[ExI] Jacques Cousteau on evolution and survival

MB mbb386 at main.nc.us
Fri May 16 17:05:17 UTC 2008

> Has anyone read _The Ocean World_ by Jacques-Yves Cousteau?  If so, if you
> have a moment please explain why he believed that dying is necessary for
> the process of evolution, that evolution is necessary for "survival," and
> that whether an organism is mortal or immortal it "must die".

I have not read the book, but I've heard the comment before. When I've heard it,
people mean the following:

Evolution implies heritable genetic change over generations. For any change to
spread through a population there need be many births/generations. There won't be
room/resources for all the generations to live at the same time so some must die.
(Who must die? The older ones past breeding, the genetic failures before breeding,
plus accidents.)

If we're talking about the natural world, then I think this may be so. That's how it
has worked in the past. When we put technology and new space and new resources into
the situation, it appears otherwise, at least until the room/resources problem
catches up with a population again.


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