natural selection


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

natural selection

n.
The process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, organisms that are better adapted to their environment tend to survive longer and transmit more of their genetic characteristics to succeeding generations than do those that are less well adapted.

natural selection

n
(Biology) a process resulting in the survival of those individuals from a population of animals or plants that are best adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions. The survivors tend to produce more offspring than those less well adapted, so that the characteristics of the population change over time, thus accounting for the process of evolution

nat′ural selec′tion


n.
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.
[1855–1860]

natural selection

The principle that only organisms best suited to their environment survive long enough to pass on their genetic characteristics to their offspring. According to this principle, the proportion of the species having these characteristics increases with each generation. Natural selection results from random variation of genetic traits in a species and forms the basis of the process of evolution. See Notes at adaptation, evolution.

natural selection

The process that favors the survival and reproduction of organisms that are best adapted to their environment.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.natural selection - a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment
natural action, natural process, action, activity - a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings); "the action of natural forces"; "volcanic activity"
Translations
References in classic literature ?
This fundamental subject of Natural Selection will be treated at some length in the fourth chapter; and we shall then see how Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life and induces what I have called Divergence of Character.
Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.
And that's not all--twenty years ago he would have found in that literature traces of conflict with authorities, with the creeds of the ages; he would have perceived from this conflict that there was something else; but now he comes at once upon a literature in which the old creeds do not even furnish matter for discussion, but it is stated baldly that there is nothing else--evolution, natural selection, struggle for existence--and that's all.
From these and their degraded slaves and a later intermixture of the blood of the anthropoids sprung the gnarled men of Opar; but by some queer freak of fate, aided by natural selection, the old Atlantean strain had remained pure and undegraded in the females descended from a single princess of the royal house of Atlantis who had been in Opar at the time of the great catastrophe.
I look about me as I ride and on every hand I see the merciless and infinite waste of natural selection.
He pointed out-- writing in a foolish, facetious tone--that the perfection of mechanical appliances must ultimately supersede limbs; the perfection of chemical devices, digestion; that such organs as hair, external nose, teeth, ears, and chin were no longer essential parts of the human being, and that the tendency of natural selection would lie in the direction of their steady diminution through the coming ages.
Had natural selection produced during the countless ages of Caspakian life a winged monstrosity that represented the earthly pinnacle of man's evolution?
For example, a shopper can type in "four year old daughter needs help with reading" to Natural Selection and see immediate results.
Richards makes clear that Darwin's original principle of natural selection, as he formulated it, and the auxiliary ideas associated with it, ill-conform to our present knowledge of evolution.
He said that what they are asking is whether the ability of an organism to evolve is a trait that natural selection can pick.
A century and a half ago, the new and sensational principle of Natural Selection was known as the Wallace-Darwin theory.
Because if natural selection, as proposed by Darwin, is the main mechanism of evolution - there may be other things, but it does look as though that's the case - then we've stopped natural selection.