonishing insights if this period is reduced to one year.
  • history
  • A brief history of evolution from Aristotle to Charles Darwin.
  • Fossils
  • Essential facts of evolution are the fossils, i.e. the remains of earlier living beings or their traces. Fossils are only found in sedimentary rocks. Many fossils are found by accident. Much is lost through ignorance or construction work.
  • Myths and Legends
  • In the Middle Ages one could not do anything with the fossils found. They were therefore interpreted as "dragon tongues", "rodent feet", "holy spirit stones" and so on.
  • Age determination methods
  • An essential question in biology and geology is the question of the age of rock formations and the fossils they contain.
  • The Miller Urey attempt
  • The Miller Urey experiment proved that the building blocks of life (amino acids, bases, ATP, etc.) can spontaneously arise from low-energy chemical compounds through the addition of energy.
  • The development of life on earth
  • The development history of the earth and life shows all essential developments (mountain formations, key fossils, catastrophes, etc.) from the Precambrian to the present day. The chapters can also be downloaded as Word files.
  • The evolution to man
  • Overview of the most important finds of our ancestors. Donald Johanson's classification was adopted, which only has two generic names ('Australopithecus' and 'Homo').
  • Comparative embryogenesis
  • The development of the vertebrate embryos is basically comparable. A comparison of the development and individual development stages shows characteristic changes in the process. There are structural differences, such as the increasing yolk content of the egg cells, which have a strong influence on early development. As evolution progresses, the fertilized egg cell no longer develops in water, which means that there is a risk of dehydration. Nature solved the problem accordingly.
  • Species origin
  • The mechanisms of species formation have been studied in detail since the middle of the 20th century.
    (In progress).
  • Charles Darwin
  • Charles Darwin radically reshaped the world of biology with his theory of evolution. From today's point of view, there are some errors in his theories, but his basic scientific structure is now generally accepted as the standard.
  • In the footsteps of Charles Darwin
  • Charles Darwin's footsteps can still be seen in England today. We take a richly illustrated trip to Shrewsbury, Cambridge, Downe and London.
  • Epigenetics and Lamarckism
  • Epigenetics is a category of modern biology, so not a pseudoscience. However, the attempt to use it for neolamarckism or to abuse it and at the same time to undermine the modern evolutionary biology based on Darwin's theories can be described as a grandiose failure.
  • References to evolution
  • The references to genetic literature are related to the fact that modern genetics has contributed significantly to the development and improvement of the theory of evolution over the past few decades.
  • Creationism (epilogue)
  • Creationism was developed in the USA in fundamentalist Protestant circles and, as a new interpretation of biology, is a scientific and philosophical dead end. Like astrology, fortune telling and the like, creationism has nothing to do with science. Parallel to Christian-motivated creationism there is also an Islamic one. The argumentation is the same there as with the American variant. Creationism never really took root in Europe.
  • Why intelligent design is not a natural science (by Hansjörg Hemminger)
  • The movement for an "intelligent design" (ID) assumes that natural processes, as required by the biological theory of evolution, cannot produce innovations or new "designs" of living beings. For this a "spiritual causation" is necessary, ie an over- or extra-natural intelligence that intervenes in evolution in a guiding manner. Michael Behe, one of the most important ID representatives, is of the opinion that ID can be proven biologically.
    The article fundamentally criticizes the ID concept.
  • The modern theory of biological evolution: an expanded synthesis
  • by Ulrich Kutschera · Karl J. Niklas. The concept that all organisms on Earth have evolved from a common ancestral life form by means of genomic and morphological transformations (evolution as such) was not "invented" by Darwin or Wallace. Mayr (1982) and others have shown that the idea of ​​organismic evolution can be traced back to several Greek philosophers. (Format pdf)
  • Evolutionary Epistemology

    A brief introduction ...
  • Evolutionary epistemology is a logical consequence of the theory of evolution.

  • ... and a summary by Gerhard Vollmer
  • Evolutionary epistemology takes man out of his earlier central position in a Copernican twist and makes him an observer of cosmic events - which includes him.
  • The evolution of knowledge
  • Our cognitive apparatus is a result of evolution. The subjective cognitive structures fit the world because they have developed in the course of evolution in a species-appropriate manner to this real world. And they agree (partially) with the real structures, because only such an agreement made survival possible.
  • Innate structures
  • Experiments clearly show that certain skills, e.g. B. Movement vision, color perception, depth and shape perception in the strict sense are innate.
  • The fit of the perceptual structures
  • Human perception is as much a result of natural selection as any other characteristic of organisms. Selection generally favors a better understanding of the objective features of the environment in which our pre-human ancestors lived.