I'm passionately interested in Darwin and evolution, but have been bashing my

I'm passionately interested in Darwin and evolution, but have been bashing my

I'm passionately interested in Darwin and evolution, but have been bashing my head against the wall recently, over the objection that 'survival of the fittest' is a tautology. The answers to this that I've read state that 'fitness' doesn't mean: "those that survive, but those that could be expected to survive because of their adaptations and functional efficiency" [http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/tautology.html]. But then the reply to this seems to be: "This charge is not repelled by substituting "most adaptable" or "best designed," etc., for "fittest," because these too are determined by survival. (That is, how do we determine that a species, or members of a species, is "most adaptable" or "best designed"? By the fact that it survived.)" [http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/pe02phl3.html] As an aside following on from this, I know that you can then say that there is a lot of evidence. But isn't this evidence for evolution, not the specific theory of natural selection? My question is: is there a logical rebuttal to the statement that it is a tautology, and therefore apparently 'devoid of explanatory power'? I'm actually rather worried about this, having based much of how I view the world on natural selection. Thanks, and sorry if the answer is very obvious to you!

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