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Still Waters

Why 'survival of the fittest' is misleading

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Still Waters
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Our views of human nature shape almost everything we do as a society. It informs who heal or ignore. Who we protect or persecute. And no view of human nature has done more harm than ‘survival of the fittest’. At its inception, it inspired the eugenics movement and now it promotes all forms of racism and discrimination.

But ‘survival of the fittest’, which in the popular imagination suggests the superiority of the strongest, biggest and meanest, is a tragic misunderstanding. To Darwin, and other biologists, ‘fitness’ only refers to the offspring you leave behind. It was never meant to go beyond that.

Using the intended definition of fitness, research has repeatedly shown that friendliness is the key to life’s biggest successes.

https://www.sciencefocus.com/nature/survival-of-the-friendliest-why-kindness-not-aggression-helped-humans-thrive/

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quiXilver

Fitness does not apply to the most deadly, or the most able to run long periods in evolutionary terms.  I think most folks misunderstand the conceptual use of the term.

 

Fitness modeling is that process in our awareness that has evolved to highlight aspects of our environment that bring the most benefit to survival.  Either through threat avoidance, food, resource and mate acquisition.

 

Fitness modeling is how our awareness distorts reality, diminishing in our awareness those aspects of our environment that are neutral, while hyper-accentuating those aspects that provide high benefit for survival.

 

Niels Bohr, when he was knighted, took as his coat of arms Elephants marching around the Old Daoist Yin/Yang symbol in black and red (earlier version than the black/white) and around it he placed the latin phrase... Contraria sunt complementa.  Opposites are complimentary.  Opposites support and benefit each other, not denegrate. 

When reading the entirety of Darwin's book, (not just regurgitating) "survival of the fittest", which reveals our own cultural innately warlike view of life in general, the observations highlight repeatedly the fact that in nature... opposites work together far more than they do against.  Myriad species interact in mutually beneficial ways on all levels of being.

For those interested... the work of Donald Hoffman in this area of fitness modeling in consciousness, over the last 30 years has provided keen insights into this 'Fitness Modeling' that all species embrace to thrive.  Here is a short 20 minute intro into the basics. 

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justin3651
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in chimpanzees, the alpha male pummels his way to the top, forcing his groupmates to signal their total submission by kissing his testicles.

Almost spit coffee on my screen reading that.....You learn something new every day I guess.

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acute

In most mammals, it's "Survival of the Toughest".

The males compete for mating rights, and the females pick the winner.  It actually arouses human females, with a rush of oxytocin, when they see a display of physical dominance.

(You can see it play out in most bar-room settings, mainly on Friday/ Saturday nights. :D)

 

Edited by acute
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Desertrat56
3 hours ago, acute said:

In most mammals, it's "Survival of the Toughest".

The males compete for mating rights, and the females pick the winner.  It actually arouses human females, with a rush of oxytocin, when they see a display of physical dominance.

(You can see it play out in most bar-room settings, mainly on Friday/ Saturday nights:D)

 

I believe that is not a good example as alcohol is always involved and women do not usually go home with the one who starts the fight.  And most of us would just walk away.  There is no oxytocin rush witnessing that kind of behavior in a normal, sober human female.  I suppose you like to think that's how women react since you are male, but you have no idea.  You know, all those guys who whine about being the "good guy" that women don't want are not really "good guys", they are lazy, whiners and a*** hats.

Edited by Desertrat56
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Hammerclaw

Fittest mean the ones best able to cope and adapt to the environmental conditions they are subject to. A species as a whole adapts through beneficial random mutations which can lead to adaptive radiation and the proliferation of multiple versions of the same basic body type with key differentiations.

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Crazy Horse

Survival of the smartest, the best communicators, the best co-operators etc..

The fittest thing probable comes in last place of importance, so long as a bloke can survive long enough to pass on his genes.

Its not like only the Alpha males ever have sex!!

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openozy

Most women I know hate blokes with macho insecurities,I learn't this when young so purposely lost fights to have the girls comfort me(or that was my excuse for losing anyway,lol).I did pass my genes on though,be they of the shifty variety.

Edited by openozy
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Crazy Horse
5 minutes ago, openozy said:

Most women I know hate blokes with macho insecurities,I learn't this when young so purposely lost fights to have the girls comfort me(or that was my excuse for losing anyway,lol).I did pass my genes on though,be they of the shifty variety.

Survival of the shiftiest lol..

What some folk fail to realise is that an alpha male should take care of everyone. And there are rewards for that!

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openozy
9 minutes ago, Crazy Horse said:

Survival of the shiftiest lol..

What some folk fail to realise is that an alpha male should take care of everyone. And there are rewards for that!

I'd prefer the rewards and do nothing,lol.

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Crazy Horse
3 minutes ago, openozy said:

I'd prefer the rewards and do nothing,lol.

Yeeeeehh!

Am not sure such a world exists, but let me know if you find it lol..

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openozy
3 minutes ago, Crazy Horse said:

Yeeeeehh!

Am not sure such a world exists, but let me know if you find it lol..

:tu:

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joc
On 9/6/2020 at 11:40 PM, Hammerclaw said:

Fittest mean the ones best able to cope and adapt to the environmental conditions they are subject to. A species as a whole adapts through beneficial random mutations which can lead to adaptive radiation and the proliferation of multiple versions of the same basic body type with key differentiations.

 i.e. a change in the very dna of a species

Life must accomplish 4 tasks in order to survive.  Eat, keep from being eaten, propagate, and die.  In all of these areas the dna is constantly being affected (as you so eloquently stated above).  It is how the moth blends in with the tree...how the Leopard has it's spots, the tiger it's stripes...why the snow bunnys are white and the bears in the forest are black or brown. How the iguana hatchling knows to be wary of the snakes all around it, even as it hatches.

That fitness is illustrated in some fashion by every species of life on earth.  I currently have a 1/4" gash on my right middle finger.  I failed to appreciate the fitness of the rose bush as I  carelessly grabbed the fallen  trellis that had been holding it up.  

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Cookie Monster
On 9/6/2020 at 2:35 PM, Still Waters said:

Survival of the fittest is also not correct in other ways.

Environments arent static, they constantly change. In good times the pace of change is slow. In challenging times (droughts, floods, cold spells, volcanic winters, new viruses evolving, isolated land masses joining another land mass, new organisms evolving, solar flares, comet impacts, etc) the pace of change is high.

An organism that becomes too specialised for survival under one set of environmental conditions then finds itself going extinct when that environment undergoes quick change. Of all organisms large enough to see with the naked eye, then human beings are the most adaptable on the planet rather than the fittest.

We are everywhere from polar regions to the deserts, from high altitude to under the ocean. We are even in space. We have a brain that is brilliant at allowing our species to adapt because it is specialised for adaption. When it comes to being the fittest a man stands no chance against a whale, a shark, a tiger, or a bear.

If we look at environmental change (aka global warming) then one worrying thing that should be pointed out is the pressure being applied by groups to keep the environment static. Static environments also undergo entropy, the organisms in it might get a comfortable ride for a time but it encourages survival of the fittest to the long-term downfall of the organisms involved. We should be supporting change in our environment, helping new species evolve for a warmer world. Rather than trying to maintain the status quo.

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Desertrat56
6 hours ago, Crazy Horse said:

Survival of the smartest, the best communicators, the best co-operators etc..

The fittest thing probable comes in last place of importance, so long as a bloke can survive long enough to pass on his genes.

Its not like only the Alpha males ever have sex!!

I think the term "the fittest" is misinterpreted to only refer to physical fitness.  When you expand it to all areas that are used for survival, many already mentioned it is accurate.  

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Crazy Horse
13 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

I think the term "the fittest" is misinterpreted to only refer to physical fitness.  When you expand it to all areas that are used for survival, many already mentioned it is accurate.  

So the term, "the fittest" is very misleading and open to abuse.

If we are talking about survival and life in general, then a more nuanced level of communication, (see my first post) is necessary.

And then we can turn to ideas above mere survival such as happiness and culture, love and compassion. 

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Horta
On 9/6/2020 at 11:35 PM, Still Waters said:

But ‘survival of the fittest’, which in the popular imagination suggests the superiority of the strongest, biggest and meanest, is a tragic misunderstanding. 

Indeed survival of the"fittest" can be a misnomer. Looking at the most successful large mammal species ever for instance (humans), who are by and large also suffering from a modern obesity plague (in much of the west at least), fitness isn't often the thing that springs to mind. It is instead, as George Carlin once pointed out, wonder at how people are able to physically position themselves in a way that the successful union required for reproduction is possible lol. They seem to manage though, no shortage of us.

Edited by Horta
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Horta

sorry double post.

 

Edited by Horta

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Raptor Witness
On 9/6/2020 at 2:20 PM, quiXilver said:

Fitness does not apply to the most deadly, or the most able to run long periods in evolutionary terms.  I think most folks misunderstand the conceptual use of the term.

Fitness modeling is that process in our awareness that has evolved to highlight aspects of our environment that bring the most benefit to survival.  Either through threat avoidance, food, resource and mate acquisition.

Fitness modeling is how our awareness distorts reality, diminishing in our awareness those aspects of our environment that are neutral, while hyper-accentuating those aspects that provide high benefit for survival.

Niels Bohr, when he was knighted, took as his coat of arms Elephants marching around the Old Daoist Yin/Yang symbol in black and red (earlier version than the black/white) and around it he placed the latin phrase... Contraria sunt complementa.  Opposites are complimentary.  Opposites support and benefit each other, not denegrate. 

When reading the entirety of Darwin's book, (not just regurgitating) "survival of the fittest", which reveals our own cultural innately warlike view of life in general, the observations highlight repeatedly the fact that in nature... opposites work together far more than they do against.  Myriad species interact in mutually beneficial ways on all levels of being.

For those interested... the work of Donald Hoffman in this area of fitness modeling in consciousness, over the last 30 years has provided keen insights into this 'Fitness Modeling' that all species embrace to thrive.  Here is a short 20 minute intro into the basics. 

 Bravo ...... One of the best posts that I’ve seen here, in the last year, perhaps five years.

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