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natural selectionnatürliche Selektion (ger.)

  • The differential survival and reproduction of individuals in a natural population resulting from differences in their traits. (Russell 2011)
    selection selecton
    natural selection
    Darwin, C. [1841]. Notes on the habits of bees (Darwin Ms 46.2 at Cambridge University Library): 9; cf. Cornell, J.F. (1984). Analogy and technology in Darwin’s vision of nature. J. Hist. Biol. 17, 303-344: 341; Hodge, M.J.S. (1992). Natural selection. historical perspectives. In: Keller, E.F. & Lloyd, E.A. (eds.). Keywords in Evolutionary Biology, 212-219: 215.

    Natural Selection. De Candolle’s war of nature,—seeing contented face of nature,—may be well at first doubted; we see it on borders of perpetual cold. But considering the enormous geometrical power of increase in every organism and as ? every country, in ordinary cases countries must be stocked to full extent, reflection will show that this is the case. […] Nature’s variation far less, but such selection far more rigid and scrutinising.

    Darwin, C. [1842]. [Sketch of 1842]. In: Darwin, F. (ed.) (1909). The Foundations of The Origin of Species, a Sketch Written in 1842: 7; 9.


    preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection […]

    natural selection acts by life and death,—by the preservation of individuals with any favourable variation, and by the destruction of those with any unfavourable deviation of structure

    Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life: 81; 194.


    Natural Selection.—This is of two kinds: Secular Natural Selection is measured by the changes due solely to mortality, in the mean and standard deviation of the variation-curve as we pass from one adult generation to the next. […] Periodic Natural Selection may leave no trace of itself in the adult variation-curves of successive generations; it is measured by the changes due solely to mortality in the mean and standard deviation of the variation curves at successive stages of the same generation—due allowance being made for the changes of the variation-constants due to growth. In other words, if we watched a generation from birth to the adult stage, carefully preserving it from any form of selective mortality, such as arises from the struggle for existence, we should still find changes in the variation-constants due to the law of growth.

    Pearson, K. (1896). Mathematical contributions to the theory of evolution, III. Regression, heredity, and panmixia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A. 187, 253-318: 257. 

    [I]n so far as it makes for the survival of one’s descendants and near relations, altruistic behaviour is a kind of Darwinian fitness, and may be expected to spread as the result of natural selection
    Haldane, J.B.S. (1932). The Causes of Evolution (Princeton 1990): 71.
    In the Darwinian system, natural selection was elimination, death, of the unfit and survival of the fit in a struggle for existence
    Simpson, G.G. (1949). The Meaning of Evolution (London 1950): 268.
    [T]he element of competition between organisms for a resource in short supply is not integral to the argument. Natural selection occurs even when two bacterial strains are growing logarithmically in an excess of nutrient broth if they have different division times
    Lewontin, R. (1970). The units of selection. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 1, 1-18: 1; cf. Sober, E. (1984). The Nature of Selection. Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus: 195.

    natural selection The non-random and differential reproduction of different genotypes acting topreserve favourable variants and to eliminate less favourable variants; viewed as the creative force that directs the course of evolution by preserving those variants or traits best adapted in the face of natural competition.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 163.