from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The discredited theory that humans of different races are descended from different ancestors.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as polygeny.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Biol.) The doctrine that animals of the same species have sprung from more than one original pair.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun ethnology The belief that humans descended from more than one ancestral pair.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From poly- + -genism.


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  • While no fans of the idea that they shared an ancestor with apes, some of the Christian worthies in this book objected equally to an older heresy called polygenism, promoted by Louis Agassiz and others, which held that the human races were created separately all over the earth, for distinct purposes.

    Back to the Beginning

  • [42] "When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty.

    Latest Articles

  • In case the original point was as I remember, note that polygenism may have been one tool in the kit of some slavers, but it wasn't a necessary one.

    Cue outrage in three, two, one…

  • However there are little historical tidbits like the fact that Louis Agassiz a creationist was one of the scientists most often cited in support of the concept of polygenism, the idea that the “races” were independently created, in the arguments over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Evolution denial as the legacy of slavery - The Panda's Thumb

  • Ridgeway -- to fraternize with mere brunettes, beyond Rhine and Danube, comes in its turn before the same tribunal as polygenism in 1862.

    The Unity of Civilization

  • Dr. Prichard, whose scientific labours, we were told in an earlier lecture, refuted the heresy of polygenism, was moved to undertake his inquiries by a desire to maintain the accuracy of the Mosaic tradition as to the common origin of mankind.

    The Unity of Civilization

  • Tue Apr 20th, 2010 by Carl Zimmer | 8 comments razibkhan: Of pigs, people and porcine polygenism: Jared Diamond famously argued in Guns,

    Discover Blogs

  • Tue Apr 20th, 2010 by Carl Zimmer | 8 comments razibkhan: Of pigs, people and porcine polygenism: Jared Diamond famously argued in Guns,

    Discover Blogs

  • Over the decades science has debunked theories of race based upon facial features, cranial capacity, brain weight, skeletal differences, language, IQ testing, blood type, polygenism, psychometrics - the list goes on.

    Telic Thoughts

  • This scenario stood opposed to a new evolutionary polygenism formulated in the wake of Darwin's Origin of Species by his ostensible supporters Alfred Russel Wallace and Ernst Haeckel.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]


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