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Western intellectual life today ischaracterized by a marked schizophrenia. On the one hand, virtually everyoneaccepts the scientific theory of Charles Darwin concerning the emergence and evolutionof the various species in the world, including humanity, through the processnatural selection. The only exceptions to this rule are a few Creationisthold-outs. On the other hand, our culture denies the biological reality of raceand the relevance of hereditarian thinking to human societies. Our egalitarianculture rejects heredity’s implications intoto — both the descriptive (in-born human differences betweenindividuals and races) and prescriptive (e.g. eugenics). Given how tabooracialist thinking still is, it is then useful — in order to think freely — togo back to the roots of evolutionary thinking by looking at what Darwin himselfhad to say about human evolution and racial differences.


The concept of race or lineage is central toDarwin’s evolutionary thinking. His classic The Origin of Species is indeed subtitled By Means of Natural Selection of thePreservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In oneplace, Darwin defines a race as the “successive generations” of a particularpopulation (102). Darwin’s model for evolutionary change is simple andpowerful: every species will tend to bear too many offspring, leading tooverpopulation, a huge percentage of these will die before reaching maturity orin competition with others (whether of the same species or not), those whosurvive this struggle will be those with the traits best suited for theirparticular environment. The constant generation and culling of “races,” that isto say new of populations with different traits, is then central to his system,which also applies to human evolution.

达尔文的进化模型简单而强大: 每一个物种都会倾向于生育过多的后代,导致物种数量过剩,其中很大一部分会在成熟前死亡,或者在与其他物种竞争(无论是否属于同一物种)时死亡, 那些在这场斗争中幸存下来的将是那些最适合他们特定环境的。

Darwin takes differences in intellectualability for granted, both between individuals and races: “The variability ordiversity of the mental faculties in men of the same race, not to mention thegreater differences between the men of distinct races, is so notorious that nota word need here be said” (45). Furthermore: “The individuals of the samespecies graduate in intellect from absolute imbecility to high excellence”(100). He had no doubt that psychological traits such as personality andintelligence were heritable:


Inregard to mental qualities, their transmission is manifest in our dogs, horses,and other domestic animals.[2] Besidesspecial tastes and habits, general intelligence, courage, bad and good temper,&c., are certainly transmitted. With man we see similar facts in almostevery family; and we now know through the admirable labours of Mr [Francis]Galton, that genius which implies a wonderfully complex combination of highfaculties, tends to be inherited; and, on the other hand, it is too certainthat insanity and deteriorated mental powers likewise run in families. . . .
Domesticatedanimals vary more than those in a state of nature; and this is apparently dueto the diversified and changing nature of the conditions to which they havebeen subjected. In this respect the different races of man resembledomesticated animals, and so do the individuals of the same race, wheninhabiting a very wide area, like that of America. We see the influence ofdiversified conditions in the more civilised nations; for the members belongingto different grades of rank, and following different occupations, present agreater range of character than do the members of barbarous nations. (45–46)

就精神素质而言,它们的传播在我们的狗、马和其他家畜身上表现得很明显。除了特殊的品味和习惯,一般的智力、勇气、坏脾气和好脾气,等等。,当然是可以传递的。对于人类,我们在几乎每个家庭中都看到了类似的事实;我们现在通过(弗朗西斯)高尔顿先生令人钦佩的努力知道,天才意味着高级官能奇妙而复杂的结合,往往是遗传的; 另一方面,可以肯定的是,精神错乱和退化的精神力量同样存在于家庭之中……

家养动物比自然状态下的动物变化更大;这显然是由于他们所受条件的多样性和不断变化的性质。在这方面,人类的不同种族就像驯养的动物一样,当人类居住在一个非常广阔的地区时,就像美国一样,同一种族的个体也是如此。我们看到,在文明程度更高的国家,多样化的环境产生了影响;对于属于不同等级、从事不同职业的成员来说,他们比野蛮民族的成员具有更广泛的特征。(第45 – 46页)

Humanity’s Moral Improvement Through PerpetualTribal Warfare
Darwinasserts that the same relentless struggle for survival was the driver forhumanity’s evolution into a more intelligent, social, and even moral being.Human tribes spread across the globe, reproduced beyond the ability of theirenvironment to sustain them, and entered into relentless competition andwarfare with other tribes.
Darwinconsiders the emergence of pro-social traits such as sympathy, love of kin,shame, and regret to be central to human evolution. These feelings werecertainly not universal however. He observes that prehistoric tribes, likemodern savage tribes, were perpetually at war with one another. “It is noargument against savage man being a social animal, that the tribes inhabitingadjacent districts are almost always at war with each other; for the socialinstincts never extend to all the individuals of the same species” (132).



Darwinfirmly believes that group selection was the mechanism by which many humanpsychological traits emerged. Group selection means that traits not necessarilybeneficial to the individual but rather to the group (such as altruism) spreadthrough competition between groups (forinstance: one tribe defeats and exterminates another tribe through itsindividuals’ superior willingness to sacrifice themselves). The group selectionhypothesis is considered controversial today in some evolutionary circles.Darwin for his part wrote:
A community which includes a large number of well-endowedindividuals increases in number, and is victorious over other less favouredones; even although each separate member gains no advantage over the others ofthe same community . . . [Certain mental] faculties have been chiefly, or evenexclusively, gained for the benefit of the community, and the individualsthereof, have at the same time gained an advantage indirectly. (83)

When two tribes of prim man, living inthe same country, came into competition, if (other circumstances being equal)the one tribe included a great number of courageous, sympathetic and faithfulmembers, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defendeach other, this tribe would succeed better and conquer the other. Let it beborn in mind how all-important in the never-ceasing wars of savages, fidelityand courage must be. . . . Selfish and contentious people will not cohere, andwithout coherence nothing can be effected. A tribe rich in the above qualitieswould spread and be victorious over other tribes: but in the course of time itwould, judging from all past history, be in its turn overcome by some othertribe still more highly endowed. Thus the social and moral qualities wouldslowly to advance and be diffused throughout the world.
Darwin also argued that humans had an in-bornproclivity for other pro-social behaviors, such as language and religiosity.


Adaptive Traditional Culture
Mankind’sspecificity is also in being both a genetic and profoundly cultural being. Our individual andcollective behavior are powerfully influenced by both our genetic inheritanceand our particular, highly-fungible cultural norms and practices. We wouldexpect the tribes with both a genetic propensity and a culture favoringgroup-solidarity and organization to overcome less well-endowed tribes.
[A]n increase in the number of well-endowedmen and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give animmense advantage to one tribe over another. A tribe including many memberswho, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity,obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and tosacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most othertribes; and this would be natural selection. (157)



Nature’s Communitarian Ethos
Darwinpersonally adhered to a liberal, high-minded and humane Christian-inspiredmorality typical of the Victorian middle classes. Yet, he cannot help butobserve that nature’s law is extremely cruel, with the proverbial “favoredraces” often triumphing through a ruthless ethos brutally subordinating theinterests of the individual to that of the group. Darwin takes the example ofbees, an even more social animal than humans, who when under resource pressureexterminate superfluous individuals:
In the same manner as various animals have some sense of beauty,though they admire widely different objects, so they might have a have sense ofright and wrong, though led by it to follow widely different lines of conduct.If, for instance, to take an extreme case, men were reared under precisely thesame conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarriedfemales would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill theirbrothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters; and no onewould think of interfering.



Darwinadds in a footnote that primitive human patterns are quite similar: “many ormost savages [solve] the problem by female infanticide, polyandry andpromiscuous intercourse” (122). (From a strictly evolutionary point of view, ahuman community under pressure from other tribes and a poor environment maybenefit from fewer females, preferring to dedicate scarce resources to fightingmales.)
Darwin’scritics were quite cognizant of the potential threat posed by his theory toliberal and Christian ethics. He writes:
Miss Cobbe, in commenting (‘Darwinism and his Morals’ ‘TheologicalReview’, April, 1872, pp. 188-191) on the same illustration, says, the principles of social duty would bethus reversed; and by this, I presume, she means that the fulfillment of socialduty would tend to the injury of individuals; but she overlooks the fact, whichshe would doubtless admit, that the instincts of the bee have been acquired forthe good of the community. She goes so far as to say that if the theory ofethics advocated in this chapter were ever generally accepted, ‘I cannot butbelieve that in the hour of their triumph would be sounded the knell of thevirtue of mankind!’ It is to be hoped that the belief in the permanence ofvirtue on this earth is not held by many persons on so weak a tenure.


科布小姐在评论(《达尔文主义和他的道德》,《神学评论》,1872年)同一幅插图时说,社会责任的原则将因此而颠倒; 我想,她的意思是,履行社会责任往往会对个人造成伤害;但她忽略了一个事实,她肯定会承认,蜜蜂的本能是为了群体的利益而获得的。她甚至说,如果本章所提倡的伦理理论曾经被普遍接受,“我不得不相信,在他们胜利的时刻,将敲响人类美德的丧钟!” ……

Darwin observes that animal communities arecollectivist and hierarchically organized, with different roles according tothe nature of each individual, so as to optimize collective well-being andsurvival. When threatened, bull bison form a ring around the herd, protectingthe young and females in the center (124). Put another way, the herdinstinctively and collectively discriminates againstmales, putting their security at risk, so that the herd as a whole benefitsfrom their superior strength and the sacrifice of their reduced reproductivue (sperm is far more easily replaced than ovaries).


Darwinadds that both herd animals and human tribes exterminate weaker members topromote the survival of the group:
[Animals] will expel a wounded animal from their herd, or gore orworry it to death. This is almost the blackest fact in natural history, unless,indeed, the explanation which has been suggested is true, that their instinctor reason leads them to expel an injured companion, lest beasts of prey,including man, should be tempted to follow the troop. In this case theirconduct is not much worse than that of the North American Indians, who leavetheir feeble comrades to perish on the plains; or the Fijians, who, when theirparents get old, or fall ill, bury them alive.


Today, even seven decades after World War II,in the background of all this looms the legacy of Adolf Hitler. Evolutionaryand hereditary principles were widely accepted in the early twentieth century.In that intellectual and cultural context, Hitler transformed his nationpolitically and culturally, believing that a zealous, communitarian, warlike,expansionary, racial, and ethno-nationalist ethos would enable Germany’ssalvation and the biological and spiritual improvement of mankind. Hitlerbelieved his leadership and politics adhered closely to what he called “the lawof life.”[6] It is indeed an uncomfortable fact formany evolutionists that many of passages in Mein Kampf are eerily reminiscent of Darwin’s ownaccount of human history, in particular the emergence of morality through eonsof tribal warfare.

今天,甚至在第二次世界大战结束70年后,在这一切的背景下,阿道夫·希特勒的遗产依然隐约可见。进化和遗传原则在20世纪早期被广泛接受。在这样的知识和文化背景下,希特勒在政治和文化上改变了他的国家,他相信一个热心的、社群主义的、好战的、扩张的、种族主义的和民族主义的精神将使德国获得救赎,使人类的生理和精神得到改善。希特勒相信他的领导和政治严格遵循他所谓的“生命法则”。 对许多进化论者来说,《我的奋斗》中的许多段落都令人毛骨悚然地回忆起达尔文对人类历史的描述,尤其是通过亘古的部落战争而出现的道德,这确实是一个令人不安的事实。

Inthe end, Darwin seems to endorse a communitarian ethic moderated and informedby reason (my emphasis):
In the case of the lower animals it seems much more appropriate tospeak of their social instincts, as having been developed for the general goodrather than for the general happiness of the species. The term, general good, may be defined as the rearing of the greatest numberof individuals in full vigour and health, with all their faculties perfect,under the conditions to which they are subjected.As the social instincts both of man and the lower animals have no doubt beendeveloped by nearly the same steps, it would be advisable to take as thestandard of morality, the general good or welfare of the community, rather thanthe general happiness; but this definition would perhaps require somelimitation account of political ethics.

The ideas of Locke and Rousseau — extollingequality, rights, and the popular will as ends-in-themselves — have led to perpetualconfusion among our people and to our inexorable collapse since the beginningthe twentieth century. In 1914, we essentially dominated the world and made upa third of human population. Before 2100, a blink of an eye in historical letalone evolutionary terms, we will have lost control not only of our colonialempires but even of our own homelands, being reduced to minorities in not onlyNorth America but even Western Europe. We will make up less than 5 percent ofthe global population. The triumph of liberal-democracy’s individualist andegalitarian principles have coincided with Europeans’ evolutionary suicide.