Darwin’s theory of evolution states that “every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that, if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair”. From this premise, to which there is “no exception,” there “inevitably follows” (chapter III, p53 my copy) a struggle for existence in which only the most fit will survive to procreate and pass on their genes. If Darwin’s theory is true then such a struggle would be seen in all species at all times; however, in the case of the human species, such a struggle is clearly not taking place. Contemporary human society has, by and large, developed innumerable institutions, religions, laws customs and codes and etc. all of which are specifically designed to nurture and protect those least able to protect themselves. The existences of social constructs that protect the weak are obviously incompatible with Darwin’s “inevitable” struggle for existence in which only the strong survive.
Darwin’s theory of evolution claims to be universal in its scope: applicable to all species at all times. From this follows that if it makes a statement regarding the human species, that is not true now, then it is simply not true; if the theory is not true of a single species, then it is not true of all – end of story.
Logic aside, one might respond that human beings are no longer living in a Hobbesian “state of nature” that is necessary for evolution, natural selection and survival of the fittest to play a part. However Darwin’s theory states that it is impossible for a species to ever free itself from the process of natural selection because of two inescapable tendencies to which all species are subject: the tendency of all organisms to increase to the limit that food supply allows, and the tendency to inheritable mutations. Taken together, these tendencies create what philosopher David Stowe calls in his book Darwinian Fairytales, “universal and permanent natural selection among competitors (pg, 2). Living in such a state of nature would make human procreation, let alone exponential expansion, extremely improbable due to the extended period of human gestation and subsequent rearing of vulnerable young to maturity. These prolonged periods would make any adult male more vulnerable to those who had neither women nor child to feed; said another way, the human tendency towards cooperation must have always outweighed that towards competition or the species would not have been able to make it as far as it has.