Evolution refers to the change in a species' inherited traits from generation to generation. These traits are the expression, or "phenotype", of genes which, at least on Earth, are stored in DNA. All species on Earth are thought to have come about by the mechanism of evolution. Evolution occurs as random genetic changes build up over time, and those that prove to be negative, or harmful, are weeded out as the organisms that have them are rendered less able to compete with the general population. Conversely, the organisms that had received beneficial alterations to their genes would be more likely to pass on those genes to successive generations, which may occur through increased survivorship, improved reproductive success, more abundant or viable offspring, or through other methods (natural selection).
Participate in RationalWiki
We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.
Share how you found RationalWiki!
For news that caught our interest, see What is going on in the world.
For general chatter, the Saloon Bar is the place to go.
Essays written by individual users covering a wide range of subjects. Comment on the talk pages or write your own.
Informal debates covering political and philosophical issues. Participate freely or start your own.
Read up on what a RationalWiki page is and our community standards. Take a look at the help pages if you're having trouble.
We also keep a list of useful links.
Our to do list is where we pile up ideas for articles. See if anything piques your interest!
Need to know What Is Going On? We present regularly updated selections of the finest lunacy the Internet has to offer. Participate in the dialogue.
What is going on...
. . . in the "world"?(talk) Actual news from the "real world."
. . . in the Blogosphere?(talk) Quality articles by bloggers, submitted by the RW community.
. . . in the Clogosphere?(talk) Crazy articles from the clogged-up fringes of the Internet.
. . . at RationalWiki?(hic) Our own main back-page.