punctuated equilibrium definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
a theory of evolution holding that characteristics of living organisms remain relatively stable for long periods that are infrequently interrupted, or punctuated, by brief periods of relatively rapid evolutionary change, caused as by climatic or geologic changes
punctuated equilibrium definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The theory that speciation occurs in spurts of major genetic alterations that punctuate long periods of little change.
punctuated equilibrium - Cultural Definition
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
punctuated equilibrium - Science Definition
The theory that new species evolve suddenly over relatively short periods of time (a few hundred to a thousand years), 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.