The Culture of Extinction

in From Man to Ape

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780226596167
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226596181 | DOI:
The Culture of Extinction

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This chapter examines how Darwinism led to the development of a culture of extinction in Argentina. It discusses the opinion of paleontologist and evolutionary theorist George Gaylord Simpson that though there are already descriptions of evolution without extinction or extinction without evolution before Charles Darwin, it was only after Darwin that we can see concepts of evolution and extinction working together. This chapter explains the logic of the Darwinian theory and argues that in a way Darwin “naturalized” the concept of extinction.

Keywords: extinction; Darwinism; Argentina; George Gaylord Simpson; evolution; Charles Darwin; natural selection; Darwinian theory

Chapter.  14600 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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