Introducing Darwinism and Its Lifespan in Literature

You have probably heard of the name Charles Darwin or the word Darwinism at some point in your life. Here is how it has influenced literature!

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Charles Darwin was an expert in natural history, geology, and biology. His influence transcends science, his postulation about evolution is not only accepted as a rudimentary notion in science, but it seeps its way into our everyday life and how we use Darwinism in memes and literature.

Darwin was most notable for his take on evolution. Here are two that talk about natural selection and the origin of species where we all share a common ancestor. Here is where I believe Darwin strayed from his usual writings and findings about nature to touchy territories. This was the start of making a substantial change in the trajectory of our belief systems.

Darwin’s literature

The Origin of Species

the book cover of The Origin of Species with a bird, a wild cat, and a whale

Perhaps the book Darwin is recognized for and where the Darwinism influence started. It reads as a hopeful discourse on the relationship between animals and plants and how they rely on each other to keep biodiversity. His style of interconnecting his research with literature is felt in every passage of text.

The Descent of Man (Great Minds Series)

the book cover of The Descent of Man-- darwinism

The Descent of Man is a fine read and one which not only went more in-depth on evolution but challenged religious beliefs and the status quo, sparking controversy and ire from many people. But Darwin was a trailblazer and a scientist. Not afraid to stick to his truth, Likening humans to apes and trivializing humanity down to animals was a surefire way to do that!

Meme Culture

Darwinism is usually associated with the foolishness of humans and the consequences of our actions. A strong example I can recall that happened some time ago was the Tide Pod Challenge. People would swallow tide pods online for online cred, which started ridiculous trends. Naturally, this had other people making fun of similar stupidity online, giving birth to other meme formats such as Jojo’s To Be Continued and the Dancing Pallbearers.

As consumers of social media and memes, these things would pop into our heads when we think of Darwinism. The Darwinism we all know through meme culture comes from its actual meaning: natural selection. Humans who are likely to partake in a risky lifestyle or are unable to recognize the toxic label on a cleaning product will naturally eliminate themselves and allow other humans to continue the chain of life, increasing the chance for humanity to continue surviving.

Darwin’s influence

Writers use the idea of evolution in lore building for more complex world designs(magic, sci-fi, and anything in between!) And not only in technical terms, but Darwinism brings out the romanticism in writers.

Evolution is a powerful term. Connoting sex(reproduction), competition with other species(or humans), and the struggle between life and death(making sure your genes pass on). Evolution evokes an unbridled flame of passion for life among people. It truly is an easy topic to tug at the heartstrings.

As a man of science, Darwin influenced an innumerable number of writers. Those who keep science in mind in the construction of stories. Darwinism also gave rise to literary naturalism. There was an upswing of scientific objectivity and social commentary in literature. One of the more prominent writers influenced by Darwinism is Richard Dawkins.

The God Delusion

The book cover of The God Delusion

The God Delusion digs deep into the more religious side of Darwinism. Fellow compatriot and scientist: Dawkins condemns the effects religion has given rise to negatively from centuries back to modern times. Dawkins explores the different versions of God and criticizes them all.

He places down all the points for religion and the different versions of the monotheistic God across the table and destroys them one by one, baring down all the evidence of misfortune it has caused through human history and bespeaks the absence of the almighty one.

The Selfish Gene

The book cover of The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene is critically acclaimed. An instant hit when it first got published, with a unique and fascinating story-telling from the perspective of a gene. This book is an exemplar of excellent science literature. And a quality pick, even if you are not into the genre.

Gone were the days of books about God working his magic on Earth. Charles Darwin brought about a new age with science and facts.

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