Don’t use Darwin’s name in Vain!

…And yes. I’m aware of the Biblical implications of my title.

When you ask some people why they act in ‘selfish’ ways, why they are out to fulfill their own self-interest, many might attribute it to a ‘survival of the fittest’ strategy.

I’ve been reading a book on evolutionary biology, an extension of Darwin’s theories, and the biggest insight so far is the following:

– it isn’t about the survival of the fittest individual but survival of the fittest GENE.

What does this imply? That sometimes selfless acts on an individual level might be just what you need for that particular gene to survive!

Selfless animals that act upon the gene causing them to scream out might suffer on an individual level when a predator finds them, but that gene called out a warning to other animals in the vicinity, inevitably creating a proliferation of that particular gene through saving all those lives.

In other words, we as humans should start wondering whether the way we’ve misunderstood ‘survival of the fittest’ might be causing us to act in contrast to actual evolutionary biology, and whether we’re slowly decreasing the number of genes that can allow us to actually survive.

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About Reine Azzi

An instructor who teaches so many different courses at university! Best way to remain passionately challenged! I'm also the licensee, curator, and host of TEDxLAU which adds so much excitement to my life!
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2 Responses to Don’t use Darwin’s name in Vain!

  1. Vivian Tawk says:

    Interesting interpretation with a different point of view. I like your approach to dealing with the classics, and it is true, we have this selfless type of gene in existence!

  2. Pingback: Have you lately used Darwin’s name in Vain? It is survival of the Gene stupid, not your own life… | Adonis Diaries

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