Science

A New Theory of Evolution

Sorry intelligent-design fans, your theory is still wrong: Scientists at the University of Bristol have published a study arguing that Charles Darwin may have been wrong to argue that competition between species is the driving force in evolution. Ph.D. student Sarda Sahney and colleagues argue that the availability of “living space” is more important than competition. They argue that big evolutionary changes take place when animals move into spaces that are empty of other living animals—for example, when birds evolved the ability to fly. Darwin’s theory held something quite different—“that intense competition for resources in overcrowded habitats is the major driving force of evolution,” as the BBC puts it. A professor from Yale raises a good objection: "And in general, what is the impetus to occupy new portions of ecological space if not to avoid competition with the species in the space already occupied?"