(1809-82) a British scientist who developed the theory ofevolution, which is the idea that plants and animals develop gradually from simpler to more complicated forms by natural selection. This is the process by which only plants and animals that are naturally suitable for life in their environment will continue to live, while all others will die. He wrote about his ideas in his book On the Origin of Species.
• the Darwinian theory of evolution
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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