Darwin and the Races of Man

Darwin and the Races of Man

Many have written about the early evolutionist, Charles Darwin, critiquing his scientific work on the origin of species and natural selection. In this book, we will examine the fruit of his teaching. Did Darwin’s teaching give rise to a philosophy of good will towards one’s fellow man? Or was the foundation of Darwin’s teaching a mixture of science and racism? There are many who will be offended at an book like this and that is because we are going to take a look at another face of Darwinism. This is a face that many have tried to conceal. Nevertheless, history itself reveals to us a disturbing picture of social Darwinism which is rooted in racism, and has fed racism, even to the extreme of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

In 1859, Darwin published his famous book “On The Origin Of Species.” Although not all of his ideas were original, the publishing of this book really represents the launching of the theory of evolution. Although this is well-known, most people are unaware that the full title of Darwin’s book was “On The Origin Of Species : The Preservation Of Favored Races And The Struggle For Life.” The “Origin” book didn’t particularly deal with human life but, instead, theorized about the process of evolution on its widest biological scale. However, in 1871, Darwin printed another book, titled “The Descent Of Man,” in which he applied his theories to human life. Through this book, Darwin spread the idea of there being different races of people. These races included primitive and lower races as well as advanced and higher races. 1 Because of this, the late Harvard University professor, Stephen J. Gould, said; “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” 2

It would be hard to overstate the degree of frenzy that Darwin’s material stirred up within the scientific community. However, this evolutionary theory did not simply stay in the scientific arena. It received great attention from social commentators and political leaders. It came to be believed that Black people evolved from less intelligent gorillas, while orientals evolved from a species of orangutans and caucasians came from chimpanzees, allegedly the most intelligent of all primates. 3 A world-wide effort was launched to study and gather supposed “missing link” specimens. Different countries were eager to prove that their race of humanity evolved before other races. Germans boasted the “Neanderthal” fossils while the British made a similar boast with “Piltdown Man.” 4 There is documented evidence that the remains of possibly 10,000 Australian aborigines, another people group which were considered primitive, were taken to museums in England for research to try to substantiate missing- links evidence. The United States was also deeply involved in this same pursuit. In fact, the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, has the remains of over 15,000 individuals. Where did these remains come from? They were obtained by widespread grave-robbing practices, as well as by actual hunting of aboriginal people. An 1866 memoir from Korah Wills, a mayor in Queensland, Australia, tells of how he hunted and killed tribesmen for the purpose of gathering specimens. Museums were not only interested in bones but, in some cases, in fresh skins which were stuffed and made into evolutionary displays. 5

Because Darwin suggested that the evolution of humans resulted from the enlargement of the human brain, the skulls of some supposedly primitive specimens were studied and compared. It came as a shock to anthropologists that the brain of statesmen, Daniel Webster, was smaller than that of one of these specimens. 6

Evolutionary theory flourished in America. What was the early fruit of evolutionary theory in America? Evolutionary theory quickly found its way into school textbooks and with it came the belief that there were multiple races of man. In 1925, a school biology textbook titled, “A Civic Biology Presented In Problems,” taught children the following:

The Races of Man. At the present time there exist upon the earth five races … the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America. 7

From this, we see both the root and the fruit of Darwinian evolution in the American educational system.

Perhaps one of the saddest stories in the progression of evolutionary theory is that of Ota Benga. He was born in 1881 in Central Africa and lived as a hunter of animals. Ethnically he was a pygmy, a husband and a father of two. One day, after returning to his village from a successful elephant hunt, he discovered that his wife, children and friends had been murdered and mutilated by representatives of the Belgian government. He was later captured and sold into slavery. In 1904, he was brought to the United States by Samuel Verner. Being a pygmy, his physical features made him unique and of interest to Westerners. Ota was 4″11″ tall and weighed 103 pounds. He was often referred to as “the boy” even though he had been a husband and father. His intelligence levels were studied and compared to defective caucasians in society. As well, how he responded to pain was studied. 8 The Scientific American of July 23, 1904, printed this report on pygmies:

They are small, ape-like, elfish creatures … they live in absolute savagery, and while they exhibit many ape-like features in their bodies, they possess a certain alertness which appears to make them more intelligent than other Negroes … the existence of the pygmies is of the rudest; they do not practice agriculture, and keep no domestic animals. They live by means of hunting and snaring, eking this out by means of thieving from the big Negroes, on the outskirts of whose tribes they usually establish their little colonies, though they are as unstable as water, and range far and wide through the forests. They have seemingly become acquainted with metal only through contact with superior beings. 9

In the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, Ota was put on display as an “emblematic savage.” The exhibit was set up to display the stages of evolution, with the darkest Blacks set apart from the caucasians. The crowds came, some to take pictures and others to prod and harass Ota. He was grabbed and pushed by many bullies who came to see the exhibit.

The exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair was not the only display that Ota was forced to participate in. Dr. Hornady, the director of the Bronx Zoological Gardens (New York), decided to put Ota on display in a cage that he shared with park apes. This display ran for days and was hugely popular. On September 16, 1906, as many as 40,000 people came to the zoo. Because crowds had been so rough with Ota, a police officer was assigned to guard him and protect him from all of the manhandling that he was being subjected to.10

While many were relishing the abuse of Ota, one group of Black Christian ministers spoke out in his defence. The New York Times of September 10, 1906, printed Reverend Gordon’s comments; “Our race … is depressed enough without exhibiting one of us with the apes.” 11 However, on September 12, the Times printed this response; “The reverend colored brother should be told that evolution … is now taught in the textbooks of all the schools, and that it is no more debatable than the multiplication table.” 12

Eventually, Ota was released and received some help from a series of institutions and several sympathetic individuals. He was taught to read and was given employment in a tobacco factory. Sadly, Ota never fully recovered from all the trauma and abuse in his life. He remained deeply depressed and forlorn. He spoke about wanting to return to his homeland. On March 20, 1916, he ended his life with a revolver. 13

On the last page of Charles Darwin’s book, “The Descent of Man,” Darwin said that he would prefer to be descended from a monkey rather than to be descended from a savage. 14 Darwin did not invent racism, but it was his theory that gave racism such a platform and such a supposed legitimacy. By theorizing that different ethnic groups evolved into humans at different times, feelings of racism were reinforced with the scientific rhetoric that he propounded. At the centre of this theory was the teaching that there were different races of man.

What does the Bible have to say about the issue of race? God’s Word teaches us that all humanity descended from one man and one woman, Adam and Eve. We read; “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Genesis 3.20). Eve is the mother of all peoples. We also read; “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts 17.26). Here, Scripture clearly puts all of humanity on one frame. Every nation of men was made from one blood. Therefore, we should look upon others who are not from our own particular ethnic group as relatives.

At this point, some will say, “Haven’t people used the Bible to condone racial hatred throughout the centuries?” Yes, sadly, this has occurred but, actually, it is a case of people misusing the Bible to condone such feelings. The Scriptures lay a clear foundation for the racial equality of humanity. They teach that humanity came from one original couple and from “one blood.” They teach that man was created in the image of God and that Jesus Christ died on behalf of all fallen men. Any man or woman, from any ethnic background, may come to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and be made a child of God. The Bible, when it is believed and followed, promotes love and restoration for every tribe and tongue of mankind.

Are physiological differences between the peoples of different ethnic groups some indication of evolutionary superiorities or inferiorities? No, they are not. This is one of evolution’s greatest fallacies. People from different ethnic groups may have very different cultural characteristics but physiologically we are not dramatically different from each other. We all have the same biological system and psychological aspects of human thought can be studied across ethnic lines. What physiological differences we do have are simply the result of genetics. Genetic information in the DNA of the original couple, Adam and Eve, had great diversity. With the growth of the human population, that diversity has expressed itself in different features. Over time, the breeding of people with similar features has led to groups of people exhibiting similar features. However, it must be stressed that these features are only skin-deep. When we consider the totality of a person’s body, and not just their surface, skin level, we must admit that people are far more similar to each other than they are different. Skin colour results simply from different amounts of melamine in the skin, but skin is essentially the same across ethnic lines. That is because we are made from one blood and there is only one race, the human race.

When we study the fruits, or results, of Darwin’s theory of evolution, it is sad enough to see how individuals, such as Ota, were abused. It is sad enough to see this, but even more horrifying is what evolutionary theory, when followed to its logical end, has produced through the lives of many world dictators. In the 19th century, enormous efforts were made by secularists such as Herbert Spencer, Thomas Huxley, and others, to debunk Christianity, the Bible and faith in God. In turn, Darwinistic evolution supplanted a biblical world view of creation in the minds of very many people who were flowing in this influence. Darwinistic evolution became a critically important foundation for secular philosophies such as, liberalism, communism, fascism and naziism.

It is common knowledge that Lenin and Karl Marx were atheists. They built the political philosophy of communism upon the idea of class struggle, revolution and the communal reorganization of society to the benefit of its working population. However, the underlying platform for this was atheism and evolution which, at a fundamental level, removed the sanctity of human life. Lenin had dedicated his life to a communist philosophy which he knew could only be established by violent revolution. 15 He tirelessly appealed to the people to rise up and support him in the overthrow of the Tsar and, later, the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Christian faith was a roadblock to Lenin’s plan. Jesus Christ taught peace and self-sacrifice and this clashed with Lenin’s revolutionary plans. Communism could only rise up from a foundation of atheism and Darwinism provided the platform to legitimize, in the eyes of the people, this foundation. Through the difficult transition into communism, Lenin had assured the people that a freer state was around the corner for them. However, communism evolved into a police state which increasingly monitored and controlled its people. 16 By jettisoning Christianity and exalting atheism, the values of communism allowed for the mass genocides that history records under the rule of individuals such as Joseph Stalin.

Joseph Stalin had joined the Bolsheviks and risen to the position of General Secretary of the party’s central committee in 1922. He was a ruthless leader, known for his purges, and he launched a policy of collectivization which was the consolidation of peasant farms into state-run enterprises. Russian peasants were stripped of their land and livestock and many were deported to forced-labor camps. The death toll of Russian peasants during these years, as a result of Stalin’s brutal coercion, is staggering. In 1945, Stalin conceded to Winston Churchill that ten million people had died in the process of collectivization. 17

Another communist dictator, who responded in a similar way as Joseph Stalin, was Mao Tse-tung. His rule is the bloodiest in all history. It is believed that he is responsible for the deaths of between 40 to 70 million people. Mao (1893-1976) was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party who, in 1927, led an abortive revolt against the nationalist Kuomin Tang. He retreated to northwestern China, solidified control of that region, and for many years wrestled with the Kuomin Tang. In 1949, shortly after World War 2, Mao was successful in defeating the Kuomin Tang and bringing China under communist rule. He then became the chairman of the new People’s Republic of China (1949). 18 Mao was fascinated with Darwin and evolutionary theory. In his book, “The Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung,” Stuart R. Schram says that Mao “devoured” Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. 19

Darwin’s influence spread in Germany, partly because of the influence of a man named Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel was a huge fan of Darwin and had the pleasure of meeting Darwin in 1866. Haeckel wrote a two-volume work called “Generelle Morphologie.” In it, he argued for everything from the universal relevance of Darwinism to the formation of a liberal nation state. Haeckel believed in the superiority of the Germanic people and, also, in combatting Christian faith. 20

Earlier, I said that this book would reveal a different face of Darwinism from what is commonly presented today. Why is it so? Why is there so little information on the negative fruits of Darwinian evolution in our textbooks today? The modern study of history, because of the nature of its study, which explores the social effects of philosophies upon societies, does give some commentary on the racial effect of Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Academically, this is known as social Darwinism. History textbook writers do provide some discussion on social Darwinism, briefly linking it to Western expansion and imperialism. However, why are we usually given only a rough outline of the information? Why is this topic something rarely plumbed by historians? Is it because it is not of historical significance? Or, is it because it presents an embarrassing picture of Darwinism and raises too many questions about the spread of evolutionary theory? If the racial basis and fruits of Darwinism receive brief treatment by the community of academic historians, how much less treatment is this topic given by the community of academic scientists? How many science textbooks reveal to students the roots and fruits of racism in Darwinistic evolution? How come the story of Ota is so unknown? Why is the record of the race for the “missing links” specimens rarely spoken of?

Charles Darwin promoted racism. He would rather have descended from an ape than from those he called “savages.” He believed that all people were not equal and were actually comprised of different races. However, the academic community has puffed Darwin up to be a brilliant discoverer and innovator, far ahead of his time. It has championed him as a great voice for reason and science. I recently (2010) visited a public high school library and noticed a number of books on Charles Darwin. Flipping through them, I came across more of this puffing-up of the man. One even read; “Darwin never finished his ‘big book’, but neither was he forced to give up his life’s work, and the renown that deservedly accompanied it.” 21 One university science textbook reverences him for his understanding of where his teaching on evolution and natural selection would lead, saying that he saw this “with an accuracy that continues to startle modern biologists.” 22 Another university textbook says that Darwin “presented his reasoning with immaculate logic and an avalanche of supporting evidence.” 23 I disagree with these three claims that Darwin deserved renown for his theory and that his theory was accurate or logical. I believe that Darwin’s theory became renowned, not for its scientific merit but for political reasons.

I have mentioned the philosophical basis that Darwinism has provided for some of the world’s worst dictators. Reo M. Christenson said; “Finally as the social Darwinists saw it, survival of the fittest brings evolution – and progress – to the world of politics no less than to the world of biology.” 24 It is, in large part, because Darwinism moved into the world of politics that we have seen such brutality in regimes that made Darwinism their base. H. G. Wells has said:

They soon got beyond the first crude popular misconception of Darwinism, the idea that every man is for himself alone. But they struck at the next level. Man, they decided, is a social animal like the Indian hunting dog. He is much more than a dog – but this they did not see. And just as in a pack it is necessary to bully and subdue the younger and the weaker for the general good, so it seemed right to them that the big dogs of the human pack should bully and subdue. Hence a new scorn for the ideas of democracy that had ruled the earlier nineteenth century, and a renewed admiration for the overbearing and the cruel. 25

This is the view that the strong in society should suppress others and advance themselves.

While Darwinian evolution affected the world view of communists from Lenin to Stalin to Mao, it also influenced and provided a foundation for the naziism of Adolf Hitler. To trace this development, we need to look at the development of the social Darwinism of Germany’s philosophical writers contemporary to Darwin and beyond. Perhaps the first German writer to incorporate Darwinism into philosophy was the liberal politician, Bartholomaus von Carneri. Carneri was followed by another influential writer, Albert E. F. Schaffle, who wrote a four-volume work called “Structure and Life of the Social Body.” Friedrich Hellwald, in 1875, wrote “History of Culture,” also explaining history from a Darwinian point of view. These early writers, and others, began spreading social Darwinism in Germany.

The early German social Darwinists were to be followed by others who proposed a new ethic for society. German Darwinian biologist, Arnold Dodel, said; “The new world view actually rests on the theory of evolution. On it we have to construct a new ethics … All values will be revalued.” 26 The new ethics proposed by Darwinists placed the process of evolution as the highest good. What that meant was, society, not just species within biology, functioned by the survival of the fittest. Institutions which sought to help or strengthen the weak in society were viewed as unnatural and counter-productive to the natural unfolding of evolution. Consequently, social Darwinists attacked Christian faith with venom. Values, such as loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek, were opposite to evolutionary process and, consequently, seen as an agent for the retarding of progress and advancement.

Initially, social Darwinists interpreted the process and progress of evolution to be the elimination of those in society who suffered physical or mental handicaps. Social Darwinists also believed that criminals represented less-developed humanity. Anthropologist, Felix von Luschan, in a speech delivered in 1909, said; “The sick, the weak, the dumb, the stupid, the alcoholic, the bum, the criminal; all these are inferior compared with the healthy, the strong, the intelligent, the clever, the sober, the pure.” 27 University professor, Karl Vogt, argued; “If it is a capital offence in the civilized world to kill one’s old lame father, there are Indian tribes in which this is considered an entirely praise-worthy deed of a son.”28 Inflammatory statements, such as these, were used to soften people up to the idea of eliminating the disabled and unproductive. Haeckel even went so far as to say, concerning physically or mentally handicapped children; “A small dose of morphine or cyanide would not only free this pitiable creature itself, but also its relatives from the burden of a long, worthless and painful existence.” 29 He argued that the decision not to kill the “defective” children was based on emotion and not reason. 30

It is not surprising that social Darwinists also advocated for abortion. Helene Stocker, speaking in a 1913 conference, argued that those embracing a scientific world-view couldn’t escape the question of who should be given a right to birth. She said; “Because we want higher humans, we need eugenics and race hygiene.” 31 In 1909, she also said in a speech; “Children from parents with infectious diseases, or children of the chronically ill, as well as children of those with heart or mental illnesses should not be permitted to be born.” 32

While social Darwinists in Germany began by advocating the elimination of or, at least, the unaiding of the handicapped, elderly and unborn, it quickly moved to devaluing other peoples. Richard Weikart explains:

The disabled and criminals were not the only ones whose lives were devalued by Darwinian- inspired social thought. Many social Darwinists and eugenicists consigned most of the world’s population to the realm of the ‘inferior.’ They regarded non-European races as varieties of the human species — or sometimes even as completely separate species – that were not as advanced in their evolutionary development as Europeans. 33

Many social Darwinists believed that Darwin had proven inequality in humans, even racial inequality. Even Darwin himself taught that certain races had lower intellect and moral faculties than did Europeans. He believed that there was a gap between the “highest races” and the “lowest savages” (his term). He even attributed characteristics, such as, selfishness, cowardice and laziness to heredity. He rejected the belief that education, the environment and training could shape human nature. 34 Richard Weikart says further; “This had dire consequences for racial thought, since all attempts to bring European culture to the ‘uncivilized’ peoples of the world would be futile, if it were true. Darwin was not original in formulating these ideas, to be sure, but he and many Darwinists vigorously promoted this kind of biological racism, and most biological racists after Darwin saw his theory as confirmation of their position.” 35

One notorious social Darwinist who promoted this kind of racism was the already mentioned Haeckel. He taught that different human people groups were, in fact, different species. In 1868, he wrote about ten distinct species of humans, which he listed in order of their alleged superiority and inferiority. In his popular book, “Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte,” he displayed twelve facial profiles starting with one representing the European and then descending to an East Asian, a Fuegian, an Australian, a black African and a Tasmanian. On his chart, the Tasmanian greatly resembled the profile of a gorilla. 36 Haechel made the audacious claim that “The difference between the reason of a Goethe, Kant, Lamarck, Darwin and that of the lowest primitive human, a Vedda, Akka, Australian Negro, and Patagonian, is much greater than the gradual difference between the reason of the latter and the ‘most rational’ mammal, the anthropoid apes and even [other] apes, dogs and elephants.” 37 Haeckel even suggested to a Mr. H. Rohleder that he had tried to inseminate a chimpanzee with sperm from a black African. 38

Another social Darwinist, Oscar Peschel, made the horrible assertion that “The Negro is far removed from the European and close to the ape through its small build, through the relatively small breadth of its skull, through its relatively small upper limbs, and further the relatively short length of the thigh … Also the Negro is more animal …” 39 Because of opinions such as these, Richard Weikart says; “Historically Darwinism and biological racism are linked tightly together, as many historians have demonstrated. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we almost always find them in tandem.” 40

While social Darwinists in Germany began this devaluing of the weak and handicapped, then progressed to devaluing other ethnic groups in favor of Europeans, some of them moved from this to particularly exalting the German heredity over others. One author from the time, Alfred Ploetz, after reading Darwin, Haeckel and other biologists and authors, dedicated his life task to help German people attain German purity. 41 Peschel argued that Otto von Bismarck’s effort of unifying the German states through war with Austria was justified because “Even we in Germany should view the most recent events [i.e., the war] as a lawful evolutionary process … With such magnificent events it is no longer a matter of right or blame, but rather it is a Darwinian struggle for existence, where the modern triumphs and the obsolete descends into the paleotological grave.” 42

The call to militarism for the purpose of one ethnic group exerting itself over another was given alleged scientific support from Darwin. Darwin himself said in his book, Descent of Man; “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.” 43 He also said; “The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.” 44

During World War I, social Darwinists continued to exalt German ethnicity over others. In 1917, Haekel said; “A single well-educated German warrior, though unfortunately they are now falling in droves, has a higher intellectual and moral value of life than hundreds of the raw primitive peoples, which England and France, Russia and Italy set against us.” 45 Haeckel also made it clear that he supported colonial acquisition in Africa and German annexation in Europe. 46 Even an offensive quote, such as this, is surpassed by the horrific words of Klaus Wagner who taught that, in the struggle between Europeans, Asians and Africans, “Only one group can remain as ruler. The two others will be destroyed, where they are in the way of the stronger race, and enslaved, where they can serve them … . We Germans have the power to destroy and smash the might and future of the two other groups, if we clearly see this necessity, vigorously arm ourselves, and keep our blood pure …” 47

Social Darwinism found fertile soil in Germany. Not only did it flourish, but it intermixed itself with eugenics, German nationalism and militarism. It would be hard to exaggerate the extent to which the early German social Darwinists influenced their society with these views. This type of writing was accepted by many from various levels of society and gained great popularity. Commenting on the pervasive influence of social Darwinism in Germany between the 1890s and early 1900s, Richard Weikart says:

By the 1890s and early 1900s Darwinism had become well-entrenched in Germany. Racial theorizing, most of which was laced with Darwinian rhetoric, was heating up, capturing the imagination of ever wider audiences. Earlier most discussions of racial struggle and extermination were tucked away in brief passages in longer articles or books on various topics (Gumplowicz was an exception), but in the 1890s and especially after 1900 there was a proliferation of books and articles discussing racial struggle. For some thinkers race became the universal key to interpreting history, society, and culture. 48

From this we see that social Darwinism, mixed together with eugenics and German nationalism, was allowed to spread like cancer throughout pre-nazi Germany.

With the entrance of Adolf Hitler into German history, Darwinism was catapulted to an even uglier height. By Hitler’s time a whole new generation of social Darwinists had risen up. Names, such as, Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels, Guido von List and Josef Reimer are all possible influences. A former roomate of Hitler claims that Hitler often visited the library in Vienna, where he read huge amounts of material. In his book, “Mein Kampf,” Hitler does mention the social Darwinist Georg von Schonerer and Stewart Chamberlain. Because Hitler so rarely refers to the names of others whom he studied, one can’t be precisely sure of all of his influences. However, the influence of Charles Darwin is unmistakeable. Hitler taught that the triumph of the strong over the weak was simply a process of nature. 49 Even more offensive still are his words, taken from Mein Kampf, in which he says:

If reproduction as such is limited and the number of births decreased, then the natural struggle for existence, which only allows the strongest and healthiest to survive, will be replaced by the obvious desire to save at any cost even the weakest and sickest; thereby a progeny is produced, which must become ever more miserable, the longer this mocking of nature and its will persists … . A stronger race (Geschlecht) will supplant the weaker, since the drive for life in its final form will decimate every ridiculous fetter of the so-called humaneness of individuals, in order to make place for the humaneness of nature, which destroys the weak to make place for the strong. 50

Also, in Mein Kampf, he explains that his world-view “by no means believes in the equality of races, but recognizes along with their differences their higher or lower value, and through this knowledge feels abliged, according to the eternal will that rules this universe, to promote the victory of the better, the stronger, and to demand the submission of the worse and weaker.” 51

Hitler, and the Nazi Party in Germany, was voted into power by the people. Their regime was a popular one in its early beginnings. Hitler soon turned a free state into a police state, vigorously controlled by secret police. The media was filled with his propaganda which included the endorsement of racism. Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Hitler began expanding Germany by annexing surrounding countries. His policy, wherever naziism was established, was Darwinian eugenics. Findley and Rothney write; “Hitler was a ‘social Darwinist,’ who applied to human life the evolutionary vision of nature as a struggle amongst species for the survival of the fittest. For Hitler, history was a struggle for survival among biologically distinct races.” 52 As he expanded militarily and pushed this policy, it was only a matter of time until the allied countries of the world rose up against him. World War 2 was a horrifying war in which it is estimated that over 50 million people lost their lives.

Today, the name of Charles Darwin is puffed to greatness in the Western world. He is considered to be a brilliant man who’s openness led to scientific breakthrough. Academics praise him for overcoming the narrow-mindedness of his day and being open to a different world-view. However, the ’openness’ of Darwin was actually narrow-mindedness to an incredible extreme. Darwin was a racist. He said he would rather have descended from a monkey than from those he considered “savages.” Yet those people, whom he excluded, stereotyped and dismissed, were real people like Ota. Ota’s family was killed and he was enslaved. For many, he made an entertaining display at the world’s fair in St. Louis and in other places where he was penned up. When ministers spoke out against his treatment they were told “evolution … is now taught in the textbooks of all the schools, and that it is no more debatable than the multiplication table.” Those ministers did not accept this answer and many reject it today, also. Ota ended his life by suicide. Sadly, the damage that Darwinism did to him, personally, did not stop there. Darwinism gave a scientific rhetoric and a scientific justification for racism. It also gave a platform for world dictators to build a rule of terror upon.

Men took Darwin’s teachings to their logical extreme. This extreme brought millions into Communism, naziism and world war. Today, Darwinism is still at work in the minds of men and women of power and influence. Darwin’s teaching has been passed on to men and women and children as a precious gift. May God protect us from the fruit of its deception in our generation of the world community. May others have the courage to call Darwinism for what it is. May we uncover the biblical truth that all men and women were created and come from one blood. All men and women are a part of the one human race.

Shawn Stevens


1 Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation (Green Forest: Master Books, 2007), 90-91.

2 Stephen Jay Gould, “Ontogeny and Phylogeny,” quoted in Ken Ham’s Darwin’s Plantation, 15.

3 Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 23.

4 Ibid., 26.

5 Ibid., 24-25.

6 Ibid., 18.

7 George William Hunter, A Civic Biology Presented In Problems (New York: American Book Company, 1914), 196.

8 Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 16.

9 The Scientific American, July 23, 1904.

10 Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 18-20.

11 Reverend Gordon quoted in the New York Times of September 10, 1906.

12 The New York Times of September 12, 1906.

13 Ken Ham, Darwin’s Plantation, 21.

14 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (London: 1871).

15 John P. McKay, et al, A History of Western Society, 7th ed. (U.S.A.: Houston Houghton Mifflin Co. 2003), 906.

16 H. G. Wells, The Outline Of History : The Whole Story Of Man (Garden City: Doubleday and Co. Inc. 1971), 960-961.

17 John P. McKay, et al, A History of Western Society, pgs. 960-961.

18 Bruce Wepperau, ed. MacMillan Concise Dictionary of World History (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. 1983) 491.

19 Stuart R. Schram, The Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970), 22.

20 John Cornwell, Hitler’s Scientists (New York: Viking, 2003), 76-77.

21 Anna Sproule, Charles Darwin : Visionary Behind The Theory Of Evolution (Detroit: Black Birch Press, 2003), 10.

22 Scott Freeman and Jon C. Herron, Evolutionary Analysis, 4th ed. (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2000), 39.

23 Neil A. Campbell and Jane B. Reece, Biology 7th Edition (San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2005), 443.

24 Reo M. Christenson and Alan S. Engel, Ideologies and Modern Politics 2nd ed. ( New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1975), 65-66.

25 H. G. Wells, The Outline Of History : The Whole Story Of Man, 821.

26 Arnold Dodel, Aus Leben und Wissenschaft (Stuttgart: 1896-1905), 2:48.

27 Felix von Luschan, “Die gegenwartigen Aufgaben der Anthropologie,” Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft (Leipzig: 1910), 2:205.

28 Karl Vogt, Vorlesungen uber den Menschen (Giessen: 1863)1:295.

29 Ernst Haeckel, Ewigkeit (Berlin: 1917), 33-4.

30 Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 147.

31 Helene Stocker, “Geburtenruckgang und Monismus,” in Der Dusseldorfer Monistentag, ed. Wilhelm Blossfeldt (Leipzig: 1914), 40.

32 Helene Stocker, “Referat uber den Vortrag von Dr. phil. Helene Stocker, Mutterschutz und Abtreibungsstrafe,” April 1909; and “Leitsatze zum Referat von Dr. phil. Helene Stocker auf der Generalversammlung des Deutschen Bundes fur Mutterschutz in Hamburg 1909,” in Adele Schreiber papers, N 1173, 28.

33 Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, 103.

34 Ibid., 104-105.

35 Ibid., 105.

36 Ibid., 106.

37 Ernst Haeckel, Weltrathsel (Bonn: 1903), 53.

38 Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, 110.

39 Oscar Peschel, “Mensch und Affe,” Das Ausland 36 (1863): 521.

40 Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, 116.

41 The unpublished memoirs of Alfred Ploetz, quoted in “Rassenhygiene – Sozialdarwinismus,” in Biologismus im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Gunter Mann (Stuttgart: 1973), 83.

42 Oscar Peschel, “Ein Ruckblick auf die jungste Vergangenheit,” Das Ausland 39, 36 (September 1866): 874.

43 Charles Darwin, Descent of Man (London: 1871) 1:201.

44 Charles Darwin, quoted in Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin : His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters (London: John Murray, 1902), 64.

45 Ernst Haeckel, Ewigkeit (Berlin, 1917) quoted in Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, 187.

46 Ibid.

47 Klaus Wagner, Krieg (Jena: 1906), 150-1.

48 Richard Weikart, From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, 195.

49 Adolf Hitler, “Weltjude und Weltborse, die Urschuldigen am Weltkriege” April 13, 1923, in Hitler. Samtliche Aufzeichnungen, 1905-1924, ed. Eberhard Jackel (Stuttgart: 1980), 887.

50 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Munich: 1943), 144-5.

51 Ibid., 420-1.

52 Carter Vaughn Findley and John Alexander Murray Rothney, Twentieth-Century World, 2nd Ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1990), 139.


Art by Ramona Stevens

I was inspired to paint this piece after viewing a photograph of Darwin found at:

Campbell, Neil A. and Jane B. Reece. Biology 7th Edition. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2005.

Christenson, Reo M. and Alan S. Engel. Ideologies and Modern Politics 2nd ed. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1975.

Cornwell, John. Hitler’s Scientists. New York: Viking, 2003.

Charles Darwin, Charles. The Descent of Man. London: 1871.

Darwin, Francis. Charles Darwin : His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of His Published Letters. London: John Murray, 1902.

Dodel, Arnold. Aus Leben und Wissenschaft. Stuttgart: 1896-1905. 2:48.

Findley, Carter Vaughn and John Alexander Murray Rothney. Twentieth-Century World, 2nd Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 1990.

Freeman, Scott and Jon C. Herron. Evolutionary Analysis, 4th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2000.

Haeckel, Ernst. Ewigkeit. Berlin: 1917.

Haeckel, Ernst. Weltrathsel. Bonn: 1903.

Ham, Ken. Darwin’s Plantation. Green Forest: Master Books, 2007.

Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. Munich: 1943.

Hitler, Adolf. “Weltjude und Weltborse, die Urschuldigen am Weltkriege” April 13, 1923, in Hitler. Samtliche Aufzeichnungen, 1905-1924, ed. Eberhard Jackel (Stuttgart: 1980).

Hunter, George William. A Civic Biology Presented In Problems. New York: American Book Company, 1914.

McKay, John P. et al. A History of Western Society, 7th ed. U.S.A.: Houston Houghton Mifflin Co. 2003.

Peschel, Oscar. “Ein Ruckblick auf die jungste Vergangenheit,” Das Ausland 39, 36 (September 1866).

Peschel, Oscar. “Mensch und Affe.” Das Ausland 36. (1863): 521.

The unpublished memoirs of Alfred Ploetz, quoted in “Rassenhygiene – Sozialdarwinismus,” in Biologismus im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Gunter Mann (Stuttgart: 1973).

Sproule, Anna. Charles Darwin : Visionary Behind The Theory Of Evolution. Detroit: Black Birch Press, 2003).

Stocker, Helene. “Geburtenruckgang und Monismus.” in Der Dusseldorfer Monistentag, ed. Wilhelm Blossfeldt. Leipzig: 1914.

Stocker, Helene. “Referat uber den Vortrag von Dr. phil. Helene Stocker, Mutterschutz und Abtreibungsstrafe.” April 1909; and “Leitsatze zum Referat von Dr. phil. Helene Stocker auf der Generalversammlung des Deutschen Bundes fur Mutterschutz in Hamburg 1909,” in Adele Schreiber papers, N 1173, 28.

Stuart R. Schram, Stuart R. The Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970.

The New York Times of September 10, 1906.

The New York Times of September 12, 1906.

The Scientific American, July 23, 1904.

Vogt, Karl. Vorlesungen uber den Menschen. Giessen: 1863. 1:295.

von Luschan, Felix. “Die gegenwartigen Aufgaben der Anthropologie.” Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft. Leipzig: 1910. 2:205.

Wagner, Klaus. Krieg. Jena: 1906. 150-1.

Weikart, Richard. From Darwin To Hitler – Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Wells, H. G. The Outline Of History : The Whole Story Of Man. Garden City: Doubleday and Co. Inc. 1971.

Wepperau, Bruce. ed. MacMillan Concise Dictionary of World History. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co. 1983.

Scripture taken from the King James Version.

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