The Racialists

Darwin Openly Spawned Scientific Racism

Evolutionary Darwinism dominates college scientific departments across the country and beyond, and even Christian schools like my alma mater Wheaton College opt heavily for “theistic evolution,” seeking to synthesize the theory with creationism. At these same institutions, where evolution is preached as gospel truth, we’re seeing an ever-increasing push for social justice and racial awareness in the public sphere. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo became the best-selling book in America after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, and other similar volumes are topping the charts as well. Anti-racism and social justice has, it’s been argued, become its own religion, complete with a guide to repentance (for white people, admitting to racism) and moral absolution (buying and reading DiAngelo’s book and attending a lot of diversity trainings). According to an article from Evolution News by David Klinghoffer, however, Darwinists seem to be getting overlooked in the quest to purge the United States of its racist historical figures, although Darwin himself espoused outright racism in his own writings.[1]  

Klinghoffer writes, “[Darwin’s] vision included a racial hierarchy with Africans at the bottom and predicted racial genocide against ‘savage’ humans. He wrote, ‘The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races through the world.’” This is a textbook definition of racism and applauds white supremacy, and yet Darwin continues to be celebrated and respected in the academy. Klinghoffer also noted that eugenicists capitalized on Darwin’s ideas. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was in favor of genetically modifying human beings and weeding out African Americans, claiming they were akin to animals.

The horror of scientific racism was furthermore implemented into American education. Many of us learned about the Scopes Monkey Trial, and the common narrative tends to celebrate Scopes as a hero. However, the Darwin-friendly textbook he used, Civic Biology, also pushed this new “racial science.” Klinghoffer features an excerpt from it, speaking of the “poorly born,” which reads:

“If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums of other places and in various ways prevent intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race.”

In reading this kind of textbook, young white Americans became more and more indoctrinated with racist ideas on the assumption that they were “scientific.” In the racial hierarchy, Africans were at the bottom and Caucasian Europeans at the top, endowed with a responsibility to perpetuate the supremacy of their own race. It is not a coincidence that this sounds similar to the Nazi regime in World War II. They applied Darwin’s racial ideas, not only to Jewish people, but also African Americans, the handicapped, and the mentally disabled. History has shown the absolute horror that resulted.

Racism has always existed in some form throughout history, but there is no doubt that its modern version has historically paraded itself as “science.” We live in a culture with hardly any metaphysical bearings to support the notion of social justice, due in large part to the materialistic universe proposed by Darwin and his minions. So, we need another framework and another approach. If we want a historically accurate picture of racism in the United States, we would do well to stop blaming everything on the founders and religious leaders, imperfect as they were, and realize that white supremacy was also encouraged in large part by a scientific theory. But in a culture where “science” is the only viable avenue to knowledge and Darwin’s legacy of scientific racism is suppressed,  the Darwinists among us will escape scrutiny, along with Darwin himself. “Survival of the fittest” invites, even legitimizes, racial competition, which is not the spirit of the Gospel.

Peter Biles is the author of Hillbilly Hymn and Keep and Other Stories. He graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois in 2019 and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. He has also written stories and essays for a variety of publications, including Plough, Dappled Things, The Gospel Coalition, Salvo, and Breaking Ground.

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