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."
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 genocide
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, while influencing Adolph Hitler, who wrote:
|“||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”||”|
|“||If nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such cases all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile. ||”|
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".
- The Descent of Man, chapter VI
- Bergman, Jerry. "Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust" Creationontheweb.com
- Muehlenberg, Bill. "A Church Apology to Darwin?" BillMuehlenberg.com.