Sandra Okpara®

Canceling Darwin

2023-12-01

Canceling Darwin

In a hypothetical scenario where Charles Darwin faces scrutiny in today's cancel culture, the founder of evolution finds himself under harsh criticism for some of his controversial views. Natural selection, initially proposed in "On the Origin of Species," unveils the intricate dance of life's evolution. Yet, buried within scientific literature lies the unsettling echo of Social Darwinism, a distorted offspring attempting to apply Darwin's theories to human societies.

A particular scientific notion echoed in older hallways claimed certain races, particularly the white race, sat atop the Darwinian hierarchy. This theory, born from a misinterpretation of Darwin's ideas, rightfully faces criticism for perpetuating damaging racial hierarchies.

The question arises: Would Darwin escape unharmed or suffer repercussions for his unintentional contribution to scientific racism in today's cancel-culture environment?

Viral tweets flood social media, metaphorically accusing Darwin of having blood on his hands in addition to academic errors. Charges connected to the gloomy early 1900s when Ota Benga's tragic story unfolded.

Ota Benga, a Congolese Mbuti man, became caught in the web of scientific racism, a distorted interpretation of Darwin's theories. Displayed as a live exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in 1906, Ota Benga symbolized the dehumanizing effects of racial pseudo-science.

In this modern cancellation tale, Darwin faces a digital reckoning. #JusticeForTheCongolesePygmies trends on social media: "DarwinResponsible? Science should bring illumination, not sorrow. Canceled! #DarwinDebacle."

While it is crucial to acknowledge that Darwin didn't directly orchestrate Ota Benga's plight, the unintended consequences of his theories, amplified by a society embracing pseudoscientific racism, cast a long and haunting shadow over history.

Darwin became a symbol of societal failures that allowed scientific ideas to be perverted into dehumanizing tools. The cancellation tweets reverberate through digital corridors, prompting reflection on those who shape scientific narratives.

Our exploration of Darwin's fictitious cancellation saga highlights a broader reality. The science "heroes" taught in our childhood may be judged as villains by modern standards, despite once being exalted on academic pedestals.



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