Saturday, April 04, 2015

the competitive exclusion principle

The Guardian Overpopulation, Overdevelopment and Overshoot in Pictures

peakoilbarrel |  Every animal had adaptations that allowed it to survive in the wild. But no animal had a “super adaptation”, that is no animal evolved an adaptation that gave it ultimate control over other animals. There was no colossus in the animal world. No matter what the adaption, no animal could be that strong.

But the first hint of such an adaptation evolved about 5 million years ago. Somewhere in Africa a species of great ape evolved that had all the other survival adaptations of other great apes plus one more, that ape was just a wee bit smarter than other apes. And among these smarter apes, some were smarter than others. These smarter apes had a slightly higher survival and reproductive rate than the ones in their own group who were not so smart. But even these “smarter” apes were not really all that smart.

Brain size, which is correlated with intelligence, increased very slowly over two and one half million years. But the ultimate competitive weapon, the weapon that would give this one great ape a huge survival weapon over all other species had begun to evolve. From this point on the fate of the earth, the fate of all other species, was set. The ultimate weapon had begun to evolve. And about 100,000 years ago modern humans appeared.

about 10,000 years ago, give or take, humans depended entirely on the natural world for its substance. Killing animals that they could find and gathering what fruits, roots and tubers than nature provided them. Then slowly the Neolithic Revolution started to happen. People began to plant seeds and domesticate animals. However Homo colossus had not yet appeared.

Homo colossus appeared about 250 years ago. That was when man began to spend nature’s non renewable carbon deposits as if they were income.

William Catton: When the earth’s deposits of fossil fuels and mineral resources were being laid down, Homo sapiens had not yet been prepared by evolution to take advantage of them. As soon as technology made it possible for mankind to do so, people eagerly (and without foreseeing the ultimate consequences) shifted to a high-energy way of life. Man became, in effect, a detritovore, Homo colossus. Our species bloomed, and now we must expect crash (of some sort) as the natural sequel.

However we need to get back to the subject of this post, the competitive exclusion principle.

Wiki: The competitive exclusion principle, sometimes referred to as Gause’s Law, is a proposition that states that two species competing for the same resource cannot coexist at constant population values, if other ecological factors remain constant. When one species has even the slightest advantage or edge over another then the one with the advantage will dominate in the long term. One of the two competitors will always overcome the other, leading to either the extinction of this competitor or an evolutionary or behavioral shift toward a different ecological niche. The principle has been paraphrased into the maxim “complete competitors cannot coexist“.


Vic78 said...

It takes a long de conversion for one to get one's mind right.
I appreciate General Sherman's approach. That's the kind of solution I would favor in dealing with them. Fuck appealing to their humanity.