Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Malthus , Darwin and Christ

The New Republic examining Evolution's radical new theories has a quote by Darwin:

"In October 1838, Darwin read An Essay on the Principle of Population by the clergyman and former professor of political economy Thomas Malthus. The idea that population increases geometrically while food supply increases arithmetically was meant by Malthus to prove that starvation, wars, death, and suffering were never the consequence of the defects of one political system or another, but rather the necessary results of a natural law. A Whig and a supporter of Poor Law action to ameliorate the condition of the destitute, Darwin was not sympathetic to Malthus's reactionary politics, but applying the clergyman's law to nature was a different thing. In his autobiography, Darwin recalled his immediate realization that given the struggle for existence everywhere, 'favorable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavorable ones to be destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory'--the principle of natural selection--'by which to work.'

I decided to read about Malthus and his Malthusian Growth theories. His conclusions seem to me to draw from a flawed scientific model coupled with a very poor reading of scripture.

You can take a read at both sets of links for an intresting set of reading.

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