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På ursprungsdebattens estrad: Vetenskap, politik och religion i 1800-talets USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Contrary to common believe, the world renowned Charles Darwin was not the inventor of evolution. He was one of many successful and prominent scholars that during the 18th and 19th century presented different theories of the human origin. By the 1850’s two major schools had established themselves on the stage of natural science. There was the monogenes that, inspired by the biblical narrative of the human origin of Adam and Eve, declared that all human descended from one origin. On the other side was the believe in polygenes. Humanity constituted of several races with separate origins. Several scholars, including Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa points out that neither mono- nor polygenes generally accepted the principles of evolution that French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck formulated in 1809. The discussion concerning the origin of man and the qualities of the human races was not restricted to the world of science. In the United States, the discussion had great impact on society due to its moral effect on the question of slavery. This thesis aims to present the mono- and polygenetic arguments on human origin, the races of man and the views on slavery by examining the works of the monogenist John Bachman and the very influential and anti-darwinist professor Louis Agassiz. A better understanding of similarities and differences between the two schools of human origin provides an increased knowledge of the context in which Darwin’s theory of evolution was presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 20
Keywords [en]
John Bachman, Louis Agassiz, monogenes, polygenes, Charles Darwin, slavery, race.
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351524OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351524DiVA, id: diva2:1210367
Subject / course
History of Science and Ideas
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Historical Sciences
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-05-28 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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