Last week we considered Charles Darwin’s attitude towards theism. This week we shall examine his theories on women.
Darwin is forthright and unapologetic. (Such is the freedom of the one who lives without servile fear of political correctness.)
Man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger . . . The female, however, ultimately assumes certain distinctive characters, and in the formation of her skull, is said to be intermediate between the child and the man (p. 562).
I know what you’re thinking: What does pugnacious mean? Webster defines pugnacious as, “eager and ready to fight; quarrelsome; combative.”
Men are more eager and ready to fight, more quarrelsome and combative than women? I don’t think so! (Speaking of thinking…as I use my highly developed man-mind…I imagine that some of the womenfolk smart enough to read this piece—with their smallish brains all aglow—are fighting mad at this very moment, are downright pugnacious. But enough of that.)
At this point, some atheistic evolutionist is screaming: “You have to understand Darwin in light of the Victorian culture in which he lived!!!”
My response is two-fold. First, yelling at one’s computer is silly and unevolved. Second, Darwin’s thoughts on women are not shaped by the cultural mores of Victorian England; but by his observations as interpreted through the lens of his evolutionary theories.
That is, his postulations concerning the fairer sex are based upon his scientific, his evolutionary worldview.
There can be little doubt that the greater size and strength of man, in comparison with woman, together with his broader shoulders, more developed muscles, rugged outline of body, his greater courage and pugnacity, are all due in chief part to inheritance from his half human male ancestors (p. 565).
The greater size, strength, courage, pugnacity, and energy of man, in comparison with woman, were acquired during primeval times, and have subsequently been augmented, chiefly through the contests of rival males for the possession of females. The greater intellectual vigour [sic] and power of invention in man is probably due to natural selection, combined with the inherited effect of habit, for the most able men will have succeeded best in defending and providing for themselves . . . (p. 588).
Thus, we find Darwin appeals—not to his culture—but to his science to prove the superiority of men over women. Alas, today’s feminists are vainly fighting natural selection.
Darwin also speaks of sexual selection as contributing to man’s natural dominance of women.
With savages, for instance, the Australians, the women are the constant cause of war both between members of the same tribe and between distinct tribes (p. 565).
Amongst the half-human progenitors of man, and amongst savages, there have been struggles between the males during many generations for the possession of females (p. 566).
He who admits the principle of sexual selection will be led to the remarkable conclusion that the nervous system not only regulates most of the existing functions of the body, but has indirectly influenced the progressive development of various bodily structures and of certain mental qualities. Courage, pugnacity, perseverance, strength, and size of body, weapons of all kinds, musical organs, both vocal and instrumental, bright colours [sic] and ornamental appendages, have all been indirectly gained by the one sex or the other, through the exertion of choice, the influence of love and jealousy (p. 596).
Man has ultimately become superior to woman. It is, indeed, fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to both sexes prevails with mammals; otherwise, it is probable that man would have become as superior in mental endowment to woman, as the peacock is in ornamental plumage to the peahen (567).
I never—and I mean NEVER—want to hear another anti-theistic, man-hating, angry female attack the Apostle Paul! I say to the rabid Bible-bashing she-males of the world: What about the Apostle of Evolution, Charlie D.? What about him, M’lady?
Darwin continues his onslaught:
The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn [sic] by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of deviation from averages . . . that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman (p. 566).
To the women sagacious enough to still be reading—take heart. Things could be worse. You could be married to a savage.
Man is more powerful in body and mind than woman, and in the savage state he keeps her in a far more abject state of bondage than does the male of any other animal; therefore it is not surprising that he should have gained the power of selection (p. 584).
Do you suppose that today’s naturalistic evolutionists agree with their progenitor? I suspect some do but none will admit to it. For those who genuinely disagree with him, what is the evolutionary basis for their disagreement? Where does the Sage of Science get it wrong?
And if he’s wrong…how can he be so wrong about something so fundamental?
The historical truth is this, Christian ethics—not evolutionary philosophy—elevates the status of women.
Before Christianity arrived, century upon century had brought little or no freedom or dignity to women in any pagan culture. In short, where else do women have more freedom, opportunity, and human worth than in countries that have been highly influenced by the Christian ethic? (Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence, p. 122)
Charles Darwin, “The Descent of Man,” Great Books of the Western World, vol. 49 (Chicago, London, Toronto: William Benton, 1952)