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natural selection


Definition: “survival of the fittest,” the principle that in nature those individuals best able to adapt to their environment will survive and reproduce, whereas those less able will die without progeny, and the genes carried by the survivors will increase in frequency. This principle is heuristic rather than rigorous because it cannot be tested, the outcome being tautologous with the empiric definition of fitness.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.