Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

The “Savage” Irony of Charles Darwin

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Savages.  Can we use the word?  Absolutely not! says polite society … unless of course you are speaking evolutionarily.  Then it is just fine.  Merely a term of science, so to speak.

Many people will still try to blame genocide and racism on faith communities (especially Christians), but it is not they who believe in savages.  It is an evolutionary term that has led to discrimination, wanton blood-letting, racial stereotyping and various forms of eugenics for over 150 years now.  If we are evolved from lower forms after all, then those who are of those lower forms, or still exhibit such features are surely not as fit for survival as we, are they?  So why feel bad about it?  Call a savage a savage and have done with it.

It was the opinion of Mr. Darwin himself.  Consider his learned position regarding the Fuegians he met on his travels aboard the Beagle.

“For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey … or from that old baboon … as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest of superstitions.” (The Descent of Man) Read it from the source. (p.518)

Let us not mince words.  He considered them less than human.  How much nobler, if we had risen from the heroic struggle of the mindless animals, than to be connected to such unreasoning savagery.

Yet consider this – what do you see around you in our gentrified and highly evolved societies today?  And what should we make of it by the same Darwinian standards?  Ten minutes in politics will show anyone that the love of torturing enemies has not been left behind us on the evolutionary tree.  We simply have more complex rules for how and when it is proper to engage in such things.

Bloody sacrifices?  As the people whose livelihood was destroyed by the thugs and the vandals supposedly trying to make a point at this past weekend’s G20 summit in Toronto.  Over a million dollars in damage to windows alone!  And why?  Because sacrificing an innocent’s livelihood is the most enlightened way of making your opinions known?

Practicing infanticide?  how about 300 000 infants aborted in Canada alone each and every year.  Babies offered up on the altars of “choice”, “bad timing”, or “convenience.”  And remorse?  How can one be remorseful of a person’s hard-won right.

Decency, wives as slaves?  Pornography is a multibillion dollar business.   Much of fashion (for girls as much as women) leaves little more to the imagination than the porn magazines out there.  Women are still routinely beaten and battered, to the point where nearly every town sports at least one women’s shelter (I drive past the local one every morning n my way to the church).  And superstition?  You name it, people still do it! Ladders, black cats, mirrors, salt, 13, speaking of death and so on and so on.

It’s a good thing we are so much more evolved now than we were back in those prehistoric days of savagery isn’t it?

“A wild man is indeed a miserable animal.”  So wrote Charles Darwin (Darwin correspondence Project, Letter 207) I know its ironic, but I couldn’t agree more!


Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

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