Malthus On
Charles Darwin reads Malthus on Population (1838)

    "I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved and unfavourable ones to be destroyed." (28 September 1838: from his Autobiography).

    Robert Malthus (1766 - 1834) in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) proposed that, whereas populations always tended to increase exponentially, resources increased only linearly. This in turn suggested a social theory that increasing resources (through improved agricultural practices, for example) would simply result in population growth, rather than a general improvement in socioeconomic conditions.

All text material © 2021 by Steven M. Carr