The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRobert Ardrey
Title QuotedAfrican genesis : a personal investigation into the animal origins and nature of man / Robert Ardrey ; drawings by Berdine Ardrey
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/08/03
ImprintNew York : Dell. 1963 [c1961]
QuotationSomeone has sent a book, African Genesis [by Robert Ardrey]. I had heard of discoveries of Leakey at Olduvai, prepared to accept hypothesis of Africa as the cradle of the human race. This book, however, takes scientific hypotheses and creates a myth of violence around them. Man's ancestor is the meat-eating club-carrying, sinister "killer-ap" who fought his way up from vegetarianism in order to become a cannibal and a nationalist. These, say the myth, are the facts. And when a myth says that it means, of course, the only facts. Man is by essence a, predator, a killer, a property owner, a hater, a joiner, an agitator, perhaps even a Goldwaterite. This is the scientific-mythology of proto-fascism. With all that, I am not as willing to accept Leakey, who is a different story, less "romantic"-of anthropoids that used tools and weapons?? Already man?
Quotation SourceDancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 5, 1963-1965.; Edited by Robert E. Daggy. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1997, p. 132
Letter to 
Link to Merton's Copy 42022 

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