The writing of Charles Darwin focuses on the concept of natural selection and its implications on the human race. Darwin understands that allowing weaker people to pass on their genetic shortcomings will ultimately prove to be detrimental. People should have the same reproductive rights and opportunities as all other people. The writing of Karl Pearson also focuses on natural selection and its implications upon the human race. Pearson, however, believes that the weaker people of society should be forced to die off so as not to pass on their genetic malfeasance. Darwin and Pearson agree on the process of natural selection but disagree on how society should utilize the knowledge gained from understanding natural selection.
Darwin & Pearson both believe that left unchecked the human race would evolve positively by not allowing unfit people to reproduce. Darwin says, “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health.” Darwin believes that people, without the constraints of society, would allow the weaker elements of their offspring to die off without reproducing. Since people operate in a civilized society, they must tolerate the people who are weaker than they are, even if it is a detriment to society at large, “We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.”
Karl Pearson believes that the knowledge gained from understanding natural selection should be utilized to stop the human race from declining, “I want you to see selection as something which renders the inexorable law of heredity a source of progress, which produces the good through suffering, an infinitely greater good which far outbalances the very obvious pain and evil.” Pearson believes that even though it will be hard to do, society must stop allowing inferior people to reproduce.
The principle of natural selection is what Darwin and Pearson share in common. The differences between the two authors are very clear. Darwin believes that the goodness of man is more important than the preservation of his gene pool while Pearson believes it will be to societies benefit to let the unfit dye out of the human population.