This view entailed, obviously, claiming that all races were of the same species (monogenism
), with any systematic differences resulting from environmental or accidental influences.
An earlier work by William Stanton has demonstrated convincingly that persons such as Samuel Stanhope Smith and Benjamin Rush were committed to monogenism
and thus attributed the state of savages to the external environment.
The same idea was put forward by the philologist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835).(21) Neither was a polygenist, yet their philosophy of language did not suit Prichard's monogenism
. Hence he overrode their linguistic hierarchy, asserting instead that the Semitic languages were primordial and fundamentally more philosophical than all later derivatives.(22) He assumed that the differences between any two given language families were not a question of radical diversity; it was different historical developments which had driven languages apart.
The Nazis rejected monogenism
because the idea that all races had a common origin lent itself to the "democratic" contention that Jews, and Blacks and Aryans were essentially "brothers and sisters"--descendants of common parent stock.
Defining crossblood identity, Gerald Vizenor writes: "|c~rossbloods are a postmodern tribal bloodline, an encounter with racialism, colonial duplicities, sentimental monogenism
, and generic cultures.
The variability in our genes rules out monogenism
(monos, "single") and indicates that this group was about 10,000 individuals.
(140) In Chapter four ("Monogenism
and Pologyenism") in The Equality of the Human Races, Firmin like Diop rejects the theory of polygenism (141) but instead embraces the principle of monogenism
as a theory explaining the origin of humanity; he offers additional historical and textual evidence from Roman literature supporting the long-standing tradition of the classical records which identify the people of Ethiopia as Black, and that the Egyptians were the direct descendants of the Ethiopians.
I would now be willing to agree with Welch that my grounds for asserting the presence of consensus on the doctrine of monogenism
prior to Vatican I are open to question, but here my point is that the "former consensus" to which I referred on page 105 was the "consensus among Catholic bishops and theologians" on page 104.
In the middle of the spectrum were naturalists and physicians who supported the unity of the human species (monogenism
), though almost all assumed racial hierarchy.