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Answered 2015-12-12 20:51:37

Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the belief that evolution generally occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (called anagenesis). In this view, evolution is seen as generally smooth and continuous.

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How are the theories of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium different and similar?

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That they are both theories of evolutionary change, but the tempo of the change is different enough that we have the two theories. Rapid evolutionary change punctuated with long periods of stasis describes the former while gradual and incremental change over long periods is the description of the later. Natural selection seems to be more important in gradualism than punctuation, but this is a murky area that is argued about often.


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