Darwin's Sacred Cause

Darwin's Sacred Cause

Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:

In this remarkable book Adrian Desmond and James Moore, world authorities on Darwin, give a completely new explanation of how Darwin came to his famous view of evolution, which traced all life to an ancient common ancestor. Darwin was committed to the abolition of slavery, in part because of his family's deeply held beliefs. It was his 'Sacred Cause' and at its core lay a belief in human racial unity. Desmond and Moore show how he extended to all life the idea of human brotherhood held by those who fought to abolish slavery, so developing our modern view of evolution.

Through massive detective work among unpublished family correspondence, manuscripts and rare works, the authors back up their compelling claim. Leading apologists for slavery in Darwin's day argued that blacks and whites had originated as separate species, with whites superior. Creationists too believed that 'man' was superior to other species. Darwin abhorred such 'arrogance'; he declared it 'more humble & . . . true' to see humans 'created from animals'. Darwin gave all the races - blacks and whites, animals and plants - a common origin and freed them from creationist shackles. Evolution meant emancipation.

Darwin's Sacred Cause restores Darwin's humanitarianism, tarnished by atheistic efforts to hijack his reputation and creationist attempts to smear him. Desmond and Moore argue that only by understanding Darwin's Christian abolitionist inheritance can we shed new light on the perplexing mix of personal drive, public hesitancy and scientific radicalism that led him finally in 1871 to publish The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. The result is an epoch-making study of this eminent Victorian.

Published to coincide with the worldwide Darwin celebrations of 2009 - the bicentenary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species - Desmond and Moore's Darwin's Sacred Cause recovers the lost historical context of Darwin's work and reinstates its moral core.

Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9781846140358
1846140358
Branch Call Number: 306.36208996017521 Des 9254tc 1
306.36208996017521 Des 9254mm 1
Characteristics: xxi, 484 p. : ill., maps.
Additional Contributors: Moore, James R. (James Richard), 1947-

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

n
naturalist
Mar 25, 2015

also titled
Darwin's Sacred Cause : How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin's Views on Human Evolution
by Adrian Desmond 1947- and James Richard Moore 1947-
published:
Houghton Mifflin 1st ed hc 2009 ISBN-10: 0547055269 -- ISBN-13: 978-0547055268

Quoting the description from amazon.ca because the BiblioCommons description is for a different book!

“In this remarkable book Adrian Desmond and James Moore, world authorities on Darwin, give a completely new explanation of how Darwin came to his famous view of evolution, which traced all life to an ancient common ancestor. Darwin was committed to the abolition of slavery, in part because of his family's deeply held beliefs. It was his 'Sacred Cause' and at its core lay a belief in human racial unity. Desmond and Moore show how he extended to all life the idea of human brotherhood held by those who fought to abolish slavery, so developing our modern view of evolution. Desmond and Moore argue that only by understanding Darwin's Christian abolitionist inheritance can we shed new light on the perplexing mix of personal drive, public hesitancy and scientific radicalism that led him finally in 1871 to publish The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. The result is an epoch-making study of this eminent Victorian.”

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top