Mr. Darwin, Charles to his friends, thought this to be so...He said it was not the strongest nor the most intelligent but the ones who were 'most responsvie to change' who would survive and and I would add, thrive.. He died in 1882 so these words were said some time before that. Do they still hold true today? Do you think they were ever true??
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Good point. You could say that foxes are stronger and more intelligent than rabbits, but rabbits adapted by increasing their rate of reproduction. All strength and intelligence comes from adaptive change too. It's all secondary.
I also want to point out the pure metaphysical use of those words: strength, intelligence and adaptability. In many cases, it is difficult to even make a distinction between them. Can one not adapt using intelligence and strength?
Thomas Swan hits 'the nail on the head.' Darwin would have been referring to ALL species. Today that would include bacteria and viruses and all manner of organisms not known in his day. I like the rabbits and foxes observation.
I just cannot fully separate these things, though. There is too much overlap. For instance, if the rabbits had not been strong and intelligent enough to withhold the foxes during the original rabbit purges, they would not have been able to change.