Natural Selection: A Case Study

Decent Essays
Understanding good design requires addressing the question of what units undergo natural selection, thereby becoming adapted (Shelton, 2014). There is a natural connection between the formal Darwinism project (which aims to connect population genetics with the evolution of design and fitness) and levels of selection issues, such as natural selection acting on individuals, or on populations (Shelton, 2014). Darwin offers contradictory ideas of thinking concerning these levels of selection (Shelton, 2014).
References in Darwin’s Origin of Species to competition between units of selection at these different levels of individual organisms are mentioned (Chancellor, 2015). In many cases these references clearly speak of natural selection and how
…show more content…
Three examples of this can be counterfactual accounts, manipulability accounts, and a controlled experiment account, but only two will be discussed in further detail (Millstein, 2006). For each example heritable difference in physical traits can be seen, along with notable differences in the reproductive success, as well (Millstein, 2006). Counterfactual accounts show heritable differences and how these differences are not altered by the differences in the reproductive rates (Millstein, 2006). In this instance natural selection would favor the counterfactual account because there were no heritable differences in characteristics among individuals in the population (Millstein, 2006). If this is the case it would mean that natural selection had nothing to favor, and all of the organisms in the population would have the same genotypes, according to this model (Millstein, 2006). The manipulability account involves changing the heritable difference of the organisms within the population (Millstein, 2006). If this was done, then there would be a visible change in the reproductive success of the individuals (Millstein, 2006). With the example of the beetles studied in this particular case, they were trying to withstand different temperatures that the scientists subjected them to (Millstein, 2006). From this experiment a new beetle genotype emerged and could withstand a broader range of temperatures compared to the previous generations (Millstein, 2006). Since this occurred, according to the model, there would be an expected decrease in the reproductive rate of these particular beetles with the new genotype (Millstein,
Get Access