EL LEGADO RADICAL DE CHARLES R . DARWIN A LAS CIENCIAS SOCIALES
It contrasts Darwin's epistemological legacy with his precursors in cultural la filosofía social de la eugenesia, el racismo científico, el etnocentrismo de la teoría de la .. The Pure Society - from Darwin to Hitler. Londres, Verso Books. [ Links ]. In an article titled "The Nazi Terror," Alexander Kimel-one of the few to survive the Nazi genocide-emphasizes the link between Darwinism and Nazism and. European scientists used evolution to justify their view of Europeans as But the European association of apes with Africans has a much.
He said that the dark, ugly peoples were distinct from the white, beautiful peoples by their "sad" lack of virtue and their "terrible vices". Meiners wrote that the Negro had thick nerves and thus was not sensitive like the other races. He went as far as to say that the Negro has "no human, barely any animal, feeling". He described a story where a Negro was condemned to death by being burned alive.
Halfway through the burning, the Negro asked to smoke a pipe and smoked it like nothing was happening while he continued to be burned alive. Meiners studied the anatomy of the Negro and came to the conclusion that Negroes have bigger teeth and jaws than any other race, as Negroes are all carnivores. Meiners claimed the skull of the Negro was larger but the brain of the Negro was smaller than any other race.
Meiners claimed the Negro was the most unhealthy race on Earth because of its poor diet, mode of living and lack of morals.
He said they could not adapt to different climates, types of food, or modes of life, and that when exposed to such new conditions, they lapse into a "deadly melancholy". Meiners studied the diet of the Americans and said they fed off any kind of "foul offal".
He thought they consumed very much alcohol. He believed their skulls were so thick that the blades of Spanish swords shattered on them.
Meiners also claimed the skin of an American is thicker than that of an ox. They were able to conquer various parts of the world, they were more sensitive to heat and cold, and their delicacy is shown by the way they are selective about what they eat. Meiners claimed that Slavs are an inferior race, "less sensitive and content with eating rough food".
He described stories of Slavs allegedly eating poisonous fungi without coming to any harm. He claimed that their medical techniques were also backward: He claimed that the African Negroids have unduly strong and perverted sex drives, whilst only the white Europeans have it just right. Later thinkers Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson — was an American politician, scientist,   and slave owner. His contributions to scientific racism have been noted by many historians, scientists and scholars.
According to an article published in the McGill Journal of Medicine: They seem to require less sleep. A black, after hard labor through the day, will be induced by the slightest amusements to sit up till midnight, or later, though knowing he must be out with the first dawn of the morning. They are at least as brave, and more adventuresome. But this may perhaps proceed from a want of forethought, which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present. When present, they do not go through it with more coolness or steadiness than the whites.
They are more ardent after their female: Their griefs are transient.
Those numberless afflictions, which render it doubtful whether heaven has given life to us in mercy or in wrath, are less felt, and sooner forgotten with them. In general, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and imagination, it appears to me, that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one [black] could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.
Delighted to have discovered scientific proof for the existence of black intelligence, Jefferson wrote to Banneker: Smith claimed that Negro pigmentation was nothing more than a huge freckle that covered the whole body as a result of an oversupply of bile, which was caused by tropical climates.
Cuvier believed there were three distinct races: He rated each for the beauty or ugliness of the skull and quality of their civilizations. Cuvier wrote about Caucasians: The projection of the lower parts of the face, and the thick lips, evidently approximate it to the monkey tribe: The other two races arose by survivors' escaping in different directions after a major catastrophe hit the earth 5, years ago. He theorized that the survivors lived in complete isolation from each other and developed separately.
He argued based on craniometric and brain measurements taken by him from Europeans and black people from different parts of the world that the then-common European belief that Negroes have smaller brains, and are thus intellectually inferior, is scientifically unfounded and based merely on the prejudice of travellers and explorers. The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptiansare found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste, or race, is fairer in colour than the rest, and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahminsthe Incaand the rulers of the South Sea Islands.
The thousand faces of racism
All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention, because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers, and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want, and misery, which, in their many forms, were brought about by the climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature, and out of it all came their high civilization.
In a book which he wrote in he claimed that Negro blood had a negative influence on the Egyptian moral character. He published a monograph on Negroes in He claimed that the main feature of the Negro's skeleton is prognathismwhich he claimed was the Negro's relation to the ape. He also claimed that Negroes had very similar brains to apes and that Negroes have a shortened big toe, which is a characteristic connecting Negroes closely to apes.
Historical definitions of race a lateth-century illustration by H. Strickland Constable shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the higher "Anglo-Teutonic" The scientific classification established by Carl Linnaeus is requisite to any human racial classification scheme.
In the 19th century, unilineal evolution a. The proposal that social status is unilineal—from primitive to civilized, from agricultural to industrial—became popular among philosophers, including Friedrich HegelImmanuel Kantand Auguste Comte. The Christian Bible was interpreted to sanction slavery and from the s to the s was often used in the antebellum Southern United Statesby writers such as the Rev. Richard Furman and Thomas R. Cobbto enforce the idea that Negroes had been created inferior, and thus suited to slavery.
The extended wording on the title page, which adds by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, uses the general term " races " as an alternative for " varieties " and does not carry the modern connotation of human races. The first use in the book refers to "the several races, for instance, of the cabbage" and proceeds to a discussion of "the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants".
It may be doubted whether any character can be named, which is distinctive of a race and is constant As it is improbable that the numerous, and unimportant, points of resemblance, between the several races of man, in bodily structure and mental faculties I do not here refer to similar customs should all have been independently acquired, they must have been inherited from progenitors who had these same characters.
Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germanyclaims: Darwin clearly believed that the struggle for existence among humans would result in racial extermination. In Descent of Man he asserted, "At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races". Apart from the plain meaning of the words, they assert "there is nothing in Darwin's words to support and much in his life to contradict any claim that Darwin wanted the 'lower' or 'savage races' to be exterminated.
He was merely noting what appeared to him to be factual, based in no small part on the evidence of a European binge of imperialism and colonial conquest during his lifetime".
The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidnaand all other mammals.
But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. 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 Schaaffhausen has remarked, 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 a babooninstead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
Like most of his contemporaries, except the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallacehe did not distinguish "biological race" from "cultural race". Moreover, he noted that savage races risked extinction more from white European colonialismthan from evolutionary inadequacy. There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,—as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body, the capacity of the lungs, the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the brain.
But it would be an endless task to specify the numerous points of structural difference. The races differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation, and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual, faculties.
Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S.
America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans, who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.
He claimed that "The white race originally possessed the monopoly of beauty, intelligence and strength" and that any positive accomplishments or thinking of blacks and Asians were due to an admixture with whites. Wikimedia Commons Both these latter groups were often portrayed as being evolutionarily the closest to the original humans and therefore to apes.
The role of evolutionary thought In the early 20th century, the increasing popularity of Mendelian genetics named after Gregor Johann Mendeldid nothing to depose this way of thinking. If anything, it made things worse. It suggested that the races had become separate species, and that Africans, in particular, were far closer in evolutionary terms to the great apes than were, say, Europeans.
And yet, during the same period, there was always a stream of evolutionary science that rejected this model.
It emphasised the deep similarities between different races, and that differences in behaviour were the product of culture not biology. This left scientific racism in the hands of far-right groups who were only too willing to ignore the findings of post-war evolutionary biology in favour of its pre-war variants.
In the mids, Comte de Buffon suggested that all species of animals were descended from a small number of spontaneously-generated types. Wikimedia Commons Clearly, evolutionary thinking has had something to do with the longevity of the ape insult. But the European association of apes with Africans has a much longer cultural and scientific pedigree. Caught in the middle In the 18th century, a new way of thinking about species emerged. Previously the vast majority of Europeans believed that God had created species including manand these species were immutable.
Many believed in the unity of the human species, but some thought that God had created separate human species. In this schema, white Europeans were described as closest to the angels, while black Africans and Aborigines were closest to the apes.
Many 18th-century scientists tried to undermine the creationist model.
Why racism is not backed by science
But, in so doing, they gave more power to the ape insult. In the mids, the great French naturalist, mathematician and cosmologist Comte de Buffon Georges-Louis Leclerc, put forward the idea that all species of animal were descended from a small number of spontaneously-generated types. Feline species, for example, were supposedly descended from a single ancestral cat. As cats migrated away from their point of spontaneous generation, they degenerated into separate species under the influence of climate.