"DARWINISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS"
PERSONA's Director lectured in Poland on the subject
 

"Darwinizm i prawa człowieka" (that is, "Darwinism and Human Rights") was the title of the lecture Dr. Ricardo Rabinovich-Berkman, PERSONA's Director, gave last March at the Lubelska Szkola Wyzsza w Rykach (LSW), Lublin Pedagogy School at Ryki, where the Argentinean Professor received a distinction, as is referred in another article in this same edition

 The event took place in the Aula Magna, at the headquarters building of the University, with the presence of the Rector, Professor Dr. Tadeusz Graca, the Director of the recently created Institute of Bioethics of the LSW, the Italian scholar Professor Dr. Ivan Iurlo,  and most of the Deans, Directors and authorities, as well as the Town Major and local functionaries. 

The huge and nice room, modern and sober, was crowded by professors and students of the University, who followed the exposition with interest, and asked illuminating questions afterwards. The lecture started at the scheduled time, and extended itself for almost two hours. 

After Rector Tadeusz Graca had given the solemn order for the conference to start, the lecturer was presented by Professor Dr. Ivan Iurlo.

 The well known Bioethics specialist remembered then the days when he, as a Doctorate student at the UniversitÓ degli Studi di Lecce, in Southern Italy, had firstly met Dr. Rabinovich-Berkman, who had been his teacher there.

"We were informed that a professor from Argentina had been brought to give us classes", he said, "and we students were extremely amazed about it". Nevertheless, he evocated, a strong academic connection was born almost on the spot, and it further developed into close friendship.  

Dr. Iurlo's words, as the lecture itself, were delivered in Italian, with an excellent and immediate translation to the Polish language. But a huge part of the public could understand directly the original tongue, as there exists an important (and increasing) contact between Warsaw and Rome. 

            Dr. Rabinovich-Berkman, after thanking Rector Tadeusz Graca and the University, and very specially Dr. Iurlo's moving introductory words (he stated how proud he was for the well awarded success of his former student, and how grateful for not having been forgotten in the hour of that success) started by dedicating his lecture to the memory of Pope John Paul II, as an exponent of the Polish humanist culture which so much had given, and so much has yet to give to mankind.

              He then entered into the basis of Darwin's theories, and how they were transferred from the biological, mostly zoological and botanical, field, to the social and anthropological levels, a passage in which Eugenics had a protagonist role. From biological positivism and social-Darwinism, he arrived to the ideas which formed the core of Nazi thought, and to how those ideas were implicated in mass murder under the Reich.

             Dr. Rabinovich-Berkman dedicated special attention in his speech to the subject of "inferior and superior races", with a deliberate highlight in the view of Poles and other Slavs by Nazi so called scientists.

              But he also linked this ideas with the hard-dying prejudices concerning American aborigines and Africans. In this matter, he nakedly exposed the total lack of serious base for this sort of discrimination arguments. 

             The Latin-American professor ended by relating eugenics and social-Darwinism to state-of-the-art human reproduction techniques, and the problematic possibilities this new technologies offer, in the context of macro-capitalism.   An echo of the questions a concerned Habermas posed in his more or less recent works was present in this last part of the lecture.

   
Professor Dr. Ivan Iurlo, Director of the LSW Institute of Bioethics, listens to the lecture

       

             The lecturer closed his conference by stating:

            "The possibilities we have in present days in store for the intervention over the biologic future of our species were not even dreamed by Galton or Hitler in their wildest dreams.

          This is, then, one of the hugest challenges educators, bioethicists, lawyers, physicians and the entire community must face.

          It forces us to take sides and to work in consequence, head to the future. Lets hope that in that trail we will never forget that there is nothing more important than the human person".