Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

If Neanderthals are not the subhumans in the “ascent of man,” who gets the job?


Fred Flintstone?

Further to “Researchers conclude, Neanderthals buried their dead, Timothy Kershner at the ID Facebook page points out this 2003 article in the Smithsonian mag that notes the change over the decade in how Neanderthals are viewed,

Neanderthals, traditionally designated Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, were not only “human” but also, it turns out, more “modern” than scientists previously allowed. “In the minds of the European anthropologists who first studied them, Neanderthals were the embodiment of primitive humans, subhumans if you will,” says Fred H. Smith, a physical anthropologist at LoyolaUniversity in Chicago who has been studying Neanderthal DNA. “They were believed to be scavengers who made primitive tools and were incapable of language or symbolic thought.”Now, he says, researchers believe that Neanderthals “were highly intelligent, able to adapt to a wide variety of ecological zones, and capable of developing highly functional tools to help them do so. They were quite accomplished.”

The writer visits a dig. Also relates that “stone-lined pit in southwest France held teh 70,000-year-old remains of a man wrapped in bearskin.” (Guys in those days preferred bearskins to heaps of flowers, we suspect.)

Kershner notes that I’ve said before that “Darwinists NEEDED to find a primitive human and Neanderthal got the job.” It’s not essential to their thesis but it would be a big help, and not finding “subhumans if you will” is the sort of thing that sets people to looking in other directions for suitable models. I unpacked that here:

The underlying issue riffs off one of Darwin’s predictions: That humans would evolve into separate species via natural selection:

The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla,” [3]

Since Darwin believed that humans are merely animals, he had to apply his theories to humans, and stick fast to anything that appeared to fit. As Benjamin Wiker put it in an article in Human Events,

Those defending Darwin cannot have read his Descent of Man, wherein he applies the principles of natural selection to human beings—a thing he prudently avoided in his earlier Origin of Species. In the Descent, the eugenic and racial inferences are clearly and startlingly drawn by Darwin himself.

Darwin’s racism was not adopted out of bad will but simply as the logic of Darwinism.

That is the point that every Darwinist wants to miss or downplay.

However humanity is obviously not dividing into separate races and, in any event, today’s follower of Darwin is not likely to be a racist*. All the more certain was it that the Neanderthal we saw in the diorama would get tipped for the job.

And what happens if the vacancy just goes unfilled? If nobody turns out to be the subhuman?

*But See also: Darwinian racism: The other writer who just got dumped from National Review It’s out there, but no longer tolerated.

Hat tip: ID Facebook page

One needs to read up on Eugenics, the idea that selective breeding of humans would produce the super-man. Eugenics starts with the Darwinian idea that not only do superior individuals get selected through competition, but groups, especially groups of social humans, demonstrate their superiority (and therefore desirability for reproduction) through competition with other groups. And as had been clearly demonstrated at the end of the 19th century, Europeans with steam engines and machineguns had come to dominate Asians and Africans with bows and spears. The connection between Darwinism and racism was obvious. That is, Darwin gave the racists a scientific basis for their discrimination and refusal to grant equal rights. The conquered people were inferior humans and were destined to be eliminated as the human species moved forward. "Survival of the fittest." See "From Darwin to Hitler" by Weikart or "The Pure Society" by Pichot. mahuna

Leave a Reply