Father of Evolution and contemporary western culture

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The modern culture was defined and shaped earlier than most of us believe. It all started in 1809 when Darwin and other scientists thought of logical evolution ideas and how our society was established. Charles Darwin is regarded as the father of evolutionary biology thanks to his huge contribution to developing the theory, as Darwinism explained. Through his ideas, Charles Darwin was able to steer modern society's advancement unknowingly (Haught 23). He managed to awaken scientists' sleeping minds through his insights and gave them a directional thought. It was this scientist's theories of evolution that were followed by a series of explanation from many other scientists who were either out to refute Darwin’s arguments or to affirm it. However, no theory has managed to match Darwin influence in the contemporary culture.

The way modern people thinks is evidently different from how people felt during the Victorian era. The way people in the contemporary society view the world is different from the Victorian era citizens did ("Evolving Populations"12-28). Among the cause of these noticeable differences is the advent and advancements in technology. A majority of people believe that technology is the leading cause of the differences between the contemporary culture and early culture. Apart from technology, Darwin’s ideologies and thoughts are fundamental to the changes witnessed. During the 19th century, Christian views and beliefs were widely spread. Philosophers and scientists alike during this era believed that the universe was created by God and that everything visible was by natural theology. The natural theology claimed that God is responsible for all the organisms on earth and that their relationships to one another were purely ordained by God. During the century, there was a scientific revolution which made people believe in physicalism, teleology, and determinism as scientist try to explain how everything on earth came to be. Despite the standstill, Darwin ideas prevailed and stood out to define the universe and later shape future cultures (Jensen 24).

The first way in which Darwin and evolution shaped the contemporary culture is through Darwin’s rejection of all supernatural theories of causations. Instead, development takes a scientific approach and explains every cause through scientific experiments and facts. By eliminating supernatural beliefs and assumptions, Darwin and evolution can turn adaptedness and differences in the universe into being materialistic. As this realization dawn on scientists and the public, people realized that God is no more required to design or advance the physical aspect of the world. Darwin further affirmed his ideas when he hypothesized the natural selection and defined how it can replace God’s design admired by natural theologians.

During the time before Darwinism, the prevailing logic is that God is the sole creator and designer of the world. Christians based their perspective and argument on the Bible which sets God as a supernatural being who created everything on the earth. As a result, people lacked enthusiasm as they thought that it’s only God who can create and design. Additionally, the Bible's definition of God is compelling such that no human being dared to compete or imitate him. This placed a kind of fear among societies and individuals with no one willing to try something innovative. Darwin evolutionary theory came with positivism with the elimination of God in the context (Mayr). Darwin stated that science is responsible for the universe’s causation. This brought hope to people who were somewhat restricted by high Christian values and beliefs.

Since then, people believed in science and manipulated it to advance and better their lives (Mayr). Notably, the rampant use of technology evident in the contemporary society is a product of Darwin’s ideas. Darwin assured people that science is real and can be used as a vehicle to better lives on earth. Scientists and philosophers were attracted by Darwin’s work and started working in line with his principles.

With science in full play, it was time to explore scientific principles proposed by Darwin and his co-scientist. This led to technological advancement through innovation and development. The way Darwin changed people’s perception of science during his time is sentimental to the massive scientific achievements in the modern world. If Darwin were not able to convince Victorian era citizens that the physical aspect of the world is based on precise causes, then these people would not have invested in scientific developments and the modern technology would not have come into being. Similarly, Darwinism is the reason why most people in the contemporary world have much faith in science to the extent that they refute God existences

Darwinism also had a role in shaping the current culture by ditching typology principles ("Evolving Ideas of Humanity” 16). The traditional explanation of the differences among human beings indicated that typology is the cause. This approach maintained that nature categorized people into natural classes that were distinct, constant and permanently different from other native types of people. On its part, scientific evolution and Darwinism stated that the difference among human beings is solely caused by variations which are uncontrolled. The mutation occurred naturally and accidentally meaning that individuals resulting from the occurrence are purely innocent and cannot be victimized.

On its side, typological thinking had no capacity for variations witnessed among individuals. Such differences include appearances, race, and ethnicity among other social aspects. Therefore, typology is pro-racism and other social injustices because it is principled on the belief that human races are vividly different and that some ethnic groups are very different from others ("Evolving Ideas of Humanity” 19). After rejecting typological theories, Darwin introduced the concept of population thinking. This idea states that every population including the human population is made up of individuals with varying characteristics and physicalism ("Evolving Ideas of Humanity” 8-20). Every person is unique from one another despite the vast population of people in the world. Darwin’s approach incorporated history into science and enabled the use of history in explaining scientific facts. He went against the notion that populations are consistent paving the way for the acceptance of other human races that were initially believed to be inferior and unacceptable. This explains why the African race and other immigrant races are shown leniency in the United States and other cosmopolitan nations at the moment. Population thinking accepts the diversity in human races a characteristic of the contemporary culture.

Additionally, contemporary culture is not firmly rooted in determinism. Upon the introduction of evolutionary biology, determinism was done away with and instead, Darwin welcomed the randomness of outcomes and the universal nature of the future (Haught 7). As he performed his natural selection experiments, Darwin expected different findings, and he was aware that the results could be random. Therefore, Darwin made people understand that the future cannot be determined by the current situations and that they should expect something different. As a result, scientists and philosophers accepted that there are no standard rules that guide biology and that people should expect any outcome which might be different from their initial expectation. This explains why the modern culture promotes uncertainty and encourages people to wait mixed results in whatever they do (Haught 22).

Similarly, evolutionary biology formed a scientific basis for ethics ("The science of modern virtue"). In his evolution account, Darwin used natural selection to show how organisms were able to evolve while others get extinct. Natural selection suggests that nature only reward organisms that are deemed fit to survive the prevailing physical conditions of the environment. Whereas the most robust organisms got selected by nature, the weak ones were left out and died because of the harsh environmental conditions. Later, the organisms that were not selected decreased in number and entirely extinct. This concept can be used to explain the role of ethics in contemporary culture. Just like how nature chose the most reliable organisms for survival, society today prefers individuals with good ethics ("The science of modern virtue"). Ethical behaviors are encouraged in society, and those people lacking ethics in the modern society might face isolation from the community similar to those organisms that were unable to adapt to the changes in nature in Darwin’s natural selection theory. Therefore, Darwin formed the basis for sound ethics by showing how life rewards those with good qualities and behaviors ("The science of modern virtue").

In conclusion, therefore, evolutionary biology is essential to the formation of modern culture. Evolution history has influenced the way things are done in today’s world and can still be used to account for a majority of aspects in contemporary culture (writing for science”). To this far, no literate person questions the theory of evolution. Most of Darwin’s ideas have been proved to be correct lifting any doubt on the validity of evolutionary biology in the contemporary culture. Thus, present culture is deeply rooted in evolutionary biology as its fundamental basis. The values and beliefs experienced today are all brought into existence by evolution biology.


Mayr, Ernst. “Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought.” Scientific American, 24 Nov. 2009, www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwins-influence-on-modern-thought/.

“Evolving Ideas of Humanity: Darwin, Marx, Freud and Feminism.” From Plato to Postmodernism : The Story of Western Culture through Philosophy, Literature and Art, doi:10.5040/9781849667241.ch-008.

“Evolving Populations.” Evolutionary Computation, 2009, doi:10.1109/9780470544600.ch12.

Haught, John. “Darwin and Contemporary Theology.” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, vol. 11, no. 1, Jan. 2007, pp. 44–57., doi:10.1163/156853507x173496.

Jensen, William B. “Charles Darwin.” Culture of Chemistry, 2015, pp. 83–84., doi:10.1007/978-1-4899-7565-2_21.

“The science of modern virtue : on Descartes, Darwin, and Locke.” Find in a library with WorldCat, 23 Oct. 2017, www.worldcat.org/title/science-of-modern-virtue-on-descartes-darwin-and-locke/oclc/847833652.

Writing for science — University of Leicester. www.bing.com/cr?IG=879C4F622EC34BFC9ADA24A1A812FB40&CID=3DB1A05B063365DF2C19AB0C079C64ED&rd=1&h=snhD7MBUOA2FgmdIO8gftFlEKzDiHAUuS0vUp7QjoUo&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww2.le.ac.uk%2foffices%2fld%2fresources%2fwriting%2fwriting-resources%2fscience&p=DevEx,5068.1.

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