Darwin's Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins

Voorkant
Penguin Books Limited, 2010 - 484 pagina's
In this remarkable book Adrian Desmond and James Moore, world authorities on Darwin, give a completely new explanation of how Darwin came to his famous view of evolution, which traced all life to an ancient common ancestor. Darwin was committed to the abolition of slavery, in part because of his family’s deeply held beliefs. It was his ‘Sacred Cause’ and at its core lay a belief in human racial unity. Desmond and Moore show how he extended to all life the idea of human brotherhood held by those who fought to abolish slavery, so developing our modern view of evolution. Through massive detective work among unpublished family correspondence, manuscripts and rare works, the authors back up their compelling claim. Leading apologists for slavery in Darwin’s day argued that blacks and whites had originated as separate species, with whites superior. Creationists too believed that ‘man’ was superior to other species. Darwin abhorred such ‘arrogance’; he declared it ‘more humble & ... true’ to see humans ‘created from animals’. Darwin gave all the races – blacks and whites, animals and plants – a common origin and freed them from creationist shackles. Evolution meant emancipation. Darwin’s Sacred Cause restores Darwin’s humanitarianism, tarnished by atheistic efforts to hijack his reputation and creationist attempts to smear him. Desmond and Moore argue that only by understanding Darwin’s Christian abolitionist inheritance can we shed new light on the perplexing mix of personal drive, public hesitancy and scientific radicalism that led him finally in 1871 to publish The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. The result is an epoch-making study of this eminent Victorian.

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - vguy - LibraryThing

Fascinating account of Darwin's intellectual milieu and motivation. I knew of the Malthus stimulus and of Wallace's nearly scooping him, but the case here is that slavery was the driver. His family ... Volledige review lezen

LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - michaelbartley - LibraryThing

This book shows how science and polical and cultural values are mixed togethier. Darwin hated slavery to undermind slavery he wanted to show how the different races had started as one. in other words ... Volledige review lezen

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Over de auteur (2010)

Adrian Desmond and James Moore's No 1 best-seller Darwin (1991) won the James Tait Black Prize, the Comisso Prize for biography in Italy, the Watson Davis Prize of the US History of Science Society and the Dingle Prize of the British Society for the History of Science. It was shortlisted for the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award and the RhŰne-Poulenc Prize and has been widely translated. Adrian Desmond has written seven other books on evolution and Victorian science, including an acclaimed biography, Huxley. An Honorary Research Fellow in the Biology Department at University College London, he is editing (with Angela Darwin) The T. H. Huxley Family Correspondence. James Moore's books include The Post-Darwinian Controversies and The Darwin Legend. He is Professor of the History of Science at the Open University and currently researching the life of Alfred Russel Wallace.

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