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Is the Darwinian theory of "survival of the fittest" still relevant to human beings today?

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posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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Charles Darwin said that all life adheres to the principle of "Survival of the Fittest", where the strongest, most intelligent, most adapted species and particular sub-species would survive the brutality of nature and pass thier genes onto their offspring, hence, eliminating the weak, less itnelligent and less adapted species. Hence, this is the basis around which evolution exsists. But does this Darwinian theory apply to us as human beigns today?

This can be answered with a simple fictional example:
Imagine there was an earthquae, ad two animals where trapped, each under a boulder of similar size, weight, etc as the other one. One of the animals was big, strong, and intelligent. The other animal was small, weak and unintelligent. The big, strong, intelligent animal has the strength and brain power to remove the boulder, survive, and reproduce, passing on its genetic material. The small, weak, unintelligent animal cannot do this, and hence dies, failing to pass on its genetic material. This will therefore result in a stronger, bigger, more intelligent species.

HOWEVER, with humans, this no longer occurs, or not nearly as often. if we think of the two animals now as humans, a stronger, bigger, more intelligent one and a weaker, smaller and unintelligent one, the situation alters. This is becasue we have compassion. The weak human cannot remove the boulder, but the strong man, after saving himself, will likely remove the boulder for the weak man and save him, therefore allowing the small man too reproduce as well, passing on his weaker, smaller, uninteligent genes. This in turn makes this largely accepted Darwinian theory INCORRECT, IRRELEVANT to some of the compassionate human race.

This is not always the case however, with humans still being selfish, and still possibly have negative thoguhts against the weaker man... he/or she might dislike him. But the fact is, we have the option, we have the ability, we have the INTELLIGENCE to break this cycle of self preservation. In contrast ,just becasue our present morals and ethics might see the preservation of other human beings as well as ourselves as being the RIGHT thing to do, we must also keep in midn that our morals and ethics of what is right and what is wrong is ONLY GOVERNED BY POPULAR OPINION. For example, the vast majority of people 200 years ago thoguht homosexuality was wrong, therefore immoral. But today, most people would disagree, and see it as acceptable, and therofre RIGHT. Whos to say we mgiht change our minds about the preservation of the majority of lives over the minority? Its all food for thought...

Apologies for so many typos and the exhaustive uses of "therefore"!

Please reply with any of your comments on any of the topics highlighted.

John Pearce.

[edit on 13-6-2005 by John Pearce]




posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 07:52 PM
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John, although you ask whether or not "survival of the fittest" (or "Social Darwinism")is relevant today, I think better questions would be: "Is Social Darwinism around today?" and "if it is, is Social Darwinism actually working?"

Certainly, in the United States, Social Darwinism is not extant; indeed, just the opposite obtains. Social Darwinism is predicated upon the strongest (depending on how you define that word) winning (depending on how you define that word). Typically, that would mean that the smartest (strongest) would get the most wealth (winning).

It is certainly not that way in the United States, and has not been that way for almost seventy years. Here, the smartest people are actually held back by having their property taken away, while the weakest are given incentives to stay weak by having free food, housing, and incentives to reproduce and make more weak people.

Try to compare the number of children born to smart and strong people against the number of kids born to poor and weak people; the correlation is not a happy one.

Is the approach of survival of the fittest a valid one? Probably so; it seems to have worked since pre-Cambrian times, say a couple billion years.

Now for the first time in history people are deliberately doing anti-darwinian activities and, it seems to me, reaping the whirlwind in stupider and stupider citizens.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 10:22 PM
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Nope.

Nowadays idiots live LONGER then smart people. Look at all the republicans alive and dems that are dead. Vietnam? Republicans being ignorant got out of it by using power/money, Dems being smart decided hey, go over, kick ass, go home, the more the quicker it gets done. But it was flawed cause republicans stayed home, so the millions the dems thought were coming stayed at home doing coke and drinking, just ask Bush.

Look at all the idiots on the news, Bush, Ann Coulter, Fox News, all alive and well although nature says they should be dead.

Look at the Dark Ages, all those christians dieing like well, idiots. But nowadays those same people who before would have died of starvation, disease, stupidity, are now kept alive by the smart people/doctors.

So no, Darwin is dead, the stupid live and thrive where before they would have died.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 11:15 PM
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The weak human cannot remove the boulder, but the strong man, after saving himself, will likely remove the boulder for the weak man and save him, therefore allowing the small man too reproduce as well,


Perhaps that is what keeps up as a species alive and in very large numbers.
That person who is allowed to breed adds to the population and will likely teach compassion to others who will also act selflessly in those circumstances.

This is seen in other species like bees and ants, who will sacrifice their own lives to save the hive or nest.



posted on Jun, 22 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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Most assuredly there are characteristics that will be selected for in the human evolutionary process.

How else do we evolve to the tall pale lean creatures with big crania presented in sci-fi movies?

Such things as are definitely (unfortunately) socially desirable in the current human species and that may be hereditary are the ability to lie with a poker face. Ask Stephen Pinker.



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 08:15 AM
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even though I may be viewed as a detractor of Darwin's work by some because I don't fully accept the law of eveolution as presented, I assure you all I am not. I just require much more proof before accepting something so vastly venerable and with so many uncertainties. I do put a great deal of credibility on natural selection and survival of the fittest.

Those who are more able to manipulate their environment to get what they want tend to outlive those who cannot.

Sure, there are exceptions to every rule but those strong enough to handle the stress and rigors tend to earn more and stay healthy longer due to affording better medical attention and affording healthier food. They also tend to be able to make exercise and recreation more a part of their lives.

A great deal of those in poverty long term (anyone can fall on hard times but few of the strong stay there) lack motivation, mental ability, or physical ability and tend to not worry with their health nor do many of these people tear themselves away from their televisions long enough to exercise their bodies or their minds. Sure we have kids born into money who fall right in that catagory but as they grow up, they usually have to either fall one way or another.

So, yeah think that principle, if not a certainty, surely still influences human society today.



posted on Jun, 27 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street

It is certainly not that way in the United States, and has not been that way for almost seventy years. Here, the smartest people are actually held back by having their property taken away, while the weakest are given incentives to stay weak by having free food, housing, and incentives to reproduce and make more weak people.

Try to compare the number of children born to smart and strong people against the number of kids born to poor and weak people; the correlation is not a happy one.



Alas, these are good points as well and as much as I hate to admit it, very true indeed. What began as assistance to the poor and downtroddened has become and entitlement and "promised lifestyle" at the expense of those who work. In my opinion, tying this entitlement to the number of children contributed to the second point mentioned..and many of these chuildren are taught that this is a way of life just like many of us are taught to work.

To many of these people, going down to pick up their check from the rest of us is a big effort in itself and the administrative issues to keep getting them unfair. They want and expect a paycheck for life and whoa to anyone whom would question their own ability to earn it.

Even though this unjust confiscation exist, I still think we see evidence of survival of the fittest...even in the United States.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:18 AM
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What should we do then?



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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Wow this thing is like 6 years old. Survival of the fittest does still apply, but not at the same level it did when we were hunter gatherers. You do see evolution in action when people do stupid things like on the show "1000 ways to die". The main thing that holds evolution back right now is that instead of the weaker dying out, they are encouraged to thrive. We have laws that protect people's rights, and medicine to help people survive illnesses and whatnot. Physical fitness is no longer as necessary with our system of agriculture and global food distribution although you could easily argue that it could save your life one day, even though it's not as likely to happen. So, yes, it applies but has a smaller role. Intelligence is the prime survival trait for us right now.





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