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 ?
Gould 1981: 42-72) An excellent comprehensive history of the entire 'American School' of polygenist ideology can be found in William Stanton's The Leopard's Spots: Scientific Attitudes toward Race in America (1815-1859).
It also states claims that follow logically from polygenist as well as evolutionary theoy.
The vocal minority of polygenist theorists who most affected discussions in the SEP were the physician Julien-Joseph Virey (1775-1846), the military officer and naturalist J.
Like many Southern clergymen, Bachman was affronted by the polygenist challenge to Genesis and was shocked to hear Agassiz support Nott.
At the same time, however, he rejects any polygenist defense of racial inequality--for example, the argument that because they did not descend from the same pair, the various human races need not be considered a single species and thus equal.
As Stocking notes, the most important point for many commentators on kinship at this time, and clearly Fison was among them, was the suggestion of dispersion across climatic zones which challenged the polygenist insistence that human groups arose separately (1995:18).
The possibility of a new `race' hints at much older polygenist evolutionary ideas, but it also exhibits some of the ideas at work in Keith's (1948:419-20) construction of the ongoing evolution of new races.
Resurgent polygenists argued that the races were different species, and that their differentiation was an indication of separate origins.
Prichard was actively writing against polygenists such as the anatomist Robert Knox, who argued that the different human races were separate creations (e.
Although Wilson employed racial categories in his analysis, he did not conceive of them as biologically fixed or as arising from separate acts of creation as did polygenists such as Josiah Nott, but rather as the result of divergent historical development.
The counter argument came from the polygenists who abandoned scripture and claimed human races to be separate biological species.
In the United States at this period, the issues of racial difference and biological evolution were being hotly debated between monogenists, who held that humans had originated as a single type but that due to environmental factors had evolved into various racial groups, and polygenists, who felt that humankind had from its earliest beginnings been divided into distinct races.