Boltproof; or Damnatio Memoriae through Apotheosis. — Adam Rutherford, lecturer for the public understanding of anthropolysenkoism, presents the standard model of the relationship between Charles Darwin and Francis Galton:
Darwin was not a racist. . . . However, Darwin’s half-cousin Francis Galton, most certainly was . . .1Poor old Galton is made to serve in posterity as lightning-rod to Darwin’s spire. But it’s not just Galton who must suffer the bolt whilst Darwin remains unscorched. Your poor old granny counts as a racist because she likes neither darkies nor Jews and thinks England should remain England, whilst our dear old Darwin, who looked forward to higher races eliminating lower races2, in particular to how Anglo-Saxons would raise the rank of mankind by exterminating whole nations3, doesn’t count as a racist at all. Your granny’s opinions are no longer welcome in polite society, and she is damned to rot in the underworld for the elderly, perfunctorily attended, if not ill-treated, by foreign hands. Darwin’s remarks wouldn’t be welcome either4, but they are ignored, thought not to exist, or said to be somebody else’s, and he is apotheosised, manhandled into becoming a god too big to fail the test of latter-day sensibility, a god therefore of blind idiocy who neither sees nor understands the forms and deeds of the human races.
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1. Adam Rutherford, “Why Racism is Not Backed by Science”, theguardian.com, 1st March 2015.
2. See C.R. Darwin, Letter to William Graham, 3rd July 1881, transcribed and published online for the Darwin Correspondence Project.
3. See C.R. Darwin, Letter to Charles Kingsley, 6th February 1862, ibid.
4. See my fantasy, “An Unwelcome Guest”, The Joy of Curmudgeonry, 12th February 2009.