Survival of the fittest

The survival of the fittest is one of the most damaging myths of our modern culture. The overarching structure in nature is co-operation and mutual symbiosis. Whether we look at ants or elephants, a pride of lions, or the Emporer Penguins, there is the focus on the collective.

I’ve recently become the honoured keeper of bees and as I’m learning about their complex social structure, the most striking feature is the emphasis on the health of the community.

If an individual needs to be sacrificed for the good on the whole, then it is a necessary action, but that is a far cry from the central concept of the survival of the fittest.

This myth has as its central tenet the understanding that all beings are self-serving and those who are weakest are worthless. But, more accurately, nature holds that everything has its place in the intricate design of Creation, and no place is more important than the other. Even those who live in hierarchical societies, such as baboons or wolves, understand that the hierarchy only exists because of the interdependence of each individual on other individuals. It is not about mastery but about interdependence.

Now let us think of ourselves. There is more DNA in your system that isn’t yours, than there is that is yours. Cancer cell biologist, Joan Borysenko, informs us that of our 100 trillion cells, only 10 trillion