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Table 2 Comparison/contrast of the two major dynamic processes of biological change

From: Vestiges of the natural history of development: historical holdovers reveal the dynamic interaction between ontogeny and phylogeny

  Evolution Development
Basic definition Genomic (inherited) changes in populations over successive generations Changes within the life history of an individual organism
Time frame/scale Change occurs between generations of related entities Change occurs within lifespan (birth to death) of single entity
Source of change Inherited changes due to random mutation and directed selection Preprogrammed changes occur via unfolding/expression of internal plan
Programmed? Teleonomic (apparently goal-directed but not teleologic) yet not programmed Teleonomic & programmatic, with changes guided by and based on program of coded information
Adaptive? Generational changes of organisms adapt to changes in environment Changes within organisms generally do not relate to adaptation or respond to environmental shifts