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FITNESS AND ADAPTATION - ness Is this what we mean by...

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FITNESS AND ADAPTATION. I General observation: most organisms show "good fit" to their environment. Desert plants (desiccation resistant), marine organisms (fusiform body), cryptic insects All generally can be placed in the context of the environment presenting a problem and the organism, through evolutionary changes, providing a solution to the problem posed by the environment. The apparent "good fit" between organism and environment suggests that this state increases the survivorship and/or reproduction of the organism. This may lead us to identify certain problems posed by the environment and ask how well does the organism solve the problem Leads to a design/engineering approach to defining survival ability, design fitness or engineering fitness. We do this by comparing form and function ; often there is an "appealing" match or sense of "fit"-
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Unformatted text preview: ness. Is this what we mean by fitness We then ask if the design/solution is the optimal solution suggesting an absolute engineering fitness scale where the trait/attribute is assessed with respect to an ideal solution to the problem. Alternatively, comparing different available solutions may be all that matters: a relative engineering fitness This can be difficult because we could almost always "design" a system or part of an organism with a slight improvement over what it has achieved by evolution. Does the presence of a design that "appears" to have room for improvement mean that it is not "fit" Need to be aware of the design constraints of organisms before making useful/contributory statement about level of engineering fitness....
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