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Fig 1.7 – Survival of the Fittest

Text: Page 14

Spencer wrote that the brain is what separates humans from other forms of life. The brain integrates experiences and makes associations that are passed on during the evolutionary process. Utilizing the term that will dominate evolutionary theory, survival of the fittest, Spencer (1855) hypothesized that the more intelligent brain makes stronger associations than the weaker brain. This leads to civilized societies dominated by brighter people and uncivilized societies dominated by the less intelligent. This is symbolized by the stronger fish eating the weaker fish, through the evolutionary chain. The concept of the survival of the fittest inspired the political philosophy of social Darwinism, which would flourish in the later part of the nineteenth century.

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