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Inspired by Darwin


(1 min Audio Report – Faith2Action)

Inspired by Darwin

The full title of Charles Darwin’s famous book is: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

But what happens when people believe there is a favored, superior race? In 1906 the Bronx Zoo relied on evolution to justify caging a 22 year old pygmy man, Ota Benga, in the “Monkey House*.”

A local minister fought to release Ota, teaching him English. Haunted by the dehumanizing experience, Ota repeatedly slapped his chest and declared, “I am a man, I am a man.” At the age of 32, Ota shot himself in the head, dying ten years after being put on display at the Bronx zoo.
All of this inspired by Charles Darwin.

*Beth Hale, “Caged in the Human Zoo: The Shocking Story of the Young Pygmy Warrior Put on Show in a Monkey House—and How He Fuelled Hitler’s Twisted Beliefs,”, October 30, 2009.


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