Molecular Genetics and Evidence for Evolution

The development of molecular genetics in the past decade has heralded a new epoch in evolutionary studies. For the first time since Darwin published his groundbreaking theory, scientists were able to depend on new parameters other than paleontology and comparative morphology when explaining the evolutionary process. Molecular genetics sought to bolster available evidence on evolution by now delving into comparative biochemistry and genetics. According to Grenier and Weatherbee, molecular genetics has been instrumental in elucidating gene and chromosome expression in organisms and their evolutionary path (54).

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Scientists have been particularly interested in variation and its manifestation within species. For instance, data collected from studies on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) variation within the human population has revealed a treasure trove of evidence regarding human evolution. So much so that information collected from mitochondrial haploid markers and Y chromosomes has been invaluable in the generation of a standard model for human evolution. Moreover, genetic polymorphism and its active role in enabling natural selection further elucidate evolution’s mosaic nature. I opine that a practical comprehension of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), protein synthesis and Mendelian accounts of inheritance provide a solid base for understanding the evolutionary theory and its theoretical implications.  Through DNA sequencing, a better understanding is gained about a variety of evolutionary relationships amongst diverse species. A clear map of the speed and mode through which evolution took place is therefore developed thus quantitatively illuminating this complex process. In the case of protein synthesis, it allows for an in depth study of the appearance of the messenger RNA (mRNA) and, therefore, supplementing information on the process of translation. Mendelian accounts of evolution, on the other hand, shed more light on Neo-Darwinism. It is through his explanations that the process of natural selection is better understood through the preservation of genes over time and how this process ultimately leads to inheritance.

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