Answer the following question.
Explain the theory of evolution and mention the proof supporting it.
There are various theories of evolution but the most acceptable one is the theory of 'Gradual development of living organisms'. According to this theory, the first living material which is the protoplasm was formed in ocean. Gradual changes resulted in the formation of unicellular organisms and further developments resulted in the formation of larger and complex organisms. However, these changes did not occur overnight, they were slow and gradual changes which took almost 300 crore years. These changes and development are often referred to as evolution and are the prime cause of diversity of plants and organisms which we see on earth today. There are various evidences which support evolution:
Morphological evidence- Similarity in morphological features of animals and plants is an evidence that they have evolved from common ancestors. For example: In animals similarities like
structure of mouth, position of eyes, structure of nostrils and in plants, similarities in characters like leaf shape, leaf venation, leaf petiole represent common ancestry.
Connecting links- Connecting links refers to plant and organisms which show characteristics related to two different groups. For example, Peripatus is considered a connecting link between annelida and arthropoda. It has characteristics like segmented body, thin cuticle, and parapodia-like organs which are similar to annelids. It also show tracheal respiration and open circulatory system which is similar to arthropods. Another example is duck billed platypus which is a connecting link between reptiles and mammals because it lays eggs like reptiles and has mammary glands like mammals.
Embryological evidence- Embryology is used as one of the evidences of evolution. Comparative study of embryos shows that there is lot of similarity in them at the initial stages whereas this similarity decreases gradually. This similarity in the development of embryos represents common origin of organisms.