Natural Selection… Talk About Being Picky!

In Darwin’s “Recap and Conclusion” chapter, he employs several arguments in order to persuade the world of his theory of natural selection and evolution. He starts by talking about those who are infertile. Specifically, hybrids (484). Next Darwin uses a far more important argument to natural selection, geology. He talks about the fossils of extinct animals, and how those fossils prove that those animals that were once alive, are no longer. Afterward, he talks about his most popular theory, survival of the fittest. Darwin talks about how in the animal kingdom, males compete for females, and only the strongest will survive and reproduce (491).

Personally, I think the most convincing argument Darwin gives in support of Natural Selection is the one he gives on geology. As someone that tends to only believe tangible facts, the fact that we can find an excavate tangible evidence of long extinct creatures is really fascinating to me. So far, fossils are the closest we will get to seeing into the past and witnessing natural selection. The least convincing argument Darwin makes for natural selection to me at least is the argument of fertility and infertility, because it is much harder to prove, at least when looking at the big picture. Also, I really like the quote on page 489, which says, “More individuals are born than can possibly survive. A grain in the balance will determine which individual shall live- and which shall die”.

One thought on “Natural Selection… Talk About Being Picky!”

  1. Colleen, you did a good job of summarizing Darwin’s last chapter and discussing the arguments that he used to persuade people about his theory of natural selection and evolution. Although his theory was that only the strongest will survive he was not the one to call it “survival of the fittest,” but that is what it is referred to most commonly. I agree with you that geology is the most convincing argument but I would have to disagree that the argument about fertility and infertility is the least convincing. It makes sense, to me at least, that species would have to be somewhat similar in order to reproduce.

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