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Listen: P.T. Barnum’s “Man Monkey” Exposes the Darker Side of a Beloved Figure


On a classic episode of ID the Future, CSC Associate Director John West exposes the darker side of the beloved historical figure P.T. Barnum. Maybe you’ve watched The Greatest Showman — but have you heard of Barnum’s “What Is It?” exhibit?

Download the podcast or listen to it here.

Learn more about racist displays of human “freaks” and how the science of Barnum’s day endorsed Social Darwinism. For more, watch Human Zoos, newly released on YouTube.

Photo: Statue of P.T. Barnum, Bridgeport, CT, by Msact [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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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”historyHuman ZoosID the FutureJohn WestP.T. Barnumpodcastscientific racismSocial DarwinismThe Greatest Showman