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OriginsThe Search for Our Prehistoric Past$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702440

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702440.001.0001

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“Have Been and Are Being Evolved”: The Development of Life

“Have Been and Are Being Evolved”: The Development of Life

(p.248) 17 “Have Been and Are Being Evolved”: The Development of Life

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the process of evolution, with Charles Darwin's own studies as a foundation for the discussion. It describes the intricacies of the continuity of life, at the same time tracing this continuity throughout geological time through fossil records. This continuous expansion of living things can be reflected in a number of different ways—the total number of species, the degree of diversity, and the range of adaptations represented have all increased throughout geological time. But within this broad expansion, no constant rate of increase, no common regularity of expansion, no overall trend has been observed. This chapter thus looks at the evidence for the process of “descent with modification” posited by Darwin many years before.

Keywords:   evolution, descent, fossil records, Charles Darwin, living things

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