Culture & Ethics Icon Culture & Ethics
Evolution Icon Evolution

Richard Weikart on How Darwinism Fueled Scientific Racism

Evolution News
Photo: Visitors admire the iconic Darwin statue at London's Natural History Museum, by Thomas Fabian, via Flickr.

On a new episode of ID the Future, historian and Cal State Stanislaus emeritus professor Richard Weikart speaks with host Michael Keas about the dark history of “scientific” racism. Racism, of course, long pre-dated Darwinism, but as Weikart argues, Darwin and Darwinian evolutionary theory greatly fueled racist thinking in the late 19th century and even down to the present. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Weikart notes that Darwin himself was “intensely racist,” writing (in The Descent of Man, 1871) that “at some time the civilized races of man will exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” Darwin didn’t merely predict this; he thought it would advance human evolution. His cousin Francis Galton, a strong proponent of eugenics, agreed, as did Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger a few years later.