Darwin's Theory Of Natural Selection, Social Darwinism And The Catholic Church

1431 words - 6 pages

A dark dense rainforest, the sound of rain falling on green leaves and the chatter of birds in the canopy surrounds you. On the forest ground two dark shapes circle each other, both let out an ear-piercing roar that silences the entire forest. The dark shapes revealed themselves to be a pair of male gorillas, suddenly they rear up on their back legs and clash together in a fury of swinging arms. The larger gorilla gets a direct blow to the other one as the crunch of bone fills the silent jungle air. The smaller gorilla is knocked to the ground as the larger one rears up and beats his chest in victory. This situation was used as one of the many scenarios for the basis of Charles Darwin’s controversial idea of Survival of the Fittest. During the modern era, a time full of change for the best and the worst, some people would use his ideas of lesser creatures being dominated by those well adapted to survive. This idea of applying survival of the fittest to human society led to the control of lesser races and during the time of Charles Darwin, religious controversy.

The Control of Lower Races
Charles Darwin’s controversial idea of Natural Selection in which only those species successfully adapted to their environment will flourish and survive to pass those favored traits, and those who don’t survive become extinct. In his theory, Darwin shared the idea of all life was not created by a superior being that instead, all life evolved over millions of years. Many people used the idea of the strongest or ‘fittest’ surviving and the weaker ones dying off. People who used the strongest survive idea and applied it to human beings were known as Social Darwinist. These Darwinist believed that in society, as seen in nature, only the strongest and superior beings should be allowed to pass on the favored traits and that mixing of the genes with lesser beings would endanger the survival of that race. As stated in the wikipedia article on ‘Social Darwinism, “To enlist, [in Social Darwinism], strong nations would survive […] in the struggle for dominance.” One nation that would use the idea of Social Darwinism in its favor would be Germany and the rise of The Nazi party in 1939.
During the 1930’s Darwin’s theory was very influential in Nazi race ideology and German biologist. The dictator at this time, Hitler, believed that specific traits in the human gene pool could be saved or even improved by selective breeding. Hitler was very nationalistic and believed that Germans, more specifically Aryans, were the superior race. Hitler’s government began to create laws to protect the superior race. They saw that in order to protect this race there was to be needed a way to keep the favored traits within the human gene pool. This Superior race belief was based upon the belief of some species being more adapted to survive. Over time Hitler saw that Germans had faith in him and would listen to whatever he said. Hitler and many Nazi government officials saw Darwinism gave...

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