Duggar Husband: Racism is Caused by Evolution, Solved by the Bible

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Sorta transcript:

The Duggars may have had their reality show, 2 billion kids and counting, cancelled because of one of the kids being a sexual predator, but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to make news, as with the recent revelation that Josh Duggar had a paid account on the cheat-on-your-spouse website, Ashley Madison. They also haven’t let their cancelation get in the way of spreading their message using the miracle of social media.

“Their message,” if you’re not aware, is a particular brand of “family values-focused” fundamentalist Christianity called Quiverfull. Quiver is normal a thing you put arrows in, but in this case it’s a metaphor for a thing you put penises in, i.e., a woman. Just kidding, the “arrows” are actually babies, but the quiver is in fact a woman. The whole point of Quiverfull is that women aren’t worth anything more than their wombs, and if they’re not pregnant then they’d better have a damn good reason, like being dead or below the age of 16. Eh, let’s say 13. 12.

Their latest social media post features Ben Seewald, who is worse than a Dugger child because he chose to marry into that family. In order to show how cool and “with it” extremist Christians are these days, the video also features Ben’s black friend, Dante Berry. Ben and Dante sit down just like two cool bros, rapping about the hot issue of the day, racism! You may be aware of a rash of murders of young black men and women at the hands of America’s police forces. What could Ben and Dante add to the conversation that hasn’t already been covered by the activists of #BlackLivesMatter? Well, as Ben explains, “there’s no room for racism in Christianity. That all comes from the Devil. That all comes from, like, this false religion out here, evolution, that stuff? Teaching that, like, some people are ‘more evolved?’”

Racism. Comes from. Evolution.

I mean, in a way he could be right: humans may have evolved to be racists, related to protecting your own family at the expense of others, I guess, bla bla bla but no, just kidding, he’s obviously talking about Social Darwinism.

“Social Darwinism” is a general term for a number of philosophies, most of which revolve around the idea that amongst humans, only the strongest races or ethnicities or other groups of people survive, and so we should select for those traits that make the human race stronger, thinking that inspired Nazi Germany, among others. It has nothing to do with actual biological processes described by evolutionary theory and natural selection, since there’s hardly anything “natural” about artificially deciding who you want to live and who you want to die and then making that happen.

Scientific theories like evolution describe reality as best they can – they don’t tell us how things should be. And that said, the theory of evolution absolutely does not teach us that some people are “more evolved.” That was something that some scientists believed centuries ago, but the evidence wasn’t there to support their racist fantasies, so it was discarded. That said, researchers studying chimpanzee DNA at University of Michigan found in 2007 that chimps are “more evolved” than humans, so I wonder how much of an insult that would really be, even if it were true.

Ben says there is no racism in the Bible, only furthering my theory that no Christians have ever actually read the Bible. The fun thing about a book that long, and that often indecipherable, and that cobbled together from various authors spanning more than a thousand years, is that it takes pretty much every side of every argument that doesn’t involve science in any way. It’s pro-slavery, it’s anti-slavery, it’s pro-woman, it’s anti-woman, and yes, it’s pro-racism and anti-racism.

In the Old Testament, God is super duper racist. He’s constantly urging the Israelites to ethnically cleanse pretty much everyone, just for not being Israelites. And he gets super pissy and murdery if the Israelites ever try to marry non-Israelites. A lot of Christians handwave away all the horrific stuff God did in the Old Testament by claiming that Jesus changed all that, as if that makes God cool because he’s so much better now. Like your Grandpa, who stopped openly telling racist jokes after your cousin had a baby with a Hispanic guy.

But Jesus was pretty racist, too, at least in passages like Matthew 15:22, when he tells a woman he won’t get the demon out of her daughter because they’re Canaanites. Well, he doesn’t tell her that at first, he just won’t even talk to her because she’s Canaanite. And when she keeps bugging him, he says that healing her daughter would be like giving good bread to a dog. Finally she agrees that she’s a dog, and so he’s like, “fine,” and immediately heals her daughter because he can do miracles and it takes him zero effort. It’s like he was just sitting around drinking wine with his 12 sexy man-friends and couldn’t even be bothered to just wave his hand at this poor lady’s daughter, because she was from Canaan.

So anyway the point is that I’m glad Ben Seewald has a black friend but I hope he never needs to ask Ben a favor because we know what Jesus would do.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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  1. Racism can’t be genetic because the infant sensory neural networks are incapable of identifying adults by “race” at birth. The infant sensory neural networks need to auto-tune to be able to identify specific humans by sight. If you are exposed to only one ethnicity, then your sensory systems get “tuned” to distinguish between people of that ethnicity, but people of other ethnicity all “look the same”. The problem isn’t with how they look, it is with the poor dynamic range of the sensory pattern recognition systems used to identify individual human beings.

    Essentially all humans are cross-fertile. There are no two ethnic groups that are not cross-fertile. A genetically mediated tendency to hate someone of a different ethnic group would be difficult to evolve because it would mean forgoing reproduction with that group. It would be unstable and would pretty quickly die out because of inbreeding between those who had it.

    1. I don’t believe anything as complicated as racism per se is what was selected for. It might be as simple as a tribalism (us versus them) instinct. This is a lot more flexible in what qualifies as “us” (Just look at the history of who’s considered “us” in the US), making it more adaptable. And since skin color is an easy, lazy dividing line between “us” and “them,” this instinct alone could lead to racism.

  2. Hairy dudes are definitely less evolved.

    Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how anyone ever gave the Duggars any credence whatsoever.

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