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Re: Alabama senator Hillary Herbert & birds with teeth

2011/1/23 Lee Hall <paleeoguy@gmail.com>:
> Also, before this turns into a "Olde paleontologists were racists and
> bad people" thread: you cannot hold historical figures up to modern
> moral standards.  If you do that, you take them out of the context of
> the eras in which they existed.  Keep them within the boundaries of
> their lifetimes, and you'll really start to figure out who they were
> and why they did what they did.
But, according to that logic, we should not judge past scientists from
slavery-practicing countries if they tried to talk good things about
slavery, because of the rationale that their mind on these issues were
result of their societies, even if their speeches favored slavery!
Although not favoring slavery, both Cope and Huxley were prolific
writers which assumed and transferred prejudices against blacks. They,
very smart scientists, which were so evidence-based in their
professional lives, succumbed in this case to widespread prejudice.
They contributed to bad and segregationist treatment, with the bad
press they, respected thinkers, helped to generate. For, if you say
someone is intrinsically inferior intellectually, it follows society
dismisses spending the same effort in teaching these persons which
could not, according to that discourse, adequately use knowledge. They
were functional in discourse with all the entrepneurial oligarchies
which did not want to spend money in the well-living of the workers
they employed, especially in the colonies.