Under the sign of Darwin? On the bad usage of a chimera

In 2003 Francisco de Oliveira published an article entitled "The Platypus" in which he makes some critical statements on the political conjecture of that historical moment. This article is full filled by a parallel between Darwinian evolutionism and the vision of the author on the contemporary Brazilian society. In doing such analogy, he incurred in a series of theoretical errors about the evolutionary theory. Those errors consist greatly in an inappropriate substitution between what has been known as "Social Darwinism" and the neo-Darwinist theory as comprehended by their own proponents. The present work identifies those errors and contextualize them into the neo-Darwinian theory. Besides, we show a historical portrait of the formation process of the evolutionary thinking in order to emphasize that the association between biology and social Darwinism is much more complex than it has usually been assumed.

Darwinism; Social Darwinism; Natural selection; Progress; Evolution

Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais - ANPOCS Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 315 - sala 116, 05508-900 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel.: +55 11 3091-4664, Fax: +55 11 3091-5043 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: anpocs@anpocs.org.br