Holocaust - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 6 pages of information about Holocaust.
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Science

The Nazis used English naturalist Charles Darwin's (1809–1882) biological theory of evolution to justify their program of genocide. Darwin posited the evolutionary differentiation of species as the product of "natural selection" in which only those organisms most successful in adapting themselves to a particular ecological niche survive to reproduce themselves and so shape the gene pool. This law of competition came to be known as the "survival of the fittest," meaning the survival of those most successful at adaptation.

In the nineteenth century this scientific theory was transformed into a political ideology known as "social Darwinism" by metaphorically extending Darwin's biological theory into the realm of society. In this way social phenomena such as class conflict or the conflict between nations were imagined to operate by the same laws of "natural selection." It seemed only "natural" to the Nazis to conclude that the ascendancy of the Nazi German...

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This section contains 1,720 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Holocaust Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Holocaust from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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