Artificial vs. Natural Selection

Introduction

Life sciences have advanced studies that explain the evolution of organisms in the world. Charles Darwin developed a theory that described the evolution of various species of organisms based on natural features. In this theory, the natural occurrences dictate the organisms that survive in the ecosystem depend on the competition for resources. In this case, the weak organisms die while the strong ones compete for the natural resources to survive. However, with the continued advancement in technology, various biologists have proposed an intervention that determines the desired traits they wish to have in the ecosystems. This state of events has led to a phenomenon known as artificial selection. For instance, the desire to have dairy cattle with large milk production or tall plant species is readily determined in a laboratory. This paper presents a contrast between the effects of the natural and artificial selection processes in the ecosystem.

Comparison

The natural and artificial selections target the best species to maximize their input in the ecosystem. Natural selection works to develop an organism that can control the habitat in terms of food acquisition, mating, and resistance to diseases. On the other hand, artificial selection aims at acquiring the desired characteristics in different species (Gilliam 79). In this case, close monitoring of the ecosystem is experimented with to provide the desired species with the best features. Natural selection aims at ensuring the continuity of the species by providing competitive genes to the ecosystem. Contrastingly, artificial selection targets the productivity of the given species.

The contrast between Natural and Artificial Selection

The two selections have differences that are often used to justify their suitability. The proponents of natural selection argue that the species should be left to grow their races naturally without any interference in the choice of the genes for the next generation. The idea is to avoid unfavorable characteristics in the species. These characteristics are taken into account in natural selection. However, it is hard to prevent artificial selection from occurring (Phelan 456).

Through natural selection, it is not possible to limit the number of organisms produced in the ecosystem. This state of affairs is driven by the need to provide more chances for survival. However, artificial selection provides various mechanisms in which only the desired number of organisms are produced. Those organisms with the best characteristics are selected. Organisms are not allowed to prove their worth in a fair manner. Therefore, artificial selection is an expensive undertaking as compared to natural selection.

Natural selection does not predict the sex ratio of the populations (Gilliam 79). Instead, the sex with the right features fights for its survival in the habitat. Artificial selection provides an opportunity to determine the numbers per sexual orientation desired in the habitat. For instance, doctors can select the gender of an offspring from the onset of the reproduction process (Phelan 276).

In natural selection, it is not possible to develop new mutants mainly because of the competition for resources and mating partners. Each day, new challenges occur; hence, adaptation to tackle all of them is hard. However, artificial selection helps organisms mutate and respond to threats towards their existence. This situation also increases the heritable diseases that are in the genealogy of the species.

The species selected naturally have a greater ability to fight infections than their counterparts developed artificially (Carlson 34). This attribute originates from the mutant nature of the disease-causing microorganisms in the ecosystem. A naturally selected organism is tested for suitability by subjecting it to diseases. When they achieve immunity against such diseases, they are deemed to have acquired the desirable characteristics. The variations in the species occur naturally. However, artificial selection exposes populations to diseases due to the gene mutations prompted by the mixing of various genes to produce organisms.

Using artificial selection has the potential of bringing forth populations with dangerous traits. This state of events can endanger the lives of others (Carlson 35). For instance, the Africanized honey bee that was desired for the mass production of honey proved to be dangerous to other populations. It was named the ‘killer bee’ because it killed other organisms. With natural selection, this situation has not been identified yet. However, concerns have been raised regarding artificially selected human populations. The fear of producing individuals who can kill the entire human population has always deterred scientists from such undertakings.

In artificial selection, cases of sterility are common among many species. They are mostly prompted by the incompatibility of the reproductive genes. A good example is a mule. In addition, the banana species lose their fertility through artificial selection. In natural selection, the ability to mate is a qualifying factor for survival; hence, it eliminates the issues of infertility.

Conclusion

The paper has presented a comparison and differentiation analysis of the effects of the natural and artificial selections on the populations in an ecosystem. It is identified that both selections are aimed at maximizing the survival and productivity of the different species of plants and animals in the ecosystem. Furthermore, the purpose of picking the best is depicted. The variations exhibited by the two methods of selection are highlighted by providing possibilities such as mutation, sterility, and expensive undertakings in artificial selection.

Works Cited

Carlson, Robert. Biology is technology: the promise, peril, and new business of engineering life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. Print.

Gilliam, David. “Core Concepts: Biology.” Science Scope 38.5(2015): 79. Print.

Phelan, Jay. What is Life? A Guide to Biology with Physiology. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman, 2010. Print.

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