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Reviewer: Human Zoos film prompts some hard questions

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Human Zoos A reviewer of the new documentary Human Zoos: America’s Forgotten History of Scientific Racism poses some questions he hopes will be broadly discussed:

– How was it that people who considered themselves Christians could troop through exhibitions, such as at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, and gawk at other groups of people exhibited like animals? Just because they came from more “primitive” cultures, such as the Philippines’?

– How could thousands of church-going New Yorkers, over several sold-out weeks, go to the Bronx Zoo to gawk at Ota Benga, an African pygmy kidnapped from his faraway home, and displayed in a cage with orangutans, as the “missing” link in evolution? (After protests from black clergymen, he was eventually released, but ten years later committed suicide.)

– How exactly did America’s intellectual elites, in the 1920s and 30s, fall in love with eugenics, and back laws in 13 states that forcibly sterilized thousands of Americans — just for flunking culturally biased IQ tests?

– How can the eugenics organization, Planned Parenthood, which sponsored those laws (soon emulated in Nazi Germany), still be a major force today, receiving hundreds of millions in federal funding? John Zmirak, “‘Human Zoos’ Exhibits the Racist Toll of Darwinism” at The Stream

He adds, “I didn’t use to believe it, but I’ve come to see that the single most powerful force for dissolving religious faith in the West was, and still is, Darwinism.”

The idea that someone has to be the subhuman is a powerful one and it probably motivates a lot of popular Darwinism.

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See also: J.R. Miller on Darwinism, racism, and human zoos

and

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

9 Replies to “Reviewer: Human Zoos film prompts some hard questions

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    Did he verify that those attending the zoos/world’s fairs were actually Christian? Or does he assume that, based on the time when it occurred–that everyone then was a Christian?

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    He adds, “I didn’t use to believe it, but I’ve come to see that the single most powerful force for dissolving religious faith in the West was, and still is, Darwinism.”

    I wonder if this is really the case. I find that a lot of people accept that Darwin’s ToE is correct in some respects, but they still believe in some kind of supreme being. They don’t see a great conflict between ToE and their religious views.

    I would suggest the obvious nonsense spread by the likes of Henry Morris, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, etc. has taken perhaps a greater toll on religious faith. Unfortunately, these people are very visible on the internet and therefore take up a lot of space in the discussion, making it more difficult for those who practice a more “reasonable faith*” to get their message across.

    Hugh Ross is an example—I always enjoy listening to him.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    He adds, “I didn’t use to believe it, but I’ve come to see that the single most powerful force for dissolving religious faith in the West was, and still is, Darwinism.”

    I tend to agree with DaveS. I don’t think that there is a significant decline in the belief in God, or at lest in some higher power. What has declined is the following of various organized religions. And, frankly, the people most responsible for this are the hierarchy in the various organized religions. Whether it’s the outright racism and homophobia of groups like the Westboro church, the pedophilia cover-ups of the Catholic church, or the blind literal interpretation and judgmental attitude of many of the evangelical groups, many people see the corruption, racism and homophobia that can creep into organized religion.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Dave S and Ed G maintain that it was not Darwinism that led to the corrosion of the moral values of Christianity but,,,

    “I would suggest the obvious nonsense spread by the likes of Henry Morris, Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, etc. has taken perhaps a greater toll on religious faith.”

    and

    What has declined is the following of various organized religions. And, frankly, the people most responsible for this are the hierarchy in the various organized religions.

    So according to the logic of Dave S and Ed G, it is not the indoctrination of school children with the outright deception of Darwinian evolution that is main cause for corroding belief in God, and Christianity in particular, but it is Young Earth Creationism (YEC) and the corruption in ‘the hierarchy in the various organized religions’ that is the main cause.

    Give me a break!

    The hole in that argument is so huge I can drive a semi-truck through it.

    The devastating effect upon the world of Darwinian indoctrination has been catastrophic. From genocides, to abortions, hundreds of millions of lives across Europe Asia and America, have been lost due to the atheism inherent within Darwinism.

    Whereas scandals in Church hierarchy have been fairly common place throughout history. (Shoot it was the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who were his main enemies and who orchestrated his crucifixion.),,, Yet Christianity, despite fierce opposition at times, weathered all those scandals of the Church hierarchy, thrived and grew, and even continues to thrive today, save for in supposedly developed countries. ,,, Yet even today America, mainly due to the independence of American Churches from state interference, America stands, somewhat, as a surprising exception to the steep slide in Christianity that has occurred across Western Europe over the last century or so. (save for in liberal denominations in America that, among other things, tried to compromise Christianity with Darwinian evolution, otherwise known as “Theistic Evolution”)

    And even though I do not think that YEC is correct, and am a Old Earth Creationist myself, at least the ‘science’ of YEC is a far cry better than the ‘just so stories’ that permeate Darwinian pseudoscience. In fact, save for some pretty bad dating discrepancies, one could argue that the ‘science’ of YEC matches the evidence fairly well.

    Thus for Dave S and Ed G to try to lay the blame for the decline in Christianity (in developed countries) at the feet of Young Earth Creationism and the corruption in ‘the hierarchy in the various organized religions’ is naive at best and dishonest at worst.

    A few supplemental notes:

    The Moral Impact Of Darwinism On Society – Dr. Phil Fernandes – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcQfwICe2Og

    China on course to become ‘world’s most Christian nation’ within 15 years – 19 Apr 2014
    Excerpt: Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.
    Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao’s death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.
    Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world’s number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.
    “By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.
    “It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”
    China’s Protestant community, which had just one million members in 1949, has already overtaken those of countries more commonly associated with an evangelical boom. In 2010 there were more than 58 million Protestants in China compared to 40 million in Brazil and 36 million in South Africa, according to the Pew Research Centre’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.
    Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.
    By 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.
    “Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this,” Prof Yang said. “It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....years.html

    Update:
    China’s war on religion, academics: Xi Jinping moves to reassert Communist Party dominance – 14 Aug, 2018
    Excerpt: Images of Christ are being replaced with posters of President Xi. As with the Tibetans and Uighur’s before them, Christian children are no longer allowed to attend church.
    “The move is aimed at Christian families in poverty, and we educated them to believe in science and not in superstition, making them believe in the party.”
    One Beijing pastor told AP otherwise: “A lot of our flock are terrified by the pressure that the government is putting on them,” he said. “It’s painful to think that in our own country’s capital, we must pay so dearly just to practice our faith.”,,
    Beijing sees Christianity as a Western threat, and its 67 million followers as infected by dangerous Western ideals.
    President Xi stated in 2016: “We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means.”
    And any community that places any entity above himself is not putting the Party first.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12106917

    New Harvard Research Says U.S. Christianity Is Not Shrinking, But Growing Stronger – Jan. 2018
    Excerpt: New research published late last year by scholars at Harvard University and Indiana University Bloomington is just the latest to reveal the myth. This research questioned the “secularization thesis,” which holds that the United States is following most advanced industrial nations in the death of their once vibrant faith culture. Churches becoming mere landmarks, dance halls, boutique hotels, museums, and all that.
    Not only did their examination find no support for this secularization in terms of actual practice and belief, the researchers proclaim that religion continues to enjoy “persistent and exceptional intensity” in America. These researchers hold our nation “remains an exceptional outlier and potential counter example to the secularization thesis.”
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....-stronger/

    Think Christianity is dying? No, Christianity is shifting dramatically
    By Wes Granberg-Michaelson May 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is an Africa, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.

    Asia is also experiencing growth as world Christianity’s center has moved not only South, but also East. In the last century, Christianity grew at twice the rate of population in that continent. Asia’s Christian population of 350 million is projected to grow to 460 million by 2025.

    The global religious wildcard is China. Even today, demographers estimate that more Christian believers are found worshipping in China on any given Sunday than in the United States. Future trends, while difficult to predict because so much is below the religious radar, could dramatically drive down the world’s religious “nones.”

    The growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America is estimated to be at three times the rate of Catholic growth. Non-Catholic believers now account for 2 percent of Latin America’s 550 million Christians.

    Today, Brazil not only has more Catholics than any other country, but also more Pentecostals, reflecting Pentecostalism’s astonishing global growth. Tracing its roots to the Azusa Street revival in 1910, and comprising 5 percent of Christians in 1970, today one of four Christians is Pentecostal or Charismatic. Or think of it this way: one out of 12 people alive today has a Pentecostal form of Christian faith.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/05/20/think-christianity-is-dying-no-christianity-is-shifting-dramatically/?utm_term=.9ef31bdab313

    Verse:

    Isaiah 9:6=7
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore.

  5. 5
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Dave S and Ed G maintain that it was not Darwinism that led to the corrosion of the moral values of Christianity but,,,

    Sorry BA77, but my Christian values have not been corroded by my Darwinian education. They are as strong as they have ever been. But I find it a complete cop-out for Christians to blame a theory proposed by a Victorian scientist on the inability of organized religion to present their case in a way that attracts and holds people. To be honest, religion has screwed up big time. We have a message with universal attraction that can’t compete against a theory that proposes that we have no purpose and meaning. The problem is not Darwin, it is organized religion. Even a first year marketing student could sell the Christian message. It takes religion to screw it up.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George, you are a sample of one person.

    I used a sample of hundreds of millions of people. Even the entire World’s population at one point.

    Guess who’s data points are far more robust?

    Daniel Dennett stated that evolution, “Darwin’s dangerous idea”, was a “universal acid”, eating through everything we believed and all the ways we look at the world (3 Dennett, page 63).
    https://books.google.com/books?id=FvRqtnpVotwC&pg=PA63#v=onepage&q&f=false

  7. 7
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Guess who’s data points are far more robust?

    Not yours.

    How weak was the Christian (or Jewish or Muslim) message that a theory that says that we have no meaning or purpose could dominate over one of promise and hope? Surely the blame must be laid at the feet of organized religion. Darwin didn’t have the financial or political support that the churches did, yet you claim that he is winning. I don’t see this as anything other than the complete failure of organized religion. After all, what did Darwin have to promise? Death and being eaten by worms. That’s it.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed George, although you far too easily dismiss the dramatic negative effect that forced indoctrination of Darwinism in public schools has had on Christianity, you may find it surprising that you are in large part correct when you state that “the blame must be laid at the feet of organized religion”, but not for reasons that you presuppose.

    Darwin, who’s only college degree was in “liberal’ Anglican theology, extensively used “bad liberal” theology, instead of any compelling empirical evidence and/or mathematics, to support his self confessed ‘one long argument’ in his book “Origin”:

    CHARLES DARWIN: VICTORIAN MYTHMAKER By A.N. Wilson (Book Review By Jonathan Wells) – – Wednesday, January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Darwin called “The Origin of Species” “one long argument,” and it was a theology-laden argument against creation by design. Many people have the mistaken impression that Darwin’s theory was accepted because he provided so much scientific evidence for it (he didn’t). Instead, his theory was accepted because it fit the increasingly secular spirit of the times.,,,
    So Darwinian evolution is not so much a scientific theory as it is a secular creation myth. According to Mr. Wilson, “Darwinism, as is shown by the current state of debate, is resistant to argument because it is resistant to fact. The worship of Darwin as a man, the attribution to him of insights and discoveries which were either part of the common scientific store of knowledge or were the discoveries of others, this is all necessary to bolster the religion of Darwinism.”
    Mr. Wilson’s book is not flawless, but on this point he’s right.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/31/book-review-charles-darwin-by-an-wilson/

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/.....741100032X

    The Descent of Darwin (The Faulty Theological Foundation of Darwinism) – Pastor Joe Boot – video – 16:30 minute mark
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKzUSWU7c2s&feature=player_detailpage#t=996

    “…I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous. You have deserted—after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth—the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction?”
    Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) – one of the founders of modern geology. – The Spectator, 1860

    “Religious views were mixed, with the Church of England scientific establishment reacting against the book, while liberal Anglicans strongly supported Darwin’s natural selection as an instrument of God’s design.”
    – per wikipedia

    To this day, since Darwinism is still in abject poverty as far as having any compelling empirical evidence to support its grandiose claims, leading Darwinists are still heavily reliant on ‘bad liberal’ theology in order to try to make their case.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

    Also see the well financed web page of “BioLogos” for many more examples of ‘bad liberal theology” in action today

    Thus Ed G. you are correct to say “the blame must be laid at the feet of organized religion” since it was the organized “liberal” Anglican religion that was, in large measure, taught to Charles Darwin at college, and which was in fact the faulty theological basis on which he formed many of his arguments in his book.

    Thus, it is not so much a failure of Christianity on a whole, as you are trying to imply, as it was an infiltration of secular ideology into liberal theology.,,, It was a theological Trojan horse, if you will, that gave, and still gives, Darwin’s ‘one long argument’ a foothold into undermining faith in God and/or Christianity.

    (With outright lying about the true state of the scientific evidence to school children, providing the other foothold,,,, see Jonathan Wells’ books, “Zombie Science” and “Icons of Evolution”)

    Of related note:

    (Sept. 2018) since (bad) liberal Christianity is what gave us Darwin’s horrid theory in the first place, I am very happy to see that liberal, lukewarm, Christianity is dying in America whilst conservative Christianity is growing.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-there-an-atheist-value-system-at-odds-with-traditional-ones/#comment-665533

  9. 9
    OldAndrew says:

    Read the bottom of the linked article. It’s religiously oriented. That doesn’t automatically make it wrong, but right away there’s a slant to it.

    It points out,

    Darwinism fed strongly into the racist views current back then.

    That’s significant. Racism was already a thing. Sure, Darwin justified it. But are we really to believe that racism was just about to end, but then Darwin happened?

    The worst dehumanization – outright slavery, owning humans and viewing them as property – preceded Darwinism. If Darwin wrote his books and then people kidnapped half of Africa you could maybe blame Darwin.

    Wouldn’t people who attend more universities and are exposed to more Darwinism exhibit more racism than less educated people? That’s not the case.

    If one believed that correlation implied causality (which I do not) it would be easier to make the case that Darwin led to a decline in racism. But I can’t see the case that Darwin was responsible for something that both preceded and followed him.

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