Believer says: The title of Charles Darwin’s book clearly proves that he believed that northern Europeans were biological superior to others thanks to evolution.
But skeptic says: The title of his 1859 book included the word “races” but didn't imply a lower species of 19th century humans. The complete title was “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”
Yes, it said that. He initially decided to call his book “An Abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties Through Natural Selection.” But with publisher persuasion, he changed it to “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”
His book uses the word “races” about “the several races, for instance, of the cabbage" and proceeds to discuss "the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants." Catch where it says varieties (races) of plants.
Reference to the cabbage race didn't make Darwin a racist, just referred to the variety of the cabbage. Even if he was a racist, the title did nothing to reveal his view.
Recap: The title or content didn't indicate “race” like today. In his later Descent of Man he favors the cultural level of the northern European. He said cultures that lacked technological advancement or modern education were “savage races.” And he expected the civilized races to absorb them. He might have been a cultural snob but insisted that all living humans were one species. That is, his theory says lower human species didn't exist in his day.
38 Nobody was there to see evolution taking place