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Darwin's Humanitarian Imperative: Abolish Slavery and Racism -- An Alternative Reading of the Origin of Species based on a Metaphor of Love

November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

To mark the 150th anniversary of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," Professor Jungck, evolutionary biologist with an avid interest in the history of Darwiniana will give a presentation that will focus on a re-reading of Darwin by authors such as Rosaleen Love, George Levine, David Loye, and especially Adrian Desmond and James Moore's recent: "Darwin's Sacred Cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin's Views on Human Evolution." Instead of the much hyped Wordsworthian phrase: "Nature red in tooth and claw" or the Spencerian phrase: "Survival of the fittest" that have so dominated the past century and a half of public perception of Darwinian thought, these authors draw attention to Darwin's metaphor of "evolution is love" and his abiding interest in social justice. Thus, Jungck will build on these authors' works to present a crtique of the genetic fallacy of conflating "what is" with "what ought." He will counter with an interpretation of Darwin and an "Origin" that celebrates the Darwinian revolution in its ability to challenge racism, speciesism, and sexism and especially social injustices like slavery.

An exciting collection of Darwinian books, maps, collections, and models will be on display in the foyer of the Library November 18 - December 11, 2009.