Saturday, February 14, 2009

Darwin vs. slavery

February 12 was the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. I attended two major celebrations of the occasion. Naturally, the press is full of news of this bicentennial. One particular aspect of Darwin stood out for me. Let's begin with this article.

"Charles Darwin's research to prove evolution was motivated by his desire to end slavery,"
by Richard Gray, Science Correspondent, 24 Jan 2009, The Daily Telegraph

"Charles Darwin, the scientist whose theories have become a corner stone of modern biology, was motivated to carry out his famous research by a desire to rid the world of slavery, according to a new book."
The new book:

Desmond, Adrian J.; Moore, James. Darwin’s Sacred Cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.

See also this review:

"Darwin's Sacred Cause - Ending Racism And Slavery"
February 5th 2009

Here is an article hot off the press, not online:

"Darwin's Views on Race Matter" by R.G. Price
Free Inquiry, Volume 29 Number 2, February / March 2009, pp. 40-44.

Price rebuts the lies being touted by the religious right blaming Darwin for slavery, racism, and Hitler, showing that Darwin was progressive for his day and it was actually Christianity that justified African slavery, an inconvenient truth for the Right to cover up.

The slander campaign against Darwin is intense. See also this intensive exposition by Price:

"The Mis-portrayal of Darwin as a Racist"
By R.G. Price - June 24, 2006

Even more disturbing than the predictable onslaught of the religious right is the black contribution to the slander campaign. For example:

In 2001 African American State Representative Sharon Broome of Louisiana sponsored a resolution to condemn "Darwinist ideology" as racist and liken it to Nazism.
The text of the resolution follows in full.

Is there any nation in the Western world more saturated with ignorance than the USA?

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