Natural Selection Dbq

679 Words 3 Pages
In the period from 1860-1900, Darwin developed his theory of natural selection. Natural selection was the idea that a dominant species would overcome all the rest. This sparked many ideas and philosophies, such as a weakening in the church, the rise of Social Darwinism, and a surge of new ideas and thought.
The church had always been the lead in the sciences of the day, but when scientists started to challenge the church, their strength began to falter. Darwin’s theory challenged the concept of how God created man. Samuel Wilburforce, an English bishop, describes how Darwin applies the concept of natural selection to Man, making it nearly impossible for it to be valid in the church’s view (Doc.1). As a bishop, it is obvious that he would make
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Social Darwinism was simply natural selection applied to the human species. Many people believed that the superior men were subject to the strength that allowed them to overcome challenges that the inferior men failed to. Walter Bagehot, a journalist and economist, states, “those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others…” (Doc. 3). Given that he is a journalist, he would be open to new ideas and thoughts. Thomas Huxley supported Darwin, but believed that it should be on an ethical basis, not “survival of the fittest” (Doc. 5). Given that he was a biologist and an avid popularizer of the sciences, it is not surprising that he would take this view. Herbert Spencer was a philosopher and sociologist, so it is not surprising that he would take the view of supporting Darwin. Spencer argued that while Darwin's theory was rough, it was very much real. He spoke of widows and orphans fighting for survival, (Doc 6). Another scientist that supported Darwin’s theory was Karl Pearson. He argues that history shows the rough struggle of how humans that are stronger survive. He simply says that while it is rough, it is the way it is (Doc. 7). It is not surprising that he would take this view, as he is a scientist as well as Darwin. All of these authors clearly show examples of Social Darwinism in their writings. Later in the 20th century, Adolf Hitler, among others, would adapt the …show more content…
For example, many people could see that a new era of thought was beginning, and supported Darwin. Clemence Royer, an anthropologist, studied the effects of Darwin’s theory. Given that she is a scholar of human studies and development, it is obvious that she would take this view. She referenced Hegel, a German scientist that developed the ideas of synthesis, antithesis, and thesis, who did this around the same time as Darwin’s theory. She supports Darwin in saying that she believed in his ideas, and also, “I believe in progress” (Doc

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