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Video Script

Hello, my name is Mackenzie Slate, and today I will be speaking about how scientific

advancement lead to various prejudiced ideas to emerge around the world, specifically

through social Darwinism and the eugenics movement. Lets start with the beginning of

industrialization within Europe. All kinds of advancements were happening in Europe,

including new technology, new scientific discoveries, and new ways of thinking. Some of

these things were good, for example, people were starting to condemn slavery and the

feminist movement was about to begin. However, some not so good things began to gain

momentum, namely social Darwinism and eugenics. These ideas piggybacked off of the

theory of evolution, proposed by Charles Darwin in 1858. Now, Darwins theory of

evolution and the ideas of survival of the fittest or natural selection werent inherently

bad. In fact, they helped move science forward and lead to a lot of advancements in

biology, which is very good. What was not good was how many people, specifically

racist Europeans, twisted these ideas for their own benefit. Now, Europeans had always

been really against those they saw as other but that usually meant in religious terms.

The Europeans were Christian, and anyone else? Well, anyone else was considered a

heathen. The Europeans had this huge sense of religious superiority, making them rather

unlikable if you ask me. However, they still appreciated the advancements in Indian and

Chinese societies, because, as the Europeans would show later, people were only

important to them if they provided something useful. But anyway, even then, they saw a

lot of non-Europeans, especially Africans, as noble savages. They respected these

people, but it wasnt any real respect, they still thought they were better than everyone

else. And as industrialization spread throughout Europe, this sense of superiority only
grew, making them extremely arrogant. They lost respect for cultures they used to hold in

high regards, becoming more and more prejudiced and just downright racist towards the

Chinese and Africans. A new form of racism was emerging within the Europeans, a kind

of racism that appeared to be backed up by science. Europeans saw themselves as the best

of the best, a result of superior genes or evolution somehow favoring them. They saw

other races and countries as primitive, behind them genetically. They conducted fake

studies, saying that Europeans had larger skulls and were more advanced. They basically

created some kind of racial hierarchy, where Africans were only a step up from apes,

Asians a step up from Africans, and Europeans were at the very top, the most advanced of

the races. Of course, none of this was true. They were fallacies crafted by the Europeans,

fueled by a racist desire to assert themselves above everyone else. Now, lets go back to

what I was saying before about social Darwinism and eugenics. Social Darwinism

basically said that some races were just better and more fit to rule than others. And what

race did the Europeans say was the best? Yep, they said it was themselves. The eugenics

movement took these ideas and took them a step further, saying that the races or groups

of people who were less fit shouldnt pollute the gene pool by marrying or having

children and passing on their bad genes. Remember how the Europeans respected other

nations, but mainly because they provided something for them? Same situation here.

Eugenists were so focused on the greater good of humanity, they didnt care about the

singular person. It was a common belief for these people that one was only important to

society or they only mattered if they had something to offer. If you didnt have something

to offer, you didnt belong in society. And if you didnt belong in society, why have

children and run the risk that they wouldnt belong either? This way of thinking
sometimes lead to segregation of the sexes and even involuntary sterilization. Pretty

terrible, yes? And yet for so long people were able to get away with this, saying it was

backed up by science, that there was research behind their blatant bigotry. This ingrained

prejudice into society so deep, it still affects us today. Some people still think that because

of genetics, some people are just better than other people. These prejudiced ideas that

came out of the scientific revolution totally altered how the world viewed equality, and

societys still trying to fix it today. But that doesnt mean its going to be like this forever.

These effects are not irreversible, and the world must keep in mind that if efforts continue

to be made towards equality, it isnt so far out of reach after all. Thank you.