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Darwin’s Influence on H.G. Wells

Using science fiction as his tool he captured the attention of most of the Western World. Wells studied at the Normal School of Science under Thomas Henry Huxley. Huxley is Darwin’s chief disciple and was called “Darwin’s Bulldog”. Wells was quoted referring to both men as ‘great men’ in that they ‘fought boldly, carefully, and simply’, and ‘spoke and wrote fearlessly and plainly, they lived modestly and decently; they were mighty intellectual liberators’ (Merriman, 2007). Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection can be seen in this book.

‘And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. ’ In this excerpt Wells described man as beings with lower intellectual capability and to conquer earth would be easy. Martians look at humans like humans look at cattle, competition to other resources and food for their consumption. Because Mars developed

earlier than Earth, Martians had earlier access to technology. This gave them the upper hand. Martians need to conquer Earth because their resources have been exhausted. The humans are easily overwhelmed thus making them candidates for existence and evolution. ‘At any rate, in all the bodies of the Martians that were examined after the war, no bacteria except those already known as terrestrial species were found. That they did not bury any of their dead, and the reckless slaughter they per-petrated, point also to an entire ignorance of the putrefactive process.

But probable as this seems, it is by no means a proven conclusion. ’ During the first days of the attack Martians had the upper hand with their advanced weaponry and technology. But since they were new to Earth they did not go through the same process humans experienced for thousands and perhaps millions of years. Man evolved from one celled organism to early sea bourn creatures then to terrestrial dwellers until beings became humans. During this evolution humans have acquired and resisted different diseases and by natural selection.

This process has made Man a somewhat super being compared to different organisms in his world. On the other hand, the Martians were susceptible to these diseases. Their fate was already sealed when they decided to invade earth. “I actually saw the Martians feeding off his just-butchered corpse. And I wondered if this was to be my fate, the fate of all human kind… to be no more than cattle bound for an alien slaughterhouse. ” The Martians plan to round-up the humans as domestic animals for consumption. This made the human’s future bleak and before the Martians started

to die it seemed like it was the start of his final selection where the humans will not overcome. Aliens from other worlds or from his own, man has continued to exist. But in another setting, more than a hundred years from 1898, humans have been existing-evolving carelessly. Diseases are emerging with no known cure. Resurgence of old vectors that are resistant to antibiotics are on the rise. If the humans continue on this path he will experience an alien invasion of his making.

Work Cited:

C. D. Merriman, (2007), Jalic Inc

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