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Empowerment or Exploitation? P.T. Barnum and the “Man Monkey”

Evolution News

On a new episode of ID the Future, CSC Associate Director John West exposes the dark side of P.T. Barnum. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Maybe you’ve watched The Greatest Showman — but have you heard of Barnum’s “What Is It?” exhibit? Listen for more about racist displays of human “freaks” and how the science of the day endorsed Social Darwinism. For more, watch the newly released documentary Human Zoosand visit the Human Zoos website.

Photo: P.T. Barnum, via Harvard Library/Wikimedia Commons.

Evolution News

Evolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues.



“freaks”Center for Science & CultureHuman ZoosID the FutureJohn WestP.T. BarnumpodcastRacismSocial DarwinismThe Greatest Showman