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.
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.
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.
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Edited by Modulous, : damn, one little open tag and whole bits vanished. I should be done now.
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.
â€œAt 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.
â€œMan 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.â€ -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:
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.
Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
"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
I'm having difficulty with the source, the only place I find this goes back to your other quote - the panspermist, Brig Klyce.
Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Thus the theory will always be protected, just as I said.
It will always be protected against the claims you are making, but it is not an insurmountable theory. Falsification remains possible.
Lets think about it objectively. If one race of mankind existed before another, and natural selection works to improve upon the whole of nature, then surely one race really would be less evolved than another.
And what was natural selection doing with the ancestors of the latter race? Here's the thing: either all current races broke off from the 'first' race of man and are thus equally evolved OR some races broke off earlier, and the latter races evolved from one the earlier races - in which case they would be equally evolved.
The fatal problem is that 'more evolved' doesn't mean anything useful.
I really see no way of getting around that, if the ToE were true as it is defined currently.
So let's get this right:
Populations evolve due to differential reproductive success of genes that exert phenotypic effects, called natural selection. Difference in success occur through differences of genes, and differences of genes is caused by mutational events or horizontal gene transfer. Differences can occur also because of 'crossing over' effects. Other sources of difference might be epigenetic. Populations do not evolve as a result of non-heritable acquired traits. Therefore some races are more evolved than others and should be treated as inferior.
You find that train of thought inevitable? I think it is inane.
But then again, if it were true, you can't very well blame nature for developing something as malicious. Since you can't view nature as malicious, why defend it in such a way that removes its social implications? Clearly there are deeper motives than mere science at work, in which case, we have leapt from science right in to personal interest.
What? What has nature got to do with this? I am not going to blame nature for anything, true. I do not defend nature, it does not need my defence. Who said anything about removing social implications? I said sociologists study social implications, biologists study life. Some biologists might dabble in sociology (or be full blow sociologists). I am having difficult following what you are talking about. What deep motives are you talking about? Motives for what? Who has these motives?
If a theologian referred to any man as a "savage," I doubt very much that you would be defending him in the same manner that you glibly defend Mr. Darwin here. You'd likely be more inclined to skewer , tar, and feather him, then hang him out to dry as irrefutable proof that theology is inherently racist.
No - actually I wouldn't. Savage was a common way of referring to other not-Victorian races at the time. Indeed - xenophobic ways of referring to other cultures is very common. If you gave me a theologian today calling Aboriginal Australians savage he'd be more racist than the equivalent theologian of Victorian England. We have the luxury of evidence - lots of exposure to Aboriginal Australians has shown us that our ancestors maligned them needlessly.
Sure, Darwin is racist - by unfortunate ignorance not willfull ignorance. What experience he did have with other races showed him they were humans of the same species and should be treated with the same dignity as to ourselves. Today, such words would be made in spite of the evidence to the contrary - and would be inexcusable.
I guess his beliefs were uncommon. It would do more to advance your assertion by providing unequivocal evidence as I have been doing.
I told you of Victorian creationists (ie., almost all Victorians before Darwin's ideas became accepted), and that they were more racist than Darwin who was rather liberal for his time, and you respond with a non-Victorian bishop as a retort? You want evidence of this? Have you tried looking at the slave trade?
More than that, attempting to turn the argument around creation is a grasping at straws, because whether or not early creationists were racists wouldn't detract from the argument that many, if not most, evolutionists undeniably were.
Right! So what does demonstrating that some early evolutionists were racists? If both creationism and evolution can be used to justify racist thoughts and deeds - then either both concepts are 'schizophrenic' and are 'protected' and what have you - or neither are. Based on just the evidence regarding racists - I would say 'neither'.
And apparently you have now given creationists a get-out-of-jail-free card in the event that some were. All they have to do is invoke the same exonerating message you gave for Darwinists.
So you are accusing me of being fair? I put my hands up. Guilty as charged. If a Victorian creationist existed who wrote as Darwin did - I will not accuse that creationist of racism.
Your premise doesn't follow. Darwin refers to other human beings as less evolved, and thus engendering some kind of clear of progress.
Not in the passage quoted, unless I missed something. He simply states that men in their 'wild' state (uncivilized) seem to react poorly to travelling from their native environment. He remarks that this is similar to man's closest cousins. Where does Darwin imply other humans beings are 'less evolved'?
Darwin wrote a lot about other races - and perhaps he said racist things. However, he was against dehumanizing other races, of considering them less than human.
You seem to agree that this is an antiquated portion of the theory. But I don't see how it could be, since, if evolution is true, there really is a clear sense of advancement. Do you really disagree with that? Isn't the goal of man to progress? (Towards what is anybody's guess) But the point is that whether they outwardly deny progress is the unintended goal of life, the underlying message is easily read beween the lines.
I don't agree that it is antiquated portion of the theory. I state unequivocally that racist conclusions have never been a part of the explanation for the change of life on earth (ie the theory). I disagree with a clear sense of advancement. The history of life is a progression from the past to the present, but that is nothing to do with the theory other than the theory can explain how things changed during the progression of time. It is entirely likely that the history of life on earth will include 'regressions' to more 'primitive' 'forms' if I understand your implications. 'Complex' life (eg mammals), will likely go extinct before bacterial life forms - for instance. Under ideal conditions, diversity increases - and we have had a lot of good conditions on earth. However, diversity has decreased from time to time and that too is part of evolution. The theory doesn't predict that diversity will continue unabated until massive complexity. It explains it when it does, and it explains it when it doesn't. The theory is about explaining what happens with regards to the evolution of populations - not about dictating the history and future of any given population (though it can be used to predict and determine hypothetical histories and futures).
I'm not asserting that evolution is a malicious theory propagated to point out character flaws in lesser beings. Some creationists do that. I'm not one of them. I'm simply stating that I agree that, at the very least, a legitimate concern is not unfounded. I think evolutionists need to think carefully about the theory as it relates to socioethical questions.
And they do. That is why you see evolutionists here trying to tell you that the theory of evolution doesn't raise the socioethical questions you think it does. It is a misunderstanding of the theory to think that it does. The concepts in the theory can be cynically manipulated by dishonest or bigoted folk, and once again evolutionists have tried to point out when this is done.
If evolutionists weren't concerned about socioethic considerations, why would they try their very best to correct misunderstandings and debunk bigoted manipulations?
Certainly the theory has flexed. Darwin believed that features developed by exercise are inherited. Such as, my father working out before I was born would make me more inclined to be just as strong when I came of age-- which would also mean that if he got his arms chopped off before I was born, I ran the risk of being limbless too. Of course, that's preposterous.
Darwin agreed that Lamarckism was preposterous but without Mendelian genetics he could not think how else to get past the blending problem as such, in later editions of the Origins he included watered down concepts from Lamarckism. His hypothesis was falsified. Hypotheses get falsified all the time, that's an integral part of science.
I stated as much earlier when I spoke of Darwinism being fused with Mendelism to create the neo-synthesis. That is not 'flexing', that is scientific progress.
But, really, all of this is off topic. I would like to focus on why the theory can justifiably be brought into question as far as it relates to racist ideologies.
It can't. One has to misrepresent or misunderstand what the theory is (an explanation) and try to convince others that it justifies whatever vile thing they happen to want to justify. People do that, with lots of things. Vile people lie and twist things. It's called propaganda and we should fight it, no?
You have yet to show how a theory that explains genetic change and the subsequent phenotypic change that occurs in populations of living beings can possibly infer racism without the need to misrepresent or lie.
Yes, but evolutionists directly received their information about such racist tendencies from Darwin himself. No one can such a thing about Jesus.
I didn't say anything about Jesus, I said the bible. People received their information about racist tendencies from the Bible itself (or if you prefer, they justified their cultural intolerance, racism and xenophobia using the bible). The inspired word of God. And evolutionists did not receive their information about racist tendencies from Darwin himself - if you 'understand the zeitgeist' you will know that there was plenty of racism before Darwin and those evolutionists that were contemporary with Darwin would have got their racism from other sources before Darwin. As stated, and can be shown further if you require, Darwin spoke against slavery and mistreating other races.
If any social comment was to be taken away from Darwin's words it is that civilisation is good, slavery is bad and uncivilized, that other races a no less human and deserving of dignity.
I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery.â€” What a proud thing for England, if she is the first EuropÃ¦an nation which utterly abolishes it.â€” I was told before leaving England, that after living in Slave countries: all my opinions would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the Negros characte
I'm not saying that if you are an evolutionist that you automatically become a racist by virtue of association. I'm simply in agreement that questioning the theory on the pretense that it will invariably lead to racist sentiments is something to consider.
Racists love biology, and they will pluck anything from it, twist it and try and show that science justifies their vile opinions. The theory cannot lead to racist sentiments on its own, it just explains how life changes - that's all it does. Racists can have a field day with whatever they choose -it doesn't alter the strength of the theory, its truth value or anything. I do not believe we should avoid revealing the results of study because someone will use it in propaganda.
Since propagandists exist, some scientists have taken time to show the fallacious reasoning, to reveal the lies and trickery of propagandists. That is a suitable response to these problems, no? Any better suggestions?
What I have said is that based on the teachings, it is reasonable for racists to have come to their pitiable deductions.
Well sort of. In the context of the times: Given the teachings and the ignorance of anything else - it is reasonable for racists to be racists. Those teachings might be the teachings of Ancient Egpytians, the pagan Romans, Christian priests or biological scientists. Any teachings that teach about life and other people might be applied with a dab of ignorance and inherent racism to conclude racist thoughts.
That's hardly interesting though - is it?
We cannot mate with our supposed current ancestors, the chimpanzee.
Well we don't know that - and it definitely isn't the only or best way to detect relatedness. I have never mated with my cousin, though I probably could produce offspring. Easier would be to do a DNA test. Easier still would be to do a rough analysis: She looks a bit like my mother who looks a bit like a female older version of me, her mother looks even more like my mother than I or my cousin.
Isn't there a difference between homo habilis and homo erectus? Was one considered more or less evolved than the other?
When are you asking? If the two ever coexisted, then one could say they were 'equally evolved' at that time - though that doesn't really mean anything.
Is it possible that one race is more closely related to habilis, while the other is more closely related to erectus?
Are not these images telling of a progression?
Yes - what of it?
The zeitgeist in Darwin's time, all the way up to Hitler's, was to show that some men are more highly evolved than others. This changed as people's personal views began to change the science behind it. Now, we're all equally evolved, no better or worse. Why a shift in thought?
Because the idea that two individuals that exist at the same time being 'more' or 'less' evolved doesn't make any sense. Had we been indoctrinated by an inherently racist system of white superiority, we might not have come to that conclusion because we might not have wanted to. Now that we don't have such a level of racial bigotry we can understand that all current life has been evolving for the same amount of time and the idea that something is 'more' evolved doesn't make a great deal of sense. And if we were to quantify the amount of evolution, that does not imply superiority, just difference.
Yet, the denial that progress is paramount, all the while showing stepwise progressions.
There has been progression in natural history - as I said, history as all about progressing from one state of affairs to another. However, this is not the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution just explains change. That change is always progressive in the temporal sense of the word, but it isn't about getting 'better' as in more superior it's about adapting to the environment.
The slave trade was ended by numerous pioneers, Modulous. You can't just say all Vicotrians, or all liberals, or all conservatives. I could point to you William Wilberforce, as almost single-handedly abolishing slavery. But that wouldn't do justice to the myriad of others that helped him during his crusade to free the slaves.
I never implied only one person or group abolished slavery. I said that the majority of people around Darwin's time and before it, where more racist that Darwin. Thus: Darwin's ideas didn't make any difference to racism, since it was already there.
I'm not. What I've been arguing, from the beginning, is that the question of if evolution reasonably has ties to racism, I believe the question to be a legitimate one. My use of quotes is only to show that it isn't far-fetched at all. I'm not trying to demonize evolution as being inherently racist at all. I'm simply saying that if some people come their "Master race" ideology after having read about evolution, don't be surprised by their conclusion. Its reasonable.
Only reasonable because they were racists to begin with. Anti-semitism predated Darwin. Racism of all kinds predated Darwin. Some people came to the "Master race" ideology after reading about God, and we shouldn't be surprised by their conclusion. Its reasonable.
Are there ties to racism? Only in two ways. Racists came to accept the theory of evolution, and racists used the theory of evolution to justify their racism. This is not unique to the theory of evolution, so why bring it up?
Not intentionally, but inadvertently. What else did you expect would come of it?
Nope, not even inadvertently. That black people are inferior does not explain how populations change. Nor does the fact that populations change through variation and selection imply that some races are subhuman and not deserving of dignity. It just implies that some variants will do better than others in their environment - and nature will sort that out herself.
Sure, people manipulate all sorts of things for their own ends. No sense in anyone ever denying that. But what else should they deduce after reading the theory in its context?
That populations of species change over time due to variations within the population and selective pressures acting on it.
Has there ever been a regression within evolution? Has anything gotten worse as a result of evolution? Probably not.
See the major extinction events for more details.
Why? Because of natural selection. It removes the aberrant and retains the strong.
Most certainly NOT! If it removed aberrants, then there would be no evolution! Actually natural selection is a process whereby certain traits change in relative frequency because of their contribution to their own reproduction.
So clearly, there really, truly is a sense of advancement in evolution. How can you say otherwise?
There is no advancement. Like that. There is only adaption. Most of the time, a species will be at equilibrium where it doesn't really evolve a great deal since it is already well adapted to its environment and any aberration will be selected against. However, if the environment changes, then the species will need to adapt. They will 'advance' towards the next equilibrium point. That isn't a 'getting better' kind of advance. It might be 'getting worse' by any normal person's understanding of the phrases. For instance - flighted birds losing the flying ability, cave fish losing their eyesight.
In fact - creationists are normally the ones to point out that evolution has a lot of things 'getting worse' or devolving, I'm sure you can think of a few more examples.
Humans aren't generally subject to 'natural selection' the way creatures in the wilderness are. They're highly shielded, as a matter of fact. Economic selection, maybe. Tons of evolutionists have already acknowledged this. It's self-evident to anyone who gives it a moment's thought.
Right now, many humans die of old age and so do not suffer as strongly from survival selection. Many many many people still die from disease and famine, so selection still exists. Your life expectancy in classical Rome could have been as bad 28 years. A lot of that is due to infant mortality. We westerners are lucky, but there is definitely natural selection occurring to humans in other parts of the world. Such as Africa.
Oh, don't forget famine. Famine hits populations - not indiduals.
Correct. And the fittest individuals in that population will survive.
Oh, and wars play a role as well. Or do the "fittest" always manage to survive somehow?
Nope, the fittest sometimes don't survive. It is a stochastic process, there will be a tendency for any traits that aid in survival to survive more than those traits that don't.
Now that I think about it, the primary determining factor in average lifespan would probably be location.
Yep - environment is very important. The harsher the environment, the stronger the selective pressures.
How so? Among humans, where's the struggle to survive? And where does it ever exist on an individual basis? Even poor people have family and friends who'll help out in a pinch, rather than obey the call of evolution and let the weaklings die.
25,000 people die every day from malnutrition and related illnesses. I'd say there was a pretty big struggle to survive. Poor people might get help in a pinch, but destitute people don't. And there are like a billion of them. 6 billion humans, not all of them survive to reproductive age, a struggle for resources (such as food and water). I'd say we have selection going on.
Marx and Nietzsche have already done so (very thoroughly if you count their followers). I don't intend to repeat their work.
Then why are you here, debating on this thread, if you don't intend to demonstrate your argument?
Am I wrong, or is not the oldest, wealthiest, most talented and popular human being in the world a failure if they die childless (according to evolutionism)?
No. However, their genes may or may not have passed on to another generation. If they had a brother or sister, many, if not all of their genes may have still passed on.