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History of the Environment

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What is the most significant set of theories that explain the evolutionary history of our natural world and ongoing environmental change?

The origin of life and earth is still one of the greatest mysteries scientists have yet to solve. Modern day science and technology allow us to make theoretically correct assumptions about the past. According to research, it is evident that the earth’s environment and life have been evolving since the beginning of time, which is still evident today as ecosystems and environments continue to change. Three theories that help explain the evolutionary history of our natural world and ongoing environmental change include natural selection, neutral theory of molecular evolution, and the transition into the Anthropocene epoch. Natural selection theory argues that life forms evolve in response to the changes in the environment. Neutral theory of molecular change argues that changes occur in organisms at a constant rate over time without the influence of the environment. Anthropocene is a relatively new term that suggests we have transitioned from the Holocene era to the Anthropocene, which is characterized human dominated activity. These theories are presented in various works, but this paper will focus on Life and the Evolution of Earth’s Atmosphere by Stephen J. Mojzsis, The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time? by Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Alan Haywood, and Michael Ellis, and The Modern Molecular Clock by Lindell Bromham and David Penny.
According to most scientists including Stephen Mojzsis (2001), the earth’s atmosphere and oceans appeared 4.5 billion years ago. The planet’s conditions were predominately anaerobic for 2.2 billion years; greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, water vapour, sulfur gases and carbon monoxide dominated the atmosphere. Prevailing life forms during this period…...

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