[Marxism] Darwin and gradualism
markalause at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 16:09:07 MDT 2009
There's a lot to say on this subject, and email can hardly scratch the
I wrote earlier that Darwin's idea of change suited a faith in
gradualism and progress that characterized the Victorian age. The
hostility to Darwinism of the churchmen that resisted the idea of
evolution hardly belies that faith. Shane's comments well reflect the
virtual discovery of this idea of change in terms of geology. I
mentioned Chambers earlier because the ideas were also current among
naturalists--that they didn't have the evidence Darwin and Wallace
brought to bear matters little.
I did not say anything particularly about the idea of punctuated
equilibrium in any context. I don't think I got my sense of Darwin
from Gould, though I can't particularly recall where it came from.
All of this was, at the time, part of social and political thinking
across the broadest section of the term. Across the western world,
bourgeois leaders didn't war against change or the idea of change but
believed that the order emerging from the 18th century revolutions
would permit a structurally stable framework within which they could
But I want to add my two cents to Joaquin's comments in appreciation
of the ISO's casting a broad net on such questions.
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