It is also important to appreciate that individual organisms do not compete in isolation, or against a fixed background. Billions of competitions go on all the time, and their outcome may be affected by the results of other competitions. It’s not like the Olympics, where the javelin-throwers politely wait for the marathon-runners to stream past. It’s more like a version of the Olympics where the javelin-throwers try to spear as many marathon-runners as they can, while the steeple-chasers are trying to steal their javelins to turn each hurtle into a miniature pole vault, and the marathon-runners’ main aim in life is to drink the water-jump before the steeple-chasers get to it and drink it first. This is the Evolympics, where everything happens at once.
– I’d watch it |
Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, and Jack Cohen, The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch