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Darwin's Theory of Evolution

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Text Preview Describe Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is a species adaptation to its environment and the environment’s impact to the species over time. Traits that benefit the survival of the species within a specific environment pass to offspring because members of the population that have the beneficial traits are more likely to survive and reproduce. In order for a change to be evolutionary it must be genetic and on a hereditary level. The change occurs from generation to generation and over time impacts the entire population. Evolution by natural selection can impact a species to the point of varying so much from its original traits it is now a new species. It can also force a species into extinction. A population, which is defined as “a group of individuals of the same species living in the same place at the same time”, changes over time as it evolves. (Simon pg. 245) Two observations were made by Darwin as well as other naturalists. 1) Most species have more offspring than can be sustained by their surrounding environment. This creates a “struggle for existence” that eliminates the least adaptable within the species. Numbers dwindle due to members of a species freezing, disease, becoming prey to predators, being unmated or being unable to reproduce. Those who are more adaptable to the environment’s temperature, have an allele which codes for an enzyme that fights a disease, have the coloring that camouflage their presence or are fertile, are more likely to survive. 2) Traits of members of a population can vary but are more similar between offspring and their parents and siblings. It supports the belief that traits are directly inherited from parent to child. Geography has an impact on evolution in that the resources surrounding a population can impact those who are able to survive. The plants animals and insects available as food can impact those successful in feeding and what... Show More

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