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Race UnmaskedBiology and Race in the Twentieth Century$
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Michael Yudell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168748

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168748.001.0001

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A Eugenic Foundation

A Eugenic Foundation

(p.13) 1 A Eugenic Foundation
Race Unmasked

Michael Yudell

J. Craig Venter

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how eugenics provided a scientific explanation for racial differences. The idea that racial differences can be understood as genetic distinctions in appearance and complex social behaviors between racial groups emerged in the wake of the eugenics movement. According to Francis Galton, founder of eugenics, heredity applied a singular influence on all the social characteristics of humankind. Galton conveyed his views about race through science, his social prejudices, and racism in two of his works, Hereditary Talent and Character and Hereditary Genius. The latter part of the chapter looks at the contributions of other scientists—anthropologist Samuel Morton, botanist Carolus Linnaeus, naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, and scientist Johann Blumenbach—in explaining the diversity of humankind.

Keywords:   eugenics, Francis Galton, heredity, racism, Samuel Morton, Carolus Linnaeus, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Johann Blumenbach, diversity

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