survival of the fittest

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

survival of the fittest

an aphorism coined by Herbert SPENCER, and quoted by DARWIN in On the Origin of Species (1859). The theory argued:
  1. that reproduction in any species involved a certain degree of natural variation in the characteristics of offspring;
  2. that any variation which enhanced the survival capacity of certain members of a species over other members lacking that variation would be positively selected for in terms of reproduction chances; and
  3. that over millennia this process could account for: (i) the development of complex organisms from simple ones; and (ii) an enormous diversification of species from a small number of original organisms.

The concept of'survival of the fittest’ has had little explicit currency in sociology, except in terms of SOCIAL DARWINISM. See also EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, NEOEVOLUTIONISM, EVOLUTIONARY SOCIOLOGY.

References in periodicals archive ?
he reflects on how this man and his predawn work contradicted everything he, Eiseley, had been taught about evolution and the survival of the fittest.
It's the microbial version of "survival of the fittest." Continued weak treatment could breed even more resistant bacteria until a population of nearly invincible microbes, immune to all antibiotics, take over the body.
Reviewing the events and circumstances that had cast farmers from the veneto into a grim struggle for survival, Ferguson argues that "what emerges is a morality of the survival of the fittest"(31), an interpretation of Ruzante's theme of snaturalite (naturalness) that is key to his approach and a challenge to the critical discourse Ruzante's theater has generated in the last decade.
Both Washington and Gibbs subscribed to the social Darwinian philosophy of the "survival of the fittest." Gibbs defined the triumph of the fittest as the reward of self-denial, hard work, and invincible determination.
The survival of the fittest applies to current environmental conditions.
He's the man who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest." This was later borrowed by Charles Darwin to describe Nature's way of ensuring that only the genes of the strongest specimen's of life are passed on to succeeding generations.
We have confidence in what we're doing, and ultimately I think it's survival of the fittest."
The severe conditions in the environment tend to kill off individuals with unfavorable variations in favor of " the survival of the fittest, " that is, individuals with favorable variations.
DANNY Dyer has told his daughter he will disown her if she has sex on her new show Barmaid and actress Dani Mas Dyer, 21, hopes to make a name for herself on ITV2 reality show Survival of the Fittest, which kicks off on Sunday at 9pm.
Even though the witness' engagement doesn't have anything to do with Quinn and Charlie's relationship, she still showed it to Charlie in one of the scenes from "( Survival of the Fittest ." "We actually joked all day about taking the ring off that dead hand and putting it on Quinn," she said.
And there was action aplenty too as thrillseekers in Cardiff Bay took on the gruelling Men's Health Survival of the Fittest while a group of moustachioed motorcyclists joined the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride around the capital.

Full browser ?