Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Darwin was a Racist?

Last Monday, Bob had Ken Ham* on to pimp his new book in which accuses Charles Darwin of being racist. Bob and Ken want to imply that Darwin was a racist, so we dismiss Evolution through Natural Selection. Bob and Ken may have a point. After all, just look at this quote:
I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position to the white race.
Wait a second! That isn't from Charles Darwin! It's Abraham Lincoln.**

Should we discount the accomplishments of Lincoln because of his not-so-enlightened beliefs?

Should we knock down the Lincoln Memorial?

Should we strip his face off of Mt. Rushmore and replace it with Jimmy Carter?

Should we collect and melt down all the pennies that bear his image?

Of course not.

We revere and honor Lincoln because he refused to allow the Christian practice of slavery to tear the United States apart. Was he as enlightened in his view of the "races" as we are today? Obviously not. The same goes for Darwin. We should not discount his positive contributions to our understanding of the development of life on Earth merely because we don't share his 19th Century political viewpoints. Evolution and Natural Selection are judged on their merits, not based on any "racist" tendencies that Darwin had.

Pitifully, this is a further attempt by Bob to discredit a scientific fact withstood the test scrutiny.

The ironic thing is that this is coming from a man who claims "intellectual honesty."


*I guess there's no hard feelings about Bob's scathing review of the Creation Museum. I guess they're letting bygones be bygones. After all, Ken's got books to $ell and Bob's gotta fill-up four hours per day to keep the advertisers happy!

** Interestingly, Darwin and Lincoln were born on the very same day: February 12, 1809. Who knew?


djtyg said...

Bob's also a bigot, so why does he care?

dan said...

ya know the good ole boys at bob jones university officially had the same racist sentiment in the campus policy manual for years. up until the irs wanted to change there tax status, then the fundie movement really got underway. circa 1979-81.