The Missing Piece in Darwin’s Puzzle

Darwin bequeathed to the world a fragmentary, a partial, an incomplete truth. It helped to dispel ab­ stract and spiritual fears by supplying facts and theories with which one could grapple, only to lead to a world in which fear has become endemic upon a scale hitherto unknown, with its locus not in the abstract but in the real world. Darwin helped to establish such seeming paradoxes as that good could flow from evil, and […]

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Superior Races and Nations

Darwin very definitely believed in the doctrine of superior and inferior races. The following passages from The Descent of Man may be quoted as illustra­ tive of this fact. ” The belief that there exists in man some close relation between the size of the brain and the development of the intellectual faculties is sup­ ported by the comparison of the skulls of savage and civilised races, of ancient and modem people, and by the […]

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Darwinian “Natural Selection”: A Fruitful Error

In all that has thus far been said it should be clear that the greatness of Darwin’s achievement is being neither minimized nor denied. What is denied is its soundness, since it fails to tell the whole story. An incomplete or even a wrong theory can be the start­ ing-point of a sound one. And, indeed, the develop­ ment of science could well be written in terms of a history of fruitful errors. Darwin’s conception […]

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Darwin’s Fundamental Error

The fact is, the fundamental error committed by Darwin was to take over the Malthusian doctrine­ which Malthus had specifically applied to men living in an industrial society-and apply it to the whole vegetable and animal kingdom. What little was bio­ logically sound in the idea as applied to man remains so, but what represented the accretions of the matrix of the competitive predatory society in which the idea was developed, adhered to it in […]

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Huxley vs Kropotkin: Competition vs Cooperation

In February, 1888, T. H. Huxley published his fa­ mous “struggle for life” manifesto entitled “The Strug­ gle for Existence: A Programme.” In this article Huxley declared that “from the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is on about the same level as a gladiator’s show. The creatures are fairly well treated, and set to fight-whereby the strongest, the swiftest and the cunningest live to fight another day. The spectator has no […]

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A Philosophy in Step with the Times

At the outset it is necessary to emphasize the fact that these consequences did not follow as a direct and exclusive result of Darwin’s demonstration of the nature of the evolutionary process. What is now quite clear is that Darwin’s conception of that process per­ fectly fitted the pattern of Victorian social thought and practice. What Darwin’s view of life did was to give that social thought and practice a biological validation, a scientific foundation […]

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The Impact of Darwinism on Mankind

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or the Preser­ vation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, by Charles Darwin, was published in London by John Murray on November 24, 1859. Darwin was then fifty years of age. The edition of 1250 copies was sold out on the day of publication. Perhaps no book in the whole history of civilization has made so immediate and enduring an impact upon the world […]

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