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Darwins theory of evolutions influence on modern psychology

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 2274 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Charles Darwin was a British scientist, who coins the concept of evolution and geological observation. Charles Darwin was greatly inspired by geologist Adam Sedgwick and Reverent/ naturalist John Henslow. Both mean played a major role in the development of his theory. Darwin draws his ideas from those who believed that the sacred book was and extract of world and humans.

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His work was of great influence on life and development of natural science and psychological thoughts. Darwin’s career gave him the opportunity to observed various geological structure around the globe as well as living species .This experience have enhance his intellectual thought and prospective of the earth’s surface. However Angell (2007) states that “Darwinism has never been a really vital issues in psychology” (The influence of Darwin on psychology). Darwin’s theory of evolution has been disparaged by the theologians, biologist and even the psychologist. The heavy criticism came in the light of his book origin of species. Biologist wangled that Darwin could not

Thomas Malthus was a British economist, who wrote numerous articles about “population growth. Malthus theorizes that the availability of food cannot be compared to the geometrical rate of population growth. Thus, overpopulation constantly leads to unending forces of hunger, virulent disease and poverty. The instinctive “struggle” for survival arrested Darwin attention; as a result, he used Malthus’s approach to the theory of evolution. (How did Thomas Malthus influence Charles Darwin?). Darwin theory of evolution is essential, because the food supply issues describe by Thomas Malthus, gave young species the opportunity to complete for their survival. The survival of the fittest would then provide; the future generation with the favourable variation of their heredity. Therefore, each generation would improve adoptively throughout the ages and this attempt would gradual succeed in the development of evolutionary species. This approach was added to Darwin scheme of natural selection, thus he proposed that all species are related to one common ancestor known as the real eve.

Moreover, he offered extra support for the core concept that earth itself is not motionless but evolving .Darwin believed that some of the instinct used in Malthus struggle of survival would invigorate the survival scheme. “Throughout his research, Darwin concluded that this ongoing struggle between those more and less fit to survive would produce a never ending progression of change in the organism” (How did Thomas Malthus influence Charles Darwin?). Darwin used the ideas of many scholars to develop his theory. He strongly believed that population growth remain pending until existing natural resources becomes stabilized.

Thomas Malthus was ordained minister of the gospel, who believed that starvation and illnesses were employed by God to prevent population’s growth. He further mentions that lacking “these positive checks the” population would explode rapidly .Malthus saw life as a divine inspiration that assign men to work fervently. In addition, Malthus dislike most of the statement used by the early philosophers, he believed that human problems can be resolve through the social engineering network. Most of the philosophers, who Malthus dislikes, use his essay as guide to coin their theory (How did Thomas Malthus influence Charles Darwin?).

Alfred Russell Wallace

Alfred Russell Wallace was the first British naturalist, who coined the term evolution, due to his natural selection. It was his proposal that Darwin use to formulate his theory. Wallace’s theory was publicized at the same time of that of Charles Darwin. According to historians, Wallace and Darwin worked independently, yet uninformed about each other’s research. Both men shared the same perceptiveness about biological mechanism, in which species gradually change to meet the criteria of their environment. During this era, most persons strongly believed that all species were irreversible merchandise of divine creation (Alfred Russel Wallace biography).

Evolution is the process by which transformation occur though enormous diversity of the living species. Studies have shown that all living species have descended from one common ancestor in the past. Wallace philosophy of spiritualism was vast different to those of Charles Darwin thesis of human minds. “Darwin saw humans as highly evolved organisms; Wallace believed that the human mind was inspired by something outside evolution and that the human spirit could continue to progress after death” (Rocky road: Alfred Russel Wallace). At first Wallace believed that the duties executed by men would normal amend with the current time. However, as time progress, he changes his verdict. He maintained that the entire universe was fashioned by human being, just that we are considered a little lower than angels. “As young man, though, he thought differently. In one passage about the King Bird of Paradise, Wallace both marvelled at the existence of such amazing creatures that had so seldom been seen by people, and made a prescient observation about humanity’s impact on nature ” (Rocky road: Alfred Russel Wallace).

Herbert Spencer

Herbert Spencer was the first sociologist in Derby England. Herbert “defined sociology as the study of societal evolution and believed that the ultimate goal of societal evolution is complete harmony and happiness” (Evolutionary theory, 2004 p. 434). Spencer embraced Charles Darwin theory of natural selection, after he publishes the book origins of species. Spencer was considered an influential supporter of social Darwinism, and subfield of Darwin hypothesis of human societies. Spencer coined the term survival of the fittest to describe the contest between individuals and groups. He theorized that wealth and power are signs of intrinsic fitness, while poverty is considered as evidence of low standard (Evolutionary theory, 2004 p. 434).

Spencer concept of adaption permits him to declare that the rich and powerful are capable to adopt the social and economic means of the current time, while the concept of natural selection allows him to argue that it is normal for the rich to progress at the works of the poor. After all, it is an issue of everyday life. In some case Social Darwinist argue that it is inappropriate to assist those who are weak than oneself, since it will promote survival of someone who is inapt

” Spencer had many very extreme political views and grew to despise government programs that were aimed to help the poor. In the end it was his harsh views on politics that held his ideas back from being accepted right away. Spencer was like Darwin in some ways, but when it came down to the theory of evolution, Spencer took it one step further than Darwin by saying that it involved much more that just biology ” (Herbert spencer).

Charles Lyell

Charles Lyell was a well-known geologist and uniformitarian supporter during the mid 19 century. Being a “firm believer of uniformitarian” (All about Science) he coined the term uniformitarianism. Lyell supported his hypothesis base on geological observation that the made during his visits to Europe and North American. This theory asserts that the same biological process that operates in the past continues to do so in the same way and with the same gradual force. According to Encarta dictionary catastrophism is the process by which the natal description of earth surfaces was structure by a series of impetuous violent, rather than gradual evolutionary theory. This approach have seen a large extinct of animals and plants. An example of this theory is Noah’s flood. During the flood, everything was wiped away except those that were taken into the ark.

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The catastrophist believed that all species created are irreversible. However, the catastrophist perception was opposed by Sir Charles Lyell in his book principles of geology. Lyell mention in his book, that earth’s surface is constantly undergoing changes, as a result of the unvarying operation of natural forces. As time progress, Darwin found himself apt to Lyell’s viewpoint. However, He soon realized that some of his examination of living plants and creature posed great doubt to those of Lyell. Lyell maintained that species were created differently. He further mentions that the remains of extinct species resemble those of living species “in the same geographical area” (The influence of Darwin on psychology). Although, he had difficulty accepting his own philosophy, his work found favour in the eyes of Charles Darwin (All about Science). Moreover, his works found a source of believe some billions years ago. However, Darwin theory of evolution, did not propose any time frame “until he embrace Lyell old – earth theories” (All about Science).

Most scientists accepted Lyell theory because it provides rational explanation and details. Yet “those explanation were considered” evidence, and even today scientist used Lyell geological explanation with no major questioning. Darwin accepted Lyell work hold heartedly, because it gives him a clear instinct of his beliefs. At one point Lyell retaliated against the theory of geology, because he believed that theory depicts a biased and construal setting of the scripture Genesis (Sir Charles Lyell).

Alfred Binet

Alfred Binet was French psychology, who was known for success in intelligent testing. In the 1889 Binet discovered the first psychological research laboratory in France. As director of the laboratory, he attempted to develop experimental technique that would measure rational thinking and intelligence. “During the 1900s the French government” (History of intelligence testing) contacted Binet, seeking his help to develop a theory that would differentiate the difference between mental incompetence and mental stability. As result the said government pass an amendment bill that requires the present of all children in school. Hence the reason was to identify their specialities and to group them according to their learning abilities. With the help of his co-worker, psychologist Theodore Simon, he was able to devise a test that would measure the mental capacity of children. This approach was known as the Binet-Simon scale.

“After the development of the Binet-Simon scale, the test was soon brought to the United States where it generated considerable interest” (History of intelligence testing). Lewis Terman a psychologist at the standard university used Alfred Binet testing to conduct his own survey, the outcome of his finding was known as Stanford-Binet intelligent scale, soon after it was initially change to standard intelligent testing.

The Stanford-Binet intelligent testing is conducted by trained professionals, who known how to administered the examination and secure the answers. The method designed to compute the IQ score is dividing mental age by the actual chronological age of the individual taking the examination and then multiply it by 100. For example if an 8year old scores a mental age of 12 her IQ given to her would be 150i;e 1Q of 150(8/12x 100). Although this initiative is accurate in children it does not compute will for adults. Intelligent testing

Sir Francis Galton

Francis Galton was a British Scientist, who laid the foundation of eugenics. He was also related to Charles Darwin. As result he was the first to acknowledge Darwin’s evolutionary theory, after he read the book the origins of species. Galton soon became interested in heredity and the measurement of humans; He collected various statistical data on height, dimensions and other characteristics of human beings. “Base on quantitative studies of prominent individuals and their family trees, he concluded that intellectual ability is inherited in much the same way as physicals traits and he later published his finding in heredity ” (Sir Francis Galton). Galton strongly believed that the nature of intelligence have led him to inspire the thoughts, that society should encourage the upper class to replenish the earth , while the lower class refrain from doing so.

During the mid 19 century eugenics was seen considered social Darwinism. Social Darwinism entails the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. When applied to humanity it simply suggest the rich are wealthy off than the poor, and more successful in life. The controversy between the rich and poor permits the continual development of the species in orderly and timely manner, thus contributing to better society. Galton conduct a further probe to investigate the difference between “the effects of heredity and those of environment” ( Sir Francis Galton ). Base on his finding he was able to detect how education and environmental factors influence our mental ability. Galton continues to recognize heredity as prominent influence, regardless of his finding. Galton was among the first scientist to study twins, “who had been separated from each other as means offering insight into the nature -nurture controversy” (Sir Francis Galton). They contribution made by Galton provides valuable source for both psychologist and educators.


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