Evolutionary biology, when approached objectively, from the universal standpoint of the proletariat, is among the most valuable of the natural sciences. However, in the hands of the bourgeoisie, evolutionary biology is often deformed into a body of pseudoscientific theories with overtly racist undertones. For example, some psychologists explain today’s human behavior based on their own imaginary model of what a primordial human community may have looked like, and how the “evolutionary success” of certain individuals engendered certain behavioral patterns. Theories like these are completely flawed in a number of ways, and they also lend credence to the most reactionary of political projects, including — in the history of Social Darwinism, for example — sterilization campaigns, eugenics, and the Holocaust. First of all, these types of theories assume automatically that behavioral “traits” are heritable and passed through the genome, an entirely erroneous assumption. Secondly, they fail to account for human history, and the fact that mankind has transformed the world around him, thereby transforming himself. The cave man, therefore, has little in common with modern man, save for the primitive ability to engage in labor. Finally, these types of bourgeois pseudoscientific theories assume behaviors to be biological characteristics, a notion which leads directly to the most sinister types of racism.
The bourgeois pseudoscientific interpretations of evolutionary biology fail before the truly scientific proletarian interpretations of Darwinism because the bourgeois theories make the mistake of forgetting that a human organism does not only exist, but it also does things. The bourgeois vantage point makes this mistake because, it is true, the bourgeois himself actually does nothing other than merely exist, for, unlike the proletarian, he knows nothing of actual work. Work is the most important activity that distinguishes mere passive existence from active, embodied being. Therefore, the truly scientific interpretations of evolutionary biology must emphasize that the character of a given species is determined not only by the physical characteristics of its body, but also by what it does with and in that body. A human body is qualitatively no different from any other animal body, and therefore the difference between the two lies in what the human does with his body: Unlike the animal, the human actively transforms the mode of production of human material life. Bourgeois pseudoscientific evolutionary biology, therefore, can only explain the form and shape of the human being, but it can’t explain phenomena such as the division of labor and society without reverting to the old deterministic models which lend themselves to racism, eugenics, and fascistic chauvinism.