Is Evolution Racist?

This is a rather controversial topic, but one I think Christians need to wade in to if we are to truly understand all the issues with evolutionary theory. The first problem is we need to define what we mean when we use the term “evolution.”  There is a theory of evolution that simply says animals and species change over time. We know this is true, because we’ve seen it happen here on the Earth, over time.

There is another version of the theory of evolution that says these changes can be stretched to create new species, new sorts of animals that cannot interbreed with, and are markedly different from, their ancestors. For instance, a dinosaur can evolve into a bird, which is not only a completely different species, but a different type of creature altogether. One is cold blooded, the other is warm blooded. One has feathers, the other scales. There are a large number of easily recognizable differences between the two.

The version we want to deal with here is the idea that one type of animal may become another type of animal, or that minor differences between two animals of the same type might expand, over time, so the two different types of animals can longer interbreed, creating what we would consider different species.

In macroevolution, a single species develops a number of races, each of which has strengths and weaknesses because of the variations between them. Over time, as the different races adapt to their environments, the races break farther apart, finally becoming different species. A species of fish may branch into two races, who then become soe other form of fish and some form of land crawling amphibian. Speciation must pass through this racial divide.

Clearly, then, racism can be supported by evolution, because races are just different species in their initial state. At some point, one race will adapt better than the other races, and the races will shift into different species. Note that just because the support is there doesn’t mean you must take the evolutionary path that leads to racism, only that it is possible. In fact, many of the early evolutionary thinkers were racists, and they were racists because of their evolutionary thought.

QUASHIE’S plaintive inquiry, “Am I not a man and a brother?” seems at last to have received its final reply”“the recent decision of the fierce trial by battle on the other side of the Atlantic fully concurring with that long since delivered here in a more peaceful way.

The question is settled; but even those who are most thoroughly convinced that the doom is just, must see good grounds for repudiating half the arguments which have been employed by the winning side; and for doubting whether its ultimate results will embody the hopes of the victors, though they may more than realise the fears of the vanquished. It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still [67] less the superior, of the average white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.

This is not, as you might suspect, from the pen of some little known scientist or social philosopher who didn’t really understand the theory of evolution, and its ramifications. In fact, this was penned by no other than T.H. Huxley, who was known as Darwin’s Bulldog. They were actually close personal friends, and Darwin, himself, generally supported and agreed with everything Mr Huxley wrote. To find out more, check out this article on Mr. Huxley and his relationship to Mr. Darwin himself, and then read the original article the quote above was taken from, entitled Emancipation—Black and White.

Ad GK Chesterton pointed out, evolution either points in one direction or another: Towards treating our fellow humans as if they are animals, or treating animals as if they were human. Either case is wrong, and flies in the face of God. The one path evolution cannot support is a morality that sees humans as sisters to God’s creation, all of one race and yet still standing apart from nature. Only a belief in the supernatural can lead us to a truly humane view of man’s relationship with nature.

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