Profs & Pints: Racism and Evolution
Profs and Pints presents: "Racism and Evolution," with Rui Diogo, associate professor of anatomy at Howard University's College of Medicine and resource faculty member at George Washington University's Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology.
Science often is depicted as the antidote to wrongheaded ideas, but truth has often been far more complicated. Join Rui Diogo, an award-winning scholar of hominid paleobiology, for a talk on how scholarship on primates and evolution has been used throughout history to buttress prejudice and justify harm to our fellow homo sapiens.
We'll start with the ancient Greek physician Aelius Galenus, who used monkeys to infer human anatomy, in line with the human-animal continuity implied by the Greek notion of scala naturae. From there, we'll discuss the uneasy relationship between Christianity and non-human primates, and how the 1699 discovery of anatomical similarities between humans and chimpanzees caused discomfort that led to attempts to distinguish not only between humans and other primates, but Europeans and others viewed as less "civilized."
We'll hear how studies of craniology and "anatomical racial studies" led to even more extreme ideas of Europeans being mentally and morphologically 'ideal." The biased and often incorrect results of such "studies" were combined with Darwin's ideas to give rise to eugenics and, eventually, Nazism.
In the wake of World War II and the discovery of Nazi horrors scientists have focused on emphasizing the unity and continuity between all human groups and between humans and other primates. Bad ideas are tough to kill off, however, and racist ideologies based on false beliefs are re-emerging in political discourage.
Diogo will show how biological data contradicts belief in the existence of separate human races and notions of superiority or inferiority based on skin color. He'll also discuss the ways in which the bad ideas of the past remain alive today. (Advance tickets; $12. Doors: $12, save $2 with a student ID.)
The Bier Baron Tavern (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|