Saturday, January 03, 2015

600 Million Years of Evolution, Animated

It's the beginning of a New Year, and I'm going to continue the theme of time.

I've explained previously why I think "evolution" is a loaded term that makes people believe the metamorphosis of living forms over time follows an orderly, linear progression.

Despite my unease with the term "evolution", it is an undeniable fact that Life is not a static phenomenon and that living systems change. As the Greek thinker Heraclitus stated, "Nothing is permanent, except change."

Changes are always happening on an individual level, down to the cellular & molecular scales. Noticeable species-wide changes may happen at different rates, though, depending on the situation.

One of the intellectual benefits of digital media is the ability to visualize processes that were previously unimaginable. On Reddit, I came across this animated GIF of biological metamorphosis over the past 600 million years, which starts at cellular life and continues through up to modern humans.

It is available as a flip book, called EVO, from

Originally, the order was reversed for some reason, but after some searching I found a version going forward through time.

Here it is on Gfycat, allowing you to go frame-by-frame or reverse the order.

Finally, here is a Youtube video of the animation:

While I was searching Google images for this evolution GIF, I saw this cool animation that I posted before:

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