Apes Or Angels? Creationism And Race Denial


The pioneering German sociologist Max Weber coined a useful term: status symbol.

This refers not just to the distinctions in clothes and furniture lovingly catalogued by novelists such as Tom Wolfe. There are also status symbols in the realm of ideas.

Perhaps the two doctrines currently most de rigueur for entry into intellectual polite society:

1. That humanity evolved from lower animals according to the process of natural selection outlined by Charles Darwin.

2. That humanity has not evolved any patterns of genetic variation corresponding to geographic ancestry … well, none other than the obvious ones that we can all see.

These two concepts are directly contradictory, as former UCLA professor of science education Cornelius J. Troost points out in his new book Apes or Angels? Darwin, Dover, Human Nature, and Race. Troost`s title refers to how the British politician Benjamin Disraeli wittily rejected the first proposition in his day: “Is man an ape or an angel? My Lord, I am on the side of the angels”.

Yet, the two doctrines, self-annihilating as they may be, are tests of sanctity among the self-righteous of our day. For example, Christopher Hitchens asserted in the Wall Street Journal on January 18, 2008 in The Perils of Identity Politics” :