Friday, June 18, 2010

Does evolutionary biology give us a case against racism?

I don't know that Darwin's theory really provides a case against racism. Darwin himself wrote:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized 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 civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. [2]
2]  Charles Darwin, "The Descent of Man", 2nd edition, New York, A L. Burt Co., 1874, p. 178

But, on the other hand, most people in Darwin's time thought blacks were inferior, including Lincoln. And the guy who wrote "All men are created equal, and were endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," owned slaves.


Anonymous said...

Because those Caucasians are so much more civilized than, say, the Chinese? I'm thinking he didn't think this one through terribly well.

Anonymous said...

They only come up to your knees, yet they're always friendly and they're ready to please.

Owen said...

Answer: Yes

Justification: Everything follows from a contradiction.