Sunday, October 02, 2011

Charles Darwin on Americans

Here's that quote from Charles Darwin I mentioned the day, from his book Descent of Man (1871):
"There is apparently much truth in the belief that the wonderful progress of the United States, as well as the character of the people, are the results of natural selection; for the more energetic, restless and courageous men from all parts of Europe have emigrated during the last ten or twelve generations to that great country, and have there succeeded best."
(Clearly I didn't quite remember its sentiment correctly.) I wonder what Darwin would have thought if he knew that Americans would mostly reject his theory -- only 39% believe in evolution, while a recent poll showed 4 in 10 Americans think God created man in his present form about 10,000 years ago.

I found this is the Scott Miller book I wrote about a few weeks ago: The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and the Empire at the Dawn of the American Century.

No comments: