RE: Darwinism

From: Hofmann, Jim (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 01:02:17 EST

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    I sympathize with the view that Darwin should not labelled "racist". The
    connotations and implications of the term as it is used now certainly do not
    do justice to Darwin's thinking. But in fact, the initial charge under
    discussion is the quite different claim that "darwinism" was accepted due to
    a pre-existing racism. This historical claim should be refuted by citing
    other reasons that Darwin's arguments were accepted as convincing. Examples
    are easy to come by, but I'm sure there are counter-examples as well.

    Jim Hofmann
    Philosophy Department and Liberal Studies Department
    California State University Fullerton

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Freeman, Louise Margaret []
    Sent: Tue 2/19/2002 9:43 PM
    To: asa
    Subject: RE: Darwinism

    Gould has an essay in "Mismeasure of Man" arguing that Darwin himself was
    relatively un-racist, for his times. Though of course "Darwin" does not
    always equal "Darwinism"

    >===== Original Message From John W Burgeson <> =====
    >I received the following comment (not on this list) from a fellow ASAer
    >whom I respect but do not always agree with. He was commenting on the
    >DISCOVERY article about the PBS broadcast.
    >"Darwinism was historically a product of racism. That has been
    >documented in many ways. We may whitewash it, but it is a fact. To put it
    >another way, "social Darwinism" preceded Darwinism. Wealthy Europeans
    >wanted to have a good excuse why they should not be compassionate--
    >letting the weak die off is good for the race. This view persisted quite
    >overtly until after WWII."
    >I'm looking for a reasonable published refutation of this statement.

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