The Dark Side of Darwinism

Although best known for On the Origin of Species, Darwin does not address human evolution and race until his 1871 book, The Descent of Man, in which Darwin applies his theories of natural selection to humans and introduces the idea of sexual selection. Here his white supremacism is revealed. Over the course of the book, Darwin describes Australians, Mongolians, Africans, Indians, South Americans, Polynesians, and even Eskimos as “savages:” It becomes clear that he considers every population that is not white and European to be savage.

The imaginative Mr. Darwin

The word savage is disdainful, and Darwin constantly elevates white Europeans above the savages. Darwin explains that the “highest races and the lowest savages” differ in “moral disposition … and in intellect” (36). The idea that white people are more intelligent and moral persists throughout. At one point, Darwin says that savages have “low morality,” “insufficient powers of reasoning,” and “weak power of self-command” (97). Darwin’s specific consideration of intellectual capacities is especially alarming. He begins with animals:

“No one supposes that one of the lower animals reflects whence he comes or whither he goes,—what is death or what is life, and so forth” (62). His remarks soon expand to humans. “How little can the hard-worked wife of a degraded Australian savage, who uses hardly any abstract words and cannot count above four, exert her self-consciousness, or reflect on the nature of her own existence” (62). Darwin writes that Australians are incapable of complex thought, and insinuates that they are akin to lower animals: His perspective on non-European races is incredibly prejudiced and absurd.

Modern evolutionary scholars and teachers tend to ignore or omit that component of Darwin’s theory, but it hasn’t gone completely unnoticed. For example, Rutledge Dennis examined Darwin’s role in scientific racism for The Journal of Negro Education and found that in Darwin’s world view, “talent and virtue were features to be identified solely with Europeans” (243). White supremacy is clearly embedded in The Descent of Man, regardless of Darwin’s brilliance or the accuracy of the rest of his theory.”

…Now I understand why I’ve never been asked in a biology class to read the original text of Darwin’s theories: Our contemporary reverence for Darwin’s gentlemanliness and the pure scientific brilliance of his theories is an overly optimistic illusion that shatters upon a closer look at his publications….” Read it all

Julian Huxley, UNESCO:

Man is not merely the latest dominant type produced by evolution, but its sole active agent on earth. His destiny is to be responsible for the whole future of the evolutionary process on this planet. . . This is the gist and core of Evolutionary Humanism, the new organization of ideas and potential action now emerging from the present revolution of thought, and destined, I prophesy with confidence, to become the dominant idea-system of the new phase of psychosocial evolution.”— Julian Huxley, Essays of a Humanist

Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS[1] (22 June 1887 – 14 February 1975) was an English evolutionary biologisteugenicist, and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century modern synthesis. He was secretary of the Zoological Society of London (1935–1942), the first Director of UNESCO, a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund, the president of the British Eugenics Society (1959-1962), and the first President of the British Humanist Association. — Wikipedia

C.S. Lewis on Darwinian Myth

The acorn comes from a full-grown oak. The first crude engine, the Rocket, comes, not from a still cruder engine, but from something much more perfect than itself and much more complex, the mind of a man, and a man of genius.

“The first prehistoric drawings come, not from earlier scratchings, but from the hand and brain of human beings whose hand and brain cannot be shown to have been in any way inferior to our own; and indeed it is obvious that the man who first conceived the idea of making a picture must have been a greater genius than any of the artists who have succeeded him. The embryo with which the life of each one of us began did not originate from something even more embryonic; it originated from two fully-developed human beings, our parents…” Continue