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Evolution and Racism

by Rich Carey on May 4, 2010

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By Don Walker.  Reprinted in full from The Transforum.

Most people are unaware of the full title of Charles Darwin’s book that launched a revolution in Western civilization. Most textbooks record the title merely as The Origin of the Species. The “dirty little secret” is that the full title of the book is The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. (They loved long titles in those days.) The truth is that Darwin’s evolutionary theory was an argument to support the idea of white racial superiority. His book was a treatise to explain and justify the domination of the “white race” over the “non-white races” of the world.

Darwin believed that the various races were at different levels of evolutionary development, with Blacks at the bottom and Caucasians at the top.

Supporters of Darwin claim that his use of “races” was intended to refer to subspecies of animals. Is that so? It appears that Darwin concept of “subspecies ” was somewhat broader than that, and included “non-white homo sapiens.” But don’t take my word for it, let Darwin speak for himself. In his book, The Descent of Man (sequel to The Origin of the Species…) Darwin states:

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. Darwin believed that the various races were at different levels of evolutionary development, with Blacks at the bottom and Caucasians at the top. Thomas H. Huxley, nicknamed “Darwin’s Bulldog,” because of his ardent defense of Darwin said that “No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal still less the superior, of the white man.” Huxley described whites as “bigger-brained and smaller jawed.”

The biology textbook used at the so-called “Scope’s Monkey Trial” (1925) was entitled Civic Biology (1914). The author of this book was George William Hunter, who espoused the “scientific racism” of that day. He believed that humans appeared as a progressive result of the evolutionary process, with the Caucasian race being “finally, the highest type of all.”

Nazism built upon the foundation of Darwinism. Otto Ammon, a racial anthropologist, writing prior to the Second World War wrote: “Darwin must become the new religion of Germany…the racial struggle is necessary for mankind.” Hitler merely put into practice what he believed was human evolution. Darwin and Nietzche were the two philosophers studied by the National Socialists in working out the philosophy set forth in Mein Kampf. Likewise, Margret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was also of follower of Darwin. In her book the Pivot of Civilization (1922), she made it quite clear what her goal was: racial purity.

As I have pointed out previously, most people are unaware of the full title of Charles Darwin’s book that launched a revolution in Western civilization. Most textbooks record the title merely as The Origin of the Species. The full title of the book is The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

Not only must Darwinian evolution be confronted regarding its lack of scientific facts, it must also be addressed on the basis of the philosophy under girding it. Darwin developed his theory out of a racial presuppositionalism, which was prevalent in that day. Darwin reasoning out of that presuppositional framework sought to lay a scientific basis for the superiority of the white Europeans over the other peoples of the earth.

In order to understand why Darwin’s theory was so readily accepted one must be aware of the philosophy that predated it. Before evolution became popular, creation was the accepted scientific model of the universe and of humans. However, this was not a creationism rooted in the Bible. Rather, it was rooted in the Platonic concept known as the “Great Chain of Being.” This was the idea that God had created a “great chain” or “ladder” of living things, each a bit more complex than the one below it. Though this may sound like evolutionary progression, each organism was “static” in its particular slot, and did not evolve upward. Nevertheless, this concept was the “setup” for Darwin’s theory. All one had to do was change the static chain to a dynamic one, with the life forms gradually evolving upward from one to another, and you had the basic premise of evolution.

It was this concept of the “Great Chain of Being” which allowed for the endorsement of racial superiority. When the nations of Africa and the East were discovered, Europe learned of the many “savage” tribes that inhabited large portion of the earth. To the chauvinistic Europeans these people were viewed as inferior. The “savages” were fitted into the “Great Chain of Being” above the apes, but below the Europeans. There was no evolutionary significance in this; it was simply believed that God had created them inferior. Some went so far as to say that God had created them without souls, to be used by the superior races like domestic animals. This of course was used to justify slavery.

This was the worldview into which Charles Darwin was born. His racism was the racism of the 19th century. Like all men, Darwin was a “presuppositionalist.” His presuppositions lead to the conclusions he drew from his scientific investigation. As a result, Darwin’s theory caused a revolution. Most people know nothing about the racism that helped fuel that revolution in its beginning.

Don Walker is a teacher, counselor, and writer living in the Kansas City area.

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