Fall 1990 • Vol. XII No. 4 Nonfiction |

The Long View

The most incredible aspect of Darwin's Origin of the Species, from a psychological perspective, is that it does not culminate in despair and pessimism. What Darwin calls the "Struggle for Existence" is inevitable and unrelenting, leading inexorably to the replacement of one species by another as conditions change. Unlike the imagining of a Christian God who loves every hair on each human head, Darwin's nature is not concerned with the failure or suffering of individuals: As more individuals are produced than can possibly survive, there must in every case be a struggle for existence, either one individual with another of the same species, or with the individuals of distinct species, or with the physical conditions of life. (27) At no point does Darwin speculate on the possibility of nature itself as being revealed as sympathetic to human wishes and human needs. Yet, astonishingly, Darwin sees beauty in the very process of change, the absolute interdependence of creation and

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The Tears of Art

By Robert Pack

The most incredible aspect of Darwin's Origin of the Species, from a psychological perspective, is that it does not culminate in despair and pessimism. What Darwin calls the "Struggle for […]

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