The Elements of Evolution (33-1) Competition


Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong. ~ American ecologist Bradley Cardinale

A fundamental misunderstanding behind the notion of natural selection is that evolution is necessarily competitive: Darwin’s imagined struggle to “survival of the fittest.”

Evolution via competition would eventuate in a dearth of the diversity which is characteristic of populations of every organism. This fact alone dispels this crucial claim of Darwinism.

Divergence can proceed within a single population. ~ American evolutionary biologist Kathryn Langin et al

Instead of this Darwinist sophism, populations get fit by adapting to their environment. Diversity plays an important part.

Scrub jays live in California’s forests. Birds living in pine forests have longer, shallower bills – presumably for prying open pinecones – than jays in oak forests, even though the 2 habitats neighbor each other. When opportunity knocks adaptation answers.

While resource competition plays a role in many ecological interactions, so too mutualism. Species often coevolve, able to flourish only because of reinforcing relations with others. The evolution of eukaryotes provides a prime example.