Essential 2: The Driving Force
Optimizing Aspect of Natural Selection

The driving force responsible for our existence

Following is a brief introduction to the dynamic optimizing aspect of survival and reproduction characteristics based on the process of natural selection. It is the driving force behind mechanisms and processes running in the brain that are responsible for our existence and drive our daily lives.

Self
Charles Darwin

It is based on the process of natural selection proposed by Charles Darwin in the year 1859 in his book ‘On the Origins of Species – By Means of Natural Selection’.

It explains how all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to survive, reproduce and dynamically optimize their operations in a step-by-step manner. All human behaviour is based on such characteristics.

Process of Natural Selection 

Following is the step-by-step explanation of the process of natural selection.

Inheritance

When organisms reproduce themselves, they pass on their biological characteristics to the next generations genetically.

Variation

As they are biologically reproduced, their next generations may not always inherit the exact copies of themselves.

There is a possibility of their next generations reproducing slightly different variations (i.e. mutations) of characteristics.

Survival

It is possible for some biologically reproduced organisms to inherit random variations of the characteristics that are helpful for them to survive in their environment, while others are not.

Reproduction

In the same way, it is possible for some reproduced organisms to inherit random variations of the characteristics that are helpful for their reproduction, while others are not.

Selection

With every passing generation, the reproduced organism that possesses variation of the characteristic that favours either its survival or reproduction, e.g. characteristic XYZ, survives or reproduces more than others, as it favours the same.

Optimization

At the same time, every passing generation reproduces slightly different variations of the inherited characteristic XYZ.

Again, variations of organisms possessing characteristic XYZ that favour survival or reproduction in a better way than the rest of the population possessing it survive and reproduce more respectively, as they have better chance to survive and reproduce than them.

This way, characteristic XYZ keeps optimizing over generations.

Adding Up

Simultaneously, organisms with characteristic XYZ may additionally inherit some other characteristic, e.g. characteristic ABC, which favours either survival or reproduction, and which adds up to characteristic XYZ (i.e. ABC + XYZ).

In the same way, with every passing generation, more and more characteristics favouring survival and reproduction keep adding themselves to the organisms simultaneously, while getting optimized in the process.

Population

Such continually increasing amount of continuously optimizing characteristics favouring survival and reproduction results into increase in their overall population.

Limitation

Limited amount of available resources in the environment to support such ever-increasing population results into organisms competing for survival.

Selection

Over the generations, organisms having superior variations of multiple and optimized survival characteristics outnumber their inferior counterparts in the competition for survival, eventually making them extinct.

Even with slow progression offered by small incremental changes from generation to generation, when such processes keep happening for hundreds of millions of years (as proven by 570 million of years of fossil record), the overall population of organisms result into possessing a very high number of characteristics that favour survival and reproduction, which Darwin cited as chosen by natural selection. 

For the same reasons, all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to:

1. Survive

2. Reproduce and

3. Dynamically optimize their operations (based on their environments and conditions)

The mechanism of natural selection works on the premise that nature selects organisms for survival based on their inheritance of characteristics that allow them to survive and reproduce better than other organisms of their species that do not have such characteristics.

Continuous addition and optimization by favouring better and better survival and reproduction characteristics in every passing generation for a period of millions of years has resulted into organisms accumulating a very high number of highly optimized characteristics favouring survival and reproduction based on their environments and ecosystems.

Such addition and optimization has been responsible not only for physical development of the body, but also mental development in a highly optimized manner, as it has the same physical basis and is a part of the same goal-driven activity.

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Essential 2: The Driving Force
Optimizing Aspect of Natural Selection

The driving force responsible for our existence

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