As professor of biology Judy Stone pointed out during her lecture, there have been a number of developments throughout the field of biology as well as society following the discoveries of Charles Darwin and other scientists who brought forward the idea of evolution. While many of these developments have been positive, such as the study of genomics and such, other revolutions were severely negative, such as the use of Darwin’s discoveries to rationalize social and racial supremacy (otherwise known as social Darwinism).
Professor Stone made it clear that evolution is not simply the progressive trend of species towards a particular goal, making some members of the species superior to others, but rather the subtle change over time known as natural selection where species who happen to be more well adapted to their environment survive and pass on those particular traits. Yet as these changes and adaptations occur, some can come to be seen as imperfections rather that simply variations. This rational was what lead to the thinking behind social Darwinism in the decades following Darwin’s discoveries, and the idea that some humans were superior to others based on such “imperfections.” But thinking in this way is not only contrary to the scientific process of evolution, but made it possible for many to be openly racist by taking these scientific developments and morphing them around to fit ones own personal agenda.
I think what’s important to recognize and remember is that evolution is not moving towards a specific goal, or that our human race has some perfect manifestation of itself waiting for us to achieve sometime in the future. What evolution is is simply the adaptation of organisms to their surrounding conditions. By allowing for such negative ideas to persist within society, we push people away from each other rather than coming together as a single human race. In doing so, we only create more problems that will eventually have to be solved as well if we are to continue to survive well into the future.