Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design Racism

It begins at last… T. H. Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, about to be Cancelled – other early Darwinists to get the chop soon?

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At Western Washington University. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne has the story: (with Imperial College London also poised to Cancel)

Over at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, WA, 19th-century biologist Thomas Henry Huxley is poised for cancellation in December, for the administration has contemplated (and will surely enact) changing the name of its well known Huxley College of the Environment, listed as one of the Unversity’s “notable degree programs“. In an ill-conceived, erroneous, and poorly written critique of Huxley as a racist, a document on the website of the President of WWU made the case to rename the college. (A better case for renaming was that Huxley really didn’t have anything to do with WWU, but if the name’s there, presumably there was a reason—possibly to honor the man.)

The case for cancelling Huxley is weak, and vanishes when you take into account the good he did. Later in his life he was an abolitionist, reformer of education, and a lecturer on science to working people, as well as a crack scientist. You can read my pieces pieces on Huxley and WWU hereherehere and especially here, which links to Nick Matzke’s terrific defense of Huxley and critique of WWU’s shameful and ignorant cancellation.

Jerry Coyne, “T. H. Huxley about to be cancelled at Imperial College London” at Why Evolution Is True (October 27, 2021)


W. D. HamiltonRonald Fisher, and J. B. S. Haldane are likewise threatened.

The Cancellers are, of course, protesting that they do respect free speech… Coyne isn’t buying it.

We never thought it would happen but it is happening… so fast.

A couple of notes on the fly:

Can Darwin really survive Cancel Culture when all his messengers are Unpersons?

Coyne’s defense of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895) as not really racist and on account of all the good he did is ham-handed. First, Huxley was really racist. Almost all educated Brits were in those days, more or less. The environment of the Empire on which the Sun Never Set and America rising!, encouraged that vice. If the Woke succeed in Cancelling it all, there will be little left of English-speaking culture. Maybe that’s a feature, not a bug…

Second, for heaven’s sakes, the Woke don’t care about “good.” They need a level playing field in which to safely enjoy the rewards of mediocrity, with no expectation of achievement other than obedient Correctness. That’s all they can aspire to. Racism is their battering ram.

They use that ram because it works. Look how many True Believers in Darwin’s and Huxley’s message just surrendered. Coyne had better get used to fighting alone and becoming the victim of vile, false aspersions.

Third, the decision of the big Darwin-in-the-Schools lobby, the National Council for Science Education, to go big into anti-climate change politics was prescient. So far, anything barked in the name of opposing climate change is likely to be safe. If they have to, they can denounce Darwin too and still keep their funding – to fight climate change, mainly.

And lastly, of course, the Darwinists themselves helped create and maintain the culture in which they now squirm. Given the circumstances, we’d even help them – if we could. We warned them a long time ago to take the racism seriously while rational discussion was still possible. But they sneered.

Story developing…

You may also wish to read: Darwin reader: Darwin’s racism

5 Replies to “It begins at last… T. H. Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, about to be Cancelled – other early Darwinists to get the chop soon?

  1. 1

    Myself, I’m glad that a renowned tenured Atheist like Dr Coyne is courageously engaged in the battle over renaming colleges.

    I figure it’s a big improvement over his promotion of abortion, which is the leading cause of death in America. Never mind his pushing for legalized infanticide.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    You would be hard put to find many figures from the Victorian era who did not hold views that today would be found offensive by those determined to take offense.

    Fortunately, being offensive to someone is not in itself a civil or criminal offense. If it were, our courts and prisons would be jammed solid. I find the behavior of some of the “cancel” culture figures offensive as I’m sure some of them would find me. So whose sense of being offended trumps whose?

    As for abortion, my position is that I believe the right to life should apply to the whole of an individual’s life from the very earliest stage of development. What I find deeply offensive is that there appears to be a strand of opinion in the anti-abortion movement that cares little for the woman’s situation, that almost reverts to regarding her as sinful, almost chattel. The Texas bill, for example, makes no exception for cases if incest or rape. While I agree that it is not the unborn child’s fault it was conceived in that way, nonetheless, the effect of that legislation will be to compound the trauma suffered as a result of the original assault with that of being forced to carry the fetus to term. The apparent response of those who think like the authors of this legislation is along the lines of “Suck it up, buttercup!”

    If you really want to lower the abortion rate it would be much more effective to provide comprehensive sex education, readily-available methods of contraception and much better support for the mother.

  3. 3

    Most respectfully, you’re BS’n.

    You wrote this: “As for abortion, my position is that I believe the right to life should apply to the whole of an individual’s life from the blah blah blah. ” That is pure BS.

    If you really believed in a right to life then you would push a proven 100% effective method of stopping abortion.
    Here it is: Punish the abortionists. In Texas, the threat of a lawsuit has already reduced the number of abortions to……Zero. Every day it’s saving over 100 innocent defenseless babies from being murdered

    But instead of celebrating the Texas law, you attack it. And it gets better. You then make baseless attacks on those who gave us this wonderous success, putting words they never spoke into their mouths.

    Anyhow, I got a question about the topic of this thread, Dr Coyne, the renowned Atheist and evolutionist. He has written about he supports infanticide as well as abortion. Do you agree with Dr Coyne?

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    Offense is more often taken than given!

  5. 5
    zweston says:

    Sev @ 2, You say protect the life from all stages, and then you becry rape and incest, acknowledge that it isn’t the child’s fault but then say legislation will “compound the trauma.”

    While I agree there are heinous things done in our country, trauma doesn’t take precedent over a life, right? Or your view is inconsistent.

    Another rape prevention technique would be death penalty for rapists, and I think there is biblical precedence for that. The Child is innocent, in every case. I know there is tension there, but you are either 100% in or you ultimately are out in this case. It’s not popular to be consistent of course, and I’m not downplaying trauma as nonexistent or anything like that (but it can get spun that way).

    Ultimately, your view there was inconsistent.

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