Re: evolution and race

From: bivalve (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 13:31:52 EST

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    One problem with claiming that Darwinism emerged from racism is that no contemporary critic of Darwin that I know of used this argument. If it were contrary to the standards of the day, I think it would have been criticized at the time.

    Antievolutionary advocates in the past have likewise generally reflected the cultural norms on this and can be considered racist by today's standards.

    Perhaps more importantly, a modern understanding of biological evolution would declare that biology cannot assert that one ethnic group is superior to another. Biology can tell us that some ethnic groups are superior at getting a suntan, for example, and can help us determine in what environments this would have advantages or disadvantages, but whether that is desirable to promote is not a biological question.

    Although it is true that elimination of other ethnic groups could be ab effective way to promote the spread of your own genes, this technique would be just as useful to any ethnic group. Thus, there is an evolutionary explanation for racism, but not valid evolutionary justification of it. In the long run, however, such hostile behavior has negative repercussions (notably with regard to eternal judgement but also for the society that practices it). Although I am not certain how to model it, especially the factor of God's blessing or judgement, I suspect that you actually best promote your evolutionary success by doing to others what you would have them do to you.

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