Originally appears in the Summer 2017 issue
Evolution: the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth” – The Oxford Dictionary.
Many individuals and organizations have tried to define evolution in a simple way. The definition above, as found in the Oxford Dictionary, for example, is a broad, simplified definition that only scratches the surface of the theory. The theory of evolution seeks to explain why and how organisms change over time and is accomplished by genetic variations, mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, and/or descent.1 Charles Darwin is most notably credited for theorizing evolution. He was a naturalist that observed species who were visibly or physically similar. Minor differences in individuals native to different islands have variations which help them to survive in the unique demands of the different geographic areas. Darwin noticed these patterns throughout the many species he encountered during his travels and terms the process by which this would occur natural selection. Natural selection thus means that reproduction would involve individuals with favorable traits, leading to evolutionary change.
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