Darwin set out with one basic premise when developing his theory: "The development of living things depends on the fight for survival. The strong win the struggle. The weak are condemned to defeat and oblivion."

According to Darwin, there is a ruthless struggle for survival and an eternal conflict in nature. The strong always overcome the weak, and this enables development to take place. The subtitle he gave to his book The Origin of Species, "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life", encapsulates that view.

Furthermore, Darwin proposed that the 'fight for survival' also applied between human racial groups. According to that fantastical claim, 'favoured races' were victorious in the struggle. Favoured races, in Darwin's view, were white Europeans. African or Asian races had lagged behind in the struggle for survival. Darwin went further, and suggested that these races would soon lose the "struggle for survival" entirely, and thus disappear:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes... will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. 1


The Indian anthropologist Lalita Vidyarthi explains how Darwin's theory of evolution imposed racism on the social sciences:

His (Darwin's) theory of the survival of the fittest was warmly welcomed by the social scientists of the day, and they believed mankind had achieved various levels of evolution culminating in the white man's civilization. By the second half of the nineteenth century racism was accepted as fact by the vast majority of Western scientists. 2


1- Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd edition, New York, A L. Burt Co., 1874, p. 178

2- Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi, Racism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Unesco, France, Vend˘me, 1983. p. 54