ANSWERS: 10
  • You are not interested in an honest, unbiased answer. You want a soap box to shout your anti-Evolution sentiments from. I'll bite and give you my answer to that though. It doesn't matter. The general gist of his theory has been proven more than anything from most religious texts even if the details are wrong. Considering the era in which he lived (LONG before the late 20th century with all of it's advances) that isn't terribly shabby.
  • I am not too clued up about the man but I am going to hypothesise here, By besmirching the man you hope to gain ground against the theory. Sadly to scientists that is largely irrelevant. Few physicists would know that Newton was a Arian and a devoted Alchemist. They still use his theories though and they work (well... in the right situation). Separate the man from his work. G Leibniz was in the words of Russell "Not a nice human being" but "one of the greatest minds of all time". Scientists (and other academics) are less interested in the person as the work. It is interesting that these lines of attack come from religious sectors where of course the man is everything and the work, well not so important but you can certainly undermine the work by attacking the man., But not in science. As for the charge well... Much comes from cherry picking quotes out of context. Let's prove how this can be done by looking at Darwin's attitude to slavery, "they forget that the slave must indeed be dull" How awful! Until. you read it in context... "Such inquirers will ask slaves about their condition; they forget that the slave must indeed be dull, who does not calculate on the chance of his answer reaching his master's ears" Ah so that makes far more sense and is actually digging at the rather foolish middle and upper classes who were predominantly white. " We had several quarrels; for instance, early in the voyage at Bahia, in Brazil, he defended and praised slavery, which I abominated" "Great God how I should like to see the greatest curse on Earth Slavery abolished. " So Darwin was not in favour of slavery. "By the way, a negro lived in Edinburgh, who had travelled with Waterton and gained his livelihood by stuffing birds, which he did excellently; he gave me lessons for payment, and I used often to sit with him, for he was a very pleasant and intelligent man." Apparently not above acknowledging intelligence either... Now let's take you as yet unreferenced points. 1) I would need this referenced as I am not sure of the context. Darwin may have been using race is a non pejorative biological sense. 2) "Savage" was a common term in those days, which does not excuse it but I would challenge you to find anyone from Darwin's background that would have used a different phrase. 3) This is deliberate misinterpretation of the word Race. Darwin is restating the first part of the title in language people might understand better. He is not just referring to races of human beings. 4) This is a really spurious argument. "Fictional" evolution charts in existence today were not made by Darwin. He has been dead for some time you know so even if this WERE the case not exactly his fault really. If a chart does show a Caucasian I would point to cultural normalisation of the culture producing the chart rather than racism. TO prove this please provide evidence that this is the ALWAYS the case. But this is not to say that by TODAY'S standards some of his writings may seem racist and sexist. They may indeed seem that way but viewing the man in CONTEXT of his times and social status he was very liberal on these issues. You could say that if Darwin was alive today he'd probably be in Liberty, Amnesty and the Anti-Nazi League. Besides as stated it makes no difference at all to biological theory. He could have died defending blacks from slavers - it would make no difference to the science.
  • I'm not an evolution supporter, but I'm not sure we can determine (without knowing him) that he was racist. He was definitely interested in races, in the progress of certain ones over others. Is calling one race advantaged really being racist? Or is it an assessment? How many times have you heard black people refer to the 'white man's world'? Are they racist or are they giving an assessment of how they view the situation whether they agree with what's going on or not? A black man saying it's a white man's world is not a man being racist against black people. Darwin referring to favoured races may be simply a reference to the position of power that the races were in at the time. At the time white people had the favour over black people. We live in a different time, where if you add up the minorities, they are actually a majority. What would Darwins assessment have been today? We don't know. A man living in a racist time, assessing the social status of races could come to no other conclusion than that certain races were favoured. That doesn't make one a racist, that makes one a good reporter, reporting facts instead of opinion. He very well may have thought that all races were inherintly equal, but socially it would have been proved false.
  • By our modern standards, they were all racists. What are you trying to prove?
  • I honestly don't know. But even if he was, so what? It doesn't make what Darwin wrote regarding evolution and speciation any less a fact. In fact, if you go back and read some of what Abraham Lincoln wrote during the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, he comes off sounding positively bigoted...: "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."
  • Since Charles Darwin is no longer around for you to ask then you should read every thing written by him and decide for yourself. How can anyone be concealing information that is freely available for you to review yourself? I would suggest your closest library. It is not fair to judge a work that you have not read yourself.
  • Evolution is of course an explanation *unrelated* to racism, and claims that Charles Darwin was a racist are immaterial to the validity of evolution, both the theory and the fact. Englishmen of the 19th Century certainly generally considered non-Europeans to be inferior to Europeans. However, everyone is a little bit racist, and only a complete fool would claim that everyone with a little bit of racism are all equally biased against those with different skin colors. The guy who turns up his nose at the mixed-skin couple but serves them politely like any other customer in his restaurant, is not the same "racist" as the KKK member who puts on a white sheet and lynches a black man to drive fear into the black community. So let's look at Charles Darwin the man, and see how he stacked up against other Englishmen of the period in terms of "racism" (quotes taken from http://home.att.net/~troybritain/articles/darwin_on_race.htm, and they can also be found with a database search of Darwin's Collected Correspondence at http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/). First off, slavery was a hot button issue in the 1800s. Black folks from Africa were a large chunk of the slaves in the world. Presumably racists didn't mind black slavery at all. What was Charles Darwin's opinion of slavery? Charles Darwin opposed slavery his entire life. In fact, the odd thing about the claims of "racism" is that his complete and utter opposition to slavery caused him to rethink traditional English views about black people: "I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery. What a proud thing for England, if she is the first European nation which utterly abolish is it. I was told before leaving England, that after living in slave countries: all my options would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the Negros character. It is impossible to see a negro & not feel kindly toward him; such cheerful, open honest expressions & such fine muscular bodies; I never saw any of the diminutive Portuguese with their murderous countenances, without almost wishing for Brazil to follow the example of Haiti; & considering the enormous healthy looking black population, it will be wonderful if at some future day it does not take place." -- Charles Darwin to Catherine Darwin (May 22 - July 14 1833) The Correspondence of Charles Darwin Vol. 1 1821-1836 (1985), pp. 312-313 "Aha!" the anti-Darwinian exclaims, "Darwin was prejudiced against the Portugese!" Well, yes, every good abolitionist was prejudiced against the Portugese: from 1440 to 1640, Portugal had a monopoly on the export of slaves from Africa; during the four and one-half centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4.5 million Africans into slavery; and Portugal was the last European country to criminalize slavery. Britain did get into the slave trade itself after 1640 and up until the 19th century (1800s), but the Portugese were responsible for the biggest slice of the trade in black slaves for the entire period of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (http://africanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa080601a.htm). Charles Darwin's horror at the mistreatment of non-whites was not limited to the mistreatment of black slaves, as his reaction to the war in South America against the Natives there can attest: "[unspeakable war atrocities against Native South Americans]...This is a dark picture; but how much more shocking is the unquestionable fact, that all the women who appear above twenty years old are massacred in cold blood! When I exclaimed that this appeared rather inhuman. he answered, "Why, what can be done? they breed so!" Every one here is fully convinced that this is the most just war, because it is against barbarians. Who would believe in this age that such atrocities could be committed in a Christian civilized country?" -- Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle (1839), Chapter V In fact, Charles Darwin as a young medical student had his own education in natural science influenced greatly by a black man: "By the way, a negro lived in Edinburgh, who had travelled with Waterton and gained his livelihood by stuffing birds, which he did excellently; he gave me lessons for payment, and I used often to sit with him, for he was a very pleasant and intelligent man." -- Charles Darwin, Autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809-1882 (restored edition)(1958), Nora Barlow editor, p.51 One could almost say that Evolution would not have been possible had it not been for Charles Darwin's willingness to accept that a black man could be as intelligent and knowledgeable as a white man, and that there was no shame in a white man being taught by a black man. So was Charles Darwin a "racist"? In the sense of the American South immediately after the U.S. Civil War? No, not really. In the sense of the WWII eugenicists in Germany and the U.S.A.? No, not really. Charles Darwin saw non-whites as capable of intelligence, learning, emotions, and everything that white people were capable of accomplishing. He was horrified at their ill-treatment and worked to bring about the end of mistreatment of non-whites on Earth. Frankly, anything which vaguely painted Charles Darwin as a "racist" pales next to his liberal, enlightened views that non-whites were human beings deserving of the same rights as white people. And the opinion that whites and non-whites should be treated equally is anything *but* racist.
  • Where do you make this crap up from? His concept of "superior species" observations had nothing to do with humans. Can I ask you a question?
  • I do not support evolution, but I cannot see that Charles Darwin's views on different humans (which were probably quite racist, or at least paternalistic, by today's standards) have to do with his theory of evolution. It has nothing to do with the "races" of man.
  • I imagine that in Darwin's day everybody was a racist, so he very probably was, although I don't see what that had to do with his theories. Further, I don't believe that anybody is trying to cover anything up - there would be no point when there is such easy access to countless documents about him and his times.

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