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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jul > Jul 11

Re: Types Of Aliens To Expect?

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:12:24 -0500
Archived: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 05:09:16 -0400
Subject: Re: Types Of Aliens To Expect?

>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:25:40 +0100
>Subject: Re: Types Of Aliens To Expect?

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 11:20:01 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Types Of Aliens To Expect?

>>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>>>To: <post.nul>
>>>Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 15:49:01 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: Types Of Aliens To Expect?


>>he was a man of his time.


>Ha! Sorry Jerry, your excuse for Darwin: being "a man of his
>time", doesn't hold up.

>For while the bigoted, sexist and racist Darwin was ranting:

>"Man is more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than woman
>and has more inventive genius" and "Woman seems to differ from
>man in mental disposition... these faculties are characteristic
>of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of

>the logical scientist Wallace (who first told Darwin about
>`Natural Selection') was able to write:

>"The position of woman in the not too distant future will be far
>higher and more important than any which has been claimed for or
>by her in the past. While she will be conceded full political
>and social rights on an equality with man, she will be placed in
>a position of responsibility and power which will render her his

>I think there's a `Darwin industry' today for much the same
>reason as there was a `Newton industry' in the 18th Cent. That
>is, for nationalistic motives, the English establishment wanted
>a science hero: and in both cases they chose the bigot and
>plagiarist with the _wrong_ idea, which happened to suit the
>establishment's predilections.

This sort of foolishness, I'm afraid, says more about Ray's
sense of moral entitlement - intellectual naivete, too - than it
does about the complexities a sophisticated student of history
encounters when he or she deals with persons who lived in
another time and culture, when issues that appear self-evident
to us were barely imaginable (if that) to those who resided in
the different country that is the past.  Examples that come to
mind are many. These will suffice:

There is Thomas Jefferson, the author (along with James Madison)
of American democracy. Both Jefferson and Madison owned slaves -
Jefferson notoriously fathered children by one of them, Sally
Hemings - and each considered black people mentally inferior to
their white masters. In a word that hadn't been invented in
their time, they were racists. Both grew up in the plantation-
slave culture of Virginia, where these lamentable (and worse)
sentiments were held by just about everybody, with possibly the
exception of George Washington, who favored gradual emancipation
and freed his own slaves upon his death.

In any event, the verdict of history and historians is clear:
these men, whatever their personal moral blindnesses, were
pioneers of democratic governance. Their ideas, in other words,
were greater than they were as flawed individual human beings.

Likewise, Martin Luther King. Like Ray D. on Charles Darwin, FBI
director (also obsessive racist) J. Edgar Hoover was in a
constant stew about Dr. King's private failings.  Hoover judged
him a "degenerate" (not a scare quote, by the way). In this
case, King's private life was indeed tawdry in some regards.
Hoover enthusiastically oversaw the FBI's snooping into his
personal affairs. FBI operatives tried to blackmail him with the
bureau's findings, at one time even seeking to engineer his
suicide. As a strategy in their defense of the apartheid order
that King and allies were challenging, Southern racists picked
up on the theme. They wanted onlookers to believe that King's
rampant adultery was all that finally mattered about him.

Thus, all depictions of King's courageous, morally driven effort
to undo centuries of wrong to America's black minority were
countered with arguments like Ray's. By the way, while we're at
it, King was also, in the fashion of nearly all men of his time,
something of a homophobe. His views of women, as manifested in
his personal treatment of them (beginning with his long-
suffering wife), also leave much to be desired.

So much for those so-called heroes of liberty - all of them,
incidentally, subject to industries of their own. The number of
biographies and other studies of the above-mentioned historical
figures is uncountable. Of course that's not all they have in
common with Charles Darwin. Like him, they don't measure up to
the standards of cool, unblemished guys like Ray, whom future
centuries will regard with envy for his timeless moral clarity.

In any event, I refuse to participate in further discussion. It
only gives Ray's arguments a pretense to seriousness that they
in no way deserve.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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