Polygenism


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Polygenism

 

a theory that views human races as different species having separate origins. Some advocates of polygenism contended that present-day mankind is represented not only by several species but even by several genera. Polygenism was used as the basis for various racist notions about the biological and intellectual inequality of human races. In the mid-19th century, for instance, the advocates of polygenism justified the legality of the slave trade. The untenability of polygenism is demonstrated by the similarity of various major characteristics, such as the structure of the hand and brain, among the races of modern man.

REFERENCES

Roginskii, la. Ia., and M. G. Levin. Antropologiia. Moscow, 1963.
Nesturkh, M. F. Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
References in periodicals archive ?
Critics of polygenism pointed to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment as the high tide of infidel "speculations" that exalted human reason over revelation.
Defenders of Christian slavery noted the ominous fact that abolitionism and polygenism arose together.
The only full-length monograph on polygenism, William Stanton's The Leopard's Spots, places the "American School of Ethnology" within the development of American science.
208), but does not discuss the polygenism (separate creation of races) of the 1830s and 1840s.
47) He offers two examples: polygenism and artificial contraception.
The conventional Christian alternative, some form of what is called "polygenesis" (from Greek poly, "many," and genesis, "origin"), held that God performed the special bestowal of his image in separate places of the world; a contemporary alternative, that perhaps God did this bestowing among several members of an existing population of hominids, is not really polygenism proper--but it will require more discussion below.
At one extreme were believers in a separate creation for each race, conceived as distinct species (a position called polygenism in 1857).
19) D'Eichthal's attraction to polygenism grew as he met the Egyptologist George R.
We may think that the writer of Genesis deliberately used Adam and Eve as literary types that represented the first human beings symbolically, in which instance, we can simply stretch the symbolism to include the original colonies of our ancestors, to be compatible with polygenism.
A second historical-critical strategy for resolving the conflict with polygenism is somewhat more critical (and, for conservative Protestants, controversial).
Punctiliar polygenism is a similar approach, but says that God directly created his image in all existing humans simultaneously, and that all people subsequently fell into sin.
Vatican II maintained the doctrine of sin entering the world through Adam and Eve but was silent on the question of polygenism which is crucial to an evolutionary model.