13 March 2007

This Boy Has Got Wind And I Don't Think It's Funny...

Natural selection is based on circular reasoning: the fittest are those who survive, and those who survive are deemed fittest.

Survival of the fittest is a somewhat conversational way to describe the process of natural selection, but a more technical description speaks of differential rates of survival and reproduction. That is, rather than labeling species as more or less fit, one can describe how many offspring they are likely to leave under given circumstances.

The key is that adaptive fitness can be defined without reference to survival.

4 Comments:

Blogger morbid misanthrope said...

My cousin was chemically castrated due to crimes (of a sexual nature) against humanity. We thought, evolutionarily speaking, he was fucked. But then, during the full moon, he drank the fermented milk of a magical drunken cow and his ability to impregnate females returned. Of course, the fact that his wife was as fecund as a queen bee even before she was humped by a magical five-horned goat under a full moon didn't hurt the odds his disintigrated nads would end up working again.

00:26  
Blogger just thinking said...

Morbid, think that was a little over the top for a blog of this nature?

12:41  
Blogger morbid misanthrope said...

If the heart-warming story of a semi-retarded sexual deviant magically regaining the ability to reproduce is over the top, then the world is a cold dark place indeed.

19:52  
Blogger Dan said...

The title, what gives?

10:20  

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