Impact whereas organisms that are not well adapted

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Impact of Social DarwinismStudies on animals disclose that their organisms evolve over time to become better adapted to their environment, whereas organisms that are not well adapted will eventually die off. Social Darwinism, is the proposal to learn from nature, to copy nature’s way, and to evolve better economically; a theory that competition among all individuals, groups, nations, or ideas drives social evolution in human societies. The term stemmed from the common use of the word Darwinism which is a social adaptation of natural selection that explains speciation in populations as the outcome of competition between individual organisms for limited resources or “survival of the fittest.” This historical importance shows that the weaker organisms die out, therefore only the fittest survive. Derived from Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, late 18th to 19th century Darwinist movements abused his scientific research to justify egregious acts against “inferior” populations who were deemed substandard. Naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin developed a theory that asserts over time, species change in one way or another. Studying animals and plants, Darwin observed that a process known as “natural selection,” which is “leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest life and the weakest die” (Darwin 244). He discovered how all living species on earth evolved from other species in a competition for mates and natural resources. The theory states that there are variations in all species and that mutations occur over time, to better fit their environment. Those with beneficial mutations will outcompete their competitor in a given environment and populate that environment with their own offspring. This theory, therefore,  known as Darwinism states that the strongest or fittest shall survive and flourish in society, while the weak and unfit should be allowed to die (Bortz 65).Herbert Spencer expounded upon Darwinism, proposing that the theory should be applied to humanity as well. Spencer argued that some human races were closer in intelligence to apes and therefore less human and consequently inferior. He hypothesized the Caucasian race was the most advanced, creating an outcome of competition between social groups (Donohue 52). Inspired by Darwinism, Spencer believed through competition, social evolution would automatically produce “prosperity” and “personal liberty” (“Principles of Biology”). Spencer’s theory gave scientific justification to white supremacy, which simply encouraged the exploitation of prejudiced acts that unfortunately persistent in present society.Due to Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory, a prejudiced distinctive form of Social Darwinism developed known as the eugenics movement was a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetics, considered that the group of people who were deficient in intelligence could create a “danger to the human gene pool and should be institutionalized or sterilized,” who believed that all inferior social groups should be sterilized to prevent the increase in inferior population (Ruggiero 21). Darwinist views embracing that the strong were superior, encouraged the right to spread and imperialized inferior countries. Eugenics argued that selected people who are unfit and continue to reproduce more unfit offsprings, creating an unfit population, are a real “danger to the human gene pool and should be institutionalized, serialized, or both” (Ruggiero 21). Panicked and alert by this eugenics study, psychologist and eugenicist Henry Goddard wrote: “we need to hunt them down in every possible place and take care of them, and see to it that they do not propagate and make the problem worse, and that those who are alive today do not entail loss of life and property and moral contagion in the community by the things they do because they are weak-minded” (qtd. in Ruggiero 21). In result of President Theodore Roosevelt promoted that America should have “good breeders as well as good fighters” he supported the “Rigid System of Selection” which was the sterilization of  “an ever-widening circle of social discards, beginning always with the criminal, the diseased and the insane and extending gradually to types which may be called weaklings rather than defects and perhaps ultimately to worthless racial types” (Ruggiero 21).  Based on Darwin’s theory the superior species always outlive the inferior which justified eugenics. Darwinists movements abused Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory to justify egregious acts towards inferior populations. Due to the fear of inferior social groups reproducing an increase in inferior offsprings, The eugenics movement was formed which forced sterilization of inferior people. Kipling’s poem the white man’s burden argued it was the white man’s duty to colonize inferior countries in order to civilize them. However, after the attempt to civilize certain populations the US ran into complications with native Americans an in an unfortunate end. The abuse that was justified with Darwinism could be repeated today with the similarities of people who are considered inferior.

Categories: Biology


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