Transhumanist Imagination

transhumanist imagination

Eve-Marie Engels


"Charles Darwin’s Critical Assessment of Contemporary Visions of Human Enhancement"


University of Tubingen



Abstract:It is often taken for granted that Charles Darwin argued the case for eugenics and Social Darwinism. At Darwin’s lifetime there were already discussions about the improvement of the human species by means of eugenics, although the term “eugenics” was coined after Darwin’s death by his second cousin Francis Galton. These discussions sometimes were connected with ideas of artificial birth control. Defenders of these ideas hoped to win Darwin’s support for their cause. But Darwin rejected his help. In my talk I will highlight some of the issues of the discussions between Darwin and the defenders of eugenics and Darwin’s reasons for keeping his distance from them.