Scientific racism

use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to support or justify the belief in racism
Sarah Saartjie Baartman
Indigenous Races of the Earth (1857), Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon implied that "Negroes" were a creational rank between "Greeks" and chimpanzees.

Scientific racism is the idea to abuse science to promote racism. This is different from using the scientific method, and simply pointing out differences between races. The scientific method does not claim that one race is "better" than another, it may simply show differences between the races.

The term was used for some theories of anthropology and other closely-related disciplines. It is possible to use evidence to classify humans into groups. That is not objectionable. Scientists do study mankind, obviously.[1][2]

The claim that one race is superior to another is not part of modern science. Such claims were made, mostly between 1880 and 1930.[3]


  1. Stanford C; Allen J.S. 2013. Biological anthropology, 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson. ISBN 978-0-205-24459-1
  2. Cavalli-Sforza L. et al 1994. The history & geography of human genes. Abridged edition: Princeton N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02905-9
  3. UNESCO, The Race Question, p. 8