How to understand evolution

This week, I went along to the National History Museum in central London to see the Darwin Big Idea exhibition. The display boards carry very useful information but the display cases are dark and the text is hard to read.
However, the exhibition was originally put together by the American Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and they still have the exhibition information on their web site. This includes the full text of all the display boards.
So how does evolution actually work? The exhibition explains that evolution operates through natural selection and that this is a simple mechanism that causes populations of living things to change over time.
In fact, it is so simple that it can be broken down into five basic steps, abbreviated as V.I.S.T.A.: Variation, Inheritance, Selection, Time and Adaptation – a fuller explanation here.


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