The Social Darwinian Revolution

by Max Andrews

Evolutionary Theories of Marriage and Mating

“All those who have most closely studied the subject, and whose judgment is worth much more than mine, believe that communal marriage was the original and universal form throughout the world, including the intermarriage of brothers and sisters.”  Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Book II, pp. 358-358

The Kinsey Revolution (Alfred Kinsey)

  • Grew up in South Orange, NJ
  • Classmates predicted as “second Darwin”
  • Earned doctorate from Harvard, majoring in animal and plant taxonomy
  • Early work on gall wasps, but switched focus to human sexuality in 1930’s
  • By 1940’s received funding from the National Academy of Sciences and Rockefeller Foundation for study of human sexuality
  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male released in 1948.
  • Reduced sexuality in the “human animal” to the product of normal mammalian biology
  • Claimed his research was neutral and value-free, but his comments undercut this claim
  • Kinsey’s unorthodox personal life
  • Pressured associates to engage in mutual sex
  • Engaged in masochistic sexual activities
  • Pressured students to submit to invasive interviews
  • Hated religion
  • Kinsey’s junk science
  • Unrepresentative sample
  • Extrapolated data to only explain all white males
  • Not randomly sampled
  • Manipulative interviewing techniques
  • Using science to debunk morality
  • Unethical research practices relating to children

Impact on public policy

  • Influenced development of sex education during 1960’s-1980’s
  • Led to decriminalizing or reduction of penalties of on range of sex crimes
  • Model Penal Code
  • Adultery
  • Sexual assault of children

The Sex Education Revolution

  • 1960’s
  • Founding of Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) in 1964
  • Focus on making sex education more “scientific,” less moralistic
  • Public front v. private views
  • Public proposals and curriculum tended to be moderate, careful not to push too far beyond accepted moral codes
  • Private proposals much more radical
  • Views of Prominent Sex Education Reformers from The New Sexual Revolution (1971), edited by SIECUS co-founder Lester Kirkendall

Darwinian Racism

  • Darwin thought natural selection provided an explanation for races of different capacities and the reason there were “higher” and “lower” races

Darwinian Eugenics

  • In The Descent of Man, Darwin warned that civilized societies were destroying themselves repeatedly counteracting natural selection.
  • Eugenos (well-born), the science of improving human beings through breeding
  • Francis Galton
  • “The laws of hereditary which apply to animals also apply to man… therefore the breeder of animals is fitted to guide public opinion on questions relating to human hereditary.” Alexander Graham Bell
  • Marriage laws
  • CT enacted first eugenics marriage law in 1896
  • “By 1914 more than half of the states had imposed new restrictions on the marriage of persons afflicted with mental defects.”
  • Immigration laws (1924)

Lessons from Eugenics

  • Example of how politics misuse science?
  • There were, of course, some who abused it
  • Eugenics was really driven by the experts (Darwinian biologists) and then pushed the politicians to agree to it
  • Example of fringe science?
  • No, leaders of prestigious science organizations and universities
  • If anything it highlights the consensus view of science
  • Example of science reforming itself?
  • Example of why science needs to be subjected to normal checks and balances of a free society.
  • “Is progress possible…” God in the Dock, CS Lewis

Darwinian Devaluation of Life Today

  • Abortion, infanticide, coercive population control
  • Darwinism purports and intellectual approach to a culture of death
  • “The life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” Peter Singer, Princeton

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