Crawfurd, Darwin, and the “Missing Link”

Ter Ellingson

in The Myth of the Noble Savage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520222687
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925922 | DOI:
Crawfurd, Darwin, and the “Missing Link”

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In arguing his program of racial superiority and dominance, Crawfurd mounted a critical attack on virtually every anthropological theory that might be imagined to support ideas of human unity or equality. His targets included, first of all, Prichard's vision of ethnology as a science of human unity. There followed attacks on every theory of human migration and development, such as that of paleo-Indians from Asia to North America; the theory of Indo-Aryan or Indo-European languages; the Stone–Bronze–Iron Age hypothesis; and, with growing intensity until his death in 1868, Darwin's theory of evolution. The break between them came with Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species in 1859.

Keywords: John Crawfurd; racial superiority; human equality; Charles Darwin; evolution; ethnology; human migration; Origin of Species

Chapter.  3234 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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