Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy birthday, Mr. Darwin


  1. I honestly believe we are devolving.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. Did Darwin buy into the "survival of the fittest" at the societal level (eugenics and all that)?

    1. Not in the sense that the term eugenics implies today. After On the Origin of Species was published, other scientists and philosophers began talking about what came to be known as eugenics, but Darwin was never an advocate. IIRC, he's on record as being against the idea -- the impression I got when I read The Descent of Man was that he viewed education as more important than heritability when it came to people. Which makes sense, because there's so much variation in people (something that the eugenics people forget -- smart people have dumb kids all the time) and the reproductive cycle is such a long one that selective breeding could take centuries to make a difference in humans.

      It is a favorite theme in science fiction, though. Remember Star Trek and the Wrath of Khan? Khan was supposedly the result of a eugenics program. Huge plot holes in that one, of course, because the time frame they gave for the back story was much too short.


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