Darwin a racist?

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Gman
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Darwin a racist?

#1

Post by Gman » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:32 pm

It had come to my attention a number of years ago, that I heard Darwin was called a racist. Now I know that the evolutionary theory leads us into "survial of the fittest" or "some people are more evolved than other people", but then I wanted to take it a step further to see what he really said. So I decided to buy his book "Descent of Man", and you know what I found...? He made some pretty off the wall statements about women (and blacks too) that would probably have gotten him kicked off of any campus in the U.S..

Here is one such statement about women:


“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses”


Here is another one about comparing women and men:

"If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison"

or

"Man is more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than woman and has more inventive genius".

or

"Thus man has ultimately become superior to woman."

Now everytime I see a woman with one of those little darwin fish on her car bumper, I just don't understand if she has ever read any of Darwin's books, or is just blindly following the crowd. I feel sorry for them personally...

Here is a good article about it: http://www.goodschools.com/April19.htm

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#2

Post by Gman » Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:41 pm

No one to battle me on his one? LOL.. :roll:

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#3

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:30 pm

We agree, don't we? And Darwin_Rocks has been gone for a looooonng time so you aren't going to have him jihad against you.
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#4

Post by Gman » Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:57 pm

Darn, I saw his name floating around here... Must have changed it by now.. :lol:

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Re: Darwin a racist?

#5

Post by Canuckster1127 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:40 am

Gman wrote:It had come to my attention a number of years ago, that I heard Darwin was called a racist. Now I know that the evolutionary theory leads us into "survial of the fittest" or "some people are more evolved than other people", but then I wanted to take it a step further to see what he really said. So I decided to buy his book "Descent of Man", and you know what I found...? He made some pretty off the wall statements about women (and blacks too) that would probably have gotten him kicked off of any campus in the U.S..

Here is one such statement about women:


“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain - whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses”


Here is another one about comparing women and men:

"If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison"

or

"Man is more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than woman and has more inventive genius".

or

"Thus man has ultimately become superior to woman."

Now everytime I see a woman with one of those little darwin fish on her car bumper, I just don't understand if she has ever read any of Darwin's books, or is just blindly following the crowd. I feel sorry for them personally...

Here is a good article about it: http://www.goodschools.com/April19.htm
Darwin wrote in the context of his day.

In his defense, his assertion that mankind was all one species was radical at the time and in that regard he was less bigoted and biased than what the conventional wisdom of the day held.

Beyond that, I don't know enough (or care enough to be honest) to say more.
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#6

Post by puritan lad » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:58 am

Whatever the culture of the day believed, there can be little doubt that Darwin viewed the black race as inferior, and the white race to be further along in the evolutionary chain. You may have heard of Darwin's 1859 book, "On the Origin of Species". However, you have probably never heard the complete title, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life."

Here is another interesting quote from his work "Descent of Man (1871)".

"At some future period--the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world."

Darwin's "bulldog" Thomas Huxley once stated, "No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man."

Hey, if we can only teach evolution in public schools, might as well teach it correctly, eh?
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#7

Post by Gman » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:41 pm

I forgot about Thomas Huxley, thanks for including those PL...

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#8

Post by FFC » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:47 pm

Hey, if we can only teach evolution in public schools, might as well teach it correctly, eh?
Yes, wouldn't that stir things up? :shock:

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#9

Post by Gman » Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:22 pm

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life."
PL, I have "Origin of Species" but not "by Means of Natural Selection". Hmmm, I think I'm going to make a trip to amazon. Is it more of the same as "Origin of Species'?

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#10

Post by puritan lad » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:41 am

Gman wrote:
"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life."
PL, I have "Origin of Species" but not "by Means of Natural Selection". Hmmm, I think I'm going to make a trip to amazon. Is it more of the same as "Origin of Species'?
Gman,

I'm not sure if the modern version has revamped the title in order to save Darwin's face. Here is a listing with the complete title from Bantam Classics,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/055321 ... oding=UTF8

Needless to say, to won't see the complete title mentioned in many science books.
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#11

Post by Gman » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:31 pm

Thanks for the tip....

G -

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#12

Post by Birdie » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:53 pm

Wasn't pretty much everyone back then sexist or racist?

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#13

Post by Gman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:31 pm

Birdie wrote:Wasn't pretty much everyone back then sexist or racist?
Birdie, perhaps... And I would agree with most people that it would be unfair to call Darwin a racist (that just wouldn't be right)... I was only pointing to the fact that what he seems to be implying here is that the theory of evolution is predicting that the higher races will somehow overtake the lower or less developed races. Evolution is not only a predicting a physical adaptation or change but there is also an intellectual or mental adaptation occurring as well... If so, doesn't the theory of evolution say that there are more evolved races in the world? One is going to overtake the other, right? That seems to be what the theory is implying (not necessarily Darwin)..

Hope that helps..

G -
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#14

Post by Birdie » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:53 pm

Gman wrote:
Birdie wrote:Wasn't pretty much everyone back then sexist or racist?
Birdie, perhaps... And I would agree with most people that it would be unfair to call Darwin a racist (that just wouldn't be right)... I was only pointing to the fact that what he seems to be implying here is that the theory of evolution is predicting that the higher races will somehow overtake the lower or less developed races. Evolution is not only a predicting a physical adaptation or change but there is also an intellectual or mental adaptation occurring as well... If so, doesn't the theory of evolution say that there are more evolved races in the world? One is going to overtake the other, right? That seems to be what the theory is implying (not necessarily Darwin)..

Hope that helps..

G -
Well I read, err scanned, tiny bits of his book (found it online here http://www.literature.org/authors/darwi ... f-species/) and it seems he really thinks the whole evolution is more of an animal thing, you quoted some lines of him saying it was also related to humans, but is there a whole chapter on it? And for the title "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." He used the word races with animals a lot too like “When we look to the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants, and compare them with species closely allied together”. Who here actually read some of his books instead of 'scanning' it? :lol:

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#15

Post by Gman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:42 pm

Birdie wrote:Well I read, err scanned, tiny bits of his book (found it online here http://www.literature.org/authors/darwi ... f-species/) and it seems he really thinks the whole evolution is more of an animal thing, you quoted some lines of him saying it was also related to humans, but is there a whole chapter on it? And for the title "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." He used the word races with animals a lot too like “When we look to the hereditary varieties or races of our domestic animals and plants, and compare them with species closely allied together”. Who here actually read some of his books instead of 'scanning' it? :lol:
Hi Birdie, you won't find these sayings (in my first post) in Origin of Species since it doesn't directly deal with humans. He wrote over 26 books in his lifetime... It's found mainly in his book called "The Descent of Man." Descent of Man is more concerned with outlining the application of Darwin's theory to human evolution as opposed to Origin of Species which outlines animal evolution.. Anyways, whatever the difference, Darwin viewed humans simply as being a higher evolved animal so theoretically you could say what was found in Origin of Species could be applied to humans as well..

I have the book Decent of Man here at home along with Origin of Species (The Penguin Classics). If you would like I can forward you the chapters and the sayings in them.. There are many others as well....

Also, I hope I'm not sounding too biased against people that believe in evolution. I just don't really like the theory of it...

I thought this was a good article on it too, although I believe he is avocating that Darwin was more of a racist:
http://www.goodschools.com/April19.htm

G -
Last edited by Gman on Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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