It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
reply to post by HomeBrew
Oh yes. I find that both schools of commonly accepted views do not conflict with each other as is the typical trend these days.
Gradualism and Punctuated Equilibrium are seen almost as opposing schools of thought.
For further clarity, I will quote my Anthropology text book "The Human Species 6th ed" by John H. Relethford, 2005 McGraw-Hill. New York.:
"The view that macroevolution is a slow and gradual process is called gradualism. According to this view, small changes in each generation over time result in major biological changes."
"This hypothesis suggests that the pattern of macroevolution consists of long periods of time when little evolutionary change occurs (stasis) and short periods of time when rapid evolutionary change occurs."
Quite frankly I see that these two processes are both at work at the same time, prompting me to coin the evolutionary term that incorporates both ideas as Punctuated Gradualism.
Really, species do typically evolve slowly over great periods of time, yet there are also periods of time where evolution in a specie or species (depending on what is creating this rapid evolution) rapidly speeds up, but in reality never completely reaches a state of stasis.
I am willing to conjecture as well that perhaps stasis also plays a role, but definitely not as conceived in the Punctuated Equilibrium school of thought. Perhaps this is a part of how to keep the fire from the people. Why lie, when you can set them to eternal bickering over two processes that are both observed and are equally valid in terms of what we are talking about here.
As I was talking about earlier, how could you tell if a period of punctuation that occurred in your species history was actually a seeding project, or a new space colony that was eventually disrupted somehow, rather than a naturally occurring random evolutionary burst?
You can't. Not to mention, the easiest way to interrupt scientific progress is to split up a natural process into two schools of thought and let everyone rip each other apart indefinitely. Simple, especially when both are making great points, yet either side can't truly see from the other school's perspective, so they don't notice that both augment one another, rather than there being only one possibility, further impeding scientific progress.
Really, the processes of evolution are ever present and ever working. Many believe that we are on the verge of another rapid burst of evolution. The Mayan calendar says so. Well, calendars say all sorts of things, but that doesn't make it true, yet it is good to at least lightly ponder now and again.
That is the beauty of science, I just presented a unification of concept hypothesis for two widely respected schools of thought, and all I had to do was read a textbook, take a few Anthropology classes, and ponder it for a while.
We stand on the shoulders of giants, and when we as a species are given pure, substantiated, and non-corrupted information, we begin to shine. That is the promise of Evolution, and all we have to do is not give up and learn from our collective mistakes.
[edit on 20-12-2009 by GideonHM]