Tag Archives: competition

Thomas Henry Huxley – Every animal lives at the expense of another

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Not only does every animal live at the expense of some other animal or plant, but the very plants are at war….The individuals of a species are like the crew of a foundered ship, and none but good swimmers have a chance of reaching the land.

Thomas Henry Huxley   (1825-1895)

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Thomas Henry Huxley – The animal world like a gladiator show

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The animal world is on about the same level as a gladiator’s show. The creatures are fairly well treated, and set to fight — whereby the strongest, the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight another day. The spectator has no need to turn his thumbs down, as no quarter is given.

Thomas Henry Huxley   (1825-1895)

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Stephen Jay Gould – Competition and cooperation

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Animals in nature, contrary to the suspicions of cynics or the hopes of idealists, are neither intrinsically vicious nor altruistic. Competition and cooperation are both nature’s ways.

Stephen Jay Gould   (1941-2002)
Illuminations: A Bestiary

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Diane Ackerman – The purpose of ritual

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Diane AckermanThe purpose of ritual for men is to learn the rules of power and competition. Watching sports together, for example, they see the formal enactment of ritual, become loyal to a team, learn to conceal their vulnerability. The purpose of ritual for women (going to lunch together, sharing a favorite salon, etc.) is to learn how to make human connections. They are often more intimate and vulnerable with one another than they are with their men, and taking care of other women teaches them to take care of themselves.

In these formal ways, men and women domesticate their emotional lives. But their strategies are different, their biological itineraries are different. His sperm needs to travel, her egg needs to settle down. It’s astonishing that they survive happily at all.

Diane Ackerman   (1948-)

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