Genetics and Evolution

What is the Darwin-Wallace theory?

The Darwin-Wallace theory can be summarized as the following: Species as a whole demonstrate descent with modification from common ancestors, and natural selection is the sum of the environmental forces that drive those modifications. The modifications or adaptations make the individuals in the population better suited to survival in their environment, more “fit” as it were.

The four postulates presented by Darwin in On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection are as follows: 1) Individuals within species are variable. 2) Some of these variations are passed on to offspring. 3) In every generation more offspring are produced than can survive. 4) The survival and reproduction of individuals are not random; the individuals who survive and go on to reproduce the most are those with the most favorable variation. They are naturally selected. It follows logically from these that the characteristics of the population will change with each subsequent generation until the population becomes distinctly different from the original; this process is known as evolution.


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