Charles Darwin and all of the founding evolutionists were racists who considered people such as the Negro, the Australian aborigine, and the Asian inferior to whites.
“Although racism certainly existed before the 1850s, evolution gave white Europeans a ‘scientific’ justification to dominate the ‘less evolved’ Africans and Australian Aborigines. Australian Aborigines were actually killed and taken to London as museum specimens of the ‘missing link’ between apemen and modern humans. A pygmy by the name of Ota Benga was placed on exhibit in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo. What could justify such treatment of humans? Evolution was used to justify the display because the Africans, Aborigines, and Mongols (Asians) were arbitrarily considered inferior races to the Caucasians of Europe” (Roger Patterson, Evolution Exposed, p. 219).
In Outcasts from Evolution, John Haller documented “the ingrained, firm, and almost universal racism of North American men of science during the nineteenth (and into the twentieth) century.”
Dr. Henry Morris observed, “It was not only Darwin and Huxley, the two top evolutionists, who were racists. All of them were!” (The Long War Against God, p. 61).
Other examples are Arthur Keith, Ales Hrdlicka, E. A. Hooton, and Henry Fairfield Osborn, head of the American Museum of Natural History.
Charles Darwin’s influential book On the Origin of Species was subtitled “The preservation of favored races in the struggle for life,” and he was not referring only to animals.
In The Descent of Man, Darwin even wrote that the “inferior” “savage races” would eventually be wiped out by the superior white race as a product of the “survival of the fittest.”
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphos apes ... will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
In this quote, Darwin looked upon the negro and the Australian aborigine as just a little higher than the gorilla and he said they will be exterminated. Exterminated!
Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s greatest promoter in England, was also a racist who looked upon non-whites as inferior. He wrote,
“No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man” (Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews, 1871, p. 20).
Huxley argued that regardless of what privileges are given to the black man he will not “be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival [Caucasians], in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.”
On a voyage to New Guinea, Huxley decided that it would be good if the Aborigines were wiped out. Their “elimination ... form the earth’s surface can be viewed only with satisfaction, as the removal of a great blot from the escutcheon of our common humanity” (Adrian Desmond, Huxley, p. 144).
Ernst HaeckeL, the most influential promoter of Darwinian evolution in Germany, believed in racial superiority, considering it a natural product of evolution. Some of his charts depicted the supposed evolution of modern man from the lower “race” (dark-skinned people) to the higher (Caucasians, and especially, of course, Germans).
He divided man into two “species” -- the straight-haired and the wooly-haired. He looked upon Australian aborigines as closer to apes or even dogs in their reasoning faculties than to the “higher humans.”
Haeckel published a drawing of a tree populated by a gorilla, a orangutan, a chimpanzee, and a dark-skinned man.
In The Natural History of Creation, Haeckel featured a series of 12 drawings depicting the alleged evolution of man from the ape to Greek. There are six apes and six men. The highest ape looks much like the lowest man, who is some sort of African negro or an Australian aboriginal. The drawings are heavily doctored, in that the apes are given more human features, while the “lower” humans are given more ape-like features.
He believed that “the lower species of men” are no more valuable than apes. “The value of life of these lower wild peoples is equal to that of the anthropoid apes or stands only slightly above them” (From Darwin to Hitler, p. 109).
Haeckel argued that since evolution rewards the “fittest,” man should help evolution along by eliminating the unfit. He wrote,
“The cruel and unsparing ‘struggle for existence,’ which rages--and naturally must rage--everywhere in the biosphere, this unceasing and inexorable competition of all living creatures, is an undeniable fact; only the chosen minority of the privileges fit ones is in the condition to survive successfully this competition, while the great majority of the competitors must necessarily perish miserably” (From Darwin to Hitler, p. 80).
Haeckel “became one of Germany’s major ideologists for racism, nationalism, and imperialism” (Daniel Gasman, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism, p. xvii).
Arthur Keith, one of Britain’s top anthropologists, believed that war was necessary for “the building of stronger races” (Keith’s preface to Darwin’s Theory Applied to Mankind, p. viii).
The term “mongoloID” or ‘MONGOLISM” to describe a person with Down’s syndrome, was devised from the racist Darwinian view. Dr. John Langdon Down (1828-96) believed Haeckel’s Darwinian dogma of recapitulation, that the embryo passed through various stages of evolution, from fish to reptile to mammal to human. He considered the Asians (called by early Darwinists the Mongolian or Mongoloid “race”) to be one of the “lesser” stages of evolution on the pathway to the superior Caucasian. He thought the problem with the Down’s syndrome individual was that it had somehow gotten stuck in this process in the womb and had not evolved beyond the “mongoloid” or Asian stage.
Henry FAIRFIELD Osborn, one of the most prominent evolutionary scientists in America in the first half of the twentieth century, was a great racist. In 1926, he wrote that Negros and Asians were inferior to the white Caucasians.
“The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters, such as the teeth, the genitalia, the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence. The standard intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homo sapiens” (“The Evolution of Human Races,” Natural History, Jan.-Feb. 1926).
Osborn was prominent in the eugenics movement in America, which was dedicated to the development of “a new and improved race of men.” He was the president of the Second International Congress of Eugenics in 1921. He praised the work of racists Jon Mjøen and Hermann Lundborg for giving men “a new appreciation of the spiritual, moral and physical value of the Nordic [white] race” (Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, p. 244).
The influential Eugenics movement was Darwinian and racist to the core. Founded by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, it was built upon the idea that the white race is superior and should be kept pure from intermixture with other “races.”
In Germany the eugenics movement was called “race hygiene.” The founder, Alfred Ploetz, said that his ideas about eugenics were drawn from Darwinism. He praised Haeckel as a key influence (Richard Wiekart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 15). He wrote that “the hygiene of the entire human species coincides with that of the Aryan race ... [which] represents the civilized race par excellence; to further it is the same as furthering all of humanity” (p. 118). Ploetz’s goal was to purify the “Nordic-Germanic race” of all impurity from inferior races.
HITLER was a committed Darwinist.
Many books have documented the powerful influence of Darwinism on Hitler and his Nazi movement.
Henry Morris observes, “There is no question that evolutionism was basic in all Nazi thought, from beginning to end. Yet it is a remarkable phenomenon how few are aware of this fact today. ... above all, Hitler was an evolutionist in every fiber of his being. Nazism was an overripe fruit of the evolutionary tree” (The Long War Against God, p. 80).
Daniel Gasman says, “[Hitler] stressed and singled out the idea of biological evolution as the most forceful weapon against traditional religion, and he repeatedly condemned Christianity for its opposition to the teachings of evolution. ... For Hitler, evolution was the hallmark of modern science and culture, and he defended its veracity as tenaciously as Haeckel” (Daniel Gassman, The Scientific Origins of National Socialism, 1971, p. 168).
In Mein Kampf, Hitler expressed his Darwinian thinking. The very title, which means “my struggle,” reflects his belief in the survival or struggle of the fittest. Mein Kampf, the Bible of Hitler’s National Socialism, sold 11 million copies in 1944 alone. Hitler envisioned a war between the master Nordic or Ayran race and inferior races that would culminate in a glorious millennial empire led by the “racially pure” elite. The head of Hitler’s brutal Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler, said, “the law of nature must take its course in the survival of the fittest” (cited from Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Than Live? p. 151).
Arthur Keith, British anthropologist and co-discoverer of the Piltdown Man, defended Hitler on the ground of evolutionary philosophy. He wrote, “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” (Evolution and Ethics, 1947, p. 28).
EVOLUTIONARY ART has invariably depicted inferior humans with the features of dark-skinned people.
Though modern evolutionists are quick to distance themselves from the racism that was rampant among Darwinians in the past, if evolution is true it would give racism a scientific basis. Why would all evolved men be equal? Why wouldn’t some be more recently and more highly evolved? And if man is merely an animal and life is the product of chance with no ultimate purpose, why would racism be any more “wrong” than any other philosophy or morality?
It is only the the Bible’s doctrine of divine creation, which teaches that men are made in the image of God, that gives men real equality and refutes racism. Creation teaches us that all men and women are children of the same father, Adam, and he was not an ape!
David Cloud and his wife have spent 20 years in South Asia as church planting missionaries. Together with their co-laborers they have had the privilege of pioneering Baptist church planting there in the 1980s and they continue this ministry today. They make their home in South Asia. Read more
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