Chapter

The Last Chapter: After Darwin

Fiona J. Stafford

in The Last of the Race

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112228
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112228.003.0012
The Last Chapter: After Darwin

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Different revolutionary ideas had already been published about the myth of the last of the race by 1859, but it was Charles Darwin who produced a theory sufficiently effective to destroy the old orthodoxies with his ‘On the Origin of Species’, which brought about the ‘death of Adam’. Darwin's law of evolution greatly inverts the traditional attitudes towards vanishing races. His subtitle ‘The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’ implies the concept of extinction of unfavoured races, which is at the core of the myth's ambiguities. Darwin's theory of evolution emphasized advancement. The vanishing of a race signifies the victory of a stronger form, while every new species indicates a higher development stage.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; Origin of Species; evolution; preservation; favoured races; Struggle for Life; extinction

Chapter.  7895 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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