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Britain’s Natural History Museum is feeling the heat over Darwin’s racism

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Not that they quite admit it. This article is only free to read till Monday morning, Brit time (Time zones.):

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

and

Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human?

8 Replies to “Britain’s Natural History Museum is feeling the heat over Darwin’s racism

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    If they really want to protect themselves against the looters, they should hire more private police and make the security obvious. No amount of labelling will help if the rioters decide to attack.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    Yes, Darwin regarded the civilization of Europe as more advanced than that of the so-called “savage” races. He was also utterly opposed to slavery and appalled by what he saw of the way indigenous peoples were treated by white colonists. So was he racist or not?

  3. 3
    jawa says:

    “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.“
    It may not be a solution, but you may still say it. Maybe they will hear it and realize that they were wrong all along. But most probably they won’t anyway. Too late now. The damage was done.
    The author of a 1.5 century old idea that is being trashed (at least partially) even by many of his former supporters, should not have much saying these days.
    Puffing up his handwritten notes from the Beagle cruise up to a nonsensical micro-2-macro extrapolation should disqualify him as a serious scientist.

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    @sev

    Well is Trump a racist because Doug Duke said he partly endorsed him or is Biden a racist because he was holding hands with Robert bird (effective grand dragon not declared though) in a picture.

    Both say wonderfully stupid stuff.

    I’m interested to hear your very predictable reply Sev

    But by today’s standards Darwin is a raging racist, and he and his version of evolution helped promote many wonderfully and heartless things

    Im sorry your patron saint is under attack
    I mean according to you, my Jesus Christ is responsible for a religion that killed everybody in the entire world and is most evil, as judged by yourself, a moral relativist and true believer in a theory that evil doesn’t exist only survival

    So I guess I know how it feels when the Atrocities of the religion you worship finally catches up with it……………

    BTW Charles WAS a racist

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    Darwinism spawned marxism and now marxism is eating up darwinism (well, marxism destroys everything being the cancer it is).
    Someone up there is having the last laugh. 🙂

  6. 6
    vividbleau says:

    Sev
    “So was he racist or not?”

    Well because he was white according to Critical Race and Social Justice theory he is automatically racist, white people, by being white, cannot help but be racist. This is the same CRT/CSJ that Trump has issued an a Executive order to stop of which I’m sure you disagree with.

    Having said that for once in my life I am going to defend Darwin the man. According to today’s standard he held like most people at the time racists attitudes. This is why “presentism” is so dangerous. He was a man of his times. If owning slaves is a prerequisite as to who are racists and who aren’t there are no racists in America which we know to be false. I don’t condemn the man for his failings and the Museum is making a mistake.

    Vivid

  7. 7
    vividbleau says:

    Aaron

    “Im sorry your patron saint is under attack”

    The sane liberals, those who espouse enlightenment values need to understand that no one gets spared. Some are sounding the alarm like James Lindsay, an atheist Christian critic but a sane one.

    Vivid

  8. 8
    vividbleau says:

    Critical Race Theory in five words
    Absolutely amazing
    https://twitter.com/dpsztur/status/1302768273344401408?s=21

    Vivid

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