“Natural Selection” by Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin revolutionized scientific world in the middle of the nineteenth century. He cast doubt on the idea of divine origins of the world. He also stated that people were nothing more than animals that managed to adapt better than the rest of species. Of course, his theory was like a bomb.

However, in the course of time people accepted this bold theory. Some people still do not understand why people did agree with Darwin’s assumptions. The answer to this question is on the surface. Darwin managed to provide really simple and meaningful examples that illustrated his theory.

His “Natural Selection” is one of those works that convinced people of his being right. Darwin provides a brief but comprehensive analysis of his theory in this work. His theory of natural selection is easily proved as the scientist provides examples which can be understood by everyone. Therefore, Darwin’s theory of natural selection was soon accepted by people as it was well-grounded and it was perfectly explained in simple terms by the scientist.

Definition of Natural Selection

In the first place, Charles Darwin (2011) provides a very simple definition for his term: “This preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection” (p. 81). The definition is really brief but comprehensive. The researcher manages to reveal the essence of his theory in a few words.

Thus, natural selection is based on two notions: preservation of important features and elimination of unfavorable ones. This explanation speaks to everyone as people often choose objects that have certain ‘favorable’ features, and do not choose things which have some unnecessary characteristics.

This comprehensive definition makes the theory more credible. Admittedly, people tend to believe in things which can be explained in simple terms. Unlike some scientists who use difficult terms and obscure explanations, Darwin gives a transparent definition for his term. He shows that natural selection is something really easy and logical. He shows that it is the fact that people have to acknowledge.

Simple Illustrations from the World of Plants and Animals

Apart from the simple definition, Darwin provides simple examples to prove his theory. For instance, the scientist mentions that “man can produce and certainly has produced a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection” (Darwin, 2011, p. 82).

Therefore, the scientist addresses all those who have known that people do resort to selection in farming. For instance, farmers have always tried to notice some favorable features in some plants. Those plants have been used for sowing. Thus, farmers expect that they can soon get plants which have the necessary features.

The scientist mentions that people often try to breed cattle as well. However, the author also states that the man “begins his selection by some half-monstrous form; or at least by some modification prominent to catch his eye” (Darwin, 2011, p. 82). Darwin states that nature is more precise and thoughtful. The scientist points out that various external factors influence the development of species to make them fit the world around them.

Simple Illustrations from the World of People

Furthermore, the researcher also provides a simple example from the world of people. Thus, Darwin (2011) notes that

all the inhabitants of each country are struggling together with nicely balanced forces, extremely slight modification in the structure or habits of one inhabitant would often give it an advantage over others. (p. 82)

This is a very precise illustration of natural selection manifested in human societies. Admittedly, people have learnt a lot about various countries and societies. There have been many examples of changes in countries which took place after some external factors (e.g. climate) had changed.

Many people had to leave their homeland because they could not adapt to new conditions. On the contrary, the area could be invaded by those who were accustomed to such conditions. Admittedly, when some people acquired certain features favorable for living in certain areas, these people had an advantage over others.


To sum up, Darwin’s “Natural Selection” is a brief but precise explanation of one of the major principles of the theory of evolution. The scientist introduces a new term (Natural Selection) and explains it in simple words. Darwin provides illustrations which are easy to understand.

Thus, people accepted the theory because they already had certain experience in selection and breeding. People noticed that they could modify certain species to fit certain purposes. Therefore, it is but natural that every species in this world is subjected to some kind of selection. People modify some species to make them fit human’s needs. Likewise, people are modified to fit various external factors like climate.

Darwin did change the world as he made people understand that everything in this world is undergoing continuous change. The greatest achievement of the scientist is that he managed to explain his revolutionary theory in simple terms so that people could understand and accept it. Nowadays many researchers lack this ability to explain their ideas in simple words.


Darwin, C. (2011). Natural selection. In R. DiYanni (Ed.), Fifty great essays (pp. 80-91). New York, NY: Longman.