[文化博览]达尔文的危险思想2-26

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2014-2-12 09:58

英国广播公司:达尔文的危险思想

BBC: Darwin's Dangerous Idea

《达尔文的危险思想》由安德鲁·马尔(Andrew Marr)主持,并基于哲学家丹尼尔·丹尼特(Daniel Dennett)的同名书籍《Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life》。在这本书,丹尼特提出达尔文进化过程以及自然选择不但是造就了人类的身体特征,同时也是塑造人类思想的主要作用力的观点。

The second episode of Andrew Marr's exploration of Darwin explores the impact of Darwin’s ideas on society and politics. Darwin’s first port of call on the Beagle was Salvador in Brazil – then a major port for the international slave trade. His experience there confirmed his enlightenment views of liberty and progress and his hatred of slavery. But his theory of evolution that began to take root on that epic voyage would describe a world of conflict, ruthless competition and struggle. It would be taken up and abused by some of the most reactionary movements of the late-19th and 20th centuries. The phrase “survival of the fittest“ would help propel Darwin’s theory as a scientific justification for eugenics, enforced sterilisation and genocide. But after the Second World War, Darwin’s theory finds redemption in the United Nations statement on race which confirms Darwin’s long-held view that all humans are members of the same race and deserving of equal treatment. This is further reinforced in the extraordinary work of a small Jewish community in New York who used DNA testing and a voluntary and anonymous form of selective breeding to eliminate a debilitating disease from the Jewish community. DNA testing is the final frontier of Darwin’s Dangerous idea. But the lessons from history suggest that the new choices we face about what to do with the knowledge Darwin has given us when combined with genetics and DNA testing remains a major social and political challenge.

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