The developing research area on how the vast biodiversity on Earth evolves accepts natural selection and three other established forces of evolution as its basis. These include: mutation, random genetic drift and gene flow.

  • Natural selection is the process by which the best-adapted individuals produce the most offspring, which in turn carry forward to their offspring the genes that gave their parents the upper edge.
  • Genetic drift is a random process in which chance plays a role in deciding which gene variants (alleles) survive.
  • Gene flow occurs when genes are carried from one population to another. Also called migration, an example of gene is when pollen gets blown to a region where it previously did not exist, transporting new genetic material to that population.
  • Mutations are also random. Changes to an organism's DNA can impact all aspects of its life, from how it looks and behaves to its basic physiology.
  • Life's Little Mysteries