Natural selection or the non-survival of the non-fit

Acta Biotheoretica 47 (2):83-97 (1999)
The effects of natural selection as a process in natural populations differs from ''survival of the fittest'' as it was formulated by Darwin in his ''Origin of Species''. The environment of a population exists of continuous changing conditions, which are heterogeneous in space. During its life each individual successively meets with differing conditions. During these confrontations the individual may appear to be ''unfit'' or ''unlucky'' and may die. If it survives it will meet the following conditions to which it is ''tested'' anew, a.s.o. Hence, many individuals being less fit under certain conditions will survive and reproduce, because they did not meet a deadly moment. Therefore, being ''fit'' only refers to special prevalent conditions. In each generation the individuals thus being ''unfit'' will be eliminated together with the ''unlucky'' ones. All other individuals will survive and reproduce, notwithstanding their properties.Hence, natural selection results in the ''non-survival of the non-fit'' rather than in ''survival of the fittest'', because being ''fit'' simply means ''having survived and reproduced'', whereas being ''unfit'' can be connected with many kinds of properties and environmental conditions, e.g. being killed by a predator. Only after many generations (hundreds or even thousands) the effect of eventually dominating properties of the survivors may result in a set of properties suggesting an overall ''survival of the fittest''. This was what Darwin wanted to explain as he was mainly interested in evolutionary processes.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1002053820381
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

10 ( #227,553 of 1,724,892 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,138 of 1,724,892 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.