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.
Philosophy Department and Liberal Studies Department
California State University Fullerton
From: Freeman, Louise Margaret [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tue 2/19/2002 9:43 PM
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> =====
>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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