Chapter

Evolution

Brian Skyrms

in Signals

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580828
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722769 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580828.003.0005
Evolution

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Darwin was right about the broad outlines of the theory of evolution. Traits are inherited by some unknown mechanism. There is some process that produces natural variation in these traits. The traits may affect the ability of the organism to reproduce, and thus the average number of individuals bearing the traits in the next generation. Therefore, those traits that enhance reproductive success increase in frequency in the population, and those that lead to reproductive success below the average decrease in frequency. This chapter discusses the three essential factors in Darwin's account: (i) natural variation, (ii) differential reproduction, and (iii) inheritance.

Keywords: evolution; Darwin; natural variation; differential reproduction; inheritance

Chapter.  4080 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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