Talk:Social Darwinism

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 Definition Efforts to draw political conclusions from the theory of evolution by natural selection. [d] [e]

Article name sort

I changed it back to 'Social Darwinism' from 'Darwinism, Social'. It seems strange to take two word names and then shuffle the words, stick a comma in and then have the site sort them in that way. 'Social Darwinism' is not a 'child' article of 'Darwinism'. The abc sorting should be for things like names and articles prefixed with 'the' and so on. --Tom Morris 03:34, 21 May 2008 (CDT)


Darwin's belief in Social Darwinism has been a question which many historians have debated (and creationists have used as a red herring).

The parenthetical in this sentence is misleading, and I've removed it. Prior to WW2, progressive opinion presented either Social Darwinism or Marxism as scientific systems of morality based on evolution; the creationism debate would not be so bitter nor long-lasting if that had not been the case. From the creationist point of view, it didn't matter that much whether Darwin himself was a Social Darwinist, as most people who called themselves Darwinists through the 1920s, and who advocated the teaching of evolution, were Social Darwinists. There should probably be a paragraph or two on creationism as a reaction to Social Darwinism, but I can't write that right now. Anthony Argyriou 13:55, 15 July 2008 (CDT)

In the phrasing 'red herring', I was more referring to current-day creationists (both 'scientific creationists' and their successors in the ID movement) who see Darwin's racist or social-Darwinist ideas as being relevant to the fact of evolution, not so much to the Scopes-era creationists. But, you bring up an interesting point. I hadn't thought of Scopes-era creationists being motivated by a revulsion at social Darwinism. I'd like to see some sources for that. I'll have a flick through the books I have on the history of evolution and creationism (Ronald Numbers' The Creationists and Peter Bowler's Evolution: The History of an Idea) tonight, and look a bit further into it when I'm next in the library. --Tom Morris 14:18, 15 July 2008 (CDT)
Obviously, the creationists mostly attacked evolution for being unbiblical, because that's what their followers would understand best. The Catholic Church eventually realized that Social Darwinism didn't necessarily follow from evolution, and has accepted evolution as a scientific fact, while continuing to oppose Social Darwinism as immoral. Many of the current generation of creationists don't really understand that opposition to Social Darwinism was a major motivation for their predecessors' tenacity in the battle, or they broaden the critique, to think that denial of the literal truth of any of the Bible leads to denial of the morality of the Bible (particularly, but not entirely, the sexual morality), and by fighting the battle at evolution, they are helping preserve the morality of the Bible. Creationism never really has been about biology or science. I'll see if I can find some good sources for that, too, but most of what I know I've picked up from secondary or tertiary sources. Anthony Argyriou 16:24, 15 July 2008 (CDT)