History

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for History

Deconstructing Social Darwinism – Part I

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Social Darwinism is one of those concepts that everyone knows what it is but few can define. I myself have sometimes reflexively used the concept without fully knowing the history of the term or its use as a political theory. In this series it…

The Great Patriotic War in Sand and Sorrow

   Recruitment poster calling for defense of the “Soviet Motherland.” Woman holds a document that translates roughly to “military oath.”My grandmother sends me a lot of chain e-mails. Many of them are of the right-wing Evangelical Christian variety that have been resent so many times that I have to scroll down several pages just to get…

Darwiniana: Notes on Evolutionary History

“Even the best of modern civilisations appears to me to exhibit a condition of mankind which neither embodies any worthy ideal nor even possesses the merit of stability. I do not hesitate to express the opinion that if there is no hope of a large improvement of the condition of the greater part of the…

Darwiniana: Notes on Evolutionary History

Alfred Russell Wallace, co-discoverer with Darwin of the theory of natural selection, was so great an admirer of the English philosopher Herbert Spencer that he named his first-born son Herbert Spencer Wallace on June 22, 1867. Ironically, Wallace later became a socialist, a view that was diametrically opposed to Spencer’s right-wing libertarian views. Source: David…

Saint Patrick’s Battalion

David Rovics sings his song remembering the hundreds of Irish recruits in the US invasion of Mexico in 1846 that turned on their commanders and fought on the side of Mexico. While this event is little known in American history, what is even less known is that some of the soldiers in John O’Reilly’s battalion…

Now that his plan has backfired drastically (his own website has removed the link to his “Introduction” of Darwin’s book) and more people were offended by his distortions than anything else, let me briefly point out some useful information. Comfort makes the following assertions in his introduction: Adolf Hitler took Darwin’s evolutionary philosophy to its…

On November 24, 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Then, as now, many people were made uncomfortable to think that human beings could be related to the “lower” animals and this discomfort was regularly represented in popular depictions of Darwin during the 19th century. An excellent study on this was written by…

See thro’ this air, this ocean, and this earth All matter quick, and bursting into birth: Above, how high progressive life may go! Around, how wide! how deep extend below! Vast chain of being! which from God began; Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beast, bird, fish, insect, who no eye can see, No glass can…

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November, The gunpowder treason and plot, I know of no reason Why the gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot. On this day, in 1604, Guy Fawkes was arrested in his attempt to overthrow the English monarchy by blowing up the House of Lords and assassinate King James I (who would…

As Jawaharlal Nehru wrote of his native land but as a stranger in the process of discovery, “India is a geographical and economic entity, a cultural unity amidst diversity, a bundle of contradictions held together by invisible threads.” These invisible threads were the spiritual beliefs of the people, the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita and the…