Political science professor Larry Arnhart, author of the book Darwinian Conservatism, is probably the most thoughtful and articulate proponent of Darwinism as a support for conservatism. My recent book Darwin’s Conservatives: The Misguided Quest is largely framed as a response to Arnhart’s arguments. I appreciate how seriously Arnhart takes the debate over the implications of Darwin’s theory, and also how committed he is to a civil discussion. Arnhart has now responded to my book in two posts (here and here) on his Darwinian Conservatism blog, and in a four-part series over the next several days I will be offering my response to his comments. After some initial clarifications, today’s post will focus on the issue of Darwinism and traditional morality.
The American Museum of Natural History’s propagandistic “Darwin” exhibit has gone on the road. It is now on display in Philadelphia, and in 2008 it will be shown in Japan. As I reported last year, this biased exhibit rewrites the history of Social Darwinism, as well as covering up the museum’s own key role in the eugenics crusade.
It’s getting difficult to parody Darwinists, because their real statements are already so over-the-top. Take P.Z. Myers, the militant Darwinist biologist at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A few days ago, Prof. Myers suggested that he regards the Biblical patriarch Abraham—revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims—as worse than Hitler: I think that if I had a time machine, I wouldn’t do anything as trivial as using it to take out Hitler before he caused all that trouble. I’d go all the way and pick up Abraham. I wouldn’t kill him, oh no-since I’ve got a time machine, I’d just drop him off in the Permian while I was on my grand temporal tour. That’s right: According to Myers, taking out Read More ›
Rewriting History: Museum Fails to Disclose Own Role in Social Darwinism
The Museum’s current exhibit glancingly mentions eugenics as an aberration, but this so-called aberration was supported by most of America’s elite universities and scientists for several decades. In 1932, for example, the AMNH itself played official host for a scientific meeting titled the “Third International Congress of Eugenics,” and in conjunction with that meeting the Museum mounted an extensive public exhibition uncritically extolling the “science” of eugenics (much in the same way the current exhibit uncritically extolls neo-Darwinism). Read the rest at Evolution News & Views, www.evolutionnews.org.
While the newsmedia lavish praise on the new Darwin exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, no one seems to have noticed that the museum is presenting a thoroughly sanitized portrait of Charles Darwin, completely suppressing Darwin’s real views on such troubling issues as eugenics and race. According to the online version of the exhibit, far from being a “Social Darwinist,” Mr. Darwin is supposed to have been a passionate egalitarian who would have been horrified by any application of his theory to social and political issues. The exhibit proclaims: Darwin passionately opposed social injustice and oppression. He would have been dismayed to see the events of generations to come: his name attached to opposing ideologies from Marxism to Read More ›