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Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection

Natural selection is a theory first put forward by Darwin in The Origin of Species. It means that animals born with better characteristics will have a better chance of surviving and breeding. In this way, animals with better characteristics will pass these on to their offspring which will in turn have a better chance of surviving. Gradually, the animals that don't have these good characteristics will die out as they don't live as long and have as many offspring. An example would be a butterfly born a different colour to the other butterflies of its species but this new colour meant that predators could not see it as well so it would have less chance of getting eaten.

Evidence The most famous example of evidence that Charles Darwin used to support his theory of natural selection is the example of the finches in the Galapagos Islands. These finches had evolved in ways that showed natural selection at work. Basically, the finches were all descended from a common ancestor that had gotten stranded on the Galapagos, isolated from South America. Once there, they evolved to fill many ecological niches that were empty. This evolution could be found in the shapes of their beaks. Each species of finch had evolved a new shape and size of beak. This beak shape and size was dependent on what sort of food this species had specialized in eating. This showed that the finches with the most adapted beaks for each kind of food succeeded and gradually ended up becoming new species.

Opposition to Darwin’s Theory Opposition of the first kind mostly came from people within the scientific community; in some cases they turned out to be incorrect whilst in other cases they turned out to be right. Even Darwin himself pointed out that there were some parts of this theory that he found weak. Darwin wasn't aware of the mechanisms of hereditary traits (he didn't know about DNA and Genes); the discoveries done by Mendel (a Catholic priest) and the later discovery of DNA helped the scientific community to improve on Darwin’s work. There is no doubt within the scientific community about the facts of evolution (species changing over time and becoming new species and related species sharing common ancestry) but differences still remain about the various mechanisms and other factors. There is also opposition against the facts that evolution tries to explain. Virtually all this opposition

Moths with a mutant black colouring were easily spotted and eaten by birds. the mutation is beneficial . the black peppered moths became far more numerous in urban areas than the pale variety. Airborne pollution in industrial areas blackened the birch tree bark with soot.for the bacteria. most peppered moths were of the pale variety. This gave the white variety an advantage.Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection comes from religious circles or is religiously motivated because our sharing a common ancestor with apes or an old earth seems blasphemous . and most of the time this causes the death of the cell. it may allow resistance to an antibiotic. Its DNA can be damaged or changed during replication. This meant that they were camouflaged against the pale birch trees that they rest on. When that antibiotic is present. the resistant bacteria have an advantage over the bacteria that are not resistant. and they were more likely to survive and reproduce. This meant that the mutant black moths were now camouflaged. Over time. One example is the bacterium E.This is true for the people in Darwin’s day just as much as it is for modern creationists. Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are an increasing problem in hospitals. and they were more likely to survive to reproduce. Most of these arguments are put forward as ideological not scientific Modern Evidence for Natural Selection – Peppered Moths Before the industrial revolution in Britain. But occasionally. For example. Modern Evidence for Natural Selection – Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses reproduce very rapidly and can evolve in a relatively short time. coli. This gave the black variety an advantage. . while the white variety became more vulnerable to predators.

For instance. a giraffe with a longer neck can reach food high up 2. a giraffe is more likely to get enough food to survive to reproduce 3. Lamarck 1. a giraffe stretches its neck to reach food high up 2. the giraffe's offspring inherit its long neck Darwin 1. it would predict that all organisms gradually become complex. His theory centred on two ideas:   the law of use and disuse the law of inheritance of acquired characteristics His theory stated that a characteristic which is used more and more by an organism becomes bigger and stronger. In addition. Darwin's theory can account for the continued presence of simple organisms. . his theory cannot account for all the observations made of life on Earth. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was a French scientist who developed an alternative theory at the beginning of the 19th century.Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Alternative Theories of Natural Selection Darwin was not the only person to develop a theory of evolution. One that is not used disappears eventually. These lists summarise the two different explanations for long necks in giraffe. a giraffe's offspring inherit its long neck Lamarck's theory was eventually discredited because acquired characteristics do not have a genetic basis. Any characteristic of an organism that is improved through use is passed to its offspring. the giraffe's neck gets longer because it's used a lot 3. and simple organisms disappear.