Responding to filmmaker Allison Hopper’s claim at Scientific American that “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy,” Luther College religion prof Robert F. Shedinger quotes some very revealing extracts from Darwin’s personal letters, adding
Trying to remake Darwin into a champion of racial equality is a fruitless exercise. As an upper class Victorian gentleman, Darwin was fully socialized into the ideology of British imperial supremacy and to pretend otherwise is simply to refuse to accept the obvious. The father of modern evolutionary theory was a racist who gave birth to a theory unfortunately used by many others to advance their own racist agendas. Any fair assessment of the role of Darwinian evolution in history must wrestle with these basic facts.Robert Shedinger, “The Casual Racism of Charles Darwin” at Evolution News and Science Today
He calls Allison Hopper’s piece in Scientific American, “startlingly vacuous,” which raises — once again — the question of why on earth the mag published it. It’s not as if there is no scholarship on the topic of Darwin and racism. Did the editors not want to address that scholarship? Well, we can’t read minds but we can make some reasonable guesses. How about: Create a big uproar and hope everyone will focus on that and not on the topic at hand?
Shedinger also notes perceptively, “One does not become racist because of the view one holds on human origins. One becomes racist for other complex reasons and then reads that racism back into whatever view on human origins you hold.”
Dr. Shedinger is the author of The Mystery of Evolutionary Mechanisms: Darwinian Biology’s Grand Narrative of Triumph and the Subversion of Religion
See also: At PJ Media: A response to religious claims made in Scientific American’s “denial of evolution is white supremacy” piece. Bolyard: “I’m not here to debate the hows and whys of creationism. I’ll point you to Answers in Genesis for that. But I want to point out a couple of shameless strawmen in Hopper’s piece that discredit everything else she writes in this piece.” Of course. Hopper was almost certainly making it up as she went along, trusting that few readers had spent much time on the relevant literature.
At Scientific American: “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy” Wow. Has the Darwin lobby hired itself a PR firm that recommended getting someone on board to accuse everyone who doubts Darwin of being a “white supremacist”? Quite simply, Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man is surely by far the most racist iconic document ever to be lauded by all the Right People! And getting someone to holler about “white supremacy” among Darwin doubters is, ahem, just a cheap shot, not a response to the stark raving racism in print of the actual document. Guys, try another one.
Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne speaks out on a SciAm op-ed’s claims that denial of evolution stems from white supremacy. It seems obvious, on reflection, that Hopper’s piece is a disastrously clumsy effort on the part of Scientific American to get Woke. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne thinks the mag is not just circling the drain but “approaching the drainhole.” To the extent that the editors couldn’t find someone who at least gets basic facts right, he has a point.