Cultural Anthropology

Did Charles Darwin ever give credit to Thomas Malthus?
Answered by Planet Green
  • Planet Green

    Planet Green

  1. Yes, Darwin acknowledged Malthus' contribution in an autobiography written in 1876: 'In October 1838 ... I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed.'

    Interestingly, Malthus died four years before Darwin's breakthrough and 25 years before 'The Origin of Species' was published. He never saw how his ideas would propel the field of biology forward.

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