There is no way of knowing if competition between individuals within the same species is the main factor as a mechanism for explaining species change.
The two examples invoked by Charles Darwin in his famous book to illustrate natural selected are entirely fictional – creatures of the imagination. As such they sit alongside all manner of hob-goblins in our mythic menagerie.
Darwin’s two examples belong, perhaps, within the Linnaean category of Paradoxa – alongside Hydra, Unicorns and Dragons etc. That is – creatures of the imagination.
Other possibilities to account for species change (vis-a-vis fixed species) include cooperation (as ‘natural selections co-founder’ Wallace knew).
The success of ‘competition between individuals’ as the mechanism of species change – the cutting edge of creation – can be attributed to social processes at work in elevating a whole cluster of privileges in Darwin’s time. These included the promotion of an ideology which served a newly emerging elite.
This is not to deny that there may be cases where competition between individuals within the same species does account for species change.
What is to be denied is any privilege which is attached to this particular factor – competition between individuals within a species.
The claims of privilege for that factor are not supported by actual, empirical scientific examples in Darwin’s grand master work.
We would do much better to raise the stakes to a much higher level – to extend our view of things – and say that life’s texts are a function of totalising cosmic contexts.
In place of a linear progress marching with purpose towards some imaginary end state, life is endlessly generated by cosmic contexts.
Rather than internalising the mechanisms of change within a species – which requires the same artificial idea of life as that which places life-forms in zoos away from the ecosystemic context which produced them – we need to be able to see individual life forms as being fashioned by the sum total of existential factors.
And when we arrive at this level, we understand both why it is that believers in monotheistic gods have a gut rejection of materialist theories of evolution cast in the Darwinian specifications and, additionally, why naturalism pits itself against ‘old fashioned’ forms of religion.
Naturalism, in seeking to negate the claims for privilege of the previous elite (a divine right to rule from which commoners where excluded by birth) excludes something else of great importance
The understanding of life which factors in – in so far as is possible – the sum total of existential factors which make up a cosmic context is exactly the sort of thing which men like Darwin in the 1880s sought to exclude from their ‘naturalistic’ cultural code.
To the extent there is any divinity, it runs through all forms of life. There is no simple ‘animal’ condition.
When we transcend notions of ‘animals’ necessary for the whole naturalist myth to flourish we actually build on the gains of Darwin, and are getting better positioned to ask other questions of Being.
Life is much different to the sort of thing imagined by naturalists and their colleagues in the patent offices and genetic engineering corporate labs (as part of a whole cluster of control trips built around false claims for privilege).
Life’s texts – like this one – are generated by far greater factors than those which constitute capitalism, socialism, naturalism, deism …
Life – as part of the great never/ever cycle – moves on.
Welcome to nevereverlution!