General Question

dopeguru's avatar

Does evolutionary biology apply to today's societies?

Asked by dopeguru (1907points) April 13th, 2019

Survival of the fittest – if its just about population, some third world countries with no proper sex ed have 6–7 kids each family are considered fittest right? Especially since there are no wars, chaotic governments etc anymore there seems to be no such thing as survival of fittest if we look at most of societies.

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11 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

“Survival of the fittest” is grossly misunderstood and misapplied by most people. Nor does it refer to individuals, but to species on the whole.

kritiper's avatar

Give it time, give it time…

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course it does. We act on instinct all through out the day.

I could apply to individuals @Darth_Algar. If woman is unable to conceive, her line dies out so that problem won’t be passed on.

But one thing to consider is we do thwart evolutionary biology with modern medicine.

LostInParadise's avatar

No wars or chaotic government? What planet are you talking about.

Not everyone has six or seven children. Some will be more successful than others. Evolution still applies, though @Dutchess_III makes a good point about the role played by medicine and, of course, there is the matter of the robots who will be our overlords.

kritiper's avatar

Evolution applies to more than just the human race and therein lies the danger. Super bugs, (antibiotic resistant infections and/or other forms) will be kicking our asses to the curb REAL soon by pushing the life expectancies back to where they were 150 years ago. Or further! Anew one was just announced last week: A rapidly spreading fungus.(No other details at this time.)

Darth_Algar's avatar


Modern medicine is exactly part of that evolution. It’s survival of the fittest. Part of being fittest is being able to adapt to and overcome adversity.

As far as one woman’s line – that matters not one bit in the overall evolutionary scheme of things. Just look at the insect world to see how much the individual matters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @Darth_Algar. But it messes with natural selection.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It really doesn’t. “Natural selection” is another term that’s often misunderstood and misapplied. Again, it has more to do with adaptation than with “weeding out the weak” or whatever notion people usually have.

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elbanditoroso's avatar

Of course it does. But evolutionary biology works in time frames of thousands and hundreds of thousands of years. You and I only live for 80–90 years.

In the 112019, if the world still exists, we may have wings or additional toes or something.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I understand the time frames but our lives are a direct result of organisms that lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. For example, they have found that people with blue eyes all share a common ancestor, a female who lived 50,000 years ago. If they’d killed her off for have weird blue eyes I wouldn’t be here today. Neither would Brad Pitt or Robert Redford. We are overdue for a family reunion, BTW.
It wouldn’t have affected all of humanity, granted, but it would have stopped that genetic mutation in its tracks, along with whatever traits are tied in with it.

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