Museum bosses are now desperately seeking to address what some staff believe are “legacies of colonies, slavery and empire” by potentially renaming, relabelling, or removing these traces in the institution.
The executive board told staff in documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph that “in light of Black Lives Matter and the recent anti-racist demonstrations around the world” the museum would undertake a review of existing room names and “whether any statues (or collections) or could potentially cause offence”.One of the institution’s directors said in internal documents that new action taken to address these issues would alter “the use and display of our collections and public spaces”.Craig Simpson, “Natural History Museum to review potentially ‘offensive’ Charles Darwin collection” at Telegraph
Of course, some of the concerns smack of the war on math:
Legacies that may fall foul of the shift in opinion might be the exotic birds of Darwin and Captain Robert Fitzroy, as their shared journey to South American was “enable greater British control” of the region, according to the paper shared with staff.Craig Simpson, “Natural History Museum to review potentially ‘offensive’ Charles Darwin collection” at Telegraph
So the birds are wrong because colonialism? Sure, that’ll work.
Note: This article is free until Monday morning in response to protesters who blockaded the printing plants.
A friend writes to note that the museum is only trying to change signage, not to look at the history of Darwin’s racism and its fallout, eugenics.
Well no, but then, they’re only doing whatever they are doing now in the face of civil unrest.
Some of us remember fifteen years ago when anyone who brought up Darwin’s racism was informed, superciliously, by Darwinists that only a creationist would raise such an issue, as if there were nothing to be appalled by. One is tempted to say, suck it up. But that’s not a solution.
An obvious solution would be to mostly keep the exhibits on display (they are not there to front racism) and to develop a linked exhibit on the ways nineteenth-century racism, including Darwin’s, shaped later understanding of human palaeontology, for example with respect to Neanderthal man and homo Erectus. And other topics that are directly relevant.
Before the vandals and looters get there.
Here’s a recent vid exploring Darwin’s racism from Rational Religion:
See also: Was Neanderthal man fully human? The role racism played in assessing the evidence
Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human?