One site dedicated to explaining the science of evolutionary change quotes the eminent biologist, Douglas J. Futuyma in his book, Evolutionary Biology:
- In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions.
Obviously, the religious fundamentalists may not believe in planet-forming, star-birth, amoeba, dinosaurs, chimpanzees, or the possibility of man evolving into a more reasonable creature, but, if they thought more about "bees, giraffes, and dandelions," the educational system might be less under attack in our country. As a scientist is reported to have said, the discussion of "evolution" is fruitless and merely being looked at from the wrong perspective. "When someone claims that they don't believe in evolution they cannot be referring to an acceptable scientific definition of evolution because that would be denying something which is easy to demonstrate. It would be like saying that they don't believe in gravity!"