The theory of natural selection grew out of efforts to determine how species change over time.
Learning Goal 2a
Prior to the 1800s, the most widespread belief was that all known species were created and remained unchanged throughout history.
Learning Goal 2b
By the mid-1800s, some scientists believed that species evolved from earlier species.
Learning Goal 3
Darwin argued that certain biologically inherited characteristics give an organism an advantage in surviving and reproducing compared to other organisms of the same species. The offspring would also inherit and pass on those advantages, and over generations the accumulation of these inherited advantages would lead to a new species.