The transition that occurred in vertebrates moving from water to land was a major step in the evolution of terrestrial animals. This is an evolutionary step that has always fascinated scientists and the general public. The land-to-water vertebrate transition happened around the Devonian period and involved structural changes such as the transition from fin to limb, a reduction of the gill arch, loss of the mid-fin and a reduction in the number of scales, among others. I will use this interesting example to depict how the same evolutionary process can be seen through two different lenses. One view, which is the most widespread way of seeing evolution, is the ‘survival of the fittest’. The other is intentionally stated in the title as the double negative ‘survival of the non-unfit’. Only semantic differences? Not in my view.

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