|WikiProject Evolutionary biology||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
"gradualism" and "phyletic gradualism" are different things
The article suggests that Darwin´s assertion of gradualness of evolution was related with the later concept of phyletic gradualism, but it was not quite, as far as I know. Darwin also did asserted that evolution can occur more rapidly and slowly sometimes, which can be seen as an early acknowledgement of the patterns of evolution described as punctuated equilibria, punctuated gradualism, quantum evolution, etc. The sense of "gradual" that Darwin refers has to to more with a continuousness of phenotypic variation in populations, ie, in opposition to more abrupt variation such those proposed in saltationist theories. This continuum of variation is held in punctuated equilibrium and etc. Those are not really catastrophist or saltationist theories. More on the subject can be read in the text "All you need to know about Punctuated Equilibrium (almost)", by Douglas Theobald.
A summary of the issue can be said to be, that there are two different classes of conceptual opposition: gradualism X saltationsm, is one, which has nearly nothing to do with phyletic gradualism X punctuated equilibria (and kin), in which gradualism, in usually assumed on all sides. --Extremophile 15:19, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Based on that, I´m moving the "Charles Darwin" paragraph to the article about gradualism.
--Extremophile 15:19, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
is it a term coined by Eldredge and Gould?
On their (1972, I think) "puntuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism"? --Extremophile 00:04, 7 September 2006 (UTC)