Did you know that Charles Darwin was an abolitionist as were other of his family members and that it may have motivated his research into natural selection?
Science historians Adrian Desmond and James Moore have compiled compelling new evidence which reveals Darwin was passionately opposed to slavery and this was the moral impetus behind his work.
Private notes and letters uncovered by the pair reveal that Darwin’s opinions on slavery were far stronger than had previously been believed.
Notebooks from his five year voyage on HMS Beagle, during which Darwin first began to form his famous theories on natural selection, detail his revulsion at the slavery he witnessed in South America.
The historians have also discovered letters written by Darwin’s sisters, cousins and aunts that reveal the family as highly active abolitionists. Darwin’s grandfather and uncles were also key members of the anti-slavery movement.
The pair claim in a new book that Darwin partly chose to highlight the common descent of man from apes to show that all races were equal, as a rebuttal to those who insisted black people were a different, and inferior, species from those with white skin.
I find this interesting because it points out something that often goes unrecognized. The connection between “creationism” and white supremacy.
Consider for a moment that the people most likely to have a conniption fit over the teaching of evolution are straight white Christian men who are also prone to fits about the civil and humane treatment of anyone who isn’t a straight white Christian man.