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Effacing the role of Darwinism in racism – Smithsonian edition

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In an article about a new book, Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini, the Smithsonian magazine reviewer finds a way to efface the role of Darwinism in making racism scientifically respectable:

Scientific research has struggled with concepts of race for centuries, often proposing misleading or erroneous explanations of racial differences. Contentious debates among Europeans about the origins of modern humans began in the 19th century, and many of the continent’s leading scientists believed firmly that Europeans exemplified the most evolved and intelligent humans. Ramin Skibba, “The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism” at Smithsonian Magazine

No mention is made of the fact that the general acceptance of Darwinism, in particular, enabled science-backed racism. Darwinian evolution theory made racism seem modern and cool instead backward and stupid.

A price is paid for refusal to grapple with reality; in this case, the price is a tendency to rely on bad arguments whose badness everyone agrees to overlook. For example:

While Mankind Quarterly has managed to hang on into the 21st century, “hard-core scientific racists are mostly old white men, and they’re not being reproduced in academia,” Panofsky says. Even so, plenty of racist, young white men continue to promote concepts of scientific racism, such as the participants in the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—an event that even the scientific journal Nature felt the need to condemn. Ramin Skibba, “The Disturbing Resilience of Scientific Racism” at Smithsonian Magazine

The old white men are probably Darwinists and the Charlottesville rally, which ended in a murder, can’t have featured many scientists. So the connection between the two groups of “white men” would most likely be Darwin in the school system. But wait, Darwin in the school system is Correct, right? Just don’t think too hard and you’ll be fine.

Skibba is telling the only story he is allowed to tell and that’s too bad if we think that some honesty would help. In any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history.

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See also: See also: David Klinghoffer: Racism is integral to Darwinian thinking, “like an irremediable birth defect” Under the circumstances, it is a testament to human decency that more Darwinians aren’t racists.

“Race realism” (Darwinian racism) pops up again: the John Derbyshire commemorative edition. An American conservative thinkmag published geneticist Razib Khan, glorifying Darwinism, and he turned out to have apparent racist links. Then someone with even more pronounced racist links rose to defend him.

Darwinian conservative has a troubling history re racist links Every so often, for whatever reason, a US conservative thinkmag steps on Darwin’s rake.

In any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history.

and

Was Neanderthal man fully human? The role racism played in assessing the evidence

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7 Replies to “Effacing the role of Darwinism in racism – Smithsonian edition

  1. 1
    harry says:

    Below is an excerpt from the minutes of at Nazi meeting on how what came to be referred to as the Wannsee protocol (the final solution) was to be implemented. This was presented as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials. The reference to natural selection makes clear that Darwinian racism was driving Nazi eugenics:

    Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.

    The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)

    In the course of the practical execution of the final solution, Europe will be combed through from west to east. Germany proper, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be handled first due to the housing problem and additional social and political necessities.

    The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to the East.

    The entire transcript can be found at this Yale university law library:

    Wannsee Protocol, January 20, 1942

    The original title of Darwin’s devastating work was:

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Of course there are measurable differences between races. But is ANYBODY gonna charge the NBA with racial discrimination? The problem is that IQ varies with race (this is a well documented, known fact), and some people don’t like that because social and economic success in the general society depend, in many ways, on IQ. And Indo-Europeans, who are also called Aryans by professional ethnologists and linguists and historians, have IQs whose average is generally higher than many non-European peoples. Their average is also lower than some Asiatic peoples. Discovering and documenting the differences between races is a basic part of Anthropology.

  3. 3
    goodusername says:

    No mention is made of the fact that the general acceptance of Darwinism, in particular, enabled science-backed racism. Darwinian evolution theory made racism seem modern and cool instead backward and stupid.

    All anyone would have to do is pick up any of the many leading pre-Darwinistic scientific books, journals, etc to see how silly this is. Pre-Darwinistic theories like polygenism and the Great Chain of Being were mainstream and viewed as leading science. It couldn’t be “enabled” any more than it already was.

    The pre-Darwinists hardly viewed racism as backwards or stupid. In fact, “racism” was so normal and modern, that a word for it didn’t even exist. Try to name a single racial egalitarian from that period. It was only in the early 19th century that racial egalitarian became at all common enough that the terms “racist” and “racism” became coined. Someone with the racial views of Lincoln couldn’t be elected just a couple decades later – he would be viewed as far too racist, backwards, and stupid.

  4. 4
    Brother Brian says:

    Goodusername, you are correct. Humans didn’t need Darwin’s theory to be racists. They were doing quite well long before evolution by natural selection was even dreamed up. Many acts of racism were justified by religion. And continue to be. That does not mean that scriptures are inherently racist, although an argument can certainly be made for it.

    The difference is that religion is founded on having a moral “high ground” whereas Darwin’s theory is completely amoral. People can, and do, use an interpretation/misinterpretation of religion to justify racism on moral grounds. Anybody who uses Darwin’s theory to do so must own that decision. Natural selection has no moral standing. It is neither good nor bad. It just is.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    The old white men are probably Darwinists and the Charlottesville rally, which ended in a murder, can’t have featured many scientists. So the connection between the two groups of “white men” would most likely be Darwin in the school system. But wait, Darwin in the school system is Correct, right? Just don’t think too hard and you’ll be fine.

    From a report about survey of high school biology teachers published in 2011

    Only 28 percent of high-school biology teachers followed the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences recommendations on teaching evolution, which include citing evidence that evolution occurred and teaching evolution thematically, as a link between various biology topics.

    About 60 percent of the teachers polled didn’t take a direct stance on the subject, dubbed by the authors as the “cautious 60 percent.”

    Based on respondents’ write-in answers, the researchers surmised that many of these cautious teachers toed the line, weakly teaching evolution without explicitly endorsing or denying creationism in order to avoid controversy and questions from both students and parents.

    In comparison, 13 percent of the teachers said they “explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light.” These are mostly the same group of teachers (about 14 percent) who personally reject the idea of evolution and the scientific method, and believe that God created humans on Earth in their present form less than 10,000 years ago. (That 14 percent included teachers’ personal beliefs, regardless of whether they taught these in the classroom.)

    So it seems unlikely that students are being “brainwashed” into believing “Darwinism” when Christian parents and students are doing their damnedest to suppress any reference to it in schools, even up to teachers breaking their contractual and constitutional obligations by teaching Christian creationism in the science class-room instead.

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    So all Christian parents are brainwashing their children not to believe in Darwinism?

    Was Going to make a comment about how environment and teaching actually plays a bigger role in one’s IQ then race, and that is a proven fact. It’s also proven fact that America which is filled with Asians black people and white Europeans, Often score is the lowest academically. And given all of the genetic diversity that we have the combination of Asians white people and black people we should actually on average score the highest but we don’t and I most certainly wouldn’t say it’s because of our black population.

    But then I just read about how Christian parents universally are trying to brainwash children into not believing in Darwinism, ((sarcasm) With this be the reason why America score is low academically)

    By evil Christians who are trying to stop science

    Do you say those things to anger people?

    Generally I try to defend your comments but this comment much like one of the previous ones on another post is blind and generalizes an entire group of people because you hate them.

    You are talking about a very small population in the mid west. In both the East Coast and west coast areas this is not a thing.

    BB just got done talking about the fact that people use arguments to justify things they shouldn’t be using much like generalizing all Darwinist are racist which isn’t true or even has a moral position which it doesn’t. The only point that people are trying to make when it comes to darwinism and racism people use it to justify scientifically their racist viewpoints (and it is easy to do) I have had to go to war with people like this (they are scum). Saying that there are other theories that could be used to justify racism doesn’t do anything to stop people from using the most popular one with the most support. They promptly parallel there a view point with it and who’s going to argue because it’s Darwinism it’s a proven fact and if that’s a proven fact and I can justify my racism with it then my racism is a proven fact. This is the logic they use. It is frustrating and it is false and it is a problem.

    I completely agree with the fact that it is nothing more than a theory, personally I feel it’s more of a philosophy in many cases, But in of itself it is just an explanation of how life changes nothing more.

    The problem is very bad people will use it to justify doing very bad things and yes this is happened throughout all of human history

    I would venture a guess you would say Christians say in the name of God and so many atrocities in the name of God and I would probably say Joseph Stalin and end my statement. The real reality is people are just crummy it’s not a religion or a viewpoint people just find excuses to do terrible things to further their own personal goals

    So seversky, Christians are not out to brainwash children to stop believing in Darwinism what you are talking about is a very small group of people, do not rattle me or many other people into that group and stop hating Christians in general.

    All the fundamental injustices that I have suffered at the hands of Mormons and anti-theist a.k.a. raging atheists, I should absolutely despise both of them but I don’t and I try very hard not to Because I would be no more guilty and hypocritical then the people that have tortured me in the past.

  7. 7
    News says:

    Seversky at 5: It’s not likely that the young white yobs raising hell in Charlottesville (one of whom is serving a life sentence for a senseless murder) were motivated directly by the old white Darwinian racists (it’s the Smithsonian review author who makes the link; we didn’t).

    But if the yobs were so motivated, Darwin in the schools is the likely conduit.

    It’s not clear anything that else, in particular, could be a conduit between these two specific groups. The yobs were compelled to go to school, after all.

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