Re: Social problems and evolution

Gordon Simons (
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 10:31:07 -0500 (EST)

Responding to Russell Maatman, Glenn Morton wrote:

> I must agree with those who have stated that racism existed before
> Darwin. I got interested in this area because ICR often makes the
> comment that if it weren't for evolution we wouldn't have racism. Well,
> I know what racism I saw in my southern Oklahoma church as a child and
> none of those folks believed evolution. And when I looked a little bit
> further back in history, I see the same thing among Christians and I
> know that today's Christians are not cognizant of our own history.
> Some of the saddest things occurred during the great missionary efforts
> of the 18th and 19th century. Tucker notes a case where the Missionaries
> didn't think a 'native' woman was a good enough wife for one of their
> fellow missionaries.
> ....

Charles Cairns reinforced these comments with remarks of his own.

Sadly disturbing commentary. Sad and, unfortunately, true.

Of course, it is possible to point to numerous instances in history in
which Christians, very clearly motivated by their Christian convictions,
have lead the fight against racism, slavery and a multiplicity of sins
plaguing mankind.

But back to the point: it is certainly the case that racism existed
before Darwin. I guess I would argue "way before":

Glenn, since you subscribe to evolution, perhaps you could agree that
racism is a natural consequence of the mechanisms of evolution. Then the
question becomes for Christians:

How do the "fallen nature of man" and man's evolutionary origins
intertwine? It seems that we have inherited our "original sin," in a
very literal sense, through our genes (no apple required!), -- a natural
tendency toward racism, selfishness, promiscuity, and a multiplicity of
things we Christians (should) view as sinful.

Here, I am merely tossing out some ideas for discussion, not a position

Gordon Simons