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A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and others, stating that all species of organisms have developed from other species, primarily through natural selection. Also called Darwinian theory.

Dar′win·ist n.
Dar′win·is′tic adj.


(ˈdɑːwɪˌnɪzəm) or

Darwinian theory

(Biology) the theory of the origin of animal and plant species by evolution through a process of natural selection. Compare Lamarckism See also Neo-Darwinism
ˈDarwinist, ˈDarwinite n, adj
ˌDarwinˈistic adj


(ˈdɑr wəˌnɪz əm)

the Darwinian theory that species originate by descent with slight variation from parent forms through the natural selection of individuals best adapted for survival and reproduction.
Dar′win•ist, n., adj.
Dar`win•is′tic, adj.


the theory of evolution by natural selection of those species best adapted to survive the struggle for existence. — Darwinian, n., ad).
See also: Evolution
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Darwinism - a theory of organic evolution claiming that new species arise and are perpetuated by natural selectionDarwinism - a theory of organic evolution claiming that new species arise and are perpetuated by natural selection
evolutionism, theory of evolution, theory of organic evolution - (biology) a scientific theory of the origin of species of plants and animals
neo-Darwinism - a modern Darwinian theory that explains new species in terms of genetic mutations
References in classic literature ?
You have ventured to use the word `speculation' with regard to my statement upon the subject of Darwinism, and I would call your attention to the fact that such a word in such a connection is offensive to a degree.
Material gathered for the presentations support challenges to both Darwinism and Creationism, building on the works of various authors to present the latest theories about Atlantis, the pyramids, extraterrestrial influences, and more.
His Social Darwinism, with its Southern strategy of survival of the fittest, has not morphed into a Scientific Darwinism.
Kimball Chair of Arts and Letters, Department of German Languages and Literatures, University of Notre Dame) and Christian Illies (Lecturer, Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands), Darwinism & Philosophy offers an inherently fascinating series of essays by knowledgeable scholars on the significant and continuing philosophical potential of Charles Darwin's principles of evolutionary biology.
Lawrence and Survival: Darwinism in the Fiction of the Transitional Period.
The second strand drew on late 19th-century Social Darwinism, which provided the pseudo-scientific underpinnings for both Malthus and the third strand, early 20th-century American racial and ethnic paranoia.
These factors came together in the broad concept of Social Darwinism that applied the linguistic framework of Darwin's biological theories to the realm of human social relations, both to describe the world as experienced by white settlers and to justify the policies and practices of racial oppression against Australia's indigenous peoples.
Haeckel was a fascinating German scientist, philosopher, and advocate of social Darwinism who sought to reinvent science as the basis of all knowledge and best guide for human activities.
If the principles of Darwinism extend to the capital markets, then nothing less than a precedent shattering evolution is taking place in the way that borrowers and lenders are now dealing with permanent financing for multifamily real estate development projects.
Social Darwinism (Spencer, 1872) is implied in social appraisals like these because, invariably, when one person feels that he or she does not "fit in" (or must work harder in order to do so) then a social hierarchy is imposed.
Medical economic Darwinism momentarily is held in check.
It should come as no surprise that in order to teach civic values, American text- book writers have systematically sanitized, distorted, and falsified history, literature, and social studies in order to inculcate racism, nationalism, Social Darwinism, anti-intellectualism, and every manner of religious, cultural, and class-based bigotry.