punctuated equilibrium

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punc·tu·at·ed equilibrium

1. The theory that the evolution of life on earth typically follows a pattern in which long periods of little morphological change are punctuated by relatively short periods of significant change, when speciation occurs.
2. Evolutionary development of this kind.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

punc′tuated equilib′rium

a theory that the evolution of species proceeds with long periods of relative stability interspersed with rapid change. Compare gradualism (def. 2).
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

punc·tu·at·ed equilibrium

The theory that new species evolve suddenly over relatively short periods of time, followed by longer periods in which little genetic change occurs. Punctuated equilibrium is a revision of Darwin's theory that evolution takes place at a slow, constant rate over millions of years. Compare gradualism. See Note at evolution.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.punctuated equilibrium - a theory of evolution holding that evolutionary change in the fossil record came in fits and starts rather than in a steady process of slow change
evolutionism, theory of evolution, theory of organic evolution - (biology) a scientific theory of the origin of species of plants and animals
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References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, the changes made for accreditation are believed to follow the behavior predicted by the punctuated equilibrium model (Assumption 1).
It is likely that laws of biological form, random chance, genetic drift, punctuated equilibrium, and Darwinian adaptation may all have roles to play.
For cases of [lambda] = [0,87,0,90], the absence of outbursts is observed; that is, the punctuated equilibrium disappears giving rise to a regime that can be characterized as noise (as we shall see later), being the activity of active agents under the threshold for a burst.
But recently, there has been a renaissance, a veritable punctuated equilibrium in stick design where engineers have looked for new ways to store and release the kinetic energy of a bouncing person.
Evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould calls this kind of change "punctuated equilibrium." We are currently in a period of transition where there is no stability.
Evan Harris; "Punctuated Equilibrium" by the evolutionary biologist known as GrrlScientist; and "The Lay Scientist" by researcher Martin Robbins.
While concepts such as homology, analogy, evolutionary game theory, strategy, niche construction, (positive) frequency-dependence, group selection, punctuated equilibrium, gene-meme co-evolution, and so on make their appearance from time to time, others that are important in contemporary evolutionary theory, such as life history theory, and some that evolutionists currently struggle with, such as the relationship between evolution and development (evo-devo) do not.
My background is in evolutionary biology, so I frequently find myself borrowing concepts like "bethedging," "hybrid vigor" and "punctuated equilibrium" to help make decisions related to acquiring and supporting high performance computing assets in a highly variable and often unpredictable academic environment.
However, I quickly realized that this was a perfect time to talk about Eldredge and Gould's (1972) landmark paper on punctuated equilibrium. If all your students follow the rules, perhaps you could covertly or overtly introduce another phrase with the help of one of the students.
Written for scholars of scientific and philosophical disciplines, this volume explores Gould's thoughts on punctuated equilibrium, human equality and intelligence testing, "spandrels" and "exaptation" and the debate between science and fundamentalist Christianity.
Little critical scientific evaluation of these views is offered as a counterpoint, although Ayala is skeptical about punctuated equilibrium and deflationary about the Baldwin effect.