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Once multicellular organisation became possible as atmospheric oxygen levels rose, the early multicellular organisms rapidly diverged into many adaptive forms.
Mass extinction events and an organism's unique adaptations mark the history of evolution, both of which may lead to adaptive radiation.
At the onset of the 20th century, most scientists had accepted the great antiquity of the earth, the theory of evolution and that humanity had evolved from an ape ancestor, but by 1908 the fossil evidence of early man was scarce.
Biologists included principles from genetics in evolutionary theory during the 1920s and 1930s.
( Adaptive radiation is the evolution from an unspecialised ancestral stock of many different species that adapt to a variety of ecological roles (see books)).
Mammals and subsequently humanity may not have become dominant on earth had it not been for the global catastrophe that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
The evolution of a species is linked to the environment.
Adaptation is a continuous response to the environment by changeable species.
methods rely on characteristic faunal and geological patterns to bracket the period when the fossil existed.
Evolution only gained significant momentum after the theory of evolution, published by Charles Darwin in November 1859, implied that man was merely another product of life on earth, with origins shared by the other creatures and not its ultimate purpose. Wallace proposed the same theory at a joint presentation to the Linnaean Society in London .
Without the universal acceptance of the principle of evolution, there is no chance for the serious proposal of holism.
 Natural selection, gene flow and random genetic drift (the random change in gene combinations with each generation) drive evolution, resulting in a change in gene frequencies within populations .
 Adaptation is genetically based and so leads to phenotypic changes that accumulate over time;  Speciation (species formation) evolves through reproductive isolation and (genetic) divergence of populations;  Genetic changes through natural selection lead to new species and eventually new taxa .
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Between the mid-1930s and mid 1940s geneticists, systematists and palaeontologists collaborated to create a united approach to evolution, the "Modern Synthesis".