Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sohail, Khalid. "Charles Darwin and the Evolution of the Human Mind." SECULAR WEB (N.D.).

Charles Darwin, a great biologist and philosopher, offered a scientific and secular explanation of the process of human evolution and challenged the traditional religious beliefs of his time. His ideas were so provocative that they were either completely rejected or seriously challenged by the clergy, the traditional organizations, and the conservative institutions of the nineteenth century. While Darwin's admirers and followers got involved in bitter public debates with the representatives of the church, Darwin quietly did his scientific work and continued to light the candles of science and reason in the dark alleys of blind faith. In the last couple of centuries there has been an increasing awareness of his biological theories but still his psychological and sociological theories about human evolution have remained relatively unnoticed. Maybe that is why his book The Origin of Species, that focused on the biological dimension of evolution, is discussed far more than his book The Descent of Man. The latter book, published in 1881, the year before his death, discussed his psychosocial theories of evolution. As a student of human psychology and a practicing psychotherapist, I am amazed at the insights Darwin had about the evolution of the human mind. He wanted to show that the human brain, like the human body, had also evolved from the lower animals, and that the observations of animal behavior can help us understand the similarities and differences between human and animal minds, especially those of mammals. While comparing humans to animals Darwin shared his observation that "the embryo of man closely resembles that of other mammals" (Descent, p. 9) that is why when we compare the human body with the bodies of animals we see striking similarities. . . . Read the rest here:

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