“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time, the anthropomorphous apes. . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.” (vol. 1, p. 201).
Descent of Man inspired many other works. The book that John Scopes of the monkey trial fame used in his classes was Hunter’s Civic Biology (1914). It includes some interesting details about humans:
"At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America."
Curnoe, an associate professor at the University of New South Wales, suggests that the very idea of different races is “the biggest mistake in the history of science.”
I would disagree. I would say that Darwinian evolution is the biggest mistake. Others, such as eugenics, are the fruit of evolutionary thinking.