Wingnut: Evolution is the Cause of Racism

Alex McFarland, a Christian right apologist and radio talk show host, is making the profoundly ahistorical argument that the teaching of evolution is the primary cause of racism. Because as we all know, there was no racism prior to 1859, amirite?

The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race, and that all people are made in the image of God, McFarland said, so logically people who hold racist views must be getting those ideas from elsewhere.

Apparently unaware that slavery existed long before Darwin wrote “On the Origin of Species,” McFarland laughably asserted that the Founding Fathers knew that all men are created equal and blamed “150 years of Darwinian evolution” for supposedly undermining that core American principle.

“Evolution, for about 75 years, has had a stranglehold on American education,” McFarland declared, “and so the number one reason for racism is belief in evolution.”

Right. Because slavery wasn’t defended almost solely by reference to the Bible. And racism has gotten so much worse in America since they started teaching evolution in schools in the mid-50s, right? And the whole Hamitic theory of race based on the Bible magically never existed. And all those anti-Jewish pogroms that Christianity supported for centuries was all because of evolution, not religion. And Martin Luther didn’t tell his followers to burn down the homes and synagogues of Jews, that was Charles Darwin. Such stupidity.

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  • rietpluim

    This is one of my favorites: Stein is right: Darwinism causes antisemitism.

  • blf

    Of course evilution was the origin of racism! The full title of Darwin’s book was originally Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Orgin…Favored…Races. Gotcha, athiests! </snark>

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Yawn… This again?

  • StevoR

    Slavery in the Bible – is this perhaps the most likely albeit still weak as fuck excuse the Christians have for for Leviticus 25:44-46 :

    ‘The King of Kings’ Speech [Bible slavery]’ by Non-stamp collector. (Especially 1 min 50 seconds mark onwards.)

    More evil hypocrisy,and wilful denial of reality than stupidity as such though I think.

  • John Pieret

    Oh, wait a minute! You mean all those gay people are created equal and have the same rights as everyone else? Like marrying the people they love … just like blacks can marry whites?

  • Akira MacKenzie

    The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race, and that all people are made in the image of God…”

    Really? That right-wing Christian sentiment would surprised the Lovings, who were told by the judge who exiled them from the Virginia home for the “crime” of inter-racial marriage:

    Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

  • busterggi

    So which Chosen People weren’t racists?

  • Modusoperandi

    Neat. Now I’ll just test his hypothesis by correlating teaching of evolution and racial attitudes by state…

    Holy crap! It’s almost a perfect whatever-the-opposite-of-a-match is!

  • blf

    So which Chosen People weren’t racists?

    The real ones. All the others are infidels and demons and things that eat puppies in the night, and so had, just had, to be enslaved to enjoy the benefits of equality.

  • vmanis1

    I taught computer science for several decades. Occasionally, I’d throw in a few moments worth of `how such-and-such got this way’. Student evaluations always had a tenor of `great course, but lose the history’.

    We seem to be a profoundly ahistorical culture.`Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

  • whheydt

    Re; Modusoperadi @ #8…

    Non-intersecting sets. Here….have another internet for your collection.

  • John Hinkle

    Alex McFarland’s book, Fun With Logic, was on the NY Times Best Seller list for over 3 years. Here are a few excerpts:

    1. The Bible teaches that God is a loving God, so logically people who think God commanded genocide must be getting that idea from elsewhere. Therefore evolution.

    2. The Bible teaches that Jesus loved the money changers, so logically people who think credit card companies are charging high interest rates must be getting that idea from elsewhere. Therefore evolution.

    3. The Bible teaches that Satan caused the Great Flood, so logically people who think God decided to slaughter almost all life on earth because of some human mistakes must be getting that idea from elsewhere. Therefore evolution.

  • StevoR

    @7.busterggi : “So which Chosen People weren’t racists?”

    The one’s who were Chosen not to be of course!

    Also Chosen for what?

  • StevoR

    A bit before Darwin :

    The Enslavement of Native People

    On October 12, 1492 (the first day he encountered the native people of the Americas), Columbus wrote in his journal: “They should be good servants …. I, our Lord being pleased, will take hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for your Highnesses.” These captives were later paraded through the streets of Barcelona and Seville when Columbus returned to Spain. [4]

    From his very first contact with native people, Columbus had their domination in mind. For example, on October 14, 1492, Columbus wrote in his journal, “with fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them.” [5] These were not mere words: after his second voyage, Columbus sent back a consignment of natives to be sold as slaves. [6]

    & then :

    Nonetheless, the Pope’s declaration ultimately had dire consequences for native inhabitants of the Americas. Beginning in 1514 Spanish conquerors adopted “the Requirement,” an ultimatum in which Indians were forced to accept “the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world” or face persecution. If Indians did not immediately comply, the Requirement warned them:

    “We shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do all the harm and damage that we can.” [11]

    Often the Requirement was read to Indians without translation, or in some cases even from ships before crew members landed to kill Indians and take slaves. [12]

  • StevoR
  • kenn

    McFarland laughably asserted that the Founding Fathers knew that all men are created equal

    Except for slaves, who were counted as only 3/5th of a person (The Three-Fifths Compromise.)

  • cptdoom

    The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race

    Actually, no, it was evolutionary science, specifically at the genetic level, that proved there is only one human race and that nearly all non-Africans descended from the same small group of people who managed to get out of Africa and into Arabia and Asia, spreading from there to every continent save Antarctica.

  • caseloweraz

    Says the interviewer, “You’ve written some incredible articles…”

    Got that right.

  • Pen

    There’s a reasonable case for arguing that several aspects of contemporary racism have their roots in semi-deliberate social engineering intended to support and maintain race-based slavery.

  • Sastra

    The Bible teaches that there is only one race, the human race, and that all people are made in the image of God, McFarland said…

    The Bible teaches that all people are made in the image of God so human beings are actually like one family. The kind of family where the Dad assigns rigid roles and duties to his children and then punishes them for the tiniest infraction or disobedience by disowning them or beating them to death. The black ones are like the kind of kids kept chained up in the basement and thrown table scraps. And then there are the skeletons in the closet…

    A hugely disfunctional family, iow.

  • hunter

    Actually, evolution can help explain why racism exists, as a facet of group identification among social animals. Of course, for idiots like McFarland, that probably constitutes “proof” that teaching evolution is responsible.

  • carpenterman

    StevoR @ 13

    “Chosen for what?”

    “We Jews have been asking that for three thousand years, and by now most of us are afraid to find out.”

    Neal Stephenson, *The Diamond Age*

  • carpenterman

    And to claim evolution is “the number one reason” for racism is beyond foolish. It’s willful ignorance, embraced as a guiding philosophy. “If it ain’t what I already believe, I don’t know about it, I don’t WANT to know.” This is ignorance as a way of life.

  • Modusoperandi

    “I’m not a racist, but…” ~ Charles Darwin, pg 503, Origin of Species

  • sugarfrosted


    Except for slaves, who were counted as only 3/5th of a person (The Three-Fifths Compromise.)

    In elections. They really should have counted as 0 people for this purpose. Legally this would be about the same as having your livestock and pets count towards that purpose.

  • StevoR

    @22. carpenterman : Exactly!

    Also from one of the latest PZ Myers posts on Pharyngula :

    By the way, Kenneth Smith (A Kreationist who is suing ” .. a slew of local and federal officials, alleging that the state’s practice of teaching evolution in schools is an infringement on his daughter’s civil rights” -ed) has a book, ‘The True Origin of Man’, which is largely a heavily fictionalized retelling of the book of Genesis that is obsessively focused on race. A substantial part of it is readable for free (I wasn’t going to pay to read the whole thing), and it was notable for its discussion of Cain sating his lust with an ape, to produce a dark-skinned line of humans. And surprise, when Noah built his ark and the animals came marching two by two to board, he includes two black-skinned people, distinct from Noah’s white family, the children of Cain.

    In subsequent generations, Smith’s idea of math is to go on and on about pure white-skinned humans breeding with black-skinned people to produce 50% black/white hybrids, and how if they bred with 100% white-skinned people they make 25% black people, etc., etc., etc.

    Source :

    This is a man living now who has rejected evolution and specifically cites the Bible and indeed has made his own racist fan fic of it who is also clearly racist as fuck.

    I think the idea that its evolution that leads to racism and the Bible (or at least its biggest fans) doesn’t – is thus pretty clearly disproven!