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Essays on Stuff & Things

Survival of the Fittest

The phrase, "survival of the fittest," does not mean - as many despots have claimed - the "physically fittest". It means the "environmentally fittest".

Here is the story to explain.


Widges were animals with square heads and long tongues. Their food source was from large trees. Trees with round holes from which they lap up nutritious sap with long tongues (their heads did not fully fit into the holes). Though Widge tongues were well developed for this, they only had access to the sap, and had to spend much their day lapping sap.

Like all animals that reproduced by DNA replication, occasionally mutations occurred in a newborn Widge. Most mutations were very minor, even not noticeable. But sometimes mutations produced a slightly different kind of Widge - more hair, less hair, bigger ears, smaller feet. These mutations generally provided no advantage or disadvantage to a Widge.

Because mutations can sometimes pass on to offspring, these minor mutations tended to just produce Widges that looked a bit different from other Widges.

Rarely, a mutation produced a major change to a Widge. These kinds of mutations generally produced a Widge with a physical disadvantage so profound that the Widge would not survive to adulthood, or so that no other Widge would mate with it.

Those major mutations never got passed on to offspring.

Then, one day a Widge was born with a rounder head than all the other Widges. This poor Widge was considered to be not very attractive, and it's parents had great sympathy from all the other Widges.

But when it came to teach this newborn Widge to lap sap from a tree, it's head fit better into the hole, and it was able to lap and even drink readily, and became satiated very quickly - as it's sap covered smile showed.

Soon, this rounder headed Widge was spending more time doing other things than just lapping sap. And as it grew, it gained stature and respect in the Widge community. Though a few Widges resented it (Widges can be quite emotional at times), many Widges admired it and wanted to be with it.

This Widge, once thought to end up living a lonely life, now had it's choice of mates, and soon chose a mate, and they had many offspring, most of which had normal, square heads. But their last offspring had a nice (as it was now considered) rounder head.

A few generations later there were several more rounder headed Widges. Many generations later, there were many more rounder headed Widges. Eventually these Widges spent their increased non-lapping sap time in creative activities, and sometimes, over more generations, these creative activities resulted in improvements to the Widge community.

Many, many generations later, most Widges had rounder heads and were no longer just lapping sap, but eating the even more nutritious pulp inside the trees, resulting in even greater leisure and creative activity.

Widges began building things. Widges began making things that they called inventions, eventually creating a great and elaborate, round headed Widge society.

Few Widges remember their square headed past, which exists now only as ancient history.


This text was found at GAJ Design and used with permission.

Publisher: John Gwot Gordon Geck: Editor

Design: Stuff & Things Andova Begarin: Code