Polygenism


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For a discussion of polygenism and various versions of "scientific" racism, see S.
The dominant position in ethnology emphasized deep differences, whether based on a claim of polygenism or of evolved varieties.
quasi-anthropological form of the 'polygenism, the belief that the
It condemned the theory of "polygenism," that is the view that there could have been human beings who were not literally descended from Adam and Eve.
Second, I accept polygenism (Greek polus means "many"; genesis, "origin").
(140) In Chapter four ("Monogenism and Pologyenism") in The Equality of the Human Races, Firmin like Diop rejects the theory of polygenism (141) but instead embraces the principle of monogenism as a theory explaining the origin of humanity; he offers additional historical and textual evidence from Roman literature supporting the long-standing tradition of the classical records which identify the people of Ethiopia as Black, and that the Egyptians were the direct descendants of the Ethiopians.
(78) According to Summers, Winchell's "development of evolution and polygenism [sic]" had become "so pronounced in the last year as to raise and press the question, Is Prof.
Critics of polygenism pointed to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment as the high tide of infidel "speculations" that exalted human reason over revelation.
208), but does not discuss the polygenism (separate creation of races) of the 1830s and 1840s.
"This suggests that the kind of consensus by which we can conclude that a doctrine has been infallibly taught must be one that perseveres and remains firm." (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).