Evolutionary racism refers to a racist philosophy based on Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. It assumes that men have continually evolved, and thus some races are more evolved than others. It replaces Christian morality with the atheistic "survival of the fittest." An example of evolutionary racism is when an evolutionary racist put Ota Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo in the monkey house.
Evolution establishes a "scientific" rationale for racism by extending the "great chain of being" to humanity. Just as animal species are ordered into a hierarchy according development, so too the "races of men" are described as being more or less developed than others.
Evolutionists then extend the doctrine of survival of the fittest to humanity. Removing religious morality and replacing it with the laws of nature, they claim that just as the varieties of animals struggle to survive, so shall the varieties of man, with the strong dominating and destroying the weak.
Darwin himself was a racist and white supremacist. He predicted mass genocide from his theory, claiming:
|“||At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised 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 civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.||”|
Likewise he compared native populations to animals:
|“||The difference between a Tierra del Fuegian and a European is greater than between a Tierra del Fuegian and a beast||”|
Darwin's writings, which became very influential in the late 19th century, provided an argument for racism. Harvard University's staunch evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould stated, "Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory." Stephen Gould also admitted the following about the atheist Ernst Haeckel:
|“||Haeckel was the chief apostle of evolution in Germany.... His evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a "just" state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his brave words about objective science - all contributed to the rise of Nazism. - Stephen J. Gould, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1977, pp.77-78). ||”|
Social Darwinism and evolutionary racism allowed "human zoos" to proliferate in the late 1800s, wherein a supposed evolutionary progression of humans - from apes, to Africans, to West Europeans - were placed in a line. African and other tribal populations were routinely described as more akin to savage primates than Europeans.
Hitler and evolutionary racist genocide
For more information please see: Social effects of the theory of evolution
Darwin's evolutionary racism would have enormous impact in early 20th century, eventually leading to eugenics programs (first devised by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton) in American and Europe, and also influencing Adolf Hitler.
The staunch evolutionist Stephen Gould admitted the following:
|“||[Ernst] Haeckel was the chief apostle of evolution in Germany.... His evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a "just" state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his brave words about objective science - all contributed to the rise of Nazism. - Stephen J. Gould, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1977, pp.77-78).||”|
Robert E.D. Clark in his work Darwin: Before and After wrote concerning Hitler's evolutionary racism:
|“||The Germans were the higher race, destined for a glorious evolutionary future. For this reason it was essential that the Jews should be segregated, otherwise mixed marriages would take place. Were this to happen, all nature’s efforts 'to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being may thus be rendered futile' (Mein Kampf). ||”|
Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf:
|“||The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he, after all, is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development (Hoherentwicklung) of organic living beings would be unthinkable.||”|
Dr. Robert E.D. Clark wrote in his work Darwin, Before and After the following regarding Hitler and the theory of evolution: “Adolf Hitler’s mind was captivated by evolutionary teaching — probably since the time he was a boy. Evolutionary ideas — quite undisguised — lie at the basis of all that is worst in Mein Kampf — and in his public speeches”.
Richard Hickman in his work Biocreation concurs and wrote the following:
|“||It is perhaps no coincidence that Adolf Hitler was a firm believer in and preacher of evolutionism. Whatever the deeper, profound, complexities of his psychosis, it is certain that [the concept of struggle was important for]. . . his book, Mein Kampf clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and extermination of the weak to produce a better society. ||”|
Noted evolutionary anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith conceded the following in regards to Hitler: “The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution”.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson wrote the following regarding Hitler's racism in the November 2006 issue of Harper’s magazine:
|“|| While it is true that persecution of the Jews has a very long history in Europe, it is also true that science in the twentieth century revived and absolutized persecution by giving it a fresh rationale — Jewishness was not religious or cultural, but genetic. Therefore no appeal could be made against the brute fact of a Jewish grandparent.
[Richard] Dawkins deals with all this in one sentence. Hitler did his evil "in the name of ... an insane and unscientific eugenics theory." But eugenics is science as surely as totemism is religion. That either is in error is beside the point. Science quite appropriately acknowledges that error should be assumed, and at best it proceeds by a continuous process of criticism meant to isolate and identify error. So bad science is still science in more or less the same sense that bad religion is still religion. That both of them can do damage on a huge scale is clear. The prestige of both is a great part of the problem, and in the modern period the credibility of anything called science is enormous. As the history of eugenics proves, science at the highest levels is no reliable corrective to the influence of cultural prejudice but is in fact profoundly vulnerable to it.
There is indeed historical precedent in the Spanish Inquisition for the notion of hereditary Judaism. But the fact that the worst religious thought of the sixteenth century can be likened to the worst scientific thought of the twentieth century hardly redounds to the credit of science.
Evolutionist and new atheist Richard Dawkins stated in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question." The interviewer wrote, regarding the Hitler comment, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."
For more information see: Josef Mengele
Josef Mengele (1911 - 1979) was a German physician and researcher who perpetrated the Holocaust in the Auschwitz death camp. Mengele had obtained a Ph.D. based on the study of racial differences in the anatomy of the jaw. He was one of the greatest supporters of Nazi theories of racial superiority with questionable research claims. Dr. Josef Mengele's evolutionary thinking was in accordance with social Darwinist theories that Adolph Hitler and a number of German academics found appealing. Mengele studied under the leading proponents the "unworthy life" branch of evolutionary thought. Mengele strongly supported the murder of the physically and mentally disabled. Dr. Mengele was one of the most notorious individuals associated with Nazi death camps and the Holocaust. Dr. Mengele obtained a infamous reputation due to his experiments on twins while at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was known as the "Angel of Death."
He performed experiments on humans in the concentration camps attempting to prove that disease was the product of racial inferiority and in order to genetically engineer a new species, which was the aim of his organization, the Frankfurt based Institute of Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene. He amputated healthy limbs and performed other unusual operations on prisoners.
While the concept of "race" has since been proven by biology to be nonsense, Evolutionary Racism remains very strong amongst bigoted white supremacist groups, who continue to see race in evolutionary terms and believe in the superior advancement of western "races".
Racism remains common among evolutionists, despite attempts to hide it:
|“||Many of the early settlers of Australia considered the Australian Aborigines to be less intelligent than the ‘white man,’ because aborigines had not evolved as far as whites on the evolutionary scale. In fact, the Hobart Museum in Tasmania in 1984 listed this as one of the reasons why early white settlers killed as many aborigines as they could in that state.||”|
—Ken Ham, Evolution: The Lie (1987), p. 86.
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa's comments about black women and African history
Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics. Dr. Kanazawa publishes a blog on the Psychology Today website called The Scientific Fundamentalist.
In 2011, Dr. Kanazawa published the following inappropriate comment which was later pulled by the Psychology Today website:
|“||It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.||”|
Kanazawa has a "Savanna principle" hypothesis which speculates that societal problems are due to the human brain supposedly evolving in Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago in a very different environment from modern society.
- Richard Weikart, Hitler's Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress ISBN 978-0-230-61807-7
- Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany ISBN 9781403972019
- Social effects of the theory of evolution
- Western atheism and race
- Atheism and diversity
- Atheism and Mass Murder
- Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality
- Atheism and Uncharitableness
- Causes of Atheism
- Theory of evolution and liberalism
- The Descent of Man, chapter VI