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Historian Richard Weikart on acceptance of Darwinian evolution and racism …


In connection with the Scientific American op-ed claiming that “denying evolution” is a form of white supremacy, Weikart, whose specialty is racist politics, notes, among other things,

Now what happens if we examine the real white supremacists today? Are they creationists? I have done a good deal of research on this topic, and as it turns out, the vast majority of white supremacists today embrace Darwinian evolution and use it as evidence for their white supremacy. In a 2017 article in his Radix journal, Richard Spencer, a leading figure on the white supremacist Alt-Right argued that “Group differences exist as consequences of evolution by natural selection” and “racial differences are a natural and normal consequence of human evolution.” This is a commonplace view among white supremacists, as you can easily discover by looking at white supremacist websites and print publications.

In sum, most people today who reject evolution, which includes many people of color, are not racists. On the other hand, most of the leading white supremacists today embrace evolutionary theory with alacrity. Hopper’s attempt to tar those who do not believe in evolution with racism may play well with the pro-evolution lobby, but unfortunately it is based on distortions and misrepresentations of those who reject evolution, as well as ignorance of the history of scientific racism and the ideology of contemporary white supremacists.

Richard Weikart, “Is “Denying Evolution” a Form of White Supremacy?” at Evolution News and Science Today (July 13, 2021)

Weikart also published a book review earlier this year in a European history publication, where he notes that the author attempts to imply Mendelian genetics, not Social Darwinism, is responsible for “scientific” racism. Weikart writes:

First, social Darwinism had an earlier and more formative effect on eugenics and racial anthropology than did Mendelism. Second, manyNazis stressed social Darwinist themes far more often than Mendelian ones (e. g., »Mein Kampf«). Third, while Mendelism did shape discourse related to eugenics and racial crossing, socialDarwinism influenced not only both of these arenas, but also many other features of Nazi ideology, such as racial inequality, racial struggle, military expansionism, living space (»Lebensraum«),an evolutionary view of morality, and others. I explain these in my book, »Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress« (2009), which Teicher did not consult.2021 | 219.–21. Jahrhundert – HistoirecontemporaineDOI:10.11588/frrec.2021.2.81999Seite | page 3Herausgegeben vom DeutschenHistorischen Institut Paris |publiée par l’Institut historiqueallemandPubliziert unter | publiée sousCC BY 4.0

Richard Weikart, “Amir Teicher, Social Mendelism. Genetics and thePolitics of Race in Germany, 1900–1948, Cambridge(Cambridge University Press) 2020,” at Francia recensio

Bottom line: For decades, Darwinians sidelined complaints about Darwinism and racism by simply stating that Darwin opposed slavery (“Darwin’s sacred cause”). And it worked.

Surely it was a mistake for the Scientific American editors to create a situation where we can actually start talking about explicitly Darwinian racism, chapter and verse, with centuries of references — for once. What on earth were the editors thinking?

See also: Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne speaks out on a SciAm op-ed’s claims that denial of evolution stems from white supremacy. It seems obvious, on reflection, that Hopper’s piece is a disastrously clumsy effort on the part of Scientific American to get Woke. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks the mag is not just circling the drain but “approaching the drainhole.” To the extent that the editors couldn’t find someone who at least gets basic facts right, he has a point.


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