: >The devlopment of life by selective pressure on mutation is the second : >most well tested and validated theory in science (quantum mechanics : >being the first). That this process explains what we observe in nature : >is a fact at least as much as any other scientific fact, and is better : >established than most.
: I'm a little confused here. Do you mean to say that natural selection : explains the "development of life" and that natural selection explains "what : we observe in nature"?
: Your statements might be considerd to be accurate if you were referring to : "evolution" but not if you mean "natural selection". Please clarify.
Natural selection refers to the tendency of the environment to favor the ability of organisms with one trait to survive over those with another trait. (Question to biologists: is that fair?)
Evolution is the tendency of a distribution of traits to drift over time. That is, evolution is change in organisms across generations. Natural selection is the mechanism which drives this drift.
We have observed both natural selection AND evolution: in the lab AND in nature. Selection explains the distribution of traits and the patterns of survival that we see at any given time. Selection in the past, coupled with evolution, explain the distribution of traits we see now. Together, they explain the "tree of life" and the remarkable diversity and adaptiveness we observe in nature.