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The Paleobiological RevolutionEssays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology$
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David Sepkoski and Michael Ruse

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226748610

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226748597.001.0001

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Molecular Evolution vis-à-vis Paleontology

Molecular Evolution vis-à-vis Paleontology

(p.176) Chapter Nine Molecular Evolution vis-à-vis Paleontology
The Paleobiological Revolution

Francisco J. Ayala

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the relationship between evidence for evolution provided by molecular biology and the paleontological evidence in the fossil record. It highlights the continued tension between paleontological and biological approaches to evolutionary theory and evaluates whether molecular data establishes a more reliable evolutionary clock than the fossil record. This chapter suggests that molecular evolutionary studies have three notable advantages over paleontology, comparative anatomy, and other classical disciplines. These include quantifiable information, multiplicity, and comparability of very different types of organisms.

Keywords:   evolution, molecular biology, paleontological evidence, fossil record, paleontology, comparative anatomy

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