Why is Evolution So Important for Life on Earth?

Thesis: Evolution is the most fundamentally important force in Biology.

One of the big ideas of AP Biology and life itself when looking at it from a learning perspective is the idea of evolution. Evolution is so complex and important for life that it took us thousands of years to even start to formulate the ideas around it. One of the reasons for this is because it is such a slow process, and is not visible to the naked eye. It’s something that can only be seen when observing two completely different populations that have been isolated from each other for millions of years but originated from the same species(you can also look at fossil records, but for the point of this essay we’re going to push that to the side for now as humans haven’t had the technology and knowledge to examine the fossil records until recently). This seemingly infinitely slow march towards perfect diversity is why we spend months on this topic, as understanding it at a basic level is not sufficient. Evolution is possibly the most important concept to life, and it is my personal opinion that every student should be required to take a whole class on it, to rid the modern world of the ignorance surrounding it, that is far to commonplace.

Now, you may be wondering “sure, from an abstract standpoint, this whole evolution thing seems important, but what about its applications? what about the more basic level?” and the answer is a bit simpler. Evolution is what drives the predator-prey relationship and the relationship between the potential and the manifest. The adaptations as they both try to gain the upper hand. What this means is that every species has the potential to become more complex, more complete, and more perfect. This potential can never be attained, but in a way, an ecosystems progress towards that perfection is perfection. This progress creates diversity. Left alone for long enough, without interference from a conscious and intelligent species, this diversity will reach perfection. What this means is that although a species can never reach perfection, the relationship between all the species in the biosphere can reach perfection. How is this possible? How can an ecosystem be in perfection when not a single species in the ecosystem is perfect? The answer is that imperfection leads to change. Change, on the grand scale of the ecosystem, or biosphere on an even greater scale, is perfection. Change leads to the branching of species which leads to uniqueness and drives “the diversity and unity of life” which is why evolution is so fundamentally important.

On the basic level, biology is what allows species to adapt to an environment and overcome obstacles, but on a deeper, more philosophical level, evolution is perfection. That is why evolution is so essential to biology. Everything that comes with biology is a result of evolution. Life as we know it is a result of evolution. Human nature is a result of evolution. Being able to read these words is a result of evolution. Technology is an indirect result of evolution. Being able to think is a direct result of evolution, and that, above all else, is proof of perfection if there ever is any. Even though humans may not be perfect, our ability to think is indisputably the pinnacle of evolution.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

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