Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Linked Bibliography

For those who want to see, for themselves, that Darwin was a racist, the inspiration of eugenics and probably Ernst Haeckel's most famous supporter and endorser.

The Descent of Man  by Charles Darwin

Note:  As well as copious examples of clear racism by Charles Darwin in the book, he also praises and cites works by Francis Galton, Ernst Haeckel,  W. R. Greg and others who are uncontroversially noted to be racists.

Works praised and cited by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man

Hereditary Genius  by Francis Galton

Note:  This is the seminal work of eugenics,  praised by Charles Darwin in a letter to Francis Galton (see chapter XX of Galton's memoir listed below) and cited with extravagant praise by Darwin in The Descent of Man.

The History of Creation,   English translation of  Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte

Volume one

Volume two

Note:  This overwhelmingly racist book advocating infanticide, murder of disabled people, etc. was translated by E. Ray Lankester c. 1875,  Lankester was a friend and intimate colleague of Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley.   During the period when he was making his translation, Darwin was lobbying for him to be accepted into the Linnean Society.   Darwin reserves his highest praise for Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichtes,  saying in his introduction that if he had not been far into writing The Descent of Man when he learned of Haeckel's book, he wouldn't have completed it.  His repeated citation of it in the text can be fairly described as gushing.

Also instructive

Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development by Francis Galton

Galton gives the line of his publications that constitutes his creation of eugenics, including Hereditary Genius.

Memories of My Life by Francis Galton

Note:  Chapter XX, in which Galton not only definitively ascribes credit to Charles Darwin and On the Origin of Species as inspiring eugenics but also publishes the very enthusiastic letter Darwin sent him on his reading Hereditary Genius.

Freedom in Science and Teaching,  English translation of Freie Wissenschaft und freie Lehre  by Ernst Haeckel

Note:  Thomas Huxley wrote the introduction to the English translation, Darwin endorsed it saying he agreed with all of it, one imagines including the passage in which Haeckel says that Darwinism applied to human society would produce an aristocratic system instead of democracy.

Also useful, especially in the relationship between Darwin and Haeckel is Francis Darwin's collection of his father's letters with commentary.

Volume two 

The Darwin Correspondence Project has many useful letters from and to Charles Darwin,  though there are many that aren't posted as of yet.

If Darwin disagreed with what any of these authors said  about him and his work in books and articles he is known to have read,  it was up to him to say so.   Unless someone can produce his objections,  his multiple, full throated, endorsements of these authors and their work has to stand as his expressed opinion.   I've read nothing from Darwin, his family members, his professional associates or others who knew him that distanced him from them.

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