Survival of the Fittest..Why?

I took a quiz on Facebook last night. It was called ‘What colour of magic are you?’ The title sounded interesting, I took it out of sheer boredom, and because I have a ‘thing’ for quizzes. But the results were more thought provoking than I could have imagined. According to the quiz, I am the ‘Green’ colour of magic, which represents Nature. I am not a ‘nature person’ but the results represented my personality very accurately. However, just one line is stuck in my mind and refuses to go away.

“At its best, Green is Nature personified: a changeless goddess-guardian preserving Life and harmony. At its worst, Green is a thoughtless animal, morally neutral, which allows ‘survival of the fittest’ to overrule all other concerns.”

Before last night, I never realized nature could play the villain or that ‘survival of the fittest’ could morally be wrong! Science employs the concept of the fittest surviving, to explain one of nature’s most important phenomenons. Since the birth of ‘Mother Earth’ animals, plants and humans have existed, evolved and have become extinct. As the population grows, Mother Earth becomes too crowded to support all its inhabitants and some of them must die in order to make place for the coming of others. However, there is a criterion for this ‘selection’ of sorts. The organisms better at adapting than others have a greater chance of survival, while some develop qualities that ensure their existence in changing circumstances. Thus, the concept of the fittest ‘surviving’ comes into action, selecting some and rejecting others. While ‘mother’ nature, supposedly nurturing and preserving, watches as a silent spectator, this race to exist and thrive. At the end of it all, we are left with only the most ‘deserving’ organisms, which have proved their right to survive, and now dominate the changed environment.

We have all, always, assumed nature to be preserving. She nurtures, hence she is called ‘mother’ nature. Her primary duty is often thought of as protecting, providing and keeping safe. Hence, to associate something as cruel as the ‘survival of the fittest’ with Mother Nature is to degrade her attributes and disregard her qualities. However, it is this very side of nature which has stood paramount over all these years and is presumed as one of her most significant qualities. I beg to differ! In my opinion, survival of the fittest is cruel, thoughtless and downright shameful. Whatever nature created has a right to exist, whatever she reared needs to survive, whatever she made should be preserved, and nature can not and should not differentiate between her children.

To me, survival of the fittest seems to be negating the natural system of justice, which has inspired all breathing organisms on the face of this earth. The weak need to be protected and not removed from the way. The weak need to be preserved and not destroyed. The weak need to be kept safe and not made a victim to circumstances that are well out of their control. Science often admires survival of the fittest as being a purely ingenious stimulus. It represents those who survive this battle to exist, as heroes who should be given a standing ovation. The organisms that emerge successful from this ordeal are considered most deserving of a place on this earth, among the other creations of Mother Nature. While those who loose the ultimate battle are either forgotten or committed to pages of history never to be opened and read about again. It is, indeed, unfair that nature’s children are subjected to this cruelty, and need to fight a battle in order to live in their own home. They can not control the qualities and skills Mother Nature has blessed them with. To judge them on the basis of something beyond them is not playing fair.

Something, that completely uproots a ‘life’ and destroys it can never be a genius. It can only be cruel, cold hearted and judgmental. Something that puts an end to an entire generation of a ‘breathing’ things can not be applauded or admired. On the contrary, it deserves criticism. It needs to be checked and not taught. It needs to be stopped and not appreciated. It needs to be seen in its true form and not overrated. Whatever was created deserves to live, and live in peace. It is unfair to subject ‘life’ to death only because life is too weak to protect itself.

Kulsoom Khawaja

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