Nature selects those who leave more progeny (reproductively fit) according to natural selection. But nowadays we are going in for family planning. So are we in a way going against Nature?


closed as unclear what you're asking by anongoodnurse, another 'Homo sapien', AliceD, canadianer, Bryan Krause Apr 2 '17 at 19:07

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm confused about what you're asking. Can you please clarify? For example, are you asking if we are becoming less fit? $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Apr 2 '17 at 9:59
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    $\begingroup$ Your brain is a product of evolution; so technically whatever you decide to do is pretty much natural. Please clarify your question or else it would be put on hold. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 2 '17 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ Are you suggesting that Homo sapien development is some form of supernatural progression? $\endgroup$ – Bob Apr 2 '17 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ I mean to say that nature selects those who leave more progeny according to Darwin.But as we are now going in for family planning, we are going against what Darwin said.So how will we be selected by nature and exist thereafter $\endgroup$ – user31223 Apr 2 '17 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ If the "more progeny" claim was true, codfish would rule the universe. Sarcasm aside, you might note that it's SURVIVING progeny that matter. If your species produces more progeny than can be supported by the environment (food supply &c), then most of them will die. See Malthus. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 2 '17 at 19:55

Issue in the post

The question is based on a false dichotomy between what is natural from what is not. This non-existence of the concepts of natural vs artificial is a matter of analytical philosophy, therefore your question is non-sensical for philosophical reasons.

Some insights despite above issue

In several species that have advanced cognitive abilities, there are traditions and culture. This culture may affect the number of offspring that individuals will have. This effect exists in humans for sure. There is nothing unnatural to it (but again it depends what you want to call natural and artificial)!

In a comment you say

I mean to say that nature selects those who leave more progeny according to Darwin.But as we are now going in for family planning, we are going against what Darwin said.

There are at least 2 issues here

Misrepresentation of evolutionary biology as being Darwin's saying

Evolutionary biology is so much more that Darwin's work. Of course Darwin was a very important scientist that contributed a lot to evolutionary biology but summarizing any saying from this field of science to Darwin's saying is very downgrading for evolutionary biology.

It feels like nature is an active character

In saying nature selects those who leave more progeny, it feels like "nature" would be some kind of character that actively chooses those that leave more progeny. This is wrong. Genomes that leave on average more copies of themselves will tend to become predominant in the population. Selection is just the consequence of fitness differential and not a choice that is made by looking at fitness differences. If you are unused to the term "fitness" as used in evolutionary biology, please have a look at the wikipedia link. This term is completely different from the concept of body-building in sport.

You might want to have a look at Understanding Evolution by UC Berkeley, a free online very introductory course to evolutionary biology.

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    $\begingroup$ @user31223 You already accepted the answer but I would like to attract your attention to the fact that I edited the answer to add some information about a comment of yours. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Apr 2 '17 at 16:10

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