Saturday, January 23, 2021

Famous evolutionists now being canceled

A century ago, William Jennings Bryan warned about teaching evolution:
In the final years of his life, Bryan became the unofficial leader of a movement that sought to prevent public schools from teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.[113] Bryan had long expressed skepticism and concern regarding Darwin's theory; in his famous 1909 Chautauqua lecture, "The Prince of Peace", Bryan had warned that the theory of evolution could undermine the foundations of morality.[119] Bryan opposed Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection for two reasons. First, he believed that what he considered a materialistic account of the descent of man (and all life) through evolution was directly contrary to the Biblical creation account. Second, he considered Darwinism as applied to society (social Darwinism) to be a great evil force in the world, promoting hatred and conflicts and inhibiting upward social and economic mobility of the poor and oppressed.[120]
That battle is long over, and Bryan lost. Or so I thought.

There is a new leftist push to cancel famous evolutionists:

Many consider Ronald Fisher (1890-1962) one of the greatest biologists — and probably the greatest geneticist — of the 20th century, for he was a polymath who made hugely important contributions in many areas. He’s considered the father of modern statistics, developing methods like analysis of variance and chi-square tests still used widely in science and social science.
But now academia is repudiating him because his evolutionary teachings are intertwined with ideas that are now considered offensive.

Awards are being renamed:

This award was originally named to highlight Fisher’s foundational contributions to evolutionary biology. However, we realize that we cannot, in recognizing and honoring these contributions, isolate them from his racist views and promotion of eugenics – which were relentless, harmful, and unsupported by scientific evidence.
The inevitable offensive conclusion from evolutionary biology is that some people are genetically more fit than others.

One professessor explains:

Fisher’s views were based on his calculations that the lower classes outbred the higher ones, which, he thought, would lead to an inevitable evolutionary degeneration of society. But he was wrong: oddly, he didn’t do his sums right, as was pointed out much later by Carl Bajema. When you do them right, there’s no difference between the reproductive output of “higher” and “lower” classes.
He wasn't wrong. The lower classes are outbreeding the higher classes. But whether they are or not, that is not the offensive part. The offensive part is that society could be improved if the higher fit people breed more than the lower fit ones. I do not see any evolutionists denying that.

If Fisher were just scientifically wrong, it would be no big deal. He was famously wrong about smoking causing lung cancer, but no one wants to cancel him for that. They only want to cancel him for talking about the genetic fitness of human beings.

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