What is natural selection?

What is natural selection?

by andrea cortes on March 28, 2023 Categories: Blog

(Leer en español)

An evolutionary mechanism, organisms that were better adapted to their environment were more likely to survive and pass on the genes that made them successful. Later, this process caused species to change and divide. One way to explain the millions of species that have lived on Earth is natural selection.

In the 19th century, many believed that organisms were too complex to be of natural origin, and therefore thought they were designed by a transcendent God. Natural selection, however, argues that even the most complex organisms came into being through natural processes.

What is natural selection?

Genetic mutations that are beneficial for the survival of the individual are passed on through reproduction. This results in a new generation of organisms, more likely to survive reproduction. For giraffes, for example, the long neck has allowed them to reach food that is higher up, giving them a competitive advantage. With this advantage, they survived reproduction and passed this trait on to the next generation. Thus, giraffes that have shorter necks and less access to food are less likely to outlive their genes. If we take 1000 giraffes measure their neck length, they would all be slightly different, which could be explained by the fact that the differences are partly determined by their genes. Also, those with longer necks might leave more offspring because they had access to more food and competed better for mates because they were stronger. Alternatively, if we measured the neck length of next generations, they would also differ, and so on, but in fact the average would be skewed towards longer necks. Generations after generation this process continues.

Adaptation is a physical or behavioral process that helps an organism to survive in its environment. But it is not a characteristic of all animals. Alternatively, an adaptation can be used for another purpose, such as feathers, which originally helped to adapt in thermoregulation, but later became essential in the ability to fly. This means that feathers are more an exaptation than adaptation. However, selection for adaptation is not the only cause of evolution, because species change can also be caused by neutral mutations that have no disadvantage or advantage for the individual, neither gene flow nor genetic drift.

What is natural selection?

Finally, the survival of the fittest should be discussed. So, from an evolutionary point of view, the animal that has adapted to its environmental is called fit. But this term is often misunderstood, because there is a randomness to the process, it is not always the best adapted animal that survives.

In summary, for thousands of years the world has been seen as statistic, but natural selection is since the world is constantly changing. That is, evolution happens automatically for survival, catching up with our dynamic world for millions of years. In the short them, evolution can be predicted, but it is almost impossible to accurately decide its effects in the future because of unpredictable fluctuations in the environment. The faster the planet changes, the harder it becomes to keep up with evolution, and the greater the risk of mass extinction.

More info’s here is this video:


Information researched by Dezső Sándor