I noticed an interesting thread on Ross Douthat's twitter feed about the matter of the Enlightenment and racism. I think he's basically supporting Jamelle Bouie on the matter, but to be honest, I haven't read Bouie's threat to get to the bottom of the argument.
But - it is basically about saying that the Enlightenment was not all sweetness and light, to the extent that it lead to scientific arguments to justify racism. The arguments against racism essentially came from enlightened religion more than from a scientific view of the matter.
This seems a fair summary, from someone else on twitter involved in the debate:
Yzaguirre says elsewhere that he thinks it's wrong to "fetishise" the Enlighenment.
Which brings me partly to the reason I wanted to blog about this.
Libertarians tend to be big on promoting the Enlightenment and science - yet as a political movement, they have been at the forefront of funding and promoting anti-science denial of climate change, simply because they don't like the obvious policy prescription (a tax on carbon).
How hypocritical is that? Extremely, and with dangerous consequences for the entire planet.