Introduction to the Series
What if you learned that the filters through which you process information from the world around you, the decisions you make big and small, and even the fleeting thoughts you have about people, places, and things are not entirely your own? What if you realized that the manner in which you encounter and relate with the world at large is based to a significant degree on the biases of your culture birthed out of a matrix of accepted and ingrained norms established by generations of your ancestors before you were born? That, although we are not born with them, these cultural blinders we imperceptibly grow into severely limit what we notice, how we react, and what we believe is true about the world.
A growing number of American Nature writers like Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, Wallace Stegner, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Mary Oliver, Wes Jackson, and Terry Tempest Williams are known specifically for helping us understand the deeper wisdom that we can’t fully know who we are until we know where we are. This is referring primarily to a sense of place in terms of the local lands and bioregion one lives within. For a broader sense of place, we also must understand our cultural history, where we come from, and the stories we live by, in order to understand how we got to where we are now.
We can each choose, to some extent, to remove the cultural blinders holding us back from reaching our full human potential– but this entails choosing to swallow the “red pill”  and undergo a mighty uncomfortable journey of our history as a people born of empire. Essentially, we are the Romans of the 20th and 21st centuries. We don’t need the Mongols to sack Rome to awaken to our inherent weakness. Our own hollow ‘warrior’ society is eating us from the inside out. To sustain a journey of love and the choice to bring more beauty into the world also requires holding the tension and deeper sense of what a warrior is – one who develops the courage to be vulnerable enough to really look in the mirror and speak the truth to self, to culture, to empire, while defending those who have no voice.
It’s time for another series of articles where I get to go deeper into something that maybe only a few have spent any precious time thinking about – the nexus at the fusion of the nature of generational implicit bias, Nature herself, and the science of symbiosis as a more complete picture of the evolution of life on Earth. I sense this has the tectonic power to shift us from choosing death to choosing life.
My writing is almost always a window onto my own journey and attempt to broaden my own understanding. Some aspects of this topic I realize I’ve been mulling over since my graduate school days in the early 1990’s when I read Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, and Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, along with graduate courses in evolution, ecology, behavioral ecology, and biology of behavior.
On my own time, I was also investigating symbiosis between and within species and reading authors like Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock of Gaia hypothesis fame, and taking courses in deep ecology and permaculture. One of the professors on my graduate research committee asked me what I was most interested in for ethological research. I replied, to concerned looks, that I was most interested in the phenomenon of symbiosis.
Fast forward thirty years, and some of this is bubbling back to the surface into what I intend will be a series of three articles examining 1) harmful unconscious biases intertwined with the established dogma in biology of the science of evolution of life, 2) the nature of unconscious (implicit) bias in general and why working to make implicit bias conscious is necessary and probably critical to our future survival as a species, and 3) an exciting discovery and theory of symbiosis and cooperation as an alternative pathway for the evolution of life that potentially provides guidance in how we relate to each other and all of life.
There has been a lot of talk lately about the desire to emerge from the global pandemic with a higher sense of our humanity and community, and not fall back into unhealthy behavior and destructive norms as a society. An uncomfortable inquiry and examination are important if we hope to begin to understand how to move away from destructive behavior toward a more loving relationship with each other and with all of life. That seems like a worthy goal. Perhaps a goal that all others goals should serve.
In this first article of the series, I’ll quickly introduce the history and science of evolution by natural selection and briefly unpack several of the (unscientific) biases embedded with it. For me, this deep dive into implicit bias around how we’ve conducted science and economy is necessary in order to add to a map where I/we can locate where we are standing today in our collective Westernized worldview and the route that brought us here.
Evolution by Natural Selection
The theory of evolution by natural selection, as put forth by Charles Darwin in his paradigm-shifting Origin of Species published in 1859, changed the course of science, society, and how we think about our place in the world as humans. The theory of evolution provided a new, evidence-based framework for understanding life and complex systems. This in turn generated incredible scientific advancement that has given incalculable benefits for humanity (to widely varying degrees; the benefits, the costs, and who has benefited).
The theory of evolution by natural selection has two primary points: 1) All of life on Earth is related and interconnected, 2) The diversity of life is a result of the mechanism of natural selection where some traits are favored in an environment over others. As new traits infer reproductive advantages, this leads to modification of populations of an organism over time.
The theory of evolution by natural selection describes a process whereby organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical and/or behavioral traits. Any of these changes that allow an organism a better “fit” to its environment tend to increase its ability to survive. Longer survival through end of reproductive age then often translates into having more offspring. This tends to yield a higher chance of passing the advantageous heritable traits to the next generation and so forth . According to the theory, given enough time a species (or often an isolated sub-population of a species) may undergo enough changes in traits that eventually it becomes recognizable as a different and new species.
So, why the concern with hidden biases? What’s the connection?
Cultural Biases Intertwined with the Theory of Natural Selection
For starters, the full title of Darwin’s book begins to give us some surface insights: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”. Such a title could give you pause to consider its implications, although it’s important to point out that the term “races” in Darwin’s time was more generally referring to all kinds of life forms and not only human beings. None-the-less, I rarely ever notice writers cite the full title when writing about Darwin’s theory. On the one hand, it is a very long title, and I too will usually only refer to his book using the shortened version of the title. Yet, on the other hand, the second part of the title can be a little discomforting. I’ll come back to examine the second half of this title in a few minutes.
It is important to acknowledge that the interpretations and applications of the driving mechanism of the theory of evolution were embedded in cultural biases of Darwin’s time. These biases tragically provided a powerful lever used by the ruling class to further enforce inequities in society. Those in power could now simply point to the theory and claim ‘vindication by science’ for any policy that mitigated against the poor or enslaved.
Inequities such as slavery, systemic oppression of entire populations of people, toxic male behavior, prejudice against women, and a mechanistic view of nature became rationalized as scientifically founded . Intertwined with unfettered industrial capitalism (the industrial revolution was running on all cylinders from 1760 – 1840), these biases have collectively fueled our culture of greedy ‘selfish-gene’ individualism with wealthy white males at the top of the pile, and a slow, yet nearly complete gutting, of the public common good for everyone else.
If we turn the pages backward to Darwin’s time, it turns out that he and his peers were under as much influence of the biases of their culture, society, and time, as we are of the biases of our own time. Some of the biases influencing scientists view of the world during Darwin’s time have persisted from well before his time and continue their grip right up through to the present day. Many of these are deeply embedded and often are dismissed out of hand as “just the way things are”, or simply “human nature” and are immutable.
The truth is that such thinking benefits the privileged, many of whom are fearful of a world where the full humanity and dignity of all people is recognized with systems of equity and compassion. This is in part due to a sense by many people of dominant paradigm thinking in the U.S. about equitable and compassionate systems being ‘unfair to people like me’ who have worked hard for generations to ‘get a leg up’. This thinking dovetails with the way many people think “survival of the fittest” natural selection is supposed to work, and furthermore a belief that there are simply ‘a lot of lazy good-for-nothings who don’t deserve it [anything better]’.
To understand how the lens through which Darwin and his peers viewed the world and influenced their presentation and applications of the theory of evolution by natural selection, we need to look not just under the hood at the nuts and bolts of the theory. It is necessary to inspect the very fuel propelling the interpretation of a new story of life; the fuel that propelled many men (mostly) and women to drive the story line of natural selection down a particular route – one that I argue has twisted our view of life, science, other people and countries, religion, and the way we work and relate to one another and to the Earth.
A brief (non-linear) timeline of key philosophers and scientists whose works support bias against non-white and non-male human beings and other-than-human life.
Darwin lived in a post- Wealth of Nations world (the book Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) published in 1776  the same year the U.S. became a new and free country), and Darwin and his peers were heavily influenced by Smith’s arguments . Wealth of Nations essentially argued very successfully for a trinity of individualistic privileges that most economists cite as the foundation of our capitalist society: 1) pursuit of self-interest, 2) division of labor, and 3) freedom of trade, would in turn create innovation and wealth; wealth, on the surface of the argument, that would be available to all, country-wide.
One immediate issue with Smith’s arguments specifically related to free market trade is that there have rarely been any truly sustained free and open markets on a level playing field in the U.S. The policies and governance of markets overall tend to be on puppet strings directed by the already wealthy and powerful, who then reinforce the pursuit of self-interest policies that accrue continued wealth and benefits to themselves, while touting trickle-down theories of the crumbs to the rest of humanity. Concurrently, those in charge actively block access to the market by ‘others’ (historically blocking access from black and brown people specifically and the poor in general).
The second issue is that of the division of labor. Smith’s meaning was to foster a mechanized approach where factory A produced a singular widget X more efficiently than anyone else, and similarly, factory B produced widget Y, and so forth allowing for economies of scale and things to be produced at a lower cost. Yet, policies would be needed to ensure healthy competition and limit monopolies in order to keep prices and choices to the public useful and competitive (This last part of Smith’s treatise has so easily been forgotten by powerful interests).
However, based upon the notion of women as the ‘weaker sex’, the popular culture used the division of labor sentiment to further embed biases against women from positions of authority outside the home, and further relegated women and girls to unpaid conditions of home economics. With the exception of a minority of women entering school teaching, nursing professions, or secretarial work, up through the 1970’s the majority of women had been entirely tied to unpaid child-rearing and home care duties (I don’t see these as lesser-than endeavors. They are perhaps the most important aspects of daily life. The success of our species to be here today is directly tied to “home and community economics”).
The third issue of Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and its most individualistic trait, is the pursuit of self-interest. On the one hand, an increasing ability to pursue your own interests is indeed empowering and has been liberating to a degree for many peoples. However, woven together with the full bore of the biases of our Western civilization in the context of economics, the pursuit of self-interest absent the community has come to mean that we are each singularly responsible for unceasingly pulling ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps. Where we must compete and succeed at any cost in the reality of violent, take-no-prisoners, capitalism – better known as ‘the rat-race’ .
There is a corollary aspect of pursuit of self-interest ingrained in the American Dream that was forged from early days of colonial-settler mindsets where the wide-open country (increasingly purged of Native American, First Nations Peoples) offered bounties untold, available for the taking to those hardy enough and adventurous enough to do so. Rugged individualism has been sold and bought for centuries in the U.S. and has always glistened with a patina of courageous split-rail values where “working hard” and “hard work” is a virtue and value above all others. It’s become synonymous with how we identify who we are as individual persons and as a nation. To question or alter this value in any manner results in knee-jerk accusations of being “un-American”.
On top of the philosophical foundation of “a pursuit of self-interest”, technological advancements and economically cheap energy  have allowed us to become hyper-individualistic. Increasingly separated from family and community, where the individual is responsible for everything, success and failure accrue primarily to the individual . We in the U.S. are now collectively the most overworked, underpaid, medicated, depressed, sick, indebted, policed, imprisoned, and militarized people on the Earth.
Taken to the extreme, this hyper-individualism brings us to the current state of affairs with horrific gaps between rich and poor, and between CEO and worker, where fewer than 1 percent of the population now owns nearly half of the world’s wealth . This is what we all are experiencing today as violent, unfettered capitalism. Turning the pages of history back further we see that in addition to Smith’s wealth of nations thinking emphasizing the pursuit of self-interest, Darwin and his peers (as well as Adam Smith before them) also inhabited a post-Baconian and post-Cartesian world-view.
Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626), credited as the father of the scientific method, promoted science extremely successfully as a process superior to all others for obtaining accurate knowledge. Unfortunately, Bacon specifically promoted the use of science as the premiere mechanism to completely and utterly subdue and control Nature, and this thinking tended to be applied even more so to females in general (humans, non-human animals, and of Nature herself). Bacon, who was also employed as an inquisitor for the Catholic church, conjures an image of Nature as a female waiting to be dominated and violated, and he vows that scientific experimentation will subdue her (Nature) as the “slave of mankind” .
Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650), the famous Dutch philosopher of the 17th century, is perhaps entirely successful for propagating the concept that life is machine-like, without soul, and void of ability to truly think or feel. In other words, animal-as-machine. He wrote, “I have described this earth, and indeed the whole visible world, as a machine”. Descartes’ philosophical underpinnings were predicated on dualism. Dualistic thinking where the mind/soul is separate from the body; the spirit separate from the corporal. Dualism, as opposed to unifying holistic approaches, favored reductionism and invaded all of our Western systems of thought. From science to religion, rationalism is celebrated, while unifying whole systems approaches were/are excluded.
Forerunners of the Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, Bacon and Descartes taken together (their lives overlapped by several decades) were incredibly successful in a one-two-punch at establishing Nature as machine, and the growth of reductionist scientific experimentation to fully control Nature. The benefits accruing solely to man-kind (their words), to the extent that Nature/universe, animals and the human body should always be viewed as machine rather than whole living organisms with spirit/soul fully embodied.
Bacon, Descartes, Smith, and Darwin were all steeped in a religious culture that since the fourth century CE had been married to empire (Christianity with Rome, and later Paris and London, finally every small town in America) and emphasized human beings as sinful, sexually depraved, separate from and unworthy of the Divine (St. Augustine, 354 – 430) . These foundational philosophies our Western society is built upon rendered Bacon, et. al., and still us today, deaf to an inclusive God of within/near, to a God that is ‘out there’, exclusionary, and utterly separate . This has been perhaps the most primal destructive influence on our individual and collective psyches than anything previous in modern human history, as it firmly established God as a domineering (white) male who is vengeful, punitive, competitive, outside of creation, and exclusionary, while erasing the feminine, inclusive, creation-centered, nurturing, grace-giving God. The result is a myopic focus on the human (and more so the female) as born into original sin in need of redemption with full reign to pillage the Earth, rather than the original and farsighted view of humanity and all of creation /cosmos/earth as an original blessing beckoning us to become co-creators and wisdom keepers with the divine .
The Western worldview that had by then accrued around the scientific method by the end of the 17th century supported violent and oppressive biases against any peoples who were not white and in general not male. The white male had already been established as nearest the divine in the ‘great chain of being’. In a nearly all-consuming manner, this implicit thinking remains embedded in science, government, and religion today. This system of thought has reliably led to viewing the universe as entirely mechanical seen through the filters of cultural biases resulting in the subjugation and control of all things female (people and planet as “resources”) as well as non-white peoples where the goal is to control and subjugate Nature for the benefit of (primarily white, Anglo-Saxon) man [11,13].
If we can move back to Darwin’s time for a minute, we find these biases formally established in primary school curriculum as ‘science-based’ in the U.S. by at least the 1840’s, more than a decade before Darwin’s Origin of Species is published. For example, Mitchell’s School Geography: A System of Modern Geography Comprising A Description of the Present State of the World , by page 40 in the section on “Races of Men” it specifically teaches students that:
“The European or Caucasian is the most noble of the five races of men. It excels all others in learning and the arts, and includes the most powerful of nations of ancient and modern times. The most valuable institutions of society, and the most important and useful inventions have originated with the people of this race.”
The text then continues in the following section “Stages of Society” to define five classes being “…savage, barbarous, half-civilized, civilized, and enlightened”. You can guess which peoples were categorized as savage, barbarous, and half-civilized: People of Color. Which peoples were classified in the enlightened stage of society? Only those from countries in which those in total authority derived from Anglo-Saxon stock, with the United States at the top of the pile. Of course, this education system of teaching our young people was in lock-step with the support of enslaving people of color, and later Jim Crow laws to ‘keep black people in their place’ with publicly-funded police forces to, as the name suggests, enforce such laws, which has in recent years also established the ‘school to prison pipeline’ .
Continuing on the timescale, about seven years after Darwin’s Origin of Species, a colorful phrase “survival of the fittest” was coined by British sociologist Herbert Spencer . Both Spencer and Darwin drew heavily from economist Thomas Malthus’ (1766 – 1834) writings describing how human societies evolve through a “struggle for existence”. That precise concept shows up in the second half of Darwin’s book title “…or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.
Indeed, Darwin credits his reading of Malthus in 1838 as the anchor for his working theory at the time that he would later publish in the Origin of Species 1859 . Within a few years after the publication of Origin of Species, Alfred Russell Wallace (who nearly beat Darwin to the punch on publishing the theory of evolution by natural selection) encouraged Darwin to actively adopt the use of Spencer’s “survival of the fittest” phrase . Darwin began doing so in his presentations as a proxy representing the overall theory of evolution by natural selection . His second, and later editions of Origin of Species incorporated the phrase.
Social Darwinism Then and Now
Unfortunately, “survival of the fittest” was already deeply imbued with the biases of the day, and Darwin’s enthusiastic promotion of the phrase further legitimized what would eventually become labeled as social Darwinism.
This total accumulation of the history of such biases set the stage where the scientifically and evidence-based theory of natural selection was shoe-horned into a broader social theory (of circular reasoning) advocating that those with power and wealth were naturally endowed by Nature to most reliably wield power and hold wealth. The poor, sick, feeble, mentally disabled and non-white were inferior and should not have access to such privilege.
Spencer had much earlier argued in his book Social Statics (1951), that suffering of the individual benefits society. For Spencer and other economists of his time congruent with this thinking such individual suffering is all part of nature’s “plan,” and leads to improvement of human society over time.
Spencer wrote: “The poverty of the incapable, the distress that comes upon the imprudent, the starvation of the idle, and those shoulderings aside of the weak by the strong, which leave so many ‘in shallows and in miseries,’ are the decrees of a large, farseeing benevolence.” 
This manner of thinking is still with us today and, for example, has been widely displayed throughout the pandemic by protestors in their disapproval of mandatory lockdowns in the fight against COVID-19. Here is one example representative of many with a protester holding a sign “Sacrifice the weak / Re-open Tennessee.” 
Spencer, and later others such as Darwin’s half cousin and British scholar Sir Francis Galton, believed such “undesirable” persons should not even reproduce, let alone any access to assistance or welfare to help them survive, which would then give them more opportunity to reproduce, ala the mechanisms of natural selection.
Galton aimed to launch a new science and titled his theory and practice “eugenics” – the pursuit of improving the human race by ridding society of its “undesirables” . The movement gained considerable traction in the United States peaking in the 1920’s and 30’s. The eugenics movement, all the while claiming scientific credibility based on the theory of evolution by natural selection, concluded that the best way to weed out undesirable traits was to prevent the “undesirables” from reproducing. Most of us recoil in horror today, yet in the first half of the twentieth century 32 U.S. states had passed laws that resulted in the sterilization of tens of thousands of Americans, all of whom were among populations of immigrants, people of color, disabled, single mothers, or the mentally ill 
It should not be lost on anyone that Adolf Hitler, inspired by eugenics and social Darwinism, and in direct consultation with California’s program of sterilization of the “feeble-minded”, launched his Nazi campaign to rid the world of his “undesirables” .
Today there are extremely few scientists who would publicly align themselves with any speck of social Darwinism, nor are they likely to consciously hold such views in private. Yet, the popular paradigm of “survival of the fittest”, and Nature herself as utterly ‘red in tooth and claw’ in an entirely machine-like cosmos where spirit is outside the physical realm is so consumed, digested, and assimilated into our culture that it is now a set of beliefs unconsciously breathed in and out daily by each citizen in Western civilization. Left intact without the breadth of the full scientific context of evolution, such a bias will continue to help support the lungs of oppression and inequity, and ultimate destructive greed of selfish-gene-winner-takes-all policies. Which, is entirely what we witness in republican and libertarian policies, and even to some extent democrat policies in the U.S.
For example, Virginia Eubanks, in her recent book Automating Inequality  lays out the history and progression of policies mitigating against the poor and disadvantaged in the U.S. where today’s algorithms and machine learning speed doubles down with built-in implicit biases against an ever-growing population of undeserving and unproductive undesirables with unrelenting precision.
Most adults in the U.S. today have heard the news that generations alive today have been living under a regime of runaway wealth inequality. As a people, we’ve just begun to acknowledge the broad spectrum of inequalities in our society due to racist policies. Such policies are the offspring born of the initial social Darwinism that was ignited by the theory of evolution by natural selection in the 1850s and twisted by “survival of the fittest” implicit biases that remain ingrained in our culture today.
I acknowledge that this is quite a stack of grievances to lay at the feet of the accepted dogma in biological science of how life came to evolve on earth. I underscore that the theory of evolution by natural selection itself certainly did not create these oppressive, destructive biases. Rather, the biases were already a well-worn lens thick and opaque with violent history through which the theory was formulated, viewed, presented, and embedded to reinforce those biases.
Key to the story here is a distorted emphasis on the specific mechanisms of evolution, namely natural selection. These views intertwined with the implicit biases held by primarily white, male scientists running the show  have greatly aided in rooting white supremacy, destructive male behavior, misogyny, and hyper-individualism as natural evolutionary outcomes. All of these traits themselves have become deeply embedded as unconscious biases in the way policy, science, and religion is formed and implemented in the U.S. and to a sizeable extent in many Western societies.
To begin to dismantle such deeply held implicit biases will entail deeper digging with a lot of sifting in order to separate the misnomers and bias-induced twisting of science from the actual evidence and larger story about the evolution of life. There is so much more to unpack here than a single article could hope to adequately address.
With this piece, I’ve attempted to present a brief introduction to the history and impact of biases surrounding the theory of evolution by natural selection. Up next in the second article of the series I will present more specifically the nature of implicit (unconscious) bias and current knowledge of how we can begin to become conscious of damaging biases and begin to change our behavior and decision making to become more equitable and inclusive.
Finally, in part three of the series I will present evidence, nuances, and insights into a more complete story of the evolution of life that points us toward an entirely different perspective for life with outcomes that could emphasize synergistic cooperation and the common good. As a side benefit, this science-based storyline could give us hope and encouragement for the future of humanity and the Earth.
Footnotes and References:
- “red pill, blue pill” refers to the scene in the movie Matrix, where the character Neo is faced with a choice of taking the red pill that will remove the machine-generated illusions of a superficial world and begin a harsh journey of waking and making a positive difference in the real world, or he can choose to remain in a beautiful prison of illusion and comfort by swallowing the blue pill.
- Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London:John Murray
- “success” and increased reproductive capacity doesn’t always yield more offspring; for example, in modern humans worldwide, those that tend toward the upper half of economic status and stability are having far fewer babies these days (cultural and economic factors), even though such parents could feasibly support many more offspring.
- It’s important to relay that not all scientists of that period completely embraced these biases. In fact, Darwin and several of his family members were actively anti-slavery, and Darwin himself exchanged letters about science and encouraged several women in scientific pursuits back when this was generally frowned upon. However, by Descent of Man that he published in 1871 Darwin had solidified his views that as a result of sexual selection men are “more courageous, pugnacious, and energetic than women and have more inventive genius. His brain is larger, where women’s brains are intermediate between that of child and man.” Darwin had also endorsed his cousin Francis Galton’s view of hereditary genius being transmitted down the male line, and he cautiously supported eugenics. See this doctoral dissertation for a thorough dive into this subject: Rayher, E.S. (1996). Confusion and cohesion in emerging sciences: Darwin, Wallace, and social Darwinism. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
- Smith, Adam, 1723-1790. (2000). The wealth of nations / Adam Smith ; introduction by Robert Reich ; edited, with notes, marginal summary, and enlarged index by Edwin Cannan. New York :Modern Library
- When Darwin was at Cambridge in 1829, he wrote, “My studies consist in Adam Smith and Locke.”
- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_race
- see https://emergewild.com/?s=eco-literacy for a five part series I wrote detailing the scientific understanding the laws of energy, its use, and the misunderstandings we have about energy, and the shift in thinking that we need in order to pursue sustainable living and sustainable energy use.
- Take academics as one example: from the age of 4 or 5 onward we are inculcated in the view that if we can earn an A letter grade, then we are counted as an individual who succeeds. If we earned something of a C, D, or F we are largely marked as a failed individual. Implicit biases in the educational system then reinforce future expectations. Even up through the tenure process in academia, the individual is graded on the sheer number of credible publications where they are the lead author, never-mind the passion for teaching, service to students and community, or desire to collaborate with others on grand challenge issues.
- 42 million people (0.8 percent of world’s population), who also have networth of at least $1 million, actually control 44.8% of the world’s wealth. For ongoing discussion with a list of references related to wealth inequality see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_wealth
- For example, see “The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution” by Carolyn Merchant, published in 1980. Merchant presented a view of the Scientific Revolution that challenged the hegemony of mechanistic science as a marker of progress. It argued that seventeenth-century science could be implicated in the ecological crisis, the domination of nature, and the devaluation of women in the production of scientific knowledge. A more recent essay (2006) by Merchant offers a twenty-five-year retrospective of the book’s contributions to ecofeminism, environmental history, and reassessments of the Scientific Revolution. It also responds to challenges to the argument that Francis Bacon’s rhetoric legitimated the control of nature. Although Bacon did not use terms such as “the torture of nature,” his followers, with some justification, interpreted his rhetoric in that light.” Source: https://nature.berkeley.edu/departments/espm/env-hist/articles/84.pdf
- For a complete understanding of these phenomena and history see Fox, M. Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality (1983), Fox, M. The Coming of the Cosmic Christ (1988) Harper San Francisco, and Rohr, R. The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe (Convergent Books, 2019)
- Fideler, D. (2014) Restoring the Soul of the World: Our Living Bond with Nature’s Intelligence. Simon and Schuster
- Mitchell, S. A. (1850) Mitchell’s School geography. Philadelphia, Thomas, Cowperthwait & co. Can be retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/05025256/. This book was in the library of my Great Grandmother Edna Fell Hay, so I was able to read directly from this antique book.
- For a deep dive into these outcomes I recommend Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. New York: One World, and Alexander, M. (2010) The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York : [Jackson, Tenn.] :New Press ; Distributed by Perseus Distribution.
- Spencer, H. (1864). The principles of biology. London: William and Norgate.
- Rayher, E.S. (1996). Confusion and cohesion in emerging sciences: Darwin, Wallace, and social Darwinism. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
- In one of his copies of On the Origin of Species, Alfred Russell Wallace crosses out ‘natural selection’ and writes ‘survival of the fittest’ next to it. Wallace always felt that ‘selection’ inappropriately imported anthropomorphic notions of Nature choosing purposefully between variants into natural history. Wallace wrote to Darwin encouraging him to adopt this new phrase to explain the theory of evolution for general audiences: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/darwinism/
- Bolt, C. (2013). Victorian Attitudes to Race. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. (page 207)
- For example see https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/22/protester-anti-lockdown-march-spotted-poster-saying-sacrifice-weak-12594348/
- Galton, Francis (1904). “Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims”. The American Journal of Sociology. X (1): 82. Bibcode:1904Natur..70…82.. doi:10.1038/070082a0
- The Role of Darwinism in Nazi Racial Thought: https://www.csustan.edu/sites/default/files/History/Faculty/Weikart/Darwinism-in-Nazi-Racial-Thought.pdf
- Eubanks, V. (2018) Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. New York: Picador, St Martin’s Press. Also see: Benjamin, Ruha (2019). Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. Polity, and Noble, Safiya Umoja (2018). Algorithms of oppression: how search engines reinforce racism. New York: New York University Press.
- *currently 71% of scientists and engineers are male, with 49% of all scientists and engineers being white males. However, only sixty years ago, as late as 1960, nearly all scientists and engineers were white males (~95%**). For four centuries from Francis Bacon, the father of the scientific method, up through 1960 the established paradigm of science has been built on white male bias and continues to exert the primary influence in how science is conducted and applied. For demographics see *https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/occupation/overall.cfm ** IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org and also: http://metrocosm.com/a-visual-history-of-the-gender-employment-gap/