Darwinist Jerry Coyne wishes he could have shaken the hand of John T. Scopes.
The Dayton Ohio science teacher was the defendant in the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Dayton Tennessee in 1925. The trial brought together William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, who battled over the legality and morality of Scopes' use of the textbook Civic Biology in science classes.
Scopes was convicted of violating the Butler Act, a Tennessee law that prohibited teaching evolution in public schools.
Coyne recently visited Paducah Kentucky, where Scopes is buried, and posed for a picture embracing Scopes' grave.
[I] was happy to have found the site[.]As noted, the crux of the charge against Scopes was that he violated the Butler Act by teaching evolution to schoolchildren. Scopes textbook of choice was Hunter's Civic Biology (1914).
“A man of courage.” The trial was in 1925, so he was only 24 years old at the time. It’s amazing to realize that he was still alive when I was in my twenties. I should have sought him out to shake his hand.
At this link are portions of the textbook that Scopes used in class, with excerpts as follows:
Evolution of Man. -- Undoubtedly there once lived upon the earth races of men who were much lower in their mental organization than the present inhabitants. If we follow the early history of man upon the earth, we find that at first he must have been little better than one of the lower animals. He was a nomad, wandering from place to place, feeding upon whatever living things he could kill with his hands. Gradually he must have learned to use weapons, and thus kill his prey, first using rough stone implements for this purpose. As man became more civilized, implements of bronze and of iron were used. About this time the subjugation and domestication of animals began to take place. Man then began to cultivate the fields, and to have a fixed place of abode other than a cave. The beginnings of civilization were long ago, but even to-day the earth is not entirely civilized.
The Races of Man. -- At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America. ...
Improvement of Man. -- If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number of factors in which we as individuals may play a part. These are personal hygiene, selection of healthy mates, and the betterment of the environment.
Eugenics. -- When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics. ...
Parasitism and its Cost to Society. -- Hundreds of families such as those described above exist today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites.
The Remedy. -- If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country.
Coyne's hero taught the schoolchildren of Dayton from a textbook with rancid eugenic racist hate, which was part and parcel of evolutionary theory during the first century of Darwinian ascendancy and remains the subtext of the Darwinian understanding of man today. The good folks of Tennessee, and the citizens of many communities across the country, wanted none of this venom taught to their children.
Coyne embraces his hero Scopes--"a man of courage"-- and would have liked to have shaken his hand.
Here's my question to Coyne:
Do you embrace what Scopes actually taught?
(Cross-posted recently at Evolution News and Views-- David Klinghoffer added a related post, and Coyne replied)
Maybe he was talking about cabbages. Or something.ReplyDelete
These people would be a lot more convincing if they'd just stick to their story. A rationale person can't then believe that the theory doesn't posit a kind of racial hierarchy with white folks always on top. Ironic that it was white people who first formed the theory. Seems that they all seemed to agree that they were the most advanced and most civilized. It's an integral part of the theory. Someone has to be the fittest.Delete
If that's what you believe, then own it! Don't back down from the ramifications of your theory. Just say that those who are brave enough to see the truth will accept the science and move on.
yes, he must have been talking about cabbages. the old produce defense works every time.Delete
Wow Joey, I don’t believe the theory posits a kind of racial hierarchy. Every human on earth is equally evolved and an offspring of successfully reproducing parents. You, like so many people in the past, are the one saying there’s an obvious racial hierarchy with white people on top, not the theory. I bet you’re a white guy.Delete
Popeye: "Every human on earth is equally evolved..."Delete
How did you measure that, and what was the unit? Darwins? Are there darwinometers (DAR-wi-NOM-eter)?
Is the Darwin(?) scale ratio or interval? How many Darwins(?) are the chimpanzees? The flatworms? The yeti?
KW, do you really believe that every human being on earth is equally evolved? If that's the case, then the process of natural selection has stopped.Delete
I don't believe that you really believe that. I'm sure you think we conservatives are all a bunch of troglodytes.
I'll ask you the same question the Admiral did. What is your proof? What is your metric? How do we know this?
this is all a big misunderstanding. the textbook was talking about cabbages.Delete
Of course every human on earth is equally evolved. The unit is time, you nitwits.Delete
I'm sorry, but that was just foolish right there. Time as a unit? Then everything on Earth is equally evolved - that's absurd. This was a fascinating discussion, but that bit of fatuousness struck a sour note.Delete
So an amoeba is just as evolved as a human?Delete
I read a little of Coyne's nonsensical defense. Is he really trying to tell me that Tennessee, which prohibited the teaching of evolution, required a textbook that taught evolution? And that Scopes merely taught from the textbook, just like biology teachers all across the state?ReplyDelete
I'm all for science, but when I read his site seems apparent that this man has a serious ax to grind against theism and Christianity in particular. He's not a neutral observer. He has an agenda, which is obviously a bias.
Scopes textbook of choice was Hunter's Civic Biology (1914).ReplyDelete
Scopes didn't get to choose what textbook to use in his classes, did he?
Coyne's hero taught the schoolchildren of Dayton from a textbook with rancid eugenic racist hate, which was part and parcel of evolutionary theory during the first century of Darwinian ascendancy and remains the subtext of the Darwinian understanding of man today.
"Darwinism" wasn't widely accepted at all at the time of Hunter's book. Eugenics is not based on Darwinism, it is based on artificial selection.
Shameful, even by Egnor's sleazy standards.
Sure he did. Don't tell me that you're trying to adopt the Coyne defense that the man who stood trial for not teaching state-sanctioned lessons was only teaching state-sanctioned lessons. That alarm you're hearing might be sounding on your account.Delete
It is worth noting that the prosecution (and Butler Act) targeted evolution but not eugenics. Following the trial, all mentions of evolutions were expunged from the next edition of Civic Biology, but eugenics and racism remained. Why? Because the good Christians of Tennessee did not object to them. Tennessee stayed racially segregated until the 1960s.ReplyDelete
So eugenics was not even a sideshow in the Scopes trial. Scopes had no choice which textbook to use: Civic Biology was required by the State. Eugenics and racism were in the textbook before the trial and remain after.
Why does Egnor even bother to put up such crap? I suppose venting is good for reducing blood pressure.
"Scopes had no choice which textbook to use: Civic Biology was required by the State."Delete
Read the excerpt. You honestly believe that this was a state-mandated textbook that this guy didn't actually want to teach? What then was he on trial for?
Adam Shapiro, "Civic Biology and the origin of the school antievolution movement," J. Hist. Biol. 41, 409 (2008); doi:10.1007/s10739-007-9148-2Delete
What was sudden and new in the late 1910’s and early 1920’s was a trio of developments that affected the practice of biology education. These developments were: (1) The creation of a new generation of biology textbooks, which were organized around core principles of the life sciences and which intertwined applications of biology that promoted certain cultural and economic worldviews; (2) a shift, particularly in the Southern and Western U.S., away from local textbooks adoption in favor of state-level regulation. This shift was largely motivated by factors unrelated to textbook content; and (3) the expansion of compulsory high schooling into the rural South, and specifically, into rural Tennessee, which brought biology textbooks to students for whom other approaches to the life sciences were intended. The confluence of these three factors led to the presentation of a new subject – biology – to a new population of students, and the passage of antievolution legislation in Tennessee was a direct result of this. For all the talk about Darwinism and the Bible, the Butler Act, outlawing the teaching of evolution in Tennessee, would not have been passed if there were not approximately 4000 students in the ninth and tenth grade taking high school biology. In 1924–25, over 90% of them used the textbook that John Scopes taught from, Hunter’s 1914 Civic Biology.
Shapiro also quote Scopes: I didn’t know, technically, whether I had violated the law or not’’ until he re-examined the Civic Biology. "There’s our text, provided by the state. I don’t see how a teacher can teach biology without teaching evolution."Delete
Admiral, every living thing on earth has been subject to selection pressure since they evolved from a common ancestor, and are the descendants of a long long line of evolutionary winners. In a sense you and I are no more or less evolved than a blade of grass.ReplyDelete
Analysis shows there are greater genetic differences between populations of black Africans than there are differences between the races. This reflects the fact that migrations out of Africa only carried a portion of the genetic variation that existed at the time of the migrations. Race gives clues to only a small portion of the genome, and anyone trying to claim genetic or evolutionary superiority based on these superficial traits is entirely misguided.
"In a sense you and I are no more or less evolved than a blade of grass."Delete
In another very real sense, no blades of grass, crows, cockatoos, chimpanzees, bonobos, or yeti are commenting here. Or sending probes to Mars. Or composing canons in D-minor. Or painting inscrutable ladies. Or building little buildings from popsicle sticks or drawing doggies with crayons. But I'll take what you say into account. Just don't be hanging about while I'm mowing.
"Analysis shows there are greater genetic differences between populations of black Africans than there are differences between the races [...] and anyone trying to claim... [blah, blah, blah]"
True, but so what? I'm no eugenicist. I think every child should be born, have enough to eat, get an education, and encouraged to live a thriving life.
So now you agree that the races are equally evolved? You sounded skeptical above. I guess it’s tough to be consistent when you’re curmudgeonly contrarian.Delete
Popeye: "So now you agree that the races are equally evolved."Delete
I never agreed nor disagreed. I merely asked how you, the person making the claim they are equal, know they are equal in the absence of some measure.
Frankly, I don't see how one turns intraspecific genetic variability into a measure of evolutionary advancement nor do I see its relevance to a discussion of relative advancement.
And moreover, I assume you aren't telling me that the only reason to abort a child would be because it - or its parents - are evolutionarily inferior.
N.B.: I am a consistently curmudgeonly contrarian.
Grandpa: I am a consistently curmudgeonly contrarian.Delete
A.k.a. a crackpot.
Work on your reading comprehension, KW. I don't think that Boggs believes in evolution, therefore he doesn't believe that all races are equally evolved. He probably believes that all races are equal, but that's something very different from equally evolved.Delete
He asked you how you can tell that all races are equally evolved? Is there a measurable scientific basis for this claim? Or does it just make you feel icky to belong to the racist side of the debate?
It strikes me that its conservative white Christians continue to make the argument that the theory of evolution supports racism and eugenics. I think it says more about their own views on race than it does about the validity of the theory.ReplyDelete
My dear Darwinian interlocutors evade the question:Delete
Scopes is a hero to Darwin's defenders.
Do they embrace what he taught?
If not, then why do they embrace him?
You're pretty dense this morning, Michael. The textbook was assigned by the State of Tennessee. It wasn't selected by Scopes. Eugenics and racism stayed in the textbook after the trial (evolution didn't).Delete
Teaching human evolution in public schools from any textbook was illegal in Tennessee. Civic Biology was a general biology text. Teachers were prohibited by law from teaching human evolution from it, which is exactly what Scopes (proudly) admitted to doing under oath in court.Delete
The Scopes trial was not about teaching evolution. Teaching non-human evolution was completely legal in Tennessee, and the state-approved textbook included it.
Teaching human evolution was illegal,and Scopes proudly admitted doing it. Teaching human evolution is what Darwinists laud Scopes for doing.
Do you defend what Scopes taught?
[The textbook was assigned by the State of Tennessee. It wasn't selected by Scopes.]
Scopes selected the one chapter in the textbook that was forbidden by Tennessee law to be taught to schoolchildren.
[Eugenics and racism stayed in the textbook after the trial (evolution didn't).]
That's pretty weak tea, Egnor. Scopes wasn't even sure whether he had taught evolution in class. He didn't testify, so he couldn't have admitted teaching evolution.Delete
The state-approved textbook included a section on human evolution, by the way.
megnorDecember 10, 2013 at 9:01 AMDelete
[Eugenics and racism stayed in the textbook after the trial (evolution didn't).] References...
This new edition contained an extended discussion of eugenics (Chapter XXXII "The Improvement of the Human Race", pages 394-404), but the section quoted above on "The Remedy" removed the words "If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading."
This new edition retained the section "The Races of Man" as written, with two changes about "caucasians": They were no longer described as "the highest type of all", and "the Hindus and Arabs of Asia" were included among the enumerated caucasians (page 251).
It's still discussion of human evolution and its biological and political consequences.Delete
No. It is a discussion of anthropology, not evolution of man.Delete
[megnor December 10, 2013 at 4:32 PMDelete
It's still discussion of human evolution and its biological and political consequences.]
If you are referring to Hunter's revised text, you could not be more wrong.
"A revised edition of Hunter's book appeared the year after the Scopes Trial. This new edition no longer used the word "evolution", and removed most references to recognizably evolutionary concepts. "
Egnor: Coyne's hero taught the schoolchildren of Dayton from a textbook with rancid eugenic racist hate, which was part and parcel of evolutionary theory during the first century of Darwinian ascendancy and remains the subtext of the Darwinian understanding of man today. The good folks of Tennessee, and the citizens of many communities across the country, wanted none of this venom taught to their children.ReplyDelete
This, of course, is a lie. The good citizens of Tennessee only wanted theory of evolution expunged, and that's what they got after the trial. Eugenics and racist claptrap remained, with the approval of the good citizens.
Your lies are rather transparent, Egnor.
Hoo, you're running afoul of a common logical error. Whether or not the people of Tennessee were racist, and I'm sure they were, that has no bearing at all on whether the lesson Scopes was teaching was also racist. We all know that Scopes wasn't put on trial for teaching racism--that you Captain Obvious--but that doesn't mean that the lesson wasn't racist, and probably Scopes as well.Delete
We look back on those bad old days of racism with regret. How could white people have been so chauvanistic as to assume that they were the master race? It manifested itself everywhere in those days, and nowhere more pronounced than in scientific theories about the origins of humans.
When are you going to retract the false statement characterizing Gene McCarthy as "a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist?"
Don't change the subject Hoo. Do you defend what Scopes taught?Delete
What did Scopes teach? He wasn't even sure whether he taught evolution in his class.Delete
WTF is your point, Egnor?
Meanwhile, the baldfaced lie stays on the front page.Delete
[What did Scopes teach? He wasn't even sure whether he taught evolution in his class. WTF is your point, Egnor?]Delete
Scopes "forgot" whether he taught verbally from Hunter's human evolution chapter, although he admitted under oath that he assigned to chapter to the class as a reading assignment to prepare for class, which last I looked falls under the category of "teaching".
It seems that you are being every bit as evasive as Scopes.
Tell me this, Hoo: which side do you support in the Scopes trial? Should the children have been taught Hunter's chapter on human evolution?
Stop spinning, and just tell the truth.
Of course they should have been taught human evolution. Butler Act was repealed in 1967 and should not have been on the books to begin with.Delete
Scopes memory seems to have failed him on the witness stand. Why would he "forget" whether he taught children that caucasian races were more highly evolved than non-caucasion races, and that there was a scientificly-based imperative to eliminate the lower races of man?
Does that seem like the kind of thing a teacher would "forget"? Had he taught it so many times to so many children that he couldn't remember if he taught it specifically to those children in that class on that day?
I am curious, Egnor. Do you think that teaching human evolution should be prohibited in schools and universities?Delete
Egnor: Scopes memory seems to have failed him on the witness stand.Delete
LOL. Scopes never testified. You are dense.
A remarkable assertion:
[Of course they should have been taught human evolution. Butler Act was repealed in 1967 and should not have been on the books to begin with.]
So you endorse Hunter's chapter on human evolution. It represented the maintream scientific consensus in 1925-- there were over 300 college level courses taught in the US endorsing eugenics in that era.
I didn't say I endorse Hunter's textbook. You have made it up. I said the students should have been taught human evolution.Delete
I will repeat my question:
Do you think that teaching human evolution should be prohibited in schools and universities?
[I didn't say I endorse Hunter's textbook. You have made it up. I said the students should have been taught human evolution.]
From what textbook?
I dunno, whatever else would be available at the time.Delete
Time to answer my question: Do you think that teaching human evolution should be prohibited in schools and universities?
Eugenics was consensus biology in the US in 1925. Would you have taught the consensus?
Regarding your question: should teaching human evolution be prohibited in schools and universities?
If it were up to me, it would be taught in every school and every university in much greater detail than it is now. I would insist that students read "Descent of Man" cover to cover-- and make them regurgitate on the final exam Darwin's lament at the smallpox vaccine, his comparison between human reproduction and the breeding of the "worst stock", his denunciations of the "lower races". I'd make them learn about Galton, and Pearson, and and Haeckel, and Fisher. I'd teach them about Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man. I'd made the MFAM hypothesis a prime topic of classroom discussion for a week at least. I'd make the kids memorize which states made sterilization of the "unfit" mandatory, and maybe even memorize the names of some of the poor folks who ended up on the recieving end of Applied Human Evolution.
Some of the instruction would necessarily be in German, which would give the kids some credits in a foreign language.
When I got done teaching human evolution, the kids would need emesis basins, which is appropriate to the topic.
I understand that you are writing this in jest. Still, this silly proposition indicates that you don't have a slightest idea how science actually works.
You identify evolutionary biology with Charles Darwin. That's totally idiotic, my friend. You might as well try to do that with classical mechanics and Isaac Newton. Crack open his Principia and try to learn Newtonian mechanics from it. The hell you will. The book is tedious and you don't learn from it even one tenth of what classical mechanics covers these days in a college course.
There are idiots out there who do assign the original scientific texts (St. Johns College among them). Their students never go on to become great scientists.
You are a dork, Michael Egnor. A very silly person.
Egnor: If it were up to me...Delete
Alas, you are not in charge of education. This creationist fantasy will remain unfulfilled. My sympathies!
And just to rub some salt into this wound, Stony Brook has a whole academic department of Ecology and Evolution. Have you ever visited them? Do you harbor a desire to blow up the building?
Weird how they don't give a crap about the consensus if they don't like the consensus.Delete
If we were to apply their logic, any evolutionary biologist who opposed the the racist consensus of white supermacy would have to be exiled because he would be, by definition, out of the mainstream. That would have the affect of striking fear into others who were thinking about changing their mind, which would result in a chilling effect and stagnation of the scientific process.
Or in other words, it would be exactly what liberals do to science whenever they hijack it.
From what I can see, the consensus amongst evolutionary biologists is that there are no human races (because of the individual variation, 85% occurs within a 'race' and 15% occurs between 'races').
So any evolutionary biologist who opposes or supports the concept of racial superiority is bucking the consensus.
Any scientist who bucks the consensus shouldn't suffer any harm beyond being criticised for being wrong. Assuming of course that the maverick scientist is wrong. Science advances by having novel theories receiving the blowtorch of criticism.
The worst thing that could happen is that a novel theory is ignored.
That said, the pig-chimp hybrid theory is just wrong.
"Science advances by having novel theories receiving the blowtorch of criticism."Delete
It should. Whenever that blowtorch is applied to any theory you like, you cry foul.
"Any scientist who bucks the consensus shouldn't suffer any harm beyond being criticised for being wrong. Assuming of course that the maverick scientist is wrong."
That interesting. Obviously, he might not be wrong. Opposing the consensus does not make one wrong. Thank you for that admission. If opposing the consensus does not make one wrong, then the consensus is not the yardstick by which we measure rightness.
However, merely for being outside the mainstream, his or her counterparts will think he or she is wrong, because they hold opposing views.
Now, can we just admit that merely citing the consensus is the lazyminded person's idea of an argument?
Dr. Egnor, I love your suggestion the students read Darwin in all of its nakedness. How can they argue with that? I can imagine minority students across the country waking up to the realization that this great scientist we're all supposed to worship was thinking of them when he referred to lower stock. He wanted them breeded out.Delete
I don't mind the blowtorch being applied to theories I like, provided the blowtorch is being applied to the theories as formulated not some deliberately debased version of it.
Consensus mightn't be perfect, but it's the best method we have for detecting theories approaching truth (as a general rule, all theories to some extent are incomplete, and some, even well accepted ones, are wrong).
Mavericks with novel theories might be right. But they're much more likely to be just wrong.
I think you ought to read of Darwin's works. Lots of luck.
I wonder whether you read Newton in all of his nakedness when you studied classical physics in high school. Very likely not. Reading Principia is one of the silliest way to learn classical physics. For one thing, the text is written in a tedious way that one could perhaps find engaging in the 17th century, but not today. The intervening generations have vastly improved the language of physics and mathematics. For another, it doesn't cover a tenth of what we cover in classical physics today. Energy is not there. No statics. No fluid mechanics. No vectors even.
This is also why we don't study Darwin's Origins. First, lots of things in it are wrong or irrelevant. Second, evolutionary biology has a lot more than what Darwin started with. So hoping that evolutionary biology would be "exposed" if students read Darwin is one of the silliest ideas that have come from creationists. They don't understand how science works. They don't understand the education process, either.
hoo said: "It is worth noting that the prosecution (and Butler Act) targeted evolution but not eugenics. Following the trial, all mentions of evolutions were expunged from the next edition of Civic Biology, but eugenics and racism remained. Why? Because the good Christians of Tennessee did not object to them. Tennessee stayed racially segregated until the 1960s. "ReplyDelete
Why were philosophical issues like eugenics and hierarchy of the human race in a Biology text to begin with? Are you saying that surely the "good Christians of Tennessee" must of insisted upon them, much like the the good Christians of Texas and Pennsylvania tried to influence what was being taught their children in the name of science by evolutionist wolves wearing science lab coats?
There are pages more of this racist drivel from the mouth of Saint Darwin:ReplyDelete
“It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro.
“The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races….Those who believe in the principle of gradual evolution, will not readily admit that the sense of smell in its present state was originally acquired by man, as he now exists. He inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.”
“It is an interesting fact that ancient races, in this and several other cases, more frequently present structures which resemble those of the lower animals than do the modern. One chief cause seems to be that the ancient races stand somewhat nearer in the long line of descent to their remote animal-like progenitors.”
It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.”
With respect to savages, Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that the negroes of West Africa often commit suicide. It is well known how common it was amongst the miserable aborigines of South America after the Spanish conquest. …
“Slavery, although in some ways beneficial during ancient times, is a great crime; yet it was not so regarded until quite recently, even by the most civilised nations. And this was especially the case, because the slaves belonged in general to a race different from that of their masters.”
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
Now, my question is how do the modern disciples of Darwin hold two mutually exclusive tenants i.e. Darwinism and the equality of races? That was certainly not Darwin's view and it's a pretty easy path from there to the eugenics of Nazism which can be laid at the feet of their patron saint. That all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights is an exclusively theistic point of view. There can be no equal rights or even rights under Darwinism -- only survival of the fittest, red in tooth and claw. That Darwinists now run as fast as they can from the blatant implications of their theory only demonstrates to thoughtful people, that the whole thing was a sham to begin with.
You, too, misunderstand science. A branch of science isn't identified with its founder or major contributor. Darwin got lots of things wrong, and we don't even remember any of these things. Just like Newton got lots of things wrong (neither we care for those).
You might as well point to Newton's views on Trinity and ask how can we trust classical mechanics?
Newton's views on the trinity weren't racist and they had no bearing on classical mechanics. If classical mechanics were based on his views of the trinity, you would reject it as pseudoscience.Delete
Then likewise Darwin's views on race have no bearing on the validity of evolutionary theory. Goose, gander, all that.Delete
I don't think so, Hoo. If people were jumping off buildings because of Newton, you might have a point, but regardless of Charles Darwin, racism and eugenics are the direct implications of Darwinism and the point of the OP was not an attack on the science of Darwinism which has its own issues but was that Darwinists want to have it both ways -- or at least ignore the very real implications of their theory -- and live in a fantasy world where they hold mutually exclusive notions. Racism is politically incorrect today so materialistic Darwinists are forced to deny the inescapable conclusion of their theory -- men are not equal and rights are not unalienable -- while trying to hold on to the theory itself. Basic logic tells us that if we deny the implications of a theory, they theory itself is weakened, but in this case, in order to be upstanding members of polite society, Darwinists must reject their own founders honesty and adopt that which is diametrically opposed to their philosophy -- that human beings are created equal -- the implication of which is undenial to but the most obtuse.ReplyDelete
Big Roch: racism and eugenics are the direct implications of DarwinismDelete
That does not compute, Big Rich. For example, racism surely predated Darwin. And nowadays, we reject racism while accepting theory of evolution.
Eugenics as a science is a direct descendant of Darwin. It was named as a science by Darwin's cousin, who explicitly cited Darwin's theory for the basis for breeding humans.Eugenics was championed by Darwinists until the 1970's, when the social climate changed and it became gauche. It still has many Darwinist defenders, including Dawkins and Jim Watson, although the rhetoric is muted.
You own eugenics, pal. Your failure to admit it and deal with it only adds integrity to the list of things you don't do well.
You're wrong, as usual. Eugenics has its origins in animal husbandry. At any rate, Darwin's cousin was wrong. And if eugenics was indeed "a direct descendant" of evolutionary theory, why isn't it still practiced, even though evolutionary theory is alive and well? Something doesn't compute.
And speaking of integrity, why is this lie still being peddled on the front page of this blog? When are you going to retract it?
[You're wrong, as usual. Eugenics has its origins in animal husbandry]
Darwin's theory is the reason that principles of animal husbandry were applied by science to humans, beginning as an organized program in mainstream science in the 1860's.
That human beings were the proper subjects of the science of animal husbandry is pure Darwinism.
Why is animal husbandry not being applied to humans now? Theory of evolution is still with us. Animal husbandry, too. There is a gap here that you can't bridge.Delete
Hoots: "Why is animal husbandry not being applied to humans now?"Delete
It is. One of the basic tenets of animal husbandry is to limit flock/herd size to the assumed carrying capacity of one's pasture and to forestall the spread of infectious disease.
Chinese managers of human livestock refer to this as the "one-child policy".
Ouch. I felt that sting on Hoo from here. Kudos.
Any examples relevant to the US, boys? Or is theory of evolution only limited to China?Delete
Don't know. Why don't you ask Paul Ehrlich about applying animal husbandry to Americans. Or, heck, you can ask his co-author and long-time collaborator, John Holdren, who is Obama's chief science abvisor.Delete
They were trying to get animal husbandry applied to Americas (and others) decades ago-- sterilants put in public drinking water, birth licenses required before getting pregnant, mandatory implantation of contraceptive devices in teenage girls, etc.
Lots of quite strenuous efforts in the US, albeit unsuccessful, except for Planned Parenthood's siting of "clinics" in poor and minority neighborhoods, which has been a substantial eugenics success.
The tinfoil brigade strikes again!Delete
You, guys, are fun.
"Human animal husbandry" is a superb precis of population control. And, as you have noted Hoo, it is wholly Darwinian in motivation and origin.Delete
What's this "we" crap?Delete
Press "1" for Q or Z. :-)
Glen Beck is telling the truth about Holdren.Delete
Okay, sorry I weighed in late folks. Busy, snowy day here.Delete
Here's my tuppence worth:
Science is a tool. A method. Nothing more or less.
Scientific theories are invented by scientists, not by the tool itself. These theories are subject to interpretation. These interpretations are guided by moral and philosophical frames of the men who conceive of them and the men who popularize them .
If the 'world view' that guides science and the dissemination of theory is elitist, science becomes a tool for control.
For centuries before modern science other forms of inquiry were abused. They still are.
The adherents of those ideologies and faiths also (just as the scientistic scientists today do) denied this possibility or existence of the abuse.
'Not us! Not HERE. Not NOW! Our system is perfect and introspective...Self correcting.'
It was pretension then, it is now.
Any human institution that purports to lead to 'truth' can and will be used by those who seek real power: Control.
It is only sane to be guarded against such efforts.
The implications of the theories surrounding evolution for social application are profound. Modern eugenics (community/family planning, 'sustainability' etc etc) are based on pretentious interpretations of these ideas by pompous, power hungry egomaniacs and their sycophants. Many of the latter with post docs and tenure.
Posterity will mark them for what they are: Intellectual whores.
But, if you dare to point this out today, in the era in which the current elitists and their task masters thrive, you will be denounced as 'anti-science'. 'paranoid', or the ever popular 'conspiracy theorist'.
These are just variations on the same old argument from ad hominem. Pay no heed to them, rather simply note who makes them.
Consider: How can someone who thinks science is such a powerful tool for inquiry, and that the abuse of it will result in disaster correctly be called 'anti science'? Obviously the person in question thinks science is extremely potent, and can be used for both good and evil ends. They are not 'anti-science', they are against the abuse of scientific institutions by self serving scientists (ie TRULY anti-science) and their political/economic masters. Those being slighted are against scientists pushing interpretations of theory that result in wicked behaviours and social expressions.
We are, instead, supposed to think it the people who deny science this potency and power and at the same time pronounce it the only path to truth, are somehow 'pro science'? They are pro science in the same way a lion is pro-gazelle.
What about 'paranoid'? Is it paranoid to note historical developments and consider the likelihood of similar social developments from the same ideological groups in the present? Of course not.
It is, however, PRONOID to imagine that the world is 'better' and modern people have 'evolved' beyond the lust for power and control. That our politicians today, here, and now are somehow morally incapable of being wrong-minded. That our science is incorruptible. That pretensions only belong to the weak and powerless. It is beyond pronoid, actually. It is infantile.
Finally we have the tired 'conspiracy theorist' line. I can think of no more Orwellian expression. If you suspect political power games and do not see the (current) glorious leader as a benevolent, magnanimous overlord of goodness and all the initiatives (no matter how odious) as being for the 'greater good', ''security', and to somehow (it changes all the time) to save us/the earth from ourselves... well, then you're a 'conspiracy theorist'. Again, conditioned pronoia on an Orwellian scale. From both 'sides' of the political spectrum, I might add.
The world is complex. There are conspiracies. There are pretentious swine who will use any trusted mechanism to push their evil, power hungry agendas. It will not stop. There is no guarantee to any people, anywhere that their 'rights' are secure.
It is a constant struggle.
We either face it in all it's forms, or be swept up by it.
This is what history teaches us.
"And nowadays, we reject racism while accepting theory of evolution."Delete
Maybe. Though I think you should speak for yourself and not for everyone. But you're tacitly admitting that this wasn't always so. Why then do you get so upset with the thesis of "From Darwin to Hitler"?
[But you're tacitly admitting that this wasn't always so. Why then do you get so upset with the thesis of "From Darwin to Hitler"?]
Why is this lie still being peddled on the front page of this blog?ReplyDelete
I don't see the lie.Delete
Calling Gene McCarthy "a mainstream University of Georgia geneticist and evolutionary biologist" is a lie. He is neither affiliated with the U. of Georgia, nor can be referred to as a mainstream evolutionary biologist by any stretch.Delete
A school teacher need not agree with everything that's in a school textbook. Did Scopes agree with eugenics? There's no evidence that he did or didn't. He volunteered to challenge Tennessee's anti-evolution law by assigning the appropriate chapter in a textbook which by modern standards is not acceptable.ReplyDelete
As a counter-example, a while back I commented that in the 'bad old days' doctors regarded newborns as having brains not sufficiently developed to suffer pain (any distress they showed was just a mindless reflex).
So major surgical operations could be performed on new born babies without general anaesthesia.
Michael Egnor agreed, noting that when he started his surgical career, a textbook he used was still recommending that spina bifida could be repaired with general anaesthesia.
It would be just as silly to claim that Egnor is a baby torturer because he read a textbook that's wrong on one point regarding pain perception in babies as to claim that Scopes was a eugenecist because he used a state mandated biology textbook which advocated eugenics.
Oops, 'with general anaesthesia' should read 'without general anaesthesia'. Must be due to lack of sleep.Delete
My 15 year old collie had a bad night last night, with a very disturbed night due to his canine dementia (wandering around the house, wanting attention many times in the early hours).
If he was a human, I would have had him put down long ago...
Sorry about your dog, bach. I have a 15-yr old GS Pointer myself. So far, so good, but the time is coming...Delete
I'm still trying to decide when the time's come. He still seems happy enough (perhaps it's one of the advantages of dementia). I think I'll just take him regularly to the vet and have the vet make the decision.
To make things worse, good days often follow bad nights and days. And today seems to be a good day, so far.
Bachfiend, you are missing the forest for the trees. You have no proof that Scopes was shocked by this. He didn't have to teach it. He was in fact prohibited from teaching it. I think you prefer to think of Scopes as a nice, unracist man, but you have no proof that he was.Delete
But even that's not the point. The point is that mainstream evolutionary biology was patently racist. It probably remained that way until the later half of the twentieth century. Whether it's still racist is up for debate.
Given that fact, is it so far fetched to think that Hitler was inspired by this theory of race superiority, given the seal of approval of science?
And you don't have any evidence that Scopes was a racist. He volunteered to teach evolution to challenge Tennessee's anti-evolution law.
Actually, I doubt that eugenics was science consensus. Medical consensus perhaps. Many prominent eugenecists were doctors, and doctors aren't scientists.
To have practical eugenics, you need doctors (with access to the residential institutes housing individuals thought to be innately inferior), and in particular surgeons (who else would be able to sterilise the individuals thought to be inferior?).
Another thread were conservatives, who thought that the poor were innately inferior and also in the way.
Anyway. I doubt that evolutionary biology ever was racist. It's up to those who think it was to demonstrate that there was a consensus amongst biologists that certain races are inherently, not culturally or economically, inferior.
It's easy making such a claim. Proving it will be difficult.
Eugenics was consensus science in the US for half a century, and human evolutionary biology was racist.
Those are statements of fact. There is no debate.
How do you know that eugenics was consensus science in America? Or that evolutionary biology was racist? Please provide references, including lists of early American scientists and their opinions - with a final tabulation of the results.
From my reading of 'War Against the Weak' and other books, too numerous to list, eugenics and race discrimination was an American phenomenon, and a result of slavery, the Civil War and its sequelae and mass migration from Europe.
The 'ethnic melting pot' was a tongue in cheek piece of propaganda to conceal the strife caused by culturally different groups being dumped in the slums of cities such as New York.
Britain didn't have the same degree of problems. Eugenics had virtually been dropped by the time of Galton's death. Racism wasn't such a problem despite being the home of evolutionary biology.
American exceptionalism isn't always a good thing.
Eugenics was pushed by physicians and surgeons. Who aren't scientists. It was also pushed by certain ministers of religion, unfortunately (but not by the Catholic Church - having a hierarchy is often of benefit).Delete
Comforting to know that un-scientific and without consensus stuff as eugenics was taught in most American universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. Conforting to know that the opening adress to the Second International Congress of Eugenics (un-scientific and without consensus stuff) made by Henry F. Osborn was published in its entirety in Science the journal of the American Association of the Advancement of Science...Delete
The same Association gave support to Scopes with a document drafted by Osborn, Davenport and Conklin.
Osborn was a well known eugeneticist, Davenport was the leader of the eugenic movement in America, and Conklin was director of the American Eugenics Society (en passant none of them was a physician or surgeon). Strange that with all the scientists available, that according bachfiend were not in favor of the eugenics, AAAS chose these three!
My point remains. To know whether eugenics has consensus science, you'd need to do a survey of scientists to see whether it was accepted as being likely to be true by a majority of scientists, and preferably an overwhelming majority of scientists.
A 51% majority indicates that it's just hotly disputed.
And the scientists need to have appropriate knowledge and experience regarding the topic. Astronomers don't have a consensus on eugenics. They just have an opinion.
Professors with tenure in universities can teach whatever they want. Editors of journals can publish whatever they want. Being able to pick out some counter-examples doesn't necessarily mean that there was a consensus.
To know that, you'd need to do the survey.
Anyway. Even if Science published an article by Osborn, it doesn't mean it reflects consensus. Science recently published on the origin of domestic dogs, peer reviewed, which has promptly dismissed as being deeply flawed by all scientists I've read.
My reading remains - eugenics was pushed by physicians and surgeons, who also had the means to put the pseudoscience into practice.
Bachfiend I think you're an intelligent person and you know the difference between publishing an article on the origin of the dogs and publishing an entire speech (from the first page of the magazine). If Science published that speech it meant that the editor (the AAAS) agreed with it (it was not dismissed).Delete
Prof. Jonathan Marks writes: "The interesting aspect of the eugenics movement is that it was mainstream science... Every genetics textbook of the era advanced the case of eugenics... Perhaps the most interesting paradox in the history of eugenics is that the American human genetics community, faced with the embarrassment of the Nazi enthusiasm for eugenics, set out to reinvent itself after World War II... And then they taught that eugenics the old eugenics was the province of quacks and amateurs, and not the mainstream science that it really was.
And it worked, for a while..."
Today it does not work. So please, do not make the same mistake American scientists made after World War II: to try to hide their responsibilities in the eugenics movement.
Also my last doubt remains: why among thousands of members the AAAS chose three of the leading eugeneticists of the time to draft the resolution in favor of the evolution?
I keep on repeating. To know whether there was s scientific consensus on eugenics, you would have needed to have done a survey of the opinions of a reasonable sample of the appropriate scientists.
The opinion of one editor of a journal doesn't count as an indication of consensus.
Professor Marks refers to Charles Davenport as a leading geneticist. He wasn't a geneticist. His eugenics work didn't work with genes. It was just reams of family histories that were useless scientifically. When the Cold Harbour lab closed no one wanted the material, it was so valueless.
There was no consensus amongst geneticists. Morgan, the most prominent American geneticist of the time, was deadset against eugenics.
It's my impression that people who thought that eugenics was good science had a consensus that eugenics was good science. The enthusiasm of its proponents drowned out its detractors. Rather similar to the physicists were claimed to have discovered a new form of radiation, n-waves, that no one else could detect.
If you had been a biology teacher in 1925, would you have taught the consensus, or the controversy?
I would have taught whatever was on the syllabus as mandated by the school board, to a level appropriate to the age of the students.
There are topics in science of both consensus and controversy that are just too difficult to be mentioned in a science course. Or too recent to know whether they're valid. Such as genetics, which had only been rediscovered in 1900 (at least Mendel's work) and only beginning to really become of age in the 1920s with Morgan's work on fruit flies.
That said, I hope I'd have the moral sense to not teach eugenics, if it was on the syllabus, or at least teach it badly. If Bryan had gone after eugenics instead of evolution, I would have approved entirely.
And don't forget - he won the case. Evolution was deleted from the textbook but eugenics remained. Eugenics is just selective breeding, which humans have been doing for at least 12000 years, without any idea of evolution or genetics.
Highly flawed selective breeding.
I also don't think that anyone has noted that John Scopes wasn't a biology teacher. He was a sports coach who occasionally acted as a substitute teacher. He majored in geology and politics at university.Delete
A business man wanted to put Dayton on the map by hosting a trial involving the anti-evolution law. Scopes volunteered to teach evolution by assigning his class the chapter on evolution in the proscribed biology text to be read overnight.
And then confessed to doing so.
Even if he taught eugenics, he wouldn't know what the science consensus was. Perhaps he might know who was shouting most about eugenics, and that would probably be the eugenecists.
OK, I suggest to the reader this paper by Jonathan Marks on the Historiography of Eugenics and the three form of revisionism that the history of eugenics had in the U.S.A.Delete
I hope that times of revisionism are today ended.
You still don't get the point. Egnor asserts that there's no debate that eugenics was consensus science in early 20th century American science.
I'm merely stating that it's impossible to know whether it was consensus science without having done a survey of the opinions of the scientists with the appropriate expertise. Which hadn't been done.
Continually referring to Professor Marks is just an appeal to authority, not to consensus about consensus. Charles Davenport was wrong with regard to eugenics. Professor Marks could very well be wrong about the consensus regarding eugenics, just as he was wrong regarding Charles Davenport when Professor Marks referred to Davenport as being a leading geneticist. Davenport wasn't a geneticist. He didn't work on genes. He was a proponent of selective breeding - as employed by humans for at least 12,000 years, without any idea of its mechanism.
You have read many books on the subject and then you could easily quote someone who says that eugenics was not consensus among scientists. I'll wait for this quote. Or maybe you could easily list the name of 10 scientists who opposed eugenics at that time.Delete
It is very strange that five of the first six presidents of the American Society of Human Genetics, founded in 1948 were also directors of the American Eugenics Society. Maybe also these presidents of the ASHG were not 'real' geneticists as Davenport.
Marks about Davenport writes 'influential' and not 'leading' and he was so influential that he was choses by the AAAS not only tho draft the official statement in support of the evolution but also to write in Science a series of informative articles in favor of evolutionary theory to ensure that public opinion was on the side of Scopes. Do not bother you that the American public was on the side of Scopes and evolution thanks to the intervention of one that you think is an incompetent? have I to dismiss the AAAS resolution because written by eugeneticists?
You still don't get the point. I don't have to prove that there wasn't a consensus amongst scientists with the appropriate expertise that eugenics was good science. It's up to the proponents of this position, that it was consensus amongst scientists that eugenics was good scientist, to provide proof.
And the only way that that could have been done would have been a survey of scientists from that period on eugenics. Which hadn't been done.
Anyway. Thomas Hunt Morgan, the most prominent geneticist of the period (he won the Nobel Prize for his genetics research in the '20s) was deadset against eugenics, so if authority is any indication, there was no consensus.
Professor Marks referred to Charles Davenport as a leading geneticist in another of his essays (I think it was the one with 'Darwinism' in the title. Anyway, he wasn't a geneticist, let alone prominent or leading. He got into eugenics from his interest in chicken breeding. Selective breeding as had been done by humans for 12000 years.
please again read Marks: "Morgan published some polite reservations about eugenics in the mid-1920s, but not enough either to piss anyone off or to allow people to invoke his prestige to repudiate the movement."
Polite and so irrilevant and not deadset...
You keep on quoting one author for your argument. Professor Marks might be correct, but he's still just one. You're still arguing from authority.
It's not necessary for a lack of consensus to be shown by lack of active opposition. Just ignoring it is sufficient. Even if Thomas Hunt Morgan was tepid in his opposition to eugenics, he still wasn't in a consensus.
It's difficult opposing a political position (which eugenics was - it was a civil policy) when you're not a politician.
As an analogy. Einstein's relativity is established science. He won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, so relativity had the imprimature of the physics community and was consensus science.
Except, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for the photovoltaic effect. Relativity was still regarded as controversial and largely ignored. The Stockholm committee didn't think he was deserving of the prize in 1921 (no one was). When they awarded it to Nils Bohr in 1922, they decided to award Einstein with the 1921 award for his quantum physics work.
To decide whether there was a consensus amongst scientists you need a survey of scientists. Which hadn't been done with eugenics.
but if you had been a biology teacher in those years, and even more if you were a substitute without a proper training in that topic, would you have taught to your pupils what was written in the book?Delete
and I woul add: it was thanks to the early experiments made by Morgan that the early critics of the eugenics were silenced...Delete
These are the quirks of history...
He was also the inspiration for the failed Obama stimulus package.ReplyDelete