My typical reaction to people criticizing Darwin as being connected to Social Darwinism is to become extremely irritated with them. "The two are totally unrelated!" I scream in my head, as I become frustrated at yet another anti-science beachhead being formed. It was with this framework in mind that I listened to the 18 min. RadioLab podcase linked below which is an interview with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who defends Darwinism and attack social Darwinism.
After listening to the podcast I actually started to wonder if the theories are not more connected than I had thought. I had thought that there are many holes in the general notion of social darwinism--which I would explain as the proposition that if you practice charity, you are assisting an organism that has characterists adversely adapted to our environment survive and propogate, and thereby allowing adverse "mutation" in society to persist. One of the core problems with it is that it focuses on society and not individuals. I value individual humans.
But then this thought came to me: Does the purposeless world that evolution via natural selection suggests, make it less rational to value individual humans? Is this another way real Darwinism is connected to Social Darwinism?