B1.8 Natural Selection and Evolution

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Darwin's Theory of Evolution

Darwin proposed a theory of evolution based on his observations of finches in the Galapogos:

  • Organisms produce more offspring than survive into adulthood.
  • There was variation in the individuals of a aspecies and their offspring.
  • There is a struggle for existance - those organisms best suited to the environment survive the longest and have mor offspring, passing on the more beneficial characteristics. This is known as the survival of the fittest.
  • He called this process Natural Selection because he suggested that nature is selecting which characteristics are the most sucessful.
  • He believed that after many generations, the characteristics in a population would have changed so much that we would consider the organisms to have become a new species.

Accepting Darwin's Ideas

At first, Darwins ideas were challenged and not accepted:

  • Because he had no evidence
  • They had no knowledge of species
  • Religion had an important place


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