From Rebekah Rubin at Smithsonian Magazine:
In The Descent of Man, Darwin argued that evolution made man “superior” to woman. For Darwin, that superiority largely played out in the intellectual and artistic realm. He wrote: “If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music—comprising composition and performance, history science and philosophy … the two lists would not bear comparison.” Spencer echoed Darwin’s sentiments and went further, postulating that in order for the human race to flourish, women must devote their lives to reproduction.
For the 44-year-old Blackwell, who had devoted her life to promoting women’s equality, Darwin and Spencer’s conclusions were unacceptable. By penning what would become the first published feminist critique of Darwin, she set out to prove that not only were their many of their claims morally distasteful—they were unscientific.
Although some reviews of The Sexes Throughout Nature lauded the work, Popular Science Monthly suggested that Blackwell’s hypothesis was impossible to prove scientifically because it concerned human character and values. This was true—but also a criticism that could be leveled at many theories within social science. Ever determined, Blackwell continued to write tracts on science, philosophy and women’s rights, and she presented papers at the meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. More.
Of course Darwin’s claims that put down women are unscientific. But science isn’t why they prevailed then and isn’t why Darwinism prevails now. It prevails because it is the central elite culture superstition, more central than feminism for sure. The best bet for a reasonable person today is to consume both Darwinism and feminism in very moderate quantities.
See also: Human origins story rewritten again? This time by skulls “shockingly like ours”… 300 kya It all remains to be confirmed. But in the present sea of new findings, as one commenter put it, there is no “settled science” in our human history. Not at present. Just how that’ll affect the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby is not clear. What to teach now cannot easily be resolved by another End of Science rent-a-riot.
Insomnia in the elderly is due to evolution? (“grandmother hypothesis”) and other essay in evolutionary psychology