Evolution: Just a Theory? - P2
How Does Evolution Work?
Evolution can be defined as inheritable change in a population that ultimately results from the interaction of individuals with their environment. And its action over very large stretches of time explains the origin of new species, occasionally the elimination of existing species and ultimately the vast diversity of the biological world.
Today’s species are related to each other through common decent (ancestors that they share) and are products of evolution over billions of years.
Page last updated: 11/2015
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Is Evolution a Fact or a Theory?
Key concepts of evolution:
- Any change must be inheritable (able to be passed on to the next generation).
- These changes are regulated by natural selection.
Natural selection a theory on the mechanism of evolution, the process in nature by which only the organisms that are best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics to the next generation (reproduce) in higher numbers. Individuals less well adapted to their environment tend to be eliminated.
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Sources & Resources
- Brown, Bryson (2007) Evolution: A Historical Perspective. Greenwood Press.
- Campbell & Reece (2005) Biology, 7th Edition. Pearson.