Sunday, March 22, 2009
Selection Against Darwin
The surge of enthusiasm for eugenics came at a time when the majority of biologists had turned their backs on Darwinism. Even when natural selection began to attract more attention in the 1930s, there was no direct link to eugenics. If R. A. Fisher supported eugenics, the co-founder of population genetics, J. B. S. Haldane, wrote openly against the movement from a socialist perspective. In America, the most effective scientific support for eugenics came from early Mendelians such as C. B. Davenport. ... [A]t this point the Mendelians were hostile to Darwinism and did not believe that natural selection played any role in the evolution of new characters. The popularity of eugenics must thus be accounted for in terms of broader social factors. It was certainly not the result of Darwinism promoting the idea of artificial selection of the human population.
- Peter J. Bowler, The Non-Darwinian Revolution
I'll have to save this quotation in my files for the next time this comes up.
The elipsis is this:
... As noted in chapter 5 above ...
Fortunately the compulsion has mostly been stopped.
So I got the book out of a local library and read a couple of chapters. The book is loaded with information for rebuttal of the claims about eugenics, Social Darwinism, etc. Thanks.
Is there any indication at all that anyone has engaged in any of the practices that you mention because of their acceptance of the reality of evolution, common descent, natural selection, speciation, random variation, or the natural origins of the bacterial flagellum?