Megadeath

Thomas Malthus (1766-02-13 1834-12-29 age:68) noticed that plants and animals have more offspring than strictly needed to replace them. If none of the offspring died, the population would grow exponentially and bury the earth in flesh. Some animals produce thousands or more replacements each. Plants are even more profligate. This means that nearly all plants and animals die an early death by being eaten, dying of diseases, starving, freezing, dehydration… Charles Darwin (1809-02-12 1882-04-19 age:73) read about this and wondered which animals die and which are the lucky few to spawn the next generation. Obviously, the lucky ones are those clever at escaping death either by more intelligent behaviour or some physical advantage. Further, they would have to be attractive to the opposite sex or they might live to a ripe old age but have no progeny. Since offspring resemble parents, these lucky individuals will pass on their superior lucky behaviours and physical advantages to the next generation. The next generation will thus be slightly luckier than the current one. If you repeat that ferocious winnowing, generation after generation, the tiny generational chances will stack up. How could it be otherwise?

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)