Evolution on Earth
Various parts of evolution on Earth are studied by scientists in branches of biology, chemistry, earth science, and more.
The two basic principles come from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which stipulates:
- Groups of diverse creatures come from a small number of common ancestors.
- Animals evolve by process of natural selection, where inheritable traits in a species may change over generations based on which individuals survive to pass their characteristics on to offspring.
The biosphere comprises all living creatures on Earth and everything they interact with, including other creatures in the biosphere; the air around them (atmosphere); the rocks, solid earth, mantle, and crust they stand on (lithosphere and geosphere); and the water that sustains them and their surroundings (hydrosphere). Evolution by and large affects each of these separate spheres, which in turn affect each other. As such, the study of evolution on Earth becomes interdisciplinary among the sciences due to evolution's intersectional nature among earth's systems and spheres.
The University of Alberta invests in this area of research to drive groundbreaking discoveries, inform conservation practices, and contribute to the global conversation.