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Theory of Natural
Power Notes
Mrs. Riordan
What is your definition of Evolution?
slow change in
organisms that occurs over
many generations.
Natural Selection is:
 The
process by which organisms
change over time, as those best suited
to their environment survive to pass on
their genes to the next generation.
Members of a species living in
a given area at a given time.
Key insights that led Darwin to the
theory of evolution:
Artificial selection- Darwin noticed a lot of variation of
traits in domesticated animals and plants. Humans can
increase the chances of certain traits being passed down.
Heritability – Natural Selection can only act on traits that
already exist. Traits must be heritable in order to be
passed down
Struggle for survival – There is only so much food and
resources available so only the most “fit” survive.
4 main principles of natural selection
 Principle
1: Variation:
reproduction and
mutations contribute to
variation within a gene
Principle 2: Overproduction
 Individuals
tend to produce more
offspring than the environment can
support. (over-population /
Principle 3 : Adaptation
 An
adaptation is a change in an
individual in order to fill a niche or
survive in its environment. Adaptations
add up over time to drive Natural
Principle 4: Inheritance of traits
Individuals that are better able to cope
with the challenges presented by their
environment tend to leave more offspring
than those individuals less suited to the
environment (Inheritable characteristics).
a measure of survivability and
the ability to produce offspring
Survival of the Fittest
word for natural
selection. Organisms that are best
adapted to the environment
survive to pass on their genes to
the next generation.