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Table 1 Definitions of natural selection and genetic drift from glossaries of introductory college biology textbooks

From: Students’ Mental Models of Evolutionary Causation: Natural Selection and Genetic Drift

Term Definition Textbook
Natural Selection A process in which organisms with certain inherited characteristics are more likely to survive and reproduce than are organisms with other characteristics. Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B., Urry, L.A., Cain, M.L., Wasserman, S.A., Minorsky P.V., and R.B. Jackson. (2008). Biology. 8th ed. New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Natural Selection The process by which individuals with certain heritable traits tend to produce more surviving offspring than do individuals without those traits, resulting in a change in the genetic makeup of the population. A major mechanism of evolution. Freeman, S. (2005) Biological
Science. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle
River: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Natural Selection The differential survival and/or reproduction of classes of entities that differ in one or more characteristics; the difference in survival and/or reproduction is not due to chance, and it must have the potential consequence of altering the proportions of the different entities to constitute natural selection. Thus natural selection is also definable as a partly or wholly deterministic difference in the contribution of different classes of entities to subsequent generations. Usually the differences are inherited. The entities may be alleles, genotypes or subsets of genotypes, populations, or in the broadest sense, species. Futuyma, D.J. (1998). Evolutionary Biology. 3rd ed. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates, Inc.
Genetic Drift A process in which chance events cause unpredictable fluctuations in allele frequencies from one generation to the next. Effects of genetic drift are most pronounced in small populations. Campbell et al. (2008). Biology. 8th ed. New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Genetic Drift Any change in allele frequencies due to random events. Causes allele frequencies to drift up and down randomly over time, and eventually can lead to the fixation or loss of alleles. Freeman, S. (2005) Biological
Non-adaptive change (e.g., genetic drift) occurs when the frequency of a trait increases or decreases because of stochastic factors, regardless of whether the trait confers an advantage, disadvantage, or is neutral with respect to survival or reproduction Science. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle
River: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Genetic Drift Random changes in the frequencies of two or more alleles or genotypes within a population Futuyma, D.J. (1998). Evolutionary Biology. 3rd ed. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates, Inc.