Evolutionary biology today
“For a biologist”, wrote Sir Peter Medawar, “the alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all”. Yet, at the end of an education in biology in most Indian universities, this is not quite the view of evolutionary biology that one is left with. Evolution is presented summarily, almost as a footnote, rather than as a vital branch of biology providing the conceptual foundation for our modern views about the living world. In this issue ofResonance, we remember Stephen Jay Gould, who wrote extensively and eloquently about evolution for a general audience. It seems fitting, then, to also briefly discuss why evolutionary biology is important, not only conceptually but also in terms of practical applications. In this first part of a series of articles on modern evolutionary biology, we examine why the idea of evolution is so important in our intellectual history, and also take a look at the domain of evolutionary biology as a discipline.
KeywordsEvolution natural selection biodiversity fitness adaptation
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