Eugenics, Race, and The Urantia Book
Return to Table of Contents: click here.
This chapter reviews The Urantia Book’s statements about racial blending. The following perspective, from a section discussing the racial mixtures of India, highlights the importance of keeping in mind that the benefits of racial blending alone cannot sufficiently address certain fundamental eugenics issues.
Race mixture is always advantageous in that it favors versatility of culture and makes for a progressive civilization, but if the inferior elements of racial stocks predominate, such achievements will be short-lived. A polyglot culture can be preserved only if the superior stocks reproduce themselves in a safe margin over the inferior. Unrestrained multiplication of inferiors, with decreasing reproduction of superiors, is unfailingly suicidal of cultural civilization.(1)
The material from The Urantia Book reviewed in this paper so far begs for a certain question to be asked, of course. Does The Urantia Book indicate that past events have led to the genetic demise of any particular groups?
The Urantia Book has a “Racial Mixtures” section. Additionally, the authors make statements about blending in other areas of the book. Some of this material indicates that certain especially retrogressive groups should be biologically disfellowshipped because, as a group, they represent some of humanity’s “more markedly unfit, defective, degenerate, and antisocial stocks.”(2)
Chapter 7 discussed how The Urantia Book encourages us to head in a more morally progressive and practical direction with respect to people who are notably disadvantaged—subnormal—on a genetic level. That chapter distinguished when “a pint cannot hold a quart.” As well, it discussed the suggestion made by the authors that we aught to come to some agreement on the “biologic disfellowshipping” of our “more markedly unfit, defective, degenerate, and antisocial stocks.” These two types of traits—subnormal and markedly unfit—get combined in individuals independently of each other.
For instance, antisocial genetic tendencies can be accompanied by high intelligence, allowing an individual to function in the modern world with relative ease. And, of course, all subnormal individuals do not necessarily have antisocial genetic traits. Subnormal human beings have a significant disadvantage when it comes to living in the modern world and exhibit an inability to comprehend certain things. Being intellectually less endowed does not mean someone is unfit, defective, degenerate or antisocial; it just means they are intellectually less endowed. The Urantia Book seems to indicate that this is by design so that normal and subnormal types of human beings learn how to get along (be of mutual service to each other) and love each other.
When it comes to assessing human potentials, as they existed in the past or as they exist today, the authors of The Urantia Book discourage us from getting too opinionated. From The Urantia Book perspective, our world has suffered so much from a rebellion (Lucifer and Satan) and a default (Adam and Eve) that we are all ill equipped to develop a good understanding of our circumstances, even with the help of this revelation.
The evolution of six—or of three—colored races, while seeming to deteriorate the original endowment of the red man, provides certain very desirable variations in mortal types and affords an otherwise unattainable expression of diverse human potentials. These modifications are beneficial to the progress of mankind as a whole provided they are subsequently upstepped by the imported Adamic or violet race. On Urantia this usual plan of amalgamation was not extensively carried out, and this failure to execute the plan of race evolution makes it impossible for you to understand very much about the status of these peoples on an average inhabited planet by observing the remnants of these early races on your world.(3)
Whatever speculations we may make about the genetic attributes of the original Sangik races, the primary issue is always going to be addressing the problems we face today. Though The Urantia Book teaches that “all ancient peoples should always be studied and judged in the light of the moral standards of the mores of their own times,” this point does not directly address the challenges faced by modern peoples in terms of our relationship to cultures that continue to act in primitive ways.
To assist us in getting some perspective on these issues, the authors focus our attention on the relationship that ancient religious beliefs and practices have to fundamental questions about morality. Are we acting out of self-interest or group-interest? Do we have a selfish or selfless attitude?
While the belief in spirits, dreams, and diverse other superstitions all played a part in the evolutionary origin of primitive religions, you should not overlook the influence of the clan or tribal spirit of solidarity. In the group relationship there was presented the exact social situation which provided the challenge to the egoistic-altruistic conflict in the moral nature of the early human mind. In spite of their belief in spirits, primitive Australians still focus their religion upon the clan. In time, such religious concepts tend to personalize, first, as animals, and later, as a superman or as a God. Even such inferior races as the African Bushmen, who are not even totemic in their beliefs, do have a recognition of the difference between the self-interest and the group-interest, a primitive distinction between the values of the secular and the sacred. But the social group is not the source of religious experience. Regardless of the influence of all these primitive contributions to man’s early religion, the fact remains that the true religious impulse has its origin in genuine spirit presences activating the will to be unselfish.(4)
Prereligious praying was part of the mana practices of the Melanesians, the oudah beliefs of the African pygmies, and the manitou superstitions of the North American Indians. The Baganda tribes of Africa have only recently emerged from the mana level of prayer. In this early evolutionary confusion men pray to gods—local and national—to fetishes, amulets, ghosts, rulers, and to ordinary people.(5)
Twentieth-century Urantia religions present an interesting study of the social evolution of man's worship impulse. Many faiths have progressed very little since the days of the ghost cult. The Pygmies of Africa have no religious reactions as a class, although some of them believe slightly in a spirit environment. They are today just where primitive man was when the evolution of religion began. The basic belief of primitive religion was survival after death. The idea of worshiping a personal God indicates advanced evolutionary development, even the first stage of revelation. The Dyaks have evolved only the most primitive religious practices. The comparatively recent Eskimos and Amerinds had very meager concepts of God; they believed in ghosts and had an indefinite idea of survival of some sort after death. Present-day native Australians have only a ghost fear, dread of the dark, and a crude ancestor veneration. The Zulus are just evolving a religion of ghost fear and sacrifice. Many African tribes, except through missionary work of Christians and Mohammedans, are not yet beyond the fetish stage of religious evolution. But some groups have long held to the idea of monotheism, like the onetime Thracians, who also believed in immortality.(6)
That contemporary cultural society is a rather recent phenomenon is well shown by the present-day [mid 1900’s] survival of such primitive social conditions as characterize the Australian natives and the Bushmen and Pygmies of Africa. Among these backward peoples may be observed something of the early group hostility, personal suspicion, and other highly antisocial traits which were so characteristic of all primitive races. These miserable remnants of the nonsocial peoples of ancient times bear eloquent testimony to the fact that the natural individualistic tendency of man cannot successfully compete with the more potent and powerful organizations and associations of social progression. These backward and suspicious antisocial races that speak a different dialect every forty or fifty miles illustrate what a world you might now be living in but for the combined teaching of the . . . staff of the Planetary Prince and the later labors of the Adamic group of racial uplifters.(7)
The modern phrase, “back to nature,” is a delusion of ignorance, a belief in the reality of the onetime fictitious “golden age.”(8)
Among the early races there was little or no regulation of the relations of the sexes. Because of this sex license, no prostitution existed. Today, the Pygmies and other backward groups have no marriage institution; a study of these peoples reveals the simple mating customs followed by primitive races. But all ancient peoples should always be studied and judged in the light of the moral standards of the mores of their own times.(9) [emphasis added]
These last two paragraphs emphasize the difference between respecting developmental stages (as with children) and the “modern” trend towards cultural relativism, which denies the whole process of growing up, collectively. Just as parents have to take account of both a child’s age and capacities, similarly, with eugenics we need to take account of the maturity and capacities of various racial groups.
The challenge is that the Bushmen, Pygmies, and Australian natives of today are living in modern times. No one lives in ancient times. Today is today for everybody; modern times are “their own times.” Relative to today’s world, they are not equipped to keep up culturally or contribute genetically, according to the authors of The Urantia Book.
In order to face today’s challenges, we need to be willing to ask, “Have certain groups experienced negligible or negative genetic evolution?” The long history that exists with humanity’s most backward cultures indicates that the problem is genetic at this point as well as cultural. Of course, even if such a determination is made, these people deserve all the love and respect that all other human beings deserve. Having kindhearted relations is not in conflict with respecting the wisdom of biologically disfellowshipping those groups that exhibit a long history of both subnormal and antisocial characteristics.
Though The Urantia Book characterizes Pygmies, Bushman, and Australian natives as “miserable remnants of the nonsocial peoples of ancient times,” the authors do not say that these are the only groups that have an especially inferior and antisocial genetic make up. They are examples of a problem that exists on our world. Given contemporary tendencies to romanticize today’s primitive peoples, the authors wisely warn us against the folly of considering these groups to have some “special unique contribution” to make to our future gene pool.
Expanding on the theme that the benefits of blending are insufficient to maintain, let alone progress, the quality of our gene pool, here is additional material on the racial mixtures of India:
Between the times of the Planetary Prince and Adam, India became the home of the most cosmopolitan population ever to be found on the face of the earth. But it was unfortunate that this mixture came to contain so much of the green, orange, and indigo races.(10)
India is the only locality where all the Urantia races were blended, the Andite invasion adding the last stock. In the highlands northwest of India the Sangik races came into existence, and without exception members of each penetrated the subcontinent of India in their early days, leaving behind them the most heterogeneous race mixture ever to exist on Urantia. Ancient India acted as a catch basin for the migrating races. The base of the peninsula was formerly somewhat narrower than now, much of the deltas of the Ganges and Indus being the work of the last fifty thousand years.
The earliest race mixtures in India were a blending of the migrating red and yellow races with the aboriginal Andonites. This group was later weakened by absorbing the greater portion of the extinct eastern green peoples as well as large numbers of the orange race, was slightly improved through limited admixture with the blue man, but suffered exceedingly through assimilation of large numbers of the indigo race. But the so-called aborigines of India are hardly representative of these early people; they are rather the most inferior southern and eastern fringe, which was never fully absorbed by either the early Andites or their later appearing Aryan cousins.
By 20,000 B.C. the population of western India had already become tinged with the Adamic blood, and never in the history of Urantia did any one people combine so many different races. But it was unfortunate that the secondary Sangik strains predominated, and it was a real calamity that both the blue and the red man were so largely missing from this racial melting pot of long ago; more of the primary Sangik strains would have contributed very much toward the enhancement of what might have been an even greater civilization.
About 15,000 B.C. increasing population pressure throughout Turkestan and Iran occasioned the first really extensive Andite movement toward India. For over fifteen centuries these superior peoples poured in through the highlands of Baluchistan, spreading out over the valleys of the Indus and Ganges and slowly moving southward into the Deccan. This Andite pressure from the northwest drove many of the southern and eastern inferiors into Burma and southern China but not sufficiently to save the invaders from racial obliteration.
The failure of India to achieve the hegemony of Eurasia was largely a matter of topography; population pressure from the north only crowded the majority of the people southward into the decreasing territory of the Deccan, surrounded on all sides by the sea. Had there been adjacent lands for emigration, then would the inferiors have been crowded out in all directions, and the superior stocks would have achieved a higher civilization.
As it was, these earlier Andite conquerors made a desperate attempt to preserve their identity and stem the tide of racial engulfment by the establishment of rigid restrictions regarding intermarriage. Nonetheless, the Andites had become submerged by 10,000 B.C., but the whole mass of the people had been markedly improved by this absorption.
Race mixture is always advantageous in that it favors versatility of culture and makes for a progressive civilization, but if the inferior elements of racial stocks predominate, such achievements will be short-lived. A polyglot culture can be preserved only if the superior stocks reproduce themselves in a safe margin over the inferior. Unrestrained multiplication of inferiors, with decreasing reproduction of superiors, is unfailingly suicidal of cultural civilization.
Had the Andite conquerors been in numbers three times what they were, or had they driven out or destroyed the least desirable third of the mixed orange-green-indigo inhabitants, then would India have become one of the world's leading centers of cultural civilization and undoubtedly would have attracted more of the later waves of Mesopotamians that flowed into Turkestan and thence northward to Europe.(11)
The authors of The Urantia Book are identifying one end of humanity’s genetic spectrum, when they describe India’s “so-called aborigines” as the “never fully absorbed” “most inferior southern and eastern fringe” and portray the Australian aborigines, Bushman, and Pygmies as the “miserable remnants of the nonsocial peoples of ancient times.” This highlights the fundamental relationship between eugenics and morality. An advanced civilization cannot be built upon degraded genetics, and cultures that are more selfless and identify with “the brotherhood of man” idea are superior to ones that are more selfish and identify with their local group more than with humanity as a whole.
The next quote contains the entire Racial Mixtures section:
There are no pure races in the world today. The early and original evolutionary peoples of color have only two representative races persisting in the world, the yellow man and the black man; and even these two races are much admixed with the extinct colored peoples. While the so-called white race is predominantly descended from the ancient blue man, it is admixed more or less with all other races much as is the red man of the Americas.
Of the six colored Sangik races, three were primary and three were secondary. Though the primary races—blue, red, and yellow—were in many respects superior to the three secondary peoples, it should be remembered that these secondary races had many desirable traits which would have considerably enhanced the primary peoples if their better strains could have been absorbed.
Present-day prejudice against "half-castes," "hybrids," and "mongrels" arises because modern racial crossbreeding is, for the greater part, between the grossly inferior strains of the races concerned. You also get unsatisfactory offspring when the degenerate strains of the same race intermarry.
If the present-day races of Urantia could be freed from the curse of their lowest strata of deteriorated, antisocial, feeble-minded, and outcast specimens, there would be little objection to a limited race amalgamation. And if such racial mixtures could take place between the highest types of the several races, still less objection could be offered.
Hybridization of superior and dissimilar stocks is the secret of the creation of new and more vigorous strains. And this is true of plants, animals, and the human species. Hybridization augments vigor and increases fertility. Race mixtures of the average or superior strata of various peoples greatly increase creative potential, as is shown in the present population of the United States of North America. When such matings take place between the lower or inferior strata, creativity is diminished, as is shown by the present-day peoples of southern India.
Race blending greatly contributes to the sudden appearance of new characteristics, and if such hybridization is the union of superior strains, then these new characteristics will also be superior traits.
As long as present-day races are so overloaded with inferior and degenerate strains, race intermingling on a large scale would be most detrimental, but most of the objections to such experiments rest on social and cultural prejudices rather than on biological considerations. Even among inferior stocks, hybrids often are an improvement on their ancestors. Hybridization makes for species improvement because of the role of the dominant genes. Racial intermixture increases the likelihood of a larger number of the desirable dominants being present in the hybrid.
For the past hundred years more racial hybridization has been taking place on Urantia than has occurred in thousands of years. The danger of gross disharmonies as a result of crossbreeding of human stocks has been greatly exaggerated. The chief troubles of "half-breeds" are due to social prejudices.
The Pitcairn experiment of blending the white and Polynesian races turned out fairly well because the white men and the Polynesian women were of fairly good racial strains. Interbreeding between the highest types of the white, red, and yellow races would immediately bring into existence many new and biologically effective characteristics. These three peoples belong to the primary Sangik races. Mixtures of the white and black races are not so desirable in their immediate results, neither are such mulatto offspring so objectionable as social and racial prejudice would seek to make them appear. Physically, such white-black hybrids are excellent specimens of humanity, notwithstanding their slight inferiority in some other respects.
When a primary Sangik race amalgamates with a secondary Sangik race, the latter is considerably improved at the expense of the former. And on a small scale—extending over long periods of time—there can be little serious objection to such a sacrificial contribution by the primary races to the betterment of the secondary groups. Biologically considered, the secondary Sangiks were in some respects superior to the primary races.
After all, the real jeopardy of the human species is to be found in the unrestrained multiplication of the inferior and degenerate strains of the various civilized peoples rather than in any supposed danger of their racial interbreeding.(12)
The statement, “If the present-day races of Urantia could be freed from the curse of their lowest strata of deteriorated, antisocial, feeble-minded, and outcast specimens, there would be little objection to a limited race amalgamation,” provides a perspective on just how much positive genetic potentials the authors consider to be resident in humanity. If just being liberated from the worst of the worst would justify a “limited race amalgamation,” this reflects well on our general genetic foundation.
The authors caution us, however, about attempting something that is modeled after the Adamic plan:
But while the pure-line children of a planetary Garden of Eden can bestow themselves upon the superior members of the evolutionary races and thereby upstep the biologic level of mankind, it would not prove beneficial for the higher strains of Urantia mortals to mate with the lower races; such an unwise procedure would jeopardize all civilization on your world. Having failed to achieve race harmonization by the Adamic technique, you must now work out your planetary problem of race improvement by other and largely human methods of adaptation and control.(13)
Thus do the Adams and Eves and their progeny contribute to the sudden expansion of culture and to the rapid improvement of the evolutionary races of their worlds. And all of these relationships are augmented and sealed by the amalgamation of the evolutionary races and the sons of Adam, resulting in the immediate upstepping of biologic status, the quickening of intellectual potential, and the enhancement of spiritual receptivity.(14)
Regarding the culture where the revelation was placed, The Urantia Book has this to say:
This European culture for five thousand years continued to grow and to some extent intermingle. But the barrier of language prevented the full reciprocation of the various Occidental nations. During the past century this culture has been experiencing its best opportunity for blending in the cosmopolitan population of North America; and the future of that continent will be determined by the quality of the racial factors which are permitted to enter into its present and future populations, as well as by the level of the social culture which is maintained.(15)
Not surprisingly, the authors encourage us to consider the importance of being good stewards of North America’s genetic reservoir. Consistent with the rest of the book, the authors offer suggestions and provide insights without being prescriptive. The final statement of the “Racial Mixtures” section defines the eugenic benchmark for humanity. “After all, the real jeopardy of the human species is to be found in the unrestrained multiplication of the inferior and degenerate strains of the various civilized peoples rather than in any supposed danger of their racial interbreeding.” At the end of the day, our general gene pool has either progressed or retrogressed. Each and every day, we have a collective moral obligation to future generations to provide them a better gene pool than the one we inherited. This may not be our only moral mirror, but it is, nonetheless, a true moral mirror.
However we got to this point in human history, the genetic spectrum throughout the world is significant and the trends are not encouraging. After all the cosmological perspective gets stripped away, the authors of The Urantia Book are doing nothing more than 1) pointing out the obvious truism about eugenics in plain language, 2) encouraging us to consider the implications of our negative trends, and 3) suggesting that we humanely do something about it.
1) Urantia Book 79:2.7
2) (See Chapter 7: Cultural Progress, Overpopulation, and Subnormal Human Beings)
3) Urantia Book 51:4.4
4) Urantia Book 103:3.1
5) Urantia Book 91:0.5
6) Urantia Book 92:6.1
7) Urantia Book 68:1.7
8) Urantia Book 68:1.6
9) Urantia Book 82:2.2
10) Urantia Book 64:7.3
11) Urantia Book 79:2.1-8
12) Urantia Book 82:6.1-11
13) Urantia Book 51:5.7
14) Urantia Book 51:6.1
15) Urantia Book 80:9.16
Table of Contents
Part I: Framing the Conversation
1) Purpose and Parameters
2) Setting the Standard
4) Human Rights
Part II: Racial History, Eugenics, and Civilization
5) History and Destiny
6) The Value of Variety and Racial Vitality
7) Cultural Progress, Overpopulation, and Subnormal Human Beings
8) Modern Peoples and Slavery
Part III: Hindsight, Insight, and Foresight
9) Skull Shapes and Skeletal Types
10) Aryans and Whites
11) Differences Between the Colored Races
12) Racial Blending
13) Eugenics, Race, and Morality
Appendix 1: Urantia Book-based Taxonomy
Back to Top