Darwin's General Summary and Conclusions of the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

Darwin's General Summary and Conclusions of the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

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Darwin's General Summary and Conclusions of the Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex In the "General Summary and Conclusions" of The Descent of Man, and
Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin argues that man is not
the work of a separate act of creation. Rather, he believes that
humans evolved from a lower being to what we are today. Darwin looks
at the "whole organic world" [i] when finding evidence to support his
argument, using the evolution of plants and animals to illustrate his
points. Darwin claims that natural selection and sexual selection are
two modes of evolution and explains both in detail. However, Darwin
does not just cover science; he also looks at how social behavior
affects evolution and sexual selection. In this way, non-epistemic
values have a great influence on Darwin's theories.

Darwin's main argument is that "man is descended from some less highly
organized form"[ii]. As evidence for his claim, Darwin looks at the
similarity between the features of humans and other animals during
embryonic development. He finds that there are "innumerable points of
structure and constitution" [iii] that are similar. Anyone who
disagrees with him would be forced to conclude, "man is the
co-descendent with other mammals of a common progenitor"[iv].

He also explains the differences between natural selection and sexual
selection, as well as how sexual selection is important to evolution.
First, natural selection depends on how well an organism can adapt to
its environment. If it doesn't have the means to survive in its

... middle of paper ...

... values, especially when dealing with the human social
condition and the differences in superiority between civilizations. It
is also interesting to see how others have interpreted Darwin's
theories, and created their own theories based on Darwinism. Overall,
Darwin's ideas, while originally scientific, have been impacted by
social factors and in turn have influenced social theories.


[i] Page 386

[ii] Page 385

[iii] Page 385

[iv] Page 386

[v] Page 403

[vi] Page 390

[vii] Page 393

[viii] Page 394

[ix] Page 395

[x] Vol. I, Page 169

Works Cited

Darwin, Charles. “From The Descent of Man.” Change and Tradition: Cultural and
Historical Perspectives. Dubuque, Iowa; Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company,

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