Biological evolution is a long-term, spontaneously occurring process, during which living systems are formed or were formed singly from nonliving systems, and these living systems then develop and mutually diversify.

Evolutionary biology studies the properties of the process of biological evolution and its individual specific mechanisms. Systematic biology andpaleontology study the actual history of the progress of evolutionary processes in a specific space and time, i.e. the course of phylogenesis.

This chapter will be concerned with the basic characteristics of biological evolution. The greatest attention will be focused on those properties that differentiate it from other types of evolution, i.e. primarily the formation of adaptive traits through the action of natural selection.

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more
Draft translation from: Evoluční biologie, 2. vydání (Evolutionary biology, 2nd edition), J. Flegr, Academia Prague 2009. The translation was not done by biologist, therefore any suggestion concerning proper scientific terminology and language usage are highly welcomed. You can send your comments to flegratcesnet [dot] cz. Thank you.