You will prepare and submit a term paper on Comparing the Theories of Darwin and Spencer. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. Terms such as “survival of the fittest” and “Darwinism socialism” are often misquoted or referred for each other. (Bowler. Dennet)
Charles Darwin was a British naturalist. He studied geology and biology of the area around the Pacific Coast extensively before producing his monumental work “Origin of Species” in 1859 to the world. Herbert Spencer was a British philosopher who showed early interests in physics, chemistry and natural science. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the study of natural history had already proliferated into diverse fields such as religion, psychology, and other social sciences. Lamarck was widely credited by many to be the first scientist to put forward a consistent general theory of gradual evolution. Herbert Spencer was privileged to go through his work, right when he was 20, and this had a lasting impact on his subsequent intellectual thoughts and work. Thus, when we seek to study the difference between the Darwinian approach of evolution and that of Herbert Spencer’s, this connection plays an important role. (Caroll)
Darwin’s vision of the world was one of the ceaseless interactions leading to evolution and adaptation. The drivers to these were the quest for survival and reproduction. But for Spencer, the drivers were the realization of some good ideals. Spencer could never free his work without attaching some form of hidden divine stigma to it. His theories were progressive and teleological. The change is occurring because of the realization of a just goal. That is, it has in it the concept of “archetype” put forward by Aristotle. an ideal form with unchanging virtues or qualities or essence. Spencer has tried to justify the same ideal, but that it occurs over through a time period and evolves over generations. (Caroll)
When Darwin speaks of general evolution, he has a much longer time span in mind than Spencer.