Artificial selection is a technique of reproductive control, through which man can alter the genes of domestic or cultivated organisms, so as to be able to arbitrarily manipulate the characteristics that are inherited.
It is through science, then, the way in which it is possible to increase the frequency of genetic changes between successive generations.
The idea of artificial selection is openly confrontational with the idea of natural selection, which Charles Darwin contributed and was accepted by the majority of the scientific community, whereby the circumstances in which a community of individuals must live make them survive only the strongest, and those who have been able to adapt to the environment that surrounds them.
Artificial selection can be made in many ways, among which is that of the negative selection that is proposed, precisely, avoid producing copies with certain characteristics that are not desired, or the positive selection that leads to to favor the reproduction of specimens with certain characteristics or properties.
Examples of artificial selection
- Artificial selection: genetic modification of corn
- The banana, fruit obtained through the process of artificial selection.
- In plants, agronomists only leave the species with the best color, that is, the economically most profitable populations.
- The selection that the human being made of some birds, specifically those suffering from arthritic diseases or viscera torsions because they have too large cavities, or those that produce many eggs although their life time is limited.
- The crosses between the sheep that have more wool, so that in time their descendants possess only the selected characteristics.
- Dog breeds like the Bulldog, the Afghan Shepherd, the Pitbull or the Rottweiler.
- Leaf cutting ants, a particular species that produces artificial selection without being human.
- Cauliflower, which is produced from wild mustard.
- Animals for cattle, like dairy cows.
- Corn, from which an edible yield is obtained for the older man.
- The xoloitzcuintle dog, which has physical characteristics that are considered very beautiful in an aesthetic way.
Advantages and disadvantages
The process implies, first of all, the recognition of man as the species that determines the use of other species, for the purposes of their conjunctural needs. The use of artificial selection allows finding new relatively stable varieties, which are then used for agricultural, livestock or mass-genre purposes.
Artificial selection and the ability to manipulate the phenotypes on a voluntary basis implied a huge advance in the quality of life of people in different ways, as the characteristics of the plant varieties were optimized, easily taking advantage of the food uses of the human being.
However, in contrast there is also a multiplicity of ethical issues, for the reason that artificial selection has gone beyond the crosses between different races: the methods of artificial reproduction put the human being in a virtual place of God with respect to the life that generates.
In order to obtain more efficient animals, man selects individuals who carry valuable characteristics according to their thinking: the modification of the appearance of many species is made with the sole purpose of making human life more comfortable, irreversibly altering destiny natural of each species.