Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Spencer, Herbert

Social scientist; anticipated Darwin in an essay ‘A theory of population deduced from the general law of human fertility’ (1852) in which he first used the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. Considered by some as perhaps ‘the greatest evolutionist of them all’. Spencer embraced a form of cultural evolution similar to that held by Tylor and Morgan called unilineal cultural evolution. Author of The Principles of Biology (1863-67).

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