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.
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.