Home > The List > Evolving? More like regressing.

Evolving? More like regressing.


Survival of the fittest. “Fitness” is a measure of ability to survive and proliferate. In today’s society “fittest” is not used in the same sense that Darwin had proposed. Today “fittest” means richest, most beautiful, possibly smartest? If evolution were to progress as it should, the smartest, least likely to become diseased, most robust, and generally most “fit” should lead. They should proliferate to give society the best chance at the greatest “fitness.” We do it with domesticated animals and we call it selective breeding. My conclusion: we should practice this in humans.

The average human lifespan is slowly rising. This is attributed to the rise in health care professions and the increase in medications we take. This limits our susceptibility to illnesses like cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases like tuberculosis. For now, lets ignore the fact that we suffer from a societal issue called Herd Immunity. Let us assume that we all (the ones who can afford it) receive the appropriate vaccinations and have routine check ups. In this example, the most “fit” are the ones who can afford health care. The poor who are unable to pay are removed from society and die off. This is survival of the fittest. The poor cannot adapt to this lifestyle and get extinguished.

Obviously nothing is perfect and everything eventually becomes disaster (rule of entropy?). Everything works in theory (communism), but in practice fails miserably. This is because as humans we suffer from being sentimental and having feelings. The stock markets suffer from it (market crashes when terrorism hits) and evolution is suffering because of it. We constantly feel the need to help others we don’t even know. We donate our food and money to help the homeless and even to help those stranded in desolate countries across the world. If wealth is “fitness,” then what? We’re attempting to equalize fitness among our species? It sounds cold and uncaring, but helping those less “fit” is hindering our evolutionary growth.

I propose an experiment. Isolate 1000 of the most “fit” based on IQ and knowledge (professors, inventors, philosophers). And then isolate another 1000 based on our current standard of “fitness,” the richest and most powerful (actors, lawyers, politicians). Each population will be composed of 500 males and females of relatively same average age. Provide them with today’s technology and confine each population to an island with limited but plentiful resources, but no connection to any other society. Leave them for dozens of generations.

We can watch as each population expands and progresses. The obvious winner is the group more capable of dealing with issues of fitness (longer lifespan, advanced technology, cured diseases, etc…). It’s pretty easy to predict, no? Albeit this may not be the most objective way to prove that today’s standard of fitness is not evolutionarily helpful, but it certainly proves a point. Thoughts?

More on this later.

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