Science has played a very important role on the development and rejection of

Science has played a very important role on the

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Science has played a very important role on the development and rejection of the race concept. In the past it served to excuse slavery, and in the present to defend the rights of all people. Before Charles Darwin published his work on The Origin of Species, Linnaeus classified humans in four geographic varieties: Americanus (who were red, choleric, and erect), Europeus (who were white, sanguine, and muscular), Asiaticus (sallow, melancholy, and stiff), and Afer (black, phlegmatic, and relaxed). With each of them, he described their skin color, their personality, and the way their body looked. After Darwin but before WW2, Herbert Spencer coined the term “survival of the fittest” based on Darwin’s work, though his view was tautological, unlike Darwin’s. When describing the origins of race, he failed to recognize the environmental and genetic causes of phenotypic variation. After World War 2, eugenics was still seen in many of the most powerful countries. It separated races by intelligence, appearance and capability to fit in and be valuable to society, and it focused on controlling the way humans reproduced to ensure only the best of the best passed on their genes to form the future generations. On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.
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  • Spring '13
  • DavidMarkus

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