Stephen Jay Gould
Louis Agassiz, the greatest biologist of mid-nineteenth-century America, argued that God had created blacks and whites as separate species. The defenders of slavery took much comfort from this assertion, for biblical proscriptions of charity and equality did not have to extend across a species boundary. What could an abolitionist say? Science had shone its cold and dispassionate light upon the subject; Christian hope and sentimentality could not refute it.
During the Spanish-American War, a great debate raged over whether we had the right to annex the Philippines. Imperialists again took comfort from science, for social Darwinism proclaimed a hierarchy in racial ability. When antiimperialists cited Henry Clay's contention that God would not create a race incapable of self-government, Rev. Josiah Strong answered: "Clay's contention was formed before modern science had shown that races develop in the course of centuries as individuals do in years, and that an underdeveloped race, which is incapable of self-government, is no more of a reflection on the Almighty than is an underdeveloped child, who is incapable of self-government."____________________