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Nigerian pastor on Darwin’s legacy in Africa


Olufemi Oluniyi, was writing a book on the inmpact of Social Darwinism in Nigeria and he managed to send his manuscript to the Discovery Institute before his death from COVID in 2021.

Social Darwinism is Darwinian evolution theory as applied to human societies.

Here’s the book: Darwin Comes to Africa (Discovery Institute Press, 2023)

Here’s a podcast in which John West talks about the book.


On today’s ID the Future, scholar John West introduces Darwin Comes to Africa, the new book by Nigerian pastor, theologian, journalist, scholar, and human rights activist Olufemi Oluniyi. The work explores the poisonous influence of social Darwinism on British rule in northern Nigeria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a poisonous influence felt in Oluniyi’s home country down to the present, he argues. The book project grew out of Oluniyi’s intimate knowledge of Nigerian culture as well as his attendance at the 2017 Center for Science & Culture Summer Seminar program in Seattle, Washington. By the end of that nine-day gathering, he had resolved to write a book about the impact of Social Darwinism on his home country and announced that intention to his fellow attendees. He died of Covid-19 four years later, but not before completing in-depth research on the subject of the book and sending Discovery Institute his manuscript. Listen in to learn more about what Oluniyi discovered, and purchase his fascinating book here..

Here’s a piece adapted from Dr. Oluniyi’s preface to the book: “The Cruel Legacy of Social Darwinism in Nigeria”:

Social Darwinism rests like a tiger moth on Darwinism, its mother theory; when challenged with facts, it just flits to a slightly different position…

One startling iteration of Social Darwinism occurred under the guise of tactical warfare in the 1920s, when a Russian scientist sought to produce a race of super-soldiers for Stalin’s army by impregnating women from French Guinea with the sperm of a dead chimpanzee — black African women, mind you, who were presumed to be less highly evolved and thus closer to chimpanzees than were white European women. The Russian scientist was not a lone gunman, so to speak. Colonial authorities approved the plan, and the Russian found support amongst both French and American scientists.

Horrifying though this experiment is in terms of religion and morality, it makes ethical sense under Social Darwinism. If humans are naught but evolutionarily advanced animals, and if we breed and crossbreed animals to suit our purposes, why should we not breed humans in the same manner?

From Dr. Oluniyi’s bio: “Rev. Dr. Olufemi Olayinka Oluniyi (1948-2021) was Executive Director of the Centre for Values and Social Change in Lagos, Nigeria, which he founded. Author of Reconciliation in Northern Nigeria: The Space for Public Apology, he was involved in peace, reconciliation, and social justice efforts in Africa for many years, and he had a particular interest in how European colonial policies toward Africa were shaped by Social Darwinism.”

Rest in peace, pastor.

Social Darwinism is Darwinian evolution theory as applied to human societies.
No, it is artificial selection as applied to human societies. Ford Prefect
Food for sobering thought. And, indeed, rest in peace. kairosfocus

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