It is a learned behavior or are our genes working on the basis of natural selection?

asked 20 Apr '10, 19:38

Robert's gravatar image


As humans we tend to be competitive because we often think that there is a lack or not enough to go around so we have to get it before someone else does.

Competition in itself is not a bad thing if we use it to motivate our personal selves but when a need to win surpasses the fun of the game we've really missed the whole point of participating.

In the business world competition can be healthy because it means there is a market for the business or product but if one wastes their time expending their energy on what their competition is doing instead of focusing their energy on growing their own business, they're pretty much setting themselves up for failure.

So it could be seen as a learned or conditioned behaviour if one is taught at a young age that there's not enough so you have to compete for your share, or quite often kids are taught they have to win or be the best - obviously not a healthy perspective on *competitiveness.


answered 21 Apr '10, 01:43

Michaela's gravatar image


completely agree with you.

(21 Apr '10, 12:20) Robert

i agree with you. so what you mean is that society program fear and a belief of not having enuff or a lack of something. and that is needed for the egoic system. but that cooperation is alot better to get things done. experience and enjoy.

(13 Dec '11, 01:52) white tiger

Competitiveness is instinctive, hereditary, and evolutionary. But so is cooperation. And as human beings, we ultimately have the ability to choose.

      Admiral James T. Kirk:
"Spock, these cadets of yours - how good are they, how will they respond under 
real pressure?" 

      Captain Spock:
"As with all living things - each according to his gifts."

answered 20 Apr '10, 21:48

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 20 Apr '10, 21:53

To start off, even Darwin himself, before he died, discontinued believing in natural selection. He believed in sexual selection (that it was indeed the need to procreate that made us develop things like music, humor, language and so on) and you can find out more about it in the book "The Mating Mind".

So is competitiveness natural? Well, if you believe (like I do), that we are All One being expressing as the many, who am I going to compete with?

In short, yes, it is learned.

And the next question should be "How can we unlearn to be competetive?"

And the answer to that One would be ...


answered 20 Apr '10, 19:48

wildlife's gravatar image


Darwin did not present sexual selection as a replacement for natural selection, nor did he stop believing in the theory of natural selection. Sexual selection is a supplementary theory that Darwin proposed to explain impractical animal features such as the peacock's plumage as well as human evolution of culture, differences between sexes, and physical and cultural racial characteristics; these are adaptations that are not as easily explained by natural selection alone. See

(20 Apr '10, 21:29) Vesuvius

Thanks Vesuvius, it seems like you know everything about what Darwin believed true and what he didn't. I'm just saying what information I got from reading a book "The Mating Mind" by Geoffrey Miller which is here

If you don't want to hear about it, that's fine. I'm just saying there's a lot more stuff "out there" than in wikipedia :) Cheers

(21 Apr '10, 04:47) wildlife

I obtained the book yesterday. It says in the introduction to the book essentially the same thing I said in my first comment. If you can direct me to the page in the book that says Darwin renounced his views on natural selection, I would be happy to capitulate.

(21 Apr '10, 13:43) Vesuvius
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

I think nature is competitive. Plants compete for light. Humans have to compete for survival. Somebody has to starve for everyone else to eat.


answered 22 Apr '10, 04:18

mandoe's gravatar image


late adolescent and early adult development in a material word seems to prize the winner, so competition to be number 1 absorbs much focus. In the plan of human evolution competition has played its role, helping refine our physical skills/ senses; can we now use them without needing to harm others.


answered 27 Apr '10, 00:08

fred's gravatar image


i agree with you. what you mean fred. is that it has a part to play but most often it is use negatively. every one works hard and only one gets the prize. and some even cheat to win. so in that case the real winner is the loser. experience and enjoy.

(13 Dec '11, 01:56) white tiger
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