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“No thanks, I’ll take two fivers” — Dumping Darwin from British currency

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British paper currency — the 10-pound note — features Charles Darwin. (The custom is that the notes all have the Queen on one side and a famous Briton on the other. The notes are in denominations 5, 10, 20, and 50; there are no 1-pound or 2-pound paper notes, these are coins).

A couple of days ago the Bank of England issued a new 20-pound note, using new security features, and took the occasion to change the “famous person.” This is a news-worthy cause for British Darwin-doubters, who should urge that Darwin be dumped from the 10-pound note whenever there is a new security-upgrade version, on grounds that he is the chief prophet of the materialist religion, and his presence on the 10-pound note is an inappropriate endorsement of that materialist religion and its related anti-religious ferment. Now, it’s true that Britain has no 1st Amendment, but still, Britain is trying to be multi-cultural. A part of the effort could include a long list of choice inflammatory quotes from the new anti-religion books currently out in the bookstores (and in Darwin’s own writings — see the previous post here at UD); the effort could point out that the government, by honoring Darwin, implicitly lends its prestige to their venom.

A worthy replacement on the 10-pound note would be William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery crusader, particularly in light of the new movie. As it happens the Fabian Society is also in favor of dumping Darwin, and offers Wilberforce as a possible new famous person — at least, that is what one website says. Thus, this effort would also kick-off a comparison of what good has been brought to the world by these two people — Darwin vs. Wilberforce. Nazi Eugenics vs. the abolition of slavery. Is there really any contest?

Which brings up the reason I keep posting juicy bigotted and racist quotes by Darwin and his disciples here at UD. While the intellectual community may know them, the general public does not. Suppose the public decided that every time it accepted a “Darwin” (a 10-pound note) in payment or in change for a purchase, it was implicitly endorsing those terrible quotes? People would likely say, “No thanks, I’d rather have two fivers. I don’t take money that praises racists and bigots — and neither should you.”

In other words, promote a boycott of the Darwin 10-pound note because it promotes racism. It’s like putting Robert E. Lee on the ten-dollar bill because he was a great general, and ignoring the cause he served. This would work particularly well because the goal of the Fabians and other multiculturalists is to re-define Britain to be racially-inclusive. Thus there is a particular reason to highlight the racism of Darwin and get rid of him.

This would also be a good way to start a counter-reaction to the ‘Darwin Deification’ that we are going to get in 2009. Deifying Darwin is contrary to the multicultural goal of the British intelligentia, and it encourages the worst anti-religious bigotry of Dawkins et al.

[This post draws at length from personal correspondence with a colleague who shall remain anonymous.]

8 Replies to ““No thanks, I’ll take two fivers” — Dumping Darwin from British currency

  1. 1
    late_model says:

    I believe they replaced one Charles (Dickinson) with another Charles (Darwin) on the ten pound note according to a UK friend.

  2. 2
    Crash says:

    An excellent idea, “No thanks, I’d rather have two fivers”. Hope it gets taken up.

  3. 3
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Well, Lincoln is on the USA fiver, and it is well known that he made racist statements.

    Maybe a good replacement for the Darwin ten would be two fivers with the picture of golfer Jack Nicklaus. The Royal Bank of Scotland has actually issued such a fiver.

    The Darwin Day celebration includes a contest for essays comparing those two racists, Darwin and Lincoln. Their only connection is that they share the same official birthdate, Feb. 12, 1809.

    William Dembski said,
    “Which brings up the reason I keep posting juicy bigotted and racist quotes by Darwin and his disciples here at UD.”

    Well, that might not do much good, because racism was respectable in Darwin’s Day. For example, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas said in his first debate with Lincoln, “I believe this Government was made on the white basis. (“Good.”) I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity for ever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians, and other inferior races. (“Good for you.” “Douglas forever.”)”

    I think that British Moslems could help get rid of the Darwin tenner. Darwinism is particularly unpopular among Moslems. Public acceptance of Darwinism is low in Turkey (see here — Turkey scored even lower than the USA in an international poll on public acceptance of Darwinism), a Moslem country, and there is a strong anti-Darwinism movement there. British Moslems could express their opposition to Darwin by campaigning against the tenner, as opposed to, say, blowing up British subways — oops, I mean the Underground.

    “In other words, promote a boycott of the Darwin 10-pound note because it promotes racism. It’s like putting Robert E. Lee on the ten-dollar bill because he was a great general, and ignoring the cause he served.”

    So far as I know, Robert E. Lee was never on US money, but he has been on US postage stamps: by himself, in the Washington & Lee University commemorative, with Stonewall Jackson, and with Davis and Jackson on the Stone Mountain Memorial stamp. Also, I think that we should recognize that Lee lived in a different era — for example, views about states’ rights then were quite a bit different than they are today.

    “This would also be a good way to start a counter-reaction to the ‘Darwin Deification’ that we are going to get in 2009.”

    We are getting “Darwin Deification” right now! The Darwin Day celebration includes parties, sermons, Darwin look-alike contests, the Darwin-Lincoln essay contest, sale of Darwin knick-knacks (e.g., “I-love-Darwin” T-shirts and Darwin bobble-heads), parodies of Christmas carols, and what have you.

  4. 4
    rrf says:

    Current US paper money has slaveholders on the $1, $2, and $20 bills (Washington, Jefferson, and Jackson respectively). Of those three, only Washington made provisions for the emancipation of his slaves in his will.

  5. 5
    Russell Hunter says:

    I am a student of the history of science and I think that the argument for intelligent design is very strong…that is, I think that the proposition that a designer has been detected as the cause behind CSI in nature is true. Yet, although Darwin may have had some serious problems with God and with various races… I think he has been very important in the flow of ideas and therefore warrants being on the bill. Anyways, his portrait is so iconic and he is such a striking figure…etc, that I would be okay, even though I think he missed the mark when it came to orgigins and theology, with him taking his place among the most famous British intellectuals in history. That is, the category which specifies how one gets on money.

    But I agree Wilberforce needs to be on a bill.

    T. Russell Hunter

  6. 6
    Phevans says:

    Here in the UK, we change the person on our bank notes every time we have a new design. Darwin *will* get dropped from the tenner, and when it happens, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with any pressure exerted by anyone. And no, no-one ever calls it a “Darwin” just like no-one ever calls a fiver a “Fry”.

    For what it’s worth, Adam Smith’s comments along the lines of “the purpose of government is to protect the rich from the poor” aren’t exactly socially progressive 😉

  7. 7
    Rude says:

    Some might accuse us of fighting postmodernly like the others, what with bringing to light Darwin’s political incorrectness, but they’d be wrong. The other side smears because it lacks logic, we rightly point out how Darwin inspired the eugenics movement. The other side repudiates history and all dead whitemen—except of course Darwin whom they deify. But it’s not fair to compare Darwin’s inherited racism with that of a Washington or a Jefferson. Darwin’s ideas exacerbated the evil whereas the champions of liberty laid the foundation for emancipation and equality.

    The history of racism against blacks is, in fact, rather interesting (but of course we don’t do history any more). Still for those interested a place to start might be Frank M. Snowden’s Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. Well, if racism isn’t rooted in our Judeo-Christian and classical heritage, where did it come from? Do a little further digging and I think you’ll be surprised where the idea of black slavery arose and how it mutated into the Americas.

    And then there is 1859 and a new kind of racism where the other guy becomes subhuman. In fact the United Nations might consider a resolution—Darwinism is Racism! I had a prof once—an ardent Darwinist—who felt that Gould’s gradualism was really meant to defang the racism of Darwinism.

    So have at it boys! It’s the other side that fears history.

  8. 8
    sunder says:

    * Your report that the Fabian Society has called for Darwin to be dropped from banknotes is wrong. Perhaps you would add a correction to the piece.

    * The historian Linda Colley made a broader point, in an interview with Fabian Review, about diversity on banknotes, and this was widely discussed in the press.;id=512

    * Darwin wasn’t mentioned. So whichever website you were using as your source isn’t right in attributing a call to drop Darwin to us.

    Sunder Katwala
    Fabian Society General Secretary;id=512

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