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  Topic: The real danger in Darwin is not evolution, but racism< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 46
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2008,06:15   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 21 2008,06:26)
Having read the Origin, I'm hardly shocked to discover that even emeritus professor Campolo is making stuff up. Darwin did write a passage about the extirpation of aboriginal people, but IIRC it was in The Descent of Man, and it was an observation and prediction based upon demonstrated behavior, not an endorsement of a particular mode of action. Campolo apparently has never encountered any discussion of the difference between is and ought.

Here is the passage from Descent of Man, Vol. 1, that apparently confused Prof. Campolo:


The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, convinced by general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks incessantly occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridæ—between the elephant and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or 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.

Darwin does not endorse the extermination of various peoples, but one would have to be blind not to notice that extirpation was exactly what "civilised" people had been doing, and were in the active process of doing, around the world. Campolo also overlooks Darwin's zinger concerning Caucasian people and how hopefully man would evolve to a "more civilised state".

It is also worth noting that, while Darwin here writes about 'civilised' and 'savage' human races, in the very next chapters he claims that no soch division can be made (on physiological traits, and that's what we are dealing with, when we talk about the theory of evolution)

The distinction between 'civilised' and 'savage' races or nations was not Darwin's invention, but part of the general thinking in Europe.

The idea of black Africans as link between gorillas and Caucasians as promoted here is also rejected by Darwin later.

The main point in the passage quoted by Wesley is that, if the black Africans become extinct, that link will be missed; that is, we are dealing with a missing link in the making. Therefore, we may assume, such events also occurred in the past, so no need to worry about missing links: they do not disprove Darwin's theory!

It can get rather annoying to have to explain this over and over and ... and over, but creationists are extremely thick-headed, so maybe if we wrote it on a sledge-hammer, then we could ...

- pwe

  13 replies since Jan. 20 2008,22:11 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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