Skip to main content
Select Source:

Gradualism

Gradualism


Gradualism, also called phyletic gradualism, is the view that the course of evolution is gradual with small changes accumulating through time. Gradualism is opposed to punctualism, where evolutionary change is thought to happen in short episodes of rapid evolution followed by long periods of stasis when little or no evolutionary change occurs. The latter view is based on the interpretation of the fossil record and is common among palaeontologists, whereas the former view builds on a version of population genetics theory. However, most evolutionary biologists hold the view that the two concepts are not necessarily contradictory because gradual changes in genotype may occasionally lead to major changes in phenotype.


See also Catastrophism; Evolution; Punctuated Equilibrium


volker loeschcke

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gradualism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Gradualism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gradualism

"Gradualism." Encyclopedia of Science and Religion. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gradualism

gradualism

grad·u·al·ism / ˈgrajoōəˌlizəm/ • n. a policy of gradual reform rather than sudden change or revolution. ∎ Biol. the hypothesis that evolution proceeds chiefly by the accumulation of gradual changes (in contrast to the punctuationist model). DERIVATIVES: grad·u·al·ist n. grad·u·al·is·tic / ˌgrajəwəˈlistik/ adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gradualism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gradualism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism

"gradualism." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism

gradualism

gradualism See PHYLETIC GRADUALISM.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism

gradualism

gradualism See phyletic gradualism.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-0

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-0

gradualism

gradualism See PHYLETIC GRADUALISM.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-1

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-1

gradualism

gradualism See PHYLETIC GRADUALISM.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 14, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-2

"gradualism." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved December 14, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/gradualism-2