Survival of The Fittest

Survival of The Fittest

The evolution of man as a species can be traced with limited fossil evidence, but the development of the mind takes a different course of investigation. "Unfortunately, no hominoid fossils- nor such of a fossil chimpanzee- are as yet known for the period between 6 and 13 mya. Thus there is no documentation of the branching event between the hominoid fossil and the chimpanzee lineages" ( What 239).

Ernst Mayr, a staunch supporter of humans as the current supreme species sheds little glimmers of light onto this subject. Though his main goal in What is Evolution is to provide a biological narrative, it also works to illustrate the evolution of the brain and the emotions. In between these lines lie the broader questions. These questions delve into the realm of the cognitive and emotional. They ask the how and the whys which can not be so readily answered by biology or other means of scientific proof.

One such question arises from what seems to be man's innate need for grouping. Initially these groups were created as a means of protection from predators, of any form, but soon they evolved into complex socio-emotional support systems. "For tens of thousands of years- the period of recent human evolution- humans lived in groups ranging from 50 to 200 people. To survive they had to raise their offspring until they reached social and biological maturity" (Law 4). In these well maintained social structures there were rules and regulations, which worked to ensure the survival of the group as a whole. In time these groups became larger and extremely complicated civilizations.

Altruism is the driving force behind these constructions. By creating these codependent infrastructures, humans must depend on one a...

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...his environment are not necessarily those who would have ben deemed the fittest of the past. Civilization creates a large population in a smaller amount of space to increase to possibility of offspring and the species survival. In this space natural selection becomes less relevant as the options have been significantly increased. It is man's interpretation of a "controlled" environment. Since it is a world of human creation built by and for humans, they can not but thrive in it as a species. In this environment, the human species can reign supreme. This was not an option in the "uncontrollable" world of nature were man was not the best equipped or adaptable species.

Works Cited

Gruter, Margaret. Law and the Mind: Biological Origins of Human Behavior. Newbury Park: SAGE Publications, Inc. 1991.

Mayr, Ernst. What is Evolution. New York: Basic Books. 2001.
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