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Darwinism and the World
Transcript of Darwinism and the World
Studied medicine at University of Edinburgh
Studied to become a clergyman at University of Cambridge Charles Darwin. Archive New Media. 01 Jan. 1995. eLibrary. Web. 10 May. 2010. The Voyage of the Beagle Why Did Darwin Stand Out? He was not the first one to come up with evolution, so why is he the most remembered? Proposed just how evolution occurred
Other scientists had written about evolution but lacked solid evidence on which to base their theories
Most articulate and eloquent scientist to publish the theory
Tom Siegfried writes that: “Darwin could read, reason, experiment, theorize and write - all as well or better than any of his contemporaries…Several scientists before Darwin had expressed the idea of evolution, some even hinting about the role of selection” (Science News).
Naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Enteractive. 01 Feb. 1995. eLibrary. Web. 25 May. 2010. Charles Lyell Wrote Principles of Geology
The Earth was shaped by natural processes over an immense period of time, as opposed to huge catastrophes as had been previously thought.
Reinforced the idea of slow, gradual change that takes thousands of years as opposed to quick and spontaneous creation. Thomas Malthus Darwin read Malthus' essay on population
The article gave a pessimistic view on population and food supply,
“human populations tend to increase more rapidly than food and other necessities. The result is a struggle in which some people succeed and become wealthy while others fail or even starve” (Britannica). Alfred Russell Wallace came up with natural selection at the same time as Darwin
Wallace had been in Asia studying, yet his theory was almost exactly like Darwin's
The two scientists agreed to publish simultaneously, although Darwin was credited with the original idea.
Hulton Archive. Voyage Of The Beagle. Getty Images. 01 Jan. 1831. eLibrary. Web. 25 May. 2010. In 1831, he had the opportunity to travel on th exploring ship H. M. S. Beagle
Traveled around the world, especially South America
Collected many plant and animal specimens Influences Erasmus Darwin Darwin's own grandfather
An evolutionary theorist who published several books on the topic of evolution, developed in the early 1800's by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck Natural Selection Solid evidence in support of evolution
Became the term “survival of the fittest”
It was all based on the observation that a species varies slightly from one specimen to another.
Some might have more favorable characteristics to that species, which will help them survive over the weaker specimen, or the one whose features are not as well adapted.
In that case, the weaker will die, leaving the stronger one to pass on its genes to its offspring.
In this way, a species develops favorable traits that help it adapt to its environment. Reactions to Darwin's Theory Religion Science Immediate Reactions Generally, religious people opposed it, but this was to be expected, since it went against traditional creationist views. Though Darwin’s research was backed up with considerable evidence, creationists were not to be swayed. Modern Opinion To this day, people still oppose Darwinism and uphold their religious beliefs “Opposition now comes mostly from fundamentalist religious groups who insist that the Bible be interpreted literally” (“Darwin and Huxley”). Immediate Reactions Even scientists were not all on board with Darwin’s natural selection. Some didn’t believe that Darwin had enough evidence to prove his method was correct. In his time, “some came to believe it over time, and some went to their graves adamant that it was wrong” (“Darwin and Huxley”).
Now we have enough evidence for it to be widely accepted in science“Virtually all scientists now accept the basic premise of natural selection bringing about new species: the details are debated, but not the general theory” (“Darwin and Huxley”). Modern Opinion Darwinism, Darwinize, Darwinian...
All of these terms stand as evidence to the significant impact that Darwin had on science and society. There is no doubt that he started a new way of thinking that lives on to this day. When we hear the term "evolution", one particular scientist comes to mind. WHat exactly were his contributions to the world of science and beyond? Darwin's theory of evolution changed people's thinking not only in science but also in society in general. The weak, or the poor, would not be allowed to succeed, while the strong would naturally succeed and become wealthy. Darwinism in Capitalism Used to justify laissez-faire capitalism
We should "let nature take its course
Natural selection had been occurring for millions of years, so it was perfectly acceptable to let it happen in society.
Used the theory to "legitimize social inequality and argue against public subsidy of the poor" ("Darwin's Origin Transforms Culture")
Capitalists: one must work hard to succeed in life so the wealthy were deserving of their success.
Spencer and other social Darwinists such as William Graham Sumner used Darwin's theory to justify the belief that the weaker are meant to succeed in life. Darwinism in Philosophy, Sociology & Politics It was not long before Darwin's theory began to make its way out into the world
Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest," thought:
"the grim struggle to survive would have an improving effect on society by weeding out its least fit members' ("Darwin's Origin Transforms Culture").
Took Darwin's theory and applied it to human beings in society
Social Darwinism Works Cited Bissell, Andrew. "Social Darwinism." ObjectivistCenter.org. The Atlas Society. Web. 06 Apr. 2010. <http://www.objectivistcenter.org/cth--1312-Social_Darwinism.aspx>.Darwin, Charles. The Voyage of the Beagle. London: Penguin, 2003. Print."Darwin, Charles." Compton's by Britannica, v 6.0. 27 Jan. 2009. eLibrary. Web. 19 Apr. 2010.Lee, Jeffrey. "GREAT GEOGRAPHERS: Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley." Focus on Geography. 01 Apr. 2004: 34. eLibrary. Web. 21 Apr. 2010.McKay, John P., Bennett D. Hill, John Buckler, Clare Haru Crowston, and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. A History of Western Society. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008. Print.PETER W. GRAHAM. "Darwin's Origin Transforms Culture." World & I. 01 Aug. 1999: 18. eLibrary. Web. 25 Apr. 2010.Siegfried, Tom. "Charles Darwin was born into a world that today's scientists wouldn't recognize." Science News. 31 Jan. 2009: 18. eLibrary. Web. 15 Apr. 2010."Social Darwinism." Compton's by Britannica, v 6.0. 27 Jan. 2009. eLibrary. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.Sumner, William Graham. What Social Classes Owe To Each Other. Caldwell, Ohio: Caxton Printers, 1978. Print.Van Wyhe, John. "Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Gentleman Naturalist." The Victorian Web: An Overview. 28 Aug. 2003. Web. 07 Apr. 2010. <http://www.victorianweb.org/science/darwin/intro.html>.Young, Robert M. "THE IMPACT OF DARWIN ON CONVENTIONAL THOUGHT." The Human Nature Review Edited by Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young. The Human Nature Review, 28 May 2005. Web. 01 Apr. 2010. <http://www.human-nature.com/dm/chap1.html>.