Natural Selection: It’s Happening Now

Darwin used the example of agriculture, saying that the animals we captured and domesticated over several centuries experienced an exposure to different elements than their free counterparts, allowing them a different genetic variation which better suits the purposes we use them for (Darwin 488). In a similar manner, he argued that if humans were able to “perfect” species in this way, why should nature not be able to do the same? The system that is nature—the most incredible machine to date—must then have some foundation or cohesion that binds it over time. Connectivity in biology proves this ancestral singularity, as Darwin argued similarities in the very cells of species shows that nature bears a wild yet functional balance between its various components (Darwin 493). Nature includes not only the wildlife, but the entire ecosystem; weather patterns, flora, geologic and topographic conditions, proximity to water, and now even urban impact—these are all factors which seemingly work together in a well functioning system. Although at times, in our human perception, the functions of nature seem spontaneous and irrational, the system continues on (Darwin 493). Intervention from recent industrial development has thrown many of these relationships off, proving that nature works best when left to its own evolution.

 

I found the most convincing argument to be that of recent developments in the animal kingdom from agriculture. The breeding of many animals, specifically bovine and equine species, in specific patterns which best suit our interests, clearly displays a much faster pace form of natural selection, with humans controlling the environments which allow certain genetic traits to thrive or diminish. Given its recency and observability, this argument provides a substantial foundation for evolutional theorists to argue.

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