Charles Darwin was possibly one of the most important scientists of all time. His theory of evolution changed forever the view of humans .The phrase 'survival of the fittest' , attributed to Darwin ( although he never said it), has been used to justify 'greed is good' capitalism and ,more recently, neo-liberal Market Forces competitive free market economic thinking.
Steven Johnson, in his book 'Where Good Ideas Come From', writes that Darwin realised that the true story of nature was not just one of ruthless competition. Darwin understood well the paradox of the importance of interdependence as well as competition. Johnson writes that the most creative ideas come from open environments where people share and build on each others ideas - in Darwin's day the coffee shop. Creating such fertile ideas environments is the theme of Johnson's book. Darwin developed his ideas after observing coral reefs.
Darwin's paradox - competition or collaboration.
On April 4th 1856 Darwin stood at the edge of a coral reef in the Indian Ocean. He is at the edge of an idea - exploring a hunch, still hazy and unformed, that will eventually lead to the intellectual summit of the nineteenth century - the theory of evolution.