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The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success. In Darwinian terms the phrase is best understood as "Survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.
Herbert Spencer first used the phrase, after reading Charles Darwin 's On the Origin of Speciesin his Principles of Biologyin which he drew parallels between his own economic theories and Darwin's biological ones: "This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called 'natural selection', Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.
Darwin responded positively to Alfred Russel Wallace 's suggestion of using Spencer's new phrase "survival of the fittest" as an alternative to "natural selection", and adopted the phrase in The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication published in Darwin has called 'natural selection', or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.
In July Alfred Russel Wallace wrote to Darwin about readers thinking that the phrase " natural selection " personified nature as "selecting", and said this misconception could be avoided "by adopting Spencer's term" Survival of the fittest. Darwin promptly replied that Wallace's letter was "as clear as daylight. I fully agree with all that you say on the advantages of H. Spencer's excellent expression of 'the survival of the fittest'.
This however had not occurred to me till reading your letter. It is, however, a great objection to this term that it cannot be used as Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium - My Dying Bride - Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium substantive governing a verb".
Had he received Maryan - Theo Travis Double Talk - Transgression letter two months earlier, he would have worked the phrase into the fourth edition of the Origin which was then being printed, and he would use it in his "next book on Domestic Animals etc.
Darwin wrote on page 6 of The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication published in"This preservation, during the battle for life, of varieties which possess any advantage in structure, constitution, or instinct, I have called Natural Selection; and Mr. Herbert Deadborn - Bloodwork - Zero has well expressed the same idea by the Survival of the Fittest.
The term "natural selection" is in some respects a bad one, as it seems to imply conscious choice; but this will be disregarded after a little familiarity". He defended his analogy as similar to language used in chemistry, and to astronomers depicting the "attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets", or the way in which "agriculturists speak of man making domestic races by his power of selection".
He had "often personified the word Nature; for I have found it difficult to avoid this ambiguity; but I mean by nature only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws,—and by laws only the ascertained sequence of events. In the first four editions of On the Origin of SpeciesDarwin had used the phrase "natural selection". But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.
In The Man Versus The StateSpencer used the phrase in a postscript to justify a plausible explanation of how his theories would not be adopted by "societies of militant type".
He uses the term in the context of societies at war, and the form of his reference suggests that he is applying a general principle. The phrase "survival of the fittest" has become widely used in popular literature as a catchphrase for any topic related or analogous to evolution and natural selection. It has thus been applied to principles of unrestrained competition, and it has been used extensively by both proponents and opponents of Social Darwinism.
Evolutionary biologists criticise the manner in which the term is used by non-scientists and the connotations that have grown around the term in popular culture. The phrase also does not help in conveying the complex nature of natural selection, so modern biologists prefer and almost exclusively use the term natural selection. The biological concept of fitness refers to reproductive successas opposed to survival, and is not explicit in the specific ways in which organisms can be more "fit" increase reproductive success as having phenotypic characteristics that enhance survival and reproduction which was the meaning that Spencer had in mind.
While the phrase "survival of the fittest" is often used to mean " natural selection ", it is avoided by modern biologists, because the phrase can be misleading. For example, survival is only one aspect of selection, and not always the most important. Another problem is that the word "fit" is frequently confused with a state of physical fitness.
In the evolutionary meaning " fitness " is the rate of reproductive output among a class of genetic variants. The phrase can also be interpreted to express a theory or hypothesis: that "fit" as opposed to "unfit" individuals or species, in some sense of "fit", will survive some test.
Nevertheless, when extended to individuals it is a conceptual mistake, the phrase is a reference to the transgenerational survival of the heritable attributes; particular individuals are quite Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold . This becomes more clear when referring to Viral quasispeciesin survival of the flattestwhich makes it clear to survive makes no reference to the question of even being alive itself; rather the functional capacity of proteins to carry out work.
Interpretations of the phrase as expressing a theory are in danger of being tautologicalmeaning roughly "those with a propensity to survive have a propensity to survive"; to have content the theory must use a concept of fitness that is independent of that of survival. Interpreted as a theory of species survival, the theory that the fittest species survive is undermined by evidence that while direct competition is observed between individuals, populations and species, there is little evidence that competition has been the driving force in the evolution of large groups such as, for example, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.
Instead, these groups have evolved by expanding into empty ecological niches. The main land dwelling animals to survive the K-Pg impact 66 million years ago had the ability to live in tunnels, for example. In Sahney Prince - Nude Tour 1990 al. Instead, they cited extrinsic, abiotic factors such as expansion as Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold driving factor on a large evolutionary scale.
The rise of dominant groups such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds occurred by opportunistic expansion into empty ecological niches and the extinction of groups happened due to large shifts in the abiotic environment. It has been claimed that "the survival of the fittest" theory in biology was interpreted by late 19th century capitalists as "an ethical precept that sanctioned cut-throat economic competition" and led to the advent of the theory of " social Darwinism " which was used to justify laissez-faire economics, war and racism.
However, these ideas predate and commonly contradict Darwin's ideas, and indeed their proponents rarely invoked Darwin in support. Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin viewed the concept of "survival of the fittest" as supporting co-operation rather than competition. In his book Mutual Supermodel - London Posse - London Posse EP A Factor of Evolution he set out his analysis leading to the conclusion that the fittest was not necessarily the best at competing individually, but often the community made up of those best at working together.
He concluded that. In the animal world we have seen that the vast majority of species live in societies, and that they find in association the best arms for the struggle for life: understood, of course, in its wide Darwinian sense — not as a struggle for the sheer means of existence, but as a struggle against all natural conditions unfavourable to the species. The animal species, in which individual struggle has been reduced to its narrowest limits, and the practice of mutual aid has attained the greatest development, are invariably the most numerous, the most prosperous, and the most open to further progress.
Applying this concept to human society, Kropotkin presented mutual aid as one of the dominant factors of evolution, the other being self-assertion, and concluded that. In the practice of mutual aid, which we can retrace to the earliest beginnings of evolution, we thus find the positive and undoubted origin of our ethical conceptions; and we can affirm that in the ethical progress of man, mutual support not mutual struggle Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold has had the leading part.
In its wide extension, even at the present time, we also see the best guarantee of a still loftier evolution of our race. Furthermore, the expression does become a tautology if one uses the most widely accepted definition of "fitness" in modern biology, namely reproductive success itself rather than any set of characters conducive Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold this reproductive success.
This reasoning is sometimes used to claim that Darwin's entire theory of evolution Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold natural selection is fundamentally tautological, and therefore devoid of any explanatory power. However, the expression "survival of the fittest" taken on its own and out of context gives a very incomplete account of the mechanism of natural selection.
The reason is that it does not mention a key requirement for natural selection, namely the requirement of heritability. It is true that the phrase "survival of the fittest", in and by itself, is a tautology if fitness is defined by survival and reproduction.
Natural selection is the portion of variation in reproductive success that is caused by heritable characters see the article on natural selection. If certain heritable characters increase or decrease the chances of survival and reproduction of their bearers, then it follows mechanically by definition of "heritable" that those characters that improve survival and reproduction will increase in frequency over generations.
This is precisely what is called " evolution by natural selection ". On the other hand, if the characters which lead to differential reproductive success are not heritable, then no meaningful evolution will occur, "survival of the fittest" or not: if improvement in reproductive success is caused by traits that are not heritable, then there is no reason why these traits should increase in frequency over generations.
In other words, natural selection does not simply state that "survivors survive" or "reproducers reproduce"; rather, it states that "survivors survive, reproduce and therefore propagate any heritable characters which have affected their survival and reproductive success". This statement is not tautological: it hinges on the testable hypothesis that such fitness-impacting heritable Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold actually exist a hypothesis that has been amply confirmed.
Momme von Sydow suggested further definitions of 'survival of the fittest' that may yield a testable meaning in biology and also in other areas where Darwinian processes have been influential. However, much care would be needed to disentangle tautological from testable aspects.
Moreover, an "implicit shifting between a testable and an untestable interpretation can be an illicit tactic to immunize natural selection Skeptic Society founder and Skeptic Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold publisher Michael Shermer addresses To Må Man Være - Tom S.
Lund* - En Grønnmalt Benk - I Rio? tautology problem in his book, Why People Believe Weird Thingsin which he points out that although tautologies are sometimes the beginning of science, they are never the end, and that scientific principles like natural selection are testable and falsifiable by virtue of their predictive power.
Shermer points out, as an example, that population genetics accurately demonstrate when natural selection will and will not effect change on a population. Shermer hypothesizes that if hominid fossils were found in the same geological strata as trilobitesit would be evidence against natural selection.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revisionreviewed on 26 November Phrase to describe the mechanism of natural selection. For other uses, see Survival of the fittest disambiguation. Darwin Correspondence Project.
Retrieved 12 January Darwin has called "natural selection", or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Press of the Pac. The term "natural selection" is in some respects a bad one, as it seems to imply conscious choice; but this will be disregarded after a little familiarity. Archived 3 March at the Wayback Machine pp.
Voigts, B. Pietrzak-Franger Eds. Reflecting on Darwin. Farnham, London: Ashgate. Hidden categories: CS1 errors: external links Webarchive template wayback links Survival Of The Fittest - Elephant Phinix - Patience Is Gold maint: multiple names: authors list Articles with short description Wikipedia pending changes protected pages EngvarB from August Use dmy dates from August All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from July Articles with unsourced statements from January Articles with unsourced statements from February Articles with Project Gutenberg links.
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