Saturday, December 27, 2014

Blast against survival of the fittest

"The race starts with 'spontaneous generation,' and then it goes right on until Darwin can take us up with his 'natural selection,' and Wallace can take us up with his 'survival of the fittest,' and we go right on up forever. Beautiful! But do the fittest survive? Garfield died in September--Guiteau surviving until the following June. 'Survival of the fittest?' Ah! No. The martyrs, religious and political, dying for their principles, their bloody persecutors living on to old age. 'Survival of the fittest?' Five hundred thousand brave Northern men marching out to meet five hundred thousand brave Southern men, and dying on the battlefield for a principle. Hundreds of thousands of these men went down into the grave-trenches. We staid at home in comfortable quarters. Did they die because they were not as fit to live as we who survived? Ah! No; not the 'survival of the fittest.' Ellsworth and Nathaniel Lyon falling on the Northern side--Albert Sidney Johnston and Stonewall Jackson falling on the Southern side. Did they fall because they were not as fit to live as the soldiers and generals who came back in safety? Did that child die because it was not as fit to live as those of your family that survived? Not the 'survival of the fittest.' In all communities some of the noblest, grandest men die in youth, or in mid-life, while some of the meanest and most contemptible live on to old age. No, it is not the 'survival of the fittest.'" -- T. De Witt Talmage in Trumpet Blasts, or Mountain-top Views of Life

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