Anthony B. Wight
What actually happened [in evolution] makes sense. It’s just that what actually happened is one of a billion possible alternatives. . .if you could play life’s tape again from any early point, you’d never get it to run exactly the same way again.
Since Linneaus, biologists have classified animals according to similarities and differences in form and structure. These physical features were used to establish lineages—”family trees” or evolutionary relationships among species. Today, new methods of genetic analysis are challenging morphology as the key to determining family trees. The potential power of genetic techniques for evolutionary studies lies in the growing acceptance that the driving force behind structural changes in organisms is the constant minuscule molecular mutation of DNA.
The human genome as we are coming to know it is but one brief chemical moment in evolutionary time. However, it is our moment; and the scientific and technological advancements promised by a full understanding of the genome’s complexity will fuel a vigorous research effort for at least the next decade.