PBS -- the Monkey Show

From: John W Burgeson (burgytwo@juno.com)
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 15:27:24 EST

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    The following are clipped from a longer article from the Discovery

    I am somewhat skeptical of some of the writer's claims.

    Reviewing Monkey Trial, a PBS documentary.
      By Benjamin Wiker, fellow at the Discovery Institute
      February 16-17, 2002
         "Sunday, February 17 at 9:00 PBS viewers will be treated to an
      historical account of the famous Scopes Trial called Monkey
      Trial. ... it is unlikely that PBS will cover the entire dark side of
      this "epic event of the twentieth century." From their advance
      advertisements, it seems that, for the most part, viewers will
      receive the standard black and white account of the Scopes Trial,
      with William Jennings Bryan and the townsfolk leading the cause
      for foolish faith and the forces of darkness, and John Scopes and
      Clarence Darrow leading the cause for sweet reason and the
      There is an overlooked source of darkness at the trial that is well
      worth bringing into the light, the very high-school biology
      textbook at issue in the trial, George William Hunter's A Civic
      Biology. ... Simply put, the textbook which John Scopes was using
      offensively racist and blatantly eugenic, and the racism and
      eugenics were both part and parcel of Hunter's presentation of
      Darwin's theory of evolution.
    ... The eugenic moral was clear. "Hundreds of families such as
      those [Jukes] described above exist today, spreading disease,
      immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to
      society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or
      plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families
      have become parasitic on society. .. They take
      from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true
       This is what Scopes was teaching his students down at Dayton. So
      much for the forces of reason and light.

    (note from JWB -- I understand that Scopes actually never taught a
    biology class -- he simply agreed to be the test case).
      Wiker goes on to write: "While many
      read (or at least, have heard of) Darwin's Origin of Species, few
      know of his Descent of Man, where he applies the principles of
      evolution directly to human beings. And guess what? Darwin
      was a racist and a proponent of eugenics, and both were rooted
      squarely in his account of evolution. ... ."
      - Mr. Wiker lectures in science and theology at Franciscan
      University and is the author of the upcoming Moral Darwinism:
      How We Became Hedonists.

    I clip only about 10% of the article, which was sent to me by a fellow
    ASAer who apparently very much approves of it. The article in its
    entirely is, I understand, on the website of the Discovery Institute, an
    organization I once had high hopes for.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)

           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

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