This phrase, survival of the fittest, is the most famous one in evolution and a corollary from the Darwinian Evolution theory. The fittest would mean the one with the best reproductive capacity (as in to perpetuate your own kind, not just the sex!). The form of life that would produce plenty of copies of itself in successful generations and sustain! This phrase stood against the then accepted theory of Natural Selection.
Not withstanding the stupid Indian WhatsApp jokes about the Chinese having possibly eaten the Dinosaur, leading to their vanishing (err.. extinction) from Earth (we don’t know yet if life or dinosaurs exist in Mars), dinosaurs became extinct during the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event 66 million years ago. Along with the ex-rulers of the planet, almost three quarters of all species then vanished.
Those that could burrow tunnels or swim or fly evolved. Evolved and evolved so much that these qualities would eventually get outsmarted by ulnar opposition and encephalization. For those not acclimatised to these terms and those who slept during their Biology classes, ulnar opposition would mean the contact between thumb and the little finger, and encephalisation would be the size of your brain. Yes, we homo sapiens have a big head in relation to rest of our body, when compared to those below us in the evolution ladder. (Remember the WhatsApp forward where there is this picture of human evolution, where at the end, the most evolved human says, “lets go back, we screwed up everything”)
Did we just not screw up?
Oh no. The survival of the fittest doesn’t end there. Let’s check this period where hitherto we were in. The one where the mind played more tricks than it would instruct the hands to bring food to eat. The one where shrewdness and lewdness were given a new meaning by the most evolved creature on the planet. The period which saw humans fight for land, water, culture, religion and languages. Did evolution take a break…? No. There was this science age. Then the industrial revolution. Thereafter, we saw the green, pink, yellow and white revolutions. Then the obsession for gadgets where they progressively became smaller and smaller. The fittest in contemporary world would point the most shrewd and clever person. Someone who smiles in front but plots your murder from behind.
Just when we thought we were on the top of the world (the Earth, Mars, Moon and the adjacent Space) did arise a novel minuscule organism which brought the world to a standstill. Just as our liking moved from big to small, did nature too select something, invisible to naked eye, to rule the planet. Made nations impose emergency like measures. Force the people to stay indoors and work on their own perpetuation!
Made humans wonder where did it go wrong! How a simple virus can freeze the entire ecosphere. How the nature could favor such an organism against the much mightier one. And so I wonder…