Hypothesis 4

Evolutionary innovations

Parade, Cusco, Peru, 27. 8. 1989
Parade, Cusco, Peru, 27. 8. 1989

According to Darwin and Mayr, evolutionary innovations arise from the functional displacement of existing organs that can simultaneously perform two functions but not by selectively favouring a new organ that is not yet functional.


According to Charles Darwin’s theory, evolutionary changes take place through very small steps.

According to the model of gradualism in geology, in which mountains that are several kilometres high unfold a millimetre at a time and the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of kilometres wide today, only opens up a few centimetres each year as a result of shifting plates, the evolution of living beings conceivably takes place in small steps from one generation to the next.

When changing size, colour and other characteristics that permit a smooth transition, the idea of gradual change does not present any difficulties. But how does it look when the fish suddenly becomes a land animal? When the legs suddenly begin to move and the lungs suddenly begin to breathe, and the skin does not dry out?

When a small predatory dinosaur becomes a bird – where does it suddenly have feathered wings to rise into the air?

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