What is Natural Selection?
There is no doubt that the world has changed ever since it came into being. Whether it came from by creation or through the other theories that are advanced, the world is definitely a very different place from its first day of existence. There have been millions of different species that have lived on this planet. Many are now extinct yet there are others that have survived through all this time. To survive in the changing environment has and continues to demand adapting to the changes as they come along. Those that have been able to adapt fast enough have survived while the others who have failed to do so are no longer here. This is not only among the different species but also within the species.
There are those who have confused natural selection with evolution and there is good reason why this has happened. Natural selection is a component of evolution. Through natural selection, the traits of a species that are most useful in a particular environment become enhanced while those that cause it disadvantage are done away with. In natural selection those that are genetically advantaged as per the current environment will have a greater chance of reproducing and thus the traits that they posses which give them their current advantage will be passed on to a majority of the future generations.
Natural selection has been compared to artificial selection and this has helped create a clearer picture. Human beings have over the years bred animals and plants in a manner that aims at bringing out the very best traits in a particular species. Racing horses are a good example where continuously bringing superior traits leads to the eventual creation of a champion that has all the desired qualities to excel in racing. In the same way, nature has a way of continuously propagating the traits that will help a species survive in its current environment.
There are several factors that have been indentified as encouraging natural selection. These factors hold true in both natural and also man made environments. The first is change in environmental conditions where the living things in a particular ecological system may have to adapt to declining temperatures. Those in a species that have more fur are more likely to survive and future generations will consequently have more fur on their bodies. Another factor that causes natural selection is high populations. Increased populations mean increased competition for food and other resources. Here again, natural selection will be in favor those that have abilities that give them an advantage in acquiring resources. Another cause for natural selection is where a particular species has great variation in the characters of its members. This means that despite being of the same species, there is a big difference in traits. Natural selection will once again cause those that have more useful traits as per the current environment to prosper. Natural selection is therefore a powerful mechanism of nature that has throughout the years helped species survive in an ever changing world.