Chapter

Molecular Evolution vis-à-vis Paleontology

Francisco J. Ayala

in The Paleobiological Revolution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226748610
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226748597 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226748597.003.0010
Molecular Evolution vis-à-vis Paleontology

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This chapter examines the relationship between evidence for evolution provided by molecular biology and the paleontological evidence in the fossil record. It highlights the continued tension between paleontological and biological approaches to evolutionary theory and evaluates whether molecular data establishes a more reliable evolutionary clock than the fossil record. This chapter suggests that molecular evolutionary studies have three notable advantages over paleontology, comparative anatomy, and other classical disciplines. These include quantifiable information, multiplicity, and comparability of very different types of organisms.

Keywords: evolution; molecular biology; paleontological evidence; fossil record; paleontology; comparative anatomy

Chapter.  8449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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