Earlier this week at Metropolis, we posted a blog that talked about the survival of the fittest, and the advantages that come to us, and our kin, from being the fittest.
This post got me thinking about how survival of the fittest as a concept can be used to understand how to improve the resiliency of our society.
Resiliency is about understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a system so that disaster can be prevented. The system, in this case human society and its environment, has resulted in humanity improving over time because of our intellectual prowess. We are smarter than other species, so we are more apt to survive. This is very single-minded, and is probably a thought people have about themselves within the larger context of humanity.
So how do we resolve this almost self-righteous, selfish mentality, with our theoretical understand of resiliency?
The answer to this question doesn’t lie with the individual, but with the group as a whole. Survival of the fittest assumes that there is a select type of living thing, whether animal, plant, or human, that has traits and characteristics that enable it to succeed more than others. This can be cross species, or within its own species.
But one of the challenges that humanity has to learn to address, both for ourselves and for the other living things on our planet, is that our climate is changing due to global warming. The situations and environments that once existed, no longer do, and things are continuing to change at an even more rapid pace.
This is problematic for two reasons:
- The rate of change is so fast, that living things are dying off faster than they can evolve. This is often understood as the loss of biodiversity on our planet.
- And the loss of biodiversity, the loss of the unique characteristics of the species across the planet, means the system is less able to ensure the survival of life.
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