Survival of the Fittest

The earliest philosophical theory I can recall learning would be Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” (1869). According to Cunningham (2020) “Darwin did not consider the process of evolution as the survival of the fittest; he regarded it as survival of the fitter, because the ‘struggle for existence’ is relative and thus not absolute”(Cunningham, 2020). This concept is related to evolution by natural selection and entailed three elements “variation, reproduction and heritability”(Cunningham, 2020). The variations which were beneficial were passed on to offspring because it led to survival, and the variations which were not beneficial led to failure to mature and unable to reproduce.

This same type of concept “survival of the fittest” can differ from the general use of the term as it can be applied to many other different scenarios not related to evolution, such as with competitive business tactics. Today, that same term can be confused or misinterpreted as it can have a different meaning for patients battling illness such as Coronavirus. It is said by Immunology Researchers in South Carolina (2020) “with no effective treatment options, survival against the coronavirus infection completely depends on the patient’s immune response. Those with compromised immune systems include the elderly, organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and individuals born with immunodeficiency diseases who may not have enough killer T cells to counter the virus”(Nagarkatti, 2020). By identifying ways to strengthen immune systems to prevent or combat coronavirus infections in those with weakened immune systems, we can challenge Darwin’s theory to help all patients become strong enough to fight coronavirus.

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