Discover the Biological Sciences
The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.
Evolution - Artifical Selection
By: Jennifer Webber
For this homework assignment I chose to do artificial selection. Natural selection always intrigued me but looking at artificial selection intrigued me more. Artificial selection is a process used in the breeding of animals and cultivation to weed out the characteristics the person does not want and to increase the frequency of characteristics that the person desires. Basically artificial selection is used to increase the guarantee that the characteristics a person wants in an animal or plant shows up in the breeding process.
Today we see artificial selection used in the breeding of dogs. People use breeding to guarantee the pureness of the breed or to get the looks and characteristics that they want in their dog. Artificial selection is also used when growing the animals and plants that we as humans use as food. Many times if you look at the ancestors of the animals we use as food they will look nothing alike because of how altered they are. Being that artificial selection is not natural it can also cause problems like defects that were not in a breed of animal that now show up because they didn’t have a chose in how they were bred.
A major concept used with artificial selection is how breeder’s get the traits they want. they breed by not allowing plants or animals with the undesired traits to breed with the animals or plants with the desired traits. This then removes the traits they do not want and will increase the frequency of traits showing up that they do want. With this being done there is more inbred animals which then causes less variation. This is sad because we don’t want to get rid of all the various animals out there just so some people can get the ones they want.
While reading up on artificial selection one thing that caught my interest most was something about dog breeders. Dog breeders can go as far as choosing the color of coat their dog will have. That to me is amazing and sad at the same time. It is not natural but it is amazing how far science has come for us to be able to do that. Only question is where will it stop. If we can do this with animals now how long will it be until this is how babies are made!
These are some of the sources I used
Essential Biology Pages 11-12
(return to the "Discover the Biological Sciences" main index page)