Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
Episode #9 of the course “Scientific laws and theories everyone should know”
As told by most experts, all life shares a common predecessor. However, to account for the vast differences between living things, some of those organisms obviously had to turn into separate species. This process of changing and adapting to the environment is called “evolution.”
Throughout the history of evolution, varying degrees of differentiation occurred as the descendants of many generations experienced different changes in their shape, size, eating habits, and ability to move, just to name a few examples. Groups of living things obtained varied traits through the process of mutating genes. If living organisms were born with traits that helped them survive, then they would naturally carry those traits into the next generation of the species because those without the trait naturally died off (or could not survive as well). This explanation helps us understand the term “natural selection.”
The theory of evolution through natural selection as conceived by Darwin is a widely-supported theory that describes how traits and genes persist over generations. For example, to understand how virtually any species formed, one needs fundamental knowledge about the workings of natural selection. Generally, evolution is the way that an organism changes over many years because of the hereditary, physical, or behavioral traits in that species. Modifications allow organisms to get used to the environment that in turn enables the organism to produce more young.
In small and significant ways, the population of a species is changed through natural selection. These changes cause variations in color, size, and ability over several years in a process called “microevolution.” However, natural selection does much more in reality. If a considerable amount of time has passed and many changes have built up, the process of natural selection may yield a whole new species capable of living in new conditions.
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