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Dowie sympathized with the monogenists, who argued that the Genesis creation account of a single human race could be understood literally (Kidd 2006: 128).
But Blumenbach, in the company of many other eighteenth century monogenists, also pointed to the transient and environmentally caused nature of such differences.
By the time Bodington's essay was published in 1878, Darwin's theories of "natural selection" had gained great deal of significance and the two opposed camps of "monogenists" and "polygenists" were already dealing with the concepts of evolution and its implication for the place of God.
Christian monogenists continued to insist on the single origin and essential similitude of all peoples but were increasingly challenged by scientific theories of multiple origins and immutable differences between human groups (Kenny: 2007).
Darwin's thinking also contradicted the core claim of the monogenists. For both groups of creationists, human variation had significance because it resulted from an act of divide creation.
Monogenists explained racial differences by the effects of thousands of years of environmental forces, particularly climate, diet, disease, and the "state of civilization." Proslavery critics of polygenism drew heavily from the research of Blumenbach, Cuvier, Buffon, and Prichard, demonstrating the slow changes in physiology and psychology wrought by divergent conditions.
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.
If black men possessed an aberrant skin color, if they differed anatomically, psychologically, and morally from white men, it was due, according to the monogenists, to different physical and social environments.
Monogenists (secular and religious) and Polygenists in the SEP
As orthodox Christians, most Southerners were monogenists, holding for the common origin of the various races as children of one God.