Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Darwin’s Cabbage Racism

Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species hasn’t always had that title. The book's full title is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For some reason, in the 6th edition of 1872 the title was changed. Deborah Drapper said, "Yes its title really is a bit too long. So why don't we call it The Preservation of Favoured Races? Don't you think it is time to give the other half of the title its turn. It might catch on really well."

Of course, Darwin’s followers don’t think he was a racist. When he was talking about "favored races," he wasn’t talking about people, but cabbages:

"Nevertheless, as our varieties certainly do occasionally revert in some of their characters to ancestral forms, it seems to me not improbable, that if we could succeed in naturalizing, or were to cultivate, during many generations, the several races, for instance, of the cabbage, in very poor soil (in which case, however, some effect would have to be attributed to the direct action of the poor soil), that they would to a large extent, or even wholly, revert to the wild aboriginal stock."

However, before faithful believers stand in line to look at the facial hair of Charles Darwin in England’s Natural History Museum, they may like to rethink about the character of the man to whom they are paying homage. Darwin also said,

"Lastly, more than one writer has asked, why have some animals had their mental powers more highly developed than others, as such development would be advantageous to all? Why have not apes acquired the intellectual powers of man? Various causes could be assigned; but as they are conjectural, and their relative probability cannot be weighed, it would be useless to give them. A definite answer to the latter question ought not to be expected, seeing that no one can solve the simpler problem why, of two races of savages, one has risen higher in the scale of civilization than the other; and this apparently implies increased brain-power.”[1]

"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 anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, 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.”[2]

Could someone explain talkorigins.org means by: "Darwin himself was far less racist than most of his contemporaries"?

[1] Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, page 181
[2] Darwin, C. R. 1871. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. Volume 1. 1st edition.