Natural Selection

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Darwin's theory of Natural Selection and its Implications for Self-Understanding

Darwin's theory of Natural Selection and its Implications for Self-Understanding

The main purpose of this paper is to make a thorough discussion on the Darwin's theory of natural selection and its implications for self-understanding. The Darwin's theory is mainly based on the principle of natural selection. This is a very supportive theory. Under this view, natural selection is just one of the factors of evolution, since other factors, such as random genetic drift, migration between populations, or genetic mutation, can also produce genetic changes in populations. However, natural selection is the only process known that can explain the adaptations of organisms, and therefore occupies a central position in evolutionary biology.

Under the Darwinian view, the change is the only reality of species. Each individual with its variation is an essential characteristic of our species. Darwin summarizes the central argument of the theory of evolution by natural selection as follows:

“The production of more individuals can result in the survival of more individuals as well. Therefore, it is necessary that the struggle for existence should be made. This can be made either on individual basis or the basis of same and different species”. For the current scientific community, in essence, natural selection is differential reproduction of genetic variants on each other (differential reproduction of population variants). Charles Darwin was certainly influenced by his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, who published at the beginning of 19th century a book on the living world and its evolution. After laborious study, the student Charles Darwin became an avid collector of beetles and thus developed his powers of observation. At the end of the year 1831, he sailed on the Beagle for a voyage around the world. It was during this famous journey, the careful observation of the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands led him gradually to evolutionism. The principle of natural selection was prefigured by his study of the mechanism of artificial selection practiced by the creators of new breeds of domestic animals or cultivated plants. In his book, he gave the example of the multitude of breeds of domestic pigeons obtained by artificial selection of heritable variations from a single strain. Artificial selection subsequently became the inspiration born with natural reading of the book of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834): "Essay on Population" published in 1798.

The central idea of the Darwinian Theory is natural selection. It is ...
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