HPS211H1 Lecture Notes - Asa Gray, Horse Breeding, Social Darwinism


Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course Code
HPS211H1
Professor
Curtis Forbes

This preview shows half of the first page. to view the full 2 pages of the document.
February 28, 2013 Thursday Lecture
Exam hint: Don’t mention genetics or genes when discussing Darwin because they had
no concept of it at that time
Darwin’s Supporters
Asa Gray
- Provided information to Darwin before the publication of the origin specifically
about the distribution of plants in America
- Lots of correspondence between Darwin and Asa
- This correspondence helped establish Darwin over Wallace
- Wallace conceded that Darwin was the main person in coming up with the theory
- Gray arranged for Origin’s publication in America
- Gray while a supporter of Darwin was also a dedicated believer
- He was someone who really took the time t try to align his faith with a clearly well
rounded scientific theory
- Many people rejected Darwin’s theories because they blatantly rejected Christian
thoughts
Difficulties with Darwin’s Theory
The Mechanism of Natural Selection
- Limited variation through selective breeding
o Ex. Race horse breeding; there seemed to be a cap on how fast race
horses could get
- At the time this was a very serious problem
o How do you get a new specifies out of a pool of variability of a pool that is
basically limited?
- Age of the earth
o Kelvin said that the age of the earth was much too young for natural
selection and evolution to have been able to run its course
- Jenkin
o Argued that over time traits would be washed out
Like if one white dude had babies with a black dude eventually the
skin color of the gene pool after generations would just go back to
black (if only one white dude); white color gets blended out
Humans: Just another Animal?
- This would mean that humans are not the ‘higher’ being of creation from god
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version