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John Derbyshire: A Useful Darwinian Racist

Photo: John Derbyshire (center) discusses “6 Ways Race Realism Can Go Mainstream,” via YouTube (screen shot).

Editor’s note: Recently, Scientific American viciously smeared all critics of Darwinian theory with an article titled, “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy,” by Allison Hopper. As promised, we are presenting some of our extensive past coverage of the tight links between racism and evolution. This article was originally published on May 29, 2019.

The racist online journal VDare hosts former National Review writer John Derbyshire. He is currently hitting out at so-called “creationism” again, including a post I wrote here. From “David Klinghoffer Responds To Derb, And It’s ‘Like Being Savaged By A Dead Sheep’”:

This response was from David Klinghoffer, whom I remember very dimly from across the editorial table at National Review. The gist of it is that I am a hatefully hateful person full of hate, and that this is the fault of Charles Darwin in some way I can’t be bothered to figure out.

His memory of sitting “across the editorial table” from me may be dim because we’ve never sat across an editorial table from each other. I don’t remember meeting him at all. As to his being “hateful,” in the article he links to I wrote that “I doubt [Derbyshire] or [Razib] Khan is a hateful person.” But since I don’t know Derbyshire, I couldn’t really say.

Encourage a Racist?

Dead sheep or not, I didn’t intend to “savage” Derbyshire. I wanted to encourage him in his writing. That’s right, because I don’t think anyone is turned to racism by VDare or The Unz Review. Bigots seek those places out to have their prejudices stroked.

But then why encourage him? Because he’s useful. 

The point he “can’t be bothered” to grasp is that Darwinian evolution will never succeed in disentangling itself from racism because it must always have its “official subhuman.” That was Denyse O’Leary’s observation. Many Darwinists prefer not to admit as much to themselves. In their avoidance of the truth, some go to absurd lengths. You may recall the professor who decried me for reminding evolutionists of their theory’s ugly history. See, “According to Biologist Nathan Lents, It’s ‘Racist’ to Invite Condemnation of Racism.”

Derbyshire and others who populate racist websites with material on this theme — the link between evolution and racism — serve a helpful purpose in illustrating my point. It’s really Dr. Lents, not me, who should be savaging them.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



bigotsCharles DarwinDarwinistsDenyse O'LearyevolutionhistoryHuman ZoosJohn DerbyshireNathan LentsNational ReviewRacismRazib Khanscientific racismsubhumansThe Unz ReviewVDare