Homework Help

How is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution the capstone of the "Enlightenment"...

user profile pic

newspapers | Honors

Posted April 28, 2013 at 3:01 AM via web

dislike 2 like

How is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution the capstone of the "Enlightenment" conception of human beings?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

In many ways, Darwin's theory of evolution can be seen as the capstone of the "Enlightenment" conception of human beings.  It can serve as the capstone because of the way in which the theory was derived.  Darwin's theory was subjected to the strictest of interpretation in accordance to the scientific method.  Darwin tested his hypothesis with trips to the Galapagos Islands, analysis of propositions with scientific evidence, as well as reevaluation in accordance to data.  These are examples of the scientific method or process that the Enlightenment period praised.  Darwin is able to develop his theory of being in accordance to the scientific principles to which the Enlightenment pledged their allegiance.  In this, Darwin's theory can be seen as the capstone of the intellectual movement.

Another way in which Darwin's theory can be viewed as the capstone of the Enlightenment period is in the controversy it presented.  Darwin's theory sparked a gargantuan amount of debate and discussion out of its scientifically principled approach.  It is here in which Darwin's theory can be seen as a capstone of the Enlightenment movement.  Science provoked, unsettled, and challenged previously held ideals with Darwin's theory of evolution.  For the Enlightenment thinkers, this represented the essence of what science is and what it can do in terms of being able to fundamentally transform what people accept as truth and the discourse that arises as a result.  In this, Darwin's theory of evolution can be seen as a capstone of the intellectual movement.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes