Over at All-Too-Common Dissent, the conversation has turned to Terry Trainor. You’ve probably never heard of him; he’s one of those garden variety self-infatuated creationists who frequented talk.origins some years ago, using the pseudonym “American Patriot” (which does rather tell you a lot about him right there.) He has now retreated to his own little MSN discussion group, to which I will not link—he really doesn’t deserve the attention.
However, all the talk lately about Darwin as the source of all racism, and the comments that noted a peculiar tendency of creationists to think very, very literally, combined with the mention of Trainor to remind of a wonderful example of all of those points made in a
talk.origins thread 6 years ago. It was amazing.
Mitchell Coffey had quoted this comment from Darwin to demonstrate that he was a forward thinking and relatively enlightened fellow:
“Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as
colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet
their whole structure be taken into consideration they are found
resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of
are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is
extremely improbable that they should have been independently
acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same
holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the
points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of
The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans are as different
from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet
was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Feugians on board
the Beagle, with the many little traits of character, shewing how
similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-
negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.”
Normal people read that and see that Darwin was acknowledging the similarity of the minds of people of different races, and mentioning that he found this true of a good friend of his, too. Terry Trainor responded with this:
So he was amazed that the blacks minds were similar to his, and he
had sex with one.
If that is the criteria for being NOT racist, most white slave owners
were not racist either.
<SPIT TAKE!> What was that? I responded, suggesting that he was “reading far more into that comment
about having been ‘intimate’ than it warrants”; all the phrase means is that they were close friends. Trainor came back, confirming that not only was he not making a joke, but digging his hole a little deeper.
Really? And how do you interpret it, in light of the fact that he
talks about ‘living’ with several of them, and goes into a bit of
detail about how their minds work, but only speaks of being ‘intimate’
with one of them? Certainly had to be more than just a conversation,
in view of the relationship he had with others, which he did NOT
I doubt very much if Darwin has a secret definition of ‘intimate’
somewhere, which you can drag out and ‘prove’ he could not mean having
sex with her.
He certainly does not strike me as the type of man who would use crude
terms for such a relationship, does he you? Besides, I don’t think
screwed, bounced on her bones, did the hunka chunka or made the beast
with two backs was in vogue at that place and time in history.
But, of course, I could be wrong. I did not mean to cast any
aspersions on anyones hero here, I only took it that the story was to
give PROOF that he was not a racist.
Just to make it weirder, the intimate friend was John Edmonstone, who taught Darwin taxidermy. This creationist was therefore insisting that Charles Darwin, a proper Victorian gentleman, was fondly reminiscing (or perhaps, bragging), about having had gay sex with a black man in his scientific treatise, The Descent of Man. The argument dragged on for a while, and Trainor never backed off of his claim.
If you read that post about Trainor’s recent shenanigans, you’ll see that he hasn’t changed a jot—still clinging to weird and simple-minded ideas, still persisting in remarkably narrow interpretations of the world, still refusing to rethink…or think, for that matter.
Of course, the upside for Trainor is that every book he reads, even the driest academic tome, must be rich with all kinds of juicy, sexy meaning.