Chain of evolution isn’t as neat as it’s made out to be

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Anyone familiar with evolution knows that humans (relatively complex organisms) evolved from simpler forms of life over the course of billions and billions of years. Although we understand a great many things about how we evolved, there are a few gaps in our understanding. People sometimes refer to these gaps in our knowledge as “missing links.”

This name stems from the idea that all life is connected in a kind of chain. You can trace it forwards, to see where life is heading, or backwards, to meet our predecessors and see where we’ve been. It is based on the belief that organisms can be ordered into very delineated organizations…a nice, neat line of progression.

Ultimately, this concept stems from religious ideas concerning the “great chain of being.” In this chain, the animals are the lowly creatures that came before us (or which rest below us, as they are less developed) and of course, man (well, God, technically) sits comfortably at the top. As the University of Portland notes, “Its major premise was that every existing thing in the universe had its ‘place’ in a divinely planned hierarchical order, which was pictured as a chain vertically extended.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: There is No “Missing Link” in Evolution

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