Hijacking Darwin

The year 2009 is the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s masterpiece called On the Origin of Species. Darwin ‘s brilliant insights into the process by which all life on earth arose- descent with modification- has led to enormous fame because biological research has confirmed the main features of the evolutionary process even if the actual genetic mechanisms underlying evolution were unknown to Darwin. While we celebrate his great work we cannot save the immortal Darwin from our current culture wars in which liberals will “hijack” him in the service of their egalitarian crusade. Was Darwin an egalitarian like today’s left or a racialist who observed real differences between races and believed that their origin lay in the very evolutionary process he had discovered?

Two related books appeared in 2008 and 2009: one was my own book that reveals Darwin as a man whose destiny was to alienate first the Christian world and then our modern liberal intelligentsia by virtue of his views of evolution and human nature; the second is the highly acclaimed book called The 10,000 Year Explosion by Henry Harpending and Greg Cochran, a work that dovetails with mine by supplying a detailed analysis of many recent genetic changes between races. They make a case for very rapid evolutionary change in humans over the last 10,000 years based upon agriculture and urbanization.In my book Darwin’s theory of evolution antagonized Christians but gradually won the support of liberals whose secular humanism grew by leaps and bounds, while it was Darwin’s view of human nature and race that began recently to clash with the stringent egalitarian doctrine of modern liberals whose politically correct ideology panders to minorities and protects them even from scientific truth.

The reason these two books add up to a disturbing conclusion is that they make a fairly comprehensive case for Homo sapiens as a species divided into four or five races which are reasonably distinct as Darwin thought they were. Darwin was a model of sympathy and realism as regards race. He had no trouble recognizing racial differences based upon anatomical studies as well as behavior. He believed that blacks were in fact more primitive than Europeans and that relations would be difficult because of very real differences in intelligence and character. In his own UK today he would be arrested for hate speech. By daring to discuss the genetics of race and the fact of real differences we risk broad alienation of readers unable to cope with harsh reality. Should the “inequality taboo” rule our lives forever if in fact it is wrong? Can we, like Darwin, learn to live with biological differences while readily accepting the moral equality of all humans?

So Darwin was hardly egalitarian while he was by no means a racist. His views were based upon careful observations and a collection of data sent to him by various naturalist friends, including Alfred Russel Wallace. He perhaps would not be surprised by the evidence presented in these two boldly nonconformist books that together vindicate Darwin on all counts. To wit, he was right about evolution and right about racial differences. While racial harmony is an obsession in the UK and America today, Darwin’s discovery of real differences was done in the spirit of science and his brooding over slavery was perhaps a harbinger of the current societal agonies based upon the mistaken notion that human races, unlike all others in nature, must be equal. Reading these two books will be disquieting for many but one must give Darwin his due if he is right in his view of nature. While modern genetics and neuroscience will flesh out more details of human nature, we present enough to confirm his extraordinary insights.Nature, as it turns out, seems indifferent to our political dreams.