People often wrongly connect Darwin’s doctrine of the survival of the biological fittest, including reproduction, with superiority in other spheres, such as morality, intellect, aesthetics, and spirituality. If anything, the moral to Darwin’s ethical stance is that people should have big families, wherein the children reach adulthood. What is termed Social Darwinism should probably be labeled Social Spencerism, following Herbert Spencer’s social philosophy. Darwin did not fully accept Social Darwinism or “eugenics,” which was coined by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton (See the essay on Darwinism in Leslie Stevenson, David L. Haberman and Peter Matthews Wright, Twelve Theories of Human Nature, sixth edition, 2013, pp. 251-252, 254-255, 257-258).
Further to the preceding statement about misunderstandings over Darwin, people often wrongly connect Richard Dawkins’ infamous Twitter statement about his preference for aborting a Down syndrome carrying fetus with eugenics (Dawkins’ tweet was in response to a woman pondering via Twitter what should be done if she were carrying such a fetus). Dawkins challenged the presumed connection to eugenics in this statement:
Those who thought I was advocating a eugenic policy and who therefore compared me to Hitler. That never entered my head, nor should it have. Down syndrome has almost zero heritability. That means that, although it is a congenital condition – a chromosomal abnormality that babies are born with – there is very little tendency for susceptibility to trisomy to be inherited genetically. If you were eugenically inclined, you’d be wasting your time screening for Down syndrome. You’d screen for genuinely heritable conditions where your screening would make a difference to future generations.