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RACE exhibit’s perfect timing

Timing of our RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit could not have worked out better as it opens tomorrow at Discovery Place in Charlotte. Simultaneous to the exhibit’s opening weekend, the American Renaissance’s conference was scheduled to take place at a local hotel. Due to the nature of this white nationalist conference, hosted by the New Century Foundation, the hotel cancelled the conference contract citing concern for guest safety. Local groups, such as the Southern Anti-Racism Network, were planning protests against the conference.

As you may imagine, the organization is quite upset with the lack of support and has turned to the city’s mayor pro tem, an African-American, for support. The mayor has also cited concern for public safety as reason to not pressure its businesses to host the conference. The Foundation’s leader, Jared Taylor, sought a new meeting location but also a public apology from the City of Charlotte for its violation of the organization’s First Amendment rights to free speech. Taylor received neither and the conference has been cancelled.

Mary Curtis of Politics Daily, an AOL original news source, writes:

Probably not on the agenda of Taylor, who said he believes the races have evolved independently, is the newest exhibit set to open this weekend at Charlotte’s hands-on science museum, Discovery Place. In an accident of timing that could not be more perfect, “Race: Are We So Different?” promises visitors will discover that human beings are more alike than any other living species and no one gene or set of genes can support the idea of race.

“We all can see that people look different, but modern science and anthropology may alter how we understand and experience race,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “Science has demonstrated that humans cannot be divided into ‘races’ based on physical attributes or genes. It’s about the effects of geography and where people live, not categories.”

We hope that the American Renaissance conference attendees and Taylor drop in on the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit at Discovery Place while they are in Charlotte. Perhaps they might learn a thing or two about the science of race.

2 Responses

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ray Beckerman, janehenrici. janehenrici said: On the #science of #race museum exhibit & Charlotte, #NC http://bit.ly/gD73X7 #anthropology #south #education (via @AmericanAnthro) [...]

  2. Race deniers are as silly as Creationists.

    http://charlesdarwinresearch.org/#Darwin's Really Dangerous Idea

    Darwin’s Really Dangerous Idea – the Primacy of Variation

    Evolution is the scientific study of variation and selection. As such, establishing the Darwinian perspective in the social sciences has been much impeded by political and religious ideologies. The Institute is especially concerned to resist encroachments on scholarship by forces of “political correctness.”

    Some of the politically inspired resistance to Darwinism in human affairs comes from evolutionary scientists themselves. By overemphasizing the search for universals, that is, pan-human traits (partly to show people’s commonalities), many evolutionists abandon the very comparative method that created the Darwinian Revolution in the first place.

    Ignoring or minimizing the role of heritable variation goes against the two basic postulates of Darwinian theory: (1) that genetic variation exists within species, and (2) that differential reproductive success favors some varieties over others. In both Origin and Descent, Darwin left no doubt about the importance he ascribed to variation. In the Origin (p. 107), he wrote:

    Hence I look at individual differences, though of small interest to the systematist, as of high importance for us, as being the first step towards such slight varieties as are barely thought worth recording in works on natural history. And I look at varieties which are in any degree more distinct and permanent, as a step leading to more strongly marked and more permanent varieties; and at these latter, as leading to sub-species, and to species . . Hence I believe a well marked variety may be justly called an incipient species.

    Galton and Differential Psychology

    Sir Francis Galton (1865, 1869), Darwin’s cousin, immediately recognized the implications for human variation. Galton carried out surveys and found that good and bad temperament, as well as intelligence, ran in families. He discovered the phenomenon of regression-to-the mean and the implication that family variation was heritable.

    Galton also reviewed accounts contrasting the taciturn reserve of American Indians with the talkative impulsivity of Africans. He noted that these temperamental differences persisted regardless of climate (from the frozen north through the equator), religion, language, or political system (whether self-ruled or governed by the Spanish, Portuguese, English, or French). Anticipating later work on transracial adoption, Galton pointed out that the majority of individuals adhered to their racial type, even if they were raised by white settlers.

    Based on his readings and his personal experiences of exploring Southwest Africa, Galton concluded that the average mental ability of Africans was low, whether they were observed in Africa or in the Americas. In Descent, Darwin acknowledged Galton’s work and also accepted the importance of the brain-size differences reported between Africans and Europeans by Paul Broca and other nineteenth- century scientists.

    Modern studies confirm Darwin and Galton. The races do differ in average brain size and intelligence. The racial gradient in average intelligence and brain size increases from Africans to Europeans to East Asians.

    Although Darwinians emerged victorious among the educated classes in their nineteenth-century battles against Biblical theology, subsequently they lost that ground to egalitarians, Marxists, cultural-relativists, and postmodernists. From Herbert Spencer (1851) to the world depressions of the late 1920s and 1930s, while the political right was ascendant, the political left came to believe, perhaps correctly, that “survival of the fittest” was incompatible with social equality.

    The Campaign to Undermine Darwinism

    Beginning in the 1920s when the Franz Boas school of anthropology succeeded in decoupling the biological from the social sciences, Darwinism has been marginalized in the human sciences. Although early in the century William McDougall had proposed an “instinct” theory of personality, and G. Stanley Hall had advanced an evolutionary perspective for developmental psychology, Darwinism was swept away in the 1920s by various environmentalist doctrines. Freud’s Oedipal theories and Watson’s behavioral molding of individuals were compatible with Marx’s assumptions of the malleability of entire social groups through government intervention.

    In the 1950s, hostility to the record of Nazi racial atrocities tainted attempts to restore Darwinism to the social sciences. From that time on, it became increasingly difficult to suggest that individuals or groups might differ genetically in behavior without being accused of Nazi sympathies.

    Those who believed in the biological identity of all people, on the other hand, remained free to write what they liked, without fear of vilification. In the intervening decades, the idea of a genetically based core of human nature on which individuals and groups might differ was consistently derogated. This intellectual movement has been politically fueled by successively coupling it to Third World decolonization, the U.S. civil rights movement, the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and the renewed debates over immigration.

    Let us be explicit about the problem faced by Darwinian psychology — political correctness. Its central thesis is the environmental determinism of all important human traits. It stems from Marxism and a belief that social and economic oppression are the cause of all significant individual and group behavioral differences. The Marxist hold on liberal political sentiment is so extensive many of us think that way without realizing it. We censor ourselves lest we even dare to think the forbidden thoughts.

    In a 1975 paper invited by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Hans Eysenck, himself a refugee from Hitler’s Germany but a strong advocate of Darwinian bio-social psychology and the doyen of British psychology, wrote:

    It used to be taken for granted that it was not only ethically right for scientists to make public their discoveries; it was regarded as their duty to do so. Secrecy, the withholding of information, and the refusal to communicate knowledge were rightly regarded as cardinal sins against the scientific ethos. This is true no more. In recent years it has been argued, more and more vociferously, that scientists should have regard for the social consequences of their discoveries, and of their pronouncements; if these consequences are undesirable, the research in the area involved should be terminated, and the results already achieved should not be publicized. The area which has seen most of this kind of argumentation is of course that concerned with inheritance of intelligence, and with racial differences in ability.

    Richard Lynn, another British Darwinian psychologist, noted that many politically left-of-center scientists are currently in the same position as Christians were after the publication of The Origin of Species. He called on liberals to do what honest, intelligent Christians did then and what many still do today. Bite the bullet, and jettison those aspects of their world view (like egalitarianism) that are incompatible with the science of natural selection. Political correctness must be discarded if evolutionary theory is to achieve its full promise to become the unifying framework for the human sciences.

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