Darwinism, Its Impact On Racism And Takeaways For Teachers Essays Example
Jeynes, William H. “Race, Racism and Darwinism.” Education and Urban Society 43/5: 535-559. 2011. Print.
In his seminal work, ‘On the Origin of Species’, Charles Darwin outlined how species evolve. He prophesied that the human race would similarly evolve. His evolutionary model held blacks to be at the lowest level of evolution amongst human races, and Caucasians to be relatively at the apex. Savages and blacks were deemed to be ‘the missing link’ between humans and primates. In Darwin’s framework, handicapped children were those who had missed the evolutionary train. Darwin’s theories were abrogated by racists, who argued for schools to be reserved for those most adept to gain from education; by this token, blacks and special children did not qualify. The cranial capacities of blacks were quoted as proof of blacks’ inferior position in evolution, without reference to absence of a linkage between cranial capacity and IQ. The argument of Darwinism now finds centrality to explain all social ills – including crime. Darwinism became the rationale for justifying war and imperialism. Eugenics developed as an offshoot of Darwinism, advocating that only the fittest should mate and procreate to benefit human evolution. Teachers have the option of either debunking Darwinism because of its illogical conclusions or considering the manifestation of racism as a minor consequence of the genius inherent in the framework of Darwinism. Teachers need to be alive to the fact that human theories change over time, and by the same token, Darwinism is not etched in stone for accuracy. Nevertheless, teachers should encourage students to make their own conclusions and be alive to the specter of racism emanating out of Darwinism.
1. Darwin held that species evolve from lower orders to higher.
2. Darwin found that blacks displayed the smallest gap from primates amongst human races.
3. Children with special needs were lower on the evolutionary scale than others.
4. Criminality and other social ills could be traced to genes.
5. Blacks, special children and criminals’ genetic pools would ultimately dissolve through evolution (C 1,2,3,4).
6. Man must strive to produce higher evolved offspring for ultimate human progress (C 1).
7. Those at the lower end of the evolutionary scale should not be encouraged to progress (C, 6).
8. Blacks, criminals and others demonstrating social ills should be repressed for overall growth of the human race (C 5, 7).
9. The above conclusion is an aberrant deduction of Darwinism (C10)
10. Every human being has potential for progress (HP, 9).
11. Social theories always change with time.
12. Darwinism as a concept is not immutable (C 11).
13. Teachers should educate children to keep an open mind on the issue of Darwinism (C 9, 12)