A Nature piece mentioning the importance of not forgetting history, especially when it comes to eugenics:
One of the world’s leading universities — University College London (UCL) — has completed an inquiry into its support for the discredited pseudoscience of eugenics. Funds linked to Francis Galton, a racist who believed it was possible to improve the British population through selective breeding, and who founded the Eugenics Records Office at UCL in 1904, continue to line the university’s coffers to the value of more than £800,000 (US$1 million).
The inquiry’s report, released on 28 February, recommended renaming lecture theatres and buildings bearing Galton’s name and that of another prominent geneticist. Although this is welcome, it does not acknowledge just how much yesterday’s mistakes survive in modern science.
As I found while writing my 2019 book Superior: The Return of Race Science, geneticists today rightly treat eugenics as a laughable proposition, and the concept of biological race — the belief that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups with meaningful differences between them — as easily debunked nonsense. But this ignores how these ideas manifest in the real world. They can only be truly understood as age-old intellectual threads, embedded in politics as much now as ever.Angela Saini, “Want to do better science? Admit you’re not objective” at Nature
A reader writes to remark: No mention of Darwin or evolution, even though eugenics pioneer Francis Dalton was Darwin’s cousin.
No indeed. In our current cultural climate, it is very difficult to have a useful discussion of the contribution Darwinism made to modern racism, as evidenced by racist yammer today featuring “natural selection.”
To recap, Darwinism made racism “scientific.” Traditional racism depended on claims of this general sort: “My ancestors were gods, you lesser peoples were formed from the clay.” Obvious malarkey but if the guy was a stout warrior swinging a broadsword, you were limited in useful ways to respond…
Along comes Darwinism and many racists claimed to have scientific evidence. That was much easier to sell to the educated classes in the nineteenth century than the idea that some people’s papa was a god and the rest of us are just bricks. And many committed and devoted Darwinists believed in and co-operated with the new, “scientific” racism.
Until all that can be fully and freely acknowledged, the matter can never be laid to rest.
Note: They should keep Galton’s name on the buildings and endow lectureships at and through the College on the roots of modern racism.
Darwinists, don’t bury your mistakes by renaming buildings and thereafter pretend they never happened; learn from them. The rest of us will, even if you don’t.
See also: At The Stream: Why IS racism wrong if Darwinism is true? John Zmirak asks Woke students.
Historian Richard Weikart weighs in on Darwinian anti-Semitism in Poland. According to Weikart, unfortunately, it is not fake news. White nationalists use Darwinism and evolutionary psychology to promote their perspective.
Darwin reader: Darwin’s racism