Winchell's preadamite science, 1880

Winchell's preadamite science, 1880

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Winchell's preadamite science. Frontispiece to 'Preadamites or a demonstration of the existence of men before Adam' (1880) by US geologist Alexander Winchell (1824-1891). Winchell was a theistic evolutionist who believed that Adam in the bible was not related to other human races, shown here, who he considered 'preadamite'. Preadamites were those humans to have been created before Adam. Only the white Caucasian could claim decent from biblical Adam. Winchell lost his job at Syracuse as geology professor, not because of his racist views (they were not unusual at the time) but because his hypothesis varied from strict biblical teachings. The favoured biblical view was that these races were the dispersed sons of Cain. The ethnographic groupings shown here are Dravidian, Mongoloid, Negro, Eskimo, Hottentot, Papuan, and Australian.

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