survival of the fittest


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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 ?
THE FACTS AND FIGURES First Male in the Edinburgh Survival of the Fittest event was Matthew Sutherland in 44 mins 23 secs.
Survival of the fittest means those with enough access to capital will drive out the less well-funded opposition.
A contender takes on the Survival of the Fittest obstacle course PATRICK OLNER
Wales On Sunday reporter Tom Houghton has a go on some of the obstacles on the Survival of the Fittest course PICTURES: RICHARD SWINGLER
Survival of the Fittest is a high-profile event which will be staged at three venues across the UK - one in England, one in Wales and another in Scotland.
The first Survival of the Fittest event took place last year in Nottingham.
Surely this is to be encouraged as they are clearly a waste of oxygen, and this would be a prime example of survival of the fittest.
They're not the only ones in the line-up who like to be up there, so something is going to give and it'll be survival of the fittest.
As Daryl Domning puts it, these genes enforced "selfish behaviour" on the organism, and this ensured survival of the fittest by a process of "natural selection".
The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest.
Battle-hardy groups of determined players joined the two-hour tussle in a survival of the fittest.
One senior PacTel executive put it this way: "It will be survival of the fittest.

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