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Questions, comments, corrections?
Biological evolution is any genetic change in a population of organisms that is inherited over several generations. When particular genetic sequences change in a population (via mutation, variation) and these changes are inherited across successive generations, this is the stuff of evolution. These changes may be small or large, noticeable or not so noticeable. Evolutionary change is not directed towards a goal, nor is it solely dependent on natural selection to shape its path.
Natural selection is the process by which those organisms that best fit an environment survive and get to reproduce. The fittest organisms are those that are best at consistently finding food, water, and shelter, the best at escaping predators, and the best able to produce surviving offspring. Fitness roughly equates to reproductive success. Over time, fitter organisms outsurvive less-fit ones. The fitter ones produce successful descendants that inherit their high-fitness characteristics. Over time, those beneficial characteristics will work their way through the entire population.
What is evolution?
Is there evidence for evolution?
Natural selection is a key mechanism for evolution.
What is natural selection?
Yes. Scientists (98% consensus) no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Evolution is a fact that is supported by a wide range of independent evidence across multiple fields of study including embryology, comparative anatomy, paleontology, phylogenetics, homology, biogeography, and actual observation.
"From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
- Charles Darwin
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Fact vs. Theory vs. Hypothesis vs. Law… EXPLAINED!
Natural selection is the non-random selection of random variations. Natural selection works both on the individual level and the population level.