Well, I was told by the writer that the Telegraph would publish their version of following story (with a truncated version of the multiply-signed letter), at exactly midnight tonight GMT, and that was 13 minutes ago. She also promised that I would get the link. Bupkes. So if the story appears (the Telegraph is usually paywalled), I’ll discuss it tomorrow morning. Here’s what I was going to put up at 12:01 UK time.
UPDATE: The Telegraph article has appeared, you can access it for free here; and the paper also published our entire letter, with signatures, in the “letters” section (go here and scroll down).
Once again a group of us—this time a different group—got together not to protest an article in Sci. Am. or Nature, but to make a public statement in Nature about the impending defenestration of a great scientist: Thomas Henry Huxley. As the Guardian and other sites have reported, Imperial College in London is pondering—and almost certainly will execute—the relocation of a statue of Huxley, and is also considering renaming one of its structures, the Huxley Building. From the Guardian:
An investigation into Imperial College London’s historical links to the British empire has recommended the university remove a statue and rename buildings and lecture theatres that celebrate scientists whose work advocated eugenics and racism.
The recommendations by the college’s independent history group are intended to address racial inequalities and improve inclusivity at the Russell Group university.
The report identified a number of problematic renowned scientific figures who have been honoured with buildings, rooms and academic positions in their names.
For example, it calls for a building named after the English biologist and anthropologist Thomas Henry Huxley, lauded for determining that birds descended from dinosaurs, to be renamed due to his racist beliefs about human intelligence.
The report says Huxley’s essay Emancipation – Black and White “espouses a racial hierarchy of intelligence, a belief system of ‘scientific racism’ that fed the dangerous and false ideology of eugenics; legacies of which are still felt today”.
A bust of Huxley, the first dean of the Royal College of Science from 1881-85, should also be removed from display and placed in the college archives, it adds.
As you’ll see if you investigate Huxley’s life (and I’ve put some relevant facts below the fold), while she aid a few things that might be considered “problematic” today, he was nevertheless far more liberal and abolitionist than nearly all of his peers. His early views on races also changed over his life, becoming more tolerant. More important, he was an ardent advocate of evolution (Darwin was too timorous to defend it in person), and an advocate of women’s rights and of the education of working people. He spent much of his later life actually giving science courses to people from the working class, and trying to enact educational reform. There is nobody who can claim that, on balance, his life caused more harm than good.
In light of the misleading accusations of Huxley’s inherent racism, claims that can rest only on either ignorance or an drive to efface the past to make it palatable to today’s standards, a group of us from the U.S. and the U.K. wrote a short letter to Nature. I’ve put it between the lines below. Nature summarily rejected our letter on the grounds of “we don’t take petitions”, but that’s completely disingenuous. It’s not a petition but a comment or a letter, and I can guess why Nature didn’t touch it. (They are, of course, very woke.) As one of my colleagues said, “Cowardly f*****s—they have loads of self-righteous letters. Calling it a petition is a way of ducking the issue.”
Having lot of signers doesn’t make it a “petition” but a statement of joint agreement. I’ve put the letter between the lines, but below the fold I’ve also added some comments by Nick Matzke, now a biologist at the University of Auckland. Nick is known to many of us for his work with the National Center for Science Education.
Because Nick did a ton of work investigating Huxley’s past when his name was about to be—and now has been—removed from the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University (see here and especially here, which links to Nick’s long analysis of Huxley’s views), I asked him a simple question, “Was Huxley a racist? Did his views change later if he was?” Nick sent back a long response that I’ve put below the fold. Anyone interested in this controversy should read it.
Now to the letter that Nature rejected. You may recognize several of the signers. Four people have requested that their names be removed from the version that will be published by the Telegraph, so I’ve crossed through their names below. Note all the academics from Imperial College who have signed. The organizer of this letter was Armand Leroi, who’s also at Imperial.
Huxley at Imperial
A committee charged with investigating Imperial College’s past has accused Thomas Henry Huxley of “scientific racism” and proposes that his name be removed from a building and his bust from its lobby. This accusation is, on the historical evidence, false. Huxley was, in fact, an ardent abolitionist who fought the virulent pro-slavery scientific racism of his day and publicly welcomed the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. Early in his career, it is true, he believed in a hierarchy of races, but as he aged he became sceptical of racial stereotypes. “We knew,” he is reported as saying “so little about the races that it was impossible to disentangle what any particular nation was. We did on the other hand, know that there was a great deal of human nature in all kinds of men, and of social conditions which exercise an enormous influence.” (Nature 18,480 (1878)).
Huxley was a remarkable man. From childhood poverty he rose on his merits to become President of the Royal Society and Privy Counsellor. “Darwin’s Bulldog”, he fought for the theory of evolution, and first demonstrated our evolutionary descent from an ape-like ancestor. He believed that everyone should have a scientific education. So he reformed London’s schools, was a Principal of a Working Men’s college, wrote volumes of journalism, gave lectures for working people, and opened his classes to women. He brought science to government, serving on eight Royal Commissions. He reorganized higher scientific education, transforming it, in the words of his biographer, “from a gentleman’s occupation into a profession.” To that end he founded the Royal College of Science, later Imperial College, the very institution that now seeks to disown him.
Huxley’s early belief in a hierarchy of races is not ours. But, for his scientific accomplishments, his conviction that all men and women should be judged on their merits, civic mindedness, and the reforming zeal he brought to British science and education, we remain in his debt. For these reasons we think his name should stay on Imperial’s walls. And he has one more claim on our affections: he was instrumental in the founding of this journal and, in 1869, wrote its very first article, a lyrical paean to Nature (Nature 1,9-11 (1869)).
Armand M. Leroi Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Arkhat Abzhanov Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Thomas D.C. Bell Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Graham Bell Department of Biology, McGill University
Walter Bodmer Cancer & Immunogenetics Laboratory, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Janet Browne Department of the History of Science, Harvard University
Deborah Charlesworth Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Edinburgh University
Brian Charlesworth Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Edinburgh University
Jerry Coyne Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago
Mick J. Crawley Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Richard Dawkins Department of Zoology, Oxford University
A.W.F. Edwards Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University
Robert Endres Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Joe Felsenstein Departments of Genome Sciences and Biology, University of Washington
Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University
Nick Franks Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Mel Greaves Molecular Pathology, Institute for Cancer Research
John Hardy Institute of Neurology, University College London
Michael P. Hassell Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Erhard Hohenester Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Steve Jones Genetics, Evolution & Environment, University College London
Vasso Koufopanou Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Dimitri Kullmann Institute of Neurology, University College London
Russ Lande Norwegian University of Science & Technology
John Lawton York, UK
Peter J. Nixon Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Paul Nurse Francis Crick Institute
A. Richard Palmer Department of Zoology, University of Alberta
Julian Peto Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
William Richardson Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London
Alice Roberts School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
Adam Rutherford Division of Biosciences, University College London
Sophie Scott Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL
Dallas Swallow Genetics, Evolution & Environment, University College London
Joseph A. Tobias Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Andrew Tobym Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London
Veronica Van Heyningen Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London
Stephen J. Warren Department of Physics, Imperial College London
Katie Willis Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Nikolai Windbichler Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
William Wisden Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
John Wood Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London”
Denis Wright Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
And you should read Nick Matzke’s take on Huxley’s supposed racism below the fold. (Click “read more”.) He says that “Huxley was clearly an *anti*-racist.” I quote Nick below with his permission.
From Nick Matzke:
My view is that Huxley was clearly an *anti*-racist, with some imperfections. Short version:
- Huxley hated slavery, publicly opposed it (1840s onwards)
- supported equal rights and the vote for all (including blacks and women) – 1865 onwards at least
- established scientific/evolutionary monogenism – 1863 (Man’s Place in Nature)
- established common ancestry of humans with gorillas/chimps while explicitly denying that any extant human races were transitional – 1863
- publicly joined John Stuart Mill’s Jamaica Committee to prosecute Governor Eyre for the illegal murder of blacks – 1865
- from 1863-1869, fought official leading scientific racist James Hunt over #1-5, in person, in writing, and organizationally. James Hunt died in 1869 & Huxley + friends took over the ethnology/anthropology organisations. Hunt accused Huxley of “equal rights-mania” and “Negro-mania”.
- Geographic classification of human races, avoided the word race, basically non-hierarchical unlike many others – 1870
- Emphasized the role of environment/history/politics in explaining the poverty etc. of the Irish etc – 1870s
- Opposed eugenic & social darwinist-type thinking, which was then rising strongly, in his Evolutionary Ethics (1890 ish)
- Massive amounts of hard work, and success, in terms of what we would now call DEI in STEM — i.e. making scientific education available to the working class & women
Some people (like the historian and former YEC Nicolaas Rupke) accuse Huxley of polygenism and putting races in a transitional hierarchy, but they just haven’t read Huxley very carefully. Rupke seems to take Haeckel’s racist gloss on Huxley 1863 as definitive. Sadly, Rupke was the main authority the WWU [Western Washington University] administration listened to.
The argument that Huxley was a racist boils down to a few lines in his 1865 “Emancipation–Black and White”, where he says that once all legal/economic burdens are removed from black people, as morally needs to happen, the average black will not be as smart as the average white. This comes with a florid line about strength of wits vs. strength of bite. The best analysis I’ve read suggests that this part of the essay was a sop to reassure nervous supporters in the midst of the Huxley/Hunt battle for the control of the Anthropological Society. Huxley goes on to apply there-can-be-natural-inequality-but-we-need-equal-rights-nonetheless to the case of women, arguing that they deserve political rights and the vote also.
The main argument that he changed further from his 1865 position is an 1867 talk on race where he makes several very clever egalitarian points, and then points #7-9. As Adrian Desmond says, if anything, society and science were getting more racist in the late 1800s, but Huxley was an exception seeming to go the other way.
Altogether, I actually think Huxley was better than Darwin on the race issue, and Darwin was pretty good for his day. But in an age where one quote that looks bad on Twitter is enough to nuke someone forever, it seems to be a challenging argument to get across.
JAC: If you want a more thorough analysis of Nick’s research on this issue, go here.
47 thoughts on “Our letter to Nature: also rejected but published in shortened form by the Telegraph”
*Sigh* And so it goes. I strongly wish the Brits could do better than us Yanks.
One can only wonder why the place is still named Imperial College.
It looks like the article is up on the Telegraph’s website (but I only caught a glimpse of the headline before the paywall intervened).
I can’t find it and I have a 24 hour subscription. Oy!
Imperial College, you say. Soon to be Post-Colonial College, London?
This is blood-boilingly maddening. The ever-expanding diversocracy, which exists entirely to find and punish an approved index of sins, will be the death of the university, or at least free enquiry therein.
This is blood-boilingly maddening. The ever-expanding diversocracy, which exists entirely to find and punish an approved index of sins, will be the death of the university, or at least free enquiry therein.
A very good and important letter, as well, though It’s painful to see once-respected journals fuzzling the woke Kool-Aid.
A splendid letter.
Crimony! A YEC-er behind it all, to boot!
The just deserts would be the decanonization of the many “problematical” religious figures from all manner of buildings and monuments. I would not want this, but it would be fair and balanced.
It’s galling that some snivelling busybody has won the day and what’s more with ideology selective ignorance.
google implies it is under the ukraine letter
Letters: If the West offers Russia an inch of Ukraine, it will try to …https://www.telegraph.co.uk › opinion › 2022/01/22 › l…
2 hours ago — Huxley was an ardent abolitionist who fought the virulent pro-slavery scientific racism of his day and publicly welcomed the defeat of the Confederacy in …
It’s up at the first link. I’ve put a pdf of the full page here:
And just the Huxley letter here:
It is an excellent letter. Particularly interested to see Adam Rutherford, author of “How to argue with a racist”, among the signatories.
Yes! That is a fantastic letter!
And I’m just going to put this out there, and I hope I don’t cancel myself. The idea of Eugenics appearing during early scientific and genetic knowledge is unsurprising to me. It’s seductive in its reasoning and “makes sense” in regards to what a scientist’s or layman’s idea of genetic inheritance was in those far gone years. I’m not saying to forgive the Eugenic stalwarts and what they did, I’m just saying I’m not surprised how great minds like Huxley’s thought it was true long before it became an authoritarian tool for heinous acts. Scientists are proven wrong all the time, and though Eugenics is based on wish-thinking genetic inheritance, race hierarchy and the blank slate mindset, that is what the prevailing knowledge turned out to be on this planet for a very long time, a very long time ago. Huxley should never be cancelled because he engaged in contemporary scientific and societal thinking (sorry for stating the obvious, but this cancellation irks me to no end).
I want to second this. The whole issue with “cancelling” 19th Century scientific racists, is that black people and indigenous people had already been enslaved and/or conquered in the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries, without any need for science to uphold it; in fact, slavery declined drastically over the course of the 19th Century. Plus, academic theories of race existed prior to the development of evolutionary studies. Given that evolution was a very new, cutting-edge field in the mid and late 19th Century, combined with the the burgeoning field of IQ at the turn of the 19th into the 20th Century, how could many scientists have looked at the empirical lay of the land and NOT extrapolated from theories of evolution (along with the the rapidly growing developments in scientific classification and taxonomy) that various humans differed?
It’d be one thing to hold onto this belief long after it’d been debunked, or after its consequences proved disastrous in the first half of the 20th Century; it’s quite another to hold it when it’s a relatively new, untested idea, particularly when its effects were low as slavery was well on the way out and imperialism had stalled by the end of the 19th Century. You’re effectively saying “these people should have known better” when there was no way they could have seen into the future, and blaming them for various -isms, racism, imperialism, etc, that were already very strong prior to the scientific racists coming around.
I’m puzzled. Eugenics works, it’s not erroneous scientifically. Eugenics is how we treat farm animals, breeding them for characteristics we desire, such as milk yield, and it is hugely successful. We feed a world population of 8 billion owing to eugenics applied to plants and animals.
We reject eugenics for humans, not on scientific grounds, but on moral and political grounds. We don’t want societies in which humans are treated like farm animals.
I’d love to see your evidence that eugenics ‘works’, and indeed what ‘works’ actually means for humans. The application of the hugely costly agricultural breeding techniques used by farmers for thousands of years results in levels of acceptable animal death and suffering as a result of selection processes, and furthermore, creates animals that are only suitable for existence in the confines of farming environments. To apply these principles to humans would require an acceptable level of culling of those with undesirable defects, and the selection of humans for specific artificial environments. Furthermore, whilst selecting for certain desirable traits in the human genome – the complexities of which, via pleiotropy, epistasis etc, are far from well understood – we have no idea what we are also selecting for or against. So in short, saying that eugenics ‘works’ in humans says little more than we are evolved and have DNA. In fact, processes such as the attempted euthanasia programmes of the 3rd Reich via the 1933 sterilisation law and Aktion T4, not only had very little effect on the subsequent prevalence of the diseases they attempted to eradicate, but at least in the case of schizophrenia, had the reverse effect, and resulted in far higher levels in the post war era.
The evidence that eugenics (= breeding for desired traits) does work is clear on any farm. If you breed cattle for higher milk yield you get cows with higher milk yield. That’s the sense in which it “works”.
Well done on failing to address any one of my points. I understand how breeding works, funnily enough. But as I said, breeding of farm animals requires culling, and as I said, creates animals that have other problems as debt to the desired traits (e.g. mastitis, and vulnerability to infection in your example), and as I said, creates animals that only survive under the strict confines of the farm. How this model could apply to humans is not apparent to me.
You asked in what sense eugenics “worked” and the evidence for it and I answered explicitly. I’m well aware that animal farming involves culling. And the fact that we don’t want to apply such methods to humans was my entire point. But it would indeed work (e.g. if aliens captured and enslaved us they could indeed breed us for characteristics they desired).
I don’t understand why you think there is a disagreement. We can breed farm animals for traits we want to enhance, at the cost of culling a lot of them, and at the cost of trading off against traits that we are not selecting for. This could be applied to humans, *if* we were prepared to confine them in such a way as to control their breeding, if we were to cull the ones that lacked the traits, and if we were to not be concerned about the trade-offs that would be suffered by the descendants who made it through the selection process. For it to work, all you would need would be for the trait in question to be heritable, which pretty much any trait you could care about is, to some extent. But Coel has already stated that we refuse to do this on ethical grounds, not practical.
If you are making the claim that, although we can breed cows for milk yield, foxes for tameness, greyhounds for running speed, it would be impossible to breed humans for intelligence, say, then it sounds like you are making the claim that humans are somehow exempt from the ordinary laws of biology, in which case, the burden would be on you to explain why. Sure, the eugenicist movements of the early-to-mid 20th Century don’t seem to have achieved much, but they had far less control over their human populations, and were operative for far fewer generations, than would be typical of farm breeding programmes. The assumption should be that a sufficiently unscrupulous government, given sufficient power for long enough, could achieve the same sorts of transformations, especially given the massive advances in genetics in the intervening decades.
The committee that advised cancelling Thomas Huxley in 2022 no doubt imagined itself striking a heroic blow against attitudes found in 19th century imperial Britain. This valiant move by a group of academics in a College still merrily named “Imperial” proves what I have suspected for several years: the academic world of the Anglosphere was been absorbed into a Monty Python skit.
Speaking of Monty Python, I have been enjoying the “Inclusive Language Guide” issued by the DEI specialists of my own university. The forbidding of “off the reservation” is obvious, but some other offending words and phrases are more puzzling. “Guru” is problematic because it is “culturally appropriative”. “Lame”, “blind spot”, and “dummy value” are problematic because of their negative associations with disability. “Man”, “Man hours”, and “manpower” are problematic because gendered,
as are “male or female connectors”. “Housekeeping” is also problematic. And finally, “jerry-rigged” is problematic as well. I cannot explain why; perhaps only our host is qualified to understand this one.
My mother (who lived in London during both World Wars) used to refer to something shoddily or poorly built as ‘jerry rigged’. It was a slur used against the Germans to belittle them, accusing them of not making anything well. (‘Jerry’ was a nickname used for ‘German’.) It was a piece of bravado intended to reinforce British confidence and resistance.
Since the term is still used, present day Germans may find it hurtful.
As I understand it the term jerry-built or jerry-rigged pre-dates both WWII and WWI and its origins are not linked to slang names for Germans. Of course language evolves, so it is possible that in the use of the term around the time of WWII, some speakers came to associate the term with Germans and use it as a slur.
Jury-rigged is a sailing expression going back to the 16th century, and is used to describe a temporary repair, as in a jury-rigged mast to replace a broken one until port is reached. This could then have evolved (see what I did there) to jerry-rigged, then jerry-built, as you suggest.
Somewhere in my files I have a photo of the jury-rigged rudder that the crew of the tea clipper Cutty Sark fashioned and installed in heavy seas after hers was carried away in a storm. Unfortunately the photo of this ingenious piece of carpentry, blacksmithing, and competence with tackle in getting it hung in place does not appear in the Wiki article about the ship.
A most interesting article on the origins of the term “jerry-built” here:
Though “jerry-rigged” is commonly used today it’s a skewomorph of jury-rigged a maritime term for an experimental trial replacement for a broken or missing part of the ship.
“Jury-rigged” has not yet been dubbed problematic, but perhaps it will be in next year’s guide to Correct Language. This year’s, by the way, includes “lower the bar”, which might have a nautical
origin. Other problematic word-phrases this year are “take the cake” and “brown bag”.
Curious – Browne and Charlesworth are struck though?
“The report says Huxley’s essay Emancipation – Black and White “espouses a racial hierarchy of intelligence, a belief system of ‘scientific racism’ that fed the dangerous and false ideology of eugenics; legacies of which are still felt today”. Do these people actually believe that all human populations have the same average intelligence? Why should we expect it of any complex phenotypic trait, like height or personality? Also, she calls eugenics a “false ideology”, but at heart it was just the recognition of the laws of heredity, expressed for instance in the breeder’s equation. Eugenics does not necessarily imply genocide or forced sterilization and as far as I can tell its theoretical bases are sound.
‘He (Matzke) says that “Huxley was clearly an *anti*-racist.”’
Well, that’s clearly wrong because the true AntiRacists(TM) have defined the term such that they must be right. By definition. /s
I sometimes whether something like the Big Lie might be at work here. It’s hard to imagine someone smart enough to get a PhD falling for this, and even harder for someone who has paid the cost of a modern college education to be believe they themselves might be suckers. It takes a higher education — the real kind — to see what a fraud CRT is.
“War is peace.
Slavery is freedom.
Ignorance is strength.”
And Huxley is racist.
Have u seen this? https://twitter.com/dbweissman/status/1484628814995070979?s=20
Coundown to the world being treated to Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451” coming to a humanities-centric college near you. 🙁 Once they’ve purged the library of problematic tomes, the next obvious step is to scour the students’ dorms for the same.
This is the quote https://mathcs.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/B&W.html
“… It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still  less the superior, of the average white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest.
But whatever the position of stable equilibrium into which the laws of social gravitation may bring the negro, all responsibility for the result will henceforward lie between nature and him. The white man may wash his hands of it, and the Caucasian conscience be void of reproach for evermore. And this, if we look to the bottom of the matter, is the real justification for the abolition policy.”
I suppose this qualifies as “progressive for the time”. But it’s not hard to see why some people have an extremely negative reaction to it.
Excellent specimen – yes, the writing and language is “period”, and jarring, to a modern general audience, especially one trained in motion picture / television dialogue, which Huxley’s contemporaries were to a much much lesser extent, the only such media being live-action plays.
What I see in Huxley’s quote is how easy it is for the author’s intentions to be derailed when discussing ideology convoluted with nature. I think we have learned a lot here about Lysenko as an example of deliberate marriage of ideology with science, and the ghastly consequence that results. The only reason that worked is PCC(E) can write so articulately on this ostensibly untouchable subject.
I’d want to make a strong case that the renaming of buildings and removal of statues is itself just another example of ideology polluting science, in a different form. Huxley’s quote was perhaps not peer-reviewed, or proof-read, and forgivable for its rough language, being antique.
But barreling forth with a fashion designer’s zeal to redecorate a campus at the expense of credit where credit is due for discovery? How is that an appropriate reaction to pieces of writing, that may or may not have been peer-reviewed or proofread, with language that will be jarring in 100 years? Were these simply opinion pieces?
Apologies for the long-winded outburst. BTW the signatories on the letter-not-petition – are not to be dismissed out-of-hand!
This was edited in the “barreling forth” section.
Yes–negative enough to ignore the man’s many other contributions, which outweigh this single statement (used over and over again) and to brand him as a “racist”. Please add the antiracist statements that THH made on the other side. I would recommend you read Nick’s notes and especially his long defense of Huxley.
I did in fact look through Matkze’s material. But I felt some of what he said didn’t reflect the sources properly.
“Huxley’s style was “vigorously paradoxical” and he loved to use hyperbole and superficial self-contradiction to make his points, which were often about separating factual claims from value claims.”
It’s very clear Huxley’s making a factual claim that “… no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still  less the superior, of the average white man.” . And later on, “Supposing, however, that all these arguments have a certain foundation; admitting, for a moment, that they are comparable to those by which the inferiority of the negro to the white man may be demonstrated, are they of any value as against woman-emancipation.”
This isn’t value claims, it’s clear factual claims.
Matkze’s correct that Huxley was far less racist than many other people, and he spoke out against the idea of enslaving people and claiming them subhuman. But let’s separate factual claims from value claims.
Now, it’s a fool’s errand I’ve taken here, as there is no profit for me in it. I’m not crusading for Huxley’s cancellation. But those views above are not fiction.
Yes, especially those people who comb the writings of Victorian scientists looking for something–anything–to use as a reason for dismissing them and their work. How many of those people who damned Huxley for this would have AGREED with him had they lived at the time? I bet most of them.
Year : 1865
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.”
Some might argue the likes of Adam Rutherford and Alice Roberts have enabled some of the “thinking” behind this decision.
I’m keen for you to elaborate this point. Who are ‘some’, and how might they argue this? And who are the ‘likes of AR/AR’? And why is ‘thinking’ in speech marks?
If you look hard enough you can even turn Lewontin into a racist by some definition “ On the average, over a number of studies, blacks have a distribution of I.Q. scores whose mean is about 15 points—about 1 standard deviation—below whites.”