Evolution: Death And Elimination

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Register to read the introduction… A driving factor for this process is the idea of competition, which relies on a loser, which implies death or extinction. "Indeed, the gist of every selection is to favor individuals that have succeeded in finding a progressive answer to current problems. The summation of all these steps is evolutionary progress." (p 215, Mayr) A situation in which there is no death is a situation in which everything is constant. Therefore there would always be the same current problems and no catalyst to inspire any changes. "Elimination does not have the 'purpose' or the 'teleological goal' of producing adaptation; rather, adaptation is a by-product of the process of elimination." (p 150, Mayr) No adaptation without elimination. Death is also vital to the evolutionary niche, and the expansion and contraction that occur within this niche. If death were non-existent, we might have niches, but they would not be necessary. Every organism would be able to live anywhere, to co-exist with any other organism. This side effect of the absence spits in the face of our current situation. According to Mayr, a niche is a "constellation of properties of the environment making it suitable for occupation by a species." (p 288) It's important to remember that an environment is partially defined by what organisms inhabit it. So a niche evolves and changes with its living constituents. "Open ecological niches or zones are

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