punctuated equilibrium

(redirected from Punctuated equilibria)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

punctuated equilibrium

the theory that evolutionary change has occurred during short periods of rapid change punctuated by periods of stability Such a process would be characterized by the absence of an infinite range of intermediate forms, and supporters of the theory point to the vertebrate fossil record as evidence.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
We will mainly provide recent examples of punctuated equilibria in industrial relations systems in this section in order to illustrate and emphasize the most radical and controversial of the biological analogies, but we want to emphasize that, in our view, "incremental" or "gradually adaptive" transformations are also possible; we will return to this point at the end of this section, when we briefly reconsider the German case.
Theory and explanation, patterns and trends, economic and social theory, punctuated equilibria, and gradualism and spatial inequality are among his perspectives.
His theory of punctuated equilibria is paraded out; its postulation of rapid change between periods of nonactivity is taken as evidence of evolutionists' problems with the paths of evolution; and then all is wrapped up as a supposedly devastating critique of the very fact of evolution.
For the gradual model, but not for punctuated equilibria, imbalance saturates with high rates of evolution.