Introduction and History

The term SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST was coined by Herbert Spencer, an English sociologist, and philosopher. He used this phrase in 1864 in his book “Principles of Biology”. He came up with the term after reading Charles Darwin’s work. Charles Darwin popularized the concept of “survival of the fittest” as a mechanism underlying the “natural selection” that drives the evolution of life. He made this term famous by incorporating it in the 5th edition of “On the Origin of Species” in 1869. In his view, organisms with genes better suited to their environment are selected for survival automatically by nature and then those genes are passed to the next generation skilfully. Also, he gave the three crucial elements for natural selection in the evolutionary theory as – variation, reproduction, and heritability.


In simple words, the summary of the work of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer clearly says that the organism which is fit to survive in any given condition will continue to live his life. Whereas, on the other hand, the unfit will be eliminated by some means. Let’s take an example of a forest ecosystem having lions and deer. A fit lion can pray upon an unfit deer. If the lion is fit, it will kill the deer and eat it up for survival. On the contrary, if the deer is fit, it will run away leaving beyond the lion for starving, and the lion will die in the end. The fit organism will survive in both conditions. This natural selection and survival theory are applicable everywhere. And since this is a time when we are witnessing huge fatalities, Darwinism too relevant here. COVID – 19 has cost so many lives since last year. Whenever there is an epidemic or pandemic, the process of natural selection and survival of the fittest starts all over again.

The Present Time:

The lack of preparation for medical treatments throughout the world making it an unmanageable catastrophe that has been bestowed upon humankind. Those, who believed that human beings are the most powerful and intelligent creatures over this globe, must think over it again. At this crucial time, the data we are getting about the causalities is variable in the term of gender, age, caste, creed, color, religion, etc. There is no pattern or established model to carry out any presumption about the certainty of life.

But, still, Darwinism will play its role. The fittest will survive through this pivotal epoch. The fittest. 

And who can be considered as fit? Let’s explore. 

Physically Fit: The individual having no significant illness, having a worthy BMI, a balanced immune response system, can be termed as physically fit. Regular exercising, a balanced diet, and a rigid routine are the key point for successful physical fitness. A life away from junk and fast food, pollution-free lush green surroundings, ample night sleep, etc. must be there to enjoy physical fitness. 

Mental/Emotional fit: A sound mind resides in a sound body. If our mind is healthy, our body will be the same too. Mental fitness refers to the calmness of the mind, balanced, away from any sustained worry. It can be achieved by doing yoga and meditation. During this time, we are getting so much negative news. But being mentally and emotionally strong, we can remain fit enough.

Social fit: If the social circle of any person is good, it will help him in fitness. Social groups help him in making him aware of the contemporary situation. Individuals share various information within the society for well-being. In the current scenario, various epidemic-related information is being shared among the masses. If someone is not an active part of society, it will be difficult to cope with the current situation. If someone requires some medical support or emergency facilities, a well-connected society can be helpful at such times. If you are not a social fit, there will be no one to help you out when needed. So social fitness is essential during such times.

Artificially fit: Fitness can be achieved artificially for the anonymous period, with the help of medicines, medical equipment, etc. Such fitness thus achieved, may or may not last long. But it can be proved beneficial during the epidemic waves. Vaccination can be considered a means to achieve artificial fitness. 


Thus, fitness is essential for survival as said by scientists and biologists. If we are not fit, we can be eliminated from this system of life. A fit person can influence others too, who are living around him. But individual fitness is foremost, since, it’s only your body to confront when an antigen enters your body. So, Stay Safe and Stay healthy, but most importantly STAY FIT.

Dr. R.K. Panchal

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.