MARIO Balotelli is a black footballer who recently left Manchester City to play for AC Milan in Italy. During a match in February, Balotelli (right) was the victim of disgraceful racist abuse during a match. He was subjected to “monkey chants” by a minority of fans of opposing team Inter Milan, some waving inflatable bananas. In another reported incident, American striker Jozy Altidore was subjected to “racist monkey chants” after scoring a penalty in the Dutch KNVB Cup. Just two of many examples. But, why would anyone want to liken black people to monkeys?
The answer — however unpalatable it may be — is that it is all because of the influence of the theory of evolution. Racism existed before Darwin, but the fact is that Darwin’s theory gave racists an excuse for their views. Consider the sub-title of Darwin’s Origin of Species: “The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life.” Although Darwin opposed slavery, he made no secret of his racist views. He wrote, “Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilised races throughout the world.”1
A biology textbook, published in 1915, contained the following: “At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America."(emphasis added) 2
FOUNDATIONS OF NAZISM
One of Darwin’s most enthusiastic disciples was German scientist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who is infamous for his fraudulent drawings, supposedly showing that humans are identical to other animals during their embryonic stages. His books and public lectures helped lay the foundations of Nazism, which in turn led to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews and people with dark skins. Haeckel wrote: “These lower races (such as the Veddahs or Australian negroes) are psychologically nearer to the mammals (apes or dogs) than to civilised Europeans; we must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives.”3 Without Darwin’s theory, World War Two would probably never have happened.
Richard Goldschmidt, Professor of Zoology at Berkeley, USA., wrote: “The present generation can hardly understand the influence Haeckel exercised through these books upon the minds of youth, of laymen in general, and also upon large sections of the professional world.”4
NO “PRIMITIVE” PEOPLE
Although most modern evolutionists would repudiate racism, evolutionary ideas still help to perpetuate the myth that dark-skinned people are somehow inferior. Reconstructions of our supposed evolutionary ancestors often show them with darker skins, even though it is impossible to tell skin colour from fossils (see box below). Another reason for the survival of racism is the erroneous belief that some people groups living today are “primitive.” The truth is that all human beings have descended from Adam and Eve (who were probably mid-brown). So-called “primitive” people have actually lost knowledge and skills possessed by their ancestors, but they are in no way mentally or physically inferior to those who like to call themselves “civilised.”5
There is only one real solution to the enduring curse of racism: the Biblical view that we are all created in God’s image and are of equal value to Him. We did not evolve from ape-like ancestors. ‘From one man [Adam] he made every nation of men’ (Acts 17: 26). There is one race — the human race. Through faith in Jesus Christ, who became a man Himself, we can find and celebrate that common unity, and expose and repudiate racist ideas which are opposed to both science and scripture.