A study in Biology Letters written up in the BBC earlier this week has found an interesting wrinkle in Darwin's theory of natural selection. In short, evolution may not be as driven by competition as once thought.
In the classic view of "Darwinism" (itself a misleading phrase, perhaps), organisms compete over resources for the right to survive and reproduce. Those that are successful pass on their genes. Those that can't cut it die out.
But looking at the fossil record over the last 400 million years, Sarda Sahney and colleagues at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom found that patterns of evolution don't always match this trend.
Instead, species tend to move away from competition into new ecological niches. And sometimes they just get lucky.
For example, the evolution of birds allowed a whole group of animals to take to the skies. The extinction of the dinosaurs, which had for millions of years ruled the landscape, opened the door for mammals to colonize the planet.
Darwin's "wrongness" on this point or any related to evolution is in the eye of the beholder. Religious leaders who advocate creationism have campaigned mercilessly against his ideas (and against science in general), seeking to sew false controversy in the tenets of natural selection whenever and wherever possible.