Survival Instinct

Survival instinct is embedded in our safety/security need. The great quest for survival is truly a natural evolutionary skill. For Niles Eldredge, “most of an organism’s life is focused on simple survival” and involves “seeking energy and nutrient sources, consuming them, warding off predators and disease, coping with life’s endless challenges.” (2005) Self-survival includes a genomic generated vigilance for physical safety, oxygen, eating food, drinking water, sleeping, avoiding fire, and finding shelter. Homo sapiens evolved from a long history of pre-human species operating out of a necessitous scarcity principle when it came to the basic amenities for food, water, and clothing. These early scarcities contributed to fierce competition for resources. Even today, when resources are in  short supply we recoil into ourselves and the  sub-rosa survival scarcity principle kicks in and we will take whatever we can take. According to Andrew Parker, in the struggle for individual and species survival the two key rules are:

people and survival illustration

1.)   “Every man for himself: stay alive,” (2003):  —> eat don’t be eaten; feed!                         2.)   “For the good of one’s  kind,” (ibid): —>  procreate  and  have offspring;  breed!


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