What Are the 4 Steps of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?


Martha Robinson

Darwin’s theory of evolution is a groundbreaking scientific concept that explains the process by which species evolve over time. At its core, the theory of evolution states that all life on Earth is related and that species change over time due to natural selection. This theory has four central steps that explain how evolution occurs.

The 4 Steps of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution

Step 1: Variation

The first step in Darwin’s theory of evolution is variation. This refers to the fact that individuals within a species are not identical.

There are differences in physical traits, behavior, and other characteristics that make each individual unique. These variations can be inherited from parents or arise due to mutations.

For example: In a group of giraffes, some may have longer necks than others due to genetic variations.

Step 2: Inheritance

The second step in Darwin’s theory is inheritance. This means that variations can be passed down from generation to generation through genetic material such as DNA. Offspring inherit traits from their parents, which can lead to new combinations of traits over time.

For example: If two giraffes with long necks mate, their offspring are likely to also have long necks.

Step 3: Selection

The third step in Darwin’s theory is natural selection. This refers to the process by which certain traits become more or less common in a population based on their usefulness for survival and reproduction. Individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and pass on their genes, while those with less advantageous traits are less likely to survive and reproduce.

For example: Giraffes with longer necks are better able to reach high branches for food, making them more likely to survive and reproduce than giraffes with shorter necks.

Step 4: Time

The final step in Darwin’s theory is time. Evolution occurs over long periods of time, as advantageous traits become more common in a population and less advantageous traits become less common. Over millions of years, these changes can lead to the development of new species.

For example: Over time, giraffes with longer necks may become a separate species from giraffes with shorter necks due to differences in their genetic makeup.


In conclusion, Darwin’s theory of evolution is a powerful explanation for how species change over time. By understanding the four central steps of variation, inheritance, selection, and time, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of life on Earth and how it came to be.