Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Social Darwinism And The Favored Races Myth

Though racism can be found throughout history, Darwin was the first to give it an alleged scientific validity. The subtitle of The Origin of Species was The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin's writings about “the preservation of favored races,” and in particular the unscientific claims in his The Descent of Man, lent support to the Nazis' erroneous belief in the superiority of Aryan race, and a similar British belief about the Anglo-Saxons. In addition, Darwin's theory of natural selection spoke of a fight to the death, a “law of the jungle.” Applying it to human societies made conflict and war inevitable between races and nations. A great many prominent figures of the time, from warlike statesmen to philosophers, from politicians to scientists, adopted Darwin's theory. In The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, Professor Karl A. Schleunes of North Carolina University's history faculty describes how:
Darwin's notion of struggle for survival was quickly appropriated by the racists... such struggle, legitimized by the latest [so-called] scientific views, justified the racists' conception of superior and inferior peoples... and validated the struggle between them.37
With the claims put forward by Darwin, those who held racist views naturally imagined that they had found a scientific foundation for their views about human classes. But shortly afterwards, science revealed that in the same way that Darwin's claims had no scientific validity, a great many movements built around Darwin's ignorant views had committed an enormous error.
 With the support it received from Darwinism, the Nazis practiced racism in the most violent manner. Yet Germany was not the only place where so-called “scientific” racism reared its head. A number of racist administrators and intellectuals arose in many countries, particularly in Great Britain and America, racist laws and practices also made a rapid appearance.
Evolutionists in the 19th and early 20th centuries held almost totally racist views. Many scientists had no hesitation about openly expressing such opinions. Books and articles written at the time offer the most concrete proof. InOutcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, John S. Haller, a professor of history at Southern Illinois University, describes how all 19th-century evolutionists falsely believed in the superiority of the white race and that other races were inferior. One article in American Scientist magazine calls Haller's book:
... extremely important... documenting as it does what has long been suspected: the ingrained, firm, and almost unanimous racism of North American men of science during the 19th (and into the 20th) century... Ab initio, Afro-Americans were viewed by these intellectuals as being in certain ways unredeemably, unchangeably, irrevocably inferior.38
Another article in Science magazine made the following comment about some of Haller's claims:
What was new in the Victorian period was Darwinism... Before 1859, many scientists had questioned whether blacks were of the same species as whites. After 1859, the evolutionary schema raised additional questions, particularly whether or not Afro-Americans could survive competition with their white near-relations. The momentous answer was a resounding no. … The African was inferior because he represented the “missing link” between ape and Teuton.39
Of course, this claim is totally unfounded. That people have different skin colors or different racial or ethnic origins doesn't make them superior or inferior to anyone else. One main reason why this deception became prevalent in the 19th century was the widespread ignorance of the time, itself due to the primitive scientific conditions.
Another example of a scientist known for his racist views was Princeton University's American biologist Edwin G. Conklin who, like other racists, had no qualms about openly expressing his perverted opinions:
Comparison of any modern race with the Neanderthal or Heidelberg types show that... Negroid races more closely resemble the original stock than the white or yellow races. Every consideration should lead those who believe in the superiority of the white race to strive to preserve its purity and to establish and maintain the segregation of the races.40
William Sollas, a professor of paleontology and geology from Oxford University, set out his views in his 1911 book Ancient Hunters:
Justice belongs to the strong, and has been meted out to each race according to its strength ... It is not priority of occupation, but the power to utilize, which establishes a claim to the land. Hence it is a duty which every race owes to itself, and to the human family as well, to cultivate by every possible means its own strength: directly it falls behind in regard it pays to this duty, whether in art of science, in breeding or in organisation for self-defence, it occurs a penalty which Natural Selection, the stern but beneficent tyrant of the organic world, will assuredly exact, and that speedily, to the full.41
To say that justice belongs to the strong—a grave error—will lead to terrible social chaos. No matter what the conditions and circumstances, all people must benefit from true justice, regardless of their color, language or gender. The claim made by Darwinist racists that justice only applies to the strong in no way reflects the truth. Every individual may wish to acquire things of the highest quality and the most attractive for himself and for his society, but he is never justified in ignoring the harm he inflicts on others in doing so. To claim the opposite violates reason and good conscience.
One can encounter racist views in subsequent years also, even in the writings of evolutionists who claim not to be racist—as a natural consequence of their belief in evolution. One of these is paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson who, no matter how strongly he resents being termed a racist, claimed in an article published in Science magazine that racial differences appeared as a result of evolution, and that some races are more advanced or backward than others:
Evolution does not necessarily proceed at the same rate in different populations, so that among many groups of animals it is possible to find some species that have evolved more slowly, hence are now more primitive, as regards some particular trait or even overall. It is natural to ask—as many have asked—whether among human races there may not similarly be some that are more primitive in one way or another or in general. It is indeed possible to find single characteristics that are probably more advanced or more primitive in one race than in another.42
Despite its having no scientific basis whatsoever, Simpson's superstitious view was adopted by certain circles for ideological reasons. In defending the theory of evolution's unscientific claims in their writings, books, and speeches, other scientists of the time also supported racism. An article titled “The Evolution of Human Races,” by Henry Fairfield Osborn, president of the American Museum of Natural History and a prominent racist and evolutionist anthropologist of the early 20th century, made comparisons between races and came up with a number of deductions totally lacking any scientific evidence:
The standard of intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the speciesHomo sapiens.43
As can be seen from such statements, most 19th- and 20th-century evolutionist scientists were racists who ignored the dangers posed by their twisted views. About the destructive effects of their so-called “scientific” racism, the American scientist James Ferguson has this to say:
In 19th-century Europe the concept of race was a preoccupation for the growing human sciences... These first physical anthropologists helped to develop the concept of Aryan supremacy, which later fueled the institutional racism of Germany in the 1930s, and of South Africa today.44
In an article about the racist views of evolutionist anthropologists, the late evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould says the following:
We cannot understand much of the history of late 19th and early 20th century anthropology… unless we appreciate its obsession with the identification and ranking of races.45
Once the theory of evolution acquired an alleged scientific validity, scientists were able to speak without hesitation of such illusory concepts as “inferior” races and some races being more closely related to apes than to human beings. Despotic dictators such as Hitler recognized such claims as a golden opportunity and killed millions of people because they were “inferior,” “inadequate,” “flawed” or “sick.” One of the main reasons why almost all 19thcentury evolutionists were racists is that their intellectual forerunner, Darwin, himself held such views.
Darwin, Too, Was a Racist
The great majority of present-day evolutionists say that unlike their 19th century counterparts, they are opposed to racism, and seek to free Darwin of racist imputations. Most writings about Darwin make great efforts to give the impression that he was compassionate, well intentioned, and opposed to slavery. The fact is, however, that Darwin believed that the theory of natural selection constituted a scientific justification for racial discrimination and conflict between races. Darwin's books, some of his letters, and his private notes contain openly racist expressions. For example, in The Descent of Man, Darwin claimed that certain races, such as blacks and Aborigines, were inferior and that in due course, they would be eliminated and disappear in the struggle for survival:
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.46
In those words Darwin equated certain races with primates and predicted that “civilized races of man” would eliminate “savage races” from the face of the Earth. In other words, Darwin was foreseeing genocide, a racial ethnic cleansing to take place in the near future. Indeed, Darwin's disastrous “predictions” actually did come about, and 20th-century racists saw the theory of evolution as offering them support to perpetrate terrible slaughter. Examples include the Nazis' murder of some 40 million people during the World War II, the South African government's apartheid system affording European races immense privileges over others, racist attacks against Turks and other foreigners in Europe, racial discrimination against blacks in the USA and against the native Aborigines in Australia, and the neo-Nazi movement that from time to time raises its head in various European countries. All gained strength from the alleged scientific support provided by Darwinism. (For further details on the connection between fascism, racism and Darwinism, see Harun Yahya's Fascism: The Bloody Ideology of Darwinism, Kultur Publishing, April 2002.)
Nor were Darwin's racist statements limited to these. For example, in The Voyage of the Beagle, published before The Origin of Species, he speaks of encountering “backward” human races from Tierra del Fuego:
It was without exception the most curious & interesting spectacle I ever beheld. I would not have believed how entire the difference between savage & civilised man is. It is much greater than between a wild & domesticated animal... [I] believe if the world was searched, no lower grade of man could be found.47
This is how Darwin describes the native people of Patagonia, whom he calls “barbarian”:
Perhaps nothing is more certain to create astonishment than the first sight in his native haunt of a barbarian—of man in his lowest and most savage state. One's mind hurries back over past centuries, and then asks, could our progenitors have been men like these?—men, whose very signs and expressions are less intelligible to us than those of the domesticated animals... I do not believe it is possible to describe or paint the difference between savage and civilised man.48
In a letter to Charles Kingsley, Darwin described the Fuegian natives he saw:
I declare the thought, when I first saw in Tierra del Feugo a naked, painted, shivering, hideous savage, that my ancestors must have been somewhat similar beings, was at that time as revolting to me, nay more revolting, than my present belief that an incomparably more remote ancestor was a hairy beast. Monkeys have downright good hearts.49
All these are important indications of Darwin's racism. Disparaging certain races as much as he can, he humanizes and praises apes by referring to them as good-hearted animals. He openly maintained that “inferior” races needed to be eliminated, that this consequence of natural selection would make a major contribution to the advance of civilization, as in a letter to the scientist W. Graham in July 1881:

At the Genetic Level, There Is No Racial Difference between Human Beings

Particularly in the last ten years, the science of genetics has revealed that in biological terms, there are no differences between the races. The great majority of scientists agree on this. For instance, scientists attending the Advancement of Science Convention in Atlanta issued the following statement:
Race is a social construct derived mainly from perceptions conditioned by events of recorded history, and it has no basic biological reality.53
Research has determined that genetic differences between the races are very small, and that the races cannot be differentiated between in terms of genes. Scientists researching the subject state that typically there is a 0.2% genetic difference between any two people, even within the same group. Features that reveal racial differences such as skin color, and the shape of the eyes account only for 6% of this 0.2% variation. On the genetic level that means a 0.012% difference between races 54—so small as to be irrelevant.
These latest findings are summarized in an article by Natalie Angier, “Do Races Differ? Not Really, DNA Shows,” in the 22 August 2000 New York Times:
Scientists have long suspected that the racial categories recognized by society are not reflected on the genetic level. But the more closely researchers examine the human genome — the complement of genetic material encased in the heart of almost every cell of the body — the more most of them are convinced that the standard labels used to distinguish people by “race” have little or no biological meaning. They say that while it may seem easy to tell at a glance whether a person is Caucasian, African or Asian, the ease dissolves when one probes beneath surface characteristics and scans the genome for DNA hallmarks of “race.”55
Dr. J. Craig Venter, head of the Cilera Genomics Corp. that runs the Human Genome Project, says that “race is a social concept, not a scientific one.56 Dr. Venter and scientists from the National Institutes of Health mapped the entire human genome and concluded that there was only one single human race.
Dr. Harold P. Freeman, president of North General Hospital, NYC, sums up the results of his work on the issue of biology and race:
If you ask what percentage of your genes is reflected in your external appearance, the basis by which we talk about race, the answer seems to be in the range of 0.01 percent. This is a very, very minimal reflection of your genetic makeup.57
Another scientist to arrive at the same conclusion is Alan R. Templeton, a professor of biology from Washington University, who analyzed the DNA of members of different human populations. He observed that despite the great genetic variety among human beings, most of such variations were on the individual level. There may be some variations among populations, he states, but these are very small. Templeton summarizes his conclusions, as well as maintaining his preconceived belief in evolution, in these terms:
Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept, and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans — genetic differences... I wanted to bring some objectivity to the topic. This very objective analysis shows the outcome is not even a close call: There's nothing even like a really distinct subdivision of humanity.58
According to Templeton's conclusions, the genetic similarity between Europeans and sub-Saharan Africans, and between Europeans and the Melanesians inhabiting islands northeast of Australia is greater than that between Africans and Melanesians. However, sub-Saharan Africans and Melanesians resemble each other in many ways, sharing dark skin, hair texture, and cranial-facial features. Though these features are typically used in describing a race, these populations resemble each other very little, genetically speaking. This finding, Templeton states, shows that “racial traits” are not observed in the genes.59
In their book The History and Geography of Human Genes, population geneticists Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza arrive at the following conclusion:
Once the genes for surface traits such as coloration and stature are discounted, the human “races” are remarkably alike under the skin. The variation among individuals is much greater than the differences among groups.60
Time magazine's analysis of their book had this to say:
In fact, the diversity among individuals is so enormous that the whole concept of race becomes meaningless at the genetic level. The authors say there is “no scientific basis” for the theories touting the genetic superiority of any one population over another... Despite the difficulties, the scientists made some myth-shattering discoveries. One of them jumps right off the book's cover: a color map of world genetic variation has Africa on one end of the spectrum and Australia on the other. Because Australia's aborigines and sub-Saharan Africans share such superficial traits as skin color and body shape, they were widely assumed to be closely related. But their genes tell a different story. Of all humans, Australians are most distant from the Africans and most closely resemble their neighbors, the southeast Asians.61
37. Karl A. Schleunes, The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1970, pp. 30, 32 ; Jerry Bergman, "Eugenics and Nazi Racial Policy," p. 118.
38. Sidney M. Mintz, American Scientist, vol.60, May/June 1972, p. 387. 
39. John C. Burham, Science, vol.175, February 4, 1972, p. 506
40. Edwin G. Conklin, The Direction of Human Evolution, New York, NY: Scribner's, 1921, p. 34
41. "Evolution and Ethnicity;" http://www.ncl.ac.uk/lifelong-learning/distrib/darwin/08.htm 
42. George Gaylord Simpson, "The Biological Nature of Man," Science, vol.152 (April 22, 1966), p. 475. 
43. Henry Fairfield Osborn, "The Evolution of Human Races," Natural History, January/February 1926; 2nd pub. Natural History, vol. 89, April 1980, p. 129 
44. James Ferguson, "The Laboratory of Racism," New Scientist, vol. 103, September 27, 1984, p. 18 
45. Stephen Jay Gould, "Human Equality is a Contingent Fact of History," Natural History, vol.93, November 1984, p. 28.
46. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd ed., New York: A L. Burt Co., 1874, p. 178 
47. Matt Ridley, Nature Via Nurture, Chapter One, "The Paragon of Animals."
48. Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, edited David Amigoni, London: Wordsworth, 1997, p. 477 
49. "Evolution and Ethnicity;" http://www.ncl.ac.uk/lifelong-learning/distrib/darwin/08.htm
50. Francis Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. I, 1888. New York:D. Appleton and Company, pp. 285-286.
51. Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1977 , p. 127.
52. Thomas Huxley, Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews, New York, NY: Appleton, 1871, p. 20.
53. Robert Lee Hotz, "Race has no Basis in Biology, Researchers Say," Los Angeles Times, February 20, 1997. 
54. Ibid.
55. Natalie Angier, "Do Races Differ? Not Really, DNA Shows," New York Times, August 22, 2000. 
56. Ibid.
57. Ibid.
58. Tony Fitzpatrick, "Genetically Speaking, Race Doesn't Exist in Humans;" http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/1998-10/WUiS-GSRD-071098.php (emphasis added)
59. Ibid.
60. Sribala Subramanian, "The Story in Our Genes;" Time, January 16, 1995, p. 38. 
61. Ibid.

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