Natural Selection

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Natural Selection is defined here (Counterbalance Foundation) as

The process by which individuals’ inherited needs and abilities are more or less closely matched to resources available in their environment, giving those with greater "fitness" a better chance of survival and reproduction.

More detail from the Counterbalance Foundation is at Natural Selection as a Creative Process.


Without variation there is nothing to be selected. The variation that is essential to natural selection comes from genetic mutations.

"Advantageous" variation?

It is sometimes claimed that mutations cannot be advantageous, or "cannot add information". This is shown to be wrong by the example of human adult lactose tolerance: see The Milk Revolution.

No. 10 in the Scientific American target list of "creationist nonsense" is "Mutations are essential to evolution theory, but mutations can only eliminate traits. They cannot produce new features."

No. 11 is "Natural selection might explain microevolution, but it cannot explain the origin of new species and higher orders of life."

If mutation could not be advantageous, or could produce new features, Baraminology and other compromises would be impossible.


See Fitness.

We briefly discussed fitness here — how could a male spider that is eaten by its mate be "fitter" than another spider that is not eaten? — Bruce

Survival of the fittest

The phrase "survival of the fittest" did not appear in early editions of Darwin's Origin of Species — he spoke of natural selection, i.e. natural conditions doing the same type of selective breeding that farmers do.

At wikipedia: survival of the fittest

No. 2 in the Scientific American "creationist nonsense" (q.v. ad loc.) target list relates to a poor logical argument against Natural Selection: Natural selection is based on circular reasoning: the fittest are those who survive, and those who survive are deemed fittest.