Scientific Legitimacy2 Essay

Submitted By steplong
Words: 475
Pages: 2

Scientific Legitimacy
During the nineteenth century, a time when religion dominated the beliefs and lifestyles of Western Civilization, one man dared to defy the exclusively upheld convictions, which the population once held dear. Subsequent to his illustrious voyage on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species,” a book whose iconoclastic ideas of evolution could only be described as an “origin”: an origin to Creation’s alternative, an origin to major scientific advancement, and an origin to unorthodox philosophy in generations to come.
As this scientific research legitimized itself to the general public, new philosophies manifested themselves within the general public as well. The paramount manifestation of Social Darwinism was made popular by Herbert Spencer and his conjecture that socially, we all compete with one another for success in life and those who achieve success have done so because they are most “fit” to do so. Followers of this sociological theory believe that imperialism, racism, and conservative economic policies are completely justified by a natural process of life.
The driving rationality for these justifications is that if biological evolution brought about human intellect, which in turn produced society, then human intellect and social activities are both products of biological evolution. Individuals who benefit most from this philosophy appear to be its most prominent followers. Those who value fiscal conservatism might argue that welfare programs are unethical since trying to homogenize the population goes against natural order. If the best adapted humans naturally rose to the top of the socioeconomic ladder, then it would be fruitless to place someone who is not fit for economic success at the top of the ladder. As a tangent of this thought, imperialism is completely justified by Social Darwinism. Expansion and domination of an empire was simply seen as the fit prevailing over the unfit. Whether leaders are a product of virtue, hard work, or…