Especialista da Universidade Princeton afirma: as teorias de Darwin foram "distorcidas" por seu racismo e sexismo!

sexta-feira, maio 21, 2021

“The Descent of Man,” 150 years on

Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.

Science 21 May 2021:

Vol. 372, Issue 6544, pp. 769

In 1871, Charles Darwin tackled “the highest and most interesting problem for the naturalist…the descent of man.” Challenging the status quo, Darwin deployed natural and sexual selection, and his recently adopted “survival of the fittest,” producing scenarios for the emergence of humankind. He explored evolutionary histories, anatomy, mental abilities, cultural capacities, race, and sex differences. Some conclusions were innovative and insightful. His recognition that differences between humans and other animals were of degree, not of kind, was trailblazing. His focus on cooperation, social learning, and cumulative culture remains core to human evolutionary studies. However, some of Darwin's other assertions were dismally, and dangerously, wrong. “Descent” is a text from which to learn, but not to venerate.

Darwin saw humans as part of the natural world, animals that evolved (descended) from ancestral primates according to processes and patterns similar for all life. For Darwin, to know the human body and mind, we must know other animals and their (and our) descent with modification across lineages and time. But despite these ideal frames and some innovative inferences, “Descent” is often problematic, prejudiced, and injurious. Darwin thought he was relying on data, objectivity, and scientific thinking in describing human evolutionary outcomes. But for much of the book, he was not. “Descent,” like so many of the scientific tomes of Darwin's day, offers a racist and sexist view of humanity.