argued that the races were different species, and that their differentiation was an indication of separate origins.
Prichard was actively writing against polygenists
such as the anatomist Robert Knox, who argued that the different human races were separate creations (e.
Although Wilson employed racial categories in his analysis, he did not conceive of them as biologically fixed or as arising from separate acts of creation as did polygenists
such as Josiah Nott, but rather as the result of divergent historical development.
The counter argument came from the polygenists
who abandoned scripture and claimed human races to be separate biological species.
Eventually both Evangelicals and polygenists were trumped by the new monogenism of the Darwinists who argued for the evolution of a single human species but at different rates that had led to longstanding and profound differences between 'races' measured physically according to the shape of the skull, the hue of the skin or the curl of the hair, or culturally through the progress of institutions, intellect or morality (Kenny 2007; Stocking 1968:56; 1987:148-50).
As Stocking notes, the most important point for many commentators on kinship at this time, and clearly Fison was among them, was the suggestion of dispersion across climatic zones which challenged the polygenist insistence that human groups arose separately (1995:18).
Graves 2005a points out that Charles Darwin was actually one of first naturalists to dispute the claim of the polygenists
that there were separate species of humans.
In the United States at this period, the issues of racial difference and biological evolution were being hotly debated between monogenists, who held that humans had originated as a single type but that due to environmental factors had evolved into various racial groups, and polygenists
, who felt that humankind had from its earliest beginnings been divided into distinct races.
The shift in the predominance of the polygenists
and the monogenists during the nineteenth century, for example, was not a revolutionary one and did not constitute a "paradigm shift.
Monogenists (secular and religious) and Polygenists
in the SEP
Their issues were the fertility of hybrid species in zoology, the accuracy of Genesis, and the sources of African inferiority, which both monogenists and polygenists
Augustine and others, and while the settlers were not necessarily polygenists
, they tended to magnify racial differences to suit their own ends.