continued to insist on the single origin and essential similitude of all peoples but were increasingly challenged by scientific theories of multiple origins and immutable differences between human groups (Kenny: 2007).
Darwin's thinking also contradicted the core claim of the monogenists
On the tensions between monogenist
and polygenist thought, see also Bolt 20 and Lorimer 134-36.
Among other Society members, we may discern three groups -- the Christian monogenists, the hierarchical monogenist geographers and naturalists (both secular and religious), and the polygenist colonial delegates and geographers.
A somewhat active participant was the Christian monogenist, a onetime physician turned army interpreter and modern Oriental language instructor in Marseille, Eusebe de Salle (also written de Salles).
The idea of inherent racial virtues and vices is challenged to some extent by the idea of monogenist evolution theory.
Thus a monogenist evolutionary paradigm could still justify the prejudice of racial inferiority.
Monogenists explained racial differences by the effects of thousands of years of environmental forces, particularly climate, diet, disease, and the "state of civilization.
The polygenists presented monogenists with the choice of abandoning the orthodox interpretation of Creation occurring around six thousand years ago or rejecting environmental explanations of race.
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.
If black men possessed an aberrant skin color, if they differed anatomically, psychologically, and morally from white men, it was due, according to the monogenists
, to different physical and social environments.
As orthodox Christians, most Southerners were monogenists
, holding for the common origin of the various races as children of one God.