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Charles Darwin's Theory Of Evolution By Natural Selection

787 words - 3 pages

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution centres on the idea that species
compete to survive, and favorable characteristics are passed on
from one generation to the next.

Darwin said that evolution took place by a process of natural
selection or survival of the fittest. This meant that the animals and
plants best suited to their surroundings survived and were able to
pass on their genes to their offspring. The ones that weren't best
suited died off and didn't get the chance to reproduce. Animals and
plants had to change or evolve due to environmental pressures. Over
millions of years the conditions on the Earth have changed
tremendously, the environmental conditions we have now are very
different. If organisms hadn't adapted or changed to live in those
changing conditions we would have no life on Earth. Those organisms
that had the characteristics, which allowed them to survive, as food
became scarce or the temperature got colder or warmer were able to
survive and pass on the characteristics to the next generation. In any
generation there are a variety of characteristics e.g. taller,
shorter, run faster, stronger etc and these may give an evolutionary
advantage.

Darwin noted four things from his observations:

1. All organisms produce an abundance of offspring, many more than is
necessary

2. There is a fairly constant population size over time for any
particular organism

3. Within a species there is a wide range of features, due to
different alleles

4. Some variations are passed on and inherited by the offspring

From these Darwin decided that all organisms struggle for survival and
so have to produce many offspring to ensure that some do survive.

He also concluded that for a species to survive, the best (or
'fittest') of them must survive long enough to reproduce and pass on
their genes.

It has three essential parts:

It is possible for the DNA of an organism to occasionally change, or
mutate. A mutation changes the DNA of an organism in a way that
...

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