Charles Darwin came with the Theory of Evolution. However, he also needed to find the evolution mechanism. Various other scientists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, also described the changes in multiple species over time. They were also unable to find the explanation behind it. Alfred Russel Wallace and Darwin finally gave the idea of natural selection to explain the changes. In this article, we are going to describe the difference between the survival of the fittest and natural selection. Hence, you must read this post until the last.
Natural Selection Vs. ‘Survival of the Fittest’
According to Natural selection, the species will acquire the adaptations as per the environment. Then, they transfer those changes to their children. In the end, only those individuals will survive that have adopted these changes. It is the reason for the evolution of various species.
Darwin first printed his work named “Origin of Species” in the 1800s. Herbert Spencer, a British economist, used the “survival of the fittest” term concerning it. He wants to compare an economic principle in one of his books with Darwin’s Theory. It leads to the misinterpretation of this phrase. Furthermore, many people start to believe that both of them have the same meaning. However, there is a significant difference in both these terms.
Public Misconception Of ‘Fittest’
The public interprets this ‘fittest’ as the best physical health. Hence, it leads to building confusion among them. They think natural selection as the person having the best shape and health will survive in the world. However, it is not a fact. The survived species were not the fastest, smartest, or the strongest. This definition of fittest could not explain the theory of natural selection. Then, Darwin republished his book. He explained that “fittest” means the specific members of species suited for the environment. It was also the base of his theory.
Favorable And Unfavorable Traits: Survival Of the Fittest
For surviving in nature and environment, the most favorable traits are essential for any individual. Hence, those individuals will survive long enough to transfer their genes into the baby. The ones who lack these favorable traits are the “unfit.” They couldn’t live long pass down their unfavorable characteristics. Hence, they start to vanish from nature.
However, individuals having unfavorable traits take many generations to get out of the population. First of all, they start to decline in numbers. Finally, they got vanished from the gene pool. Take the example of humans having genes of fatal diseases. They are still in generation even though the environmental condition is not proper for them.
Remedying The Misunderstanding
It is crucial to remove this misunderstanding of this phrase. Therefore, it is better to avoid using them together to explain the theory. The person can use this term if he/she understands its scientific meaning. However, using it in front of someone having a lack of knowledge can be misleading. The students firstly get an in-depth understanding of the subject. Hence, it helps to understand the proper evolution over time.