History of Science Essay

1362 WordsAug 5, 20126 Pages
The public has reacted to scientific and technological developments with both a sense of fear and enthusiasm. Darwin’s theory of evolution was met with both fear and enthusiasm once it was finally got a reaction. The “science” of eugenics and social Darwinism were strangely met with enthusiasm from the public. Eugenics and social Darwinism were both promoted using fear. The science of energy and thermodynamics was met with enthusiasm because of the improvements it was making for industry. The application of physics to nuclear weapons promoted and caused fear. The explosion of the atomic bombs sent fear throughout the world. The human genome project was not met with much fear or enthusiasm; it tried to promote neutrality on the subject. Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection did not get a large reaction of fear or enthusiasm from the public right away. In England there was not a big reception right away because of the publication of Essays and Reviews”, a group of essays on religious thought that were challenging to the church (Ruswick, lecture 19). In America the Civil War and reconstruction was distracting Americans and in France the origin argument had been going on already with biologists like Lamark (Ruswick, lecture 19). When the theory finally does get any reception it is met with both fear and enthusiasm. Fear that it is challenging God and the story of creation and enthusiasm to use it to explain social problems of the time, for example racism. Scientists use Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection to mostly promote fear. The scientist that promoted Social Darwinism used fear of diversity to further their theories such as eugenics. Herbert Spencer coined the term “survival of the fittest” to argue for natural selection in society (Ruswick, lecture 20). There is also the fear of the “swamping of our paint pot” as stated by

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