Posted: Sep 04, 2018 9:26 am
by Dolorosa
Hermit wrote:Yes, he did later on, and he also said it was a better expression. I stand corrected. Thanks for the links.

What remains, is that Darwin wrote exclusively in terms of natural - as opposed to social - evolution. Spencer, along with a multitude of later thinkers, made the mistake of likening the process to the latter, as does Jamest too. I think zulumoose's snippet in post #17 is apposite: "The biological concept of fitness is defined as reproductive success" In my mind it cannot be transposed in such a way that it explains human social, let alone economic developments.

No problem, glad they were of use.

As for the definition of 'fitness' or how we perceive natural selection nowadays, I think we have moved on quite significantly from how the ideas were articulated by their respective authors. Darwin knew nothing of genetics or Dawkins' memetics, so discussing the subject from his perspective seems to be only relevant when it comes to the history of the evolution subject rather than the current evolutionary theory? Would you agree with this?