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'Survival of fittest' is disputed

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posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:48 PM
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'Survival of fittest' is disputed


www.bbc.co.uk

But new research identifies the availability of "living space", rather than competition, as being of key importance for evolution.

The new study proposes that really big evolutionary changes happen when animals move into empty areas of living space, not occupied by other animals.

For example, when birds evolved the ability to fly, that opened up a vast range of new possibilities not available to other animals. Suddenly the skies were the limit, triggering a new evolutionary burst.

The extinction of the dinosaurs gave mammals their lucky break.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:48 PM
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I'm confused.

What they appear to be describing is, in fact, natural selection.

Surely, birds triggered an ''evolutionary burst'' in the sky, because they had no predators, and consequently beneficial traits were more likely to be retained in their offspring.

If ''living space'' was the key to evolutionary advancements, then wouldn't crocodiles and Komodo dragons be some of the most advanced creatures on earth ?




www.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 11:02 PM
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1. This theory has been disputed since its publication
2. lol you need read no more than this "But new research identifies the availability of "living space", rather than competition, as being of key importance for evolution." The availability of living space is in fact one of the many things species compete for.



posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 11:28 PM
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Here a link to the paper - Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land (Sahney et al.)

I concur with Prof. Sterns, who finds the interpretation problematic:

"To give one example, if the reptiles had not been competitively superior to the mammals during the Mesozoic (era), then why did the mammals only expand after the large reptiles went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic?"

"And in general, what is the impetus to occupy new portions of ecological space if not to avoid competition with the species in the space already occupied?"

www.bbc.co.uk...

[edit on 23-8-2010 by Drunkenshrew]



posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenshrew
 


I thought that it's just down to the fact that some reptiles will kill mammals, and some mammals will kill reptiles.

They both cancelled each other out.

If these reptiles went extinct, then the mammals' population will flourish in a wider area, and they'll have more mutations, and eventually more new species.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 


Although the first mammal species predated the first dinosaurs, there were no large mammal species during the Cretaceous. During this time, reptiles were far better in killing mammals, than vice versa. All ecological niches for large land-living tetrapods were occupied by dinosaurs. Mammals simply could not compete. Mammals could only grow to larger sizes, after the dinosaurs had become extinct.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by jacktherer
1. This theory has been disputed since its publication


By who?



2. lol you need read no more than this "But new research identifies the availability of "living space", rather than competition, as being of key importance for evolution." The availability of living space is in fact one of the many things species compete for.


I am at a loss at how to react to this post. Living space uninundated by a consistent threat tends to increase survival chances and subsequent propagation. It's a sound thought and more than valid when one considers that 'the fittest' doesn't get around to everyone...in fact, I would disagree that "Survival of the fittest" is explicit in the intent of the term. It implies causality as an intended trait when there are many sociological interactions that will encourage survival...

Evolution has its' roots in sociology, in my opinion, and not just human sociology.

You may want to re-think your stance...



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by Drunkenshrew
Although the first mammal species predated the first dinosaurs, there were no large mammal species during the Cretaceous. During this time, reptiles were far better in killing mammals, than vice versa. All ecological niches for large land-living tetrapods were occupied by dinosaurs. Mammals simply could not compete. Mammals could only grow to larger sizes, after the dinosaurs had become extinct.


Yes, I agree with you.

I always imagined some of the early mammals to be vole-like creatures that survived by living in burrows and attempting to stay out of the way of reptiles.

But, I also thought there were other mammals that were capable of killing some of the smaller reptiles.

I thought that once some of these bigger reptiles became extinct, then it gave a great chance for these smaller mammals to ''come in to their own'', and to replicate free from too many predators in this ''living space''.


That is why I'm querying why this study is anything other than an acknowledgement of the old ''survival of the fittest'' actuality.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 01:27 AM
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Yes, Repenomamus was the largest mammal which lived during the Cretaceous. It reached the size of a large dog. It could probably kill the smaller sized species of dinosaurs. But compared to the top predators of its time, Repenomamus was tiny.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 01:33 AM
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Lol, is just another reporter who writes about science but doesnt know what he is saying, is very common.

And in modern theory "survival of the fittest" is not used because people never cacht.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 04:47 AM
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The only thing that seems to bring evolution to humans is war. Obviously survival of the fittest is still in effect, for it is the victors of war that proceed to dominate humanity and its future.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 05:46 AM
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I have always interpreted "Survival of the fittest", to mean "Survival of the most well adapted to their local ecology".

In these terms, the phrase is a truism. The ability to react to maintain a balance (produce a more favourable benefit) in the ecological system from a specific organism's point of view is crucial. For instance, the Dodo was perfectly adapted to its environment until the island was invaded by mankind. It was not capable of reacting to the imbalance in the ecology and so did not survive.

Being the 'hunted' or the 'hunter' is not an issue per se unless there is an imbalance in the system of maintaining the status quo (i.e. reproduction rates).

Clearly, we have to differentiate 'evolution' from short timescale events but the general principle can be seen to work in both cases. Advantage can be gained from any number of attributes, size, speed, appearance etc.

Evolutionary development is generally based in reactive changes in accordance with benefit to survival, or so it would appear to go. The advancement of the 'brain' is surely the single most beneficial development since it allows the organism to change their own ecology (i.e. via migration) and this is particularly relevant to human beings.



[edit on 24-8-2010 by SugarCube]



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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Even children recognize that an empty space is an arena for unlimited expression.

I have always known of the ability for Nature to fill a niche. This is why some of our current Mammals resemble those reptilian/dinosaur creatures in both physical attributes as well as their 'place' in the chain of life.

If you have a ditch that you've dug out, and seasonal rains move through and changes take place that begin to support living things, those living things "fill-up" the space until they exhaust what it is that supports them, as they "ebb and flow" or "wax and wane" space presents itself for new more complex examples to express themselves.

As much as we like to put this power into the individual species, I am sorry, it is simply Mother Nature, it is Magic, it is Science beyond proof, it is Intelligence. This is Great Spirit.

To have a flower mimic a wasp or to have a wasp mimic a flower? Which is the capable illusionist? Mother Nature is, and through her we find symbiosis, we find expressions of Spirit.

This is why, when and if we make it to the Stars, we will happen upon planets that have their version of a Rose and even the smell will remind you of home!



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 10:13 AM
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Seems clear to me that:

1. Survival is about flexibility and adaptability - NOT some static state of "fitness".

2. Species survival is ensured by cooperation NOT competition; ruthless competitiveness might work for individuals in the short-term, but long term species survival is a different story...



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 01:59 PM
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It´s not actually "survival of the fittest" it´s "survival of those who can mate" it doesn´t matter how "fit" a creature is, if it can mate it will have offspring and pass on its DNA.

As for this daft theory, moving into free space is only an aspect of the survival of the creature, because there´s no danger there it can produce more so giving its genes a better chance of survival.

If a few tigers come across the island whilst out for swim, where the cows or whatever are living, they are going to decline rapid fashion.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Seems clear to me that:

1. Survival is about flexibility and adaptability - NOT some static state of "fitness".

2. Species survival is ensured by cooperation NOT competition; ruthless competitiveness might work for individuals in the short-term, but long term species survival is a different story...


You're wrong. There have been many attempts to provide a better and more advanced society in various countries around the world. Unfortunately these ideals happen to have been a threat to American ideals and elements such as the CIA have been most effective in crushing human advancement on clandestine levels for the past 50 or so years.

Millions who believed in cooperation have died in massacre thanks to Western subterfuge. You speak of cooperation being paramount? Before we can even dream of that, there are some cultures in the world that need to be dismantled for the benefit of all others.

That is our duty as a species, to make sure we all have a part in our future, not a future dictated by one hostile group such as the USA.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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Uh... that's not a "dispute," that's actually perfectly fitting into the theory of natural selection.

Ugh. Well, it's not like the media has ever understood evolution, what with their constant jabber about "missing links" and "human genes in sponges" (really, all life on earth has the same four genetic markers. What gets into these people?)



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:16 PM
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This is such a dumb story title, as it does nothing to dispute survival of the fittest, rather it seems to be adding an addendum to the careful balance of factors which drive evolution.



posted on Aug, 24 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow1. Survival is about flexibility and adaptability - NOT some static state of "fitness".


I take an animal's ''fitness'' to include flexibility and adaptability.

If an animal can't adapt to its surroundings, then it is more likely to die off early, and therefore is less ''fit'' than those that are adaptable.


This is why I'm a bit confused about this study, because it appears to just be explaining an aspect of ''survival of the fittest'', and does not go against the current theory.



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