Barry Evans' Field Notes are eagerly anticipated and thoroughly appreciated whenever they appear. His most recent ("Evolution Isn't Progress," Dec 18) overview of processes of evolution was concisely organized and delivered some valuable insights.
How easily that phrase "survival of the fittest" now rolls off our tongues. However, Darwin carefully described selection as the survival of the fit. To me, this is an important distinction. To survive, we need not be superlative, besting every other creature. What we must do is fit our environmental niche. (That includes our social environment.)
Being good enough is good enough.
Framing our existence as "survival of the fittest" has led us to emphasize the tooth-and-claw scramble to overcome all others and belittled the survival value, the survival necessity, of community and cooperation within and between species. What progress we can see in the development of our species and our society is less the result of individuals' drive to succeed and dominate than it is from our interdependence and care for others.
Chip Sharpe, Bayside