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Social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest, and the intersection of science and politics: A BlogHer guest post

 

A cartoon of Darwin kicking out a business man labeled "Laissez-Faire" and an old man labeled "eugenics" saying, "Get out of my house!"

Used with permission from the University of California Museum of Paleontology.

The wonderful folks at BlogHer asked me to write a guest post on Social Darwinism, after President Obama’s speech last week where he evoked the phrase to critique the GOP budget.

“Given the long history of racist stereotypes about poverty, and the fact that the public has a lot of misconceptions about evolution, the continued use — and abuse — of pseudoscience to promote inequality is a serious concern. Scientists may create words and phrases, but they don’t have a monopoly on them; terms often take on different meanings through time, or when adopted by different groups of people. Just because “fitness” or “Social Darwinism” have a troubled past or variable meanings through time doesn’t mean we should avoid them. Rather, it means that we have to be explicit about our usage, and understand the context around such phrases.”

Want to read more? Check out the full post here.

Categories: Commentary Syndicated

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Jacquelyn Gill

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