Darwin's Four Postulates

By Mauricio Zegarra

Hey! This is my first time doing a Smore and today I'll just discuss my understanding of Darwin's four postulates that are key to natural selection--the process by which organisms that can adapt to their environment are able to survive and reproduce. Enjoy!

#1 - Individuals within species are not all identical

This first postulate for me is also the simplest one. What Darwin found out is that not all members of the same species are identical. This one's pretty obvious since not all humans are exactly equal. Other examples are the variations in the beaks of the finches Darwin observed in the Galapagos Islands or the different stats and natures of Pokemon even though they might be two Pikachus.

#2 - Variations are heritable

This one's also pretty simple: the traits of the parents are passed down to the offspring. Dogs are a good example of this postulate. Breeders that seek good qualities for little puppies mate two dogs with the traits they want and commonly get offspring with the desired characteristics. The same happens with Pokemon. You can breed them and eventually get one with the desired abilities and good stats that come from the abilities and skills from the parents.

#3 - Differential Reproductive Success

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This postulate says that in every generation, some organisms are more successful at surviving and reproducing than others. An example would be Freeman and Herron's observations of bills (the birds) when a drought stroke the place they lived. Food became scarce and most of the population quickly disappeared. Only some more apt for getting the few seeds available stayed alive in order to survive and reproduce. Another example would be a Pokemon battle between two Pikachus. A Pikachu is not really known for it's amazing defenses but it is speedy and has reasonably good attack stats. Because of this, the Pikachu that would rise victorious and the one you would probably like more for it to reproduce is the one who's faster and can hit harder.

#4 - Survival and Reproduction are not Random

Animals don't mate at random. Usually the ones who have the best traits for surviving in the environment get to mate a lot and produce offspring more capable of surviving. Continuing with the example of Freeman and Herron's bills, the ones with the deepest beaks mated more and soon almost all the population had deep beaks. Just as you would choose your best dogs or Pokemon for them to mate and produce offspring with the same or better characteristics, nature does the same thing by changing the environment and forcing the species to change and adapt to their new home.

Mauricio Zegarra

I'm 17, my friends call me Zegy

Sources

Evansville. (n.d.). Natural Selection. Retrieved April 6, 2016, from http://faculty.evansville.edu/de3/b32003/lecture summaries/selection.pdf

Is there an event that gives you Red's Pikachu? (2014, September 13). Retrieved April 06, 2016, from http://pokemondb.net/pokebase/214959/is-there-an-event-that-gives-you-reds-pikachu

Merriam Webster. (2016). Natural Selection. Retrieved April 06, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural selection

PBS. (2012). Evolution - What Darwin Never Knew - NOVA PBS Documentary. Retrieved April 06, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYBRbCLI4zU

Pikachu male female. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2016, from http://media.photobucket.com/user/RayofHope3579/media/pikacosplay2.png.html?filters[term]=pikachu sprites male female