Ideas of Nature
All organisms have a natural instinct to try to survive and humans are no different. Some individuals are said to be given certain talents or abilities as expressed in Coates' third idea of nature, that nature is an underlying quality. This being said, people in the job market, use their certain qualities for personal benefit. They do this because they may be wiser, or very good with numbers and use it to their advantage to get ahead in the workplace. That's not the only time that people use their qualities to get ahead in "the game". When humans search for a mate, they look for certain qualities, usually unknowingly. This is because individuals have decided what they believe to be the most superior traits and want the characteristics in a spouse (Coates, 1998).
Survival of the fittest - jobs
Competing for jobs is now natural for humans. Very rarely are we handed jobs. Rather we have to go out into the market and make a name for ourselves. Those with the better qualities end up getting the job. And if one can obtain a better job, they get more money. More money means a better way of life and one is more well off.
Institutions are shaped by “human biological and cultural beginnings” (Putterman, 2005.) as well as preferences. One has to have the best traits (or certain traits) for the given job. The whole job process is something created by humans to have humans compete with one another. It is our very own version of survival of the fittest. Those that cannot obtain a job have little to no money. Without money they cannot survive due to lack of nutrition and thus they die off. Those that prosper in this system can find a mate and reproduce passing on their genes to the next generation. Due to the economy and market system, one has to be competitive and be well qualified. And survival of the fittest can be seen on a larger scale in reference to jobs in that the “fittest companies survive” (Thomas, 2002.) and those that are not profitable die off. Therefore only the best companies can continue to be around.
When looking for a job, one needs to find a place where their traits can be utilized to their full potential. With a job comes money which helps to have a better quality of life. Therefore one can settle down and start a family. The offspring thus have the passed down genes and are more ‘fit’ for society.
Survival of the Fittest - human mates
Better qualities help to attract a mate. Once a mate is found, passing on traits becomes possible. Therefore those with the best traits can reproduce. Whether the ‘best traits’ are appearance, IQ, or personality, it depends on who the mate they obtain is. In the same regard, the mate is looked at with the same lenses of whether or not they have qualifying factors. This interaction with humans has been recorded back to Caveman times with women having smooth skinned being favored among men because the “evolution [of] smooth skin was a reliable predictor of fertility” (Marcus, 2009.). Even later in the Victorian Era, the way people thought were from “ideas of science… helping to form a general view of nature of ‘reality itself’ and Darwin’s vision… both shape[ed] the limits of the Victorian imagination of the real and… of fiction as well as scientific argument” (Levine, 1988.). In addition, the census and literary works were already thinking through questions about women’s agency and choice” (Terry, 2010.).
The process of finding a mate is so innate nowadays that one can be doing it without realizing they are. When dating someone, you like him or her for the qualities they possess. Since you like those qualities, your brain sees them as the ‘best traits’. And even if there are perks that you don’t like, there is still something about them that has attracted you. Therefore, their traits can be passed onto the next generation and then they can be seen as having the ‘best traits’. With humans it is different than with most species. Mankind can choose a mate based on preferences that they deem best. In most species, the strong survive and can reproduce. Humans have more of a choice rather than which humans can survive by not getting killed. In society, different traits are deemed better. For example the difference in jobs, aptitude, and appearance all can be quickly looked at and depending on the person they can judge whether they like those qualities or not. Now humans do still follow how some traits leave society like when humans get infected with diseases and die out compared to those with an ability to stand strong against it, like the Black Plague.
Because humans do not have a natural predator, human population has been able to expand exponentially. This creates a problem in that “population… tends to increase geometrically… while… food supply at most increases only arithmetically” (Lohmann, L.). Therefore the population of humans increases too fast and we have no predator to keep it down. Since there are many people on the Earth, the chances of finding a mate are greater. Once the mate is found, reproduction continues to increase the population.
Even Darwin knew that his theories had an "application beyond biology, and might well fit changes over time in language, moral ideas, and the structure of human groups" (Nelson, 2006). An application now going along with previously stated from Darwin is Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is "a sociological theory that sociocultural advance is the product of intergroup conflict and competition and the socially elite classes (as those possessing wealth and power) possess biological superiority in the struggle for existence" (merriam-webster) basically meaning even we as humans are subjects to competition like the rest of the world.