The theory of evolution proposes that over time the heritable characteristics, or traits, of a population of organisms changes. Heritable traits are encoded by the genetic material of an organism. Evolution generally results from three processes: random mutation to genetic material, random genetic drift, and non-random natural selection within populations and species. Those organisms most capable of surviving produce more offspring and continue to exist while those less capable die out. While some ideas of evolution have existed for centuries, it was the development of the theory of natural selection developed by English naturalists Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (each acting independently) in the 1840s and '50s, that provided a viable explanation for evolution.
The unusual flora and fauna of Atlantis gave credence to the theory of evolution, as these species had developed in complete isolation from the rest of the world, and reached a level of unique biodiversity matched only in New Zealand.
The transformational theory of life was first developed and proposed in 1661 by Samuel Pepys, an English amateur scientist and thinker. The theory was rudimentary at this point, obviously, as the concept of genetics was unknown. He presented this theory to the Royal Society on 28 May 1661 giving as an example the continued existence of men in Europe while sims survived only in the New World where no men had lived until recently.
Most people agree that had the New World been populated by human beings rather than sims, the theory would not have been developed until much later, if ever.
Victoria Griffin of New Zion, Reverence, had heard of evolution in a vague manner, only remembering that it was something evil. By contrast, Janice, of the nearby Federation base, was intensely interested in the theory and its implication for the Haldol population, specifically in the matter of the division of planetary regions between the Haldol and New Zion.
The savant Iffud was the first member of the Race to put forth the theory of evolution, sometime around the Earth year of 55,000 BC. He based his conclusions on studies of fossils found in the Crimson Desert.