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natural selection

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Definition natural process whereby members of a species who have the most surviving offspring pass their traits on to the next generation such that future generations have inherited characteristics that better adapt them to the environment than prior generations
  • She argues that dreaming must serve a purpose or natural selection would have eliminated such a vulnerable state.
  • Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • Nature is proving Darwin's law of natural selection.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • It's a simple question of natural selection: people who know how to bake bread will live better and be more apt to reproduce than people who don't know how.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • Being cowards, we defeat natural selection under cover of philanthropy: being sluggards, we neglect artificial selection under cover of delicacy and morality.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Natural selection.
    Ally Condie  --  Matched
  • "The point is—Crick was unable to square what we now know of molecular biology's complexity with the theory of natural selection, but he was unwilling to suggest a Creator in any spiritual sense."
    Dean Koontz  --  Sole Survivor
  • Now by the action of natural selection, all terrestrial plants have acquired a resisting power against bacterial diseases—they never succumb without a severe struggle, but the red weed rotted like a thing already dead.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • I was slightly stunned by this story, for I was not prepared to have an unlettered and untutored Eskimo give me a lecture, even in parable form, illustrating the theory of survival of the fittest through the agency of natural selection.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf
  • The mixed assemblage of idlers known to each other presently fell apart into two bands by a process of natural selection, the frequenters of Peter's Finger going off Mixen Lanewards, where most of them lived, while Coney, Buzzford, Longways, and that connection remained in the street.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • This chap told me that they could improve a little through mutation from other causes, from new blood added by immigration, and from natural selection among the gene patterns they already own — but that is all very minor compared with the evolutionary rate on Terra and on any usual planet.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Starship Troopers
  • To his ears, when an animal felt the urge to mate, it said "Gregor Mendel", recalling the father of genetics, and when it was time to show its mettle, "Charles Darwin", the father of natural selection, and what we took to be bleating, grunting, hissing, snorting, roaring, growling, howling, chirping and screeching were but the thick accents of foreigners.
    Yann Martel  --  Life of Pi
  • His mind turned to its accustomed round of thoughts-he had touched on them indirectly in many medical works-concerning will and purposefulness as superior forms of adaptation; mimicry and protective coloring; the survival of the fittest; and the hypothesis that the path of natural selection is the very path leading to the formation and emergence of consciousness.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • 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.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • He couldn't really come to terms with the fact that something as delicate and sensitive as an eye could be exclusively due to natural selection.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • We can take some more recent examples of the way natural selection can work.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • But in a sense modern medicine has put natural selection out of commission.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • Darwin could still not quite imagine how such a natural selection could take place.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • Is it possible that nature makes a 'natural selection' as to which individuals are to survive?
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World
  • Secondly, that evolution was the result of natural selection.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie's World

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