The Influence Of Charles Darwin's Theory Of Natural Selection

Decent Essays

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection remains one of the best known theories in science today. However, The Origin of Species had a significant impact on society when it was published in the late 19th century. The idea of evolution and natural selection uprooted many popular ideas at the time and led to the creation of new movements. Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection impacted 19th century society in a scientific perspective, a sociological perspective through the rise of social Darwinism, and a theological perspective in the debate between evolution and creationism. At first glance, The Origin …show more content…

People went from believing that a divine creator had intelligently created all things on Earth to learning that organisms randomly evolve to adapt better to their environments, with no divine intervention needed. At the time of Darwin, most accepted creationism as truth. However, Darwin's theory created a large split in the religious and scientific beliefs of society, who often viewed Darwinism and religion as incompatible.4For example, if the Bible is taken from a literal point of view, the Genesis account and evolution seem direct opposites. The spread of Darwin's theories in society accounted for a noticeable decrease in theistic believers, who viewed science as the true truth in the world. Most churches revised their interpretations of Genesis after Darwin's theory, but some creationist believers held firm against a scientific explanation for humanity. Later years would see much debate between the two sides. Although the theory of evolution questioned the role of religion in science, The Origin of Species did not completely redefine the role of religion in society in the late 19th century. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection had noticeable effects on society at the time. His theory spawned a new branch of science and much debate amongst scientists of the time over the selection process in evolution. His theories were transferred to society, leading to the rise of social Darwinism and its role in maintaining supremacy amongst the rich in changing times. It also led to religious upheaval, rise of atheism and the understanding that man is not the center of the universe. Overall, Darwin did much to affect society in the late 19th century, and his impact remains noticeable

Get Access