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Classifier of life forms Linnaeus gets the chop due to concerns about racism


At Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota:

The Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees has made the decision to remove the name “Linnaeus” from its campus arboretum, Board Chair Scott Anderson ’89 announced today. Effective immediately, the 125-acre greenspace located on the southwest corner of the Saint Peter campus will be renamed “The Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College.”

The decision comes after a deliberative process in which members of the College community explored how the institution should recognize the legacy of Carl Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish botanist who is best known for popularizing the modern binomial nomenclature system of naming living things. In recent years, Linnaeus’ writings on human taxonomy have come under scrutiny as an example of scientific racism based on his classification and description of human varieties in his seminal work, Systema Naturae.

“I’d like to publicly thank the students, faculty, and staff who encouraged the College to reexamine the name of the arboretum and the broad cross-section of our community who engaged in intentional, deliberate, and thorough reflection over the last several months,” Anderson said. “The Board of Trustees has made the decision to remove Linnaeus’ name from the arboretum. Moving forward, Gustavus will embrace the educational opportunity to tell a more complete history of Carl Linnaeus, examining not only his contributions to science but also the problematic elements of his work.”

JJ Akin, “Gustavus Adolphus College Renames Campus Arboretum” at Blogs at Gustavus News (October 12, 2021)

The friend who sent this in wonders, will the Woke come for Darwin too? It’s a bit more complicated in that case. No one, after all, strikes a serious blow against science by attacking contemporary Darwinism. Darwinism is really more about atheism than about science — and the Woke are in a war on science, not on atheism.

That said, SciAm may have tripped a switch by accusing creationists of racism recently. Even Jerry Coyne came to the creationists’ defense on that one. Plus, for once, we had implicit permission to talk about Darwin’s actual record on racism. We weren;t the ones who had raised the point. Then it all faded, of course.

It’s possible that a few more gaffes like that on the part of the Darwinians could have a cumulative effect… hard to call. Especially because they may know enough not to trip that switch again.

See also: 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.” If the editors couldn’t find someone who at least gets basic facts right, he sure has a point.

Maybe we should just tear down all the monuments to celebrities, past and present, as all of them will have held views that some individual or group today will find offensive. Clearly, the most important question of the hour is whose sense of being offended trumps whose? In the recent case of the actor Fredric March, is his membership of a student fraternity that had the poor judgement to name itself after the Ku Klux Klan sufficient to outweigh all his great work as an actor or his record of working against discrimination and bigotry? For all those who are offended by such a relatively minor misjudgment there must be others, like me, who are offended by such petty vindictiveness when there are much more serious issues they could be concerned with. Again, whose sense of being offended trumps whose? Seversky
Reminds me of something my father observed back in 1960. Education administrators are often brainless literal-minded idiots, and many of them are named Anderson. When you see an admin named Anderson, you know what to expect. polistra

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