Essay: Darwinian Evolution Tragedy of the Commons

Pages: 2 (608 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Evolution  ·  Buy This Paper

Darwinian Finance

The Evolution of a Financial Crisis

Not a day has passed in the last several months that some news regarding the current global financial crisis has been released. The situation is still the primary focus of all major media outlets, and is also at the forefront of many individuals' minds. At the heart of the focus on this situation is the search for someone or something clear to blame for the sudden collapse of the global economy. This clarity will most likely never emerge, however. The causes and effects of such a situation are enormously complex, and can never be truly known with any certainty. That does not mean that there aren't useful ways to understand the situation though. One way to view the issue is as an example -- non-traditional, perhaps, but relevant nonetheless -- of Darwinian evolution through natural selection. Before such a paradigm can be applied to an economic situation, however, a basic understanding of the principles upon which Darwin (and most of the scientific community) believed the evolution of a species -- that is, a certain organism filling a specific niche in an ecosystem -- was effected.

Darwin, incorporating Malthus' theory of population growth into his own observations, believed that evolution took place over time with minor changes in each generation due to natural selection. All members of a species in a given area will enter competition when the resources needed for survival are limited. Furthermore, he theorized (with help from Malthus) that populations would continue to grow until available resources were not enough to support them all. It is here that selection takes over; different attributes of given individuals within a certain population of a species will have greater or lesser advantages at obtaining food, defending themselves against predators, and/or attracting a mate, all of which affect… [END OF PREVIEW]

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