Bob Brockie writing in the Dominion Post outlines how German biologist Ernest Haekel perverted the work of Charles Darwin to try and add credibility to his own brand of scientific racism.
Read the column in full here.
“In no other country was evolution taken so seriously as in Germany. There, Haeckel transformed Darwin’s biological ideas into something almost beyond recognition. His interpretation of Darwin was imbued with mystical beliefs in the forces of nature and he pressed for the literal transfer of the laws of biology and the survival of the fittest to German politics, religion and culture.
“Having drawn the Tree of Life with amoebas and worms on its lower branches and with apes and humans on its topmost twig, Haeckel set about ranking humans from the most primitive to the most advanced. He put black races, such as Hottentots, on the lowest branches, Arabs, Jews and Orientals toward the top of the tree and, unsurprisingly, perched Germans on the topmost branch, just above the French and British.”