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Author Topic:   Evolution is antithetical to racism
Modulous
Member (Idle past 183 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 16 of 238 (422757)
09-18-2007 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Doddy
09-18-2007 2:27 AM


holding racism back...
We may be allowed to neuter a cat because we think cats are less able to reason than we are, or less conscious than we are, or less whatever. Regardless of the justification, without the massive wall between kinds that creationists use, what well-defined boundary is there between Fluffy and the foreign guy down the street, who we also think can't reason as well as we can, or is in some other way less 'entitled' to our niceties?

Reality is grey. We can deal with it and explain it, or we can deny it and make stuff up.

Creationism gives us a well defined boundary: It says everyone sucks but us and they should die. We shouldn't learn other languages since God divided us for a reason, we shouldn't inter marry, we should treat our daughters as objects and properties for bargaining, we should distrust other races - forbidding inter-marriage - and we should keep slaves.

Creationism kind of sucks as a moral system, really.

Evolution, on the other hand, implies we are all closely related. How does killing other humans, segregation or the like come into that?

While evolution may not justify racism (and I never said it did), creationism certainly works better than evolution to hold it back

A black and white outlook is better at making absolute declarations. However, those declarations are often as evil as they are nice. Perhaps more often evil. For most of modern human history, racism has been justified through appeals to creationism - which indicate that it really sucks at holding racism back. Indeed - racism really started declining at about the same kind of time that evolutionary biology started getting taught and secularism gained strength. I think secular thought has done a better job than creationism at holding racism at bay.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Doddy, posted 09-18-2007 2:27 AM Doddy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Doddy, posted 09-18-2007 8:35 AM Modulous has responded

  
Doddy
Member (Idle past 3988 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 17 of 238 (422760)
09-18-2007 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Modulous
09-18-2007 8:14 AM


Re: holding racism back...
Modulous writes:

Creationism gives us a well defined boundary: It says everyone sucks but us and they should die.


Not quite. Biblical creationism says everything sucks (that is, "God said unto [Adam and Eve], Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." - Gen 1:28). So, you are allowed to kill any animal. But humans are special, because they are created in the image of God.

Modulous writes:

We shouldn't learn other languages since God divided us for a reason, we shouldn't inter marry, we should treat our daughters as objects and properties for bargaining, we should distrust other races - forbidding inter-marriage - and we should keep slaves.


Nope, the Abrahamic religion says that, not their creation myth. It is to that religion, not to that creation myth, that they appeal when justifying racism, correct?


Help to inform the public - contribute to the EvoWiki today!

What do you mean "You can't prove a negative"? Have you searched the whole universe for proofs of a negative statement? No? How do you know that they don't exist then?!


This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2006 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 18 of 238 (422774)
09-18-2007 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by JavaMan
09-18-2007 8:01 AM


Re: Arguing just for the sake of arguing here...
i agree.
it seems to be a big problem in this thread that people can't seem to separate creationism from christianity or judaism. if you're discussing specific creation, that's very separate from the rest of the stupid book. and creationism isn't a moral system. it's a tale about how everything came to be and that's all.

one can assume from the story that humans are special and that they all have souls and their deaths should only come when there is no other option (violent or health-wise).

the story of cain is not part of creationism. neither is the exodus, or the story of lot, or of benjamin, or of any other story in the book. it's only about the contents of "in the beginning" to the creation of man (or the creation of the garden, depending on which chapter you're reading). period. once he starts talking about trees and promises and snakes, it's a different story.

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.


i'm not going to capitalize my posts, get better eyes.
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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 14 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 19 of 238 (422775)
09-18-2007 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by JavaMan
09-18-2007 8:01 AM


Science and values.
A scientific theory doesn't give us a guide to ethics.

I was wondering when someone was going to get around to pointing this out.

It tells us what is the case, not what we ought to do. If the theory of evolution told us that there were quite distinct differences between the human races (rather than the opposite), would that justify us in being racist?

You are correct; it would not. And the flip side is correct also: if the theory of evolution told us that there were not distinct differences between the races, that wouldn't justify non-racism, either.

Science and its theories gives us facts, not morals or values; it tells us what the world is, not what people should do. It itself tells us nothing about desirable or good; those are values that are read into the data.

In either case, one's ideology should be informed by real-life facts, of course. If your ideology of equality of all humans is predicated on the assumption that there is little or no biological differences between the so-called races, then you'd better be prepared to re-examine your beliefs if it turns out that there are significant differences.

If your racist ideology is based on the idea that the different races are very distinct biologically, then you'd better be prepared to confront reality if it turns out that there are no significant differences at all.

At any rate, one doesn't need biological homogeneity to be anti-racist. In fact, I'm a vegetarian precisely because I think the separation of distinct species is itself irrelevant to the important moral questions.

One doesn't need biological distinctions to be racist. I believe that most "mainstream" racists are racist on the basis of cultural differences (actual or perceived), the visible physical differences just being an aid in identification.

Edited by Chiroptera, : A couple of typos. Also changed subtitle.


You can observe a lot by watching. -- Yogi Berra
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 20 of 238 (422781)
09-18-2007 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Doddy
09-18-2007 2:27 AM


Re: Arguing just for the sake of arguing here...
While evolution may not justify racism (and I never said it did), creationism certainly works better than evolution to hold it back - they can appeal to 'humans, with a soul, as opposed to soulless animals and plants' or 'the kind created in God's image' as definitions of what shouldn't be discriminated against. Modern biological science tells us there is no clear-cut boundary between humans, and there is also no clear-cut boundary between all animals, or all lifeforms.

What you are saying should be laughed at.

You admit that modern biology says that all living things are related. Period.

Biblical Creationism does make distinctions between critters.

You cannot find any support for racism in Evolution or the Theory of Evolution.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 21 of 238 (422782)
09-18-2007 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by JavaMan
09-18-2007 8:01 AM


Re: Arguing just for the sake of arguing here...
A scientific theory doesn't give us a guide to ethics.

And I never said it did.

I said that Evolution and the Theory of Evolution cannot be used to justify racism.

And so far no one has even come close to showing how evolution could be used to justify racism.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Modulous
Member (Idle past 183 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 22 of 238 (422783)
09-18-2007 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Doddy
09-18-2007 8:35 AM


Re: holding racism back...

Not quite. Biblical creationism says everything sucks (that is, "God said unto [Adam and Eve], Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." - Gen 1:28). So, you are allowed to kill any animal. But humans are special, because they are created in the image of God.

Except for that group over there. And those ones. And those ones there. And them too. Kill them all. But don't kill each other - just the children of bastards and perverts and idolaters and...

As I said, everyone but us is fair game.

Nope, the Abrahamic religion says that, not their creation myth. It is to that religion, not to that creation myth, that they appeal when justifying racism, correct?

It is the myth of the creation of languages and cultures that are different from each other. It is a creation myth, and its right there in Genesis 11. The book of origins and creations. Creationists take the bible literally, especially Genesis - so they are for segregation and against a united humanity.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2006 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 23 of 238 (422785)
09-18-2007 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Modulous
09-18-2007 10:49 AM


Re: holding racism back...
Except for that group over there. And those ones. And those ones there. And them too. Kill them all. But don't kill each other - just the children of bastards and perverts and idolaters and...

that's not part of the creation story.

It is the myth of the creation of languages and cultures that are different from each other. It is a creation myth, and its right there in Genesis 11.

oh that's a crap argument. you should know better. it says he mangle the language, not created them. and the cultures developed on their own after that. silly mod. come on.

Edited by brennakimi, : No reason given.


i'm not going to capitalize my posts, get better eyes.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Modulous, posted 09-18-2007 10:49 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
Member (Idle past 183 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 24 of 238 (422790)
09-18-2007 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by macaroniandcheese
09-18-2007 10:58 AM


Re: holding racism back...
that's not part of the creation story.

I suppose that depends who you ask, but either way it doesn't matter. I was talking about Creationists, not creation mythology. Creationists who also harp on about Noah's flood (quite the opposite of creation) and who, until relatively recently, harped on about the story of Babel and "Coloreds" and the people who still have a tendency to harp on about Sodomites. Genesis, basically. If you want to argue that technically we should call them Genesists, fair shout.

oh that's a crap argument. you should know better. it says he mangle the language, not created them. and the cultures developed on their own after that. silly mod. come on.

It is about the origin of languages, how the current state of affairs came to be.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : damn, one little open tag and whole bits vanished. I should be done now.


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 25 of 238 (422794)
09-18-2007 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
09-16-2007 10:19 PM


A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Several posters over the years have implied that Evolution and Racism are related or that racism is supported by evolution. The fact is that the Theory of Evolution is antithetical to the concept of racism.

That's because it has been a topic of discussion among eminent evolutionists since its inception. As you will see, the theory of evolution itself seems to deliberately evolve with the spirit of the times. In other words, if racism is an acceptable belief by today's standards, then evolution explains why it is justified in coming to that rationale. If racism is looked upon negatively, then evolution has an explanation for that too-- so that no matter what comes about, the theory will always be protected-- even by the very arguments it once used to counter the positions they now defend.

From the chief himself:

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.

    “Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.” -Charles Darwin; from his book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex

And then from Thomas Huxley, the enormous early supported of Darwin's work, known candidly as "Darwmin's Bulldog, said,

    "No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. "

Then we have John Tyndall:

    "The human brain is the organized register of infinitely numerous experiences received during the evolution of life, or rather during the evolution of that series of organisms through which the human organism has been reached. … Thus it happens that the European inherits from twenty to thirty cubic inches more of brain than the Papuan. Thus it happens that faculties, as of music, which scarcely exist in some inferior races, become congenital in superior ones. Thus it happens that out of savages unable to count up to the number of their fingers, and speaking a language containing only nouns and verbs, arise at length our Newtons and Shakespeares.”

Source

You can read the rest of them on your own. The point being, there is sufficient reason to at least think critically about the socioethical concerns that are directly attached to the theory of evolution.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that the assertions you've heard over the years aren't fabrications, nor is racism the antithesis of evolution. The theory has proven to be so flexible that a view defended in the beginning can now be vehemently denied.

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : fixed italics


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 26 of 238 (422797)
09-18-2007 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 11:28 AM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Therefore, I am of the opinion that the assertions you've heard over the years aren't fabrications, nor is racism the antithesis of evolution. The theory has proven to be so flexible that a view defended in the beginning can now be vehemently denied.

You never can get anything right.

The topic, in case you missed it is "Evolution is antithetical to racism" not as you misstated it, "racism the antithesis of evolution".

The point is, "What is there in Evolution or the Theory of Evolution that can be used to support racism?"

For your support you pull on some quote mined comments from people living over 100 years ago.

So in addition to misrepresenting the topic, you are simply quotemining ancient history.

I could respond by posting quotes from recent Biblical Christians that show support of racism, but it is irrelevant to the discussion.

The facts are that regardless of what anyone thought 100 years ago, Evolution and the Theory of Evolution have shown us definitively that there is no major differences between any of the various races of mankind and in fact that all living critters are of one "Kind". We are all the "Living Kind" as opposed to "Not Living Kind" or the "Can't say for sure if it is Living or Not Kind".


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-18-2007 11:28 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2006 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 27 of 238 (422807)
09-18-2007 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 11:28 AM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
the theory of evolution itself seems to deliberately evolve with the spirit of the times.

martin luter became notoriously antisemitic later in his career. should we thus assume that christianity is predisposed or even designed to be antisemitic?


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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 28 of 238 (422810)
09-18-2007 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by jar
09-18-2007 11:44 AM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
The topic, in case you missed it is "Evolution is antithetical to racism" not as you misstated it, "racism the antithesis of evolution".

I understood your premise just fine. I simply misspoke. Excuse me all over the place.

The point is, "What is there in Evolution or the Theory of Evolution that can be used to support racism?"

There is more evidence of the malleability of the theory. In its early years, there is, without question, a sense of general direction within the theory-- from lower to higher, less evolved to more evolved, less suitably adapted to more highly adapted, less autonomy to more autonomy, etc.

"Seen in retrospect, evolution as a whole doubtless had a general direction, from simple to complex, from dependence on to relative independence of the environment, to greater and greater autonomy of individuals, greater and greater development of sense organs and nervous systems conveying and processing information about the state of the organism's surroundings, and finally greater and greater consciousness. You can call this direction progress or by some other name." -Theodosius Dobzhansky

This is more than evident reading the early writers of evolutionary theory. Approximately 30-40 years ago this belief began to, itself, evolve. Spearheaded by certain eminent figures like Margulis, Gould, Dawkins, etc, there was a new belief that life was not more evolved or less evolved-- just, evolved. And this bait and switch exists over its social and moral implications.

"Life is organization. From prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells, tissues, and organs, to plants and animals, families, communities, ecosystems, and living planets, life is organization, at every scale. The evolution of life is the increase of biological organization, if it is anything. Clearly, if life originates and makes evolutionary progress without organizing input from outside, then something has organized itself. Logical entropy in a closed system has decreased. This is the violation that people are getting at, when they say that life violates the second law of thermodynamics. This violation, the decrease of logical entropy in a closed system, must happen continually in the darwinian account of evolutionary progress.Most darwinists just ignore this staggering problem." -Brig Klyce

For your support you pull on some quote mined comments from people living over 100 years ago.

To be quote mining, I have to be using quotes taken out of context. I notice that you only charge non-evolutionists with the charge of quote mining, usually as a non-sequitur to detract from the argument.

Using the fact that the quotes are over 100 years old is a strawman, since I very clearly made the argument that evolutionists once asserted it.

I could respond by posting quotes from recent Biblical Christians that show support of racism discussion.

Then do so. See, you think that when I bring in to question evolutionary theory, that I'm bringing you, personally, in to that same disrepute. I assume that you have your own mind and don't blindly follow every single aspect that some evolutionist purported.

Therefore, bringing up some creationist which misrepresented an issue means nothing to me, because I'm not that person, nor is that person me.

Deal with the issue. There is a legitimate basis for questioning the bait and switch of evolutionary theory, as science is now pandering to political correctness, rather than simply following the evidence wherever it may lead.


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
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Modulous
Member (Idle past 183 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 29 of 238 (422813)
09-18-2007 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 11:28 AM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
As you will see, the theory of evolution itself seems to deliberately evolve with the spirit of the times. In other words, if racism is an acceptable belief by today's standards, then evolution explains why it is justified in coming to that rationale. If racism is looked upon negatively, then evolution has an explanation for that too-- so that no matter what comes about, the theory will always be protected-- even by the very arguments it once used to counter the positions they now defend.

The theory hasn't changed with the spirit of the times, the implications that people manage to draw from the theory might change though. A racist might conclude that the theory of evolution proves his point, a misogynist likewise. That doesn't mean that when racism and misogyny are less common, the theory has changed. It just means people aren't as racist or misogynistic now.

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world."

Indeed - and the trait 'civilisation' was something Darwin believed would be positively selected for. His prediction is pretty much coming true right now, though as a memetic concept rather than a genetic one . We do have the luxury of evidence over Darwin here though - we have seen individuals from the so-called savage races become civilized. Another point to consider is that, unlike most of the creationists of his time, Darwin saw the other races as being equally human and deserving of the same respect and dignity as his own race.

“Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.” -Charles Darwin; from his book

And they did seem to be. Darwin was discussing the evidence as was known at the time. He considered it more interesting to discuss the fertility problems some races had when transported. Are you suggesting he should ignore the evidence? As he says:

Darwin writes:

It is evident from many statements in the life of Bishop Patteson,42 that the Melanesians of the New Hebrides and neighbouring archipelagoes, suffered to an extraordinary degree in health, and perished in large numbers, when they were removed to New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and other salubrious places, in order to be educated as missionaries.

The decrease of the native population of the Sandwich Islands is as notorious as that of New Zealand. It has been roughly estimated by those best capable of judging, that when Cook discovered the Islands in 1779, the population amounted to about 300,000. According to a loose census in 1823, the numbers then were 142,050. In 1832, and at several subsequent periods, an accurate census was officially taken, but I have been able to obtain only the following returns:


YEAR. NATIVE Annual rate of
POPULATION. decrease per cent


1832 130,313 4.46
1836 108,579

2.47
1853 71,019 0.81
1860 67,084

2.18
1866 58,765 2.17
1872 51,531

The point being, there is sufficient reason to at least think critically about the socioethical concerns that are directly attached to the theory of evolution.

Of course we should consider the socioethical concerns. That doesn't mean evolution is tied to any dogma of racism or anti-racism. Sociologists can study the effects that ideas have on people, and they do.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that the assertions you've heard over the years aren't fabrications, nor is racism the antithesis of evolution. The theory has proven to be so flexible that a view defended in the beginning can now be vehemently denied.

You'll have to show where theory has flexed. You have only shown that the Victorian era was a time when racists were common (a matter of ignorance) and that racists might draw racist conclusions from a scientific theory about biology. Racists draw racist conclusions from the bible, and from just about any source they can. The fact is that people draw conclusions, warranted or otherwise, based on culture and the 'zeitgeist' - but that doesn't mean the explanation for biological change has changed.

The change in the theory of evolution has been the fusing of the Darwinian point of view with the mutationist/Mendlian point of view to create the new-synthesis. Other than that, change has generally been in the direction of increasing knowledge and explanatory power. And that does not make it schizophrenic (or, as you probably mean, a theory that suffers from multiple personality disorder), it makes it science.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 30 of 238 (422816)
09-18-2007 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 12:15 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Deal with the issue. There is a legitimate basis for questioning the bait and switch of evolutionary theory, as science is now pandering to political correctness, rather than simply following the evidence wherever it may lead.

What bait and switch of evolutionary theory? Are you referring to the fact that we know more now and have absolute evidence today that was not available 100 years ago?

Pandering to political correctness?

Do you have anything related to the topic?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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