Charles Darwin And His Ideas On Natural Selection Sparked Controversy

1234 Words Dec 5th, 2016 5 Pages
A struggle for existence emerges when more individuals are produced than the earth can sustain. In every case the individual competes with another species, the physical conditions of life, or most significantly, with another member of the same species (Darwin. pg. 63). Charles Darwin and his radical ideas on natural selection sparked immediate controversy in Britain. However, as the upper class began to digest his ideas as an asserted power of science, they applied it to economics, society, and politics, forming social Darwinism. Darwin’s evolutionary theory presented in The Origin of Species was manipulated and applied to human society to justify imperialism and racism. An organism’s struggle for existence explains why some species’ characteristics survive and why others become extinct. Through extensive research, where Darwin was provided with immense bodies of empirical evidence, he evaluates which characteristics in an organism are imperative to existence and which are not. In The Origin of Species, Darwin assesses the structure of a woodpecker: with its “feet, tail, beak, and tongue, so admirably adapted to catch insects under the bark of trees” (3). Then there is the mistletoe, which has such precise requirements that must be fulfilled for life. It relies on the nourishment of certain tree, the pollination of certain insects, and the transportation of seeds by certain birds to survive. These seemingly perfect adaptions illustrate how unique characteristics of…

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