Optimizing Aspect of Natural Selection

NOTE: It is imperative to follow the logic of natural selection simplified below to understand the content posted on this blog

The theory of evolution was proposed by Charles Darwin in the year 1859 in his book ‘On the Origins of Species – By Means of Natural Selection’.

Following is a brief introduction to the dynamic optimizing aspect of survival and reproduction characteristics based on the mechanism of natural selection. It explains how all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to survive, reproduce and dynamically optimize their operations.

Mechanism 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 survivaland reproduction results into increase in their overall population.

  • Limitation: Limited amount of available resources 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 (established by fossil evidence), 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.

Because of the above reasons, all organisms have characteristics with intrinsic tendencies to:

1. Survive

2. Reproduce and

3. Dynamically optimize their operations (considering their changing environments and conditions)

The mechanism of natural selection works on the premise that nature selects, i.e. favours, 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, which 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.

NOTE: Please make sure you understand the logic of natural selection explained above to understand the mechanisms explained in this blog.