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Tragic Tales of Evolutionary Exploitation

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Evolution in Entertainment

Season 1, Episode 1

Up Next in Freakshow

  • Tragic Tales of Evolutionary Exploita...

    Portrayals as ‘missing links’ took a fearful toll on many unfortunate people involved in the human Freak Show industry. As evolutionary ideas grew among the scientific community, naturalistic ideas of man’s origins were disseminated among the general public through such exhibits. Once popularized...

  • Fueling the Fire of "Scientific" Racism

    The demeaning exploitation of people as sideshow freaks helped propagate a much more insidious belief which gained steam and became normalized in Western society—the belief in scientific racism. Darwin’s publications catalyzed scientific racism into mainstream acceptance, justifying the belief th...

  • The Holocaust before the Holocaust

    The Herero genocide was a systematic campaign of racial extermination that included the use of concentration camps and medical experimentation and is considered the first genocide of the 20th century. Belief in Darwin’s missing links led directly to belief in Darwin’s law of survival of the fitte...

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