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  Fitness, in the life sciences, is a term used in Neo-Darwinism (see Darwinism) to describe the possession of inherited characteristics which render the organism in question more competitive and thus more likely to leave more descendants. Organisms that possess these characteristics are described as more fit than those of their competitors which do not. This gives them an advantage in the process of natural selection, which has been described as ‘the survival of the fittest’. RB

See also adaptation; natural selection.Further reading John Maynard-Smith, The Theory of Evolution.



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