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Scientific racism is a term that describes either obsolete scientific theories of the 19th century or historical and contemporary racist propaganda disguised as scientific research. It may also refer to the notion, advanced by some relativists that the very root of western science is fundamentally racist.
Historically, scientific racism (or pseudo-scientifical racism) has included the use of anthropology (especially physical anthropology), anthropometry, craniometry, phrenology, physiognomy and other disciplines in the construction of typologies, or the classification of humans into distinct biological races. Such theories have provided ideological justifications to racism, slavery and colonialism during the New Imperialism period in the second half of the 19th century. Their popularity coincide with this period of European expansion in the world. These scholarly theories sometimes worked in conjunction with racism, for example in the case of the "human zoos", during which various human beings were presented in cages during colonial exhibitions. They were strongly denounced after World War II and the Holocaust, in particular by the UNESCO 1950 statement, signed by internationally known scholars, and titled The Race Question.
Today, the phrase is used either as an accusation or to describe what is generally considered to be historical racist propaganda about the supposed existence of different "human races", refuted by The Race Question UNESCO statement who advocated the use of the more precise term "ethnic group". The phrase has been applied retroactively to publications on race as far back as the 18th century. Many subsequently disproven claims of scientific conclusion have been used as advocacy for racist policies.
Along with eugenics, invented by Francis Galton and popularized at the turn of the 20th century, such theories, which often postulated a "master race", usually "Nordic" and "Aryan", were a main influence of the Nazi racial policies and their program of eugenics. However, this was not necessarily a continuous relationship, as several influential authors of Nazism were not anti-semitic. Quite to the contrary, Arthur de Gobineau (1816-82), for example, was a philo-semite who placed the "Jewish race" above all. Thus, although his racial theories largely influenced Nazi ideologies, they had to adapt him to suit their mindset. Apart from Gobineau's 1853 The Inequality of Human Races, other scientific racist works that largely influenced Nazism were Francis Galton’s 1870 Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences, Madison Grant’s 1916/1924 The Passing of the Great Race and Lothrop T. Stoddard’s 1920 The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy
Beside this first acception of the term, scientific racism is a pejorative label sometimes given to modern theories or arguments that allege that scientific evidence shows significant evolutionary differences between races or ethnic groups.
In this sense, the term is used to criticize modern studies of human genetics or studies claiming to show a link between race and intelligence, as well as hierarchically classifying races, hence asserting the superiority or inferiority of specific ones. Critics of such studies assert that both "race" and "intelligence" are fuzzy concepts.
Earliest examples of scientific racism
|It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Ethnocentrism. (Discuss)|
- See also: Race (historical definitions)
According to Benjamin Isaac's The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton University Press, 2006), roots of scientific racism may be found in Greco-Roman Antiquity. Other authors (such as the French author Raphaël Lagier, Les races humaines selon Kant - Human Races According to Kant, 2004 ), however, reject this claim, highlighting the very different scientific frame created in the 19th century with the birth of modern biology, making any interpretation of continuity between Ancient racist theories with modern scientific racism hazardous at best. B. Isaac discussed in his book the alleged role of Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen and many other notable figures in the gradual formation of the modern scientific racist worldview. He presents for instance the 5th-century BC treatise Airs, Waters, Places by Hippocrates as a prime instance of early (proto)scientific racism, and links Pseudo-Aristotle's suggestions to Hippocrates: "The idea that dark people are cowards and light people courageous fighters is found already in Airs, Waters, Places..."  He also quotes Vitruvius (70-25 B.C.) who, relying on the racial theories of Posidonius, wrote "those races nearest to the southern half of the axis are of lower stature, with swarthy complexions, curly hair, black eyes and little blood on account of the sun. This poverty of blood makes them over-timid to stand up against the sword...On the other hand, men born in cold countries are indeed ready to meet the shock of arms with great courage and without timidity" .
Historian of race Ivan Hannaford discusses the role of ancient Greek racial theories in early modern scientific racism: "Hippocrates' Airs, Waters and Places was for Johann Gottfried von Herder and Alexander von Humboldt, as they looked out upon a new world of ethnic groupings arising from the differentiations of environment, climate, soil and culture, historical proof of their newly invented cultural and climatic theories of existence" (Race: The History of an Idea in the West, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, p. 20). For further study on Hippocrates and proto-scientific racism, see "The Well-Tempered Racism of Hippocrates" in Masks of Authority: Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Poetics by Claude Calame, trans. Peter M. Burk (Cornell University Press, 2005), p. 135.
In other parts of the pre-modern world, proto-scientific racist arguments persisted. In the Middle East, Islamic ethnology absorbed many of the Greek ideas on racial characteristics being naturalistically attributable to the environment, climate and blood. The Muslim Masudi (d. 956) quoted the Greek physician and scientist Galen (A.D. c. 130-c. 200) in explaining the perceived deficiency of intelligence congenital to the Negroid type:
"Galen says that merriment dominates the Black man because of his defective brain, whence also the weakness of his intelligence" (Bernard Lewis, Race and Slavery in the Middle East, 1990, p. 52).
In the South Said al-Andalusi (d. 1070) thought that the blacks, because of the hot thin air, lacked "self control and steadiness of mind and are overcome by fickleness, foolishness and ignorance" (cited in Lewis, 1990: 47-48). Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), one of the greatest social thinkers and historians of the Middle Ages, attributed the perceived intellectual inferiority of black people to climate and not genetics (Lewis, p. 47).
Regular publications on race and other claimed differences between people of different geographical locations began at least as early as the eighteenth century. The 17th and 18th century were marked by natural history, in which the concept of evolution had no sense. Early attempts at distinguishing various races had been made by Henri de Boulainvilliers (1658-1722), who divided the nation of France between two races, the aristocratic, "French" race, descendants of the Germanic Franks, and the Gallo-Roman, indigenous race, which comprised the population of the Third Estate. According to Boulainvilliers, the descendants of the Franks dominated the Third Estate by a right of conquest. In the exact opposite of modern nationalism, the foreigners had a legitimate right of domination on indigenous peoples. But contrary to later, scientifically-justified theories of race, Boulainvilliers did not understand the concept of race as designing an eternal and immutable essence. His account was not, however, only a mythical tale: contrary to hagiographies and epics such as The Song of Roland, Boulainvilliers sought some kind of scientific legitimity by basing his distinction between a Germanic race and a Latin race on historical events. But his theory of races was completely distinct from the biological concept of race later used by nineteenth century's theories of scientific racism.
Carolus Linnaeus (1707-78), a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, who laid the bases of binomial nomenclature (the method of naming species) and is known as the "father of modern taxonomy" (the science of describing, categorising and naming organisms) was also a pioneer in defining the concept of "race" as applied to humans. Within Homo sapiens he proposed four taxa of a lower (unnamed) rank. These categories are, Americanus, Asiaticus, Africanus, and Europeanus. They were based on place of origin at first, and later skin color. Each race had certain characteristics that were endemic to individuals belonging to it. Native Americans were reddish, stubborn, and angered easily. Africans were black, relaxed and negligent. Asians were yellow, avaricious, and easily distracted. Europeans were white, gentle, and inventive.
In addition, in Amoenitates academicae (1763), Carolus Linnaeus defined Homo anthropomorpha as a catch-all race for a variety of human-like mythological creatures, including the troglodyte, satyr, hydra, and phoenix. He claimed that these creatures actually existed, but were in reality inaccurate descriptions of real-world ape-like creatures.
He also defined in Systema Naturæ Homo ferus as "four-footed, mute, hairy." It included the subraces Juvenis lupinus hessensis (wolf boys), who he thought were raised by animals, and Juvenis hannoveranus (Peter of Hanover) and Puella campanica (Wild-girl of Champagne). He likewise defined Homo monstrosous as agile and fainthearted, and included in this race the Patagonian giant, the dwarf of the Alps, and the monorchid Hottentot.
Edward Long, a British colonial administrator, created a more simple classification of race in History of Jamaica (1774). The next year, Johann Blumenbach published his thesis, On the Natural Varieties of Mankind, one of the foundational work of scientific racism. Blumenbach, however, supported monogenism, according to which all mankind had a common origin, against Samuel von Sömmering and Christoph Meiners, who supported polygenism, the view that separate races originated independently.
19th century theories of race
The scientific classification proposed by Linnaeus was a prerequisite of any attempts at scientifically classifying humanity according to various races. Unilinealism depicting a progression from primitive human societies to industrialised civilisation became popular amongst philosophers including Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant and Auguste Comte, and fitted well with the Christian belief of a divine Creation following which all of humanity descended from the same Adam and Eve. In contrast, polygenist theory alleged that there were different origins of mankind, thus making it possible to conceive of different, biological, human races, or to classify other humans as akin to animals without rights. Early scientific racist theories such as Arthur Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855) were mostly decadent in that they did not believe in the possibility of "improvement of the race."
Charles Darwin's 1859 On the Origin of Species was very influential, although it made no mention of humanity and when he published his views in his The Descent of Man of 1871 he was emphatic that there were no clear distinctive characteristics to categorise races as separate species, and that all shared very similar physical and mental characteristics indicating common ancestry. While he did not believe races to be distinct species, Charles Darwin did state, however,
"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."However with "Social Darwinism", a later name for ideas from earlier thinkers combined with concepts of evolution by natural selection, scientific racist theories could postulate a racist "survival of the fittest," an expression coined by Herbert Spencer in 1864. Ideas of improving human races were popularized by Francis Galton's "eugenics". Scientific racism theories, influenced by other discourses and events, became extremely popular towards the end of the 19th century.
Phrenology, which attempted to describe traits of character by outward appearance, including by the shape of skulls, measured via craniometry, and of skeletons, was put to use in racist ends. Thus, skulls and skeletons of Black people and other indigenous people were displayed between apes and white men. Thus, Ota Benga, a Pygmy, was displayed as the "Missing Link" in 1906 in the Bronx Zoo in New York, alongside apes and other animals. Some of the most influential theories included Vacher de Lapouge (1854-1936)'s "anthroposociology" and Herder (1744-1803), who applied "race" to nationalist theory to develop the first conception of ethnic nationalism. To the contrary, Ernest Renan famously argued in 1882 against Herder for a conception of nation based on the "will to live together," which was not founded on any ethnic or racial prerequisite. Scientific racist discourse posited the historical existence of "national races" such as German and French, branching from basal races supposed to have existed for millennia, such as the "Aryan race", and believed political boundaries should mirror these supposed racial ones.
Craniometry and physical anthropology
Dutch scholar Pieter Camper (1722-89) was one of the first theorists of craniometry, the measure of skulls, which he used to justify racial differences. In 1770, he invented in one of his numerous memoirs the concept of the "facial angle", a measure meant to determine intelligence among various species. According to this technique, a "facial angle" was formed by drawing two lines: one horizontally from the nostril to the ear; and the other perpendicularly from the advancing part of the upper jawbone to the most prominent part of the forehead. Camper claimed that antique statues presented an angle of 90°, Europeans of 80°, Black people of 70° and the orangutan of 58°, thus displaying a hierarchic and racist view of mankind, based on a decadent conception of history. These scientific racist researchs were continued by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844) and Paul Broca (1824-80).
Samuel George Morton (1799-1851), one of the inspirator of physical anthropology, collected hundreds of human skulls from all over the world and started trying to find a way to classify them according to some logical criteria. Influenced by the common racist theories of his time, he claimed that he could judge the intellectual capacity of a race by the cranial capacity (the measure of the volume of the interior of the skull). A large skull meant a large brain and high intellectual capacity, and a small skull indicated a small brain and decreased intellectual capacity. By studying these skulls he decided at what point Caucasians stopped being Caucasians, and at what point Negroes began. Morton had many skulls from ancient Egypt, and concluded that the ancient Egyptians were not African, but were white. His two major monographs were the Crania Americana (1839), An Inquiry into the Distinctive Characteristics of the Aboriginal Race of America and Crania Aegyptiaca (1844). In Crania Americana, he claimed that the mean cranial capacity of the skulls of Whites was 87 in³ (1,425 cm³), while that of Blacks was 78 in³ (1,278 cm³). Based on the measurement of 144 skulls of Native Americans, he reported a figure of 82 in³ (1,344 cm³) Template:Sic.
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002), an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and historian of science, studied from a historical perspective these craniometric works in The Mismeasure of Man (1981). He showed that Samuel Morton had fudged data and "overpacked" the skulls with filler in order to justify his racist opinions.
In 1873, Paul Broca (1824-1880), founder of the Anthropological Society of Paris in 1859, found the same pattern described by Samuel Morton's Crania Americana by weighing brains at autopsy. Other historical studies alleging a Black-White difference in brain size include Bean (1906), Mall, (1909), Pearl, (1934) and Vint (1934).
Monogenism and polygenism
Morton's followers, particularly Josiah C. Nott (1804-1873) and George Gliddon (1809-57) in their monumental tribute to Morton's work, Types of Mankind (1854), carried Morton's ideas further and claimed that his findings in fact supported the notion of polygenism, which claims that humanity originates from different lineages and is the ancestor of the multiregional hypothesis. Morton himself had been reluctant to explicitly espouse polygenism because it was a major challenge to the biblical account of creation. Charles Darwin opposed Nott and Glidon's polygenist — and creationists — arguments in his 1871 The Descent of Man, arguing for a monogenism of the species. Darwin conceived the common origin of all humans (aka single-origin hypothesis) as essential for evolutionary theory.
Furthermore, Josiah Nott was the translator of Arthur de Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-55), which is one of the founder of "biological racism", in contrast to Boulainvilliers (1658-1722)'s theory of races.
Philosophers of the Enlightenment and racial classifications
- Further information: Unilineal evolution
A few years later, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), celebrated as the symbol of the Enlightenment's philosophy of progress and humanism, wrote his essay On the Different Races of Man (1775) in which he attempted a scientific classification of human races. Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) would also include a strongly evolutionist account of history in Lectures on the Philosophy of History, describing the development of the Geist (Spirit or Reason) in history through a serie of incarnations in specific Volkgeists (Folk Spirit). Hegel's philosophy of history was explicitly biased in favor of Europe, and, in particular, of the Prussian state, conceived as the achievement of history (the "End of History"). In his chapter on the Geographical Foundings of Universal History, Hegel wrote that "each People represented a particular degree of the development of the Spirit," thus forming a "nation." Influenced, as many others, by Montesquieu's theory on the influence of climate on mores and laws, which the latter had developed in The Spirit of the Laws (1748), Hegel wrote that:
"It is true that climate has influence in that sence that neither the warm zone nor the cold zone are favourable to the liberty of man and to the apparition of historical peoples."(i.e. of peoples that "have" a history, in contrast with "savages" that allegedly have no history).
Unsurprisingly, Hegel thus favored the Geist in temperate zones. Hegel finally made an account of "universal history," which started with the Oriental World, then the Greek Antiquity, then the Roman and the Christian World, and, ultimately, the Prussian World It is true, however, that Hegel's philosophy, as Kant for that manner, can not be reduced to such evolutionist statements. In the same lessons, Hegel thus write that "America is the country of the future", but that "philosophy does not concerns itself with prophecies", but with history. Nevertheless, as great as Hegel's philosophy may be considered to be, it has provided justifications for Europe's imperialism until World War I. In the same way, the works of Montesquieu, one of the early founder of modern sociology, has provided various justifications over the age claiming to scientifically ground "Negroes' inferiority" on claims of the alleged influence of climate. Such racial and evolutionist statements would be echoed by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) who attributed civilizational primacy, on naturalistic grounds, to the "white races" who gained their sensitivity and intelligence by refinement in the rigorous North:
"The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmins, the Incas, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands. All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want and misery, which in their many forms were brought about by the climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature and out of it all came their high civilization."
- Further information: Race (historical definitions)
One of the first typologies used to classify various human races was invented by Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854-1936), a theoretician of eugenics, who published in 1899 L'Aryen et son rôle social (1899 - "The Aryan and his social role"). In this book, he classified humanity into various, hierarchized, races, spanning from the "Aryan white race, dolichocephalic", to the "brachycephalic" "mediocre and inert" race, best represented by the "Jew Template:Sic." Between these, Vacher de Lapouge identified the "Homo europaeus (Teutonic, Protestant, etc.), the "Homo alpinus" (Auvergnat, Turkish, etc.), and finally the "Homo mediterraneus" (Neapolitan, Andalus, etc.) Vacher de Lapouge became one of the leading inspiration of Nazi anti-semitism and Nazi racist ideology.
Vacher de Lapouge's classification was mirrored in William Z. Ripley in The Races of Europe (1899), a book which had a large influence on US white supremacism. Ripley even made a map of Europe according to the alleged cephalic index of its inhabitants. He was an important influence of the American eugenist Madison Grant.
Furthermore, according to John Efron (Indiana Univ.), the late 19th century also witnessed "the scientizing of anti-Jewish prejudice," stigmatizing Jews with male menstruation, pathological hysteria, and nymphomania . At the same time, several Jews, such as Joseph Jacobs or Samuel Weissenberg, also endorsed the same pseudo-scientific theories, convinced that the Jews formed a distinct race . Chaim Zhitlovsky also attempted to define Yiddishkayt (Ashkenazi Jewishness) by turning to contemporary racial theory .
Deniker, Grant and the "Nordic race"
One of William Ripley's main opponent was Joseph Deniker (1852-1918). While Ripley maintained, as Vacher de Lapouge, that Europe was composed of three racial stocks, Joseph Deniker held that there were ten European races (six primary races with four subsidiary or sub-races). Deniker's most lasting contribution to the field of racial theory was the designation of one of his races as la race nordique (the Northern race). While this group had no special place in Deniker's racial model, it would be elevated by Madison Grant (1865-1937) in his Nordic theory to the engine of civilization. Grant adopted Ripley's three-race model for Europeans, but disliked Ripley's use of the "Teuton" for one of the races. Grant transliterated la race nordique into "Nordic", and promoted it to the top of his racial hierarchy in his own popular racial theory of the 1910s and 1920s.
Furthermore, Deniker proposed that the concept of "race" was too confusing, and instead proposed the use of the word "ethnic group" instead, which was later adopted prominently in the work of Julian Huxley and Alfred C. Haddon. Ripley argued that Deniker's idea of a "race" should be rather called a "type", since it was far less biologically rigid that most approaches to the question of race.
Scientific racism in the Svecoman movement in 19th century Finland
A language strife developed in the Grand Duchy of Finland in the 19th century, supported by Finnish speaking nationalists, the Fennomans, which aimed at raising the majority language, Finnish language, from peasant-status it had during the Swedish reign to the position of a national language and status. These were opposed by the the Swedish speaking minority living in Finland, called Svecomans and best represented by the linguist Axel Olof Freudenthal (1836-1911), who defended the use of the Swedish language against Finnish. Svecomans were influenced by Herder, Gobineau, Blumenbach (1752-1840) and others racialist theorists, and thus considered that Finland was separated into two discrete "races," one speaking Finnish, and the other, superior one, assimilated to the "Germanic race," spoke Swedish. The racial theory was finally disproven by genetics: the genetics of Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking Finns do not differ from each other.
Scientific racism and eugenics
- Further information: Eugenics
Madison Grant's The Passing of the Great Race (1916) was described by Stephen Jay Gould as "the most influential tract of American scientific racism." Grant's Nordic theory was embraced in Germany by the racial hygiene movement in the 1920s-30s. The term itself of Rassenhygiene was coined by Alfred Ploetz (1860-1940) in Racial Hygiene Basics (1895). Ploetz founded the German Society for Racial Hygiene in 1905. The German Racial hygiene movement advocated selective breeding, compulsory sterilizations and a close alignment of public health with eugenics.
Racial hygiene was historically tied to traditional notions of public health, but usually with an enhanced emphasis on heredity — what philosopher and historian Michel Foucault has called state racism. The use of social measures to attempt to preserve or enhance biological characteristics was first proposed by Francis Galton (1822-1911) in his early work, starting in 1869. He then coined the term "eugenics." A statistician before all, Galton had created the statistical concepts of regression and correlation and discovered regression toward the mean, and was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and "inheritance of intelligence". He introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on sets of populations, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies. Galton also founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology (the branch of psychology that concerns itself with psychological differences between people, rather than on common traits).
As scientific racism, eugenics became very popular in the early 20th century, and both were main influence of the Nazi racial policies as well as their eugenics program. Galton, Karl Pearson (1857-1936) and Walter F. R. Weldon (1860-1906) founded in 1901 the Biometrika scientific journal, which promoted the study of biometrics and the statistical analysis of hereditary phenomena. Charles Davenport (1866-1944) was involved for a short time in the review. He published in 1929 Race Crossing in Jamaica, purported to give statistical evidence for biological and cultural degradation following interbreeding between white and black populations. Davenport had connections to Nazi Germany, before and during World War II. in 1939 he wrote a contribution to the festschrift for Otto Reche (1879-1966), who became an important figure within the plan to "remove" those populations considered "inferior" in eastern Germany.
Scientific racism and popular racist ideology
- Further information: Human zoo
Human zoos were an important means of bolstering "popular racism", while being at the same time an object of anthropology and anthropometry; they were sometimes called "ethnographic exhibitions" or "Negro villages." Starting in the 1870s, they were common until World War II, and the concept has even survived until the 21st century. Ethnographic zoos were often predicated on unilinealism and a version of Social Darwinism. A number of them placed indigenous people (particularly Africans) in a continuum somewhere between the great apes and human beings of European descent.
Fundamental to any scientific racist theory and white supremacist views, theories of unilineal evolution claimed that Western culture was the contemporary pinnacle of social evolution. It was upheld by famous thinkers such as August Comte (1798-1857), Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917), Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881), and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903). Social evolutionism represented an attempt to formalize social thinking along scientific lines, later influenced by the biological theory of evolution.
The display of human beings in cages, in an attempt to demonstrate scientific racist theories, became common in the second half of the 19th century. The 1889 World Fair in Paris had as major attraction a "Negro village" where 400 indigenous people were displayed. Carl Hagenbeck, a German merchant in wild animals, exhibited in 1874 Samoans and Sami people described as "purely natural" populations. Two years later, he sent an emissary to Sudan to capture wild beasts for his circus attractions, along with Nubians. Geoffroy de Saint-Hilaire, son of Edouard Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and owner of the Parisian Jardin d'acclimatation, presented Nubians and Inuit in 1877.
In 1906, Madison Grant, head of the New York Zoological Society, had Congolese pygmy Ota Benga put on display at the Bronx Zoo in New York City alongside apes and other animals. At the behest of Grant, a prominent eugenicist, the zoo director placed Ota Benga in a cage with an orangutan and labeled him The Missing Link, illustrating that in evolutionary terms Africans like Ota Benga were closer to apes than were Europeans.
Historian Pascal Blanchard et al. thus wrote:
Human zoos, the incredible symbols of the colonial period and the transition from the nineteenth to twentieth century, have been completely suppressed in our collective history and memory. Yet they were major social events. The French, Europeans and Americans came in their tens of millions to discover the "savage" for the first time in zoos or "ethnographic" and colonial fairs. These exhibitions of the exotic (the future "native") laid the foundations on which, over an almost sixty-year period, was spun the West's progressive transition from a "scientific" racism to a colonial and "mass" racism affecting millions of "visitors" from Paris to Hamburg, London to New York, Moscow to Barcelona...
Justification of slavery in the nineteenth century
Because the Atlantic slave trade raised moral questions from its inception scientific theories were provided to justify the enslavement of Africans, in particular in the United States. According to Alexander Thomas and Samuell Sillen during this time period the Black man was described as uniquely fitted for bondage because of what researches at the time called "his primitive psychological organization." Hence, a well-known physician of the ante-bellum South, Samuel A. Cartwright (1793-1851) of Louisiana, had a psychiatric explanation for runaway slaves. He diagnosed their attempts to gain freedom as a treatable mental illness and coined the term "drapetomania" in 1851 to describe it. His feeling was that with "proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented." Cartwright also described dysaethesia aethiopica, "called by overseers 'rascality'".
The attention focused on race leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War led to a proliferation of works looking at the physiological differences between Caucasians and Negroes, with a large amount of attention paid to the question of "miscegenation." Work by early anthropologists such as Josiah Clark Nott, George Robins Gliddon, Robert Knox, and Samuel George Morton attempted to prove scientifically that Negroes were not the same species as white people, and alleged that the rulers of Ancient Egypt were not actually Africans, and that racial mixture provided infertile or weak offspring. In the years after the Civil War, Southern physicians wrote text after text outlining different scientific studies which sought to prove that the Negro was dying out as a race under the conditions of freedom, implying that the system of slavery had been beneficial.
In the twentieth and twenty first centuries
This sort of work continued through the early twentieth century, but soon intelligence testing became a new source for comparisons between races. Poorly designed studies appeared to justify the claim that "Negroes," as well as Eastern Europeans and Jews, were physically and mentally inferior to whites from Northern Europe. In the United States, eugenicists such as Harry H. Laughlin and Madison Grant sought to justify policies such as compulsory sterilization and immigration restriction by using scientific research to show that certain populations of people were physically or mentally inadequate. Compulsory sterilization programs were active until the 1960s and even further on. In France, Nobel prize winner Alexis Carrel, who founded the ancestor of the present INED demographic institute, followed a similar discourse, in particular under the Vichy regime. However, Vichy didn't implement any eugenics programs.
The Nazis and sympathizers published a great number of books dealing with scientific racism. Many beliefs which would become associated with the Nazis, such as Eugenics and Anti-Semitism, had been in circulation since the 19th century, and the Nazis seized on this body of existing work in their own publications. Books such as Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes (Ethnology of German People) by Hans F. K. Günther and Rasse und Seele (Race and Soul) by Dr. Ludwig Ferdinand Clauss attempt to identify and classify the differences between the German, Nordic or Aryan type and other, supposedly inferior, peoples using scientific and anthropological methods. These books were used as texts in German schools during the Nazi era.
- Rasse und Seele title.png
"Race and Soul" schoolbook
- Rasse und Selle female.png
"Race and Soul" showing expressions of Nordic people
- Rasse und Seele photos male.png
"Race and Soul" showing characteristics of Nordic people
- Kleine Rassenkunde cover.png
"Small Ethnology of the German People"
- Kleine Rassenkunde photos.png
"Small Ethnology" showing Germanic types
- Kleine Rassenkunde dolicho.png
"Small Ethnology" showing differences in skull shape
Civil rights era
In the 1960s George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party gave an interview to Alex Haley for Playboy magazine (April 1966 issue) In the interview, Rockwell explained why he believed black people were inferior to whites. He cited a study by G.O. Ferguson that showed that black people who were part white did better on a test than the "pure-black niggers" (Rockwell's words); Rockwell's use of these statistics is a textbook example of a statistical fallacy used to propagate scientific racism.
Criticism of IQ tests and intelligence research
Much of the actual science used in certain early physical anthropological studies on race has been discredited as highly flawed, usually from methodological standpoints. The early IQ tests used during intelligence testing of soldiers during World War I, for example, were found later to have measured acculturation to the USA more than they did any latent intelligence.  Multiple-choice questions included such highly context-based questions as: "Crisco is a: patent medicine, disinfectant, toothpaste, food product" and "Christy Mathewson is famous as a: writer, artist, baseball player, comedian." Not surprisingly, recent immigrants to the USA did poorly on such questions, and the intelligence scores correlated most significantly with the number of years spent immersed in American culture. However, modern studies on race and intelligence have overcome many of these concerns, and the subject remains one of intense interest because they continue to show differences between races. Dorthy Roberts writes that the history of the eugenics movement in America was strongly tied to the older scientific racism used to justify slavery. Roberts writes that paralleling the development of eugenic theory was the acceptance of intelligence as the primary indicator of human value. Eugenicists claimed that the IQ test could quantify innate human ability in a single measurement, despite the objections of the creator of the test, Alfred Binet.
Until the 1920s such work was regarded as science and faced little criticism. But soon, new work by the cultural anthropologist Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict began to slowly, point out methodological errors and to allege that political and ideological bias was affecting the conclusions more than the observations made. Through the 1920s and 1930s, the Boasian school of cultural anthropology began to compete with and even replace the school of physical anthropology, in a bitter institutional battle. Eventually the Boasians were defeated.
In the early 1930s, the government of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler utilized highly racialized scientific rhetoric based on social Darwinism for pushing its restrictive and discriminatory social policies. When World War II broke out, the Nazi approach to race became anathema in the United States, and Boasians such as Ruth Benedict were able to consolidate their institutional power. In the years after the war, the discovery of the Holocaust and the Nazi abuses of scientific research (such as the ethical violations of Josef Mengele and other war crimes which were revealed at the Nuremberg Trials) led to a widespread repudiation of the use of science to support racist causes within the scientific community.
In response to the German racial propaganda, many geneticists, especially Julian Huxley and Alfred C. Haddon, along with certain anthropologists, published works denouncing the Nazi views on race and the studies they purported to be based on. Some of the anthropologist's works were even made into anti-racist propaganda and distributed widely in the form of pamphlets. Many began to identify Nazi Germany specifically with many racist attitudes which had previously been accepted (indeed, Nazi Germany did not develop them in a bubble, and many like-minded scientists had institutional support in the U.S. and UK as well), and after the war this had a great effect on how the public and scientists viewed research which made strong statements about the superiority or inferiority of races, even to the point that any scientific studies of racial differences, were viewed as being beyond the pale.
In the decades after the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, increased attention was paid to those who attempted to use science to justify purportedly racist viewpoints. Many scientists who had previously published works relating to racial differences moved into other fields. Robert Yerkes, for example, had previously worked on the World War I Army intelligence testing, but in the years that followed moved instead into the field of primatology.
Also symptomatic of this change in conditions were effort of international bodies such as UNESCO to draft resolutions that attempted to summarize the state of scientific knowledge about race and issue calls for the resolution of racial conflicts. In its 1950 The Race Question  UNESCO declared that "A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species Homo sapiens", which were broadly defined as the Mongoloid, Negroid, and the Caucasoid "divisions" but stated that "It is now generally recognized that intelligence tests do not in themselves enable us to differentiate safely between what is due to innate capacity and what is the result of environmental influences, training and education." To this day, the 1950 UNESCO Statement is controversial among some scientists because of its message (some, such as R. A. Fisher, vehemently disagreed with it) and its purpose (some objected to what was perceived as a political declaration about what science did or did not "say"). It clearly did not subscribe to the denial of the reality of race point of view.
In 1978, a similar sort of declaration UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice . This Statement proclaimed that no race was superior to any other, but in contrast to the 1950 statement, hardly mentioned science but rather relied more on "moral and ethical principles of humanity." The corresponding 2001 statement by UNESCO, Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity  does not mention race at all, nor does it use "science" as the underpinning justification for its views on cultural diversity. Views, or at least the language, of racial discourse, have clearly evolved over the half-century.
The labeling of a work today as being "scientific racism" is generally meant to imply that the research has been politically motivated and is attempting to justify racist ideology through the use of a veneer of science. This labeling is challenged by those who have conducted this research, who claim that their work was indeed objective and that the attempts to denounce it are acts of political correctness or censorship. Some have compared the attacks on their work as akin to Lysenkoism.
Some of the work of such scientists of the 19th century, such as the naturalist Charles Darwin, contain statements and ideas which would be considered racist in the current cultural context, but in their time were either typical for their Victorian context or even less racist than many other contemporary scientific views. For example, Darwin believed in a hierarchy of the human races (with Europeans at the top and Native Americans at or near the bottom), as did most Victorian scientists. However, Darwin can be considered far less racist in this belief than much of the anthropological community of his time, who argued that other races were not even of the same species as Europeans, an idea Darwin vehemently opposed.
Few scientists today argue for a linear model of racial superiority, believing that each human population is fitted best to its own ancestral environment and there is no possible universal standard by which to compare and judge. Most scientists today also disdain the idea of deriving moral or legal rights from the results of scientific research, but these humanistic attitudes do not prevent objective researchers from studying and publishing on the various empirical differences between and among populations and ethnic groups with differing genetic histories. Speaking for the modern anthropo-genetic consensus, geneticist Spencer Wells, in his book The Journey of Man, connects differences in brain evolution and behaviorial style with the migration of human beings away from Africa and into the Northern and wintry regions:
"The Eurasian interior was a fairly brutal school for our ancestors. Advanced problem-solving skills would have been critical to their survival, which helps us to understand why it was only after the Great Leap Forward in intellectual capacity that humans were ready to colonize most of the world. During their sojourn on the steppes, modern humans developed highly specialized toolkits... The problem-solving intelligence that would have allowed Upper Paleolithic people to live in the harsh northern Eurasian steppes and hunt enormous game illustrates something that could called the 'will to kill'".
The very large collaborative study known as the HapMap project, which is an outgrowth of the huge Human Genome Project, has exhaustively made available to all the Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequency differences between four groups or populations, Han Chinese, Tokyo Japanese, Northern Europeans, and Nigerian Yoruba. It is well known today that many diseases are influenced by genes, that it is important and beneficial to understand the links between genes and disease, and how the frequencies of both differ between races. Using powerful new laboratory techniques such as PCR, DNA microarrays, and bioinformatics together with modern statistical methods, these connections are being intensively studied around the world by the medical community.
The attacks on scientific research into racial differences on these studies are much less frequent and muted than those directed at researchers who study behavioral, and, especially, intelligence differences between the races. These latter differences, while 'comparatively easy' to demonstrate, have cause(s) that are much more difficult to determine because of the many confounding effects, partly rooted in historical and economic circumstances. These studies are also relatively value laden, which tends to increase the emotional temperature of the debate somewhat.
Among those most prominently attacked as scientific racists in the late 20th century have been Arthur Jensen (The g Factor: The Science of Mental Ability), J. Philippe Rushton, president of the Pioneer Fund (Race, Evolution, and Behavior), Richard Lynn (IQ and the Wealth of Nations), and Richard Herrnstein (The Bell Curve), among others. Many critics of these authors, such as Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin, said that their refusal to renounce their work indicated racist motivations. In turn, Gould has been accused by a number of scientists of misrepresenting their work and of being motivated in these attacks by his political views. Jensen published a rebuttal of Gould's accusations in The Debunking of Scientific Fossils and Straw Persons . Both Gould and Lewontin have given a course titled Biology as a Social Weapon, which, Gould explained, was intended to foster "a powerful political and moral vision of how science, properly interpreted and used to empower all the people, might truly help us to be free."
As another example, Edinburgh University psychologist Chris Brand, whose work involves IQ, broke with convention in 1996 by indicating that he was a 'race realist.' He was fired after a sixteen-month battle with his university (though later compensated financially for 'unfair dismissal').
The question of who is being more political — either those to whom the term is applied or those who apply the term — is itself a source of much dispute. Some critics have argued that the entire attempt to compare races using science is impossibly fraught with methodological problems, and that even if it were not, nothing good could come from the research. Those who support such work generally appeal to the more idealistic goals of scientific knowledge, and many have implied that social policy should be tailored around accurate scientific knowledge of such differences, if they exist.
As a result of this historical evolution of the idea of race, the pejorative term "scientific racism" or simply "racism" is still sometimes applied even to the activities of scientists who seek to understand the nature of the differences between races or geographically separated populations for medical, anthropological, or even genealogical purposes. Recently, the discovery of many ancestry-informative markers in the human genome has provided powerful new tools for distinguishing populations, and can serve as replacements for the historical, more subjective variables which sometimes vary little between races.
- Albert Einstein's brain
- Hamitic hypothesis
- Institute for the Study of Academic Racism
- John Hanning Speke
- Nazism and race
- Pioneer Fund
- Racists, a 2006 novel by Kunal Basu
- Science Wars
- Alexandru Dimitrie Xenopol (1847-1920, authored a booklet on "race and intelligence", inspirator of the Iron Guard)
- American Renaissance (magazine)
- ↑ *Tucker, William. 2002. The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press; *Poliakov, Leon. 1974. Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe. New York, NY: Basic Books;* Biddiss, Michael D. 1970. Father of Racist Ideology: The Social and Political Thought of Count Gobineau. New York: Weybright and Talley
- ↑ (Tucker 1994)
- ↑ *Tucker 1994; *Mintz, Frank P. 1985. The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood.)
- ↑ *Kühl, Stefan. 1994. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press;* Tucker 1994)
- ↑ Raphaël Lagier, Les races humaines selon Kant, PUF, 2004. ISBN 9782130546573 (French)
- ↑ Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity, p. 356
- ↑ Benjamin Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity, p. 83
- ↑ Linnaeus, Carl. Systema Naturae (1767), p. 29
- ↑ "It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant... they graduate into each other, and.. it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them... As it is improbable that the numerous and unimportant points of resemblance between the several races of man in bodily structure and mental faculties (I do not here refer to similar customs) should all have been independently acquired, they must have been inherited from progenitors who had these same characters.", Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man p225 onwards,
The Mis-portrayal of Darwin as a Racist
- ↑ Darwin, Charles. 1871. The Descent of Man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. Volume. 1. 1st edition. p 201
- ↑ Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of History, 1828-1830, Chapter IV, Natural Conditions - The Geographical Foundings of Universal History; 1, General Definitions; A. Natural Conditioning, §5.
- ↑ Hegel, ibid., Chapter V
- ↑ Hegel, ibid., IV, 2, The New World, 4 (1 is the Introduction) "North America and its Destiny," excipit
- ↑ Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays, Volume II, Section 92
- ↑ See Pierre-André Taguieff, La couleur et le sang - Doctrines racistes à la française ("Colour and Blood - Racist doctrines à la française"), Paris, Mille et une nuits, 2002, 203 pages, and La Force du préjugé - Essai sur le racisme et ses doubles, Tel Gallimard, La Découverte, 1987, 644 pages
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 John M. Efron (History and Jewish Studies, Indiana University), Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-De-Siecle Europe, Yale University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0300054408
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Richard Bodek. "Review of John M. Efron, Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors & Race Science in Fin-de-Siècle Europe", H-SAE, H-Net Reviews, May, 1996 (English)
- ↑ Matthew Hoffman, From Pintele Yid to Racenjude: Chaim Zhitlovsky and racial conceptions of Jewishness in Jewish History, Vol. 19, n°1 / January 2005
- ↑ Kuhl, 1994.
- ↑ **"Le retour des zoos humains (par Pascal Blanchard et Olivier Barlet)", Africacultures, October 28, 2005. ;**"From human zoos to colonial apotheoses: the era of exhibiting the Other by Pascal Blanchard, Nicolas Bancel and Sandrine Lemaire (English version)", Africacultures, October 28, 2005. ;**Black Deutschland, von Oliver Hardt
- ↑ Alexander Thomas and Samuell Sillen (1972). Racism and Psychiatry. New York: Carol Publishing Group.
- ↑ Samual A. Cartwright, "Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race", DeBow's Review—Southern and Western States, Volume XI, New Orleans, 1851
- ↑ The statistics used in the study and the excerpt from the Playboy article were used as an example of a "statistical fallacy" in the book Flaws and Fallacies in Statistical Thinking by Stephen K. Campbell
- ↑ Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts. Page 63. December 1998 ISBN 0679758690
- Asseo, Henriette (1997). The Gypsies During the Second World War, Vol. 1: From Race Science to the Camps. University of Hertfordshire Press. ISBN 0-900458-78-X
- Barkan, Elazar. The Retreat of Scientific Racism: Changing Concepts of Race in Britain and the United States between the World Wars. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
- Biddiss, Michael D. 1970. Father of Racist Ideology: The Social and Political Thought of Count Gobineau. New York: Weybright and Talley.
- Efron, John M., Defenders of the Race: Jewish Doctors and Race Science in Fin-De-Siecle Europe, Yale University Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0300054408
- Gould, Stephen Jay. 1981. The Mismeasure of Man. New York: Norton.
- Gross, Paul R., and Levitt, Norman. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8018-4766-4
- Mintz, Frank P. 1985. The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
- Kühl, Stefan. 1994. The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Lombardo, Paul A. 2002. "‘The American Breed’: Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund." Albany Law Review 65:743–830.
- Murray, Charles. 2005. (co-author of The Bell Curve), The Inequality Taboo. Commentary Magazine, September.
- Poliakov, Leon. 1974. Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalist Ideas in Europe. New York, NY: Basic Books.
- Proctor, Robert N.. Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988.
- Sapp, Jan (1987). Beyond the Gene: Cytoplasmic Inheritance and the Struggle for Authority in Genetics. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-504206-9
- Taguieff, Pierre-André. 1987. La Force du préjugé. Essai sur le racisme et ses doubles (Tel Gallimard, La Découverte) ISBN 2-07-071977-4 (French)
- Tucker, William. 2002. The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
- UNESCO, The Race Question, 1950.
- Institute for the Study of Academic Racism, Ferris State University (Michigan, USA) maintained by Barry Mehler
- Links to scholarly websites about "race science" by Nizkor Project
- The Problem of Human Diversity in the European Cultural Experience of the Eighteenth Century (Trieste, 14-15 February 2002)
- The Mis-portrayal of Darwin as a Racist - Refutes claims that Darwin was a racist or that his views inspired the Nazis
- Brain Size and Intelligence
- Reviews of Race: The Reality of Human Differences.
- RaceSci.org: History of Race in Science
- Gardner, Dan. Race Science: When Racial Categories Make No Sense. The Globe and Mail, Oct. 27, 1995.
- Institute for the study of academic racism (ISAR)
- Race, Science, and Social Policy. From Race: The Power of an Illusion. PBS.
- Arthur Hu's Index of Diversity
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