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Darwin, artificial selection, and poverty: Contemporary implications of a forgotten argument

  • Luis Sanchez (a1)

This paper argues that the processes of evolutionary selection are becoming increasingly artificial, a trend that goes against the belief in a purely natural selection process claimed by Darwin's natural selection theory. Artificial selection is mentioned by Darwin, but it was ignored by Social Darwinists, and it is all but absent in neo-Darwinian thinking. This omission results in an underestimation of probable impacts of artificial selection upon assumed evolutionary processes, and has implications for the ideological uses of Darwin's language, particularly in relation to poverty and other social inequalities. The influence of artificial selection on genotypic and phenotypic adaptations arguably represents a substantial shift in the presumed path of evolution, a shift laden with both biological and political implications.

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