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1. When most people think of evolution, they assume that it’s an all-or-nothing affair. Ducks with a big beak are able to eat more than birds with little beaks, therefore big-beaked ducks survive and reproduce and the little-beaked Spoonbill Ducks die off. This is how evolution is generally taught in high school.
But most of the time, evolution is not this simple. For example, imagine a species that could be either violent or non-violent. What usually happens is that instead of it being optimal for every member of a species to be either 100% violent or 100% non-violent, it’s optimal for like 40% of a population to be violent and 60% to be non-violent. This is because the balance and interplay between the violent and non-violent members of the same species actually produces better outcomes than if the species was all one way or the other.
In biology, this is known as evolutionary stable strategies and you see them everywhere. Having too many violent organisms creates chaos. Having too many non-violent organisms invites predators. But a nice mixture of both ends up making everybody better off. It’s by having a diversity of traits within …
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