natural selection

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nat·u·ral se·lec·tion

"survival of the fittest," the principle that in nature those individuals best able to adapt to their environment will survive and reproduce, whereas those less able will die without progeny, and the genes carried by the survivors will increase in frequency. This principle is heuristic rather than rigorous because it cannot be tested, the outcome being tautologous with the empiric definition of fitness.

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

the natural evolutionary processes by which the organisms that are best adapted to an environment tend to survive and propagate whereas those that are unfit are less likely to do so. Compare artificial selection.

natural selection

A general term for a shift in the frequency of a gene’s allelic variants within a population over time, which reflects the differential reproductive success of individual genotypes.

nat·u·ral se·lec·tion

(nă-chŭr'ăl sĕ-lek'shŭn)
Colloquially, "survival of the fittest," the principle that in nature those individuals best able to adapt to their environment will survive and reproduce, whereas those less able will die without progeny, and the genes carried by the survivors will increase in frequency. This principle is heuristic rather than rigorous because it cannot be tested, the outcome being tautologous with the empiric definition of fitness.

natural selection

The Darwin-originated principle that individuals of a species happening, by normal genetic rearrangement or by mutation, to possess inherited characteristics with survival value relative to a particular environment are more likely to survive long enough to reproduce and increase the numbers having these characteristics. Natural selection occurs quickly in rapidly reproducing micro-organisms. (Charles Darwin, 1809–82, English naturalist).

natural selection

the mechanism, proposed by Charles DARWIN, by which gradual evolutionary changes take place. Organisms which are better adapted to the environment in which they live produce more viable young, so increasing their proportion in the population; thus particular characteristics are ‘selected’ and others are lost. Such a mechanism depends on the variability of individuals within the population. Such variability arises through MUTATION and other genetic events, the beneficial variants being preserved by NATURAL SELECTION.

natural

occurs in nature, without the intervention of humans.

natural experiments
occur by chance when all variables for a population are constant except one, which is different for one large part of the population compared with the other, e.g. when half of a flock comes from one climate and the other half is a local resident in another climate.
natural focus
the ecology that is best suited to a biological system, e.g. an individual insect-borne disease; the area in which the disease naturally flourishes best; an ecological niche.
natural history
history of a process or organism as it occurs in nature, e.g. course of a disease from infection to resolution.
natural killer (NK) cell
see natural killer cell.
natural selection
selection occurring in nature, without any human intervention, direct or indirect.
natural ventilation
ventilation without the use of artificially induced energy and the machines which it drives; the forces used are wind and the exchange of heat from within the barn and the external air, controlled by ventilation devices in the walls and the ceiling.
References in periodicals archive ?
Luckily, by a mysterious piece of Darwinian selection, there was always one individual on each table who actually liked the skin off the custard, adored gristle, and thought that Spotted Dick was a gift from heaven.
The most capable and best managed small high-tech firms in Russia are surviving a Darwinian selection out of the rather large number that earlier jumped on the new bandwagon without proper preparation or realistic expectations.
In the walls of the seminary a Darwinian selection process of sorts took place with only the--physically and psychologically, not necessarily intellectually--fittest graduating.
That would be the decathlon, track and field's version of ``Survivor,'' a 10-event test of stamina and sanity that thins the field of contenders over two days like some Darwinian selection process until one disheveled winner emerges.