By Steve Casey
While Americans were fighting the Civil War, a new breed of racism was being born in Europe. Those were the beginning years of ‘biological racism,’ which took Europe and America by storm after the publication of Charles Darwin’s two books, The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871). The full title of The Origin of Species was The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. The followers of Darwin quickly caught on to the ‘Favored Races’ part of his work. In fact, it has been noted that Darwin never considered the ‘less civilized races’ to be authentically human.
When the 19th Century scientists became convinced of evolution, they also became convinced of racial supremacy. They were certain that the white race was superior to other races and that the proof of this was found in Darwin’s theory. Racial supremacy rose to the pinnacle of ‘truth’ supported by the myth of ‘scientific certainty.’
Thomas Huxley was the man primarily responsible for the acceptance of evolution in the 19th Century. He wrote, "No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal…of the white man." Like Darwin, he felt that the Caucasian race held the highest point on the evolutionary scale.
This concept found its way into early 20th Century textbooks such as George Hunter’s A Civic Biology, which was widely used in American schools until 1930 and was the textbook involved in the famous Scopes Trial. In the section entitled ‘The Races of Mankind’ this text states the order of the races from the lowest to the highest as follows:
"There are the Ethiopian or Negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America."
One of the followers of Darwin and Huxley was Ernest Haeckel of Germany. He became ‘the great ancestor’ of the Nazi movement. Hitler used Haeckel’s evolutionary arguments to justify racial genocide of Jews, blacks and other ‘inferior’ races. Hitler sincerely believed that he would help evolution form the superior race.
While recently studying Darwin’s The Descent of Man, I was surprised by three elements of the book: 1. The many times he referred to lower races of man that he had observed; 2. The fact that not only was his theory racist, it was also sexist–contending that man has evolved superior to woman (chapter 19) and; 3. How little of the book was actual scientific observation. As I read through its pages, I found the book was part scientific observation, part sociology, part philosophy and a whole lot of speculation. It certainly did not fit the standards of the modern ‘scientific method.’
Modern school textbooks have eliminated the racial portions of the evolutionary concept. But, those who can think for themselves will certainly see the implications of this pseudo-scientific theory. If evolution is fact, then it is a scientific impossibility for all races to have evolved equally.
The Declaration of Independence declares the basis of the American belief in equality by stating, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…". If we eliminate the word ‘created’, we eliminate the basis for equality. To say "all men are evolved equal" is to state a scientific impossibility.
If one were to use the theory of evolution to try to answer the question of why there are three major races of human beings, one would have to conclude that the races are at different stages of evolution. To say that we are at different stages of evolution is to say that one group has advanced superior to the others.
I am not an evolutionist. I am a Caucasian creationist who believes that my Black and Asian brothers are my equals because we were created equal. If we were created, we are equal. If we evolved, equality is only a myth.
-Steve Casey is based in Stonewall, LA.