Was Charles Darwin a racist? It will come as a surprise to historians of science if it’s shown that he was, since the great naturalist has recently been lauded as an abolitionist whose detestation of slavery is an under-acknowledged motivation for his scientific work. According to Henry McDonald’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian, an MLA has suggested that Darwin was a “racist”.
Excerpts Taken From “Evolution and the Origins of the Biological Race Theory” by Dr. Jerry Bergman, Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal , Vol 7(2), 1993 pp. 155-168
Darwin’s view on race, he:
‘never considered “the less civilized races” to be authentically human. For all his decent hatred of slavery, his writings reek with all kinds of contempt for “primitive” people. Racism was culturally conditioned into educated Victorians by such “scientific” parlor tricks as Morton’s measuring of brainpans with BB shot to prove that Africans and Indians had small brains, and hence, had deficient minds and intellects. Meeting the simple Indians of Tierra del Fuego,
Darwin wrote: “I could not have believed how wide was the difference between savage and civilized man; it is greater than between a wild and domesticated animal . . . Viewing such a man, one can hardly make oneself believe that they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world.” Haller, Ref. 38, p .132.
Darwinism led to racism and anti-semitism and was used to show that only “superior” nationalities and races were fit to survive. Thus, among the English-speaking peoples were to be found the champions of the “white man’s burden” an imperial mission carried out by Anglo-Saxons. … Similarly, the Russians preached the doctrine of pan-Slavism and the Germans that of pan-Germanism.
Walbank, T. Walter and Taylor, Alastair M., 1961. Civilization Past and Present, Fourth edition, Scott, Foresman and Co., New York, p.361.’
Harvard evolutionist Gould concluded that racism was so widespread at this time that Darwin’s co-author, Alfred Russel ‘Wallace was one of the few nonracists of the nineteenth century [evolutionists]. He really believed that all human groups had innately equal capacities of intellect. Wallace defended his decidedly unconventional egalitarianism with two arguments, one anatomical the other cultural. He claimed [in contrast to the claims of almost all evolutionists of his day] first of all, that the brains of “savages’? are neither much smaller nor more poorly organized than our own [and that] . . . in the brain of the lowest savages, and, as far as we know, of the prehistoric races, we have an organ . . . little inferior in size and complexity to that of the highest type.’
The racism which developed from the theory of evolution was by no means confined to Blacks. One of the leading American eugenicists, Charles Davenport, founder and director of the prestigious Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory, concluded that Black Americans were below Caucasians-but so were several other groups. Among the groups that he included were ‘the Poles, the Irish, the Italians, and . . . the Hebrews’ and even the Serbians, Greeks, Swedes, Bohemians.He attributed a wide variety of negative racial characteristics to each different group: Poles tended to be independent although self-reliant, the Italians tended to commit crimes of personal violence, the Hebrews were a mixture of slovenly Serbians and the tidy Swedes, and the Germans and Bohemians were given to ‘thriving’. He was concerned that the immigrants then flooding the United States would rapidly cause the American population to become darker in pigment, smaller in stature, and more involved in crimes of larceny, kidnapping, assault, murder, and rape
The belief that evolution normally produced racial inequities was often noted, even exemplified, in the standard biology textbooks published around 1900. The popular American high school biology textbook by Hunter, titled A Civic Biology, in the section on evolution under the subtitle ‘The Races of Man’, stated that
‘at the present time there exists upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instinct, social customs, and to an extent, in structure. ‘
The five races were then ranked from inferior to superior as follows:
‘There are the Ethiopian or Negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.’
The belief that evolution normally produced racial inequities was often noted, even exemplified, in the standard biology textbooks published around 1900. The popular American high school biology textbook by Hunter, titled A Civic Biology,69 in the section on evolution under the subtitle ‘The Races of Man’, stated that
‘at the present time there exists upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instinct, social customs, and to an extent, in structure. ” Hunter, George William, 1914. A Civic Biology, American Book Co. New York.
Darwin was also a sexist as were most Victorian men in that time era.
“The Descent of Man” PG 504 by Charles Darwin.
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, musi…c (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison.
“We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”
My point? Atheists revere this man as a god and yet he was wrong about so many things including the ” origin of the species.”