Expelled

The Road to the Holocaust — Darwin or the Pope?

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Mainstream reviews of Ben Stein’s EXPELLED are going apoplectic over the movie’s connection between Darwin and Hitler. Take, for instance, the review in the Village Voice: it describes the connection between Darwinism and Naziism as “bizarre and hysterical.”

Yet this weekend saw the opening not only of EXPELLED but also of CONSTANTINE’S SWORD. Here’s what the Village Voice has to say about that film:

X marks the spot, literally, where Christianity and the Catholic Church fostered the centuries of religious hatred and anti-Semitism that culminated in the Holocaust…. But if his film is more provocative personal inquiry than reportorial knockout punch, it still pokes needed holes in the concept of papal infallibility and provides historical context for the dangers of linking the church and military. If nothing else, it demonstrates why we should feel cold shivers whenever President George W. Bush bandies the term “crusade.” GO HERE FOR FULL REVIEW

So a film that shows how Christianity “culminated in the Holocaust” constitutes cutting-edge cultural commentary. But a film like EXPELLED, which shows explicitly how the Nazis appropriated Darwin’s ideas, is “bizarre ad hysterical.”

Thank God for EXPELLED, which is holding the secular media’s feet to the fire.

87 Replies to “The Road to the Holocaust — Darwin or the Pope?

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    I’ll get in the queue for the popcorn – somehow I think there’s going to be a response to this on Pharyngula.

  2. 2
    inunison says:

    What is often overlooked is that Nazis were exterminating not only Jews but Gypsies (Roma) and Slavs, in particular Serbs. And list does not stop there. So how exactly is that equal to sporadic pogroms Jews experienced by the hands of “Christians”?

  3. 3
    DaveScot says:

    Professor Dembski,

    You make a great point about bias in the media where they are willing to embrace blame for the holocaust on Christianity.

    However, I don’t believe the appropriate response to an inane linkage of Christianity to the holocaust should be answered by an inane linkage of Darwinism to the holocaust.

    The holocaust was an unconscionable act committed by people who either didn’t know the difference between right and wrong or ignored the difference. Individual Christians and atheists alike are accountable. The groups as a whole are not.

  4. 4

    Dear Dave,

    We’re informal on this forum, so call me Bill. I agree that linkages to the Holocaust and anti-semitism need to be argued carefully. But EXPELLED does that. Berlinski prefaces the whole discussion by making clear that something like Darwinism is necessary for Nazism but not sufficient. On another forum you cited Godwin’s Law. Bringing in the Nazis/Hitler always risks hijacking a discussion. But ignoring the Darwinian roots of Nazism can subvert a discussion as well, especially when it’s apropos.

  5. 5
    alext says:

    i think it should be clear to everyone by now that eugenics is the exact opposite of Darwinian “Natural Selection”. “social engineering” has been around as long as humans have been breeding animals and plants.

  6. 6
    jstanley01 says:

    Any purportedly Christian rationalization for the holocaust can be easily refuted on Christian grounds — via “love thy neighbor,” the parable of the good Samaritan, etc., etc., etc.

    But on what Darwinian grounds can Social Darwinism be refuted?

    Regarding Godwin’s Law Wikipedia says as of this time stamp:

    The rule does not make any statement whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable.

  7. 7
    Jorde says:

    Could you please explain to me why Darwinism is necessary. Hitler’s crimes seem in line with the artificial selection that had been active for centuries. What did Darwin add that was not already present. Before Darwin there were materialists, people performing artificial selection, antisemitism, what was Darwin’s contribution?

  8. 8
    Dragos says:

    Could you please explain to me why Darwinism is necessary. Hitler’s crimes seem in line with the artificial selection that had been active for centuries. What did Darwin add that was not already present. Before Darwin there were materialists, people performing artificial selection, antisemitism, what was Darwin’s contribution?

  9. 9
    DLH says:

    Pope Benedict XVI just described the corrosive influence of Darwinism as worked out in Nazi Germany.

    NEW YORK (CNN) — Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday recalled growing up during the Nazi era in his native Germany and stressed the “fundamental importance of freedom” as he addressed a rally of young people in New York.

    Pope Benedict XVI greets the audience at a rally at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, on Saturday.

    “My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers,” he told the crowd at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers.

    “Its influence grew, infiltrating schools and civic bodies as well as politics and even religion before it was fully recognized for the monster it was,” the pope said.

    “Many of your grandparents and great-grandparents will have recounted the horror of the destruction that ensued. Indeed, some of them came to America precisely to escape such terror.”

    As he praised the spread of democracy and respect for human rights, the pope cautioned about the dangers people face in the modern world.

    See full article
    {PS Corrected Communism to Nazi Germany per comment below}

  10. 10
    StephenB says:

    It has always been so. Liars are not content to live a lie, they are always seeking to rewrite history so that everyone else must live the lie. Intellectual dishonesty by its very nature cannot remain a private vice, because misery loves company.

  11. 11
    Frost122585 says:

    Bill, after seeing that movie, I never realized how close the two are linked. The Nazi’s were not just trying to take over the world, or kill the Jews for various reasons they were trying to purify the race. The movie talks about and shows how then just murdered all of the disabled people they could get their hands on to stop them from reproducing. This is a hugely serious issue for various reasons. One, the Nazis were people just like you and me. Normal people who were raised and brain washed by a mass movement to do the most horrible things ever done. This speaks to the possible social power of a Darwinian world view. In other words ideas and theories have consequences. And two, no body today in the mainstream is advocating the slaughters of disabled people. The idea while atrocious is almost humors because it seems so far fetched. But under the Darwinian world view there is no God. No intelligent designer. No morality no truth. There is only hopeless belief in the purification process and the benefit of seeing those deemed fit inherit the earth.

    One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Ben Stein poses the question “How could he have done this. Wasn’t Hitler insane?” And the two historical “experts” say NO he wasn’t insane just misguided.

    This scared me. There are people with real mental problems in this world that are far more harmless and respectable then Hitler and his types. Our definition of insane should not just be limited to the cognitive smoothness by which one’s brain operates. I don’t care how smart or in control of your body you are. If you advocate the elimination of an entire race of people you are nothing short of insane. This to me exemplifies the main problem with the Darwinian world view. They say its all about your genes. Its not. Thoughts, and efforts and actions, and decisions and purity of heart mind and soul DO matter. They are the MOST important ways we can judge the quality of our fellow man. And Darwinism has little or nothing to do with those qualities.

    The end is the best as they pan the camera around an empty auditorium and Ben Stein asks the question “If we don’t stand up against this now will there be anyone left to?” The implicit point is that in a true Darwinian world view eventually all species are weeded out and brought to extinction. No species is ultimately fit to survive and natural selection will get rid of ALL of us eventually.

    We ought not just sit back and let this world view be facilitated by the INSANE people in power. While we are the ones that often get called the fascists after this movie its becomes obvious who the real Nazis were.

  12. 12

    Jorde/Dragos: Here’s the weird twist. In his DESCENT OF MAN, Darwin remarks that in nature the unfit are weeded out, but in civilization they are preserved, thus increasing the weak in society. For Hitler, Jews, Gypsies, etc. were holdovers from not allowing natural selection to do its thing. So Hitler did NOT see himself as doing artificial selection but as reasserting what natural selection should have done in the first place. In other words, Hitler saw himself as undoing a negative form of artificial selection due to society. Hence, when David Berlinski says that something like Darwinism was a necessary condition for Nazism, he is spot on.

  13. 13
    StephenB says:

    —–Jorde: “Could you please explain to me why Darwinism is necessary. Hitler’s crimes seem in line with the artificial selection that had been active for centuries. What did Darwin add that was not already present. Before Darwin there were materialists, people performing artificial selection, antisemitism, what was Darwin’s contribution?”

    Inasmuch as the American eugenics movement popped up at the same time as the Nazi movement, and inasmuch as biological textbooks promoted it in the name of Darwinistic science, and inasmuch as Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was also a Darwinist and sought to “purify” humanity from lower the lower races, it might be time for you to start connecting a few dots.

  14. 14
    evo_materialist says:

    DLH [10],

    I read the article, and I didn’t see a single mention of either Darwinism or Communism, much less the “corrosive influence of Darwinism as worked out in Communism.” Did you link to the wrong article, or did you simply extrapolate wildly?

  15. 15
    Reg says:

    DLH:

    Pope Benedict XVI just described the corrosive influence of Darwinism as worked out in Communism

    In the linked article the Pope mentions neither Darwinism nor Communism. Has he addressed these topics in other recent speeches?

    Dr Dembski:

    For Hitler, Jews, Gypsies, etc. were holdovers from not allowing natural selection to do its thing. So Hitler did NOT see himself as doing artificial selection but as reasserting what natural selection should have done in the first place [and] saw himself as undoing a negative form of artificial selection due to society.

    That’s uniquely fascinating historical scholarship. Do you have a source for it?

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    Dragos or Jorde,

    Because along with the natural selection process came the idea that those who survived were somehow better. While the term survival of the fittest was not Darwin’s term, he adopted it. There was a value judgment being made. And this expanded the idea of artificial selection to a process that could select for what was whatever thought to be of value such as intelligence, various abilities or cosmetic features. But in the process to get these supposed superior characteristics they killed and sterilized large numbers.

    I personally do not believe it is of any use to make the connection between Darwin and Nazi eugenics based on natural selection. Darwin’s theory was a natural one while the Nazi’s and the eugenicists practiced an artificial one. Though Darwin based a lot of his arguments on artificial selection and the two ideas get blurred. The idea of selective breeding among humans was an old one but not the way the Nazis and many eugenicists practiced it.

    The more appropriate connection is between Darwin and any atheistic philosophy and that to me is the more pernicious one. Atheistic philosophies cannot exist with out Darwin’s basic ideas. And without the underpinnings of atheism there is most likely to be a moral component that might have been there and prevented the Nazi and other mass atheistic movements such as communism from their vast exterminations. Any moral component associated with atheism is arbitrary and while many atheists are very moral persons according to non atheist standards, their particular code is arbitrary.

    While the Nazis were a deplorable group, the connection between Darwin and them may not be as direct as many are making. I have not read Weikert’s book so I do not know the details. If the Nazi evoked Darwin or his ideas they may have been doing it incorrectly. I will have to read about the connections more carefully.

  17. 17
    DLH says:

    alext at 6
    Consider:
    CHARLES R. DARWIN on Race

    A tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.

    Thus to be “victorious over most other tribes” is essential to “natural selection”.

    Can you now see any connection with Hitler’s actions? or those of Stalin? or of Mao? or of Pol Pot?

    “Natural Selection” is indeed “effective”!

    Contrast the outworkings of Repubics established on the Common Law, the Law of Nations, and the Constitution, which build on the principle “love your neighbor as yourself.”

  18. 18

    Jorde and his sockpuppet Dragos wrote:

    Before Darwin there were materialists, people performing artificial selection, antisemitism, what was Darwin’s contribution?

    Dr. Dembski has already answered you in a more eloquent fashion than I will, but here is my two-word answer anyway: scientific legitimacy.

    There were materialists before Darwin, but they were mostly philosophers who held a minority view. As you can imagine, this made for little to no impact on the societies of their times.

    There were primitive eugenicists before Darwin, such as the Laconians and the ancient Romans. The collapse of their societies is a testament to their legitimacy.

    Anti-semitism preceded Darwin by many thousands of years, if one can believe the Bible is at least a partially historical book. The most mentioned anti-semite I’ve seen in Expelled threads is Martin Luther. Had Hitler plagiarized Luther in Mein Kampf as he did Darwin, there might be a legitimate issue here. Also, if Hitler and his henchmen had started and ended their murderous campaign with the Jews, there might also be some legitimacy to the claim. But these are not true, so therefore the mention of Luther is a non-sequitur. Addiing to this is the fact that according to Christian theology, if Luther was indeed an anti-semite, he was denouncing the very heritage of his own Messiah, and the fact that Luther’s anti-semitism having a substantial impact on 20th Century German thought is a very recent innovation by Massachusetts historian Robert Michael.

  19. 19
    Frost122585 says:

    Bill at 12,

    What is interesting is that if intelligence is just the product of nature then in effect it is nature. Hence, if people chose to preserve the weak then we are doing exactly what Darwinists claim nature doesn’t do. That is to say the artificial is the official rebuke to their theory and people like Hitler’s commitment to the so called natural process is exposed as nothing not a world view or religion. A completely perverted one.

  20. 20
    Reg says:

    I’ve found books far older than ‘Origin of Species’ and ‘Descent of Man’, which (unlike those works) directly advocate the wholesale slaughter or enslavement of perceived enemies – women and children included – along with the looting of their property. They’re in the Old Testament.

    Numbers 31:

    The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.” … They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and killed every man. … The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest … Moses was angry with the officers of the army who returned from the battle.
    “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. “…Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” … The LORD said to Moses, “You and Eleazar the priest and the family heads of the community are to count all the people and animals that were captured. Divide the spoils between the soldiers who took part in the battle and the rest of the community. …”

    1 Samuel 15:

    This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’

    So the ideas of self-righteous massacre, slavery and theft predated Darwin. As far as being a necessary condition for Nazism is concerned, isn’t that sort of thing at least as relevant as anything Darwin wrote?

  21. 21

    Reg: How about starting with EXPELLED and listening to the speech Hitler gives in it: “Wir haben gegen die Natur gesuendigt.”

  22. 22
    DaveScot says:

    Bill,

    Darwin also wrote that it was man’s noble nature that prevented him from employing artificial selection to the human population as we do with livestock. I don’t read that as Darwin advocating the abandonment of those noble qualities.

    From “The Descent of Man”

    Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hope for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it; and I have given the evidence to the best of my ability. We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system – with all these exalted powers – Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

  23. 23
    mathstudent says:

    Either people are purposely and deceptively leaving out the context of Darwin’s writings or they are being mislead by other sources. So it’s either disgusting or sad.

  24. 24
    DLH says:

    evo_materialist at 15, and Reg at 16
    Apologies. Corrected communism to Nazi Germany.
    Pope Benedict XVI experienced the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany.

    His youthful years were not easy. His faith and the education received at home prepared him for the harsh experience of those years during which the Nazi regime pursued a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church. The young Joseph saw how some Nazis beat the Parish Priest before the celebration of Mass.

    Pope John Paul II lived in Poland under Nazi German occupation, and then under Soviet Communism.

    During the Nazi occupation Karol clandestinely pursued both his studies and his acting while working as a stonecutter to support himself and to hold the work permit he needed to avoid deportation or imprisonment. Karol Wojtyla was active in the UNIA, a Christian democratic underground organization. B’nai B’rith and other authorities have testified that he helped Jews find refuge from the Nazis.

    In 1958 Father Wojtyla was named auxiliary bishop of Krakow and four years later he assumed leadership of the diocese with the title of vicar capitular. He was a visible leader, often taking a public stand against communism and government officials.

    If you do any serious searching, you will find that Darwin’s principles of evolution were foundational to both Nazis and Communist totalitarianism.

  25. 25

    Reg wrote:

    That’s uniquely fascinating historical scholarship. Do you have a source for it?

    You really don’t have to be much of a history scholar to know the source. Let me help you by quoting the pertinent sections:

    Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.
    […]
    In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.
    If the process were different, all further and higher development would cease and the opposite would occur. For, since the inferior always predominates numerically over the best, if both had the same possibility of preserving life and propagating, the inferior would multiply so much more rapidly that in the end the best would inevitably be driven into the background, unless a correction of this state of affairs were undertaken. Nature does just this by subjecting the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited, and by not permitting the remainder to increase promiscuously, but making a new and ruthless choice according to strength and health.

    No more than Nature desires the mating of weaker with stronger individuals, even less does she desire the blending of a higher with a lower race, since, if she did, her whole work of higher breeding, over perhaps hundreds of thousands of years, night be ruined with one blow.

  26. 26
    DaveScot says:

    AngryOldFatMan

    re; scientific legitimacy

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Darwin extened the principles of artificial selection to explain the origin of species.

    Eugenics, which was hardly confined to Nazi Germany, and indeed was widely embraced in the U.S. before anyone heard of Hitler, is based on artificial selection. Darwin didn’t invent artificial selection.

    So my question is: are you saying there is no scientific legitimacy to selective breeding of livestock for desireable traits?

    Surely you’re not. That doesn’t require scientific legitimacy. Farmers have known about what can be accomplished through artificial selection for a very long time. It was legitimized by non-scientist farmers. I doubt anyone wants to blame farmers for the holocaust. Artificial selection is an inanimate fact. It takes a person to turn knowledge into actions.

  27. 27

    Reg wrote:

    I’ve found books far older than ‘Origin of Species’ and ‘Descent of Man’, which (unlike those works) directly advocate the wholesale slaughter or enslavement of perceived enemies – women and children included – along with the looting of their property. They’re in the Old Testament.

    Once again, a non-sequitur. Warfare and genocide, both justified and unjustified, are as old as recorded history. The question is, can this be linked to the Nazis’ justifications for their actions? I don’t recall any of them quoting Jewish sources like the Tanakh.

  28. 28
    evo_materialist says:

    DLH, apology insufficient. The Pope did not mention Darwinism.

  29. 29
    DaveScot says:

    DLH

    If you do any serious searching, you will find that Darwin’s principles of evolution were foundational to both Nazis

    Ridiculous. Darwin didn’t discover what could be accomplished through artificial selection. That’s been common knowledge for thousands of years. Darwin first asserted that selection takes place in nature (natural selection) and works the same way as does in artificial breeding of animals. He then extrapolated selection as something that explained not just variation between individuals of the same species but also explained the origin of new species. Attributing more than that to Darwin is either mistaken, uninformed, or dishonest.

  30. 30
    Charles says:

    Reg @ 21

    So the ideas of self-righteous massacre, slavery and theft predated Darwin. As far as being a necessary condition for Nazism is concerned, isn’t that sort of thing at least as relevant as anything Darwin wrote?

    Hardly. The Nazi’s were not presuming to obey the God of the bible, rather they were trying to snuff out Jews, persecute Christians who disagreed and eliminate/replace the church.

    Had the Nazi’s been using bible passages as justification for their genocide, you might have a point. But they weren’t. They were pursuing what natural selection failed to do, eliminate the unfit and propagate the “fittest” (by their warped philosophy) without moral consequence because Darwin had “proven” there never was a God to impose any morals or judgement, and hijacking Darwinian philosphy (not God) to justify their actions.

  31. 31
    Frost122585 says:

    Well, Hitler and his types thought they were spearheading nature and therefore were riding with the waves of deterministic inevitability. An interesting thing happened in nature though- the people of the truth- those who wished and sought to protect the meek with even their own lives, sent Hitler and his army of darkness to hell. The destruction of all those young strong brilliant Germans was some natural selection I might add. In this case it was apparently “out with the strong and in weak.” Unless of course natural selection just simply got rid of the Darwinian world view because “it was itself unfit.”

    God had his vengeance and nature’s truth was vindicated. WW2 was marks one of the greatest triumphs of the human sprit and proofs for the power of good over evil in known history.

    What happens when nature rejects Darwinism?

  32. 32
    nullasalus says:

    DaveScot,

    I would agree that, on its own, neither evolution nor darwinism (insofar as darwinism is a description of evolution’s mechanisms, devoid of philosophy – and yes I know some people argue ‘darwinism’ includes philosophy by its nature, which I disagree with) is responsible for nazism or eugenics.

    However, clearly people have leaned on darwinism and evolution to not only justify their desired policies and philosophies, but to pass them off as ‘scientific’ as well. That, I believe, is the real problem with the history people here are talking about, and the problem that’s popping up to this day: The use of intellectual sleight of hand where suddenly scientific theories ‘prove’ philosophical conclusions that they simply cannot. I don’t believe darwinism as described or evolution in general necessitated eugenics. But I’m damn willing to argue that people saying ‘Aha, look! Man is mere a beast, we need to purify our gene pool, and science dictates this as the proper path!’ – and a scientific establishment that was, frankly, supportive of such a conclusion – were responsible, as much in America as in Germany.

    I think the problem then is the same as the problem now – scientists who want to not only be scientists, but politicians and priests as well. Forced sterilizations and the rest of the eugenic and nazi bandwagon were the result of people mixing a little science with a whole lot of philosophy/politics, and advertising the result as truth and utter fact. Expelled does a good job of showing that some scientists – and possibly a larger establishment as a whole – is still playing this game. It drives the point home that a lot more tolerance for questioning the prevailing views should be allowed.

  33. 33

    DaveScot wrote:

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to [s]ay. Darwin exten[d]ed the principles of artificial selection to explain the origin of species.

    Eugenics, which was hardly confined to Nazi Germany, and indeed was widely embraced in the U.S. before anyone heard of Hitler, is based on artificial selection. Darwin didn’t invent artificial selection.

    All of this is true. None of it is relevant to whether or not Nazi justifications for their actions were related to Darwinism.

    I could write an essay in response here, but it would just be a less eloquent version of what you can read from the pen of Dr. Leo Alexander. Suffice it to say, the road to the Holocaust was being paved a decade or more before Hitler rose to power. He just assigned more workers to the construction crew.

    So my question is: are you saying there is no scientific legitimacy to selective breeding of livestock for desireable traits?

    Surely you’re not. That doesn’t require scientific legitimacy unless you consider farmers to be scientists.

    You seem to try and equate farming with eugenics. This is only possible when you consider humans to be nothing but animals.

    There is only one modern scientific theory that lends legitimacy to this view.

    In that case, scientists would become farmers. People-farmers.

  34. 34
    Lutepisc says:

    Inunison, you make very good point. Jews, overwhelmingly, perished in the Holocaust, but the inclusion of Jews along with gypsies, the disabled and handicapped, homosexuals, and other populations deemed “weak” was a plank in the platform of “racial hygiene” in the service of creating the Master Race. Traditional Christianity was an obstruction along this route to “biological salvation.” Therefore the State Church (“Reichskirche”) was coopted early on by the Nazis. As Goebbels said in 1938: “OUR STARTING POINT IS NOT THE INDIVIDUAL, AND WE DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT ONE SHOULD FEED THE HUNGRY, GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY, OR CLOTHE THE NAKED . . . . OUR OBJECTIVES ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT: WE MUST HAVE A HEALTHY PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PREVAIL IN THE WORLD.”

    The linkage clearly runs from Darwinism to eugenics to Nazism. The Nazis saw themselves as incorporating state-of-the-art biological science into their platform of biological salvation. This is demonstrated amply (with documents, photos, and videos) in the National Holocaust Museum’s exhibit entitled, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race,” which may be accessed online at http://www.ushmm.org/museum/ex.....ymedicine/

    In fact, Pope Pius XI condemned Nazism in the encyclical “Mit Brennender Sorge,” issued in 1937. This encyclical, issued in German rather than the traditional Latin, said in part: “God, the Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God’s sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word…None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are ‘as a drop of a bucket’ (Isaiah xl, 15). ” That Pius XI referenced Isaiah (in the Hebrew Bible, which the Nazis deemed “a book of Jewish lies”) was especially stinging.

    Bob O’H, you wrote:

    I’ll get in the queue for the popcorn – somehow I think there’s going to be a response to this on Pharyngula.

    Fortunately, the “Deadly Medicine” exhibit is currently touring at the Science Museum of Minnesota until May 4. http://www.smm.org/deadlymedicine/ Possibly Dr. Myers could swing over to St. Paul and learn something from this exhibit. If he needs some help with the cost of a ticket, I think Ms. O’Leary has volunteered to help.

    I agree that the long and shameful history of Christian antisemitism played a significant role in the labeling of Jews as “weak.” I also agree that the Church in Germany capitulated far too readily to the Nazis. (Hitler referred to the leaders of the German Church as “those submissive little dogs.”) That is something we who call ourselves “Christian” need to come to terms with, continually and repeatedly.

    But it does no good for those who claim to stand in Darwin’s lineage to deal with this awful episode simply by denial.

  35. 35
    StephenB says:

    —–Dave: “Ridiculous. Darwin didn’t discover what could be accomplished through artificial selection. That’s been common knowledge for thousands of years. Darwin first asserted that selection takes place in nature (natural selection) and works the same way as does in artificial breeding of animals. He then extrapolated selection as something that explained not just variation between individuals of the same species but also explained the origin of new species. Attributing more than that to Darwin is either mistaken, uninformed, or dishonest.”

    Dishonest? Uninformed? Try this passage:

    “We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man itself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed,”

  36. 36

    DaveScot, I think what you want me to say is that Darwinism alone did not cause the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust. That is absolutely correct, it didn’t.

    What it did do was to add a scientific underpinning (no matter how flimsy we may perceive it to be now) to other nihilistic and utilitarian philosophies floating around Germany in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Without this underpinning, it may (note: may) have been possible to avert the Nazi menace, but when you have scientists, doctors, nurses, and politicians all pushing concepts like lebensunwerten Leben and “useless eaters”, it becomes more difficult to tell a little mustachioed maniac repeating their nonsense that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  37. 37
    DaveScot says:

    Angry

    So you believe Darwin was the first one to notice that humans are mammals?

  38. 38
    Charles says:

    FYI all here’s a good overview:

    Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
    Volume 44 Number 2 June 1992

    Eugenics and the Development of Nazi Race Policy :

    (intro)
    From: PSCF 44 (June 1992): 109-124.

    A central government policy of the Hitler administration was the breeding of a “superior race.” This required, at the very least, preventing the “inferior races” from mixing with “superior” ones in order to reduce contamination of the latter’s gene pool. The “superior race” belief is based on the theory of group inequality within each species, a major presumption and requirement of Darwin’s original “survival of the fittest” theory. A review of the writings of Hitler and contemporary German biologists finds that Darwin’s theory and writings had a major influence upon Nazi policies. Hitler believed that the human gene pool could be improved by selective breeding, using the same techniques that farmers used to breed a superior strain of cattle. In the formulation of his racial policies, he relied heavily upon the Darwinian evolution model, especially the elaborations by Spencer and Haeckel. They culminated in the “final solution,” the extermination of approximately six million Jews and four million other people who belonged to what German scientists judged were “inferior races.”

  39. 39
    DaveScot says:

    angry

    Eugenics started in the United States. Germany modeled their eugenics program after ours. A few differences:

    1) We didn’t sterilize people by killing them but we did let them die of neglect in institutions for the mentally and physically infirm.

    2) We only sterilized or killed about 50,000 people.

    That said, make no mistake, Germany used the United States as the inspiration and model for its eugenics programs.

  40. 40
    evo_materialist says:

    Well, it’s an overview, but a good one? Citation history provides a clue. Published sixteen years ago, it’s been cited only once, and that is a self-citation.

  41. 41
    DaveScot says:

    Bill,

    There is no possibility that even if Expelled did nothing but document the road to the holocaust it would be anywhere near comprehensive. In the other place where I mentioned Godwin’s Law one of the other participants wrote a 700 page book attempting to connect Darwin to Holocaust and it remains unconvincing to many. Moreover it doesn’t even bother to mention that the eugenics movement in Germany was preceded by the eugenics movement in the United States. That’s a pretty big omission given the subject and detracts considerably from the integrity of the rest of the tome.

    Bringing the holocaust into Expelled was nothing but gratuitous. It has no bearing at all on academic persecution of those who believe the universe has purpose and design. It all but destroys that message. Comparing the wholesale slaughter of many millions of people to perhaps hundreds of people losing their jobs trivializes the former in a lame to attempt to elevate the latter. People find that disgusting and virtually every review not authored by ID sympathizers focuses on it. Some reviews start off good to glowing but in the end wind up with an overall rating of “disgusting” because of the holocaust connection. To add insult to injury Expelled, by omission, conflates Social Darwinism with Biological Darwinism. The general public doesn’t know the difference. All they hear is Darwinism.

  42. 42
    Charles says:

    I’ve not seen Expelled yet, so I’m assuming the connection the movie makes to Nazi’s and the holocaust is that when you allow “just so” stories to dominate your “science” and suppress intellectual dissent, the resulting philosophy and worldview is warped, to say the least.

    When, in the case of Nazi’s, that warped worldview is further backed by the might of an army and an industrious and angry (if mislead) nation, the result is the holocaust.

    But several dots must be connected, Darwinism only being the first. The remaining dots of “just so” stories and suppression of dissent is in play today, that’s the argument of “Expelled”. Does that equate Darwinists to Nazi’s? No. Rather I think the Nazi wrought holocaust is shown as an extreme example (enabled by the rise to political leadership and concomitant military might) of allowing “just so” stories to hijack your science.

    Darwinian atheists don’t seem poised to take over the world politically as were the Nazi’s, but Darwinian evolutionary science and philosophy has been similarly hijacked by “just so” stories and suppression of dissent, which is the point being made by “Expelled”, I suspect and anticipate.

  43. 43
    DaveScot says:

    charles

    re; segregation of inferior races

    You mean like the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States dating back to colonial times that prohibited the marriage of blacks and whites? Perhaps the colonists were prescient and anticipated Darwinian theory 200 years before Darwin was born.

  44. 44
    Charles says:

    DaveScot

    I don’t deny that some of what the Nazi’s philosophized can be “sourced” pre-Darwin.

    But most of their eugenics philosphy they in fact did source to Darwin’s ideas, illegitimately, but to Darwin nonetheless. Might they have cobbled their philosophy together from other non-Darwinian ideas? Yes, they perhaps could have had they worked at it independently, but Darwin advanced the bulk of what the Nazi’s wanted to believe and they grabbed that ball and ran with it.

  45. 45
    DaveScot says:

    StephenB

    Thanks for the Darwin quote.

    Dishonest? Uninformed? Try this passage:

    “We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man itself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed,”

    Now let’s not leave off the rest of what Darwin wrote immediately following the passage you quoted. I wonder, did you leave it out because of being misinformed, ignorant, or dishonet? I’ll accept your pleading guilty to any one of those. I prefer to think you’re merely uninformed though.

    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

  46. 46

    Dear Dave,

    Was it a mistake for EXPELLED to address the connection between Nazism and Darwin? If I had done the film, I probably would have used that time to outline more clearly what ID is as a scientific and intellectual project. But the movie we have is the one we have. And in my view the connection between Darwinism and Nazism is stark. I realize that scholarship differs here. But if EXPELLED was going to wade into these waters, I’d say they did as good a job as could be done in 8 minutes. It’s a moot point whether 8 minutes was enough.

  47. 47
    StephenB says:

    —–Dave: “”I’ll accept your pleading guilty to any one of those. I prefer to think you’re merely uninformed though.”

    So, on the one hand, we are “ignorant” for allowing our worst to breed, but, on the other hand, we are too noble to be anything other than ignorant. That’s one hell of a pep talk.

    I any case, your interpretation is naive. Reading “The Descent of Man” carefully, one notices that this is the way Darwin always does business. He makes the shocking point that he really wants to make then he follows up with a humanizing comment to make it palatable.

    This pattern cannot be a coincidence. It is all part of his attempt to make the unacceptable acceptable. I am ignorant on a great many matters, but this isn’t one of them.

  48. 48
    Reg says:

    To be clear, I am not saying the Nazis were inspired by the Old Testament, or were religiously motivated. What I am saying is that the claim made in ‘Expelled’ that the theory of evolution was a ‘necessary, but not sufficient requirement’ for the holocaust, is absurd. Given that books exist from millenia beforehand which countenance the slaughter, enslavement and dispossession of whole groups of people, Darwinism is absolutely not required for any program of slaughter, enslavement and dispossession – such as the holocaust. In the same way Darwinism was not required for programs of slaughter and enslavement which happened before Darwin ever put pen to paper, such as the transatlantic slave trade.

  49. 49
    Frost122585 says:

    Yes Bill, I agree that there should have been more time addressing the theory of ID that states that aspects of nature reveal design. I think Stephen should have gotten into that a bit more. He probably did but it was edited out. I would have liked to have seen you talk about ID’s two main scientific observations which are the NFL observations about the origins of information and organization and your criteria and the functioning of the Explanatory Filter. Once again, Bill I think this movie has and will do more for ID then you know. ID is now more mainstream then ever and in this movie you don’t have someone with a political agenda like Eugene Scott (as featured in the movie on that jerk Abrams) making false claims such as that ID has NO peer reviewed articles. A blatant lie.

    I think ID has a long way to go but I sense a bright future for it. I might add that I have contacted Steve Fuller by email and he makes an important point that ID is viewed by man (thanks to the media in large part) as a right wing political movement. I think ID needs to reach out to people regardless of their political persuasion. It has been my experience with politics that people aren’t as dissimilar as we think they are during an election year. We also need to try very hard (and it is very hard) to not force religion into the subject and not be argumentative. My view on all of this is that I respect the right of Dawkins and his creed to have their opinions but in the real world “The people who say it cant be done have to get out of the way of those who are doing it.” And I say all of this as a card caring Republican.

  50. 50
    DaveScot says:

    Bill,

    Stuffing the positive evidence for ID into a 90-minute documentary is impractical too and the audience wouldn’t have understood much of it. I’ve been studying it for perhaps thousands of hours and I’m still learning more every day. That said, I’d have done a little more explantory work with the inner cell animation. People intuitively grasp the complexity of a machine and instinctively know that they don’t assemble themselves out of thin air, lightning bolts, and dirt. The problem here is it’s not in my nature to withhold criticism. 90% of Expelled is great. 10% of it is rubbish.

    I’m not sure if positive evidence of ID was really necessary though. The theme is academic freedom of inquiry and the underhanded tactics being used to repress unpopular ideas. It’s a freedom of speech issue. If the shoe were on the other foot and creationists were the majority in academia like they are in the general public, and the creationists were the ones using the dirty tactics, I’d be out defending PZ Myers’ and Richard Dawkins’ right to a fair and open hearing to whoever chose to listen to them. Even though I vehemently disagree with them and consider them intellectual degenerates with IQs hardly greater than a turnip they still deserve the right to make their stupid case on a level playing field.

  51. 51
    DaveScot says:

    stephen

    If you’re so well informed on Darwin’s writings then please answer why you left out the rest of the quote. If not ignorance then it must be dishonesty. A lie by omission.

  52. 52
    StephenB says:

    —–Dave: “If you’re so well informed on Darwin’s writings then please answer why you left out the rest of the quote. If not ignorance then it must be dishonesty. A lie by omission.”

    How charitable of you to offer me only two options, either that of ignorance or dishonesty. I could ask you the same question. Why did you leave the quote out of the discussion in the first place and offer another one as the definitive example about Darwin’s attitude on these matters?

    Did it ever occur to you that someone might disagree with you about your interpretation of Darwin’s comments? .The answer to you question is that the added words do not, in my judgment, change the meaning in any significant way.. Darwin quite clearly felt that allowing inferior breeding is a sign of ignorance. The following sentences are, as I pointed out, a way of making an immoral statement seem moral, or to put it more bluntly, a way of covering his anatomy. If you want to put a smiley face on it, go ahead.

    Nor am I buying your story about Darwin’s belief in man’s nobility. Its just diplomacy, more covering of his anatomy.. Darwin felt that there was a bigger nobility gap between blacks and whites than between animals and blacks. What are you going to do with that one?, Are you going to downplay the obvious racism.

    I restate that point: This is the way Darwin always does business. He makes the shocking point that he really wants to make then he follows up with a humanizing comment to make it palatable.

  53. 53

    Reg wrote:

    To be clear, I am not saying the Nazis were inspired by the Old Testament, or were religiously motivated.

    Of course, that’s why you mentioned the OT… to say that it wasn’t the Nazis’ inspiration.

    See, usually when somebody doesn’t want to say something, they actually don’t mention it. Or at least that’s how I do it. You smart people do things so weird sometimes.

    What I am saying is that the claim made in ‘Expelled’ that the theory of evolution was a ‘necessary, but not sufficient requirement’ for the holocaust, is absurd. Given that books exist from millenia beforehand which countenance the slaughter, enslavement and dispossession of whole groups of people, Darwinism is absolutely not required for any program of slaughter, enslavement and dispossession – such as the holocaust.

    It’s not absurd. In Hitler’s lifetime, Germany led the world in science education and science literacy.

    How do you quickly convince an entire nation of relatively smart, scientifically literate people to do something that has long been considered horrible and repugnant? By convincing them that your horrible and repugnant ideas are based in strong science.

    Today we’re seeing the same kind of persuasion happening with radical environmentalism. Neo-Luddites are being created, ironically enough, in the name of science. You have the supposedly smartest, most educated people in the world ready to throw away most of the technological progress we’ve made in the past 150 years.
    Someone who is an apologist for Al Gore, using your same argument, would say that Gore didn’t come up with it, it was in the works long before he got here, and as a matter of fact has its roots deep in ancient pagan religions. All of which is true, of course, but without the scientific legitimacy underpinning the whole thing, Gore would have no chance of convincing anyone.

    In the same way Darwinism was not required for programs of slaughter and enslavement which happened before Darwin ever put pen to paper, such as the transatlantic slave trade.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    mentok says:

    The point wasn’t whether or not Darwin himself supported eugenics, the point was that Darwin admitted that evolutionary philosophy can give a scientific rationale to eugenics. And he was right. The point they were making is that evolutionary philosophy legitimizes immorality with scientific imprimatur. Of course you don’t need to believe in evolution to be immoral and kill people, but what evolutionary philosophy did was give the people who wanted to reduce human population (based upon Malthusian principles http://www.trufax.org/avoid/manifold.html ) the ability to do so under the cover of rational progressive enlightened science. Without evolutionary theory they couldn’t have done what they did in the way they did it. Government and elite academic and corporate institutions were supportive of eugenics because the people they wanted to get rid of were no longer seen as “endowed with unalienable rights by their creator”, but instead were seen as products of “nature” and therefore could be treated as you would treat an invasive weed. Just because Darwin said he had a higher vision of humanity doesn’t change the fact that he said it was rational from an evolutionary viewpoint that human could be treated immorally. It’s like if I could make people believe that jumping off of a building won’t hurt them, but then say that I am afraid of heights so I won’t do it, then when many people get hurt people say that I have no responsibility for their actions because I said was afraid of heights.

  56. 56

    I think it would help if we were to dispassionately analyze the relationship between Darwin’s theory of evolution and eugenics. Eugenics is not a science, but rather a technology. That is, the application of scientific knowledge to the deliberate alteration of nature in the pursuit of a goal or goals desired by humans.

    In this sense, therefore, all technologies (including eugenics) are a direct outgrowth of a system of social morals (i.e. ethics). From our perspective today, we almost universally decry that branch of technology known as eugenics, but we do this mostly as the result of our historical knowledge of what the technology of eugenics resulted in: at the very least, injustice, and at the very most (and most horrific) genocide.

    It would do everyone thinking about this issue good to consider what the early supporters of eugenics thought about their new “technology” and why they supported it. We can look back now and condemn them all, but without the perspective gained from having the history of the 20th century behind us, I believe that such blanket condemnation does not give either the founders of eugenics (nor its more modern critics) enough credit.

    “By their fruits shall ye know them” is just another way of saying that empirical knowledge of the effects of a particular system of thought is generally superior to a theoretical understanding of that same system, but devoid of the lessons of experience. Knowing what we know now about the political and social effects of eugenics, would anyone (including any evolutionary biologist I know) advocate it, especially in the ways in which it was advocated during the first two decades of the 20th century? I believe that the answer is no; that would certainly be my answer.

    However, I also believe that one might come to a different conclusion were one to put oneself in the position of, say, Ronald Aylmer Fisher, one of the founders of the “modern evolutionary synthesis”. Fisher was an extraordinarily creative evolutionary biologist, a brilliant mathematician, and a dedicated eugenicist. He was also a life-long and very devout member of the Church of England who often penned essays on christian faith that were published and widely read by his fellow Anglicans.

    How would a partisan for either side of the EB-ID debate reconcile Fisher’s devotion to evolution, eugenics, and Christianity? Only be taking a much less simplistic and more nuanced view of all three of these very human endeavors.

  57. 57
    Barb says:

    Reg,

    Did you notice that in each verse you quoted that a reason was given for the Israelites going to war?

    Numbers 31: “take vengeance for the Israelites.”
    1 Samuel 15: “for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them…”

    I’d hardly call defending myself against genocidal neighbors in a harsh land ‘self-righteous.’

  58. 58
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 56

    From our perspective today, we almost universally decry that branch of technology known as eugenics, but we do this mostly as the result of our historical knowledge of what the technology of eugenics resulted in: at the very least, injustice, and at the very most (and most horrific) genocide.

    On what basis can we decry eugenics and genocide?

    Those are the practical outworkings of Darwin’s theories into society.

    We can only decry such by appealing to moral and legal principles outside of Darwin’s theories – and thus to recognizing intelligent causation – or by appealing to transcendent moral principles as in the Judeo-Christian codes etc.

  59. 59
    DLH says:

    DaveScott at 29

    He then extrapolated selection as something that explained not just variation between individuals of the same species but also explained the origin of new species. Attributing more than that to Darwin is either mistaken, uninformed, or dishonest.

    By principles of evolution, I refer to “survival of the fittest” or “law of the jungle”. See Weikart etc. on how Hitler applied that and Darwin’s comments on how future superior human races might exterminate the lesser human races. See Richard Weikart’s article Darwin and the Nazis
    and the discussion here
    Darwin and the Nazi’s discussion at UD.

    See also discussion under your thread: A complete Darwin quote with a brief translation”
    DLH post 20
    and
    DLH Post 21

  60. 60
    todd says:

    Allen MacNeill wrote,

    Knowing what we know now about the political and social effects of eugenics, would anyone (including any evolutionary biologist I know) advocate it, especially in the ways in which it was advocated during the first two decades of the 20th century? I believe that the answer is no; that would certainly be my answer.

    Does Peter Singer count? As a more sophisticated exploration of the abolition of man? In Singer’s case we are not superior to other mammals, so there is no apparent breeding plan vis a vis euginics, but culling defective children up to a certain point after birth plays a part is his overall ethic.

  61. 61
    Bob O'H says:

    On what basis can we decry eugenics and genocide?

    Those are the practical outworkings of Darwin’s theories into society.

    Only if people mistake the words “is” and “ought”. In order to do this “outworking”, you have need to have principles that allow you to go from what is to what (you think) should be.

    We can only decry such by appealing to moral and legal principles outside of Darwin’s theories …

    Quite. In order to take Darwin’s ideas out of political philosophy we need to apply some moral principles. But it’s only though applying different moral principles that they got in in the first place.

  62. 62
    nullasalus says:

    Keep the Reason,

    “If anyone disagrees with me, let them ask themselves this: If tomorrow there was solid evidence that proved there was no god, would you personally suddenly become an evil doer?”

    You justify your own acts by alluding vaguely to reason and sense informing you that they are ‘good’. Forget for a moment that many people who believe in God make the exact same arguments as you do with regards to behavior.

    If tomorrow there was solid evidence that proved there was no true evil or good, what would this conversation matter? If those things are purely subjective, all of your arguments are empty – the only difference between your being a good neighbor and someone mugging a child is subjective and popular view. But if those things are objective, one has to start asking why nature seems to have objective moral principles worked into their fabric.

    Theists have an answer to that. Do you?

  63. 63
    alext says:

    DLH:
    Stalin

    was a Lysenkoist. he thought Darwinian evolution was a scientific manifestation of Capitalism. he had “Darwinist” scientists put to death. Mao closesly followed suit. i don’t know enough about Pol Pot to make a case. in any case, leave them out of it. if “Darwinism” is the social ill you make it out to be, it was very much nothing to do with the radical left.
    but why do you place the blame solely on Darwin – surely Edison must be blamed for his advances in electronics that made Nazism possible? surely the early chemists must be blamed for discovering Chlorine and other poisons? surely we must blame Hitler’s mother for ever having conceived the horrible man?
    Darwin simply noted a scientific explanation for natural phenomena (whether you personally reckon it is true or not is irrelevant to my point here). Expelled seems to be intent on dragging his name through the mud for some later hateful dictator who may or may not have misappropriated his views.
    it is noteworthy that even if Charles Darwin had killed all six million Jews in the Holocaust himself because of the conclusions he drew from his theory, that would not affect one jot whether or not the theory is true or false. you need actual science to find out the veracity of a science, not whinging and hair-pulling.

  64. 64
    DLH says:

    alext at 65

    Darwin simply noted a scientific explanation for natural phenomena

    Yes, that is the politically correct edition. For a reality check, read Weikart Darwin and the Nazis etc. linked at my post above DLH 59.

    Stalin
    was a Lysenkoist. He thought Darwinian evolution was a scientific manifestation of Capitalism.

    You forget that Stalin described Darwin’s Origin of Species as the reason he left Christianity and became an atheist — and urged others to do so. Darwin’s explicitly excluding God (or any ID) triggered the world’s second most dangerous tyrant.

    Look at the fruit/consequences of choices based on Darwin’s evolutionary theories.

  65. 65
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason at 66

    We have honored your humanity, granting you the privilege of speaking here (supporting your public rights to speech and religion in this moderated forum) to state such opinions.

    Yes it is good to systematically develop theories. That is why the Discovery Institute advocates AGAINST ID being taught right now in schools.

    However, what are you doing to support that right of speech, right to religion, and academic inquiry?

    Gonzalez did the work and published it. Yet atheist religion professor Hector Avalos took it on himself to vilify Gonzalez, leading to Gonzalez’s tenure being denied.

    What will you do to lift this a priori totalitarian discrimination in Scienceand uphold our unalienable rights?

  66. 66
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason at 69

    horrified by the slaughter of people in Rwanda some years back

    Why? Is this not the practical outworking of Darwin’s theories and prediction?

    From your basis, are you not but the chance, historical combination of atoms?

    Why should we consider your statements to have any meaning beyond random association of memes?

    Per Francis Schaefer, can you not as easily help a grandmother cross the street as push her in front of a truck?
    What do you value? And on what basis? I do not see how you provide any basis for value other than “might makes right.” Anything beyond that appears probably assimilated from the Judeo-Christian world view of those around you.

    If you seriously wish to consider moral worth, examine the lives of the greatest individuals of the 20th century. e.g. See David Aikman’s Great Souls. 2003 ISBN-10: 0739104381

  67. 67
    Upright BiPed says:

    KTR: “They (ID’ers) know they CANNOT do the work, because “the work” involves proving god.”

    A strawman – completely divorced from reality. I am sure you felt like you had laid the final blow, but instead you seem incapable of fighting the battles at hand, so you resort to fighting the battles you wish.

    Keep The Reason, you have come here and made several comments that don’t make the first rung on the logic ladder (and I am being kind without wanting to be crude).

    Please enjoy reading David Berlinski’s “The Devils Delusion”.

  68. 68
    Upright BiPed says:

    Sure KTR, let’s try it again, perhaps you missed it in the first post.

    KTR: “They (ID’ers) know they CANNOT do the work, because “the work” involves proving god.”

    Justify this.

  69. 69
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason

    Gonzalez’s publication output dropped steadily during his time at ISU.

    Consider publishing a textbook in his field, followed by the book, The Privileged Planet during that time!

    KTR: “They (ID’ers) know they CANNOT do the work, because “the work” involves proving god.”

    You broadcast your ignorance of ID.
    See ID assumptions.
    ID seeks to detect empirical evidence of Intelligent Design.
    It explicitly does NOT seek to identify or prove the intelligent cause. It is possible to detect design without proving the designer. See the Monolith in Space Odessy 2001.

  70. 70
    Upright BiPed says:

    My replies keep getting canned again…..

  71. 71
    jerry says:

    Keep the Reason,

    One fundamental assumption of ID is that Darwin’s work is not science and as such should not be part of the science curriculum in the schools. Darwin collected a lot of data on his trip on the Beagle and made a lot of speculatory claims based on the data. However, there has been no verification of most of his claims since that time both in the fossil record and in the area of micro biology.

    What has been shown by science is trivial and not disputed by ID. However, his grander claims lay falsified by work in the last 150 years and as such should be removed from textbooks and acknowledged in biology courses.

  72. 72
    Frost122585 says:

    Boy, did anyone see the Pope’s goodbye speech last night? Because I heard it was just a bunch of creationism.

  73. 73
    Stone says:

    ID seeks to detect empirical evidence of Intelligent Design.
    It explicitly does NOT seek to identify or prove the intelligent cause. It is possible to detect design without proving the designer. See the Monolith in Space Odessy 2001.

    I don’t agree with that analogy, it was not empirical that the monolith in space odessy 2001 was made by an intelligent creator, that’s a rationalistic assumption made when you first see it.

    Empirical evidence for design would be to look for patterns by which a designer would be required. There are many monoliths that are simply the result of natural processes.

  74. 74
    DLH says:

    jerry at 79

    One fundamental assumption of ID is that Darwin’s work is not science and as such should not be part of the science curriculum in the schools.

    Caution: Please be more accurate in your descriptions. This is NOT “fundamental assumption of ID”.
    See ID Assumptions which say nothing about Darwin.

    The Discovery Institute advocates teaching MORE about the evidence both supporting (sic) evolution and that which does NOT fit.

  75. 75
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason

    No one is replying to my challenges in my rebuttals.

    DHL so far is the most consistent perpetrator of this.

    “Perpetrate: To be responsible for; commit: perpetrate a crime; perpetrate a practical joke.”

    No ad hominem attacks allowed.
    Your are already getting more attention than you deserve, and much more than my limited time allows.

  76. 76
    jerry says:

    DLH,

    Change “assumption” to either “belief” or “conclusion.”

  77. 77
    Stone says:

    “That’s fine. When you have the evidence, we’ll look at it”

    There is plenty of evidence for design. The fact our species has nearly created the first synthetic microbe is the only evidence needed to demonstrate that intelligent agents can create life.

    ” (let’s remind everyone that Stein attempts to make Dawkins look like a fool for admitting that it’s possible that the ID might be “aliens” in “Expelled” — more deceit.)”

    Um no, dawkins stuttering through his arguments was his own fault, not ben stein.
    Unless you have a demonstratable way of showing ben stein controlling mr. Dawkins speech, I’m afraid he’s just a zealot, who’s yet to learn how to hold his tongue…

    “what its goals are are well known too.”

    I’m sorry, are you suggesting you speak for the ID movement? What gives you such authority?

    “Frankly, I think you folks are resting on the short attention span and scientific ignorance of most Americans–”

    LOL how adorable, as though you could speak for most Americans as well…

    I’m sorry but you sound like an ignorant elitist who’s spent much too time talking to people who carry the same ideas as yourself.

    you aren’t in a position to comment on most Americans.
    Nor is anyone else, as most Americans haven’t been polled with such questions, I certainly haven’t, nor has anyone I know.

    You aren’t psychic or all knowing, just incredibly self important.

    ” Most Americans ARE very poorly read when it comes to science”

    Funny, could you remind me then why it is most of the world uses our innovations? lol

    “, and they don’t know the difference between biological Darwinism and Social Darwinism,”

    Right, one couldn’t have any implications on the other… Science isn’t a bureaucracy… just tell yourself that while a group of pot headed professors file papers for those much beloved grants of theirs…

    No science could never be corrupted *rolls eyes*
    No no the federal government and the courts aren’t touching anything… please just stop… you’re embarassing yourself.

    We know there are lobbyists/judges/professors supporting certain causes and that money all trickles down…

    Your generalizations are pathetic, and your attempts to take the nazi issue out of context and summarize it as somehow victimizing “Bona fide” lmao… biologists show you couldn’t argue your way out of a parking ticket.

    Save the speaking for those who think before they talk.

  78. 78
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason

    And really, the first thing you need to do is stop pretending that every gap in evolution means ID must be the option B. That’s horribly UNscientific, and every last one of you knows it.

    You are accusing everyone here of “pretending” and of being “horribly UNscientific”.

    That is not civil debate.

    Stein attempts to make Dawkins look like a fool for admitting that it’s possible that the ID might be “aliens” in “Expelled” — more deceit.)

    Again you accuse of “deceit”. Stein gave Dawkins sufficient time to clearly express his beliefs on possible causes of biotic systems. Dawkins now appears to be expanding on his performance in Expelled with similar declarations.

    You appear to be basing your arguments on materialism or philosophical naturalism and claiming those who do not hold to your worldview are morally wrong.

    The critical issue is whether “Science” can empirically detect intelligent causation.

    It is being used in forensics, archeology, and reverse engineering etc.
    Evolutionists acknowlege that biotic systems have the appearance of being designed. Over 700 credentialed scientists are skeptical of the capabilities of neo-Darwinian theory to explain the origin of biotic systems.

    What “scientific” explanation can you provide for the Origin Of Life?

    Mathematical population models do not appear to support neo-Darwinian explanations of observed complex biotic systems. Natural law cannot explain the origin of coded information. Stochastic methods does not provide an explanation either. Thus, for those not committed to philosophical naturalism, it appears reasonable to see if theories of Intelligent Design can be developed to explain such systems.

    We respect freedom of conscience and of speech – but require civil discourse.

    You have one last chance to respond civilly, and address substantitive issues without accusing those here of egregious violations of their consciences.

  79. 79
    DaveScot says:

    keep_the_reason

    And really, the first thing you need to do is stop pretending that every gap in evolution means ID must be the option B. That’s horribly UNscientific, and every last one of you knows it.

    I’ll agree to that if you stop pretending that everything in evolution is chance & necessity. That’s horribly UNscientific, and every last one of you knows it.

  80. 80
    alext says:

    Stone:
    There is plenty of evidence for design. The fact our species has nearly created the first synthetic microbe is the only evidence needed to demonstrate that intelligent agents can create life.

    this shows that design is possible, not that it happened to cause life on earth. it is possible to do many things that have not happened in history before.

    Kep the Reason – good posts.

  81. 81
    Rude says:

    Interesting thread here!

    I for one am very glad that Ben Stein included the Darwinism-Holocaust connection. Today’s phlegmatic, politically correct culture needs the conversation! For sixty years we’ve discussed the Christian anti-Semitism connection—and it’s been for the good. That the Church tortured and burned to death its tens of thousands should never be forgotten. And by and large Christendom has not shied from considering a Nazi connection, and many have expressed sorrow and shame for the past. But what a difference now when just the whif of a mention of a Darwinian connection and the folks come out snorting like banshees.

    That for me is the best sign that the discussion is long overdue!

  82. 82
    StephenB says:

    Keep the reason: One quick point and one extended one.

    1) On ID: One thing you need to realize is that ID can detect design but it cannot establish the IDENTITY of the designer. Your references to the supernatural suggest that you are not making that distinction. Unless you learn what a design inference really is, you will criticize ID for what it is not and not for what it is, which is what you are doing.

    2) On Darwinism: You cannot simply build a civil society on the hope that we will all agree to be nice to each other. In fact, there are plenty of people will not conform to altruistic principles. Indeed, those who lust after power, the very ones who will be able to use the power of the state against us, don’t want to get along, they want to dominate and enslave. That is why we have the rule of law, which in turn, is supposed to be based on the natural moral law. The natural moral law teaches us that the “inherent dignity of every human person is not something to be negotiated or arrived at by consensus. It is build into nature. That is what is meant by “natural rights.” The Darwinist principle denies that any right can be natural, because it insists that there can be any such principle in nature. Any rights that are not natural are not inalienable and can be withheld at any time.

  83. 83
    DLH says:

    Keep the Reason at 94
    Translation of DaveScott at 92
    “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

    Perhaps you could demonstrate how the information in the genome arose by chance and necessity and obtain a patent on the process. (Guaranteed a Nobel prize if you can! –
    Hint: The Patent Office will not patent perpetual motion machines.)

    “How many times must I repeat it? Do the work. Go for it. Get the evidence.”

    See The Biologic Institute

    See Evolutionary Informatics Lab

    In the interest of science and the public good, will you help raise the funds to do so?
    —————
    “What “scientific” explanation can you provide for the Origin Of Life?
    ========

    Right now, none.”
    Good – no one else does either. Which was why Stein asked.
    ——————-
    “Please explain such guidelines to me, ”

    See Comment Moderation Policy

    ————————
    “. . .since you take me to task for accusing Stein of deceit (which can be backed up by numerous people), but you say nothing to Stone for saying “Dawkins should lean to hold his tongue”, . . .”

    That is a tu quoque logical fallacy.
    A subset of Argumentum ad Hominem (abusive and circumstantial)
    —————————–
    I said “No ad hominem arguments.

    “Excuse me, are you taking me to task for calling Ben Stein deceitful in his methods — as an ad hominem in this debate??”

    Yes

    —————-

    “I make NO moral judgments on people who do or don’t believe in evolution, and have argued 180 degrees apart from that. Please show where I’ve made this argument you’ve accused me of.”

    Then study your use of words like: “deceit”, “deceitful”, “perpetrator”, “horribly”, “wrong”,

    e.g.,

    If someone embraces this methodology, then they can only be purposely deceitful (since they know science doesn’t work that way), by pretending science does work that way.

    That politely is begging the argument, since ID is showing examples where science DOES identify intelligent causes etc.

    Evolutionists are trying to define science to explicitly exclude all possibilities of intelligent causation.

    I encourage you to take a break and learn more about logical fallacies and how to avoid them, especially ad hominem arguments. Also study about moral judgments, speaking the truth, accusing people of wrongdoing etc.

  84. 84
    ericB says:

    Stone (73, responding to DLH): “Empirical evidence for design would be to look for patterns by which a designer would be required. There are many monoliths that are simply the result of natural processes.”

    If you mean simply “a single great stone …” or “a massive structure”, sure. Nature can produce many of those. But how many have perfectly flat sides with dimensions 1 by 4 by 9 (the squares of 1, 2, 3) and a host of other unusual properties. DLH didn’t simply refer to just any old monolith but rather to that particular one with its obviously non-natural properties.

    That said, the general sense of your first statement seems right. We look for effects that are not plausibly within the reach of undirected processes. The design filter seeks to weed out cases that might plausibly be explained by undirected law+chance. If they are not within the reach of the limits of undirected processes, then the best causal inference is to directed processes, i.e. intelligent agency.

    Of course, all scientific inferences are tentative, being made with the best evidence available at a given time.

  85. 85
    ericB says:

    The Nazi holocaust was only a culmination of a far more pervasive growing trend that was embraced in the United States as well. The law in question in the famous Scopes monkey trial was not about forbidding instruction in evolution but rather exclusively about the treatment of man in evolutionary terms. Understood in context, we can see exactly why people were concerned and what they were trying to avoid.

    Here is an excerpt from the site http://www.TheMonkeyTrial.com — an extremely eye opening site and highly recommended if you don’t mind letting go of the “Inherit the Wind” mythology.

    Bryan did not oppose the teaching of evolution in public schools. For a number of reasons noted below he did oppose teaching the evolution of mankind (one species) as scientific fact and especially in the manner in which evolutionary theory was practically being applied in his day.

    As Bryan wrote in the New York Times:

    The only part of evolution in which any considerable interest is felt is evolution applied to man. A hypothesis in regard to the rocks and plant life does not affect the philosophy upon which one’s life is built. Evolution applied to fish, birds, and beasts would not materially affect man’s view of his own responsibilities. . . . The evolution that is harmful . . . is the evolution that makes [man himself] a descendant of lower forms of life. (Feb. 26, 1922)

    Specifically—and this is very important to understanding both the Butler Act and the trial—Bryan opposed those applications of Darwinism to mankind that were rapidly gaining popularity and were contained in Prof. Hunter’s Civic Biology. These teachings included

    (1) that mankind can be described in terms of five “races” of differing evolutionary status with the Caucasian race being the most advanced, followed by the “yellow” race, etc.—p. 196,

    (2) that public houses for the poor and asylums for the sick or insane make no sense from an evolutionary perspective and should be at least reconsidered if not dramatically curtailed—p. 263,

    (3) that certain “parasitic” elements of the human population should not have children (“If such people were lower animals,” Hunter writes, “we would probably kill them off”) and, in some cases, such reproduction should be forcibly prevented (“Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe”)—p. 263,

    (4) that society’s business classes should be given generous economic latitude (known as “hands off” or “laissez faire” capitalism) to further advance the most successful members of the human species—p. 261ff, and

    (5) that the gap between the monkeys and the most evolved apes is akin to the gap between those apes and the lowest human “savages”—p. 195.

    The above teachings were favorably referred to as “eugenics”—a term invented by Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton—and generally pertain to the active management of the gene pool of the human species by the more evolved over the less evolved. This was scary stuff gaining momentum in the 1920s and, as noted below, no longer confined to discussions in Ivory Towers.

    Statutes permitting sterilizations by force, laws forbidding marriages between people of different races (miscegenation), immigration quotas favoring Northern Europeans (Caucasians), and economic policies benefiting the most successful capitalists, were all popular policies advanced by elitists (university professors, industrialists, Planned Parenthood, liberal ministers, etc.) who self-consciously and persuasively invoked the “scientific” principles of Darwinism.

    Despite vocal opposition primarily from people outside the academic and scientific communities such as Bryan and the popular evangelist Billy Sunday (both of whom regarded all men as created equal by God), eugenics enjoyed steadily increasing currency in the 1920s, especially among liberal academics. Nazi Germany eventually brought to horrific fruition many of Bryan’s worst fears and put a halt to public support for eugenics and its euphemistic “civic biology” (recall here the title of Hunter’s biology textbook).

  86. 86
    Compton says:

    Spartans killed their own children that were considered weak either physically or mentally. I presume they guessed with their physic powers what the Darwinian theory will be.

    Referring to the nazis is just a cheap way for creationists to symbolize evil to the general public.

    Grow up.

  87. 87

    […] Uncommon Descent | The Road to the Holocaust — Darwin or the …Apr 20, 2008 … it is noteworthy that even if Charles Darwin had killed all six million Jews in the Holocaust himself because of the conclusions he drew from his … […]

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