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Natural Selection: The Video Game

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July 22, 2009 Tags: History of Life
Natural Selection: The Video Game

Today's entry was written by the BioLogos Editorial Team. You can read more about what we believe here.

Ever wanted to try your hand at establishing a viable evolutionary lineage? If so, the Science Channel has the perfect opportunity. The free game, "Who Wants to Live a Million Years?", allows players to help a species survive a changing and harsh environment by choosing three variations to populate the landscape. Just as in real ecosystems, species that are adapted for the environment are more likely to survive and pass on their traits. As the game progresses, your species will evolve along with the environment, though only using the initial traits you chose. That means that your stout, woolly creature that is perfectly suited for the next ice age most likely won't last long if the climate warms or if predators invade. To make things a little easier, though, the game allows players to use two "genetic mutations," which introduce new traits into the population -- particularly useful for your woolly species if that heat wave does hit.

Besides offering a fun diversion, the game offers players a hands-on lesson in Darwin's theory of natural selection, including a short introductory lesson before the game even begins. The game also includes a quiz at the end to help players see how much they've learned. As such, it's a perfect way for students who may not be too familiar with the theory of evolution to be exposed to some of Darwin's ideas in a fun, unique way.

For more tools like "Who Wants to Live a Million Years?", be sure to visit our Resource for Teachers section. Also stay tuned for more information about The BioLogos Foundation's upcoming curriculum for Christian schools and home schools.

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