X-Men and Darwinian Ethics

I am a huge fan of mutants. Well, not the nasty kind from horror movies, the results of scientific mishaps which go on to wreak havoc on the town, countryside, research station, spaceship, planetary outpost, or other (usually isolated) location. Actually, they can be a lot of “fun”, too. But, my love is for Marvel’s Merry Mutants — i.e., the Uncanny X-Men and associated groups, good and bad. Ever since I started reading about them back in the late-70s/early-80s, they have been among my favorites. So, it shouldn’t be too surprising that even at “A View from the Right”, my blog on science/politics/religion, I found a way to post about the X-Men. It was around the time that X-Men: First Class (2011) came out, so it’s only fitting — survival of the fittest, and all — that I crosspost to it here while X-Men: Days of Future Past is at the theaters. (No, I haven’t seen it, yet.)

Wolverine rates it 4 claws, bub! So, give it a look, eh?

—–

I read an interesting article the other day.

Xavier/Magneto diptych

Xavier and Lehnsherr/Magneto

The author, Cameron Wybrow, discusses the world of the mutant heroes known as the X-Men — from the comic books (which I read for many years) and, more recently, several movies — and their enemies. The X-Men are led by Charles Xavier, a well-to-do geneticist who founds a school to help train young mutants to use their powers safely and ethically. Xavier (aka Professor X) is himself a powerful telepath. The X-Men’s primary antagonist is Erik Lehnsherr (aka Magneto), who can manipulate metal via his command over electromagnetism and who surrounds himself with other mutants who share his desire to dominate, perhaps enslave or even eradicate, the rest of humanity. Indeed, under Lehnsherr’s teaching and guidance, they believe that they have the inherent right to do so, because their mutant powers indicate that they represent the next step in human evolution. Just as Homo sapiens (aka “normal”, modern humans) wiped out the older, less “fit” hominid species (e.g., Homo neanderthalensis), so does Homo superior (aka “mutants”; i.e., those with superhuman abilities) have the right to conquer Homo sapiens. In a sense, it is a genetic mandate.

Xavier, for his part, strongly disagrees with his (former) friend, Lehnsherr, insisting that there is no such imperative — moral or biological. Humans and mutants can and must learn to live together for the benefit of all. Lehnsherr thinks that Xavier is incredibly naive, especially in light of humans’ natural fear and distrust of anyone/thing bigger or more powerful than they are. (Of course, the same can be said for mutants, but that’s inconsequential to Lehnsherr.)

So goes the rationale….

Read the entire, original post at: “X-Men and Darwinian Ethics”

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