Evolution and Progress


Keshav Bhatia, Academic Content Writer at Edumarz

Evolution should not be equated with progress, all animals have evolved and adapted to different environmental stressors that were placed upon them by nature.
We should remember that when we trace family trees of species, that there are multiple branches possibly existing at every stage of this process.

Evolution does not equate progress because:

  • One species is not eliminated to give rise to a new one. The old species simply does not disappear after the emergence of a new one.
    We’ve seen that in the beetle example and that it all depends on the environment.

  • The Newly generated species are not better or “superior” to the older ones, this newly generated species is a result of natural selection and genetic drift, just like it’s predecessor was a result of natural selection and genetic drift.

  • The process of speciation requires that the male and female of the newly generated species are not able to reproduce with the original species. This does not equal superiority or progress in any way.

  • Let us look at the example of Humans and Chimpanzees, both had a common ancestor
    6-7 million years ago, that common ancestor was likely neither human nor chimpanzee, then both the species developed in their own way. It was not the case that both the species developed after the first step of separation.

Progress is not a good yardstick or measurement for analyzing evolution.

Nor will it be correct to use progress as one.

  • The continuing trend in evolution is that more and more complex bodies have emerged over the years.

  • But, this does not imply that the older designs are inefficient or inferior, these organisms still survive, the world is filled with these simple animals with older designs, and one of the simplest forms of bacteria are found thriving even in the deep-sea thermal vents and the chilling ice in Antarctica.

  • Humans are not some superior species at the peak of evolution, they simply are a species that is in the rich, vibrant and teeming spectrum of evolving life.


Tools used for studying human evolution are the same as the tools used for studying evolution of other species, tools like excavation, time-dating and investigation of fossils are used to study human evolution.

There is a great diversity of human forms and features across the planet, previously human were identified on the basis of their race and skin color was used as the distinguishing feature for race, but there is no biological basis to the concept of human races, all human beings are a single species.
Regardless of where we humans have lived, all of them have descended from Africa, the earliest members of Human species have been traced there, genetic footprint of our species can be traced back to Africa, we all have African roots.
Some of our ancestors left Africa while some stayed behind a couple thousand years ago, the migrants slowly spread across the planet, from Africa to West Asia, then to Eurasia, South Asia, East Asia, they traveled down the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines to Australia, and they crossed the Bering land Bridge(the Berring land bridge was a huge land bridge that connected modern Russia and North America about 20,000 years ago) to the America.
They came into being as an accident, like all other species on our planet and they were trying to survive and live the best they could.

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