Intelligent Design

Clarence Darrow on rape and chloroforming the unfit: Jerry Coyne’s strange choice of heroes

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“Clarence Darrow … is one of my heroes,” Professor Jerry Coyne declares in a recent post over at Why Evolution Is True. I wonder how well Professor Coyne really knows the man whom he idolizes.

I’d like to quote from a book titled, Crime: Its Cause and Treatment by Clarence Darrow, published in 1922. Darrow apparently believed that rapists weren’t responsible for their deeds because they were governed by their sex instincts: the poor things simply couldn’t help doing what they did. Here’s what he had to say about rape, in a chapter titled, “Sex Crimes”:

Most of the inmates of prisons convicted of sex crimes are the poor and wretched and the plainly defective. Nature, in her determination to preserve the species, has planted sex hunger very deep in the constitution of man. The fact that it is necessary for the preservation of life, and that Nature is always eliminating those whose sex hunger is not strong enough to preserve the race, has overweighted man and perhaps all animal life with this hunger. At least it has endowed many men with instincts too powerful for the conventions and the laws that hedge him about.

Rape is almost always the crime of the poor, the hardworking, the uneducated and the abnormal. In the man of this type sex hunger is strong; he has little money, generally no family; he is poorly fed and clothed and possesses few if any attractions. He may be a sailor away from women and their society for months, or in some other remote occupation making his means of gratifying this hunger just as impossible. There is no opportunity for him except the one he adopts. It is a question of gratifying this deep and primal instinct as against the weakness of his mentality and the few barriers that a meagre education and picked-up habits can furnish; and when the instinct overbalances he is lost.

Comment is superfluous on this passage, which drips with condescension for the very people whom Darrow had pledged his life to defend.

But there’s more. Clarence Darrow felt no real sympathy for the victims of rape. According to an article by Mary Dickson titled, “Dispelling the ‘dark alley’ myth” in The Deseret News (April 3, 1978), Darrow actually believed that it was physically impossible for a man to force a woman to have intercourse:

Clarence Darrow once attempted in court to prove the impossibility of rape.

He instructed someone to try to insert a pencil into a cup he held in his continuously moving hand. His point was that sexual intercourse was impossible if a woman resisted, even slightly.

What Darrow failed to mention was the possibility of a gun held to a victim’s head, a knife to her throat, her arms twisted or even vicious verbal threats.

In 80 per cent of rape cases, according to statistics, the rapist brandished some type of weapon. And in nearly half of all rapes there was more than one attacker.

The same story about Clarence Darrow can be found in The Politics of Rape: The Victim’s Perspective by Professor Diana Russell (Authors Guild Backinprint.com edition, 1984, 2003; see Chapter Twenty-Four, “Rape and the Masculine Mystique”, page 257), and in an article by Dick Polman in The Montreal Gazette (May 9, 1985), titled, “Worries grow that rape-recant will damage real victims’ credibility.”

Darrow on chloroforming the unfit

Clarence Darrow also had a low opinion of people with disabilities. This can be seen from his comments on the Baby Bollinger case. The following excerpt is taken from a summary of the case by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University:

“In 1915, just before Thanksgiving, a baby was born without a neck, with only one ear, with a misshapen chest and misshapen shoulders, and with serious internal malformations. The doctor who delivered the baby at Chicago’s German-American Hospital called in Dr. Harry Haiselden, a surgeon, to examine the baby. Haiselden concluded that this “defective” baby’s life would not be worth saving. He convinced the parents, Anna and Allen Bollinger, to let their son die rather than embark on a series of operations to repair some of the baby’s physical deformities.”

What happened to the doctor? An article in The New York Times takes up the story:

“Dr. Harry J. Haiselden, who refused to perform an operation on the Bollinger baby because he believed the child would be a hopeless defective, will be expelled from membership in the Chicago Medical Society if the council of that body approves the findings of the Ethical Relations Committee.” (“Medical Society’s Committee Against Bollinger Baby’s Physician”, New York Times. December 15, 1915.)

And what were Clarence Darrow’s views about the case? He thoroughly approved of what the doctor had done, according to Ian Dowbiggin’s book, A Concise History of Euthanasia: Life, Death, God, and Medicine (Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 2005; paperback edition, 2007; pages 73-74):

When asked by a reporter about the reason behind his decision not to operate, Haiselden replied: “Eugenics? Of course it’s eugenics.”

Haiselden’s approach chiefly derived from his deep-seated belief in eugenics, social Darwinism, and biologically based utilitarianism.

One thing the Baby Bollinger story proved was that Haiselden’s views about euthanasia were not unique. The well-known American lawyer Clarence Darrow, future defense attorney during the Scopes “Monkey” Trial of 1925, agreed wholeheartedly with Haiselden. When asked his opinion of the Baby Bollinger controversy, Darrow answered acerbically: “Chloroform unfit children. Show them the same mercy that is shown beasts that are no longer fit to live.” Blind and deaf advocate Helen Keller added: “Our puny sentimentalism has caused us to forget that a human life is sacred only when it may be of some use to itself and to the world.”

Clarence Darrow: Defender of the Weak and Poor?

Throughout his life, Clarence Darrow cast himself as the champion of the poor and downtrodden. But his actions often belied his words, according to an online article titled, Clarence Darrow: ‘Attorney for the Damned’ – or just another Damned Attorney? by Andy Bradbury:

In fact the truth is that Darrow frequently appeared on behalf of those who preyed upon “the weak and poor.”

He was closely associated with a pair of notorious Chicago politicians, Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna and J.J. “Bath House John” Coughlin – not exactly “weak and poor,” but definitely totally corrupt – who controlled the Loop district of the city, and much of the vice that went on in that area.

In 1903, when the Iroquoise Theater in Chicago burnt down during a matinee performance, 596 people, mainly children, were killed, primarily because 29 of the 30 fire exits were closed and locked. In the aftermath of the fire a number of grand jury indictments were handed down on those responsible for making the carnage possible: the theater owners who had flouted the city fire laws; the fire inspectors who had failed to carry out regular fire checks; and even the mayor – to whom the city’s fire chief was accountable.

Yet despite the indictments, not a single person was imprisoned for their part in the disaster – in many cases because Clarence Darrow, defender of “the weak and poor”, had been beavering away in the background to get their indictments dismissed.

Conduct unethical

According to the same article, Darrow was also guilty of attempting to bribe jurors on one occasion:

In 1912, in Los Angeles, for example, Darrow himself went through two trials where he was both the defense lawyer and the defendant – on two counts of attempting to bribe jurors in the union-related murder case in which he had been, as usual, counsel for the defense. In response to the first charge Darrow told the jury:

“I have committed one crime: I have stood for the weak and the poor.”

And at that first trial the verdict was in Darrow’s favour, though it is now generally accepted – even by Darrowphiles – that he was in fact guilty on both counts, plus other similar activities that he was never charged with. At the second trial Darrow proved less able to “soft soap” his way out of trouble, and the proceedings ended with a hung jury. But although Darrow escaped being convicted, he certainly didn’t escape the consequences of his actions.

Firstly he was made to leave California after undertaking never to practice law again in that state.

Secondly he was dropped by the unions as one of their regular attorneys – which is why he spent the last part of his career practising criminal law.

And thirdly, he reportedly suffered what would nowadays be described as a “nervous breakdown” and became, if it were possible, even more pessimistic and morose than had previously been the case.

Darrow the fatalist

As Professor Coyne readily acknowledges in his post, Clarence Darrow denied the reality of free will. Indeed, Darrow was a dyed-in-the-wool fatalist, as can be seen by his handling of the Loeb/Leopold murder case, one of the three most famous trials of the twentieth century. Coyne provides the following handy summary of the facts of the case:

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two brilliant Jewish students at the University of Chicago, who, influenced by Nietzsche, decided to commit the perfect crime. On May 21, 1924, they kidnapped a 14-year-old named Bobby Franks, killed him by bludgeoning him with a chisel, and drove to a lake in nearby Indiana where they dumped Frank’s body in a culvert.

They almost got away with it, but someone discovered the body, and, a few days later, a policeman found a pair of Leopold’s glasses at the scene. They had an unusual frame, and only three pairs had been sold in Chicago. They traced the glasses to Leopold, who quickly cracked (as did Loeb), and both went to trial in August. Darrow was their attorney.

Knowing that the evidence was indisputable, Darrow had his clients plead guilty, hoping that by so doing he could save them from hanging. (Only one of dozens of Darrow’s murder clients was ever executed.) In a remarkable 12-hour speech, which I think was largely extemporaneous, Darrow pleaded for their lives to Judge John Caverly.

So, what did Darrow say in his final summation of the case? Here’s an excerpt:

“Nature is strong and she is pitiless. She works in her own mysterious way, and we are her victims. We have not much to do with it ourselves. Nature takes this job in hand, and we play our parts. In the words of old Omar Khayyam, we are only:

Impotent pieces in the game He plays
Upon this checkerboard of nights and days,
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the closet lays.

What had this boy to do with it? He was not his own father; he was not his own mother; he was not his own grandparents. All of this was handed to him. He did not surround himself with governesses and wealth. He did not make himself. And yet he is to be compelled to pay.

Do you mean to tell me that Dickie Loeb had any more to do with his making than any other product of heredity that is born upon the earth?

Your Honor, I am almost ashamed to talk about it. I can hardly imagine that we are in the 20th century. And yet there are men who seriously say that for what Nature has done, for what life has done, for what training has done, you should hang these boys.”

Professor Coyne is to be commended for spelling out the consequences of adhering to Darwinism: none of us is responsible for our actions.

I rest my case.

27 Replies to “Clarence Darrow on rape and chloroforming the unfit: Jerry Coyne’s strange choice of heroes

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    You might also try “From Darwin to Hitler” by Richard Weikart. Hitler invented nothing new. Every policy and goal he pushed as a National Socialist had been previously proposed by the Darwinists and Eugenicists. “Survival of the fittest” implies the existence of a Master Race that will “out-compete” the other races and take over the world. The Nazi “racial hygiene” laws were based on a Eugenics law passed in California in 1919.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Sal’s ego uber alles.

    Well, I see Salvador has been by to yet again censor all evidence of discontent with his silly ideas, and even posts that have nothing to do with his silly ideas!

    He claims he deletes them because they are off-topic. A lie.

    He claims he deletes them because they personally attack him. another lie.

    He claims he deletes them because I am a troll. yet another lie.

    The truth is, he has an injured ego and too much pride. He deletes them, because he can.

    plain and simple.

    The last time I had a conflict with Sal (over him modifying the content of a post I wrote to make it seem like I had written something I had not written), I simply left UD in disgust.

    Not this time.

    Sal suffers from character flaws which disqualify him from thread authorship here at UD. He’s been given certain rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. Sal want’s all the rights without the responsibilities.

    Salvador gives UD a bad name, as a cursory internet search will reveal.

  3. 3
    Collin says:

    Mung,

    I grow tired of your personal vendetta against Sal. I hope he censors more, not less, of your posts.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    Personally, I’d rather know that a post was deleted with a reason given rather than being cleaned up. For example

    5 Vic Vendetta September 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    *** Post deleted due to excessive personal attacks. ***

    I also get tired of reading posts full of sound and fury that lack any substantive content. In fact I stop reading them as soon as they start doing it.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    While I don’t believe Hitler emphasized Darwinism per se, it was his belief that once we have the power to control human evolution, we have the responsibility to do so. Hitler referenced Nietzsche’s Übermensch ideal more as a way of creating a racial enemy to the Germans for political advantage, much as modern politicians try to exacerbate racial and economic tensions for the same reason.

    To sell this to the German people, Hitler used terms like “racial hygiene” as mahuma mentioned, which presumably appealed to the German masses as a part of responsible cleanliness.

    Incidentally, laws against interracial marriage were not overturned in the U.S. until the landmark 1967 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Other famous advocates of eugenics included Margaret Sanger, the founder of planned parenthood as a way of eliminating “human waste” from society. She wrote

    “Everywhere we see poverty and large families going hand in hand. Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. People who cannot support their own offspring are encouraged by Church and State to produce large families. Many of the children thus begotten are diseased or feeble-minded; many become criminals. The burden of supporting these unwanted types has to be bourne by the healthy elements of the nation. Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilization are diverted to the maintenance of those who should never have been born.”

    How charming.

    More recently William Shockley, the inventor of the transistor and later a professor at Stanford, became interested in race, intelligence, and eugenics. According to Wikipedia

    Shockley argued that the higher rate of reproduction among the less intelligent was having a dysgenic effect, and that a drop in average intelligence would ultimately lead to a decline in civilization. Shockley advocated that the scientific community should seriously investigate questions of heredity, intelligence, and demographic trends, and suggest policy changes if he was proven right.

    So, how about it, Darwinists? Are some people just a tad higher up on the tree of life?

    Is controlled reproduction to reduce birth defects and improve certain traits (including intelligence) ethical with all animals except homo sapiens?

    I’m just asking. 😉

  6. 6
    Mark Frank says:

    #5 Querius

    So, how about it, Darwinists? Are some people just a tad higher up on the tree of life?

    No.

    Is controlled reproduction to reduce birth defects and improve certain traits (including intelligence) ethical with all animals except homo sapiens?

    Yes that’s exactly what I think. Don’t you?

    I would not call the availability and promotion of contraception “controlling reproduction”. It is optional whether a couple want to use it. So although Sanger’s language is unfortunate I think there is reasonable point underlying it. A lot of unplanned parenthood leads to blighted lives (and further unplanned parenthood). People should have children because they want them and in as full an awareness as possible about the implications.

  7. 7
    Mark Frank says:

    Mung

    Salvador gives UD a bad name, as a cursory internet search will reveal.

    Do you recommend banning everyone who gives UD a bad name?

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    So Mark,

    What scientific evidence do you have to support your belief that all humans, even though they obviously adaped to a variety of climates and conditions, are *exactly* identical in terms of their evolutionary progress? Shockley claimed that IQ tests for different people groups are significantly different. Can these differences be shown scientifically to be due solely to cultural bias in the tests themselves?

    Our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, is light skinned. However, darker skin must have provided a significant evolutionary advantage in humans, right? So, people with darker skin must have gone through more evolutionary pressure, evolved more, and can survive better as a result. Or maybe Darwinists contend that skin color conveys no benefit, but persists in the human genome for no apparent reason.

    While Margaret Sanger endorsed compulsary sterilization under some circumstances, and spoke at at least one KKK meeting, at least she was against euthansia and abortion. But I’m surprised that any Darwinist would take a stand against the **humane** evolutionary practices of eugentics on scientific rather than emotional grounds. I understand that Dr. Shockley contributed generously to a best and brightest sperm bank. You are in at least in favor of this idea, right? 😉

  9. 9
    franklin says:

    mark:So although Sanger’s language is unfortunate I think there is reasonable point underlying it.

    From the quote-minded text Querius provided (with no citation) on the surface may seem an unfortunate phrasing once returned to context it is quite reasonable given the situation woman found themselves in during the early 1900’s (and before).

    here is the majority of the article in which those words appeared:

    But the work of the advocates of Birth Control has been by no means easy. With every step forward there are renewed efforts on the part of our arch-enemies to hinder the progress of enlightenment. The seat of most of the opposition is to be found in the Roman Catholic Church. This enemy is ceaselessly active and openly determined to exterminate the Birth Control movement in America. In 1921 it illegally broke up a meeting planned to be held in the New York Town Hall–a meeting that was peaceably held afterwards in the Park Theater. It opposed the holding of meetings in Cincinnati, in Albany, in Milwaukee, in Hagerstown, Md., and in numerous other cities. In some places, as in Albany, the municipal authorities lent themselves to the design of the Catholic Church; in others, as in Cincinnati, the mayor and managers of the hotel or hall where the meeting was to be held, stood firm. They upheld the law and the Constitution. They refused to be intimidated by a blustering mob directed by the wily leaders in Church politics.

    In the press the opposition also is vigorous and unceasing. Through the reports of sermons and speeches, through interviews and letters to the Editor, the opponents of Birth Control are continually endeavoring to reach the public ear and to poison the mind of the people against Birth Control. But opposition has had no effect in stopping the progress of the movement, and the idea of Birth Control is gradually penetrating and permeating the consciousness of the nation.

    What the Birth Control movement stands for cannot be better summarized and explained than by quoting the manifesto of the American Birth Control League, as adopted at the time of its formation in October, 1921. The League then subscribed to the following Principles:

    The complex principles now confronting America as the result of the practice of reckless procreation are fast threatening to grow beyond human control.

    Everywhere we see poverty and large families going hand in hand. Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly. People who cannot support their own offspring are encouraged by Church and State to produce large families. Many of the children thus begotten are diseased or feeble-minded; many become criminals. The burden of supporting these unwanted types has to be borne by the healthy elements of the nation. Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our civilization are diverted to the maintenance of those who should never have been born.

    In addition to this great evil we witness too appalling waste of women’s health and women’s lives by too frequent pregnancies. These unwanted pregnancies often provoke the crime of abortion, or alternatively multiply the number of child workers and lower the standard of living.

    To create a race of well-born children it is essential that the function of motherhood should be elevated to a position of dignity, and this is impossible as long as conception remains a matter of chance.

    We hold that children should be

    1. Conceived in love;

    2. Born of the mother’s conscious desire;

    3. And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.

    here for the entire paper: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sa.....300368.xml

  10. 10
    goodusername says:

    Hitler used terms like “racial hygiene” as mahuma mentioned

    Racial hygiene (rassenhygiene) was indeed the term commonly used by German eugenicists for “eugenics.” They also often used the term “eugenik.”

    Interestingly, I can’t find a single example of Hitler using either term. If you know of an instance of him using the term, I’d be interested to see it.
    Hitler’s eugenics was more old-school, influenced by people like Schopenhauer, Gobineau, H. S. Chamberlain, etc.

  11. 11
    Mark Frank says:

    #8 Querius

    What scientific evidence do you have to support your belief that all humans, even though they obviously adaped to a variety of climates and conditions, are *exactly* identical in terms of their evolutionary progress? Shockley claimed that IQ tests for different people groups are significantly different. Can these differences be shown scientifically to be due solely to cultural bias in the tests themselves?

    What do you mean by evolutionary progress? I don’t doubt that different races have slightly different abilities on average – just look at the racial make up the finals of various Olympic events. But those abilities – both physical and mental – are
    a) varied – some races are slightly better at one thing, some at another – e.g. there are different kinds of intelligence (read Garner)
    b) only averages – there is massive overlap between groups’ abilities
    c) subject to constant change as our genes keep on getting mixed up and our environment changes so fast
    d) very hard to pick out from cultural influences

    Our closest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee, is light skinned. However, darker skin must have provided a significant evolutionary advantage in humans, right? So, people with darker skin must have gone through more evolutionary pressure, evolvedmore, and can survive better as a result. Or maybe Darwinists contend that skin color conveys no benefit, but persists in the human genome for no apparent reason.

    On UD I try to take everyone’s argument as sincere but in this case I can’t manage it.

    But I’m surprised that any Darwinist would take a stand against the **humane** evolutionary practices of eugentics on scientific rather than emotional grounds.

    All ethics is emotional at core – read Hume.

    I understand that Dr. Shockley contributed generously to a best and brightest sperm bank. You are in at least in favor of this idea, right?

    I don’t know how this worked so I can’t comment.

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    #9 Franklin
    I got the quote from a website dedicated to Margaret Sanger. And yes, I read the entire article before posting the quote.

    Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly.

    I find this part of the quote particularly repulsive, regardless of who wrote it or when it was written. Many successful, productive people, myself included, came up out of grinding poverty. I think we’re the better for the struggle.

    #10 goodusername
    I seem to remember racial hygiene mentioned in Mein Kampf, a book I found so nauseating that I could never get myself to finish it. Nevertheless, I found this reference from the website of the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies:

    In “Mein Kampf”, written in the fortress Landsberg in 1923, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) already expressed the fundamentals of the Nazi policy of racism, which was put into action after 1933. It contained both the eugenic goal according to which only human beings with “hereditary valuable traits” should propagate, and, with reference to the concepts of racial hygiene, the rejection of racial crossbreeding.

    #10 Mark Frank
    I’m not an evolutionist, so I’ll leave it to you to define “evolutionary progress.” You do believe it exists, right?

    I don’t doubt that different races have slightly different abilities on average.

    Do you attribute these differences to evolution?

    Why wouldn’t you take seriously the assertion that dark skin conveys an evolutionary advantage? That chimpanzees have fair skin is an easily verifiable observation. I can’t imagine why you would scoff at that. Since chimpanzees don’t have dark skin, it only follows that the trait of dark skin is likely to have evolved relatively recently in evolutionary terms. I recently read where some evolutionary scientists attribute these changes in humans to their moving from the forest to the African savannah.

    If ethics is emotional rather than scientific at its core, why should scientists be shackled to a non-scientific, cultural belief? Isn’t this similar to requiring scientists to ascribe to a particular set of religious beliefs?

    Shockley contended that the statistics for IQ tests demonstrate significant IQ differences between the races. I also find this flawed, but Stanford-Binet IQ tests are still being administered. Here’s what Wikipedia says about the inventor of the test:

    Lewis Madison Terman (January 15, 1877 – December 21, 1956) was an American psychologist, noted as a pioneer in educational psychology in the early 20th century at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He is best known as the inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test and the initiator of the longitudinal study of children with high IQs called the Genetic Studies of Genius. He was a prominent eugenicist and was a member of the Human Betterment Foundation. He also served as president of the American Psychological Association.

    Shockley contributed his *sperm* to a best and brightest sperm bank on the theory that this would likely produce smarter children. You have to find out “how this worked” on your own.

    Don’t you think that the gametes of highly intelligent people are more likely to produce children that are also highly intelligent? Don’t you believe, as Margaret Sanger did, that this is a good thing?

    Wouldn’t you consider eugenics as a reasonable, scientific position that’s solidly based on Darwinism?

    Just asking. 🙂

  13. 13
    Mark Frank says:

    Querius

    I’m not an evolutionist, so I’ll leave it to you to define “evolutionary progress.” You do believe it exists, right?

    Not really. Organisms evolve to fill a niche in an  environment  and supersede other organisms that are not so well adapted to that niche in that environment. But it is highly dependent on the environment and there are plenty of different niches in every environment. There is a tendency for organisms to get more complicated over the very long term but I wouldn’t call it progress.  By far the most successful organisms in terms of mass and numbers are bacteria.

    mark: I don’t doubt that different races have slightly different abilities on average.

    querius: Do you attribute these differences to evolution?

    Partially – much of it will be cultural or the accidents of upbringing – most of all its a combination. It really helps being a distance runner if you are born and brought up at altitude. But also it helps even more if you have the genes to take advantage of being born there.

    Why wouldn’t you take seriously the assertion that dark skin conveys an evolutionary advantage?

    Dark skin almost certainly provided an evolutionary advantage in the environment in which early man evolved. That doesn’t mean was a particularly important advantage or that it remains an advantage in other environments or that is linked to other characteristics which are more significant in the current environment.

    If ethics is emotional rather than scientific at its core, why should scientists be shackled to a non-scientific, cultural belief? Isn’t this similar to requiring scientists to ascribe to a particular set of religious beliefs?

    No. Shackled is the wrong word. It is our emotions that provide the reasons for wanting to do anything or have any attitude to anything. As Hume put it the passions are the masters of reason (or something similar).  This is not remotely comparable to religious belief. Beliefs are not emotions. (This is rather a lengthy subject and I don’t have time to follow it up in detail right now.)

    Shockley contended that the statistics for IQ tests demonstrate significant IQ differences between the races. I also find this flawed, but Stanford-Binet IQ tests are still being administered.

    Yes – but it is rather controversial about what is being measured and to what extent it is the result of genes, upbringing or culture. 

    Shockley contributed his *sperm* to a best and brightest sperm bank on the theory that this would likely produce smarter children. You have to find out “how this worked” on your own.

    In that case I will leave it. I have other things I would prefer to do.

    Don’t you think that the gametes of highly intelligent people are more likely to produce children that are also highly intelligent?

    In the sense of doing well on the Stanford-Binet test? Yes – but it may not be down to genetics.

    Don’t you believe, as Margaret Sanger did, that this is a good thing?

    Did she? I don’t see it in the quote your provided. But it seems a like a pretty uncontroversial preference. Would you think it better if they produced unintelligent children?

    Wouldn’t you consider eugenics as a reasonable, scientific position that’s solidly based on Darwinism?

    No

  14. 14
    Alan Fox says:

    Why wouldn’t you take seriously the assertion that dark skin conveys an evolutionary advantage?

    Wikipeadia has a wide ranging article on human skin colour variation and how it correlates with hair loss in early humans and migratory patterns to latitudes where high UV levels are a danger or conversely low UV compromises vitamin D synthesis. Interesting that skin colour is sexually dimorphic.

  15. 15
    Alan Fox says:

    Oh the ignominy! Wikipedia. Down with the US hegemony, Long live Wikipaedia! /1984 🙂

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Daily thought: blue eyes and other gene mutations, April 25, 2013
    Excerpt: “Research on blue-eyes has led many scientist to further affirm that humans are truly mere variations of the same origin. About 8% of the world’s total population has blue eyes so blue eyes are fairly rare. In fact, blue eyes are actually a gene mutation that scientist have researched and found to have happened when the OCA2 gene “turned off the ability to produce brown eyes.”
    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....-mutations

    Melanin
    Excerpt: The melanin in the skin is produced by melanocytes, which are found in the basal layer of the epidermis. Although, in general, human beings possess a similar concentration of melanocytes in their skin, the melanocytes in some individuals and ethnic groups more frequently or less frequently express the melanin-producing genes, thereby conferring a greater or lesser concentration of skin melanin. Some individual animals and humans have very little or no melanin synthesis in their bodies, a condition known as albinism.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanin#Humans

    Scientists find that ‘younger’ human races (Chinese, Europeans, American Indians, etc.. etc..) are losing genetic information when compared to the original race of humans which is thought to have migrated out of east Africa some 50,000 years ago.

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036840

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Myth: The black/white IQ gap is largely genetically caused.
    Fact: Almost all studies show the black/white IQ gap is environmental.
    (i.e. children from an enriched learning environment always perform equally well on I.Q. tests, no matter what their race may be.)
    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-IQgapgenetic.htm

    Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds – May 2011
    Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,,
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....-geometry/

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”
    ? Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

    Summary Of Evidence For Human Evolution & The Racism Evolution Engenders – Don Patton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032606

    the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is overwhelming for scientists have already cited over 100,000 mutational disorders.

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design – Pg. 57 By John C. Avise
    Excerpt: “Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens.”

    I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found:

    HGMD®: Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone!
    http://www.hgmd.org/

    Dr. John Sanford “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome” 1/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ-4umGkgos

    Genetic Entropy in Human Genome is found to be ‘recent’:
    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Daily thought: blue eyes and other gene mutations, April 25, 2013
    Excerpt: “Research on blue-eyes has led many scientist to further affirm that humans are truly mere variations of the same origin. About 8% of the world’s total population has blue eyes so blue eyes are fairly rare. In fact, blue eyes are actually a gene mutation that scientist have researched and found to have happened when the OCA2 gene “turned off the ability to produce brown eyes.”
    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....-mutations

    Melanin
    Excerpt: The melanin in the skin is produced by melanocytes, which are found in the basal layer of the epidermis. Although, in general, human beings possess a similar concentration of melanocytes in their skin, the melanocytes in some individuals and ethnic groups more frequently or less frequently express the melanin-producing genes, thereby conferring a greater or lesser concentration of skin melanin. Some individual animals and humans have very little or no melanin synthesis in their bodies, a condition known as albinism.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanin#Humans

    Scientists find that ‘younger’ human races (Chinese, Europeans, American Indians, etc.. etc..) are losing genetic information when compared to the original race of humans which is thought to have migrated out of east Africa some 50,000 years ago.

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036840

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Myth: The black/white IQ gap is largely genetically caused.
    Fact: Almost all studies show the black/white IQ gap is environmental.
    (i.e. children from an enriched learning environment always perform equally well on I.Q. tests, no matter what their race may be.)
    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-IQgapgenetic.htm

    Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds – May 2011
    Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,,
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....-geometry/

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla”
    ? Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

    Summary Of Evidence For Human Evolution & The Racism Evolution Engenders – Don Patton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032606

    the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is overwhelming for scientists have already cited over 100,000 mutational disorders.

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design – Pg. 57 By John C. Avise
    Excerpt: “Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens.”

    I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found:

    HGMD®: Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone!
    http://www.hgmd.org/

    Dr. John Sanford “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome” 1/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ-4umGkgos

    Genetic Entropy in Human Genome is found to be ‘recent’:
    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,

  18. 18
    tjguy says:

    Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
    Romans 1:32

    Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    Isaiah 5:20

    Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the FUTILITY of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
    Ephesians 4:17-18

    I encourage Jerry’s willingness to fess up to his true beliefs and stand by the consequences of his worldview.

    However, I am appalled that this is what he really believes and is not ashamed to admit it!

    That is what is most scary!

    This is a great example of how the power of the paradigm can be morally blinding and lead us down a very dangerous path!

  19. 19
    Querius says:

    This is an interesting, congenial (finally) discussion. Thanks all.

    Mark Frank wrote:

    Organisms evolve to fill a niche in an environment and supercede other organisms that are not so well adapted to that niche in that environment. But it is highly dependent on the environment and there are plenty of different niches in every environment.

    Nicely described and I agree, but I don’t extrapolate beyond changes in allele frequency and gene regulation within the genetic variability potential within a genus/species (fuzzy definition). I don’t believe there’s an adequate scientific explanation (i.e not handwaving while saying things like “must have”) for the simultaneous appearance of a new gene in enough individuals to make it persist in a population. I know that degradation in function over time has been demonstrated as in loss of eyesight in cave fish, etc.

    The “tree of life” as is often drawn is a poor model in this case. Imagine instead a tree that might have several roots, extending upwards with all extant species reaching up, like tree suckers, to the flat top of the tree. Time in this case is represented in the upward direction (alternatively, one can represent time radially from the the trunk, but I think that would be misleading).

    There is a tendency for organisms to get more complicated over the very long term but I wouldn’t call it progress.

    I don’t think “tendency” is the right word; “mystery” is more appropriate IMHO. Complexity doesn’t guarantee survival. In fact, with larger size/complexity/specialization comes death from aging.

    By far the most successful organisms in terms of mass and numbers are bacteria.

    Yes, I very much agree, given the rate of reproduction in bacteria. Actually, we should have lost the war against pathogenic bacteria a long time ago . . . unless E.coli simply evolved us as a bacterial host. Now there’s a thought! 😉

  20. 20
    Querius says:

    bornagain77,

    Thanks for all the info.

    Our children had an African-American pediatrician who noted the differences in development of our European-origin children compared with the black children that she usually saw. My wife and I kept careful records of our childrens’ weight over time, which all tracked fairly closely together but crossed “normal” percentile curves quite dramatically.

    Regarding the astonishing number of mutations in our genes, which seem to be accelerating, all I can say is that Darwinists must be viewing these as evolution in progress, but without any progress.

    And apparently, smaller brains aid in reproductive success and frequency. Go figure. I guess we no longer need to be smart to survive. 😉

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    No problem Querius. Certainly not what we were taught is school is it?

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: podcast – Investigate and Think for Yourself – Casey Luskin
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_11-07_00

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Does the Universe exist for a purpose? The size of the Universe – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onvUdyvkXvQ

    Overview of the math

  24. 24
    Mung says:

    Mark Frank:

    Do you recommend banning everyone who gives UD a bad name?

    Could you please cite any instance where I have asserted that anyone be banned from UD?

  25. 25
    Alan Fox says:

    Could we find a comment from mung where gives a straightforward answer to a straightforward question. Presumably, no, in this case.

  26. 26
    Mark Frank says:

    #24 Mung

    OK. What do you recommend be done about people who give UD a bad name?

  27. 27
    Joe says:

    Alan Fox:

    Could we find a comment from mung where gives a straightforward answer to a straightforward question. Presumably, no, in this case.

    Pot meet kettle-

    Could we find a comment from Alan Fox where gives a straightforward answer to a straightforward question. Presumably, no, in every case.

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