Darwinism
Belief in the theory of evolution by natural selection. The theory in its original form took wing from the observation of Malthus that although living organisms produce multiple offspring, adult populations remain relatively stable in number. Darwin realized that the different chances of survival of differently endowed offspring could account for the natural evolution of species. Nature ‘selects’ those members of a species best adapted to the environment in which they find themselves, just as human animal breeders may select for desirable traits in their livestock, and thereby control the evolution of the kind of animal they wish. In the phrase of Spencer, nature guarantees the ‘survival of the fittest’. The Origin of Species was principally successful in marshalling the evidence for evolution, rather than providing a convincing mechanism for genetic change, and Darwin himself remained open to the search for additional mechanisms, whilst also remaining convinced that natural selection was at the heart of it. It was only with the later discovery of the gene as the unit of inheritance that the synthesis known as ‘neo-Darwinism’ became the orthodox theory of evolution in the life sciences. See also creationism, evolutionary ethics, sociobiology.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • darwinism — DARWINÍSM s.n. Concepţie evoluţionistă, formulată de naturalistul englez Darwin, care explică originea şi evoluţia speciilor de animale şi de plante prin transformarea treptată a altor specii care au trăit odinioară pe pământ, ca urmare a… …   Dicționar Român

  • Darwinism — Darwinism, Social Darwinism Darwinism is the belief in the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, developed separately by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, and subsequently popularized in Darwin s two great works on evolution: the… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Darwinism — Dar win*ism, n. (Biol.) The theory or doctrines put forth by Darwin. See above. Huxley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Darwinism — Darwinism. См. дарвинизм. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Darwinism — 1864, from Charles Darwin (1809 1882), whose major works were The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Darwinism — ► NOUN ▪ the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection, advanced by the English natural historian Charles Darwin (1809 82). DERIVATIVES Darwinian noun & adjective Darwinist noun & adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Darwinism — [där′win iz΄əm] n. 1. the Darwinian theory 2. adherence to the Darwinian theory Darwinist adj., n. Darwinistic adj …   English World dictionary

  • Darwinism — This article is about concepts called Darwinism. For biological evolution, see evolution. For modern evolutionary theory, see modern evolutionary synthesis. Charles Darwin in 1868 Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of… …   Wikipedia

  • Darwinism — noun Date: 1864 1. a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Darwinism — Darwinist, Darwinite /dahr weuh nuyt /, n., adj. Darwinistic, adj. /dahr weuh niz euhm/, n. the Darwinian theory that species originate by descent, with variation, from parent forms, through the natural selection of those individuals best adapted …   Universalium

  • Darwinism —    Charles Robert Darwin (1809 1882) was born in Shrewsbury, England, where he attended school. His grades were far from distinguished. His father was disgusted and reproved him: You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat catching, and you… …   Dictionary of eponyms

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