I happen to believe that humans were created in the image of God. Some folks believe that a few billion years ago proteins formed in the mud and through a process of natural selection, these chemicals became the the ancestor of every living thing on the planet. Whatever.
While I'm pretty skeptical of that theory, I don't want to ridicule another person's faith. However, we must acknowledge that the theory of evolution has implications. After all, if evolution is such a powerful creative force, then who is to say that all the isolated pockets of humanity evolved at the same rate? Could natural selection account for the disparities in industrial development?
This natural extension of evolutionary theory was popularized by men like Herbert Spenser and eventually became known as Social Darwinism, and it has been used to justify everything from racism and colonialism to eugenics. Modern scholars find this historical use of the theory of evolution to be an embarrassment.
Until now. This New York Times article is being reprinted in papers all over Europe.
Gregory Clark, an economic historian at the University of California, Davis, believes that the Industrial Revolution — the surge in economic growth that occurred first in England around 1800 — occurred because of a change in the nature of the human population. The change was one in which people gradually developed the strange new behaviors required to make a modern economy work. The middle-class values of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save emerged only recently in human history, Dr. Clark argues.
Dr. Clark says the middle-class values needed for productivity could have been transmitted either culturally or genetically. But in some passages, he seems to lean toward evolution as the explanation. “Through the long agrarian passage leading up to the Industrial Revolution, man was becoming biologically more adapted to the modern economic world,” he writes. And, “The triumph of capitalism in the modern world thus may lie as much in our genes as in ideology or rationality.”
Dude, the guy is arguing that white people evolved faster than the rest of the human population and that's why we have all the cool stuff.
Hmm, I would prefer to think that we are all created in the image of God.