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Chemistry LibreTexts

Natural Selection

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  • Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism for evolution

    The process humans use to change a species by selectively breeding for specific traits is called artificial selection. Darwin noticed a lot of variation in domestic plants and animals. 

    Watch the Crash Course video, Natural Selection

    After watching the video, read these three pages on the Berkley, Evolution 101 site: 

    The four main principles of the theory of natural selection are:

    • variation - heritable differences
    • overproduction - having many offspring raises the chances that some will survive, but it also leads to competition between offspring for resources
    • adaptation - a variation can allow an individual to survive longer and produce offspring
    • descent with modification - happens over time!

    It is also important to remember that natural selection can act only on traits that already exist.