History

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for History

My response to David Klinghoffer’s piece in the Huffington Post has just been published: Creationists are fond of laying the blame for Nazi eugenics on Charles Darwin. They insist that his materialist argument that humans evolved from animals and his conception of natural selection inspired the Nazis to implement a widespread policy of artificial selection…

With yesterday’s announcement of the historic nuclear arms treaty signed by Russia and the United States (that would reduce existing stockpiles by as much as 30%) I thought I would repost my piece on Edward Teller’s nuclear legacy from September, 2003 that was originally commissioned by The Nation magazine (though ultimately went unpublished). Also see…

Harvard Medical School physician and researcher J. Wes Ulm has a fascinating paper in the new edition of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, the quarterly academic periodical put out by Johns Hopkins University. His paper “The Cachet of the Cutthroat” investigates the legacy of ideas that formed the basis of laissez-faire social Darwinism: Ultimately, Social…

RaceWire is reporting that Thomas Hagan, one of three men convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X (and the only to plead guilty), was released after his 17th attempt at parole yesterday. Hagan, at the time of the murder, was known as Talmadge X and was a militant member of the Nation of Islam. According…

(updated below – Update II – Update III)    CIA peppered bread with LSD in 1951            Image: The Telegraph Yesterday the UK newspaper The Telegraph published an article revealing that a mysterious 1951 outbreak of mass hysteria in France was actually the result of a secret experiment performed by the Central Intelligence Agency when they spiked the…

Darwin and Spencer in the Middle East

It is a common argument by those who are opposed to evolution’s implication for religious belief to label Darwin as a social Darwinist and a racist. Adrian Desmond and James Moore’s book Darwin’s Sacred Cause has gone a long way towards dispelling any claims that Darwin sought to justify black inferiority (in fact, as they…

Nuuchaanulth Ceremonial Curtainfrom the Family of Naasḳuu-isaḳs of the Hupacasath Nation Human beings around the world honor their dead and the memories of their relatives. We have enacted special rituals related to the handling of human remains from the sacred funeral pyres of India to the professionalized aseptic embalming practices of the United States. Even…

Animal Rights and Human Rights

It’s wonderful to see that my Open Letter to the Animal Liberation Front has generated discussion on this important topic. The issue as I see it is really quite simple and boils down to two essential issues: the benefits to science versus the ethics of invasive animal experimentation. The British Medical Journal study and BUAV…

       Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulip, Rembrandt (1632)I have been extremely ill this week which has prevented me from posting as often as I would have liked. However, I have been keeping up on the suggestions offered to explain the nearly 300-year-old medical mystery involving “hairy crustaceous substances” voided in a woman’s urine. Of all the…

(updated below)      Image: Henri Gervex (1852-1929)     Doctor Preau Operating at the St.     Louis Hospital.Honoured SIR and MADAM, In researching the history of science one often comes across bizarre claims about the natural world that reveals the limit of knowledge available to researchers of the past. However, sometimes a case comes up that seems to be a genuine…