- The theory of evolution provides humankind with more than just a scientific narrative of life’s origins and progression. It also yields invaluable technologies.
- For instance, the concept of molecular clocks—based on the accumulation of mutations in DNA over the eons—underlies applications such as the DNA analyses used in criminal investigations.
- DNA analysis of how pathogens evolve produces useful information for combating the outbreak and spread of disease. Accelerated evolution in laboratories has improved vaccines and other therapeutic proteins.
- Computer scientists have adapted evolution’s mechanisms of mutation and selection to solve problems.
Charles Darwin surely had no clue of the technological advances that his studies of beetles and birds would unleash. Our progress in comprehending the history and mechanisms of evolution has led to powerful applications that shape a wide variety of fields today.
For instance—as the CSI franchise of television shows has popularized—law-enforcement agencies now commonly use evolutionary analyses in their investigations. Knowledge of how different genes evolve determines the kind of information they can extract from DNA evidence.