Monday, 13 May 2019

Out of the Vortex

Darwinian Devolution

Folks these days are vaguely aware of the teaching of Charles Darwin.  As he was propounding the origins of species through the forces of "natural selection", it did not take long before his colleagues began to make applications and draw inferences from the "development" of the various species (races) of mankind.

One implication was that human beings were not equal.  Some races were more superior than others, having developed through evolutionary processes.  Other races were well down the pecking order--that is, were primitive, backward, ignorant, and ape-like.  Some human races were doomed to extinction.  Such an outcome would be a reasonable extrapolation of the theory of evolution.

Here is Darwin'a actual prognostication on the subject:
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.
  As the same time, the anthropomorphous apes 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 [the aboriginal] Australian and the gorilla.  [Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (2nd ed, New York/NY: A. L. Burt Co, 1874),  p. 178] 
Augusto Zimmermann commented on quotations such as the one above:
Darwin was, in modern terms, a racist who believed that his theory could be applied to human societies as must as to the animal kingdom.  He argued that some "human races" are inferior to others, thus equating the Australian Aborigines with 'the lower animals. . . .  Inspired by racist theories based on Darwinian philosophy, many started to believe that the British colonisation of places like Australia was proof of the racial inferiority of the indigenous peoples, who simply did not have the inherent abilities--especially mental talent--of the European colonisers. [Augusto Zimmermann, Christian Foundations of the Common Law: Volume III--Australia (Redland Bay QLD: Connor Court Publishing Ltd., 2018.] 
It was this kind of perversity and evil that directly led to some of the worst depredations inflicted upon Aboriginal tribes in Australia.  In some cases they were hunted for sport, in the same way one might hunt down and exterminate kangaroos. 

No comments: