Darwin’s theory of evolution hypothesized that different life forms were thrown up by Nature randomly and that the fittest survived by natural selection.
For example, there were giraffes with long necks but they died because their necks were too short to reach the leaves on the trees that were the source of their diet.
To me this seems a false hypothesis and I wonder why those short-necked giraffes just didn’t eat grass of that was abundant in the plains of Africa which, according to scientists, is the cradle of life where all life originated about 3 or 4 billion years ago?
In his book On the Origin of Species Darwin says: I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed."
That is an amoeba (a single celled organism) developed in the soup of the primordial seas, a form of marine life that became a fish and so on until the first creature crawled out onto the land.
Mutation from breeding seems an acceptable reason why different forms of animals develop if we consider the fact that all dogs, from the Poodle to the Pit-bull, descend from the wolf. We can see with our own eyes that all these different breeds are not the result of survival of the fittest but by crossing one dog with another to produce different types which all survive in their different forms.
In 1809 Lamarck produced the “transmutation theory,” which I find convincing, where a species adapted to the environment spontaneously and produced different forms of life and species inherited progressive changes caused by the practices of the parents.
In recent history the discovery of DNA proved that people inherited different traits from their parent’s genes and that like is attracted to like, for example, people are physically attracted to one another by eye colour, pheromones (personal scent), bone structure and so on by a hard wired biological program in the central nervous system.
To me this seems to contradict Darwin but modern science seems to have subsumed the fact of DNA into its theories without finding, or admitting, any contradiction.
When scientists applied the idea of breeding to humans it was known as Eugenics which led in turn to the sinister Nazi idea of selecting certain “undesirables” such as the Jews, Gypsies, Negroes, and others to be bred out of existence racist ideas that resulted in the death camps and the Holocaust.
Formerly this idea of selecting ideal forms of people for breeding was popular in many countries including the USA and the UK. In the USA, eugenic supporters included Presidentand research was funded by distinguished philanthropists and carried out at prestigious universities, taught in college and high school classrooms as scientific and progressive.
While in the United Kingdom, prior to World War 1, Eugenics was supported by many prominent figures including, , George Bernard Shaw, H.G Wells, Sidney Webb and the future Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Sir Francis Galton a cousin of Darwin as an anthropologist, eugenicist and inventor, among other things, who was knighted in 1909 proposed dividing society into a Brave New World of social groups that reflected their genetic worth according to social class with the most desirable being the Upper Class, then middle and the “higher working class” to do the work, while at the bottom there was to be the “undesirables” reflecting the Nazi idea of the “untermenschen” or sub-humans who were to be sterilised and bred out!
In the 1930s anthropological criminology associated with Eugenics reared its ugly head as modern criminal profiling, positing the idea of a physiological flaw in the human race. This was popular among the scientific community, particularly in America, with the American Eugenics Movement between 1907 and 1939. At the time anti-miscegenation laws enforced racial segregation in marriage and remained in force in many US states until 1967. Anti miscegenation laws were also in force in Nazi German where 250,000 mentally disabled Germans were killed.
Sterilisation programmes were never legalised in the UK, although some were carried out in private upon the mentally ill by clinicians. In Parliament there was a move from lobbying of Parliament for enforced sterilisation to a voluntary scheme. Two prestigious British Universities supporting Eugenics at the time were London University and Liverpool University.
After the Nazi Holocaust and genocide in the Second World War the idea of Eugenics became widely unpopular in the USA and the UK.
So we can see where the theories of evolution led to in the end and humankind’s interference with Nature and human breeding. We should always be on our guard when scientists are funded by governments to travel down the road of Eugenics again.
BBC episodes one & two are uploaded to this report