9 Facts about Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
- Charles Darwin was a British naturalist born in 1809. He was known for his famous work “On the Origin of Species.” Darwin changed the way the people of the world viewed themselves through his amazing ideas on evolution and natural selection.
- For thousands of years many philosophers believed that life must have been created by a supernatural being or God. According to Darwin, the millions of species present today evolved slowly over billions of years from a common ancestor.
- He called this process, natural selection. It emphasised that the individuals that best adapted to their habitat, passed on these traits to their offspring.
- Over a period of time, these individuals were transformed into a species that were different from their ancestors. For instance, reptiles were transformed into birds and apes were transformed into humans.
- The traits which are heritable traits are controlled by the genes. Genotype is the complete set of genes in an organism’s genome.
- The traits that are a part of the organism’s structure and behavior are called phenotype and evolve from the interaction between genotype and its environment.
- So an organism’s suntan arises due to the interaction between sunlight and the organism genotype. This is the reason why suntan is not passed on to the next generation.
- In natural selection, nature is the measure against which individual traits survive. ‘Nature’ in this sense refers to the ecosystem in which various organisms interact physically and biologically in their local environment.
- There is competition for the limited resources available between the organisms. So, it’s ‘survival of the fittest,’ which is Darwin’s famous phrase.
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