I will look at what they included and the effect they had on Psychology and society at the time they were published and their influence years after. Firstly I will assess the impact of the new theory of evolution as described in Darwin’s Origin of Species. Before Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, evolution was seen from a biblical perspective. That is, that God made the world in seven days and created all living creatures on the fifth day. Although Charles Darwin is known as the Father of Evolution, he is not the first person to come up with the idea.
Although the theory of evolution caused a stir on its own, what was most important to the Nature versus Nurture debate was the idea of our species changing over time. The idea of Natural Selection also contributed tot he debate. The phrase ‘Nature versus Nurture’ was coined by English Polymath, Francis Galton in his 1874 publication of English Men in Science: Their Nature and Nurture. Galton was Darwin’s cousin and he said in his biography that ‘The publication in 1859 of the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin made a marked epoch in my own mental development, as it did in that of human thought generally.’ At the point of publication Galton had been a medical student, a naturalist, anthropologist and an explorer but from 1865 onwards Galton dedicated his life to the study of Eugenics. In 1869 Galton published his own controversial work Hereditary Genius.
Charles Darwin was a biologist and scientist from 1809 until 1892 (bio.com, A&E televisions). He came up with the famous "Theory of Evolution." This theory states that "species come and go through time, while they exist they change" (“Charles Darwin & Evolution”). This man was mentioned in “Fahrenheit 451” because it is clear that Guy Montag has changed from the beginning of the novel to the end. He starts off as a fireman who sets houses on fire with the possession of books.
Did you know that whenever Charles Darwin released his theory 143 years ago the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely (Rennie) after a long while the scientists of the day were able to finally come to an agreement after studying Mr. Darwin’s theory. However the argument does not center on whether or not that evolution has occurred. The argument is how long it took the lord to create the earth. Was it six days as stated in the bible? Or did it take much longer?
Darwin is also the only one of the many evolution theorists to have evidence of evolution and natural selection. Darwin 's theory of evolution is supported by a multitude of evidence that he found, observed, or dug up on his expedition on the H.M.S. Beagle. Before Darwin had even begun thinking about the origin of species, or even before humans, dinosaurs and multicellular organisms, life had to begin somewhere. “Once liquid water was present, organic compounds could be formed from inorganic materials.
“The Race of Man”, is a scientific explanation for the similarities among humans, which argues whether mankind is subdivided into species, or more closely resemble subspecies or races. Darwin uses his theory of evolution to explain why there is a multitude of similarities in the development and inventive minds of all races, yet any observed differences are negligible. Furthermore, most differences that are visible in man today “cannot be of much importance” (Darwin 217), however, if such differences were important, natural selection would have either “fixed and preserved or eliminated” (Darwin 217) any distinction. Darwin begins by explaining the cause of most resemblances throughout all race. Charles Darwin describes the distinct descendants of man by comparing it to the descendants of domesticated animals.
If the Human species is able to select and adapt to the changes most useful to him, then why should nature fail in selecting variation and adapting under the changing conditions of life in the same way as man? What laws are there in place to stop this power of adaptation and change that exist during the long ages, which rigidly scrutinize the whole system, structure and, habits of every living organism which favours the fit and kills of the weak or unstable? The answer is that there is no limit to the extent of natural selection or in fact evolution as a whole by the fact that every living organism is able to slowly adapt to form the most complex relation of life. The theory of natural selection exists within the forms of climate, geographical regions and atmospheric
We have technology that can examine the DNA of humans and compare it to DNA from other living organisms. Darwin’s theory is that humans are the result of evolution from the ape. With the world ever developing , the theory is that the ape developed into a Neanderthal and the finally into a human. This theory may be believable, as according to Dr. Nolan in Greer’s article “Neanderthals are 99.5% genetically identical to humans, and chimps and apes are 96-97% identical” – this shows that there are similarities between humans and both Neanderthals and apes , however the majority of people disagree with this theory as they say there is too much of a difference. This is what people feel when the statistics show similarity of a minimum of 96% similar.
Anomalies built up with the fossils they found and suddenly there were so many anomalies that they were forced to change their way of thinking. Darwinism was able to open up a period of Crisis Science when he discovered species change over time, conflicting with the theory of Intelligent Design that God created all species to be the same. For instance, during his travels on the Beagle, Darwin found the fossil of an extremely large-shelled armadillo with a structure similar to the modern armadillo. The fossils conveyed to Darwin how organisms of different species have similar bone structures that change over time. According to Kuhn, once scientists agree on a paradigm, the period of crisis science gradually closes off again and all the other paradigms are left behind.
Genetic engineering is the alteration of genetic material in living things with the aim of producing new substances or creating new functions (Lerner). In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley explores possible outcomes of extreme genetic engineering. He predicts a world, The World State, where everything about a person is determined in a flask. However, Huxley only allows for a very limited view of the opportunities that accompany genetic engineering; Huxley fails to realize how much mankind can be elevated by the simple manipulation of genes. Genetic engineering would allow for an elevation of the human race, through predetermining an individual’s characteristics.