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  Topic: The real danger in Darwin is not evolution, but racism< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman



Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 20 2008,22:11   

Quote
Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and served as pastoral counselor to former President Clinton

Many who support the separation of church and state say that the intelligent design theory of creation ought not to be taught in public schools because it contains a religious bias. They dislike its suggestion that the evolutionary development of life was not the result of natural selection, as Charles Darwin suggested, but was somehow given purposeful direction and, by implication, was guided by God.

Arguing for what they believe is a nonprejudicial science, they contend that children in public schools should be taught Darwin's explanation of how the human race evolved, which they claim is value-free and depends solely on scientific evidence.

In terms of science, Darwin's account may be solid indeed. But value free? Nothing could be further from the truth - and that's where the problem lies.

Some creationists fear Darwin because his theories contradict their literal biblical belief that creation occurred in six 24-hour days. But they do not get at the real dangers of Darwinism. They do not realize that an explanation of the development of biological organisms over eons of time really does not pose the great threat to the dignity of our humanity that they suppose. Instead, they, along with the rest of us, should really fear the ethical implications of Darwin's original writings.

In reality, those writings express the prevalent racism of the 19th century and endorse an extreme laissez-faire political ideology that legitimizes the neglect of the suffering poor by the ruling elite.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.


Read it here.

   
mitschlag



Posts: 236
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,05:08   

Crackpot liberalism.

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Wesley R. Elsberry



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,06:26   

Campolo:

Quote

Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.


Having read the Origin, I'm hardly shocked to discover that even emeritus professor Campolo is making stuff up. Darwin did write a passage about the extirpation of aboriginal people, but IIRC it was in The Descent of Man, and it was an observation and prediction based upon demonstrated behavior, not an endorsement of a particular mode of action. Campolo apparently has never encountered any discussion of the difference between is and ought.

Here is the passage from Descent of Man, Vol. 1, that apparently confused Prof. Campolo:

Quote

The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, convinced by general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks incessantly occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridć—between the elephant and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and other mammals. But all these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,16 will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.


Darwin does not endorse the extermination of various peoples, but one would have to be blind not to notice that extirpation was exactly what "civilised" people had been doing, and were in the active process of doing, around the world. Campolo also overlooks Darwin's zinger concerning Caucasian people and how hopefully man would evolve to a "more civilised state".

Campolo also overlooks the record of Darwin as an abolitionist.

From the Beagle diary:

Quote

Against such facts how weak are the arguments of those who maintain that slavery is a tolerable evil!


From the Journal of Researches:

Quote

As it was growing dark we passed under one of the massive, bare, and steep hills of granite which are so common in this country. This spot is notorious from having been, for a long time, the residence of some runaway slaves, who, by cultivating a little ground near the top, contrived to eke out a subsistence. At length they were discovered, and a party of soldiers being sent, the whole were seized with the exception of one old woman, who, sooner than again be led into slavery, dashed herself to pieces from the summit of the mountain. In a Roman matron this would have been called the noble love of freedom: in a poor negress it is mere brutal obstinacy.

[...]

One day I took a canoe, and proceeded up one of the channels to visit it; I found the old town from its situation both sweeter and cleaner than that of Pernambuco. I must here commemorate what happened for the first time during our nearly five years' wandering, namely, having met with a want of politeness: I was refused in a sullen manner at two different houses, and obtained with difficulty from a third, permission to pass through their gardens to an uncultivated hill, for the purpose of viewing the country. I feel glad that this happened in the land of the Brazilians, for I bear them no good will—a land also of slavery, and therefore of moral debasement. A Spaniard would have felt ashamed at the very thought of refusing such a request, or of behaving to a stranger with rudeness.

[...]

On the 19th of August we finally left the shores of Brazil. I thank God, I shall never again visit a slave-country. To this day, if I hear a distant scream, it recalls with painful vividness my feelings, when passing a house near Pernambuco, I heard the most pitiable moans, and could not but suspect that some poor slave was being tortured, yet knew that I was as powerless as a child even to remonstrate. I suspected that these moans were from a tortured slave, for I was told that this was the case in another instance. Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have staid in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten, and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal. I have seen a little boy, six or seven years old, struck thrice with a horse-whip (before I could interfere) on his naked head, for having handed me a glass of water not quite clean; I saw his father tremble at a mere glance from his master's eye. These latter cruelties were witnessed by me in a Spanish colony, in which it has always been said, that slaves are better treated than by the Portuguese, English, or other European nations. I have seen at Rio Janeiro a powerful negro afraid to ward off a blow directed, as he thought, at his face. I was present when a kind-hearted man was on the point of separating for ever the men, women, and little children of a large number of families who had long lived together. I will not even allude to the many heart-sickening atrocities which I authentically heard of;—nor would I have mentioned the above revolting details, had I not met with several people, so blinded by the constitutional gaiety of the negro, as to speak of slavery as a tolerable evil. Such people have generally visited at the houses of the upper classes, where the domestic slaves are usually well treated; and they have not, like myself, lived amongst the lower classes. Such enquirers will ask slaves about their condition; they forget that the slave must indeed be dull, who does not calculate on the chance of his answer reaching his master's ears.

It is argued that self-interest will prevent excessive cruelty; as if self-interest protected our domestic animals, which are far less likely than degraded slaves, to stir up the rage of their savage masters. It is an argument long since protested against with noble feeling, and strikingly exemplified, by the ever illustrious Humboldt. It is often attempted to palliate slavery by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin; but how this bears on slavery, I cannot see; as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease. Those who look tenderly at the slave-owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter;—what a cheerless prospect, with not even a hope of change! picture to yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of your wife and your little children—those objects which nature urges even the slave to call his own—being torn from you and sold like beasts to the first bidder! And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth! It makes one's blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty: but it is a consolation to reflect, that we at least have made a greater sacrifice, than ever made by any nation, to expiate our sin.



From the Autobiography:

Quote

Fitz-Roy's temper was a most unfortunate one. This was shown not only by passion but by fits of long-continued moroseness against those who had offended him. His temper was usually worst in the early morning, and with his eagle eye he could generally detect something amiss about the ship, and was then unsparing in his blame. The junior officers when they relieved each other in the forenoon used to ask "whether much hot coffee had been served out this morning,—" which meant how was the Captain's temper? He was also somewhat suspicious and occasionally in very low spirits, on one occasion bordering on insanity. He seemed to me often to fail in sound judgment or common sense. He was extremely kind to me, but was a man very difficult to live with on the intimate terms which necessarily followed from our messing by ourselves in the same cabin. We had several quarrels; for when out of temper he was utterly unreasonable. For instance, early in the voyage at Bahia in Brazil he defended and praised slavery, which I abominated, and told me that he had just visited a great slave-owner, who had called up many of his slaves and asked them whether they were happy, and whether they wished to be free, and all answered "No." I then asked him, perhaps with a sneer, whether he thought that the answers of slaves in the presence of their master was worth anything. This made him excessively angry, and he said that as I doubted his word, we could not live any longer together. I thought that I should have been compelled to leave the ship; but as soon as the news spread, which it did quickly, as the captain sent for the first lieutenant to assuage his anger by abusing me, I was deeply gratified by receiving an invitation from all the gun-room officers to mess with them. But after a few hours Fitz-Roy showed his usual magnanimity by sending an officer to me with an apology and a request that I would continue to live with him.


And there are many more references to Darwin's anti-slavery stance in his writings.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Venus Mousetrap



Posts: 201
Joined: Aug. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,09:28   

Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Jan. 20 2008,22:11)
Quote
Tony Campolo is professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University and served as pastoral counselor to former President Clinton

Many who support the separation of church and state say that the intelligent design theory of creation ought not to be taught in public schools because it contains a religious bias. They dislike its suggestion that the evolutionary development of life was not the result of natural selection, as Charles Darwin suggested, but was somehow given purposeful direction and, by implication, was guided by God.

Arguing for what they believe is a nonprejudicial science, they contend that children in public schools should be taught Darwin's explanation of how the human race evolved, which they claim is value-free and depends solely on scientific evidence.

In terms of science, Darwin's account may be solid indeed. But value free? Nothing could be further from the truth - and that's where the problem lies.

Some creationists fear Darwin because his theories contradict their literal biblical belief that creation occurred in six 24-hour days. But they do not get at the real dangers of Darwinism. They do not realize that an explanation of the development of biological organisms over eons of time really does not pose the great threat to the dignity of our humanity that they suppose. Instead, they, along with the rest of us, should really fear the ethical implications of Darwin's original writings.

In reality, those writings express the prevalent racism of the 19th century and endorse an extreme laissez-faire political ideology that legitimizes the neglect of the suffering poor by the ruling elite.

Those who argue at school board meetings that Darwin should be taught in public schools seldom have taken the time to read him. If they knew the full title of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, they might have gained some inkling of the racism propagated by this controversial theorist. Had they actually read Origin, they likely would be shocked to learn that among Darwin's scientifically based proposals was the elimination of "the negro and Australian peoples," which he considered savage races whose continued survival was hindering the progress of civilization.


Read it here.

I argued via email with a chap from the Edinburgh Creation Group who was making a similar argument; he claimed that evolution is a philosophy built upon a foundation that goes all the way back to the Vedics, and added, as creationists often do, that evolution is responsible for all kinds of social ills.

I pointed out that evolution is a scientific theory, not a philosophy. What pisses me off is that their solution to these social problems is to get rid of the science of evolution, and not address the social problems themselves. (if they even ARE caused by that scientific theory, which I doubt.) It's a mean, dirty, underhanded way to advance Biblical doctrine. And somehow, whenever the analogy is made with chemistry being socially responsible for guns, or atomic theory being socially responsible for the atom bomb, they won't accept that it's EXACTLY THE SAME. Hypocrites.

Who among us wouldn't support the eradication of racism? Yet that's not what creationists seem to want. They want to remove a scientific theory which they claim has racist foundations (yet which, oddly, identifies all humans as being the same species). They paint US with the racism card, despite the fact that we actually CAN separate a scientific model from the real world, and from society, and from morals, and can form moral judgements without a lot of prejudice. They don't seem bothered about any of the other sources of racism in the world; why not? I want it all gone, whether it's white superiority, black superiority, whether it's caused by evolution theory, or Mein Kampf.

To attack a science that threatens you by playing the race card is as cowardly as a guy claiming that he was racially abused in order to avoid the blame for starting a fight (and this has happened to me).

Jesus would be ashamed of you.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,09:39   

I think it is pretty clear that Tony Campolo leads to Stupidism.

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UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,09:51   

Quote (Venus Mousetrap @ Jan. 21 2008,09:28)
I argued via email with a chap from the Edinburgh Creation Group

Whoa!
Those guys are beginning to get up my nose, damaging the good reputation of my city.  (OK, I don't own it, but my family have lived in and around Edinburgh for a few generations and I went to school there)

I think I shall have to round up some people and visit one of their sessions, after carefully studying who shall be present so as to make sure we have the correct ammo.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,09:52   

I've emailed this thread to Mr. Campo's assisant and invited him here.

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Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,10:45   

This looks like the same old morality argument again, made over and over again for ages. This horse is só dead, is it even worth mentioning again? (hoped I used that expression in a proper manner ;))

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,11:16   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 21 2008,09:52)
I've emailed this thread to Mr. Campo's assisant and invited him here.

What have you done? He's a sociologist, even if he shows up he'll either handwave or bury us in silly and irrelevant statistics.

A point of interest on the actual topic: Darwin's views are totally irrelevant. Even if he were a serial killer, which is expressly contradictory to the historical facts, it would have no bearing on whether or not he was right about evolution, which is expressly supported by scientific facts.

The logical problem is right here, at the end:

   
Quote
Regardless of how we got here, we should recognize that there is an infinite qualitative difference between the most highly developed ape and each and every human being. Darwin never recognized this disjuncture. And that is why his theories are dangerous.


The bold bits are false, and the italic bit, even if its predecessor were true, does not follow from it. That a theory even can be dangerous isn't demonstrated, and that evolutionary theory is such a case isn't demonstrated either. Rattling off Lorenz's Nazi connections is the closest the article gets to a real demonstration, but it doesn't do it. Almost everyone and every profession in Germany was either Nazi-affiliated or being actively suppressed at the time. You could easily make a hefty argument that philosophy, physics, chemistry, rocket science, anthropology, economics, comparative mythology, history, psychology, advertising, theology, music theory, or business were each wholly responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany by the same faulty logic.

On a tangential note, I can only find a few highly indirect references to an "Office for Race Policy" even existing, and it never seems to be mentioned except in reference to Lorenz being a member of it. The rarity of the office's name could be a quirk of translation, in fairness. I assumed Lorenz was a brief but fervent Nazi at the time solely on the basis of his own statements to the effect that he'd been gullible, but I never heard he'd been an active part of the Nazi state apparatus. Anyone know where I can find a reliable source on his ties?

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Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,21:43   

Thanks for the quote Wesley, I haven't read Descent of Man (or Origin, actually) and appreciate the chance to see what this guy was referring to.  I find it interesting in how it seems to be stating something completely different than what Campalo claimed.  It seems that he stated that in the future we HOPE that mankind is more civilized than it was at the moment he wrote it, and that that would make the separation between man and ape more dramatic than it was then.

That that's been non quote-mined (he didn't even provide a quote) into a statement of racism suggests that we haven't advanced much yet.

But on the other hand.. he DOES seem to suggest that black people and Australians (is that referring to Aborigines?) are more similar to our ape ancestors.

That line seems rather easy to misunderstand.  I can only guess that the intent is to say that primitive people appear to be more animal-like than modern civilized people do.  But I can believe that this Campolo clown (the other stuff he said ruins any benefit of the doubt I may have given him) thought that this was a value judgment on the particular ethnicity being referred to.

He's still a contemptible ass hat who deserves to be smacked, then forced to wear a dunce cap and made to sit in the corner.  I can see where he could have thought that Darwin said that black people were closer to monkeys than white people, but ignorance is no excuse.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 21 2008,22:56   

The essential issue is that Campolo claims that Darwin proposed that some races of people should be eliminated, and there is *nothing* at all that supports his claim.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2008,00:11   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 21 2008,23:56)
...and there is *nothing* at all that supports his claim.

shocked.  shocked, i tell you.


no.  really i am.

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Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 22 2008,21:15   

Quote
shocked.  shocked, i tell you.


Well, just be more careful next time ya work on the wiring... :p

Henry

  
pwe



Posts: 46
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2008,06:15   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 21 2008,06:26)
Having read the Origin, I'm hardly shocked to discover that even emeritus professor Campolo is making stuff up. Darwin did write a passage about the extirpation of aboriginal people, but IIRC it was in The Descent of Man, and it was an observation and prediction based upon demonstrated behavior, not an endorsement of a particular mode of action. Campolo apparently has never encountered any discussion of the difference between is and ought.

Here is the passage from Descent of Man, Vol. 1, that apparently confused Prof. Campolo:

   
Quote

The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, convinced by general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks incessantly occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridć—between the elephant and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and other mammals. But all these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,16 will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.


Darwin does not endorse the extermination of various peoples, but one would have to be blind not to notice that extirpation was exactly what "civilised" people had been doing, and were in the active process of doing, around the world. Campolo also overlooks Darwin's zinger concerning Caucasian people and how hopefully man would evolve to a "more civilised state".

It is also worth noting that, while Darwin here writes about 'civilised' and 'savage' human races, in the very next chapters he claims that no soch division can be made (on physiological traits, and that's what we are dealing with, when we talk about the theory of evolution)

The distinction between 'civilised' and 'savage' races or nations was not Darwin's invention, but part of the general thinking in Europe.

The idea of black Africans as link between gorillas and Caucasians as promoted here is also rejected by Darwin later.

The main point in the passage quoted by Wesley is that, if the black Africans become extinct, that link will be missed; that is, we are dealing with a missing link in the making. Therefore, we may assume, such events also occurred in the past, so no need to worry about missing links: they do not disprove Darwin's theory!

It can get rather annoying to have to explain this over and over and ... and over, but creationists are extremely thick-headed, so maybe if we wrote it on a sledge-hammer, then we could ...


- pwe

  
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