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Darwin's Impact on Geography

D. R. Stoddart
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Dec., 1966), pp. 683-698
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2561794
Page Count: 16
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Darwin's Impact on Geography
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Abstract

Four themes in Darwin's writings are significant in the development of geographical thought. 1) The idea of development through time strongly influenced the progress of geomorphology, pedology, ecology, and to some extent the social sciences; 2) Darwin's stress on the intimate relationships between organic life and habitat gave impetus to organismic interpretations of regions and states, which persisted in geography long after the decline of biological Vitalism; 3) the themes of selection and struggle were deterministically applied in both human and political geography; 4) a fourth theme in Darwin's writings, the random nature of original variations, was ignored by geographers until recently, partly because of Darwin's own equivocal position on this issue. Finally, Darwin's work so changed the nineteenth century world view that the development of geography as a science itself became possible.

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