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How Racism Has Been Shaped by Evolutionary Ideas Racism has been perpetuated falsely by evolutionary ideas throughout history Since the beginning of intelligent life mankind has discriminated against others of its own species The in group mentality may be a genetic psychological trait However evolutionary theory has been used to justify unfair treatment of certain groups Literature and other forms of influence have used evolutionary ideas to perpetuate racism The ideas of Charles Darwin and other respected evolutionists have been misconstrued to serve the racist hate of many leaders writers and clergy Given that species evolved over time Darwin strove to deduce a means by which descent with modification might occur He cleverly named his mechanism natural selection because it was familiar to anyone acquainted with the breeding of domestic stock dogs or horses for this was the insight that showed Darwin how the whole mechanism of evolution might operate Although nothing was known of modern genetics DNA or chromosomes it was apparent to most that offspring often inherited the characteristics physical and mental of their parents Darwins most convincing proof of his theory to many readers was the evidence of breeding practices that were put into use every day with important consequences In summary Darwin claimed that as some horses are selected by their owners for breeding because they are faster runners and some cows for their higher yield of milk so too do the different variations in physique or ability among a wild species sometimes enhance or damage the reproductive success of particular individuals It was a commonplace in Darwins day that any good horseman looks for the best stallion to breed to his prize mare hoping that their offspring will enjoy the best qualities of each Advertisements for the services of particular stallions appeared regularly in newspapers in the eighteenth nineteenth and
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