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Richard Dawkins

From Slate:

From One White Lady to Another: No, Meryl Streep, We Are Not “All Africans.”

By Christina Cauterucci

You’re a white lady, Meryl Streep. I’m also a white lady. It is because of our shared whiteness that I feel compelled to notify you that your characterization of white people on Thursday—that “we’re all Africans, really”—is false.

The dominant theory in paleoanthropology is nicknamed after Streep’s 1986 movie Out of Africa, in which she portrayed Kenyan settler Baroness Karen Blixen (a Dane whose memoir begins “I had a farm in Africa …”). Wikipedia writes:

In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, or the “out of Africa” theory (OOA), is the most widely accepted model of the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans. The theory is called the “out-of-Africa” theory in the popular press, and the “recent single-origin hypothesis” (RSOH), “replacement hypothesis”, or “recent African origin model” (RAO) by experts in the field. The concept was speculative before it was corroborated in the 1980s by a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens.

The Out of Africa modeled has been whittled back by recent discoveries that non-Sub-Saharan Africans have a few percent of their genes originating in Neanderthals and, possibly, other early humans. A new study published today suggests that Neanderthal genes have statistically noticeable impact in terms of depressiveness and other behaviors. (Of course, the Neanderthals themselves, likely are descended from ancestors who themselves came out Out of Africa.)

Anyway, it’s hardly surprising that Streep would go to Out of Africa theory when harangued about race, much as Gov. Schwarzenegger used to go to Terminator lines. That’s what movie stars do. If you were a movie star, you’d exploit the wit and wisdom of your most famous movies in arguments, too.

Back to Slate:

It’s true that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved on the continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. But when our early common ancestors started to migrate out of Africa (hey, remember when you starred in that that romantic, racist, colonialist fantasy in the ’80s?) between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, they were barely even humans.

I’m not sure you want to go there.

In fact, almost as soon as Homo sapiens evolved from Homo erectus, they began to decamp the continent, becoming, in your parlance, Asians and Europeans. Since their original land mass was not yet called Africa—the word has origins in ancient Rome—it’s a safe bet that these early ancestors did not identify one another as Africans. Neither should you.

Even if that weren’t so, claiming African ancestry when you have none, at least not in the past few millennia, is insulting to people whose actual family history roots them in that continent and the diverse cultures, triumphs, and struggles it’s seen. I’m sure you know that Africa is not a country, and the countries within its bounds cover a wide spectrum of political systems, religious traditions, social customs, and major industries. So, what kind of Africans are we? Tunisian? Somalian? Malawian? Basotho? How ridiculous does “we’re all Malawians, really” sound to you?

The context of your remarks, which were uttered in defense of the lack of diversity on the Berlin International Film Festival panel, makes them even more troubling. You are the president of an all-white jury (when’s the last time that phrase led to something good?).

Do you really want to open that can of worms?

You must have expected some probing questions, especially as a leading actress in an industry that just produced its second annual all-white Oscar nomination slate.

Instead, you diminished the very real, pertinent differences between white Western filmmakers and Arab and African filmmakers: “There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all, we’re all from Africa originally,” you said, insinuating that our contemporary lives bear more relevance to early Homo sapiens than the thousands of intervening years of colonialism, globalization, cultural advancement, and geopolitical conflict. “At least women are included and in fact dominate this jury, and that’s an unusual situation in bodies of people who make decisions,” you said, “so I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game.”

You aren’t the first white feminist (oh, sorry, humanist) to decouple race from gender and prioritize one over the other—Patricia Arquette can tell you why that’s a no-no—but it’s a tired act that gets even less defensible as more and more of us white ladies get schooled. I sighed with deep disappointment when you wore that T-shirt emblazoned with a truncated quote from Emmeline Pankhurst, who you played in Suffragette: “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave,” it said. The phrase drew a disturbing connection to the Confederacy and American slavery, a link that was surely unintentional but apt nonetheless, as plenty of American suffragettes drew their boundaries of liberation around racial lines. Still, I was inclined to forgive you, since it was a silly photo shoot and you might not have had the time or presence of mind to fully grasp the implications of what you were wearing.

But this time, it’s different. If your humanism denies the value of diverse perspectives and dismisses the modern-day realities of racism, I can’t take your humanism seriously. Yes, I’m aware that nearly all of my faves are somehow problematic. But not all of them take their philosophies on whiteness from a Richard Dawkins T-shirt.

Christina Cauterucci is a Slate staff writer.

Richard Dawkins, interestingly enough, was born in Nairobi and lived in Kenya until he was eight. His father was an agricultural civil servant for the British Empire. This is pretty similar to the background of William D. Hamilton and Richard Lynn and who knows how many more leading Darwinists.

 
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  1. It’s true that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved on the continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. But when our early common ancestors started to migrate out of Africa (hey, remember when you starred in that that romantic, racist, colonialist fantasy in the ’80s?) between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, they were barely even humans.

    lol, ok then.

    • Replies: @Eric Ruttencutter
    So then we're barely even the same species now, I guess
    , @Olorin
    It ain't where we started out.

    It's everything that happened after we left.

    By Streep's logic, we're all stromatolites.
  2. Today’s requirement, at least for Slate editors, is for cauterization of any and all wounds, open, closed or other.

  3. My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt, thereby making me African. I will graciously make available to all you hapless white people my wisdom as to what you are allowed, and not allowed, to think and act with regard to all things African. You’re welcome.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    My father was born in Port Said in Egypt 90 years ago. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen 20 years ago. I was conceived in Nigeria but born in England. Am I an African American or an American African?
    , @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt".
    Your people was Kangs!
  4. @Hepp

    It’s true that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved on the continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. But when our early common ancestors started to migrate out of Africa (hey, remember when you starred in that that romantic, racist, colonialist fantasy in the ’80s?) between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, they were barely even humans.

     

    lol, ok then.

    So then we’re barely even the same species now, I guess

    • Replies: @Big Bill
    According to this writer girl, white folks and black folks were both little more than monkeys when they went their separate ways.

    So how did Steven Jay Gould's "punctuated evolution" stuff magically work on both the white, black and Asian species ... at the same time ... on the same parts of the body (i.e. brains) ... to produce identical IQs, when they were thousands of miles (and tens of thousands of years) apart?
    , @Cloudbuster
    BadThink! Doubleplus ungood!
  5. Pierre van den Berghe spent part of his childhood in the Belgian Congo.

  6. insinuating that our contemporary lives bear more relevance to early Homo sapiens than the thousands of intervening years of colonialism, globalization, cultural advancement

    That looks pretty racist to me. Why, exactly, is cultural advancement even mentioned? I have to assume she means Europeans, not Bushmen. Why is a lack of cultural advancement an issue?

    Projection: the number one mental disorder of the Left.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    Awww, you know..... Massacring the neighboring tribe with machetes instead of spears is a cultural advancement.
  7. Oh man, it’s happening…..

    the left is eating it’s own over the Oscars….

    burn, baby, burn!

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Too true. I think any White ethnicity or social class that's been repeatedly slandered by Hollywood should delight in seeing them have to take their own medicine. White Southerners, Germans, Englishmen, WASPs, Russians, European aristocrats, European peasants, Christian clergy of every denomination, etc, etc ...

    I'm sick of them trying to act like the Oscars are some high holy day anyway. Let's face it, it's just a glorified trade show. Let it burn indeed.
  8. that romantic, racist, colonialist fantasy

    Damn, it’s getting serious now. One can be brought up on charges for accepting the wrong role in a movie.

  9. If we are all so closely related genetically that nobody supposedly has any real differences then how come females seem to have, dare I say, logically challenged, mental abilities (as a group)?

  10. @whorefinder
    Oh man, it's happening.....

    the left is eating it's own over the Oscars....

    burn, baby, burn!

    Too true. I think any White ethnicity or social class that’s been repeatedly slandered by Hollywood should delight in seeing them have to take their own medicine. White Southerners, Germans, Englishmen, WASPs, Russians, European aristocrats, European peasants, Christian clergy of every denomination, etc, etc …

    I’m sick of them trying to act like the Oscars are some high holy day anyway. Let’s face it, it’s just a glorified trade show. Let it burn indeed.

  11. There’s a certain genre of writing in which someone that nobody ever heard of decides that they will insolently lecture someone else who has some stature (or whatever kind.) It’s absurd really, because of the egocentrism and just plain rudeness of it all, and because the has no clue that no one was ever persuaded by an endless parade of personal, snarky, insults.

    Ms. Cauterucci has just written the progleft version of the open letter that woman in Tennessee wrote to Cam Newton for his end zone antics, with similarly hilarious results.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  12. Richard Dawkins, interestingly enough, was born in Nairobi and lived in Kenya until he was eight. His father was an agricultural civil servant for the British Empire. This is pretty similar to the background of William D. Hamilton and Richard Lynn and who knows how many more leading Darwinists.

    Makes perfect sense to me. Seeing is believing, after all.

  13. quizzle the leftoids this: if i’m 98% genetically similar to a chimpanzee, how am i only 40 to 60% genetically similar to my sister? ….OH wait — the chimpanzee must have a sister! now i get it!

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    Learn about MtDNA and yDNA, genius.
    , @jamie b.
    98% of genes in common vs 60 % of alleles in common.
  14. ” Since their original land mass was not yet called Africa—the word has origins in ancient Rome—it’s a safe bet that these early ancestors did not identify one another as Africans.”

    Africa is not a continent, it is a social construct.

  15. @Eric Ruttencutter
    My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt, thereby making me African. I will graciously make available to all you hapless white people my wisdom as to what you are allowed, and not allowed, to think and act with regard to all things African. You're welcome.

    My father was born in Port Said in Egypt 90 years ago. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen 20 years ago. I was conceived in Nigeria but born in England. Am I an African American or an American African?

    • Replies: @Eric Ruttencutter
    Pick whichever one gives you the most diversity points. You can't go wrong either way.
    , @Cloudbuster
    Egyptians are the wrong kind of African!
  16. My response to the “we’re all Africans” folks is to say, “actually, we’re all dinosaurs if you go far enough back”…..that’s probably not quite true, but they find it very confusing.

    • Replies: @greysquirrell
    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    I think modern paleontological thinking is that dinosaurs evolved into birds. Mammals coexisted with dinosaurs for millions of years. I also think there was even a pre-dinosaur called a dimetrodon (it had a sail back) that had jaw characteristics indicative of primitive mammals.
  17. Paging Charlize Theron …….

    • Replies: @Thomas Fuller
    She's great. I adore funny women, and there are so few of them about.
  18. The context of your remarks, which were uttered in defense of the lack of diversity on the Berlin International Film Festival panel, makes them even more troubling.

    There’s that word again.

  19. OT: Black student is triggered by a college girl who supports Trump.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/student-threatens-smash-woman-laptop-trump-sticker-article-1.2527304

    Trouble was brewing over a Donald Trump sticker Wednesday on the Queens campus of St. John’s University

    Clifford Durand, 18, posted a photo of an unsuspecting fellow student with a “Trump Make America Great Again” sticker on her laptop and asked his followers to share the image.

    7000 retweets and i’ll smash this b***h’s computer,” Durand wrote in the post, which his friends claimed was a joke.

    When 20-year-old Trump supporter Brianna Algazali was told that her picture was going viral she complained to the school’s public safety office and confronted Durand.

    By the way, he’s a BLM and #SJU demands supporter.

    • Replies: @jtgw
    Algazali sounds suspiciously Arab to me.
    , @Sissyfuss
    Let's hear it for black guys still being named "Clifford"
  20. @Jonathan Mason
    My father was born in Port Said in Egypt 90 years ago. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen 20 years ago. I was conceived in Nigeria but born in England. Am I an African American or an American African?

    Pick whichever one gives you the most diversity points. You can’t go wrong either way.

  21. In case you would not have guessed Christina Cauterucci describes herself as a “As a Sweater-Vest-Wearing Lesbian”

    Well in that case at least she knows what she is talking about. See for yourself.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Christina+Cauterucci+bio&biw=926&bih=473&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT7bTKiPHKAhUCPCYKHTEqCRwQsAQIKA

    • Replies: @Clyde

    In case you would not have guessed Christina Cauterucci describes herself as a “As a Sweater-Vest-Wearing Lesbian”
     
    She keeps one side of her head shaved for that lezzie look and got out of Georgetown journalism school in 2013. They must teach trolling and clickbaiting in J-school these days.
  22. @Eric Ruttencutter
    So then we're barely even the same species now, I guess

    According to this writer girl, white folks and black folks were both little more than monkeys when they went their separate ways.

    So how did Steven Jay Gould’s “punctuated evolution” stuff magically work on both the white, black and Asian species … at the same time … on the same parts of the body (i.e. brains) … to produce identical IQs, when they were thousands of miles (and tens of thousands of years) apart?

  23. OT: For you Marion Maréchal-Le Pen fans out there, news that she’s planning a five country tour this year. Italy, Russia, Morocco, Syria and then Israel. She will be going to Syria to meet with organizations concerned with the plight of Christians in the Middle East and hopefully a meeting with Bachar el-Assad, who the FN has generally supported. As for Israel:

    “We have been invited, everyone is okay with receiving us over there, but it’s being blocked over here” deplored a person in the entourage of the youngest member of the Assembly. “It’s very long and complicated because there are pressures from those who believe they represent the Jews of France” complained again a person close to her, who went on to accuse by name the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF). When contacted, the latter admitted their surprise: “We were not aware but yes, we oppose it strongly”.

    http://www.egaliteetreconciliation.fr/Marion-Marechal-Le-Pen-prepare-une-serie-de-voyages-a-l-etranger-37740.html

  24. @Eric Ruttencutter
    So then we're barely even the same species now, I guess

    BadThink! Doubleplus ungood!

  25. @Jonathan Mason
    My father was born in Port Said in Egypt 90 years ago. I became a naturalized U.S. citizen 20 years ago. I was conceived in Nigeria but born in England. Am I an African American or an American African?

    Egyptians are the wrong kind of African!

    • Replies: @Unladen Swallow
    Wrong, you have to keep up with the latest thinking brother, the Ancient Egyptians were black, because, because Flinders Petrie believed they were not, and you know who Flinders Petrie was a buddy of? the Antichrist himself.... Francis Galton, who shared a grandfather with.... REDACTED.
  26. These poor old liberals, they still think that we’re supposed to be living in a colorblind world where all lives and opinions matter equally.

  27. @pyrrhus
    My response to the "we're all Africans" folks is to say, "actually, we're all dinosaurs if you go far enough back".....that's probably not quite true, but they find it very confusing.

    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.

    • Replies: @anonymous

    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.
     
    I thought we came out of the oceans. We wuz swimmin' then.
    , @iffen
    The Taming and Domestication of the Shrew?
  28. @Dew
    OT: Black student is triggered by a college girl who supports Trump.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/student-threatens-smash-woman-laptop-trump-sticker-article-1.2527304


    Trouble was brewing over a Donald Trump sticker Wednesday on the Queens campus of St. John’s University

    Clifford Durand, 18, posted a photo of an unsuspecting fellow student with a “Trump Make America Great Again” sticker on her laptop and asked his followers to share the image.

    7000 retweets and i’ll smash this b***h’s computer,” Durand wrote in the post, which his friends claimed was a joke.

    When 20-year-old Trump supporter Brianna Algazali was told that her picture was going viral she complained to the school’s public safety office and confronted Durand.
     
    By the way, he's a BLM and #SJU demands supporter.

    Algazali sounds suspiciously Arab to me.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Your instincts are right, though this particular girl is supposedly Iranian/Persian. Al-Ghazali (europeanized as Algazel) is also a storied name, being one of those that helped close the Muslim mind, by opposing the ancient Greek scholarship that the Islamic world was studying and the, at the time, growing trend of analyzing the holy texts using reason and consistency, in the manner of later Christians. His views won out, also in a bloody game of politics, and the Islamic civilization found it impossible to later reconcile its theology with the scientific method and empyricism, leading to its backwardness.

    There was an interesting book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, that presented these issues in quite some detail.
  29. She does have a working knowledge of Xhosa.

    “Graduated Magna Cum Laude. Recipient of the American Studies Department Award for Academic Innovation. Spent a semester studying film, gender studies, and Xhosa at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.”

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinacauterucci

  30. My family is still crawling out of the primordial soup. Hmm, hmm, good!

  31. Diversity. So one nice White lady can yell Witch at another.

  32. Problem now is that millions of Africans are saying “We are all Europeans.”

  33. “studying film, gender studies, and Xhosa”

    Sounds like a winning combination.

  34. @greysquirrell
    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.

    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.

    I thought we came out of the oceans. We wuz swimmin’ then.

  35. @Hepp

    It’s true that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved on the continent some hundreds of thousands of years ago. But when our early common ancestors started to migrate out of Africa (hey, remember when you starred in that that romantic, racist, colonialist fantasy in the ’80s?) between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, they were barely even humans.

     

    lol, ok then.

    It ain’t where we started out.

    It’s everything that happened after we left.

    By Streep’s logic, we’re all stromatolites.

  36. @Eric Ruttencutter
    My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt, thereby making me African. I will graciously make available to all you hapless white people my wisdom as to what you are allowed, and not allowed, to think and act with regard to all things African. You're welcome.

    “My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt”.
    Your people was Kangs!

    • Replies: @Eric Ruttencutter
    Actually, my grandmother was Greek, so I'm only passing as African. Don't tell anybody
  37. Hahaha, “Out of Africa” is now an unspeakable racist relic of the Old Bad Era? It’s like worse than “Goodbye Uncle Tom,” man. Every dog will have his day I suppose… Didn’t any of these Internet opiners heed that sage Onion headline, “U.S. Dept. of Retro Warns: We May Be Running Out of Past”

  38. I’m in a Starbucks & they’re playing Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side” now– is that problematic, comrades

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    Yeah, but they never play "I Wanna be Black".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ehoomjQjfI
  39. @Dew
    OT: Black student is triggered by a college girl who supports Trump.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/student-threatens-smash-woman-laptop-trump-sticker-article-1.2527304


    Trouble was brewing over a Donald Trump sticker Wednesday on the Queens campus of St. John’s University

    Clifford Durand, 18, posted a photo of an unsuspecting fellow student with a “Trump Make America Great Again” sticker on her laptop and asked his followers to share the image.

    7000 retweets and i’ll smash this b***h’s computer,” Durand wrote in the post, which his friends claimed was a joke.

    When 20-year-old Trump supporter Brianna Algazali was told that her picture was going viral she complained to the school’s public safety office and confronted Durand.
     
    By the way, he's a BLM and #SJU demands supporter.

    Let’s hear it for black guys still being named “Clifford”

    • Agree: International Jew
  40. Ms. Cauterucci was so busy scoring SJW points on Ms. Streep that she seems not to have realized she’s presenting a picture of human evolution not that different from those bravely championed by Greg Cochrane, Razib Khan, Nicholas Wade, etc., etc. She soon may find herself the target of still another SJW seeking to score a scalp or two. After that, it’s SJW’s all the way down, Professor James!

    • Agree: Thirdeye
  41. Rhonda Rousey is part negro.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Tony, Didn't know that, but it changes nothing. She had more than her 15 minutes of fame. She would have gotten more minutes if she had identified as black. She missed that bus.
  42. Googling a picture of Christina Cauterucci she is – as I expected – far less attractive than Meryl Streep. Apparently she is also a lesbian – probably the perpetually pissed-off kind.

    • Replies: @Wally
    Indeed, a classic case of Christina Cauterucci's lesbian penis envy.
    , @Alec Leamas
    Gravely perpetually pissed off lesbian?

    [Col. Jessup] Is there another kind?[/Col. Jessup]
  43. @anonymous-antimarxist
    In case you would not have guessed Christina Cauterucci describes herself as a "As a Sweater-Vest-Wearing Lesbian"

    Well in that case at least she knows what she is talking about. See for yourself.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Christina+Cauterucci+bio&biw=926&bih=473&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT7bTKiPHKAhUCPCYKHTEqCRwQsAQIKA

    In case you would not have guessed Christina Cauterucci describes herself as a “As a Sweater-Vest-Wearing Lesbian”

    She keeps one side of her head shaved for that lezzie look and got out of Georgetown journalism school in 2013. They must teach trolling and clickbaiting in J-school these days.

  44. @Cloudbuster
    Egyptians are the wrong kind of African!

    Wrong, you have to keep up with the latest thinking brother, the Ancient Egyptians were black, because, because Flinders Petrie believed they were not, and you know who Flinders Petrie was a buddy of? the Antichrist himself…. Francis Galton, who shared a grandfather with…. REDACTED.

  45. insulting to people whose actual family history roots them in that continent and the diverse cultures

    But of course it’s racist to talk about influences those African cultures might have had on the culture of African Americans.

  46. @Sissyfuss
    I'm in a Starbucks & they're playing Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side" now-- is that problematic, comrades

    Yeah, but they never play “I Wanna be Black”.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    That is a pretty funny song by Lou Reed. I remember listening to it in college.
  47. This Christina Cauterucci lady sounds like a fun person to encounter at a cocktail party.

  48. @pyrrhus
    My response to the "we're all Africans" folks is to say, "actually, we're all dinosaurs if you go far enough back".....that's probably not quite true, but they find it very confusing.

    I think modern paleontological thinking is that dinosaurs evolved into birds. Mammals coexisted with dinosaurs for millions of years. I also think there was even a pre-dinosaur called a dimetrodon (it had a sail back) that had jaw characteristics indicative of primitive mammals.

  49. @Former Darfur
    Yeah, but they never play "I Wanna be Black".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ehoomjQjfI

    That is a pretty funny song by Lou Reed. I remember listening to it in college.

  50. @SPMoore8
    Paging Charlize Theron .......

    She’s great. I adore funny women, and there are so few of them about.

  51. @jtgw
    Algazali sounds suspiciously Arab to me.

    Your instincts are right, though this particular girl is supposedly Iranian/Persian. Al-Ghazali (europeanized as Algazel) is also a storied name, being one of those that helped close the Muslim mind, by opposing the ancient Greek scholarship that the Islamic world was studying and the, at the time, growing trend of analyzing the holy texts using reason and consistency, in the manner of later Christians. His views won out, also in a bloody game of politics, and the Islamic civilization found it impossible to later reconcile its theology with the scientific method and empyricism, leading to its backwardness.

    There was an interesting book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, that presented these issues in quite some detail.

    • Replies: @James O'Meara
    In the manner of what later Christians?

    " Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): "There can be no doubt that al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars" (page 220). Then she emphasizes, "The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them, having studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time."

    Yeah, I can see how he must have bogged down things down, and clearly accounts for how vastly different our superior Western European science and theology evolved.

  52. Whatever Slate’s paying her, it’s too much. Why oh why can’t this woman write like Emily Bazelon?

  53. @Romanian
    Your instincts are right, though this particular girl is supposedly Iranian/Persian. Al-Ghazali (europeanized as Algazel) is also a storied name, being one of those that helped close the Muslim mind, by opposing the ancient Greek scholarship that the Islamic world was studying and the, at the time, growing trend of analyzing the holy texts using reason and consistency, in the manner of later Christians. His views won out, also in a bloody game of politics, and the Islamic civilization found it impossible to later reconcile its theology with the scientific method and empyricism, leading to its backwardness.

    There was an interesting book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, that presented these issues in quite some detail.

    In the manner of what later Christians?

    ” Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): “There can be no doubt that al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars” (page 220). Then she emphasizes, “The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them, having studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time.”

    Yeah, I can see how he must have bogged down things down, and clearly accounts for how vastly different our superior Western European science and theology evolved.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Oh, I don't know, like the people who revolutionized Western medicine and science? Though I was thinking of much later, starting with Erasmus and his ilk, not the time of Aquinas.

    The debt is real, of course, and there is value to be found in the study of the what the Islamic world produced (though a lot of it was not Arab per se, but Persian and so on). But, just like this website criticizes the effect on political culture of various intellectual movements, so too can we appreciate Islamic intellectual movements, while keeping in mind their ultimate effect on how that particular civilization evolved.

    http://voegelinview.com/closing-of-the-muslim-mind-review/

    I can attest that the review is accurate, though you can, of course, dispute the book itself.

    al-Ghazali and the arbitrary Will of God

    The “traditionalists,” as Reilly called the non-Mutazalites, believed in a lot more than in the uncreated status of the Koran, though that was a central pillar of their position. If eternal God had spoken to humans in the eternal Koran, there was no need for reason because reality and instruction had been finally and completely revealed. This was the fundamental position of the Asharite School founded by Abu Hasan al-Ashari in the early tenth century. In contrast to the Mutazalites, the Asharites emphasized the unlimited will of God, not His reasonableness.

    The dispute with the Mutazalites was not over whether God created everything; they were agreed on that. Rather it was over whether, in addition to what Christian scholastics were to call the primary cause, namely God, there were secondary causes. For the Asharites there were none. The implications of this position were elaborated a century and a half later by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in Deliverance from Error. According to al-Ghazali, the Koran does not reveal God but God’s instructions to humans. In effect this reverses the Socratic and Mutazalite teaching: murder is wrong because God wills it. Thus good is what is permitted, halal; evil is what is forbidden, haram. There is, in consequence, no need for moral or political philosophy at all because there is no need to reason about things.

    Al-Ghazali’s other major book, called The Incoherence of the Philosophers, argued that, because God is not bound by anything, there is no “natural” cause-and-effect sequence. In Thomistic language, there are no proximate causes but only a prime or first cause, namely the will of God. For the same reason — the absence of any limitation to God’s will — human freedom must also be an offence against God’s omnipotence.

    Reilly’s argument, very simply, is that the triumph of al-Ghazali and of the Asharite School ended the possibility of integrating philosophical reason and Islam for large numbers of Sunni Muslims. The line-by-line refutation of al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of the Philosophers was made in The Incoherence of the Incoherence by Averroes in the twelfth century. Averroes’ reward was to have his books burned in the town square at Cordova in 1195. The victory of al-Ghazali was quickly followed by a simplification and a dogmatization of his views, first by Ibn Taymiyya and then by his Hanbali followers, including Abd al-Wahhab, the originator of Wahhabism, which inspires so many of the contemporary Islamists.
     

  54. @Paul Walker Most beautiful man ever...
    "My maternal grandmother was born in Alexandria, Egypt".
    Your people was Kangs!

    Actually, my grandmother was Greek, so I’m only passing as African. Don’t tell anybody

  55. @James O'Meara
    In the manner of what later Christians?

    " Margaret Smith writes in her book Al-Ghazali: The Mystic (London 1944): "There can be no doubt that al-Ghazali’s works would be among the first to attract the attention of these European scholars" (page 220). Then she emphasizes, "The greatest of these Christian writers who was influenced by al-Ghazali was St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who made a study of the Arabic writers and admitted his indebtedness to them, having studied at the University of Naples where the influence of Arab literature and culture was predominant at the time."

    Yeah, I can see how he must have bogged down things down, and clearly accounts for how vastly different our superior Western European science and theology evolved.

    Oh, I don’t know, like the people who revolutionized Western medicine and science? Though I was thinking of much later, starting with Erasmus and his ilk, not the time of Aquinas.

    The debt is real, of course, and there is value to be found in the study of the what the Islamic world produced (though a lot of it was not Arab per se, but Persian and so on). But, just like this website criticizes the effect on political culture of various intellectual movements, so too can we appreciate Islamic intellectual movements, while keeping in mind their ultimate effect on how that particular civilization evolved.

    http://voegelinview.com/closing-of-the-muslim-mind-review/

    I can attest that the review is accurate, though you can, of course, dispute the book itself.

    al-Ghazali and the arbitrary Will of God

    The “traditionalists,” as Reilly called the non-Mutazalites, believed in a lot more than in the uncreated status of the Koran, though that was a central pillar of their position. If eternal God had spoken to humans in the eternal Koran, there was no need for reason because reality and instruction had been finally and completely revealed. This was the fundamental position of the Asharite School founded by Abu Hasan al-Ashari in the early tenth century. In contrast to the Mutazalites, the Asharites emphasized the unlimited will of God, not His reasonableness.

    The dispute with the Mutazalites was not over whether God created everything; they were agreed on that. Rather it was over whether, in addition to what Christian scholastics were to call the primary cause, namely God, there were secondary causes. For the Asharites there were none. The implications of this position were elaborated a century and a half later by Abu Hamid al-Ghazali in Deliverance from Error. According to al-Ghazali, the Koran does not reveal God but God’s instructions to humans. In effect this reverses the Socratic and Mutazalite teaching: murder is wrong because God wills it. Thus good is what is permitted, halal; evil is what is forbidden, haram. There is, in consequence, no need for moral or political philosophy at all because there is no need to reason about things.

    Al-Ghazali’s other major book, called The Incoherence of the Philosophers, argued that, because God is not bound by anything, there is no “natural” cause-and-effect sequence. In Thomistic language, there are no proximate causes but only a prime or first cause, namely the will of God. For the same reason — the absence of any limitation to God’s will — human freedom must also be an offence against God’s omnipotence.

    Reilly’s argument, very simply, is that the triumph of al-Ghazali and of the Asharite School ended the possibility of integrating philosophical reason and Islam for large numbers of Sunni Muslims. The line-by-line refutation of al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of the Philosophers was made in The Incoherence of the Incoherence by Averroes in the twelfth century. Averroes’ reward was to have his books burned in the town square at Cordova in 1195. The victory of al-Ghazali was quickly followed by a simplification and a dogmatization of his views, first by Ibn Taymiyya and then by his Hanbali followers, including Abd al-Wahhab, the originator of Wahhabism, which inspires so many of the contemporary Islamists.

  56. @Tony
    Rhonda Rousey is part negro.

    Tony, Didn’t know that, but it changes nothing. She had more than her 15 minutes of fame. She would have gotten more minutes if she had identified as black. She missed that bus.

  57. @greysquirrell
    We all came from a shrue like mammal that was scurrying about the forest floor while the dinos held sway.

    The Taming and Domestication of the Shrew?

  58. @panjoomby
    quizzle the leftoids this: if i'm 98% genetically similar to a chimpanzee, how am i only 40 to 60% genetically similar to my sister? ....OH wait -- the chimpanzee must have a sister! now i get it!

    Learn about MtDNA and yDNA, genius.

  59. Caterucci needs to learn some anthropology before pontificating on such matters. But I guess that’s the hubris that comes from graduating Summa Cum Laude with a fluffy degree.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Thirdeye, The Steve article about the revised SAT shows that some recent scholars have not heard of Anthropology, so maybe Caterucci has never heard of, let alone studied Anthro....after all look at her credentials.
  60. @TomSchmidt
    insinuating that our contemporary lives bear more relevance to early Homo sapiens than the thousands of intervening years of colonialism, globalization, cultural advancement

    That looks pretty racist to me. Why, exactly, is cultural advancement even mentioned? I have to assume she means Europeans, not Bushmen. Why is a lack of cultural advancement an issue?

    Projection: the number one mental disorder of the Left.

    Awww, you know….. Massacring the neighboring tribe with machetes instead of spears is a cultural advancement.

  61. @Mr. Anon
    Googling a picture of Christina Cauterucci she is - as I expected - far less attractive than Meryl Streep. Apparently she is also a lesbian - probably the perpetually pissed-off kind.

    Indeed, a classic case of Christina Cauterucci’s lesbian penis envy.

  62. I’m sure you know that Africa is not a country, and the countries within its bounds cover a wide spectrum of political systems, religious traditions, social customs, and major industries. So, what kind of Africans are we? Tunisian? Somalian? Malawian? Basotho? How ridiculous does “we’re all Malawians, really” sound to you?

    This sort of renders the convention “African-American” meaningless, no? Not that ideological consistency is the sort of thing about which our clipper-headed power Lesbian authoress would busy herself. The whole thing has the air of letting Streep know her relative low position in the progressive stack.

  63. @Thirdeye
    Caterucci needs to learn some anthropology before pontificating on such matters. But I guess that's the hubris that comes from graduating Summa Cum Laude with a fluffy degree.

    Thirdeye, The Steve article about the revised SAT shows that some recent scholars have not heard of Anthropology, so maybe Caterucci has never heard of, let alone studied Anthro….after all look at her credentials.

  64. You are the president of an all-white jury (when’s the last time that phrase led to something good?).

    Every time. (Was that even a real question?)

  65. @Mr. Anon
    Googling a picture of Christina Cauterucci she is - as I expected - far less attractive than Meryl Streep. Apparently she is also a lesbian - probably the perpetually pissed-off kind.

    Gravely perpetually pissed off lesbian?

    [Col. Jessup] Is there another kind?[/Col. Jessup]

  66. @panjoomby
    quizzle the leftoids this: if i'm 98% genetically similar to a chimpanzee, how am i only 40 to 60% genetically similar to my sister? ....OH wait -- the chimpanzee must have a sister! now i get it!

    98% of genes in common vs 60 % of alleles in common.

  67. I googled Ms. Cauterucci and ran across this piece decrying some sort of prostate cancer awareness campaign I’ve never heard of before:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/11/movember_mustache_campaign_for_prostate_cancer_is_misguided.html

    I admit that this campaign, like most other disease awareness campagns, strikes me as an example of a rather sad need to appear virtuous while doing nothing of practical consequence. On the other hand Cauterucci’s “conversation” with her email correspondent reads like a parody of a parody, and is particularly rich coming from someone whose entire identity seems to be built on a foundation of shrill and scolding inconsequence.

    I have a funny anecdote about Meryl Streep. A guy I know used to work for an architect who had been friends with Streep in college. She contacted him about designing a summer house for her, and after a couple of meetings, he showed her some sketches and preliminary design ideas. He then mentioning his fees.

    Streep grew perplexed. What was he talking about, with these “bills” and “fees”? As an old friend, she’d just assumed he’d be designing her summer house for free.

    These people really do live in their own world.

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