Spine-tingling. I’m there. This is the post you’ve been waiting for for weeks – what can the spine of primates can tell us about the way they get around?
Evolution is a phenomenon.
A phenomenon is an occurrence, a circumstance, or a fact that is perceptible by the senses (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phenomenon, accessed Sept. 17, 2012).
What humans perceive is that populations of living organisms have changed and are changing over time.
“The theory of evolution” is shorthand for the set of explanations that seek to explain the phenomenon of evolution. Sometimes “the theory of evolution” is also called “evolution,” and this can be confusing.
Really, the theory is “the theory of evolution BY natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow and mutation.” In science, a theory is a set of well-tested hypotheses and repeatable experiments that together provide an explanation for a phenomenon.
Again, evolution is the phenomenon.
Scientists have demonstrated that the processes, or mechanisms, of natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow and mutation, together explain WHY and HOW the phenomenon of evolution occurs.
If you want to be…
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Last time I promised you all a spine-tingling read for the next post.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the post that I intended to give you (on the spine – surprise surprise!), but I think I’ve managed to make the ankle a bit more interesting (or maybe just surprising) than I thought it was so here you go.
This is an edited, more relevant version of an assessed presentation I gave earlier today on the anatomy, evolution and function of the ankle in humans our hominin ancestors, and what we can tell about upright walking from fossil remains.
It’s mainly pictures too, so well worth a look.
Here are some photos to whet your appetite:
Next time: maybe the spine, maybe not! Apparently I’m crazy like that.
Penas, JA. 2013. Human and Ape Anatomy. Available from: www.fineartamerica.com. [Accessed: 27/02/14].
Pontzer, H. et al., 2010. Locomotor anatomy and biomechanics of the Dmanisi hominins. Journal of human evolution, 58(6), pp.492–504.