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Darwinism’s history of racism3 min read

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Darwinists hate the common association of their pet theory with eugenics, not to mention it’s role in giving scientific validation to Nazi eugenics.  But the historical connections are unavoidable.  (BTW, the same goes for the eugenic roots of the murderous Planned Parenthood).

Take, for example, the textbook that gave rise to the infamous Scopes trial, A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (1914).  This textbook that led to allowing the teaching of evolution as science was also blatantly racist.

In the post Uncivic Biology, the Discovery Institute uncovers yet another dirty little secret in the past of Darwinian apologies.

Hovannisian observes:

George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems(1914) was the book that sparked the controversy. Condemned as heretical in 1925, today it would seem to be a manual for enlightenment’s battle against religion’s perceived mysticism. Yet if John Scopes were to teach the very same Civic Biology in a modern classroom, he would probably be put on trial again. Because buried under the dust of history is the fact that this progressive, pro-evolution text was also quite racist.

“At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These 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.”

Hovannisian notes:

Hunter was also a proponent of eugenics. “[T]he science of being well born,” his text instructed, is an imperative for sophisticated society. “When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand,” he wrote, arguing that tuberculosis, epilepsy, and even “feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity.” “If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading,” Hunter lamented in Civic Biology.“Humanity will not allow this but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race.”[emphasis mine]

You should read the entire post, and the Weekly Standard article on which it is based, A Book for No Seasons: the forgotten aspects of John Scopes’ famous biology textbook.

Of course, some will object that this does not make Darwinism racist, nor Darwinists, which I would of course agree with.  So what DOES this mean?  Mostly, it means that the logical association of Darwinistic thinking and eugenics is a lot stronger than Darwinists like to admit, and history shows that quite clearly.  This strong association should make us skeptical of Darwinism’s value as an idea, because it translates into other disciplines so poorly, or with such aweful ethical and moral implications.

And this is especially important in light of some evolutionists’ desire to expand evolution’s explanatory power to areas outside of biology, if not to all of life.