News | Published:

Charity and the Struggle for Existence*

Nature volume 145, page 37 (06 January 1940) | Download Citation



TH. HUXLEY in his famous Romanes Lecture startled the University of Oxford by saying, or seeming to say, that the cosmic process as represented by the struggle for existence "works not for righteousness but against it". Apparently his contention was that the use of tooth and claw was to be contrasted with the more civilized methods of maintaining the race in being. Huxley, however, did not define the precise function to be attributed to the higher morality as a means of survival. It remains, therefore, for the anthropologist to inquire what actual evidence there is for the view that what is salvation for the brute, or even for the savage, spells damnation for a reasonable being knowing good from evil.


  1. 1.

    Head, Heart and Hands”, by R. R. Marett, p. 40. (London 1935.)

Download references

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing