Darwin, Wallace, and Malthus
NewSouth, Incorporated, Feb 1, 2013 - 54 pages
In this volume, excerpted from Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy (NewSouth Books, 2013), Gerard Elfstrom describes the influence that the writing of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), British demographer and political economist, had on Darwin and Darwin's contemporary, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), who independently developed a theory of evolution by natural selection. Especially interesting is how Darwin and Wallace interpreted a part of Malthus's "Principles of Population" differently in the context of the origin of human morality. Elfstrom concludes with a Malthusian analysis of current and future human growth and development of a logical and morally satisfying strategy for lowering birth rates in regions of the world least able to support greater numbers of human beings.
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