Need Help?

Get in touch with us


Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Grade 7
Jun 14, 2023

Emergence of Evolutionary Thoughts – Natural Selection and Darwinism


Evolution refers to the continuous and gradual process of change that occurs over a period of time. During evolution characteristics of living organisms undergo changes and leads to the formation of new species. Scientists have predicted that the Earth is around 4.6 billion years old.

Around 3 billion years ago, the first life on earth appeared. It was unicellular tiny prokaryote. Around 2 billion years ago, these tiny prokaryotic cells evolved into larger cells that contain a nucleus. Later on, smaller prokaryotic cells resided into larger cells and got transformed into organelles over the course of evolution (Example: Mitochondria).

Around one billion years ago, multicellular organisms evolved. It is also anticipated that various animals and plants have been evolving for the past 500 million years.

natural selection

History of Evolutionary Thoughts:

It is anticipated that the emergence of thoughts about the process of evolution of species began during the fourth century BC. Several theories of evolution have been proposed by various scientists. Most importantly Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle provided their views on the evolution of species on earth.

They believed that each organism on earth has been created in their present form and they remain unchanged. Various evolutionary theories have been proposed by different scientists at different time periods. French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), has proposed that living things could transfer the acquired traits to their offspring.  Later on, this idea was opposed by biologists.


Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection:

Darwinism is the most widely accepted theory of biological evolution. It was proposed by Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), the British naturalist.  He coined the phrase “descent with modification”.  Darwinism states that every species has descended from pre-existing species by reproduction. It also states that species undergo change over time.

Process of Natural Selection

Natural selection refers to the process that causes populations to change over time. Darwin explained the mechanism of evolution through natural selection. According to Darwin, the evolution of living organisms takes place in such a way that over a period of time, populations adapt themselves to their living environment. He also states that natural selection is totally dependent on the specific environment.

Concepts of Darwinism:

The following are the important concepts of Darwinism.

  1. Overproduction
  2. Struggle for survival
  3. Variations
  4. Natural Selection
  5. Speciation
concepts of Darwinism
concepts of Darwinism

Over Production:

Living organisms produce more offspring. This leads to overcrowding.

Example: An oyster has the capability to produce 60 – 80 million eggs per year


The Struggle for Survival:

When more individuals are reproduced by living organisms, there is an increase in the need for food, space, and other resources required for the survival of these organisms. Therefore these organisms compete with each other for food and other resources for their survival. This is known as the struggle for survival. This competition could occur between members of the same species (intraspecific struggle) or different species (interspecific struggle).


Differences in characteristics between individuals of a population are referred to as variations. These variations may occur due to genetic or chromosomal changes. These variations may produce useful, neutral, or harmful effects. During evolution, small continuous variations may be transferred to the next generation which in turn could lead to the formation of new species.

Natural Selection:

Living organisms with variations that are favourable for their survival in a particular environment continue to live. Whereas other organisms which do not have variations do not survive. This phenomenon of nature is referred to as “survival of the fittest”. Nature decides the fitness/unfitness of an organism. This process of selecting living organisms with favourable variations is known as natural selection.


Through the process of natural selection, only those organisms with favourable variations continue to live in a particular environment. These favourable variations are transferred from one generation to the next generation. This process leads to the formation of new species.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection in a Nutshell:

Darwin has proposed that environmental variables such as food availability, predators, climate, disease, etc. play an important role in determining the size of a population. He has also explained that even if a particular species over reproduces many offspring, only those with favourable adaptations to their environment are able to survive while the rest of them die. These survivors transfer favourable adaptations to the next generation.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection:

The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Types of Natural Selection:

types of natural selection
Types of natural selection
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution


Related topics


Mutation Theory of Evolution and Types

Introduction: Cell is the basic unit of living organisms from bacteria to humans all are made up of cells, which contain a nucleus and the nucleus contain DNA Explanation: Mutations is a sudden changes in chromosomal DNA., They cover only those changes that alter the chemical structure of the gene at the molecular level. These […]


Lamarckism: Postulates and Drawbacks

Introduction: Evolution states that distinct types of plants, animals, and other living organisms on Earth have their origin in pre-existing life forms. It is a variation in the inherited characteristics (traits) of biological populations over successive generations. These traits are the expressions of genes that are passed on from parents to offspring in the course […]


Biodiversity: Classification of Living Organisms

Introduction to Biodiversity: Fig No.1 Biodiversity Classification Fig No.2 Different organisms The Characteristics of Living Organisms Fig No. 3 Classification Diversity in Living Organisms The Five Kingdom Classification The five kingdoms in this widely accepted classification are made up of species with similar growth and functioning characteristics. Organisms are classified into five kingdoms based on […]


Mitochondria – The power House of a Cell

The Cell Organelles – Mitochondria  Introduction: Powerhouse Of Cell Mitochondria are primarily responsible for converting nutrients into energy. They yield ATP molecules to fuel cell activities. As they do aerobic respiration, mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell. There are three stages of aerobic respiration. Those three stages are: Origin Of […]


Other topics