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Charles Darwin is widely renowned for his works on Origin of Species as a Result of Natural Selection. Through his theory of evolution as a result of natural selection, he argued that nature has played an integral role in making selections on which organisms survived within a given ecosystem. This concept he entitled natural selection. He stated that natural selection is based on the creatures within a respective ecosystem and their ability to sufficiently engage in competition for the available scarce resources. According to Darwin, this concept is responsible for the existence of different organisms in various ecosystems.
He argued that, as a result of this concept, diverse living beings are differently suited to sufficiently survive and reproduce in a given ecosystem where other organisms would not succeed in it. This paper is an examination of this concept, namely natural selection demonstrated by Darwin. The paper seeks to illustrate how Darwin drew on human sciences, such as the political economy, anthropology, and demography, so as to effectively formulate his theory of the origin of species by natural selection.
Malthus, through his work, influenced Darwin’s view on natural selection as being dependent on population pressures. In 1978, Malthus wrote “Essay on the Principles of Population”, which Darwin read and was greatly inspired. The major theme of this essay was that the continuous increase in population would outdo the supply of food and thus make human beings more prone to diseases and even starvation. As a result, human beings would start struggling with each other for the limited available necessities such as food, water, and even space. According to Malthus, this struggle would be continuous as long as the available resources would be incapable of supporting the ever increasing population. This implies that the relationship between the increase in human population and the available resources is not proportionate one. This is due to the fact that though population would assume an increasing trend, the quantity of the available resources keeps declining due to overconsumption. Darwin was impressed by this essay, and, therefore, he sought to advance it further. In addition, Malthus’ essay made Darwin forego his opinion that within a given ecosystem the population would keep on increasing till it reaches an optimal point till equalizing with the available resources and, thus, resulting into some aspects of stabilization within the ecosystem.
Darwin was of the opinion that, in a given ecosystem, different organisms are suited individually. Moreover, he suggested the idea that the ecosystem sets the stage for the creatures to compete for survival. This implies that there were those who are better fitted to engage in stiff competition for the available resources than others. Therefore, those organisms that had better traits would be doubtfully in a better position to access and gain from the available resources. On the other hand, creatures with less desirable traits would have to face starvation since they are limited in accessing the available resources as a result of the stiff competition. Eventually, these organisms would succumb to death as a result of starvation and thus become eradicated from the ecosystem. Darwin drew a conclusion that this competition between the living beings, those with the desirable traits and those with the undesirable ones, would be progressive and would always result into some organisms becoming extinct.
The relationship between Darwin’s views on natural selection and the political economy is based on the assumption that all humans have the capability to successfully play part in trade as well as benefit from it. This is the reason behind the creation of the institutions, whose role would be to enhance reciprocity and mutual trust, democracy, and trade, all through the world. Being established on the principle of political economy, the political distribution of goods would call for competition among the consumers. The end results of this competition would be either losers or winners among the consumers rather than among the producers. Ross argues that this situation would arise since gaining any benefit via political avenues requires one to be politically successful, which not everyone can achieve.
Ross gave the idea of an election case whereby after the elections that implies that the winners always feel justified in their opinions on whom the benefits of their victory would extend to, mainly their supporters. On the other hand, their opponents become vulnerable to financial constraints among other issues. This is in line with Darwin’s argument on political economy where he claimed that politics will always result into some competition that leads to the winners enjoying various benefits accrued from their perceived victory. However, the political losers would mostly find themselves in a situation whereby their capital share, even their personal properties, diminishes at times to the extent of subjecting them to abject poverty or even starvation.
Anthropology focuses on drawing some comparisons between the societies and cultures while paying much attention to their evolution and development. The theory of evolution is, therefore, an essential one in anthropology as it offers the insight on how the organisms within an ecosystem undergo changes over time, laying more emphasis on Darwin’s aspect of natural selection. With a priority of anthropology, Darwin argued that human behavior is adaptive more since it is anchored on the desire to yield success. Furthermore, he stated that there are variations that exist within creatures that arise from diversifications within the ecosystem. This implies that since the competition for resources like food and space exists within a given ecosystem, only the organisms that are well fit to withstand within the given environment will survive.
In turn, these creatures will reproduce and thus increase their population, unlike the less inferior organisms. Since the competition will be persistent as time elapses, the less inferior living beings would significantly reduce their numbers and eventually become extinct. Nachtigall affirms Darwin’s argument on the evolution of organisms. He argues that evolution of creatures is dependent on organic factors like natural selection. Such factors make the organism more fitted to survive within a given ecosystem by boosting its chances of survival. This incorporates organic modifications of the creatures so that they counter competition from the rest members of the ecosystem.
As illustrated above, Charles Darwin effectively managed to reveal the idea of natural selection within an ecosystem. Focusing on several platforms such as the political economy, anthropology, and even demographics, he clearly demonstrated the aspect of competition among organisms within the given ecosystem. According to him, diverse living beings are suited differently and also have varying biological modifications. Such modifications put them at a better-placed platform whenever they are competing for space or food among other resources within an ecosystem with the other members of the environment. In addition, the well-suited organisms have the capability to reproduce at higher rates than the less suited ones. This results in an increase in population among the fit creatures and thus intensifying the competition more. On the other hand, the less fit organisms become more prone to starvation as they cannot successfully access some necessities like food. With the competition becoming more intensified, the less inferior organisms’ chances for survival become less that may eventually make these living beings succumb to extinction.