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Film: Darwinism and the human zoo

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From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

In Human Zoos, Dr. West explores the shameful legacy of pseudo-scientific racism that has trailed Darwinian theory from its inception down to today, with the emergence of the so-called alt-right.

The film will premiere at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival on Saturday evening, November 11. It will release to the general public next year. More.

The pseudo-scientific racism was  predictable from the get-go, once humans were proclaimed to be not special (we became subject to science-based reckonings as if we were animals). And once the Darwinian worldview was adopted by Big Cool Science, the racism became something those who wanted to get ahead just did not talk about. Call Darwinian racism, if you want, the Harvey Weinstein of science. Protected by everybody whose interests are served. Collapses tend to follow.

See also: Modern eugenics was from first to last, a Darwinian project

and

The alt right, Donald Trump, and – oddly enough – Darwin. Anyone not committed to Darwinian survival of the fittest cannot be ‘alt right’.

20 Replies to “Film: Darwinism and the human zoo

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Now that it’s 2017 and (hopefully) no humans are being kept in zoos, is it ok to acknowledge that each of us is indeed a distant cousin of chimpanzees?

  2. 2
    goodusername says:

    News

    And once the Darwinian worldview was adopted by Big Cool Science, the racism became something those who wanted to get ahead just did not talk about. Call Darwinian racism, if you want, the Harvey Weinstein of science.

    Not talked about? It’s endlessly talked about.

    What isn’t talked about is what people believed prior to Darwinism and what Darwin’s opponents espoused.

    It’s because such stuff isn’t talked about that people can make bizarre, wildly inaccurate claims like “racism only came to seem ‘scientific’ anyway when it had the backing of Darwinian naturalism.” (https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hello-skin-colour-differences-dont-make-humans-different-inside/)

    The leading theory prior to Darwinism was that humanity was split into several or many species (polygenism) with different ranks on the Great Chain of Being, and this had the support of pretty much all the scientists in the field. It was so popular in America that it was called the “American school” of anthropology (but it wasn’t viewed as “scientific”, right?)

    The leading anti-evolutionist organization in Darwin’s home country was the Anthropological Society of London. The window to their meeting hall featured the skeleton of a black person, and their meetings were called to order with the decapitated head of a black person which acted as a gavel. The society was secretly funded by the Confederate States of America because they believed that Darwinism threatened the enterprise of slavery. This is what Darwin was up against.

  3. 3
    critical rationalist says:

    See also: Modern eugenics was from first to last, a Darwinian project

    If we were designed by an intelligent designer, that too could just as well be an form of eugenics. And if ID’s designer is abstract and has no defined limitations, then there is no reason not to think the designs of organisms is anything but the whims of the consensus of an advanced civilization. Which could just as well include some species having actually been chosen to be better than others because it has no defined moral component or character. Sound familiar?

    IOW, your entire argument hinges on an assumption that isn’t actually present in the supposedly scientific theory of ID. It’s a completely arbitrary response without it. What gives?

    Oh, that’s right. ID is a superior alternative to eugenics because everyone knows ID’s designer is really God.

  4. 4
    EricMH says:

    It’s true there were/are many non-Darwinian racists, a number drawing their racial theories from the Bible, that is besides the point.

  5. 5
    goodusername says:

    EricMH,

    It’s true there were/are many non-Darwinian racists, a number drawing their racial theories from the Bible, that is besides the point.

    And no one disputes that there were/are many Darwinian racists, but the two main arguments of the OP seems to be a) That racism only began to be viewed as scientific with the advent of Darwinism and b) that this is something not talked about. Both are blatantly, and easily demonstrability, false.

  6. 6
    c hand says:

    daveS
    Are some of us more distantly related and others less distantly related to the chimp?

  7. 7
    goodusername says:

    c hand,

    daveS
    Are some of us more distantly related and others less distantly related to the chimp?

    Since all humans are of the same species, no. I.e., the common ancestor of all humans is a human, and thus we are all equally related to chimps.

  8. 8
    News says:

    Traditional racism and eugenics depended mainly on claims about descent from gods, kings, and heroes vs descent from animals and the dust of the Earth. Mythmaking, not science.

    Darwinism provided a *widely accepted* scientific basis for racism and eugenics. Darwinism has been rammed into kids’ heads at school for many decades now. Its underlying message was the true impetus behind the real Scopes Trial, as opposed to the Darwinized pop version marketed in obsolescent media.

    That is the history. It’s not one the typical Darwinian wants to confront. But someone must, in order to get past it.

  9. 9
    Bob O'H says:

    Traditional racism and eugenics depended mainly on claims about descent from gods, kings, and heroes vs descent from animals and the dust of the Earth. Mythmaking, not science.

    Darwinism provided a *widely accepted* scientific basis for racism and eugenics.

    Which way is the cause & effect, though? Is it that Darwinism made people racist, or that people who were already racist used Darwinism to justify their racism?

    The modern day consensus amongst evolutionary biologists is that the data we have now shows that there is very little genetic differentiation between populations (technically, F_ST is almost zero), which undermines any scientific basis for racism.

    That is the present. It’s not one the typical anti-evolutionist wants to confront. But someone must, in order to get past it.

  10. 10
    daveS says:

    I don’t know where to look for details on this, but a simple estimate shows that any particular chimp and any particular human would share a pair of 400,000th great-grandparents, roughly, hence they would be ~400,000th cousins.

  11. 11
    daveS says:

    PS: There would likely be many degrees of removal in this cousin relationship, nevertheless, the human and chimp would be literal cousins sharing a pair of actual grandparents at some level.

  12. 12
    daveS says:

    PPS: Assuming this 400,000 generation estimate is in the right ballpark, let’s say one wanted to actually draw enough of one’s family “tree” to show this relationship between himself and a particular chimpanzee. If generations are separated by 1 inch vertically on the paper, then the entire diagram starting from the human, going up to the common (many-fold) grandparents, then back down to the chimp would be roughly 6 miles high.

    In contrast, I’ve read that any two humans are at least 50th cousins, so you could illustrate a relation between any two humans (at the same scale) in a diagram at most 4 feet high.

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    The following quote from article published in Nature which examined several scientific studies that looked into genetic variation as it pertains to race.

    The picture that begins to emerge from this and other analyses of human genetic variation is that variation tends to be geographically structured, such that most individuals from the same geographic region will be more similar to one another than to individuals from a distant region. Because of a history of extensive migration and gene flow, however, human genetic variation tends to be distributed in a continuous fashion and seldom has marked geographic discontinuities. Thus, populations are never ‘pure’ in a genetic sense, and definite boundaries between individuals or populations (e.g., ‘races’) will be necessarily somewhat inaccurate and arbitrary.

    Though now supported by many genetic data, this concept is hardly new. Blumenbach, writing in the 1700s, acknowledged extensive morphological overlap among populations or races. Charles Darwin, some 100 years later, wrote, “It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant.” Scientists recognized shared genetic variation among populations more than 50 years ago, although their conclusions were based on relatively small numbers of informative loci. This pattern of shared variation has important implications for our understanding of population differences and similarities, and it also bears on critical biomedical issues.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ng1435

    So why has secular progressive left decided to turn race into a wedge issue? Why as a white person am I now being vilified and demonized for being white– for my “whiteness”? Isn’t that racist?

    According to the Bible and science there is really only one race, the human race and that all lives matter. Isn’t that what we should be preaching?

  14. 14
    ET says:

    daves:

    Now that it’s 2017 and (hopefully) no humans are being kept in zoos, is it ok to acknowledge that each of us is indeed a distant cousin of chimpanzees?

    If you really want to be related to chimps that badly then go for it. I am still going to wait for the science that says that we are related to chimps.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    The modern day consensus amongst evolutionary biologists is that the data we have now shows that there is very little genetic differentiation between populations (technically, F_ST is almost zero), which undermines any scientific basis for racism.

    That doesn’t follow as there are still phenotypic and cultural differences that still allow for a scientific basis for racism.

  16. 16
    daveS says:

    If you really want to be related to chimps that badly then go for it. I am still going to wait for the science that says that we are related to chimps.

    I think this illustrates that human/chimp relatedness is still a sensitive issue for some. If I say “I believe X is true”, why would that imply that I want X to be true?

  17. 17
    ET says:

    daves:

    If I say “I believe X is true”, why would that imply that I want X to be true?

    Because the evidence for it is question-begging. For example if chomps and humans are really only 1.x% different genetically then why has it been so difficult to link the genetics to the anatomical and physiological differences observed between us? And if 90% of our genome is really junk this means it should be relatively easy to do if such a mapping is possible.

    So why would you believe something is true that cannot be demonstrated if you didn’t want it to be true?

  18. 18
    daveS says:

    So why would you believe something is true that cannot be demonstrated if you didn’t want it to be true?

    Do you have Behe’s The Edge of Evolution handy? The evidence presented on pages 69–72 is powerful, IMHO.

    I’m not a biologist, so I can’t demonstrate common descent of humans and chimps myself, but I think Behe is quite convincing. I also can’t judge whether the linkage between genetics and physiology you refer to should be easy or not. Is that really the case?

  19. 19
    ET says:

    daves:

    Do you have Behe’s The Edge of Evolution handy? The evidence presented on pages 69–72 is powerful, IMHO.

    It is powerful to those who want it to be true. However he still doesn’t have a mechanism that can account for the anatomical and physiological differences observed. Without that the evidence he sites can be evidence for a common design. Dr Behe is not an engineer nor a builder so he clearly doesn’t understand the concept.

    Without a mechanism that can account for the anatomical and physiological differences observed there isn’t any science behind the claim of Common Descent. And the mechanism determines the pattern.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    daves:

    I also can’t judge whether the linkage between genetics and physiology you refer to should be easy or not.

    If we are the sum of our genome then it should be easy. If we are not then it will never happen.

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