Darwin put racism on a supposedly scientific basis. In that respect, he enabled the most virulent racism of the twentieth century.
Notice the irony, will you? The writer of THESE passages is widely regarded as some kind of saint, on a par with Abraham Lincoln:
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. (The Descent of Man (1871) p.168-169)
Or how about this one?
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 baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. (The Descent of Man (1871) p.201)
Yes, both passages are from Darwin's book-length racist tract, Descent of Man.
Darwin's racism is airbrushed as part of his "cultural context." I, however, am tagged as an extremist for pointing out that he both said and meant those things and that the cultural context in which Darwinism was nurtured was science-backed racism.
Darwin believed in what he was saying in Descent of Man and he entirely deserves to be credited with his dubious achievement.
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