Joined: April 2006
|Quote (jeannot @ June 19 2006,14:26)|
I'm watching a documentary on what I may call our cultural channel ("Arte" for those who know it). It is about the ethnic groups that were considered as inferior in our western civilisation.
In this film, they claim that this racism culminated in "On the Origin of Species...", where Darwin described these people as primitive and missing links (between ape and civilised men, I assume). They even used the term 'evolutionist'.
I haven't finished to read the Origin Of Species, but I don't think Darwin said anything of the sort.
Can you confirm this?
See, I'm not used to hearing such things on TV, but you might be (Foxnews et al.). I'm wondering about writing and email to that TV channel. Do you think I should?
EDIT: In fact this is ambiguous. I recall Darwin using the word "primitive" in his book. But I don't think it had the meaning it has today.
Darwin did share some of the usual assumptions of his day about the "superiority" of white Europeans. However if you look at his comments on slavery from the voyage of the Beagle, you'll find that he was apalled at the inhuman treatment of slaves in South America.
Anyway, claiming that racism "culminates in the origin of species" is like claiming that geocentrism culminated in the Reformation, e.g. a category error. Origin isn't about race. Unless there's something viciously racist about pigeon breeding, or coral atolls, which I missed.