"The Devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather!"

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darwin.jpg

50,000 pages of text and 40,000 images from Charles Darwin's pen, available–searchable–online. So go ahead, find out Everything You Wanted to Know About Evolution But Were Afraid to Ask.

Highlights from Darwin's notebooks, letters, and testimony:

* Our descent, then, is the origin of our evil passions!!–The Devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather! More

* Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran, not so many centuries ago of being overwhelmed by the Turks, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world. More

* Chairman of a Royal Commission Hearing on vivisection: Then to hesitate to perform experiments, though painful in their nature, when the animal was rendered insensible, would not be, in your opinion, a judicious course to recommend to the Queen and Parliament?

Darwin: Certainly not. It is unintelligible to me how anybody could object to such experiments. I can understand a Hindoo, who would object to an animal being slaughtered for food, disapproving of such experiments, but it is absolutely unintelligible to me on what ground the objection is made in this country. More

This, and so much more, here.

Via Marginal Revolution, and Adam Gopnik's recent New Yorker article on Darwin (not online).

NEXT: Wasting the Watchers

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  1. The Devil under form of Baboon is our grandfather!

    The syntax made me think this was going to be a post about North Korean propaganda.

  2. Great! Now the Intelligent Design caucus and the multi-culti, PETA, tree-hugger types will find common cause against Chuck and his intellectual progeny.

  3. Product of his times…. Like our founding fathers and their slaves…. Surely born as our contemorary his views would be significantly more… ummm… enlightened?

  4. All this proves is that darwin is a product of his time and age. just like my grandfather is a racist dick becuase in his generation it was considered acceptable.

    I fear this is just adding fuel to the right wing religios whackjob bonfire is ignorance.

  5. Of course, all Pastafarians know this is rubbish. We all evolved from pirates!

    http://www.venganza.org/

    FSM Worshiper

  6. I’m sorry the point of this post is? Darwin had views reprehensible now but common and mainstream then — is this news? Are you giving the ID krew props?

  7. You can’t call someone a racist dick. The PC term is “tolerationally challenged”.

  8. “The syntax made me think this was going to be a post about North Korean propaganda.”

    I just thought that Borat decided to get involved in the Intelligent Design debate…

  9. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that he was a social himselfist.

  10. “just like my grandfather is a racist dick becuase in his generation it was considered acceptable.”

    No, your grandfather is a racist dick because your grandfather is a racist dick. Not everyone was racist in his day and not all the ones that were racist in his day still are.

  11. wow, how ridiculous were our european anscestors! thinking that the turks who, in lthe course of two centures conquered vast territories in eastern europe, destroyed the byzantine empire, and the serbian and the bulgarian empires, plus the kingdom of hungary and then threatened shipping throughout the meditteranean and besieged vienna twice, might be a real threat! they were so silly….

  12. Everyone in Darwin’s day held his views or worse: INCLUDING many black Civil Rights leaders. Nearly EVERYONE thought racial differences were significant and real. The only debate was over legal equality: which Darwin supported.

  13. Darwin was probably the greatest scientist and philosopher of all time: there\’s far more wisdom is the strange-sounding baboon quote than in all the blank-slate-ish, \’fuzzy, smiley-face multiculturalism\’ (Paglia) crap that\’s regularly spewed here.

    Nearly EVERYONE thought racial differences were significant and real.
    And they were right. Nowadays only dishonest PC ideologues and/or the truly ignorant claim otherwise. But, hey, now everyone knows that you\’re a Good Liberal, properly indoctrinated, and expressing that conformity is what\’s *really* important.

  14. Comment comment: the server removed or ignored HTML italics and carriage returns.

  15. mr. FleM…

    “And they were right”—

    Sorry but they might be “real” in a certain narrow sense of the word, but significant, as in important, worth taking into consideration, note worthy, or whatever other metric of significant you want to use… not so much. And yes, this is from someone who knows the science as well as you. Ignorant of the facts is one thing…inability to judge there value is another.

  16. “their value”

  17. Sorry but they might be “real” in a certain narrow sense of the word, but significant, as in important, worth taking into consideration, note worthy, or whatever other metric of significant you want to use… not so much.

    IOW, things like education, poverty, crime ‘n’ violence, and medical techniques /treatments are insignificant.

  18. “IOW, things like education, poverty, crime ‘n’ violence, and medical techniques /treatments are insignificant.”

    Ah, so by the same arguments you are using here, do you agree that religious people in the US are inferior to non-religious people? I mean, they have higher rates of crime, poverty, lower rates of education, and so on…

  19. FleM,

    Wait… you are attributing education, poverty, medical techniques, crime & violence to race? Are you arguing for more than correlation? What is your point? I think I need some elaboration to judge if you are uninformed, or a poor communicator.

  20. The “everyone was racist back then myth is a comforting thought for those who want to rationalize their particular groups racism “back then”.

    However, there is a huge difference between the paternalistic “We must help raise the Negro up from his savage state” put forward by the Reconstructionist Republicans and “The nigger is incapable of living in anything but a savage state” advaced by the Southern Democrats.

  21. Plunge:

    “Everyone in Darwin’s day held his views or worse: INCLUDING many black Civil Rights leaders. Nearly EVERYONE thought racial differences were significant and real. The only debate was over legal equality: which Darwin supported.”

    Charlie D:

    “The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.”

    Did Charlie follow this up with something like, “it’s really horrible to think about all those lower races being eliminated, given my support for legal equality among races”? Or perhaps he thought that, with the total number of races being reduced, equality among the survivors would be easier to achieve?” It seems to me that Charlie was taking the alleged imminent destruction of “lower races” very calmly.

    I doubt that “everyone in Darwin’s day” expected the extinction of “lower races,” or regarded the idea with equanimity. Even some racists, like Rudyard Kipling, proposed a “White Man’s Burden” by which the whites sought to improve the health and welfare of other races. And there were even some people who were *not* racists.

    I don’t think that “everyone was doing it.”

  22. “I doubt that “everyone in Darwin’s day” expected the extinction of “lower races,” or regarded the idea with equanimity.”

    If you read the passage in question, Darwin is not advocating anything in particular at all. He is simply describing something he saw as being likely, and in fact something that had already been documented in the history of his times: more powerful and civilized cultures dominating and eliminating those less so (the main case being in the Americas)

    “And there were even some people who were *not* racists.”

    Ok, so name some. Name some people who believed that the races were at the very least distinct things with their own “spirits.” Even WEB DuBois believed that. In Darwin’s day the two main racial theories were:

    1) non-white races were created seperately by God
    2) non-white races were a sort of “degraded over time” form of white people

    The reality is that Darwin’s actual _normative_ views on race were among the most progressive of his day: he opposed slavery (he called it “the Greatest Curse on Earth”) and thought that other races should be treated equally and with dignity under the law. He most certainly was a racist if you mean that he viewed the races as having distinct and different traits and characters. But that’s the view you find nearly everywhere in those days, and plenty of Darwin’s contemporaries and critics had far harsher views on the subject than him.

  23. Rick
    Just as truth is where you find it; the strength of Darwin’s grand thesis is undiminished by his other pronouncements.

    Darwin:

    Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.

    Bob Dylan:

    As the present now
    Will later be past”’
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin

    There was a time, was there not, when the zenith of civilization was to be found in Arab-Muslim localities. (BTW, “Zenith” is an Arab astronomical term)

    And there was a time when the great mass of Jews emigrating here were pronounced by the officials at Ellis Island as the least intelligent group of folks ever to seek citizenship, and hopelessly lacking the cognitive abilities to fit in to the American mosaic. Later, Jews, in this land of liberty that asked no more of them then it did the rest of us, began being among the winners of Nobel Prizes

    Just as truth is where you find it; the strength of Darwin’s grand thesis is undiminished by his other pronouncements.

    Darwin:

    Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.

    Bob Dylan:

    As the present now
    Will later be past”’
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin

    There was a time, was there not, when the zenith of civilization was to be found in Arab-Muslim localities. (BTW, “Zenith” is an Arab astronomical term)

    And there was a time when the great mass of Jews emigrating here were pronounced by the officials at Ellis Island as the least intelligent group of folks ever to seek citizenship, and hopelessly lacking the cognitive abilities to fit in to the American mosaic. Later, Jews, in this land of liberty that asked no more of them then it did of the rest of us, began being among the winners of the Nobel Prize

  24. Sorry about the the double post in the same post. And I don’t know how “Rick” wound up at the top of the first one.

  25. I’m sorry the point of this post is? Darwin had views reprehensible now but common and mainstream then — is this news? Are you giving the ID krew props?

    Not to worry. There’s not even one biological process that the ID folks can reasonably explain as being a result of ID.

  26. Since FleM has not responded…

    I will assume he makes his statements based on science such as Jensen 1999 (G factor)…

    Here is a quick critique of the main points related to race.

    “Within the “g factor” there is abundant evidence for various environmental correlates of IQ, and for effects which may be specific to the black population. On p. 385 a study that controlled for socio-economic status reduced the g factor difference between American blacks and whites by 12 IQ points. On p. 513, “stereotype threat”, a form of test anxiety, could account for a 5 IQ point difference between black and white college students. 12 plus 5 is 17, and the mean difference between blacks and whites in the US is only 15 IQ points. There are also two strong patterns which are highly suggestive of environmental effects, namely, the steady increase in IQ scores of 3 IQ points per decade in the last half century (p. 307), and the strong geographical gradient in IQ among blacks from south to north. For example, a group of black schoolchildren in rural Georgia has a mean IQ of 71, and Jensen’s comments are “we would be hard put to find a more socially disadvantaged black community… anywhere in the United States”. Whereas the black mean in Minnesota is given as 90. The most poorly founded conclusion in the entire book also concerns environmental effects, namely that ‘mother’s education alone account[s] for 13% of the childrens’ IQ variance, but this is most likely a genetic effect’ (p. 502). Given these potentially numerous and powerful effects, Jensen’s insistence on the primacy of genes is surprising.

    10. Overall, the book leaves an impression of biological determinism; the correlation between IQ and socioeconomic status is consistently presented as resulting from the causal effects of IQ. Jensen paints a picture of America as a country with perfect social mobility, where an absence of racial prejudice is effectively demonstrated by the overrepresentation of blacks in jobs of high socioeconomic status relative to their distribution of IQ (p. 568), despite the much lower correlation between IQ and socioeconomic status for blacks relative to whites (p. 358). This is not an impression that rings true.”

    For a recent example of how difficult this issue is to tease out experimentally…

    The difference isn’t black and white: stereotype threat and the race gap on Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices.

    * Brown RP,
    * Day EA.

    Department of Psychology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA. rpbrown@ou.edu

    This study addresses recent criticisms aimed at the interpretation of stereotype threat research and methodological weaknesses of previous studies that have examined race differences on Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM). African American and White undergraduates completed the APM under three conditions. In two threat conditions, participants received either standard APM instructions (standard threat) or were told that the APM was an IQ test (high threat). In a low threat condition, participants were told that the APM was a set of puzzles and that the researchers wanted their opinions of them. Results supported the stereotype threat interpretation of race differences in cognitive ability test scores. Although African American participants underperformed Whites under both standard and high threat instructions, they performed just as well as Whites did under low threat instructions. ((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

  27. This one is interesting because it contrast Anglo Americans and Mexican Americans…both of these groups are part of the same “race” as the are traditionally defined… yet cultural factors seem to make a difference….

    Culture-fair cognitive ability assessment: information processing and psychophysiological approaches.

    * Verney SP,
    * Granholm E,
    * Marshall SP,
    * Malcarne VL,
    * Saccuzzo DP.

    University of New Mexico, NM, USA.

    Valid assessment with diverse populations requires tools that are not influenced by cultural elements. This study investigated the relationships between culture, information processing efficiency, and general cognitive capacities in samples of Caucasian and Mexican American college students. Consistent with the neural efficiency hypothesis, pupillary responses (indexing mental effort) and detection accuracy scores on a visual backward-masking task were both significantly related to the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Full Scale scores. These measures of information processing efficiency were similar in the two groups. However, they were related only to Caucasian American, but not to a comparable sample of Mexican American, students’ WAIS-R scores. Therefore, the differential validity in prediction suggests that the WAIS-R test may contain cultural influences that reduce the validity of the WAIS-R as a measure of cognitive ability for Mexican American students. Information processing and psychophysiological approaches may be helpful in developing culture-fair cognitive ability measures.

  28. I have a little list.
    I’m just sayin’.
    (Some of you Yahoos, above, might be on it.)

  29. “There was a time, was there not, when the zenith of civilization was to be found in Arab-Muslim localities.”

    No, there was not.

    There was a time when “Arab-Muslim localities” were way ahead of Europe, but even at that time China won the “life doesn’t totally suck here” award.

  30. “If you read the passage in question, Darwin is not advocating anything in particular at all. He is simply describing something he saw as being likely . . .”

    I didn’t say that Darwin “advocat[ed] anything.” I said that he seemed to expect the extinction of certain lower races, and that he regarded the idea with equanimity. He wasn’t like

    “Ok, so name some [non-racists of Darwin’s day]. Name some people who believed that the races were at the very least distinct things with their own ‘spirits.’ Even WEB DuBois believed that. In Darwin’s day the two main racial theories were:

    “1) non-white races were created seperately by God”

    “2) non-white races were a sort of ‘degraded over time’ form of white people”

    I take your query to mean whether there were people who didn’t regard non-white races as either separately created by God or “degraded over time” from whites. I don’t think that Frederick Douglass or William Lloyd Garrison believed either of these propositions, but I would be open to persuasion.

  31. Didn’t finish one paragraph. Here it is again:

    I didn’t say that Darwin “advocat[ed] anything.” I said that he seemed to expect the extinction of certain lower races, and that he regarded the idea with equanimity. He wasn’t like, “Oh, no! Lower races are going to become extinct! I must warn the people so this process can be halted!” He was more like, “Oh, well, lower races becoming extinct. Can’t be helped. What’s on TV?”

  32. Darwin was a lot smarter than any Reason authors – who seem to think that the future is now – but no doubt neither Darwin nor Reason has heard of the Pathological Altruism as a side effect of civilization. At least Darwin had an excuse.

    More here.

  33. Great! Now the Intelligent Design caucus and the multi-culti, PETA, tree-hugger types will find common cause against Chuck and his intellectual progeny.

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