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18 January 2022
  » pubmed » pmid17793231

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Asymmetry of Lineages and the Direction of Evolutionary Time
Stephen Jay Gould ; Norman L Gilinsky ; Rebecca Z German ;
Date 12 Jun 1987
Journal Science, 236 (4807), 1437-1441
AbstractEvolutionary time has a characteristic direction as demonstrated by the asymmetry of clade diversity diagrams in large statistical samples. Evolutionary groups generally concentrate diversity during their early histories, producing a preponderance of bottom-heavy clades among those that arise early in the history of a larger group. This pattern holds across taxonomic levels and across differences in anatomy and ecology (marine invertebrates, terrestrial mammals). The quantitative study of directionality in life’s history (replacing vague, untestable, and culturally laden notions of "progress") should receive more attention from paleobiologists.
Source PubMed, pmid17793231 doi: 10.1126/science.236.4807.1437
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