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In biology, the preferential survival and reproduction or preferential elimination of individuals with certain genotypes, by means of natural or artificial controlling factors. The theory of evolution by natural selection was proposed by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858. Artificial selection differs from natural selection in that inherited variations in a species are manipulated by humans through controlled breeding in order to create qualities economically or aesthetically desirable to humans, rather than useful to the organism in its natural environment.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on selection, visit Britannica.com.