Darwin's Four Postulates

Arik Husemann

The Four Postulates

  • Variation - There is a lot of variety within a species
  • Inheritance - Offspring look like their parents
  • Differential Survival - External conditions can affect survival
  • Extinction - Some traits are not suited to survival and those with them will die out.
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Variation, a term used in genetics, refers to a genetic event that causes the individuals or groups of a certain type or species to possess different characteristics from one another.

Example: All the humans have the same genetic code but variation lets us have different color of eyes, skin and height.

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The acquisition of traits genetically transmitted from parents to offspring by the DNA.

Example: When a horse with running skills passes down those skills to his offspring because of the genetic transmission.

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Differential Survival

Limited quantities of space & resources lead to a struggle for survival results, and as a result those that are the most fit can only survive.

Example: The different types of finches have different beaks because they need them for the different environments and the different types of vegetation.

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Species extinction is usually, though not always, caused by the failure of a species in competition with other species. That is, causes of extinction are generally biological, not physical.

Example: The extinction of other cavemen because of their lack of intelligence.


Berkeley. (2001, February 10). Introduction to Ecological Genetics. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from http://ib.berkeley.edu/courses/ib162/Week1.htm

Cornell, H. (2010, July 15). Darwinism Refuted.com. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/origin_of_species_01.html

Nedeker, B. (2005, April 30). Charles Darwin. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from http://www.biography.com/people/charles-darwin-9266433

Spieth, J. (2012, October 26). Charles Darwin on Extinction - The role of extinction in evolution. Retrieved April 07, 2016, from http://www.biology-online.org/articles/role_extinction_evolution/charles_darwin_extinction.html