Evolution through natural selection
Evolution through natural selection

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Evolution through natural selection

Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand that by biological evolution we mean that many of the organisms that inhabit the Earth today are different from those that inhabited it in the past

  • understand that natural selection is one of several processes that can bring about evolution, although it can also promote stability rather than change

  • understand that the four propositions underlying Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection are: (1) more individuals are produced than can survive; (2) there is therefore a struggle for existence; (3) individuals within a species show variation; and (4) offspring tend to inherit their parents’ characters

  • understand that the three necessary and sufficient conditions for natural selection to occur are: (1) a struggle for existence; (2) variation; and (3) inheritance

  • understand that Endler's experiment with guppies demonstrated that evolution through natural selection can occur in relatively few generations.

S103_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus