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View Diary: Racist Rants in Post-Racial America (86 comments)

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  •  Not having read Brooks' book, I can't speak (0+ / 0-)

    directly to what she says. I know very little about Charles Darwin biographically, so what his own opinions about race were, I don't know. If I'm correct, and I may not be since this is coming from my memory, he had a cousin who promoted eugenics. To my knowledge, however, Darwin himself did not.

    I did read The Origin of Species when I was in college, which was about thirty years ago. Although very readable, if my memory serves, it's still very much a scientific work with little, if any, comment on it's social or political relevance. Again if my memory is correct, he doesn't address human races at all in it.

    •  Exactly...It was his cousin (0+ / 0-)

      Frances Galton.  I had known that, too.

      blurb from pbs page

      The specter of eugenics hovers over virtually all contemporary developments in human genetics. Eugenics was rooted in the social Darwinism of the late 19th century, a period in which notions of fitness, competition, and biological rationalizations of inequality were popular. At the time, a growing number of theorists introduced Darwinian analogies of "survival of the fittest" into social argument. Many social Darwinists insisted that biology was destiny, at least for the unfit, and that a broad spectrum of socially deleterious traits, ranging from "pauperism" to mental illness, resulted from heredity.    

      The word "eugenics" was coined in 1883 by the English scientist Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, to promote the ideal of perfecting the human race by, as he put it, getting rid of its "undesirables" while multiplying its "desirables" -- that is, by encouraging the procreation of the social Darwinian fit and discouraging that of the unfit. In Galton's day, the science of genetics was not yet understood. Nevertheless, Darwin's theory of evolution taught that species did change as a result of natural selection, and it was well known that by artificial selection a farmer could obtain permanent breeds of plants and animals strong in particular characteristics. Galton wondered, "Could not the race of men be similarly improved?"

      What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

      by rosabw on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:13:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Taken from Origin of the Species (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      [page] 201

      Echidna, and other mammals. But all these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,16 will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

      I'm not sure what CD was trying to say.  He was very ethnocentric, seeing all things white as being superior to "savages".  If he could have only lived to see the modern day republican...

      What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

      by rosabw on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:20:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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