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Natural Selection

  The survival of individuals in a population is determined by their relative fitness; natural selection is the process that determines which individuals are most likely to survive and reproduce. The theory of natural selection was proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace in 1858 as a result of their independent observations that the number of offspring produced by a population is generally far larger than can be sustained by the available resources. The differential survival of these offspring is driven by competition for these resources and determined by the process of natural selection, which is thus central to the concept of evolution. RB

See also Darwinism; group selection; kin selection; Lamarckism; sexual selection; speciation.Further reading John Maynard-Smith, The Theory of Evolution.



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