Let's talk about how plants & animals get new characteristics - EVOLUTION.
I am sure we both have some pretty strong ideas about evolution. Let's see if we can agree.
WelI Betty, I can explain it this way; the evidence we have supports the idea that traits are inherited from the parents, and that these traits are caused by mutations and the random combinations of genes resulting from sexual reproduction.
The only way the trait can be passed down is for it to be inherited by the child (through DNA), but the variations themselves are random mutations.
Kathy, your idea doesn't make sense to me ! I think that a much better explanation of how animals change over time is by acquiring traits during their lifetime.
Animals and plants that acquire a characteristic during their lifetime would be better able to survive, and pass this trait on to their offspring. This explanation is better than yours.
I think one of these explanations is better than the other, but which one?