Evolution refers to the gradual changes that occur within a specific population over time, usually on the basis of adapting to suit their environment (PBS, 2001). Charles Darwin, a biologist and naturalist, founded the concept of evolution and the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution states that organisms have undergone behavioral and physical changes over time — whether it be from biotic or abiotic factors — for a higher chance of survival. This theory of evolution also gives basis to why the misconception, that evolution is a random process, is wrong.
Specifically, the theory of evolution contradicts the misconception that evolution based off of a random process. Evolution is not a random process, and it’s explained through the process of natural selection (UCMP, 2015). Though it’s wrong, this misconception arises from that notion that organisms are able to thrive in their environment because of the random crossing over that occurs in prophase I. Crossing over is part of the meiotic process where homologous chromosomes randomly exchange chromosomal segments to create recombinant chromosomes, which account for the genetic variation among different organisms of the same species. But the crossing over that occurs is not synonymous to why evolution is a random process. Crossing over has to do with meiotic process of how cells divide, not how organisms have changed their behavior and physical attributes to suit their environment.
Moreover, another reason behind why this misconception came about, is because of mutations. Although mutations do occur, and most often they occur randomly, it does not correspond to why animals change their attributes in order to better survive. By definition, the term ‘natural selection’ is defined as the gradual revolution over time in a species in which they are better adapted to their environment. Those who are better adapted to their environment are more likely to reproduce than those who are less adapted to the environment. In other words, those who have better genes that suit the environment they’re in, are more likely to survive versus their other counterparts — who don’t have the necessary genes to survive under environmental pressures. This same applicant goes for those organisms who can adapt better under environmental pressures, as they’re at a higher chance of survival under changing conditions.
These organisms who have ‘better’ genes (those who have a better chance of adapting to their changed environment) would reproduce with those who are as competent, or more so, to their equally-as-component. After all, since those who are incompetent are already dead and unsuited to be mated with to produce an offspring with heritable traits. An example of natural selection is shown through Darwin’s research in the Galapagos Islands. He discovered the genetic variation among the Galapagos Finches, and coined his theory of natural selection — that the finches with the best-suited beaks for eating cacti were better conditioned to mate. Furthermore, natural selection also goes along with Darwin’s phrase of “survival of the fittest”. “Survival of the fittest”, which goes hand-in-hand with natural selection states that, organisms that are able to adapt to changing conditions in the environment are going to dominant within the population (O’Neil, 1998). Therefore, evolution is not a random process; organisms evolve on the basis of natural selection — to mate and reproduce with others equally suited with the environment in order to produce fit offspring.