Science and Chauvinism


Heaven is the work of the best and kindest men and women. Hell is the work of prigs, pedants and professional truth tellers. The world is an attempt to make the best of both.

Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

One's views can change considerably between one's twenties and one's sixties. Nevertheless it is clear from his responses to taunting letters from “Mamma” during his Steppe travels that, at that time at least, Bateson was snobbish, racist, and intensely patriotic (July 1, 1887):

You allude to the dyeing industry. I happen to know that what you say is true as far as it applies to the Aniline dyes. But I happen also to know that the industry was in the first instance invented by [the] English and has only comparatively lately migrated to Germany. I also know that on the authority of R. Meldola … nothing but technical training can bring it back again; which technical training means the establishment of a series of Technical Colleges, which will result in the rearing of vast hordes...


Experimental Biology Central Power Joint Meeting Linnean Society German Scientist 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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