Sutherland: This crazy talk became crazier still when [Howell S.] England predicted that types of monkeys would be bred with particular human races: orangutans with “humans from the yellow race, gorillas from the black race, chimpanzees from the white race” and gibbons with Jews.
Flannery reveals something interesting: “Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin’s indefatigable “Bulldog,” wrote a shameful essay on May 20, 1865, shortly after the conclusion of the American Civil War. He suggested that the South should be relieved given that it was no longer responsible for the care and “protection” of the now-former slaves.”
But the AAAS’s Science op-ed denouncing Darwin’s sacred text Descent of Man rolled through the system only an hour ago…
Let’s pass over the question of why Cool People never noticed that stuff about Charles Darwin for nearly a century and a half. Noticing now? Good. Then what does Agustín Fuentes suppose should replace Darwinism? A war on science? A war on math? A war on people who think getting right answers is a good thing? What’s supposed to be the next step?
Darwin’s racism doesn’t make his theory — either in its original form or any current iteration — right or wrong. The theory must be addressed on the merits of the case. So no deplatforming. Bring on the debate.
Author William Cole emphasizes Darwin’s opposition to slavery but one of his quoted experts puts that in perspective: “Professor James Moore, a biographer of Darwin, told The Telegraph: ‘Almost everyone in Darwin’s day was “racist” in 21st century terms, not only scientists and naturalists but even anti-slavery campaigners and abolitionists.” Of course. There’s no reason why a racist couldn’t also be a passionate abolitionist. Whatever a person may believe about human equality, slavery is a corrupting influence on any society.
The problem with Whittle’s long, thoughtful, and informative piece is that he seems determined to be reasonable and make sense. In the age of the war on math and the war on science, the Twitter mob is the new sanity and acting out is evidence of Virtue.
Cancel Culture is basically fascism, tweeted. But the way Darwinism and Social Darwinism sponsored racism — because in that scheme of things, someone always needs to be the lesser human — should have been dealt with a long time ago. There are certainly plenty of other reasons for doubting Darwin and denouncing Sanger today.
… but varying results. The awkward problem with Smith’s approach is that, to most people, evolution means Darwinism, period. And until comparatively recently, the “less evolved” stuff was what Darwin’s followers genuinely did believe. It wasn’t an extrapolation, it was part of their global belief system — as it was of Darwin’s. It’s no use looking hither and yon for how that “less evolved” idea got started. At one time, racism was based on a variety of folklore grounds; Darwin came along and made it sound scientific.
Now, how on earth did Haeckel get the idea of “social Darwinism”? Or is it “social Derwoodism.” Surely Haeckel can’t have been riffing of the celebrated Brit toff who wrote all this racist stuff? Whatever, Darwin still has an asbestos reputation among the Woke. Anyone can be blamed for the generally racist attitudes of 19th century scientists except the man who did so much to pass them on.
Bartlett: … one thing that is helpful for parents, students, and teachers is for students to show their work. I know it can be hard to get students to do this. My own children hate to do it. However, being explicit about the steps in their reasoning is important for a number of reasons. First, showing their work helps students with harder problems… So, what does Equitable Math say about this practice? According to their published guide, “White supremacy culture shows up in math class when students are required to show their work”
We don’t think Darwin should be Cancelled either because we don’t live in the Year Zero. But if some were minded to Cancel Darwin, this would not be a very good argument against it.
Wethinks that the big winners are teachers who can’t teach, protected by unions. The big losers are kids who leave school innumerate and must cope with a workplace that no longer needs innumerate people. We have machines now.
Science historian Michael Flannery points out that Douglass’s comments preceded Darwin’s On the Origin of Species because the basic idea of the “modified monkey” (Thomas Huxley’s phrase) was in Lamarck (and probably in the air).
You just have to read what Darwin actually said, as Michael Flannery quotes, while dealing with a typical attempt to sanitize Darwin’s record.