Definitions for natural selection

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word natural selection

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

nat′ural selec′tion(n.)

  1. the process in nature by which forms of life having traits that better enable them to adapt to specific environmental pressures, as changes in climate or competition for food or mates, will tend to survive and reproduce in greater numbers than others of their kind, thus perpetuating those traits in succeeding generations.

    Category: Biology

Origin of natural selection:

1855–1860

Princeton's WordNet

  1. survival, survival of the fittest, natural selection, selection(noun)

    a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment

Wiktionary

  1. natural selection(Noun)

    A process by which heritable traits conferring survival and reproductive advantage to individuals, or related individuals, tend to be passed on to succeeding generations and become more frequent in a population, whereas other less favourable traits tend to become eliminated.

  2. natural selection(Noun)

    A process in which individual organisms or phenotypes that possess favourable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce: the differential survival and reproduction of phenotypes.

Freebase

  1. Natural selection

    Natural selection is the gradual, non-random process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution. The term "natural selection" was popularized by Charles Darwin who intended it to be compared with artificial selection, which is now called selective breeding. Variation exists within all populations of organisms. This occurs partly because random mutations occur in the genome of an individual organism, and these mutations can be passed to offspring. Throughout the individuals’ lives, their genomes interact with their environments to cause variations in traits. Individuals with certain variants of the trait may survive and reproduce more than individuals with other variants. Therefore the population evolves. Factors that affect reproductive success are also important, an issue that Charles Darwin developed in his ideas on sexual selection, for example. Natural selection acts on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, but the genetic basis of any phenotype that gives a reproductive advantage may become more common in a population. Over time, this process can result in populations that specialize for particular ecological niches and may eventually result in the emergence of new species. In other words, natural selection is an important process by which evolution takes place within a population of organisms. Natural selection can be contrasted with artificial selection, in which humans intentionally choose specific traits. In natural selection there is no intentional choice. In other words, artificial selection is teleological and natural selection is not teleological.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Natural Selection

    name given by Darwin to the survival of certain plants and animals that are fitted, and the decease contemporaneously of certain others that are not fitted, to a new environment.

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