Darwin’s theory of evolution is one of the most well-known concepts in biology. It explains how species change over time through a process of natural selection.

However, some people may not be aware that there is another term for Darwin’s theory of evolution. This concept is known as “descent with modification.”

What Is Descent with Modification?

Descent with modification is a phrase coined by Darwin himself to describe his theory of evolution. It refers to the idea that all living organisms share a common ancestor and have evolved over time through gradual changes and adaptations.

How Does Descent with Modification Work?

According to Darwin’s theory, all living organisms have certain traits or characteristics that are inherited from their parents. These traits can vary within a population, and some individuals may have traits that are better suited to their environment than others.

Over time, individuals with advantageous traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those without them. This process is known as natural selection, and it leads to the gradual accumulation of beneficial traits in a population over many generations.

As these changes continue to occur over time, populations may become so different from their original ancestors that they eventually give rise to new species. This process of speciation is a key part of descent with modification.

Why Is Descent with Modification Important?

Descent with modification is an important concept in biology because it explains how all living organisms on Earth are related through a common ancestry. It also provides insight into the mechanisms that drive evolution and how new species arise.

Furthermore, understanding descent with modification can help us better appreciate the diversity of life on our planet and how it has come to be. By studying the process of evolution, we can also gain insights into how we might be able to conserve and protect biodiversity in the future.


In conclusion, “descent with modification” is another term for Darwin’s theory of evolution. It describes how all living organisms share a common ancestor and have evolved over time through a process of gradual changes and adaptations. By understanding this concept, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of life on Earth and the mechanisms that drive evolution.