Darwin and Darwinism: The (Alleged) Social Implications of The Origin of Species
H. Allen Orr


Most scientific theories, even revolutionary ones, change the practice of a particular science but have few consequences for culture or society at large. But Darwinism, it has often been said, is different in this respect. Since the publication of The Origin of Species, many have claimed that Darwinism has a number of profound social implications. Here, I briefly consider three of these: the economic, the political, and the religious. I suggest that, for the most part, these supposed implications have been misconstrued or exaggerated. Indeed, it is reasonably clear that the chain of implication sometimes primarily ran in the opposite direction—from, for instance, economics and political theory to Darwinism.

Anecdotal, Historical and Critical Commentaries on Genetics

View Full Text