Presentation on theme: "What is Social Darwinism? Social Darwinism is an application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. Social Darwinism."— Presentation transcript:
What is Social Darwinism? Social Darwinism is an application of the theory of natural selection to social, political, and economic issues. Social Darwinism suggests that just as competition between individual organisms drives biological evolutionary change through natural selection, competition between individuals, groups, nations or ideas drives social evolution in human societies. social evolution
Social Darwinism: Sociologist Herbert Spencer, in the 19 th century, coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe the outcome of competition between groups in society. In his book Social Statics, Spencer argued that through competition social evolution would automatically produce a level of wealth and personal freedom unseen in human history.
Social Darwinism: It was Spencer’s opinion that in modern in society the “fittest” individuals of each generation survived because they were intelligent and adaptable. Urging unlimited competition, Spencer wanted government to restrict its activities to the bare minimum. Spencer represented one extreme of social Darwinists suggesting that members of society should be left to compete with each other with minimal government interference.
Social Darwinism: The other extreme of social Darwinists suggested high levels of government involvement in society. Sir Francis Galton, a British scientist, argued that the genes* we inherit from our parents are far more important than environment in determining character and intelligence. Sir Francis Galton Galton is considered the founder of eugenics. Eugenics is the breeding of humans to promote specific genetic traits promote human improvement.