Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Famous Racists in History: Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Still hailed as one of the greatest figures in the history of human thought. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) forever changed the way we look at nature and at ourselves. However, Darwin authored some very disturbing, irresponsible work; or put frankly, Darwin was racist.

From his own journal in Chapter One we have read where Darwin regarded the Indians of South America as little better than beasts that should be slaughtered to make way for better grazing land for cattle. [From The Nebulous Hypothesis: A Study of the Philosophicaland Historical Implications ofDarwinian Theory © 1996 James M. Foard]



Darwin said that his "general law leading to the advancement of all organic beings . . . let the strongest live and the weakest die" also applied to the various races of man, and he saw "beneficial" results coming from a race war between the different races, or what he called later on in the same chapter the "sub-species" of man, with one race surviving and one race being exterminated.

"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, as Professor Schaafhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his meanest allies will 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 a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."Charles Darwin ~ "The Descent of Man" 1871

Darwin valued European civilization and saw colonization as spreading its benefits, with the sad but inevitable effect of extermination of savage peoples who did not become civilized.


1 [Barta, Tony (2 June 2005). "Mr Darwin's shooters: on natural selection and the naturalizing of genocide". Patterns of Prejudice, Volume 39, Issue 2. Routledge. pp. 116–137.]



Chapter Seven of the Descent, On the Races of Man: On the Extinction of the Races of Man: "The partial or complete extinction of many races of man is historically known . . . Extinction follows chiefly from the competition of tribe with tribe, and race with race . . .the contest is soon settled by war, slaughter, cannibalism, slavery, and absorption . . .When civilized nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race." ~Darwin

Compare the above with 10th chapter of Hitler’s Mein Kampf: "Man must realize that a fundamental law of necessity reigns throughout the whole realm of Nature and that his existence is subject to the law of eternal struggle and strife . . .where the strong are always the masters of the weak and where those subject to such laws must obey them or be destroyed, one general law leading to the advancement of all organic beings . . . let the strongest live and the weakest die."


More problematic is the realization that Darwin, without any credit given, formulated his ideas based on a work published 1000 years earlier by an Ethiopian Islamic scholar in Iraq named Al-Jahiz. Al-Jahiz was an Arabic prose writer and author of works on Arabic literature, biology, zoology, history, early Islamic philosophy, Islamic psychology and Mu'tazili theology. Kitab al-Hyawan (The Book of Animals), written by Al Jahiz in the 9th century, states:



“Animals engage in a struggle for existence [and] for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed…Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to [their] offspring.”



(In a scientific forum it was claimed: “My history teacher in college told us that when she went herself to the British National Library, there was only one copy of al-Jahiz's work in their collection. Eager to read it for herself, she went to the shelf, but it was missing. Upon checking, she discovered that the last person to check out the book was Charles Darwin - who never returned it... It is quite possibly one of the most profound plagiarisms of history.” ) [This should be verified.]

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

Anonymous said...

Not sure. All the posts are archived on the left and indexed above that.

Anonymous said...

On the right column.

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