Re: [asa] Re: Campolo gets it wrong

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Thu Mar 05 2009 - 14:37:16 EST

Not only evolution but also Biblical authority has been frequently
invoked in support of racist ideas. If the same standards of
accountability are applied to both, a more balanced picture
emerges-generally it's misuse in both cases, and in both cases the
views advocated are usually more or less in line with those widely
held in the culture.

It's certainly possible to find biology textbooks from abotu 70 years
ago showing certain ethnicities as intermediate between apes and the
ethnicities that wrote the book. Eugenics was big from the late
1800's until after WWII and revulsion at Nazi activities.

A modern understanding of biology does not support the identification
of a particular group as superior, except in the trivial case of
reference to a physically measurabel parameter (e.g., I am superior at
producing melanin relative to the average native of Scandinavia but
inferior at it relative to the average native of central Africa.)
However, as biology cannot handle moral questions, it cannot tell you
that you ought not to try to get ahead by putting people who obviously
differ from you at a disadvantage.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Thu Mar 5 14:38:05 2009

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