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The importance of natural selection as a cause of evolution was accepted into other branches of biology.Moreover, previously held notions about evolution, such as orthogenesis, evolutionism, and other beliefs about innate "progress" within the largest-scale trends in evolution, became obsolete.In each generation, many offspring fail to survive to an age of reproduction because of limited resources.This could explain the diversity of plants and animals from a common ancestry through the working of natural laws in the same way for all types of organism.which envisaged spontaneous generation continually producing simple forms of life that developed greater complexity in parallel lineages with an inherent progressive tendency, and postulated that on a local level these lineages adapted to the environment by inheriting changes caused by their use or disuse in parents.These ideas were condemned by established naturalists as speculation lacking empirical support.
This teleonomy is the quality whereby the process of natural selection creates and preserves traits that are seemingly fitted for the functional roles they perform. In the early 20th century the modern evolutionary synthesis integrated classical genetics with Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection through the discipline of population genetics.Some were disturbed by this since it implied that humans did not have a special place in the universe.In 1865, Gregor Mendel reported that traits were inherited in a predictable manner through the independent assortment and segregation of elements (later known as genes).Repeated formation of new species (speciation), change within species (anagenesis), and loss of species (extinction) throughout the evolutionary history of life on Earth are demonstrated by shared sets of morphological and biochemical traits, including shared DNA sequences.These shared traits are more similar among species that share a more recent common ancestor, and can be used to reconstruct a biological "tree of life" based on evolutionary relationships (phylogenetics), using both existing species and fossils.
Variations of this idea became the standard understanding of the Middle Ages and were integrated into Christian learning, but Aristotle did not demand that real types of organisms always correspond one-for-one with exact metaphysical forms and specifically gave examples of how new types of living things could come to be.