Evolution In Gould's Dreaded E Word

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In the reading “Dreaded E Word” by Gould, he talks about the controversy that the word ‘evolution’ brings and how Darwin avoids the word in his writing. Darwin chose not to use the word ‘evolution’ because it did not convey the precise meaning that he wanted. Instead, he referred to it as “descent with modification”. In Latin, the word ‘evolution’ implies a directional progress of a predictable unraveling of a sequence. Darwin defines natural selection as an adaptation to local environments and since random situations can affect these environments over time, it becomes very difficult to track the path of evolution, therefore the term ‘evolution’, a word that means “sequences of predictable unfolding” was not used to define the mechanism of…show more content…
For example, it was initially thought that lactase persistence was a dominant trait, however, only a small percentage of the world’s population is able digest dairy products during adulthood. So how is it possible that such trait could become so prominent in today’s world? In the past, cows were never used for their milk but for their meat and hide, thus resulting in low signs of lactase persistence, if digesting lactose became an uncommon thing, the body would simply discard it away. In addition, the inability to herd cattle can result in lower tolerance for lactose. However, in places where it is difficult to keep cattle, such as the Middle East, people were able to find ways to herd them, therefore raising the tolerance for lactose within that population. But why is drinking milk so beneficial? Aside from providing us with a source of nutrition, it is very useful for those living in high latitudes, where there is very little sunlight, less sunlight equals little vitamin D intake but milk is able to provide calcium, a mineral that vitamin D contains. During the CORE lecture, we discussed how humans played a huge part in affecting the evolution of many organisms, some fish became smaller as we selectively remove certain fish from the ecosystem. Similarly enough, cattle of today can produce far more milk over a long period of time because

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