Darwin’s Racism and Sexism

Darwin’s Racism and Sexism
Charles Darwin

Evolutionists and critics of Christianity are fond of attacking the Christian faith as the source of every evil in our culture today. They pay little attention to the fact that Charles Darwin’s education and culture indoctrinated him with sexist and racist narratives. Darwin’s racism and sexism show up in his writings.

Darwin presented his erroneous views as scientific facts. Here are some of Darwin’s beliefs as clearly expressed in his 1871 book The Descent of Man:

* Men are evolutionarily superior to women.

* Europeans are evolutionarily superior to non-Europeans.

* Hierarchical civilizations are evolutionarily superior to small egalitarian societies.

* “The hideous ornaments and equally hideous music admired by most savages are not so highly developed as in certain animals, for instance, in birds.”

* The appearance of Africans is comparable to the New World monkey Pithecia satanas.

* The subjugation of the poor, non-Europeans, and women was the natural result of evolutionary progress.

It is not difficult to understand how Darwin justified racism from an evolutionary standpoint. Darwin received a state funeral in Westminister Abbey and was publicly commemorated as a symbol of “English success in conquering nature and civilizing the globe during Victoria’s long reign.” To this day, we have skeptics using Darwin’s work as a club against Christians and belief in God while attacking Christianity as the source of evil. Even as he described evolution by natural selection (which we have pointed out has been recently challenged by new research), Darwin’s racism and sexism remained part of his scientific writing. 

In today’s world, educated people can be heavily influenced by their peers and culture. They can still be captive to cultural bias, as Darwin was. The Christian system is unique in opposing all distinctions of race, sex, and culture, loving all people, and treating everyone as created in God’s image. (See Matthew 5:43-48 and Galatians 3:27-28.)

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: “Racist and sexist depictions of human evolution still permeate science, education and popular culture today” by Dr. Rui Diogo in “The Conversation”