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Evilutionary Biologist

"When did mankind lose touch with natural selection? No matter how inferior a human's genes are, that person is protected by laws, and can't be killed. Even those incapacitated in accidents or stricken with a serious illness are needlessly kept alive. What a drawn out, wasteful existence. It's this divorce from natural selection that has caused mankind to stop evolving. It's a step down. The devolution of mankind. But I intend to accelerate the culling of genetically inferior humans. To rekindle the refining fire of natural selection!"
Hans Davis, Metal Gear Ac!d

Some evil mad scientists use their twisted intellect solely for personal gain. This particular villain is not so provincial. His genius and his motives go hand in hand, and his concerns are (he thinks) with the welfare of the human species. Simply put, to the Evilutionary Biologist, humanity is stuck in an evolutionary rut, and it's up to him to put us back on the proper path so we can continue to evolve.

Why the Evilutionary Biologist believes this is necessary varies, as do his methods. Some Evilutionary Biologists simply believe that humanity has erred in its domination of the environment, and thus our very survival as a species is threatened unless they force us to continue evolving. Others see change and so-called improvement as goals in and of themselves, and resolve to use scientific advancement to cause them. Still others seek to create a new race of biologically superior transhumans or just the Ultimate Life Form with the power of science, either because they see humans as having outlived their time on the planet or because of a genuine desire to improve the human condition. Any one of these may be a Social Darwinist or Well-Intentioned Extremist. It's not uncommon for them to practice what they preach and marry a gorgeous woman and father a Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter.

Regardless, because of his dedication, the Evilutionary Biologist is willing to break laws, engage in experimental alterations upon other human beings, and ruin lives for the higher goal. Their creations are no less exempt; whether they're Replacement Goldfish, with the Cloning Blues, or genetically "programmed" to have evil In the Blood, their "children" are doomed to live sad, short, rebellious lives, unless they really do feel parental. They will never realize that Evil Evolves, and will never be able to identify themselves as the villains.

Evilutionary Biologists often create inhuman monsters and artificial humans to serve as minions and Mooks, as well as to populate their extensive Garden of Evil. They themselves may even be willing to suffer the fruits of their experimentation, often resulting in a monstrous, inhuman new body.

Whenever an Evilutionary Biologist appears on the scene — they are the most common form of villainous biologist in many games and Speculative Fiction media — be on guard for a Science Is Bad aesop to rear its ugly head.

This is especially ironic because in real biology, one of the core precepts of the theory of evolution is that it does not "improve" a species, because there is no such thing as an ideal form for a species — only what is bestnote  at surviving and reproducing in current conditions. If the environment changes, the species must adapt all over again, which is why genetic diversity (Nature's way of "hedging her bets") is usually a good thing. Moreover, assuming that a species must evolve if subjected to imposed selection pressures (or Phlebotinum-induced mutations) overlooks the harsh fact that most organisms don't adapt in the face of such challenges: they simply go extinct, which is why we're not rubbing elbows with mammoths, sauropods and trilobites today. Deliberately applying such selective forces to humans may let us join them in extinction, not improve upon our current state. Finally, evolution is conservative, and a species which is thriving (you know, like Homo sapiens) is unlikely to evolve new traits, because it's doing fine the way it is. Sharks, for example, haven't changed much since before the first dinosaurs appeared, and they're just as successful as ever...making the entire mania of the Evilutionary Biologist suspect at best.

Examples of this trope will probably be German, and possibly one of Those Wacky Nazis, if we want to be really obvious.

Compare Designer Babies.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Blue Submarine No. 6: Emperor Scientist Dr. Zorndyke.
  • Chief Kakuzawa's "diclonius" efforts in Elfen Lied. Too bad for him that pissing off the crux of his plans (Lucy) slaps him with the Too Dumb to Live label.
  • Okay, so he's a computer scientist, not an evolutionary biologist. But Masami Eiri from Serial Experiments Lain could fit this trope nonetheless. He believed that humans had reached the pinnacle of evolution physically, and that in order to continue evolving to more perfect forms, humanity had to give up their bodies for a digital existence. To that end, he secretly put code into the latest version of the protocol that controls the Wired that would connect humans together on a subconscious level through the network. He also created Lain a physical body to aid in this effort.
  • Dr. Ulen Hibiki from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, although he hadn't really built his views around evolutionary dead-end, still wanted to advance the human race as much as possible — For Science!! So, to produce his Ultimate Coordinator, he didn't stop before using his own yet unborn (in fact, just conceived) son, Kira Yamato, as well as many others, as a guinea pig for his experiments. The fact that he eventually succeeded didn't help him, though, when he was lynched by an angry mob.
  • Astro Boy had a lot of run-ins with guys like this. His own father even became one.
  • In Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature, another Osamu Tezuka creation, Ryo's mother was one of these.
  • The Towa Organization in the Boogiepop series see it as their duty to help push humanity forward in its evolution as well as seeking out and destroying the individuals who pose a threat to that goal. Much of the conflict in the series is the direct result of their actions, including the creation of Manticore, a human eating monster cloned from an alien.
    • In the novels it seems that Towa wants to keep the "overevolved" individuals in check, and prevent the evolution of humanity in larger scale - ironically they enforce this ideology with Synthetic Humans who have very little difference to the "overevolved" individuals, except that most of them are absolutely loyal to Towa Organization.
  • Dr. Jail Scaglietti of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, the Mad Scientist behind Project F and several other Artificial Human related experiments. According to Quattro, his ultimate goal is the completion of biomanipulation technology and the creation of a space to do that. That at least several hundred thousand people would die in the process is acceptable collateral damage.
  • Grace O'Connor, the resident Mad Scientist from Macross Frontier. In Episode 24 she directly stated that her main goal is for humanity to become greater than the Protoculture.
  • Zeus from King of Thorn.
  • In Naruto it's Orochimaru's Start of Darkness: he just wants to learn all jutsu in the world, and when he realizes he can't in a normal human lifetime, he starts experimenting to put himself above all else. It's more just for his sake than for the world's, and he's using human guinea pigs left and right.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater would count: experimenting on children with black blood and reviving the kishin, thus allowing his madness to spread, in her mind means the same as allowing evolution to take over. Her older sister Arachne started off a example when she 'borrowed' the work of an Anthropomorphic Personification and combined witch and human souls to create the first Weapons. The effects have lasted centuries, with the Weapon forms even changing over time; there are several gun-type Weapons alongside the older swords or polearms.
  • Keith White of Project ARMS. He thinks that his pursuit of knowledge leaves him perfectly justified to kill, experiment on, mutate, torture, and otherwise ruin the lives of the human test subjects he works with, most of them children. By the series' end, he has taken to declaring himself God and insisting that he'll nuke the planet so he can remake it in his image. The irony is that the sentient alien meteor he was using for this plan, Azreal, only came to Earth because it was drawn to the novelty of human emotions, after spending millions of years alone in space. It helps the protagonists instead, since it doesn't want to be alone.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Seele. Next step in evolution apparently is all of humanity and an Eldritch Abomination merging together.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics is filled with these: Mister Sinister, Phaeder, Maelstrom and also possibly Apocalypse, depending on how strict a definition of biologist is used.
    • Magneto also dabbled into this a bit, with his creation of the Mutates, genetically-altered mutant Mooks created when the normal-variety mutants just weren't cutting it in his Social Darwinist army.
    • There's also the High Evolutionary (yeah) who is actually a very reasonable person, or rather would be if he stopped taking the theory of evolution and beating it into submission with a sack of rusty doorknobs in order to make his experiments work.
  • Marvel's most notable example is probably Miles Warren, aka the Jackal, an enemy of Spider-Man. He had a lot of fun cloning Peter Parkers (and Gwen Stacies). Most of the blame for the Clone Saga was his.
  • Longtime X-Men villain (and once or twice hero, depending on how whacked-out the writing was that year) the High Evolutionary. Tends to turn people into animals, or animals into people, or whatever the writer wants a guy with the word "evolution" in his name to do that month, but usually it's with the excuse of guiding evolution to the next step.
  • Dr Payne in the British comic book series Zenith created the second generation superhumans with the explicit intent that they replace humanity. They did. After a fashion.
  • Bertron, the alien who created the creature Doomsday, in the Superman comics.
  • In The DCU, there was the mad obstetrician Dr. Love who created the supervillain team Helix by experimenting on the unborn children of pregnant women under his care.
  • According to Legion of Super-Heroes, 1000 years from now Ra's Al Ghul will plot to crash the Moon into the Earth to force humanity to pre-emptively evolve to prevent it.
  • In the Chick Tracts, every single believer in evolution is like this. No exceptions.
  • Reed Richards doesn't get infected in Marvel Zombies, but infects his entire team with the zombie interdimensional bug, claiming it's the best course of evolution mankind has been presented with. Being an expendable Crapsack World, this is just the beginning...
  • The Supreme Intelligence of the Kree has committed monstrous atrocities against his own people in order to spur their evolutionary development.
  • Spartacus Hughes in The Filth, or at least he tries to be. His dabblings in this seem less like a plan to change humanity than just a particular twisted way of amusing himself.
  • IDW's Transformers output has Jhiaxus, who among other things introduced gender to Cybertron just because he could (never mind that the person he did this to went insane in the process), and Combining Mecha (which was also insane), not to mention turning an entire planet into a replica Cybertron. It's implied he did this to more than one planet. Just because he wanted to accelerate Cybertronian evolution.

     Fanfiction 

    Film 
  • Regressing humans into caveman/werewolf hybrids was the only way for humans to develop further, according to the villain of I Was a Teenage Werewolf.
  • Tyler Durden of Fight Club has the motivation, but not the methodology. He believes society and rampant consumerism are stagnating human development. Rather than combat this with mad science, however, he plans to force humanity to "evolve, and let the chips fall where they may" by crashing the global economy.
  • Jigsaw from the Saw movie franchise is not a scientist, but an engineer, which still fits the trope well: instead of participating in scientific experimentation, he uses the applied science of engineering to build his traps. In a similar variation, his concerns are social rather than biological or genetic - he is disgusted with the indolence and sloth he sees surrounding him. Without the "Will to Live", humankind faces extinction. His preferred solution is to maim and murder people in interesting ways.
  • The Man With Two Brains: Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr is in many ways one of these; as well as being not-quite-all-there and his developing God-complex, he confidently predicts a day where his research will allow "brilliant minds to live on in the bodies of dumb people" and the like. He's somewhat lacking in the evil department, though, as for all the Mad Scientist Character Development that occurs, he's a bit too decent and moral to actually kill in order to achieve his ends.
  • In the James Bond film Moonraker, Drax's scheme is to wipe out humanity with a human-specific poison pollen plant, then repopulate the Earth with the pairs of perfect supermodels he has kept out of harm's way on his space shuttle/Noah's Ark.
  • The Octopus from The Spirit is trying to find the secret to immortality and godhood. He actually created the titular hero in one of his experiments when he brought a dead cop back to life. The Octopus' Mooks are also apparently artificial creations.
  • In Kamen Rider The First, the organization Shocker's name stands for "Sacred Hegemony Of Cycle Kindred Evolutional Realm."
  • The mad scientist in the Japanese/American co-production B-movie The Manster.
  • Dr. Mirakle, the villain of Murders in the Rue Morgue. Although insane, his theory of the descent of man from ape ancestors is impressive, given that the film is set 15 years before Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.
  • The various film adaptations of H. G. Wells' The Island Of Dr Moreau, make Dr. Moreau into one of these. (The original Moreau in the book wasn't trying to improve the species (ours or otherwise), but to refine and explore the limits of his unorthodox surgical techniques.)
  • Faora, one of the villains in Man of Steel, delivers a lengthy speech to Superman about how "evolution always wins".
  • The obscure 1956 low-budget film 'The Werewolf' has two of these, who both subvert the one in I Was a Teenage Werewolf and then actually exceed his stupidity. They seize upon an innocent man lost in their remote mountain village and inject him with 'irradiated wolf's blood', causing his transformation. They don't view the werewolf as an evolutionary breakthrough, but as something to be avoided, since they feel this is the fate of a post-apocalyptic humanity, to become ravening beasts once the bombs fall (As always, viewed as inevitable in this era, both in real life and twice over in films). They turn this man into the werewolf so that they can figure out how to let 'geniuses' like themselves survive with their intellects intact. But they like so many others in this trope prove Too Dumb to Live while still managing to be the direct cause of a serious Downer Ending. The lead one was particularly Jerk Ass and really earned his mauling.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Sebastian Shaw believes that mutants are further along the evolutionary chain than ordinary humans, therefore they should inherit the earth.

    Literature 
  • The Operator in Duumvirate has devoted his life to being one of these.
  • In Oryx and Crake, Crake is the consummate Evilutionary Biologist. He designs a new, "perfected" species of human, the Children of Crake, and decides that humans must be destroyed to make room for them. This plan is pretty much entirely successful; while the superplague he creates doesn't quite kill everyone, there is absolutely no hope of human civilization ever coming back.
  • Dr. Volescu in Orson Scott Card's Enderís Game sequels featuring Bean. He genetically engineers superintelligent humans that have super-short lifespans as a side-effect.
  • Siegmund Loge in George C. Chesbro's The Beasts of Valhalla. He is a Nobelist (often a bad sign in Chesbro's work), famed for his work on a mathematical tool used to predict whether a species is too far along the road to extinction to be saved. In his unpublished, un-peer-reviewed work, he has come to the conclusion that humanity is a doomed species, and must be forced to mutate into Mix-and-Match Critters to give it a chance to try again. Experiments on human subjects who didn't volunteer, check. German background, check; bonus, in that he is a fanatical Richard Wagner fan. Looks like Santa Claus and has a great public image, and has awesome talents in attracting black budget funding from governments who don't know he's on other people's payrolls or what his agenda is.
  • The Meliorare Society in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series is a group of brilliant scientists and genetic engineers who recklessly violated proscriptions against human eugenics in order to "explore the potential of the human genome". They worked by posing as fertility specialists, among other things, with the plan to reclaim the "superior" children once they started manifesting powers and thereby prove themselves to the galaxy. Instead, several of their more grotesque failures came to light and they were outlawed and hunted down. Those not killed outright were subjected to selective mindwipe, and all of the subjects that could be found were either given mercy killings or "altered" to be as normal as possible. The last few remaining Meliorares went into hiding, carrying their dreams of vindication with them. Flinx, the main protagonist, is one of the subjects who slipped through the cracks, mainly by not manifesting his awesome Psychic Powers until much later in his life, and he has several encounters with Meliorare fugitives who attempt to "reclaim" him. This has not ended well for them.
  • Subverted in Robert A. Heinlein's first published novel, Beyond This Horizon. The world government genetically engineers everybody for maximum genetic perfection (or, at least, elimination of imperfection), except for a carefully guarded population of "control naturals," and strongly encourages particularly hopeful genetic matches, as between the hero and heroine. The subversion is that this is presented as entirely a good thing. (This society is sometimes described as a "socialist" state but bears more in common with Technocracy. Everybody gets a small annual dividend from the output of the whole global economy as if it were a corporation in which all are stockholders; control naturals get a larger dividend, enough for a livable income, in compensation for their genetic inferiority and inability to compete with the average person.)
  • In two separate SF universes created by Frank Herbert, the planets Dosadi and Salusa Secundus are both brutally inhospitable prison worlds created to force the beings left on them to adapt and become stronger. The effect seen is more of a cultural (and physical conditioning) change than evolution, though.
    • And then, also in Dune, there's the Bene Tleilax which created such things as Face Dancers that later on in the series can become "perfect mimics" by absorbing the memories of the individual they've... replaced.
  • Subverted in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. The World State engineers everyone into five castes, Alpha through Epsilon ranked by intelligence. The point is to keep everything exactly the way it is forever; technological progress is restrained for the same reason. The Savage asks World Controller Mustapha Mond, "If you can get anything you want out of those bottles, why not make everybody an Alpha-double-plus?" Mond says they once tried colonizing an island with nothing but Alphas as an experiment, but it quickly degenerated into civil war; everybody wanted to be boss and nobody wanted to do the scutwork.
  • In C. J. Cherryh's Alliance/Union 'verse, Union uses Uterine Replicators to produce Azi, who are graded by intelligence from Alpha highest down (Rho is mentioned to be the lowest class used as a production-line type). Subverted however, in that the science is handled relatively well, each class consists of multiple genetic types, and the standard practice is to include as much genetic diversity in a population as possible - indeed, one of the purposes of the Azi is to increase the genetic diversity of the space stations they populate. Your Mileage May Vary as to how evil Ariane Emory is, however.
    • In a further subversion of the idea in Brave New World, Alpha Azi are not usually leaders - they take too long to make decisions because they tend to wait for all the information to become available. Betas make better officers.
  • Dean Koontz's portrayal of Dr. Victor Frankenstein in Dean Koontz's Frankenstein.
  • In C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, Professor Weston develops interplanetary travel so humanity and their descendants (whatever they evolve into) could go out into the stars and survive throughout the cosmos. However, Weston doesn't care that this plan may involve wiping out other intelligent life. (In the second book, he abandons this goal in favor of a New Age-y philosophy he dubs "Spiritual Evolution", which has nothing to do with this trope.) The trope is taken further in the third book, where the N.I.C.E. plans to replace all organic life with a machine life.
  • The Turner Diaries by white-supremacist William Luther Pierce (writing as Andrew Macdonald) recounts a racial war that ends with the death of all Jews, nonwhites and "mongrels" — all of them, everywhere in the world. Most white people also die in the fighting and general disruption; the population of the United States is reduced to 50 million. Only those bearing "especially valuable genes" survive. This fulfills the dream of the "Great One" (Hitler) for an "all-White world." (The historical Hitler would at least have allowed the non-whites to live on as slaves.) The necessity of this appears to be based on "Cosmotheism," a belief-system that is Pierce's own invention, which is a curious mish-mash of the seemingly incompatible beliefs of racism and pantheism.
  • The only type of biologist in the employ of Manpower Inc in David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Not only they use genetic engineering to breed slaves for unscrupulous purposes, but they also utilise the experience from this practice to improve themselves, as they feel that natural evolution is too slow.
  • An ironic step-sibling of this trope forms the basis for John Wyndham's novel The Chrysalids. In a post-apocalyptic future (the apocalypse is phrased in religious terms by the characters as "The Tribulation", and implied to have been a nuclear disaster or war), a primitive, theocratic society seeks to exterminate all mutants, whether plant, animal or human. While not Social Darwinists or scientists, the members of this culture are nevertheless striving to "restore" the purity of life on Earth, in an effort to get back into God's good graces.
  • From Fingerprints, the doctor who first researched psychic abilities, Steve Mercer. He eventually came to regret his work and tried to undo it, but did not perform a Heel-Face Turn and remained a Well-Intentioned Extremist - just one with different intentions.
  • Lord Randolph Hellebore from the Young Bond novel SilverFin is obsessed with breeding the perfect soldier and is not above experimenting his brother and son in pursuit of his goal.
  • Julian May's Galactic Milieu books feature Marc Remiliard, whose goal is to accelerate the psychic development of the human race to the same level as his prochronistic mutant brother Jac a disembodied brain, he had good PR and merely told everyone he wanted to let people adopt some cool Designer Babies.
  • The Forsaken Aginor in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. It is revealed that he personally was responsible for the creation of all of the Big Bad's monstrous Mooks, having performed Mengele-esque experiments on his fellow human beings by the thousandfold.
  • Dr Peter Whitney is this in the Ghost Walkers series by Christine Feehan. He cruelly experimented on orphan girls inserting animal DNA and altering their psychic ablities. After it went wrong, he tried again with soldiers. Subverted in that Whitney is a genius and has developed many scientific breakthroughs, but he doesn't really worry about ethics or other people.
  • 'God' in Tarzan and the Lion-Man. He was an English Mad Scientist who came to Africa to conduct genetic and evolutionary experiments on gorillas. He rejuvenated himself with gorilla genes, but gradually assumed their physical characteristics.
  • A Macabre Myth of a Moth-Man has no less than three. Vincent Mordein tried to unlock the secrets of the human brain and ended up sticking a penny-sized chip in Jack Daw's head, giving him the ability to control crows. Dr. Wu performed gene-splicing on multiple subjects, including Ozzy and Moth-man. And Dante Eclipse performed experiments on the cult he heads, believing that humanity is inherently flawed and they must transcend their species to survive.
  • In Veniss Underground, Quin wants to eradicate humanity in order to pave the way for his genetically engineered meerkats to become the new dominant species.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Both the Shadows and the Vorlons in Babylon 5 attempted to force the evolutionary development of the younger races, disagreement about the best way to go about this eventually led to all out war.
  • This is the plan of Adam from the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by combining demon and human parts to create a superior race.
  • John Lumic, creator of the "parallel Earth" Cybermen in Doctor Who, sees his creations in this way. Davros, in the original series, created the Daleks for much the same reason.
    • And the Daleks themselves, who tried to create Dalek/Human hybrids to overcome their weaknesses—only for Dalek Sec to be influenced a little too much by his new human side. He, naturally, pays the price.
    • In the episode The Face of Evil, all of the characters are victims of a eugenics experiment being run by Xoanon. By and large, they bear him no hard feelings for it afterwards.
    • In Big Finish Doctor Who Rassilon, Founder of Time Lord Society, tried to prevent any races evolving that could threaten the Time Lords. He seeded other worlds to make sure life like the Time Lords would evolve and imprisoned races in other Universes which are in the dungeons of his Foundry.
  • Alpha from Dollhouse.
  • Orphan Black: Dr. Aldous Leekie. His Neolution movement is all about "self-directed evolution" and he sees no problem in creating human clones or experimenting on them to advance this goal.
  • In Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, the villains' collective name is the Jashinka - from jashin (evil) and shinka (evolution.) In other words, their name actually translates to "Evilution." However, their plan to convert humans didn't go so well, so they went the usual mass destruction route.
  • Dr. Soong in Star Trek: Enterprise was the more benign flavor of Evilutionary Biologist, who balked at his creations' evil tendencies.
    • Would that make him a Benevolutionary Biologist?
    • Soong later switches to machines, and his descendant in Star Trek: The Next Generation ends up being just a really innovative scientist.
    • Dr Phlox in "Dear Doctor", where he refuses to help the Valakians despite having a cure to the plague that's threatening to wipe out their entire species. Why would the good doctor refuse to help them, you might you ask? Because the Menk, a Neanderthal-like subspecies that lives on the planet, will apparently only reach their evolutionary breakthrough once the Valakians are dead. Despite the fact there is absolutely no proof that they will evolve or that the presence of the Valakians is hindering their development in anyway. Particularly baffling, since without the Valakians, the Menk would have died out centuries ago.
  • The Dominion, a major power on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, established its rule through this trope. Their stormtroopers are bred from birth to fight and made dependent on drugs to keep them docile. Their emissaries are programmed to believe the Founders (the head honchos) are gods. The Dominion isn't above letting loose a super-plague to punish insurgents, either.
    • Not that the Federation is above it either. However, the Federation expressly bans genetic augmentation, which is a major plot point for one of the characters who was illegally genetically modified as a child. While said character (Dr. Bashir) turned out for the better, many of his other cohorts weren't so lucky.
  • Helen Cutter in Primeval is a different kind of Evilutionary Biologist: in her own words, she wants to save the world, not humanity. She ends up going back to the Pliocene to kill hominids and prevent the human race from ever evolving.
  • On Heroes, Arthur Petrelli wants to make Super Serum generally available for this reason.
  • Michael on Stargate Atlantis eventually becomes one of these, with his plans to create a race of human-Wraith hybrids and wipe everyone else out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering's Dungeon Punk setting of Ravnica has deranged elf sorcerer/scientist Momir Vig, the leader of the Simic Combine, a whole guild of such characters.
    • In the book, there's a footnote that explains that he's the last of his specific race of elves, but that he's gone on the record was saying that it's a good thing that they aren't any others left.
    • As far as Magic goes, it was probably inevitable that Green/Blue would be the Biologist guild, since Green is the "Biology" color and Blue is the "Fuck with..." color.
    • Then there was Yawgmoth, a firm believer that strength came from conflict. And then he created a biomechanical hell named Phyrexia where Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
      • As of New Phyrexia, three of the five Phyrexian factions are this to varying degrees. Jin-Gitaxias of the Blue faction is one to the greatest extent (the name of his faction, The Progress Engine, is saying something). The leaders of the Green Vicious Swarm, Vorinclex and Glissa, are all about "encouraging" natural selection instead, via extreme predation and survival of the fittest. And the White Machine Orthodoxy wishes to either unite all beings into one (by stitching them all together!) or to transform them all into "perfect" soulless dolls. The two factions not concerned with this are the Black Seven Steel Thanes (who are too occupied trying to slit each other's throats over becoming the new Father of Machines) and the Red leader of the Quiet Furnace, Urabrask the Hidden, who just wants everybody else to leave him and his servants in peace.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has FABULOUS Bile...uh, sorry, Fabius Bile. And like most things in that universe, he is this trope turned up to eleven. His master race are superpowered versions of the existing Super Soldiers, with the difference that they're all homicidal megalomaniacs, and he's turned the population of entire planets into shambling mutants with his experiments. Oh, and did we mention that his labcoat is sewn from human skin?
    • To a greater extent, Tzeentch, the Master of Change. His entire existence is based on evolution, so his followers enjoy having random "gifts" happening at any moment (read: every moment). Which leads into...
    • An aversion by Ahriman, who turned the entire Thousand Sons legion (the ones loyal to Tzeentch) into living coffins to STOP the mutations/evolution. Needless to say, he is not well liked, even among the Thousand Sons.
      • Well, to be fair to Ahriman, he wasn't trying to turn his fellow Thousand Sons into mindless automatons with his Rubric, but rather to simply stop the mutations from which his Legion was suffering. The fact that his buddies (aside from the Legion's most powerful sorcerers) got turned into walking suits of armour was an unfortunate by-product of his spell.
  • Dr. Mara Omokage, in GURPS Bio-Tech and Transhuman Space.
  • Rifts has Dr. Desmond Bradford. He is head of the Lone Star Complex, a Pre-Rifts genetic engineering facility that experimented in intelligent mutant animals. Bradford has created a variety of mutant animal soldiers for the Coalition States, but also secretly performs experiments on humans, attempting to create powerful psychic humans. Note that even the Coalition would pale if they knew what he was up to.
  • The whole backstory of Airship Pirates (inspired by Abney Park) is thanks to a Evilutionary Biologist that confined most of humanity to fortified Victorian cities and let the rest of the world get taken over by nature.

    Videogames 
  • BioShock has two example: Yi Suchong, the scientist responsible for the mental conditioning of the Little Sisters and Jack as well as the creation of the Big Daddy. The other is Dr. Bridgette Tenebaum, who made the Little Sisters what they are and is trying to atone for her mistakes by saving them.
  • Palet from Breath of Fire III wanted to revive his dead mother, and was very willing to break the laws of nature to do so.
  • In Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Kane's primary plot is to build and launch a world-altering Tiberium missile that will spread Tiberium across the entire planet. He states that this will trigger the next step of humanity's evolution as a species.
    • This Kane we're talking about, so we now know it was actually to summon aliens in order to nick their tech.
      • This is Kane we're talking about. He may very well see that as fringe benefits or even part of the plan. Re-Genesis project and "divination", anyone?
  • Dead Space features two Mad Scientists; one relatively helpful and benign despite his insanity, and one who is more clearly villainous. The evil one is an evilutionary biologist, and more than happy to sic his nigh-invulnerable genetically engineered super monster on you.
  • The Master from Fallout 1 was very much an adherent of Evilutionary tenets in the Well-Intentioned Extremist mould (certainly, the backdrop of a post-nuclear apocalypse lent his reasoning some gravitas). The Enclave, the adversary of the sequel Fallout 2, was in fact a kind of inversion of this trope. being among the last "purebreed humans" in the world, they were planning to commit genocide of all the various mutated strains of humanity that had cropped up, effectively "turning back the clock" on evolution. It is up for discussion whether one of the optional courses of action towards the end of the game, in which the Player Character convinces one of the scientists responsible for the plan to turn the WMD they had intended to use for this upon his fellows instead, is a case of using the Evilutionary argument in a more "benign" context.
    • A Crowning Moment of Awesome for Science characters in Fallout 1 is when the Vault Dweller, after passing a skill check, points out that the Master's Super Mutants are entirely sterile and thus doomed to extinction. They're actually physically incapable of biological evolution.
    • The Old World Blues DLC of Fallout: New Vegas has the Think Tanks, with Dr. Borous in particular being responsible for the Cazadores and Nightstalkers (which he claims are as docile as they are sterile) as well as subjecting his dog Gabe to some pretty terrible experiments (though it's possible to make him feel regret for the latter). They're also responsible for a special spore that infects living people and have made lobotomized people into psychotic zombies (or Lobotomites), a process that you barely managed to survive due to the bullet in your head from the beginning of the game.
  • Professor Hojo from Final Fantasy VII was almost a textbook Evilutionary Biologist, and a thoroughly nasty piece of work.
  • He was predated however, by Final Fantasy IV's Dr Lugae, who was every bit as bad, even if he had less screentime.
  • Curien from House of the Dead is one of these, though he wasn't always. Goldman has the mentality of one of these, but he isn't a scientist, he's a Omnicidal Maniac Corrupt Corporate Executive who dabbles in science.
  • Les Enfants Terribles, anyone?
  • Metal Gear Solid 2's infamous Gainax Ending had the Colonel AI justifying the Patriots by referring to this with regards to cultural evolution, considering the Internet to be what disrupted natural selection. (Metal Gear Solid 4 would reveal that they were probably less than honest about this motivation.)
  • The key antagonists of Parasite Eve 2 are a shadowy cult who intend to counter humanity's extinction of thousands of species, by 'diversifying' humanity into filling all the ecological niches — by transforming everybody into hideous and inevitably hostile monsters. Made particularly chilling by the fact that about half of their stated plan — namely the use of Retroviral Engineering — isn't too far from being a real possibility.
    • The first game also had one of these, in the form of Dr. Klamp, who is the one who ultimately created Eve and willingly assists her in her genocidal goals because he wishes to "help humanity evolve".
  • Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil games, makers of such fine biological weapons as the T-Virus and the Nemesis.
    • Resident Evil 5 takes it to a new level with Project W. Ironically this was one of the first projects Umbrella started in the timeline. Umbrella founder Ozwell Spencer envisioned the rise of a superior breed of humans consisting of humans infused with the Progenitor Virus at a young age indoctrinated with his own Social Darwinist values and presumably his interest in biological studies. In other words, this was an Evilutionary project to manufacture more Evilutionary Biologists. Fortunately, the project was ultimately a failure since Albert Wesker was the only child to survive the virus injections all the Wesker children received.
      • Actually Alex Wesker survived too.
    • Last but not least, there's Wesker's evil plot itself from the same game as above. To put it in his own words, "Natural selection leaves the survivors STRONGER and BETTER."
  • Parodied in the Sam & Max: Freelance Police games with Stinky, an evilutionary cook, who wants to advance mankind by making really bad food that only the strongest can survive eating.
  • Abathur from StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. He's a unique zerg specimen and responsible for all the evolutions and adaptations the zerg go through.
  • Jaqueline Natla from the original Tomb Raider (but not the remake) who wanted to use Atlantis' powers to create a predator for humans, thereby giving evolution "a kick in the pants".
    "Evolution's in a rut, natural selection at an all time low. Shipping out fresh meat will incite territorial rages again, will strengthen and advance us. Even create new breeds."
  • The scientists who ran the White Orphanage in Wild ARMs 4 fit this trope. They took orphaned children and used a variety of cruel methods to attempt to mass-produce artificially evolved humans who could use the eponymous ARMs. Of all their subjects, only 19 survived the initial experiments, and only 2 were not eventually killed or turned into mutated horrors.
  • This trope forms the basis of the plot of Wing Commander IV, where the Big Bad is a Well-Intentioned Extremist that let his extremism evolve into a Nazi Germany-style pogrom, including developing a nanotech-based bioweapon that kills based on preselected genetic criteria. It kills by destroying the cells of a infected person that doesn't measure up; liquefying the flesh of the person involved. Slowly. At first it's thought that it's a plague, until the main protagonist finds out the truth behind this, and another weapon that destroys ships by somehow igniting the atmosphere within, turning spacecraft into impromptu furnaces) during a covert mission to the Big Bad's stronghold/spaceship. It doesn't exactly help that the Big Bad is a member of the same military that the protagonist is, and is actually higher in rank. The purported reason behind all this is that "humanity has gotten weak" without the perpetual warring of the first three games, and needs to be "pruned to be able to face the next adversary." Naturally, the protagonist has to stop this out of moral indignation, and the Big Bad is deliberately inciting another war through his use of this stuff.
    • The nanotech bioweapon doesn't liquify the flesh of the person involved... not directly, anyway. Instead, it alters the cells' RNA so that the person's own immune system attacks them, liquifying the flesh.
  • In Headhunter the Big Bad, unbeknownst to The Dragon, was creating a race of super-humans called Adam. He was also releasing a virus only Adam was immune to and if there were any humans left they would be quickly wiped off the face of the Earth by Adam. As I remember it there was only one creature (so no Eve) made and "he" didn't have any genitalia so how a new race was going to be built I don't know.
  • In I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Nimdok's story involves him facing the fact that he was a Nazi Scientist and Josef Mengele's partner and atoning for his actions. His experiments later come to bite him back when AM uses them (for example, a Youth Serum created via the deaths of countless Jewish children) to torture him and the other remaining humans.
  • Quite a few villains in the Mega Man X series follow the robotic version of this, trying to improve the technological advancement of their species beyond what humans made them for. Lumine and Sigma (in the MHX remake) actually mention evolution.
    • In the Mega Man ZX, both Serpent and much more notably Master Albert fit this trope to a T. In addition, it is possible that Master Thomas is an example of this trope as well.
  • The primary plot in Dragon Quest IV concerns the application of the "Secret of Evolution" to make monsters into more powerful monsters.
  • In Mass Effect, Shepard's crew can't go two weeks without tripping over some hideously immoral experiment. Usually involving Cerberus or the Reapers in some manner.
    • Sometimes BOTH
    • Mordin is a subversion. "No testing on species capable of calculus. Simple rule. Never broke it." He is, however, willing to engage in very Dirty Business - like upgrading the genophage - if he feels it will prevent future casualties. Mordin's loyalty mission involves his disillusioned student Maelon, who is willing to conduct brutal experiments to undo the damage they caused. Maelon admits that what he's doing is monstrous, but is already so disgusted with himself he feels he has nothing to lose. Despite this, Maelon's research proves vital in the third game in securing a future for the Krogn.
    • In Mass Effect 3, we finally meet Miranda's father, Henry Lawson, a man who creates offspring based on his own genetic template and then discards them when they don't live up to his expectations. After going through Sanctuary, where he lured thousands of people promising shelter, only to turn them into husks, it's clear that he's even more monstrous than Miranda said he was.
  • The Big Bad, Caulder, from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Strictly speaking, "evolution" isn't his goal, but he is a Mad Scientist whose involvement in cloning gets him pretty close to this trope. It turns out that he is actually a clone who killed the original, then made clones of himself in an attempt to sell a clone army.
  • The Riddler comes off as shades of this in Batman: Arkham Asylum, justifying his actions by pointing out that if the residents of Gotham weren't so stupid they wouldn't die in his traps.
  • In a sense, this is Mitra's motivation in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. On encountering humans, he begins experimenting on them to see what they can do without. The problem is that, since demons are made of spirit, he doesn't seem to understand that we need such things as "a functioning brain", "blood", "air", and "skin"...
  • If you bring Lucca and/or Robo to the final battle in Chrono Trigger, they reveal that Lavos has the DNA of all living creatures on Earth inside of itself. Then they work out why: Lavos caused human evolution from primitive cavemen to modern-day humanity. Why? Because it's a Planet Eater, and sentient life is more filling, particularly if it's intelligent.

    Webcomics 
  • Kim Ross of Dresden Codak has been moving closer towards this trope over time. Starting with a basis in technological transhumanism, she's been stealing memories from hapless passersby to help create an AI model to help trigger this event. She tries to allow the time-travelling AI that practically lands in her lap to develop in the present, doing the same thing more quickly, despite the current evidence that says it'll probably wipe out most of humanity in the process. Currently she's gotten her hands on a mini-version and is uploading her model into it. Oh, and she's the protagonist.
    • Though she is the protagonist, it's been highlighted that she's probably still not right in her beliefs, and that in fact they probably stem from her abandonment issues. In other words, she's the protagonist... not the hero. (So far.)
    • At the end of the arc where she encounters the time travelling AI, she has somewhat learned to not take her beliefs to the extreme of misanthrope and human inferiority the way her future self did.
      • Actually Humanity merged itself into the singularity with the exception of some religious zealots who refused to, they were rendered irrelevant to the future of humanity and this made them mad, they destroyed the world in an attempt to kill the singularity (which they falsely claimed the singularity did to kill them). The singularity was too enlightened to defend itself against them and instead self sacrificed to protect them from their own stupidity (but they still all went literally blind as it wasn't able to fully shield them). They lied to each other to maintain the belief that all the bad was actually caused by the singularity and the ascended humans not their own stupidity and then invaded the past to avoid their shattered world (via alternative dimension splitting model of time travel. This was done by sending a time traveling AI to 60 million years in the past to act as an anchor, but over that time it started to become a new singularity which Kim Ross was interacting with. The time invaders then tricked the gullible and bigoted (against singularities) superhero friends of Kim into killing the reborn singularity as it again, in its dying throes, healed the the time invaders of their physical blindness. Kim is working to recreate the singularity.
  • Parodied by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal here.
  • Also parodied in Everyday Heroes — as a Shout-Out to Marvel's High Evolutionary (mentioned above), two members of the S.A.V.E.U.S. team were created by the Somewhat-Below-Average Evolutionary.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Red Mage has been known to dabble into this field from time to time, as a parody of chocobo breeding in Final Fantasy VII.
  • Professor George Lonsdale, (the real) Big Bad of Magellan's fifth chapter ("Worst Field Trip Ever"). He truly believes that splicing animal and human DNA is the next big evolutionary. But then he's also clearly shown as experimenting on innocents (including his own son) For the Evulz as much as anything else.
  • In The Dragon Doctors Preston Chang turned himself into the Crax, a species that starts out as parasites until they grow to take control of their hosts and become amorphous blob creatures, Crax can adapt to practically anything but cold. All so that Chang could become immortal. Kili, the shaman, faces Chang in the spirit world twice, the first time when removing a Crax from a patient, his spirit is driven off and the parasite defeated. The second time he just shows up and drags her through a bunch of painful memories in an attempt to drive her to surrender her body to him, then she realized she was talking to a ghost, the Crax's hyper-fast evolution had determined that Chang's megalomanical mind was a weakness and discarded him, then evolved into harmless gut flora.

    Western Animation 
  • As well as the other ways in which he's a utterly raving Mad Scientist, Professor Farnsworth in Futurama often rants about creating, amongst other things, a "race of atomic supermen", which he once actually did in order to win a basketball game.
    • Futurama also had an episode of its The Twilight Zone parody, The Scary Door, which featured one of these. He combined the most evil genes from the world's most evil creatures to form the evilest creature of them all:
      "It turns out it's man."
  • Doctor X, of the Action Man animated series, was a textbook Evilutionary Biologist obsessed with triggering the next step in human evolution by causing all sorts of disasters in the hopes of culling unfit humans and cause beneficial mutations in the survivors.
  • The villain of Felidae turns out to be doing this, with cats.
  • Dr. Anton Sevarius of Gargoyles is a freelance geneticist specializing in clones and mutates. So long as he gets plenty of test subjects and money, he doesn't really seem to care what his creations are used for, having sold his services to almost every Big Bad in the series.
  • Dr. Paradigm from Street Sharks starts out like this, as evidenced by his monologue about how great his human test subjects will be post-transformation and sans those silly human morals. He abandons that pretty early and switches to simply taking over the town/world though.
    • This is after getting a taste of his own medicine makes him seven kinds of Ax-Crazy though.
  • X-Men: Evolution implies that Magneto is the one responsible for Nightcrawler looking like a demon, via one of his many, many experiments.
  • Legion Of Superheroes has Dr. Londo who was responsible for transforming Timber Wolf into what he is now. It's also heavily implied that he wasn't the only test subject and subtly implied that he was aware of his father's work before he was transformed.
  • Dr. Ketzer in Exo Squad was a genetic engineer who altered a group of villagers (and himself) in the Amazon to give them plant-like abilities. He also infected Nara Burns with the mutating agent as a ploy to get Marsh to do his dirty work for him.
  • Dr. Eggbert Zygote from Mighty Max. His goal is to use his evolution machine to create a perfect race of humans. In practice, he mostly just makes monsters.
  • Syrrus from Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist. His goal is to breed an army of super insects to allow him to take over the galaxy.
  • Victor Veloci from. Dino Squad, who wanted to turn regular animals into prehistoric creatures and return Earth to the rule of the dinosaurs.
  • Doctor Animo from Ben10 was obsessed with advancing the evolution of planet earth by any means necessary.


Devolution DeviceHollywood EvolutionEvolutionary Levels
Absolute XenophobeGenocide TropesFinal Solution
Escaped From The LabMedical HorrorEye Scream
Designer BabiesCreation TropesFertile Blood
Absolute XenophobeSliding Scale of Antagonist VilenessThe Social Darwinist
Escaped From The LabMake My Index Live!Gadgeteer Genius
Emergency TransformationTranshumanGenetic Engineering is the New Nuke
Don't Think. FeelRomanticism Versus EnlightenmentFeudal Future
Eviler Than ThouVillainsEvil Is Cool
Evil UncleAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Evil Versus Evil
Evil Me Scares MeSpeculative Fiction TropesEvil Weapon
Everyone Looks Sexier If FrenchJust for PunExtra Ore Dinary
E.T. Gave Us Wi-FiImageSource/OtherFive-Token Band
Emperor ScientistTropes on Science and UnscienceHorny Scientist

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