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Darwin and the Nazis

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Richard Weikart summarizes his devastating research into the Darwinian foundations of Nazis – and the continuation of those themes by modern evolutionists.
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Darwin and the Nazis
By Richard Weikart Published 4/16/2008 12:07:03 AM American Spectator

Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, and some other Darwinists are horrified that the forthcoming documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, will promote Intelligent Design to a large audience when it opens at over a thousand theaters nationwide on April 18. Ironically, their campaign to discredit Ben Stein and the film confirms its main point, which is to expose the persecution meted out by Darwinists to those daring to criticize Darwinian theory.

One aspect of Expelled that troubles Dawkins and some of his colleagues is its treatment of the ethical implications of Darwinism, especially its discussion of the historical connections between Darwinism and Nazism. Isn’t this a bit over-the-top, suggesting that Darwinism has something to do with Nazism? After all, Darwinists today are not Nazis, and Darwinism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

However, what is most objectionable about the Nazis’ worldview? Isn’t it that they had no respect for human life? Their rejection of the sanctity of human life led the Nazi regime to murder millions of Jews, hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, and about 200,000 disabled Germans. Where did the Nazis get the idea that some human beings were “lives unworthy of life”?

As I show in meticulous detail in my book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, the Nazis’ devaluing of human life derived from Darwinian ideology (this does not mean that all Nazi ideology came from Darwinism). There were six features of Darwinian theory that have contributed to the devaluing of human life (then and now):

1. Darwin argued that humans were not qualitatively different from animals. The leading Darwinist in Germany, Ernst Haeckel, attacked the “anthropocentric” view that humans are unique and special.

2. Darwin denied that humans had an immaterial soul. He and other Darwinists believed that all aspects of the human psyche, including reason, morality, aesthetics, and even religion, originated through completely natural processes.

3. Darwin and other Darwinists recognized that if morality was the product of mindless evolution, then there is no objective, fixed morality and thus no objective human rights. Darwin stated in his Autobiography that one “can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”

4. Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality. Haeckel emphasized inequality to such as extent that he even classified human races as twelve distinct species and claimed that the lowest humans were closer to primates than to the highest humans.

5. Darwin and most Darwinists believe that humans are locked in an ineluctable struggle for existence. Darwin claimed in The Descent of Man that because of this struggle, “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”

6. Darwinism overturned the Judeo-Christian view of death as an enemy, construing it instead as a beneficial engine of progress. Darwin remarked in The Origin of Species, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

These six ideas were promoted by many prominent Darwinian biologists and Darwinian-inspired social thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All six were enthusiastically embraced by Hitler and many other leading Nazis. Hitler thought that killing “inferior” humans would bring about evolutionary progress. Most historians who specialize in the Nazi era recognize the Darwinian underpinnings of many aspects of Hitler’s ideology. . . .

See Full Article at the American Spectator

Richard Weikart is professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus, and author of From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (Palgrave Macmillan).

161 Replies to “Darwin and the Nazis

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Dennis Prager conducted a great interview about Expelled with Ben Stein yesterday. They discussed the Darwinism/Nazi/eugenics link.

    http://dennisprager.townhall.c.....ioShowId=3

  2. 2
    Leo Hales says:

    If Darwinism is being used to overturn our cherished ideals, then it deserves to be scrutinized with much greater care than, say theories in physics.

  3. 3
    jinxmchue says:

    Why can’t they just admit that Darwinism can and actually did inspire horrors like the Holocaust? Admitting it is the first step in preventing it from ever happening again.

  4. 4
    Frost122585 says:

    You know this article has a good point. One side wants to silence and eliminate the other and it aint ours.

  5. 5
    duncan says:

    “Ironically, their campaign to discredit Ben Stein and the film confirms its main point, which is to expose the persecution meted out by Darwinists to those daring to criticize Darwinian theory.”

    Not really, surely? It would confirm the point if they were trying to get the film banned, or falsely accusing Ben Stein of some heinous crime or other in order to try and discredit him. They are evolutionists – what do you expect them to say? They’re only being consistent.

  6. 6
    duncan says:

    “can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”

    You are certainly not quote mining, but a fuller version is certainly more interesting.

    “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones. A dog acts in this manner, but he does so blindly. A man, on the other hand, looks forwards and backwards, and compares his various feelings, desires and recollections. He then finds, in accordance with the verdict of all the wisest men that the highest satisfaction is derived from following certain impulses, namely the social instincts. If he acts for the good of others, he will receive the approbation of his fellow men and gain the love of those with whom he lives; and this latter gain undoubtedly is the highest pleasure on this earth. By degrees it will become intolerable to him to obey his sensuous passions rather than his higher impulses, which when rendered habitual may be almost called instincts. His reason may occasionally tell him to act in opposition to the opinion of others, whose approbation he will then not receive; but he will still have the solid satisfaction of knowing that he has followed his innermost guide or conscience.”

    For the whole thing see: –
    http://www.update.uu.se/~fbend....._relig.htm

  7. 7
    mynym says:

    If Darwinism is being used to overturn our cherished ideals…

    Modern proponents of Darwinian thinking want things both ways when it comes to cherished ideals. They like talking or writing about how Darwinism is a “universal acid” which dissolves traditional notions of anthropocentrism, they will even argue that people oppose Darwinism only because of it undermines cherished ideals. Yet, when anyone points out that the application of their ideas would be misanthropic and really would undermine cherished ideals (as illustrated in eugenics/Nazism) then they are outraged and pretend that they’ve been supporters of traditional values all along.

    The philosopher David Stove dealt with the way that many Darwinists try to hide in their own emotional reactions on the topic by reiterating basic facts and logic:

    …it is perfectly obvious that accepting Darwin’s theory of a universal struggle for life must tend to strengthen whatever tendencies people had beforehand to selfishness and domineering behavior towards their fellow humans. Hence it must tend to make them worse than they were before, and more likely to commit crimes: especially crimes of rapacity, or of cruelty, or of dominance for the sake of dominance.

    These considerations are exceedingly obvious. There was therefore never any excuse for the indignation and surprise with which Darwinians and neo-Darwinians have nearly always reacted whenever their theory is accused of being a morally subversive one. For the same reason there is, and always was, every justification for the people, beginning with Darwin’s contemporaries, who made that accusation against the theory. Darwin had done his best to separate the theory from the matrix of murderous ideas in which previously it had always been set. But in fact, since the theory says what it does, there is a limit, and a limit easily reached, to how much can be done in the way of such a separation. The Darwinian theory of evolution IS an incitement to crime: that is simply a fact.(Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors
    of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution by David Stove :109)

    In my opinion all one need do is keep focusing on facts and logic even if one does have a negative feeling about them. Emotional reactions like outrage and indignation can be conditioned by those around you, facts and logic rooted in reason can stand on their own.

  8. 8
    mathstudent says:

    Is everyone aware that the Anti-Defamation League objects to the point that Darwinism a necessary condition for Holocaust?

  9. 9
    Jorde says:

    Hello, I am new here, and new to learning about ID, so I have an admittedly naive question. In previous posts it has been suggested that when humans are the selective force it is always artificial selection, and that artificial selection has nothing to do with Darwinism. So, wouldn’t Hitler’s activities be strictly considered ‘artificial selection’ and thus have nothing to do with Darwinism?

    Thank you for any explanation.

    Jorde
    Student of the Intelligent Design Institute of Theoretical Science

  10. 10

    “The Darwinian theory of evolution IS an incitement to crime: that is simply a fact.”

    This “fact” explains why evolutionary biologists are over-represented in prisons, whereas Christians and Muslims are under-represented, right?

    Oh, sorry, I guess it’s the other way around (Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons):

    Religion / Number / Percentage

    Catholic / 29,267 / 39%
    Protestant / 26,162 / 35%
    Muslim / 5,435 / 7%
    American Indian / 2,408 / 3%
    Nation / 1,734 / 2%
    Rasta / 1,485 / 2%
    Jewish / 1,325 / 2%
    Church of Christ / 1,303 / 2%
    Pentecostal / 1,093 / 1%
    Moorish / 1,066 / 1%
    Buddhist / 882 / 1%
    Jehovah Witness / 665 / 0.9%
    Adventist / 621 / 0.8%
    Orthodox / 375 / 0.5%
    Mormon / 298 / 0.4%
    Scientology / 190 / 0.3%
    Atheist / 156 / 0.2% *
    Hindu / 119 / 0.2%
    Santeria / 117 / 0.2%
    Sikh / 14 / 0.02%
    Bahai / 9 / 0.01%
    Krishna / 7 / 0.01%

    *Yes, I realize that not all atheists are evolutionary biologists (nor are all evolutionary biologists atheists). However, that means that the proportion of prison inmates that are also evolutionary biologists is probably smaller than this number.

  11. 11

    BTW, Christians comprise about 76% of the American population, but according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they comprise about 87% of the prison population. Atheists, by contrast, comprise about 8 to 10% of the American population, but only 0.2% of the prison population. Again, I strongly suspect that this pattern is also mirrored by the percentages of evolutionary biologists that wind up incarcerated.

    So every assertion made by the majority of the posters in this thread are not only wrong, they are as wrong as they could possibly be.

    But don’t let that stop you; this isn’t about facts, it’s about politics, isn’t it?

  12. 12

    Thank you, Duncan, for posting the entire quote from Darwin’s autobiography. Anyone reading it would immediately discover that Darwin was exactly the opposite of the atheistic monster portrayed by most creationists and ID supporters. To me, this means that they have either never read his autobiography, or choose to deliberately misrepresent its contents.

  13. 13
    DrDan says:

    And 82% of people know that statistics can’t be used to bolsters anyones asssertations.

  14. 14

    Right, Dr. Dan, so let’s throw out statistics; they’re just “facts”, and as we all know, “facts” can be so darn inconvenient.

    Odd, though; statistical verification has been the bedrock of the empirical sciences for at least a century. So, let’s throw out science, too, while we’re at it.

  15. 15

    Here’s another inconvenient “fact”:

    “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.”

    Source: Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League (http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/4877_52.htm)

  16. 16
    DrDan says:

    Actually, the facts are in the individuals stories of each inmate. When you take the numbers and reduce them to one moment of the raw numbers (in this case, a simple average), you are losing a lot of information. You need to take an infinite number of moments to keep all the information from the raw data.

  17. 17
    DrDan says:

    For examples, how many converts were there after they were arrested and convicted? By what standard are they claiming to be protestant? One number means little when you consider how complicated the question is.

  18. 18
    nullasalus says:

    Allen MacNeill,

    “BTW, Christians comprise about 76% of the American population, but according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they comprise about 87% of the prison population. Atheists, by contrast, comprise about 8 to 10% of the American population, but only 0.2% of the prison population. Again, I strongly suspect that this pattern is also mirrored by the percentages of evolutionary biologists that wind up incarcerated.

    So every assertion made by the majority of the posters in this thread are not only wrong, they are as wrong as they could possibly be.”

    C’mon, Allen. You’re not that daft.

    Let’s put aside whether some people are culturally christian (As good ol’ Dawkins recently described himself), or are only nominally christian, or otherwise – why are you even trotting out religious incarceration statistics when the claim was about what a belief in Darwinism (or at least, taking the conclusions of your colleague Provine seriously, what conclusions evolution-as-presented one is impelled to come to) stirs in people?

    What you just pulled was a blatant, mind-boggling twist of the subject at hand – part of those ‘transcendental values’ I hear are all the rage among evolutionary biologists, perhaps?

  19. 19

    And another inconvenient “fact”:

    As I have pointed out before at this website, it is a “fact” of history that Darwin’s theories were most widely adopted by the following countries (and in this order, based on publications in scientific books and journals and founding of scientific societies for studying evolution): England, America, Russia, Germany, and France. Yet, Naziism arose in only one of these countries; indeed, the rest formed the alliance that eventually defeated the Nazis in 1945.

    Saying that Darwinian evolutionary theory was “necessary” for Naziism and the Holocaust is like saying that science was “necessary” for Naziism and the Holocaust, as the countries listed here were also on the forefront of the natural sciences during the 19th and 20th centuries.

    There is a very basic principle in science, which the posters here have apparently never encountered:

    Correlation is not causation.

  20. 20
    DrDan says:

    I’m not throwing out statistics. In fact, quite the contrary, I recognize the limits that statistics can provide in any experimental setup. The more compicated the question, the less meaningful one number can mean and the more moments one needs from the raw data.

  21. 21
    godslanguage says:

    The scary part about those statistics is that atheists who compromise 10 percent of the population have 99.9 percent control of academia. This is a God fearing nation after all, and to think that its being overrun by the tiny fraction of chance and luck worshiping cowards is even more reason to release Expelled and get the public to think twice about what has transpired.

  22. 22

    DrDan wrote (in #14):

    “Actually, the facts are in the individuals stories of each inmate. When you take the numbers and reduce them to one moment of the raw numbers (in this case, a simple average), you are losing a lot of information. You need to take an infinite number of moments to keep all the information from the raw data.”

    That is exactly right. Indeed, what you are describing is what is known in social psychology as “fundamental attribution error”. That is, the tendency to attribute simple group-level causation to members of other social groups, but complex ideosynchratic causation to members of one’s own social group.

    And it’s an error, just as conflating correlation with causation.

    Here’s yet another inconvenient “fact”:

    Evolutionary theory is certainly much more widely accepted today than it was in first half of the 20th century, if trends in court decisions and public education are any indication. If that is the case, and if acceptance of Darwinian evolutionary theory is a causative factor in both criminality and the rise of Naziism, then there should be more crime and more Nazis today than during the 1930s. Check out the statistics (which are, of course, false). Violent crime is significantly lower per capita today than at almost any time during the 20th century, and the last time I checked, the Nazi party isn’t doing so well (even in Germany).

  23. 23
    nullasalus says:

    “Correlation is not causation.”

    Considering what you just pulled with religious incarceration statistics, that’s an amusing claim.

    And then the example of how Nazism only arose in Germany – what are the odds that a political and social philosophy intimately connected with Germanic origins would only arise in Germany?

    Expand the question from ‘nazism’ to ‘eugenics’ and suddenly the story changes – but then, talking about this subject directly and honestly seems to be the last thing desired by some.

    Evolution as a theory has been abused for political and social ends. From social darwinism to eugenics to – this may come as a shock to you – attempting to link it as necessitating atheism. And when I say that, I speak of Dawkins, Myers, and the rest, far more than critics of darwinism.

  24. 24

    godslanguage wrote (in #19):

    “The scary part about those statistics is that atheists who compromise 10 percent of the population have 99.9 percent control of academia.”

    And it’s a well-known “fact” that college graduates (especially those with PhDs) are over-represented in prisons, and form the core of the American Nazi party, right?

    Again, the “statistics” (which are, of course, false) show just the opposite. So why is this “scary”, exactly? “Scary” because those of us in academics are likely to lead our students into a life of crime and debauchery, not to mention slavish adherence to totalitarian ideologies?

    Odd; I thought we were in the profession of encouraging our students to become critical thinkers. That’s why I always invite prominent creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in my courses, and encourage students with dissenting opinions to do so as well. But, they can’t think for themselves, can they?

    Or can they? How much respect do you have for them (my students, that is)?

    By the way, both Will Provine and I plan on showing “Expelled” in our evolution courses at Cornell, as soon as it comes out on DVD. Should make for some very spirited discussions!

  25. 25

    By the way, godslanguage (so appropriately named, BTW), this is the last time I will respond to your particular brand of character assassination:

    “…chance and luck worshiping cowards…”

  26. 26
    nullasalus says:

    And just to set the record straight: There may be a lot of problems with universities, but atheism is another question altogether. It’s not so clear-cut – statistically speaking, of course.

    http://www.insidehighered.com/.....9/religion

    “While the study found no sector of higher education without believers, there are significant differences by type of institution and discipline. Faculty members at religious colleges made up about 14 percent of the sample in the survey and they were more likely to believe in God. While 52 percent of professors in non-religiously affiliated colleges believe in God either despite doubts or without doubt, 69 percent of those at religious colleges feel that way. Professors are most likely to be atheists or agnostics at elite doctoral institutions (37 percent) and less likely to be non-believers at community colleges (15 percent).”

  27. 27
    Jorde says:

    “Considering what you just pulled with religious incarceration statistics, that’s an amusing claim.”

    nullasalus, if we are to engage in a real debate, we must make real arguments. Clearly Allen used statistics to try and demonstrate atheism does not cause amorality, not that Christianity does. While correlation does not mean causation, you cannot have causation without correlation.

    We must focus on the question, how many were atheist when they were incarcerated?

    Jorde
    Student of the Intelligent Design Institute of Theoretical Science

  28. 28

    nulassus wrote (in #21):

    “…talking about this subject directly and honestly seems to be the last thing desired by some.”

    Indeed; I give an entire lecture on the rise and fall of eugenics in my evolution course at Cornell, and participated on a panel for Darwin Day last year in which this very topic was the subject of discussion.

    “Evolution as a theory has been abused for political and social ends.”

    Indeed; so has Christianity (and republicanism as well). You have said it yourself: “political and social ends.” Evolutionary biology is not about politics, nor is it about twisting the observed facts about nature in the pursuit of “social ends.” This is why eugenics is historically not part of the science of evolutionary biology, but rather a perversion of it for “political and social ends.”

    The attempt to demonize evolutionary biology by asserting that it played a “causative” role in the rise of Naziism and other social ills not only trivializes the victims, it diverts our attention from the real causes of those ills.

  29. 29

    One more inconvenient “fact”:

    “In actual fact, knowledge meant nothing to Hitler; he was not acquainted with the pleasure or the struggle that goes with its acquisition; to him it was merely useful, and the “art of corrected reading” of which he spoke was nothing more than the hunt for formulations to borrow and authorities to cite in support of his own preconceptions: “correctly coordinated within the somehow existing picture”. Joachim Fest, Hitler, Harcourt 2002, p. 201″

    For more inconvenient “facts”, see:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......arwin.html

  30. 30
    nullasalus says:

    Allen MacNeill,

    “Indeed; I give an entire lecture on the rise and fall of eugenics in my evolution course at Cornell, and participated on a panel for Darwin Day last year in which this very topic was the subject of discussion.”

    Honestly, you frequently refer to how you conduct your classes, and I have to say – hearing that does nothing for me. For all I know, you air ID views primarily to criticize them rather than take them seriously. Or maybe you don’t. I really have no way of knowing. What I do know is how this thread has gone, and ‘twisted considerably’ is what I’m seeing in play here.

    And for the record, I’m a resident TE with strong ID sympathies.

    ” Evolutionary biology is not about politics, nor is it about twisting the observed facts about nature in the pursuit of “social ends.” This is why eugenics is historically not part of the science of evolutionary biology, but rather a perversion of it for “political and social ends.”

    The attempt to demonize evolutionary biology by asserting that it played a “causative” role in the rise of Naziism and other social ills not only trivializes the victims, it diverts our attention from the real causes of those ills.”

    Go back to what mynym said – having it both ways. Face it; when Provine talks about how evolutionary biology “proves that life is meaningless and there is no God” or thereabouts, well – that’s just him expressing his opinion, he’s entitled to that, wink wink. Victor Stenger wants to write a book about how God is a ‘failed hypothesis’, well, he’s being showy, but again, that’s just his viewpoint. But somehow, when evolutionary biology is rallied to support an unpopular viewpoint – say a scientist talking about how ‘clearly blacks are inferior’, or if the topic of eugenics comes up.. why, that’s an abuse! A perversion! And if someone believes that biology doesn’t naturally lead to atheism, but in fact inspires one to believe in design – abuse, unscientific! And if they’re denied tenure due to that alone, well, sorry – that’s the name of the game, pal!

    So you tell me, professor: When does rallying science to justify a viewpoint cross the line from ‘harmless opinion’ to ‘perversion and abuse’? Because as near as I can tell, mynym is on to something with his observation.

  31. 31
    pmr says:

    Since Darwin never advocated violence against the Jews but Martin Luther did, I’m at a loss as to how Martin manages to fly under the radar on this.

    BTW, if anyone can show me that Darwin did indeed advocate violence against the Jews, I’d appreciate it.

  32. 32

    nullasalus wrote (in #27):

    “…when Provine talks about how evolutionary biology “proves that life is meaningless and there is no God” or thereabouts, well – that’s just him expressing his opinion, he’s entitled to that, wink wink. Victor Stenger wants to write a book about how God is a ‘failed hypothesis’, well, he’s being showy, but again, that’s just his viewpoint.”

    Exactly. Both my good friend Will (with whom I disagree on many things, including his assertions about evolutionary theory leading to atheism) and Victor Stenger have expressed their personal viewpoints on this subject.

    Ken Miller, Francis Collins, Stephen J. Gould, T. H. Huxley, Charles Darwin, and I (among many others) have expressed precisely the opposite viewpoint: that the science of evolutionary biology says absolutely nothing about either the existence or non-existence of God, the necessity for atheism, or anything about eugenics or Naziism. The first two assertions are metaphysical propositions, without a shred of empirical evidence, and the last two are pure political character assassination, nothing more.

    As to whether I invite creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in my evolution course to somehow bias my students against them, you seem to have a very low opinion of both the abilities of my invited guests to make their cases and the ability of my students to come to their own decisions about what to believe.

  33. 33
    godslanguage says:

    Odd; I thought we were in the profession of encouraging our students to become critical thinkers. That’s why I always invite prominent creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in my courses, and encourage students with dissenting opinions to do so as well. But, they can’t think for themselves, can they?

    The first part about critical thinking is indeed mandatory. I don’t see the need to invite creationists and ID supporters when you and so many Professors so-obviously present the balanced view. Lets take this from a students perspective, if a student learns Darwinian non-sense all summer long and suddenly you call in batman (ie: creationist or ID supporter ) to the rescue, do you think that will have any impact on what the students views are at that point? You have failed the critical thinking part, instead you brought about more confusion onto the students who are writing exams on Darwinian Evolution and in the meantime a sideshow ID supporter pop-ups as a bonus so hopefully they can then make up they’re mind about the final exam they just wrote?

  34. 34

    And as for the assertion that I “twisted” this thread away from an uncritical celebration of argumentum ad hitleram and toward a more realistic discussion of what evolutionary biology as an empirical science can and cannot do, that’s my job: Cornell pays me to make critical thinkers out of my students, and I guess I just can’t help myself.

  35. 35
    nullasalus says:

    Allen MacNeill,

    “As to whether I invite creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in my evolution course to somehow bias my students against them, you seem to have a very low opinion of both the abilities of my invited guests to make their cases and the ability of my students to come to their own decisions about what to believe.”

    No, Allen – I told you flat out I have no idea what you do one way or the other, and thus your claims mean nothing to me. I picked up a degree in Political Science, and I have first-hand experience with how some professors stress, overtly and subtly, their personal views on any subject that’s controversial or that they care about – including lower marks if you don’t show you’re learning the ‘right’ points of view. I have a low opinion of the university system as a whole, and probably some pessimism about most people’s interest in pursuing a topic vigorously. Considering you yourself put up a blog entry expressly to educate people – including evolution supporters – on fundamentals of the very thing they support or attack, you seem to be more in more court than you’d think.

    “The first two assertions are metaphysical propositions, without a shred of empirical evidence, and the last two are pure political character assassination, nothing more.”

    Then let me make something abundantly clear to you: That’s not how it comes across to many people. Victor Stenger’s book was entitled “God: The Failed Hypothesis” with the subtitle “How science shows that God does not exist”. THIS is mere ‘personal opinion’? Where was the outcry? Where were the denunciations of science being so abused? Frankly, they were nowhere. At least not among the typical self-appointed ‘defenders of science’.

    Just as they’re nowhere whenever any scientist talks about the philosophical and theological conclusions one must take if they look at science (often with horrible, shoddy reason put on display, might I add.) You can assert that there’s absolutely no design in biology or cosmology, and few scientists or science organizations will care. Oh, but assert that there are indications of design, or that the natural world shows evidence of there being a creator – and suddenly, this is a very important subject. We can’t let science be abused, after all. Did you know that the Templeton organization funds and rewards scientists, and *gasp* has an innocuous religious viewpoint? They’re poisoning science!

    I ask you again – when does ‘mere personal opinion’ cross the line from that, to perversion? Again, look at Victor Stenger’s book title. Is that an abuse? Is it a perversion? And if it’s not, then how in the world is ANY combination of science and personal viewpoint not a perversion?

  36. 36

    nullasalus asked (in #27):

    “When does rallying science to justify a viewpoint cross the line from ‘harmless opinion’ to ‘perversion and abuse’?”

    The very first time one rallies science to justify a viewpoint (personal or group), one has stopped doing science and started doing politics.

    And so, a question in return: is the use of ID (which I assume you would assert is a “science”) in support of a particular political or religious viewpoint justified as science, or is it part of a political, religious, and social movement?

  37. 37

    nullasalus asked (in #31):

    “…is ANY combination of science and personal viewpoint not a perversion?”

    Yes, especially if that viewpoint is clearly part of a larger political movement. I think I mostly answered this question, above, BTW. Care to answer mine?

  38. 38
    ericB says:

    Allen_MacNeill: “Odd; I thought we were in the profession of encouraging our students to become critical thinkers. That’s why I always invite prominent creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in my courses, and encourage students with dissenting opinions to do so as well. But, they can’t think for themselves, can they?”

    You are quite right to think that is an appropriate way to approach university instruction.

    Would you care to try to make a case that you are normative and representative of college biology with regard to the access you give to these other perspectives?

    For instance, when Expelled comes out on DVD, about what percentage of college evolutionary biology programs will choose to give it a fair presentation and frankly discuss the issues of loss of academic freedom? How many would even acknowledge there is a reprehensible absence of academic freedom on this topic? Should we expect to see it in Iowa where Gonzalez was denied tenure for what a scientific position he held, despite the fact that he was not teaching it in class?

    You may make for a fine example, but its excellence is sadly exceptional, not representative. Pointing to your own practice is insufficient to establish a positive pattern.

    On your other points, it would be perhaps more plausible to believe that the well-documented historical connection between Darwinism and Nazi eugenics was an abuse if Darwin himself had not explicitly anticipated genocide of the lesser races as the expected outcome of his theory applied to human conduct.

    As a general observation, I find it interesting that Clarence Darrow, who defended Scopes in the famous Scopes monkey trial, had previously served for the defense in the Leopold and Loeb case. (The Hitchcock movie The Rope is inspired by the crime.)

    After Darrow had repeatedly trumpeted the benefits and necessity of teaching Darwinian evolution to high schoolers in the Tennessee schools, Bryan quoted from the trial transcript of a first-degree murder case that had occurred one year earlier in Illinois, the famous case of Leopold and Loeb. In this earlier case, Darrow said that his client (Loeb) should not be given the death penalty because it was the teachers and the universities that had filled the young murderer’s mind with Darwinian ideas—ideas that more evolved humans should be able to kill and destroy lesser humans with impunity. Darrow, in other words, had just defended a teen-aged murderer the year before who was a dedicated follower of Darwin and Nietzsche and who had become so enthralled with the “survival of the fittest” cult that he had killed another boy in cold blood just to demonstrate his superiority. Darrow, in Loeb’s defense, blamed the teachers of the dangerous (not the ideas themselves) and so naturally, in the Scopes trial, he attempted to backtrack from the implication that what those teachers had taught Loeb was—literally!—deadly. But the attempt was futile and Darrow abandoned it with the empty assertion that his words in that earlier case spoke for themselves and needed no defense. (pp. 178ff of the trial transcript)

    For many more inconvient facts, see http://www.themonkeytrial.com/

  39. 39
    nullasalus says:

    Allen,

    “And so, a question in return: is the use of ID (which I assume you would assert is a “science”) in support of a particular political or religious viewpoint justified as science, or is it part of a political, religious, and social movement?”

    Did you miss when I said outright I’m a resident TE here? I routinely express my skepticism of the ability to “scientifically” detect design on the scale typically discussed. I, personally, consider it a philosophical endeavor – I think strong philosophical arguments for design, informed by science, can be mounted. And who knows; maybe specific claims made by ID proponents can be scientifically fruitful. Behe’s claims about evolution certainly seem answerable through experimentation – and thus he may be wrong. I’m open to having my mind changed, but I don’t follow the specific fights rigorously – they’re less interesting to me, since I regard materialism as a convoluted joke, and big-d Design entirely possible within a context of naturalism. I’m an odd duck here.

    You claim that any mix of science and philosophy/personal viewpoint is a perversion. Then my next response is obvious – the scientific “establishment” at large has been doing an abysmal job of making that clear, and this was the case long before Intelligent Design arrived on the scene. The mere fact that guys like Stenger, and yes, even Dawkins can rally “science” in defense of their positions with nary a peep from the same people who demand punishment for ID proponents says it all.

    From where I’m sitting, it seems that the standards in play are tremendously uneven. Until guys like Stenger receive as much denunciation as guys like Behe (who, frankly, is vastly more restrained and limited in what he’s argued) from the Paladins of Science, I’m going to regard all the cries of ‘perverting knowledge’ as essentially biased favoritism.

  40. 40

    EricB wrote (in #34):

    “…it would be perhaps more plausible to believe that the well-documented historical connection between Darwinism and Nazi eugenics was an abuse if Darwin himself had not explicitly anticipated genocide of the lesser races as the expected outcome of his theory applied to human conduct.”

    I believe you are referring to this often quote-mined fragment:

    “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” [emphasis added]

    I have emphasized the word “will” in the quote above. It is clear from reading Darwin’s published works that he:

    1) was an abolitionist who deeply abhorred slavery, and

    2) did not ever advocate the extermination of anyone, and certainly not “the savage races”.

    On the contrary, he was simply observing what he saw going on in the world during the middle of the 19th century. And, as history tells us, he was (unfortunately) nearly right: the “civilized” races (and especially the British) did indeed almost exterminate the “savage” races.

    A complete reading of The Descent of Man… (and his sutobiography) indicates that in many cases Darwin felt quite a bit of sympathy with “the savage races”. Indeed, he proposed that “primitive man” was ultimately the source of all of our moral and social values:

    “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 hopes 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 allows us to discover it. I have given the evidence to the best of my ability; and we must 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.”

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/co.....ageseq=422

  41. 41
    Charlie says:

    Hi Allen MacNeill,

    choose to deliberately misrepresent its contents.

    Speaking of which, the other day you made yet another accusation that somebody was lying. It was on this thread:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....sance-man/
    I asked you about it but never saw your answer. Could you point it out to me, please? Thanks.

    By the way, both Will Provine and I plan on showing “Expelled” in our evolution courses at Cornell, as soon as it comes out on DVD. Should make for some very spirited discussions!

    Speaking of your good friend Will Provine, were those quotes of his accurate? Thanks.
    At #28 you say you disagree with Provine on this issue of knowledge about evolution leading to atheism. Does that mean that, as far as you know, the quotes are accurate and he does believe that learning about evolution leads to atheism and that evolution does tells us there is no God and no life after death, etc.?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-229736

  42. 42

    Yes, the quotes from my friend and mentor Will Provine are indeed correct. They are, however, not representative of my own position on the linkage between evolutionary biology and religious belief at all. Quite the contrary, in fact. We have argued about this subject for quite some time, and I anticipate that we will continue to do so.

    The fact that we disagree on this issue does not, however, lessen at all my admiration of Will as a historian of science or an insightful critic of evolutionary theory. Intelligent people may disagree on quite a few things, yet continue to respect each other, and even be friends. At least it seems so to me.

    As to William Dembski’s alleged assertion that Will Provine teaches his evolution class in such a way as to convert his students into atheists, it will take while to find the citation. Please be patient.

  43. 43
    Charlie says:

    Thank, Allen, for your response on Will Provine’s position.
    As for your reference on Dr. Dembsli, I will be patient.
    Is it this one?
    http://www.leaderu.com/science.....acher.html
    While you are searching would you consider the following question?
    Is it fair to say that Will Provine would hope that his students learn more about modern biology and evolution through their studies in his class?
    Since he once said that he liked having Phil Johnson speak to his class because it made more of them believe in evolution I think this would be a safe bet that he considers his class to have been a success when more students come to believe in naturalistic evolutio.
    And then, given the accuracy of the quotes in which he said that evolution is incompatible with theism, that it is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented, that it means that there is no God, and that it makes atheists of people do you think it is far-fetched for somebody to think that teaching evolution for Will Provine is the same as making them atheists?
    This seems like a very fair reading to me.

    As such, and depending upon your reference, do you think you might reconsider how quick you are (again, please) to call people with whom you disagree “liars”?
    Of course, I await your citation before committing myself further.

  44. 44
    Charlie says:

    Intelligent people may disagree on quite a few things, yet continue to respect each other, and even be friends.

    True that.

  45. 45
    Charlie says:

    Yuck,
    Sorry for all the typos.

  46. 46
    Janice says:

    Allen MacNeil’s figures on the religious affiliations of US prison inmates did not include the figure for non-responders. It was just under 20% of the sample.

    Given that atheists like to say they have no religion and, furthermore, take offence at the notion that atheism might be considered a religion, might we not reasonably assume that a substantial proportion of non-responders to a question like, “What is your religion?” would, in fact, have been atheists.

    Something MacNeill appears not to know is that a great many people who call themselves Catholic or Protestant, etc., are only nominally so. Many of them won’t darken a church doorway during their life time unless they’re getting baptised, married or buried. Even among regular church goers there is a large proportion that are extrinsically motivated. They go to church for whatever they can get out of going to church, not because they love God and want to obey Him.

    Of all those nominals and extrinsics aged 44 and under (88% of the US prison population are 44 and under) the vast majority will have been taught, all through school, that macro-evolution is true. My bet would be that most of those would have more faith that evolution is true than they have faith that Jesus rose from the dead. The former notion comes with all the weight of authority that has been granted to the teaching and scientific establishments. The latter notion is “foolishness” in the eyes of the world.

    Thus all these people, and not just atheist evolutionary biologists, have been incited to crime and are at risk of succumbing to the temptation to commit a crime because they do not have a personal relationship with the risen Lord.

    Therefore the relationship between belief in evolution and crime is not elucidated by reeling off statistics about current religious affiliation. They tell us nothing about whether the current affiliation is instrinsic or extrinisic and, as DrDan noted @ 15, they tell us nothing about what religious beliefs the person had at the time they committed the crime for which they were imprisoned.

    What would be interesting to know would be the proportion of those currently imprisoned who believed, at the time they committed their crime, that macro-evolution is true. My guess would be that, of those who ever bothered to think about the matter, most would believe it. As for the Ted Haggards of the world, well, my guess is that they’re extrinsics.

    The fact that Alan MacNeill has not succumbed to the temptation to commit a crime for which he has been caught and held to account may be due to factors that have little to do with himself, personally. He may have been well taught by his parents (cultural resources). He may have been well loved by his parents (emotional resources). He may have had no need to try and get money illegally (economic resources). He may have committed crimes too hard to detect or pursue (lack of policing resources). But considering his post here and other stupidities he’s written (e.g., about 47 different varieties of random changes not being mutation events because they’re not point mutation [change] events) he appears to have within him something that might, eventually, overflow and carry him away.

    Finally, regarding the above linked post of his, where he likens Hitler’s thought to Christianity, I offer him this quote from here.

    “Nature” doesn’t desire “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, might be ruined with one blow.” [1] “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.” [2] And as humans are merely a species of animal, we have no intrinsic value and are therefore by no means exempt from “the war of nature.” Thus, we have Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) asking the rhetorical question, “should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin?” [3] … Renowned British evolutionary anthropologist and anatomist Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1955), who was knighted in 1921, came to Hitler’s defense, “Hitler is an uncompromising evolutionist, and we must seek for an evolutionary explanation if we are to understand his actions” [4] Keith reassured us, “The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.” [5]

    1 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1924, p. 286.
    2 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859, p. 400.
    3 Adolf Hitler, quoted in Joachim Fest’s, Hitler, 1974, p. 679-680.
    4 Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics, 1947, p. 14.
    5 Ibid., p. 230.

  47. 47
    jjcassidy says:

    Allen,

    For a thorough evisceration of those stats, see this treatment:

    http://christiancadre.blogspot.....es_21.html

    Plus Atheism =/= Darwinism–or haven’t you talked with Eugenie Scott of late. So showing that a lower proportion of atheists are in prison than say, theistic evolutionists really does not address how Darwinism makes one more or less likely to commit crimes. (My apologies to theistic evolutionists.)

    You started off on a (known) false dichotomy, and posted hyped stats. Tell me a little more about this “critical thinking” stuff…

  48. 48
    jjcassidy says:

    Allen,

    Does this prediction by Darwin about the atheists still hold: “By degrees it will become intolerable to him to obey his sensuous passions rather than his higher impulses”.

    Does it hold on the secular left? Or do we now see that any lifestyle choice, based on sexual attraction and choice of pleasure is as good as any other, including the bulwark institution throughout human history of marriage and the intact family.

    Chances are Darwin’s observation that a man might “have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” are independent of his prediction that godless rationalism would lead to an intolerance of sensual passions over “higher ones” (higher? what’s he talking about?)

    Also, Darwin uses the following impetus “If he acts for the good of others, he will receive the approbation of his fellow men and gain the love of those with whom he lives”. Hitler must not have lived with the Germans, or this might not be a sufficient impetus for acting for the good of enough others.

    In stating the first, the brute implications of Darwinism, I think CD was right on the money. In his prediction as to what that would lead to, he proves himself to be quite off. He doesn’t have to mean ill in order to set bad things into motion, it could just be a misplaced confidence that enough counters would organically arise to level it out, a hubris of sorts.

    Also Darwin’s personal affectation for the society that he was brought up in means nothing unless the point was to become a devotee to everything that Darwin thinks. Absent this constraint the moral nihilism of Darwin must be taken separately from his affectations.

    This is no different from Nietzsche, who was a gentle heart as you can gather his letters. He thought it was impolite to broach the topic of his disbelief with a old fashioned Catholic Dame, so he avoided the subject of his writings which would “only upset her”. But it is one thing to suggest “The world could do with a little less Christianity” and it is another thing to see what happens when those ideas are carried out.

    Specifically, on Nietzsche, his work cannot handle a slavish devotion to everything FN thought. His work would ridicule this idea. A river is great by it’s offshoots (He got the direction wrong.) Thus Nietzsche is great not by slavish attention to ambiguous treatment of The State, and navigating the fjords of his thought, but by taking from his work and taking it in your own direction. To slavishly devote yourself to the intricacies is to ignore FN’s ridicule that he would give to any slavish devotion to another man’s work.

    As a result, all we need to do is jettison a little of Nietzsche’s distaste for this add our own proclivities and by the theory of streams, we still have something that if great, attests to Nietzsche’s greatness. How anathematic to this are the narrow stipulations of Nietzsche’s defenders that he didn’t actually like this or that about totalitarianism? Nietzsche thought content of Great Men was more robust than that.

  49. 49
    DobyGS says:

    How information from a new scientific finding is used or misused should not be the basis for the rejection of the scientific phenomenon. Nuclear physics says nothing about whether we should weaponize this technology and drop bombs on cities. Our country says that gun manufactures are not responsible for the misuse of their technology.

    This is where religion plays a vital role in our society helping us to decide the ethical use of new information and technology. One could argue that the churches in Germany were silent about the atrocities fearing retribution by the Nazis.

    It is inappropriate to say that evolutionary biology makes statements about ethics and how humans make moral decisions.

  50. 50
    Charlie says:

    Two other thoughts …
    While Darwin did, indeed, have a kind thing or two to say in Descent about the lower races, the savages and barbarians, he also mentioned that he would rather that he were descended from a monkey than these…

    “The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely that man is descended from some lowly-organized form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many persons. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. They possessed hardly any arts, and like wild animals lived on what they could catch; they had no government, and were merciless to everyone not of their own small tribe. He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins. For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.”

    The Descent of Man

    And yes, he did think, and not necessarily advocate, that “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”
    But what this quote-mined excerpt fails to tell you is that at such a point man would be further removed from his simian ancestors than he now is – being that the lower races are less evolved and more like apes than the “civilized” ones – according to Darwin.

    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.

    Descent Of Man(more civilised even than Caucasions…)
    And that Darwin stated that man would then have attained a higher average state than the one occupied prior to these genocides. Or, as he says in his letter to Charles Kingsley, “risen in rank”.

    In 500 years how the Anglo-Saxon race will have spread & exterminated whole nations; & in consequence how much the Human race, viewed as a unit, will have risen in rank.

    http://darwin.lib.cam.ac.uk/pe.....;pkey=3439
    He also conceded in Descent that by tending to and promoting the welfare of the lower classes, as we are morally inclined to do, we are inflicting great and known ills upon society.
    So while he may not have explicated nor advocated for genocide or positive eugenics it is a clear teaching from his science what anybody who wanted mankind to attain this higher rank or wanted his society to avoid such “undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind” and genetic degeneration” as would be “highly injurious to the race of man”, would do good to do.

    Darwin’s stated personal feelings aside, the lesson from his science was clear.

  51. 51

    Charlie (in #39):

    Yes, that is precisely the reference to Will Provine that I was writing about. Let me quote the first paragraph in full:

    “Professor Will Provine teaches a course for incoming freshman at Cornell University. In it, he contends that Darwin’s theory of evolution makes it impossible to believe in the existence of a benevolent God, much less in the God of Christianity. Provine informs his students that by the end of the course any belief they have in God will be shattered. In fact, he gauges the success of the course by the number of new atheists it produces.”

    Every sentence in this quote is a deliberate and outright lie. Unlike Dr. Dembski, who to my knowledge has never attended Will Provine’s evolution course, I have participated in it for more than 15 years, and have taught it myself for the last five. At no time during that period has either Will or I asserted any of the statements that Dr. Dembski alleges.

    Let’s take them one at a time:

    Professor Will Provine teaches a course for incoming freshman at Cornell University.

    Untrue. Our course (BioEE 207/Hist 287/S&TS 287) is intended for non-science majors, and fulfills both science and humanities distribution requirements. It is not, however, intended for freshman, nor do they comprise the majority of students taking the course. Indeed, during some semesters, the majority of the students taking it are juniors and seniors (most of whom are looking for an “easy” course to fill out their distribution requirements).

    In it, he contends that Darwin’s theory of evolution makes it impossible to believe in the existence of a benevolent God, much less in the God of Christianity.

    Untrue. Will doesn’t say this about our students; he says it about himself. Indeed, you can watch him say this in “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, in which he is quite clear that his learning of evolutionary theory made him into an atheist.

    Unlike Will, I am most emphatically not an atheist, nor did my learning of evolutionary biology transform me into what I am (nor, BTW, did it apparently transform me into a debauched libertine).

    As there are no direct quotes from his lecture notes anywhere available online or in print, you will have to take my word for this. If any of our students are reading this, however, I would hope that they would support my contention that this statement is a gross distortion of the facts.

    Provine informs his students that by the end of the course any belief they have in God will be shattered.

    Untrue. However, both Will and I do tell our students that their naive beliefs about both science and religion will be challenged during the course, and a great many of our students attest that this is indeed the case. The last time I checked, challenging a student’s naive and often uninformed beliefs was precisely the point of a university education.

    In fact, he gauges the success of the course by the number of new atheists it produces.”

    Untrue. As the description and polling data cited in Comment #20 in this thread indicate:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....sance-man/

    We do poll our students at the beginning and the end of our courses. And, as the data indicate, the only people whose minds are changed are those who believe in either God-guided evolution or ID. They become either young Earth creationists or naturalists (in about the same proportions). That is, they become what I would consider to be more logically consistent and more rigorous in their thinking (in both cases, BTW).

    Furthermore, we both grade our students, not on whether they think like we do, but rather on how well they take a logical and well-supported stand on the various issues in play, and how well they can marshal the available evidence in support of their arguments.

    Every year for the past five years a prize has been awarded for the best research paper by a student in our course. Endowed by a member of the Cornell board of trustees, the Tallman Prize is awarded in honor of William Provine. In at least one case (and I believe there has been more than one), the winner of the Tallman Prize has been an ID supporter.

    In my own case, I have given A+ grades to a young Earth creationist and C- grades to evolution supporters, not on the content of their beliefs, but rather on their critical thinking abilities, their use of logic and evidence, their responsible use of evidence in supporting their positions, and their ability to communicate all of this in their writing.

    So, what would you call Dr. Dembski’s allegations? To me, they are the deliberate use of false statements in support of a polemical position. Is this not the definition of “lies?”

  52. 52
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 17

    Correlation is not causation.

    ID highly agrees. Thus, any resemblance between fossils is but correlation and not causation.

    OFF TOPIC

    Similarity between genes could be by design processes as well as common descent.

    Such similarities are parallel to variations known to be due to design processes as anyone familiar with the automobile and aircraft industries can attest to.

  53. 53
    prhean says:

    RE: Underrepresentation of atheists in prisons

    You’ve heard of foxhole conversions. And jail house conversions. Now we see the stats.

    Check the low recidivism rate among those who become strong practicing Christians in prison via ministries such as Prison Fellowship versus the high recidivism rate among the general prison population. Now that’s an impressive stat!

  54. 54

    Janice wrote (in #42):

    “It was just under 20% of the sample.”

    Janice is apparently both mathematically and logically impaired. If you add up the percentages listed in my post (#8, above), they total 98.8%. This means that the “non-respondent” frequency was 0.02%, not “just under 20%”. Off by four orders of magnitude…

    Furthermore, Janice has taken it upon herself to speculate on my tendency toward a life of crime. Character assassination, while it seems to be the hobby of people like Janice, is not generally considered to be one of the tools of a scholar.

    Furthermore, Janice asserts that:

    “…all these people, and not just atheist evolutionary biologists, have been incited to crime and are at risk of succumbing to the temptation to commit a crime because they do not have a personal relationship with the risen Lord.”

    The abuse of logic and evidence in this quote is so beyond the pale as to require almost no comment. In the complete absence of confirmatory data, Janice has concluded that the criminals who did not indicate their religious beliefs were motivated in their crimes by the lack of “…a personal relationship with the risen Lord.”

    Using the same logic, I could assert that they were motivated in their crimes by the lack of their belief in the Tooth Fairy. After all, none of the respondents stated that they either believed or did not believe in the Tooth Fairy. Indeed, their beliefs in the Tooth Fairy were not recorded. According to “Janice logic”, this means that they can be included in the category of “people who were motivated in their crimes by macroevolutionary theory.”

    If a student turned in an essay with this kind of twisted logic in one of my courses, they would receive an F and would be recommended for psychological counseling.

  55. 55

    DobyGS wrote (in #49):

    “It is inappropriate to say that evolutionary biology makes statements about ethics and how humans make moral decisions.”

    Thank you! Indeed, it is. Most surprising: A ray of “Uncommon Rationality” in a thread mostly devoted to ad hominem attacks, character assassination, and abuse of simple logical reasoning. I salute you (and your integrity).

  56. 56

    prhean wrote (in #53):

    “Check the low recidivism rate among those who become strong practicing Christians in prison via ministries such as Prison Fellowship versus the high recidivism rate among the general prison population. Now that’s an impressive stat!”

    And is cited to support what logical position, exactly?

  57. 57
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill

    “Unlike Will, I am most emphatically not an atheist, . . .”
    Bravo on holding to your principles and not succumbing to peer pressure.

    Furthermore, we both grade our students, not on whether they think like we do, but rather on how well they take a logical and well-supported stand on the various issues in play, and how well they can marshal the available evidence in support of their arguments.

    Bravo – a fair minded teacher.

    A rare refreshing find in the midst of totalitarian elitist neo-evolutionary mindset insistent on expelling any who do not toe the line.

    Keep up the good work.

    On your other points, we encourage objective writing with fact checking.

  58. 58
    William J. Murray says:

    I think the real question to pose here isn’t how material evolutionists behave, because most material evolutionists behave fairly well (at least as well as believers, generally.)

    The real question IMO is, why do they behave? Many people behave in hypocricritical or unjustifiable ways when that behavior is compared to their espoused beliefs.

    While it might be convenient politically or socially to claim, and possible to prove statistically as factual, that Darwinian Materialists “behave” as well as believers, it begs the question of why? Their ideology doesn’t support any logical impetus to behave with social, moral, or ethical conscience unless one perceives that it will benefit them in this life in a meaningful way even when nobody is looking, and they aren’t going to be held accountable for their actions in any material sense. What is the impetus to behave when one can get away with bad behavior?

    That they behave can be attributed to many other conditioning, moderating and limiting influences, such as a believer context that has ingrained such ideas as ultimately beneficial, or upbringings that train certain ideas into one’s psyche that, while having no direct support from materialistic darwinism, are simply held on to out of some idea of reciprocal self-protection and a hoped-for fulfilled social contract.

    However, growing up in a society with such traditional views and constraints based on religoius and spiritual morality is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to imagine how materalistic Darwinism, as a long-term cultural paradigm, could avoid eventually embracing eugenics, euthanasia, selective breeding of humans, and an overall devaluation of human life.

    To claim that materialistic Darwinists display “good” behavior and “noble” humanitarian ideals now is irrelevant; they do so by sleeping in a cultural bed of traditional spiritual thought and values. Will those high ideals still be in place after 200 years of a culture embracing materialistic Darwinism?

    Why would they?

  59. 59
    Charlie says:

    Hi Allen MacNeill,

    Untrue. Will doesn’t say this about our students; he says it about himself

    No he doesn’t. He says it about evolution itself. He says it of believing people in particular and in general:

    As the creationists claim, belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism. No Free Will (1999) p.123

    ===

    We do poll our students at the beginning and the end of our courses.

    You asses your course for the changed beliefs of the students. And Will Provine has said he likes when they come to believe in evolution. This is what he wants his course to do. And this leads to atheism – according to him and indispute with you.

    Furthermore, we both grade our students, not on whether they think like we do, but rather on how well they take a logical and well-supported stand on the various issues in play, and how well they can marshal the available evidence in support of their arguments.

    Dr. Dembski said nothing about your grading system.

    So, what would you call Dr. Dembski’s allegations? To me, they are the deliberate use of false statements in support of a polemical position. Is this not the definition of “lies?”

    The only thing you’ve even contended to be wrong is Dr. Dembski’s calling Provine’s course one for freshman when you demonstrate that it is not merely for or even especially for freshman. This is arguably not even false, let alone a deliberate falsehood.
    What do I call Dr. Dembski’s allegations? His interpretation of the situation. And an interpretation which is wholly supported by facts, as evidenced by Provine’s own words, and as attested to by you.
    Perhaps Dr. Dembski drew a faulty conclusion as to motivation, which is not obvious, but being wrong and having a point of view is not lying.

    What do you call your use of quotation marks in this sentence:

    P.S. Dr. Dembski has accused Will Provine of “slanting” our evolution course “in order to convert our students into atheists”

    When, given that you accept my source, these are not quotes?
    What do you call repeating that Dr. Dembski lied when you have nothing to demonstrate that he willfully gave false evidence?

    What do you call it when you go to TT and say you were banned at UD when you weren’t? And refuse to confirm when asked?
    And what do you call it when, on your own blog, you allow commenters to continue to say you were banned at UD and you do not correct them?

    Are these outright lies? Are you a liar?

    As such a strong advocate of looking at your own positions critically and of admonishing all and sundry for their level of gentlemanly discourse ought you not reconsider some of your own actions (and defences)?

  60. 60
    Russell says:

    DLH:”Correspondingly, similarity between genes could be by design processes as well as common descent.”

    I agree that mere similarity could, but IIRC the Darwinists talk about nested hierarchies. Am I wrong? Are they misleading people?

  61. 61

    One more attempt at logical argument supported by empirical evidence, and then I have to go to office hours.

    The alleged causal relationship between evolutionary biology, atheism, and criminality should be reflected in crime statistics and general lawlessness. Therefore, if one surveys the various nations of the world, one should find such a correlation.

    Where is atheism and acceptance of evolutionary biology most common? Among the nations of western Europe. Norway, in particular, has the lowest crime rate in Europe, and is known for the quality of its science (and especially evolutionary biology).

    It also has among the highest percentage of atheists of all nations in the world. See:

    http://www.secularhumanism.org.....erman_26_5

  62. 62
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 54

    Your response is ad hominem and demeaning to janice.

    Please desist from such attacks and such nitpicking. Its unworthy of you.

    Janice appears to have been trying to make an important point and made an ambiguous statement.

    It was just under 20% of the sample.

    She did not explicitly distinguish between the TOTAL number sampled vs the portion of the sample that responded. I read her statement to be the total and you misleading imply just those who responded.

    In the future, please cite and link to your references where practical. The figures you quote were apparently reproduced at:
    http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm

    Janice’s point is that ONLY 20% of those polled responded. 80% DID NOT respond. Consequently there could easily be a much larger portion of atheists in the actual prison population if they habitually do not self report their religious beliefs.

  63. 63
    Upright BiPed says:

    Its likely a good thing I have nothing to say about Allen’s abuse of population statistics on this post.

    As a population research director, I would probably get carried away and force the moderators to come to his immediate aide.

    Still, what a sight to see. And, this from a man who repeatedly prances and promotes his image of “fairness in thought” to the ID community – certainly to be applauded, like so much of a 1960’s corporation with its token minority in tow.

  64. 64
    Charlie says:

    I’m sorry, I missed this:

    Dembski:Provine informs his students that by the end of the course any belief they have in God will be shattered.

    MacNeill:Untrue. However, both Will and I do tell our students that their naive beliefs about both science and religion will be challenged during the course, and a great many of our students attest that this is indeed the case. The last time I checked, challenging a student’s naive and often uninformed beliefs was precisely the point of a university education.

    Without Will Provine’s notes I can’t say, nor would I know how Dembski can say, that he says exactly that to his students. But interesting you admit that you state that your teaching of science will impact their notions of religion. About the same time you take a poll to find out what their beliefs are. And in the class of a man who says that evolution is the greatest engine of atheism and that learning about evolution teaches us that there is no God and no afterlife, etc.
    Challenging students naive assumptions about religion is not your job, and assessing them to be naive is not your job. Since you state that you make a point of it it is obvious that you, like Will Provine, believe that evolution has religious implications (just like ID, by the way). And then you poll at the end of your course to find out what impact you have had.
    I would say Demsbki’s statement, based upon only what you have said here and have admitted Will Provine says, may be exaggerated but it is certainly a valid interpretation of what you’ve just said.

  65. 65

    William J. Murray asks (in #59):

    “Will those high ideals still be in place after 200 years of a culture embracing materialistic Darwinism?”

    An excellent question. Next year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, and so I think we might actually have an answer to this question.

    What do the statistics (i.e. not personal beliefs, opinions, or uninformed prejudice) tell us about trends in criminality and violent behavior over the past 200 years? If the majority of the commentators in this thread are correct, both the rate of criminality and violent behavior in western Europe (i.e. the place both longest and most affected by evolutionary thought) should have steadily increased over the past 200 years, showing a significant increase in frequency following 1859, and reaching an exponential climax today.

    Empirical research indicates exactly the opposite: that both violent crime and morbidity and mortality as the result of warfare have steadily declined (as a rate function, per capita) since the beginning of the 19th century. See:

    “Historical Trends in Violent Crime: A Critical Review of the Evidence.” Gurr, T. R. (1981) Crime and Justice, Vol. 3, , pp. 295-353.

  66. 66
    allanius says:

    Beauty is found in strange places, and the beauty of this thread is that it proves its thesis naturally, without any need for intervention, as it were.

    Naziism thrived on making language a tool of the will to power. It proved Nietzsche right: the Strong Man can indeed win over the masses to a perverse ideology by crafting his message carefully and staying on point. He can indeed obtain the domination over the herd that he longs for in every corpuscle of his alpha male being.

    QED. Observe the Strong Man in action, his protean rhetorical resourcefulness. The distortion of plain truth to serve the goals of materialism and (more importantly) ego is not just a chimera of the religious imagination; it is a reality being played out in classrooms and science institutions across the country.

    Should we be surprised that bright young men and women at elite schools can be won over to the tendentious narrative of Neo-Darwinism? What, Heidegger wasn’t bright? True, he wasn’t as cynical as Hitler and Goebbels; he actually believed their nonsense. But do we find this comforting?

    Science is knowledge; ideology is about winning. Clearly the Strong Man may win in his classroom by manipulating science to unscientific ends, but science itself imposes a limit on his desire for power. The more we actually know about life and its complexity, the smaller his kingdom becomes.

  67. 67
    jerry says:

    Allen,

    It is 150 years and you must have missed WWI and WWII as well as the Cold War.

    You could argue that Western Europe’s future path is suicide as they abandon their tradional beliefs for materialism and a tremendous contraction of their population base.

  68. 68
    Charlie says:

    By the way, Allen, at #51 I challenge your reading and quoting of Descent Of Man.
    Unfortunately it was held for moderation and I fear you may have missed it.

  69. 69

    Upright BiPed wrote (in #63)

    “Its likely a good thing I have nothing to say about Allen’s abuse of population statistics on this post.”

    Hmm. I’m virtually the only commentator citing statistics of any kind in this thread. What does that say about how this argument has been conducted?

    Let’s parse UprightBiPed’s statements:

    “Its likely a good thing I have nothing to say about Allen’s abuse of population statistics on this post.”

    But aren’t you doing exactly that with this statement? Clever (and underhanded). Would you care to cite some statistics in defense of a contrary position, or are ad hominem attacks and appeals to unsupported prejudice your entire stock in trade?

    “As a population research director…

    Argument from authority (i.e. no empirical evidence presented).

    “…I would probably get carried away and force the moderators to come to his immediate aide.”

    If you can’t make a logically consistent argument, supported by empirical evidence, then simply have the moderators shut me down, right? “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with the facts. And, BTW, shut up.”

    Or do you mean to say the opposite? This statement is so logically incoherent as to be virtually unintelligible.

    “Still, what a sight to see. And, this from a man who repeatedly prances and promotes his image of “fairness in thought” to the ID community – certainly to be applauded, like so much of a 1960’s corporation with its token minority in tow.”

    More character assassination. Upright BiPed has apparently abandoned all pretense at logical argument and decided to simply use slime in place of logic.

    Grade: F-

  70. 70
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 10

    The reference to beliefs of those in prison is interesting.

    Back to the TOPIC Darwin & Hitler.

    What is critical is NOT those in prison, but those IN GOVERNMENT.

    In my research on the 20th century, I counted 33 republics/democracies who failed to preserve their constitutional governments and succumbed to tyrants.
    These include
    Russia to Lenin and Stalin
    China to Mao
    Germany to Hitler,

    As Darwin influenced Hitler, there is clear evidence that he similarly influenced China. See:
    China and Charles Darwin, James R. Pussey, Harvard East Asia Monographs, 1983 ISBN-10: 0674117352.

    Although Charles Darwin never visited China, his ideas landed there with force. Darwinism was the first great Western theory to make an impact on the Chinese and, from 1895 until at least 1921, when Marxism gained a formal foothold, it was the dominant Western “ism” influencing Chinese politics and thought. The authority of Darwin, sometimes misiniterpreted, influenced reformers and revolutionaries and paved the way for Chinese Marxism and the thought of Mao Tse-tung.

    This study evaluates Darwin’s theory of evolution as a stimulus to Chinese political changes and philosophic challenge to traditional Chinese beliefs. James Pusey bases his analysis on a survey of journals issued from 1896 to 1910 and, after a break for revolutionary action, from 1915 to 1926, with emphasis on the era between the Sino-Japanese War and the Republician Revolution. The story of Darwinism in China involves, among others, the most famous figures of modern Chinese intellectual history.

    Similarly, Darwin’s writings were critical to turning Stalin from the priesthood to atheism and tyranny.

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    by Paul G. Humber, M.S.

    There were some 125 MILLION people who died because of their governments during the 20th century compared to some 39 million due to all wars of the 20th century.

    Between Hitler, Stalin and Mao, the tyrants that killed the greatest number of people in the 20th century were very clearly influenced by Darwin.

    From history, the most critical threat to republics from the number of people killed, is in allowing leaders to come to power who hold to Darwin’s principles of evolution – Might makes right – rather than to the principles of republican Constitutionalism.

  71. 71

    And allanius jumps on board the character assassination bandwagon. No evidence, no attempt at logical argument, just ad hominems aplenty.

    Gotta go; my students await…

  72. 72

    Just one more point:

    Who is the almost the only person in this thread to use his own full name, and is unafraid to have his background, evidence, positions, and training fully exposed for all to view?

    I believe that anonymity, like patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  73. 73
    Charlie says:

    Hi Allen,

    quoting UB:“…I would probably get carried away and force the moderators to come to his immediate aide.”

    AM: If you can’t make a logically consistent argument, supported by empirical evidence, then simply have the moderators shut me down, right?

    You made either a reading or a logical error here.

  74. 74
    Charlie says:

    I believe that anonymity, like patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

    Causation/correlation?
    Does it follow that all anonymous commenters are scoundrels? Of course not. There is no logical conclusion to be drawn here about anonymous posters.

  75. 75
    William J. Murray says:

    #65:

    Correlations are not causes, and statistics are only as good as the number of parameters one accounts for.

    Your analysis of Norway, for example, ignores the fact that there is virtually no ethnic diversity whatsoever there. Your ststistics may or may not include, for another example, the variation in kinds of laws and progressions of those laws; one way to have fewer criminals, is to make less things illegal.

    A growing trend of leniency or removal of laws as darwinian materialsim advances through the lawbooks might correlate to a reduced crime rate, but not to any actual changes in human behavior.

    You focus on crime and criminal behavior, which might have various explanations for the statistical variance, but I made no claim about increased criminal behavior; my comment was about behaving. If you gain ideological power in a country, and make abortion legal, euthanasia legal, eugenics legal, etc., you are committing no crimes. If one’s country is killing millions of the unborn, or aiding in the suicide of the infirm, or drugging their population into docility, no crime has been committed … yet have the humans become better? Has the culture become better? Does “less crime” intrinsically mean that the human condition has become better?

    No.

    Your statistics on the crime rate might represent factual information, but it is irrelevant to the concerns expressed; namely, how can the culture of materialistic Darwinism refute the apparent dystopian projection that is reasonably calculated from its basic precepts, if it washes from it all spiritual and religious ideals of the value of noble ideals, spiritual advancement or ramifications, the idea of a divine human soul that imbues each life with dignity and intrinsic value … etc?

    You’re not explaining how a materialistic, Darwinian, cultural philosophy can eventually produce anything other than devalued human life and the dystopian rise of ideology based on Darwinian principles. Once the spirituality and religion have been drained out, what is there left to logically indicate that such values, morals, and ethics as we hold now are of any value? What is to prevent a gradual decline into the functionality of eugenics, euthanasia, selfishness, hedonism and evaluation of worth by percieved contribution to the long-term survival and betterment of the species?

    One can easily see how spiritual and religious beliefs inspire humans towards noble and selfless behavior, compassion for the weak and tolerance of others … I fail to see how Darwinistic materialism is going to inspire young men to join the military to defend their country from aggressors (hey, if they’re stronger than us, they deserve to win, right? What does it matter?), or fill us with the mercy and love and compassion for those less fortunate than us, or towards those that cost society more than they can be shown on a materialistic balance sheet to contribute.

    The most religious industrialized country in the world – the USA – out-gives your more atheistic/materialistic countries when it comes to per-capita charity and humanitarian aid by an embarrassing margin. Why is that? Where does Norway come in when it comes to humanitarian aid around the world? How about volunteer time towards charitable activities?

    While your focus on current crime statistics makes a compelling emotional plea, it really does nothing to address the real concerns expressed here.

  76. 76
    Charlie says:

    Next year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, and so I think we might actually have an answer to this question.

    Or not.

  77. 77
    Upright BiPed says:

    Allen: “Would you care to cite some statistics”

    First World War 1914-18 15 million
    Russian Civil War 1917-22 9 million
    Stalin’s Soviet Union 1924-53 22 million
    Second World War 1937-55 55 million
    Nationalist China 1928-37 3.5 million
    Congo 1886-1908 8 million
    Shall I continue? I can. There is no end to these numbers. The Sudan? The French Colonies? Portugal? Rwanda? Kinsasha? Ethiopia? North Korea? Cambodia?, Lybia? The Balkins? Mexico? Bangladesh? German East Africa? Tibet? The idea that the age of science has effected a new level of kindness in mankind is absurd.

    Allen: “The alleged causal relationship between evolutionary biology, atheism, and criminality should be reflected in crime statistics and general lawlessness. Therefore, if one surveys the various nations of the world, one should find such a correlation.”

    I simply don’t know where to start with this statement. It’s like searching for the causes of cancer by perusing the sufferer’s shoe sizes. One might think that greed, lust, power, hubris, hunger, spite and other such human motivators might play a role. Instead, we have Allen defending an intellectual absurdity that suits him.

    NEWSFLASH: 94.3% of rapists have fingers that fit their nose holes; while a mere 91.3% of extortionists bury their dead. More research must be done!

  78. 78
    jerry says:

    Allen,

    I once used my full name on a thread a few years ago that also had my email. I then got some obnoxious emails and one that identified my home address. After seeing locally what some people can do to people they don’t like or disagree with it is just not worth it.

    That is when I limited my name here and elsewhere to my first name. So I view your remark, “I believe that anonymity, like patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel” as childish.

    By the way are you against patriotism?

  79. 79
    William J. Murray says:

    #78:

    If you check http://www.cafonline.org/, you’ll find that no other country even comes close to the USA in charitable giving.

    Also, one can probably directly assess the higher number of per capita abortions (the USA being #6, Norway being #7) to fertility rate differences between the two populations.

    But that isn’t the real issue; the real issues is the philsophical defense of materialistic Darwinism and what it can produce. As the spiritual and religious context and limitations of conscience upon that ideology slowly wane and disappear, what can we expect of it other than a decline into bleak expressions of evolutionary functionality?

  80. 80
    jjcassidy says:

    Allen,

    It would help if those stats really meant what they seem to. I’m repeating this link ( http://christiancadre.blogspot.....es_21.html ) for people to see what a crock those numbers are. And as for my secret ID, I’d wager than I’ve encrypted my last name so well in my handle that you’ll never figure it out (Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!!)

    Here’s something not at all directed to Allen, but something that I’ve wanted to post: Atheists seem to believe that they are the only ones with a right to make up their own mind about data. They believe that “Religion causes all wars,” and evidence to the contrary is troublesome, but that they on balance believe that to be true is enough for them.

    It’s not always convincing to the believers–but the counsel of believers is not really needed, because their brains don’t function right. However, everything an oppoent finds convincing must be passed through their authoritative filters in order for it to be fair for us to believe it. Richard Carrier finds it enough that the SS had belt buckles with “Gott” on it. Despite that atheists are otherwise fond of mentioning that the “Creator” doesn’t entail “Jesus”. And that a central body of founding fathers did not believe the Bible’s miraculous content, yet still believed in a “Gott”. Also they equate the neutral concept of “Designer” with religion, despite that deism is considered secular in terms of America’s founders, and the closest thing to atheism that they could get. These things convince them, therefore they are rational until proven irrational.

    Atheists however don’t buy that Darwinism majorly influenced the massive bloodshed of the 20th century because Charlie-bear would never do such a thing. Therefore, it is invalid and unfair that you should find that to be true in the balance–because it is not based on any inconvertible facts of history–is an example of how unreasonable you are.

    You, Ben Stein, everybody must hold off forming a decision about it until inconvertible facts emerge that convince the opposition. Meanwhile, Carrier will continue to find major significance that the German’s embraced “Gott” in some form and deny that Table Talk could be an actual representation of Hitler’s atheism and hatred for Christianity, because the belt buckle and Hitler’s public persona is just too important to making the case that NAZI-ism Christianity.

    Atheism doesn’t by definition entail an intellectual elitism, it just tends to yield it in practice.

    I read the other thread where the reviewer panned the Darwin-NAZI connection saying that the producers did not look into the Great Chain of Being connection. So I checked out what he could possibly have meant. It sounded promising, but even the worst part of GCB was that the lower served the higher. Had Hitler proposed enslaving the Jews, that would not have been unprecendented in history, and very much in keeping with the Great Chain. However whacking out a whole level of the “Great Chain” is not in anyway consistent with it. As early theorist argued that the low have to exist, because everything exists. So within the concept is the idea that we cannot do better than nature by removing a whole rung. But there was a theoretical system that concieved that the removal of a whole population resulted in advance… anybody remember the name of that system… anyone? anyone?

    Thus despite the mismatches between the “Great Chain” theory (which was birthed in the Enlightenment btw), just the reviewer thinking that this is a significant omission is enough to think that Expelled point is invalid–and by extension, unfair, and biased. He only needs the suggestion and his own buy-in, and not inconvertible proof.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    Had to go back online to email a reply on some public meetings, and decided to check in. Noticed this thread.

    I seem to recall that the question of religious affiliation of prisoners came up several weeks ago, and served to divert a thread form a serious topic.

    Mr MacNeill, I think you need to pause and think about the following, from adherents dot com, which supplies religious affiliation stats; just as a start-point for a more balanced assessment:

    __________

    We are aware of two non-academic web pages, featuring commentary by self-described atheists, which attempt to present statistics in such a way as to indicate that religion leads to crime and incarceration. Some of these statements are addressed here, but that is not the focus of this page. Such a notion hardly requires refutation: available statistics, academic studies (as opposed to positional essays by atheists), and common experience attest otherwise.

    Religious proponents, on the other hand, often use statistics relating to religiosity to show that religious participation prevents crime and incarceration.

    The statistically verifiable reality should come as no surprise to those who have first hand experience with criminal and religious sociology:

    1. The majority of Americans (85%) have a stated religious preference.

    2. The majority of American prisoners (between 80 and 100%, depending on the study consulted) also have a stated religious preference.

    3. A disproportionately high number of prisoners were not in any way practicing religionists prior to incarceration. That is, they exhibited none of the standard sociological measures of religiosity, such as regular prayer, scripture study, and attendance at worship services.

    Thus, some commentators on one side have claimed that being religious is associated with incarceration. This is based only on religious preference statistics. American sociologists are well aware that nearly all Americans profess a religious preference. But there is a major difference between those who are actually religious affiliated, that is, members of a congregation (approx. 45 to 65% of the population, varying by region), and those who merely profess a preference, likely the name of the denomination that their parents of grandparents were a part of. (One of the best discussions of this phenomenon can be found in The Churching of America, 1776-1990, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark; New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1992.)

    Commentators supportive of religious involvement invariably point to participation in religion (being affiliated), rather than having a stated (and quite possibly meaningless) religious preference as showing being a statistically strong deterent to crime.

    According to the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics (National Census of the Jail Population 12/31/95), while 72% affirmed affiliation with religious institutions (determined through answers to the question on “Religious Background” on the Penal entrance form) only 54% of Federal and State Prisoners actually consider themselves religious, and 33% can be confirmed to be practicing their religion. [And I add, guess what intellect6ual and cultu5ral movements have been strongly associated with the decline in practised religiosity over the past 100 years or so?] This is demonstrated by attendance records at religious services, which averaged anywhere between 30% and 40%, depending upon the time of year and the institution in question (and who was preaching). These figures are comparable to the national average as establish by the Gallup organization. [source — go to the link]

    Attempts to “prove” either simplistic statement: “Religion leads to incarceration” or “Religion prevents incarceration” are polemical in nature and are neither academic in their approach nor statistially supportable. Neither statement is completely true, and both statements ignore the extremely large differences between religions. Each religious affiliation exhibits different statistical properties relating to incarceration. The actual situation in America can no more be summed up by a discussion of “atheists in prison vs. non-atheists in prison” than by analysis of “Buddhists in prison vs. non-Buddhists in prison.”

    One atheist web page (link on page) presented statistics stating that 0.209% of federal prisoners (in 1997) stated “atheist” as their religious preference. This site said that this is far less than the 8 to 16% of the American population that are atheists.

    The atheist site, however, provided no source for the notion that “8 to 16%” of Americans are atheists. This statistic is completely without support from the available data. Gallup polls which include questions about religion have consistently shown that between 93 and 96% of Americans say that they believe in God. Presumably atheist writers would not suggest that up to half of their claimed “atheists” believe in God. The actual proportion of atheists in the United States is about 0.5% (half of one percent). This is the figure obtained from the largest survey of religious preference ever conducted: the National Survey of Religious Identification (Kosmin, 1990), which polled 113,000 people. The religious preference questions were part of questioning completely unrelated to religious preference (consumer preferences, entertainment, etc.), so the frequent retort of atheists that their numbers don’t like to admit to atheism, and hence are undercounted, is unlikely.

    Still, if one accepts as accurate the estimate that 0.209% of federal prisoners, this is still an incarceration rate only one half of their numbers in the general population.

    The high estimates of “8 to 16%” of Americans being atheists are actually produced by combining figures from non-atheist groups. Basically, all people who don’t profess a religious preference are sometimes claimed by atheists part of their grouping. The Kosmin survey of 1990 indicated that 1.5% of the population is agnostic, and 7.5% “nonreligious.” “Nonreligious” does not mean the same thing as “atheist.” It is a classification which includes people who believe there is no god, believe there is a god, or who don’t believe either way, or believe that such information is unknowable. Grouping “nonreligious” along with atheists and agnostics, one would obtain a figure of 9.5%. This fits within the claimed “8 to 16%” figure provided for the total number of “atheists.”

    It is true that, historically, the word “atheist” has been used to include agnostics as well as atheists, and that it has been used to include “nonreligious” as well. But the word has also been used to include many people whose religious preferences conflict with the majority, including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, and others. After the Protestant reformation, Catholic writers used the word “atheist” interchangeably with “infidel”, referring to all Protestants (whether Anglican, Baptist, or otherwise) as “atheists.”

    Today in the United States, “nontheist” does not mean “nonreligious”, as indicated by the fact that all but 5% of the population professes belief in God, while approximately 9.5% of the population belong to nonreligious or “antireligious” categories.

    In the federal prisoner statistics, a full 20% of the respondents either answered “none” or provided no response to the question on religious affiliation. Based on response patterns to similar questions on nationwide surveys, it is likely that all or nearly all of these persons would be in the “nonreligious” category (or the “atheists” category, to use the terminology from the atheist web page itself). Even without adding the “.209%” of the population that specifically identified themselves as atheists, the segment of the prison population which self-identifies as non-religious is approximately twice as large as found in the general population.

    However, a valid argument could be made that the prison population may exhibit different response patterns pertaining to questions of religious identification than the non-prison population. An atheist pundit may believe that this difference is so extreme, that all 20% classified as “none” or “unknown” are actually Christians, Jews, etc., but were being beligerant or evasive in not saying so. A religious pundit might assume that all 20% are actually non-religious.

    Sociologists and statisticians can not make absolute conclusions about this group, but based on previous experience with similar studies, the response patterns to this question are unlikely to differ significantly from the general population, and the “nonreligious” segment of the prison population does indeed seem significantly higher than the religious segment. Furthermore, academic researchers are likely to include additional measures of behavior and religiosity beyond mere religious self-identification, and conclude that although the segment of the prison population which specifies a religious preference is as high as in the general population, the proportion of practicing religionists (immediately prior to incarceration) is much lower.

    Virtually any article in an academic, peer-reviewed sociology journal that addresses religious behavior and criminal behavior finds that religious behaviors such as church attendance, prayer, home observances, etc., are either negatively correlated to criminal and/or anti-social behavior (drug use, school drop-outs, etc.), or have no correlation. In other words, according to social scientists, religious behavior is associated with lower rates of criminal behavior.

    _____________

    Mr MacNeill, I think you need to do a bit more research before drawing conclusions and making assertions and arguments based on them.

    Now, can we get back to the focus for the thread?

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I see this has come up several times, so I am going to communicate this to a contact so if the distractor comes up again the link will be there for a quick response.

  82. 82
    nullasalus says:

    Allen Macneill has repeatedly argued that, insofar as anyone uses evolution or darwinism to promote a social or (a)theological agenda, they have left the realm of science – and it’s apparently on this basis that he vigorously condemns ID.

    I’ve gotten no answers about why ID must be singled out for condemnation (and not just the teaching of it in classrooms – but the mere proposal of it at all) while, apparently, books that argue that scientific study of nature proves there is no God get hardly a peep from the same ‘defenders of science’. Why the double standard? Why is one ‘mere opinion’ and the other ‘perverting science’?

    Instead, we’re getting sidetracked to what ‘belief in evolution’ causes in a general population and trying to discern as much through statistics that don’t even touch on darwinism in their surveys. It’s an attempt to obfuscate and argue about things that can be taken any number of ways. A red herring.

    Notice the pattern carefully: Bring up the influence of darwinism in political or social thought, and there’s both an immediate condemnation that it’s a perversion of science, and a desperate attempt to talk about something, anything other than eugenics, or subjects of organizations that dealt with genetic desirability.

    That said, I want to make some claims outright – Allen can agree, attack, or ignore. The latter seems to be popular.

    Fact: ‘Darwinism’ was used to justify eugenics programs and views in Germany, America, Norway, and other countries during the height of the movement. And it wasn’t exactly done with the widespread condemnation of evolutionary biologists. This may well have been a ‘perversion of the science’, but at the time it certainly wasn’t regarded as such.
    Fact: It’s been asserted here that arguing biological science ‘proves God doesn’t exist’ or ‘proves God did not use evolution to create humans’ and such is also a perversion of science – and I frankly agree with this. But demonstrably, special condemnation for ‘abusing science’ is directed at people who argue (and remember, I’m a TE myself) that the work of a high intelligence can be discerned in biology and other sciences. But those who argue the opposite – whose ‘design detection’ turns up no designer – are ignored by the same people and groups who scream of the need to “defend science”.

    Fact: Attempting to deny the links between eugenics philosophies and darwinism (perversion or not), and ignoring the unequal treatment of ‘personal opinions’ of science, is what drives a whole lot of these fights. Maybe the answer to these problems isn’t ‘try to change the subject’, but dealing with them head-on and honestly. There’s a problem with the greater ‘science’ establishment, and it certainly can’t be summed up as “ID”.

  83. 83
    Upright BiPed says:

    Kairosfocus, you had the link I was looking for.

    Thank You for posting it.

  84. 84
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 72

    “I believe that anonymity, like patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    Again you employ an ad hominem attack, attributing bad motives to discredit others without evidence.

    See: Expelled: The Tip of the Iceberg which explores others who have been severely discriminated against.

    Are you willing to guarantee the employment of scientists who criticize or oppose evolution on scientific/empirical grounds?

    Are you actively and ardently supporting legislation outlawing such discrimination against “apostates” from neo-darwinism ?

    When such legislation is in place and we have that change in practice, then maybe those posting here would be as free to use their names as those, such as you, who have privileged positions currently protected by the totalitarian evolutionary elite.

  85. 85
    PaV says:

    Following on kairosfocus’ post (83), I, too, suggest that we get back on topic. Allen, the original point of the thread was not whether Darwinism leads to lawlessness; rather, it was that Darwinism led to eugenics, which in turn had a large role to play in Hitler’s Germany.

    Along the way, several issues have been raised on this post. Let me address a few:

    1.) Evolutionary biology, per se, did not exist yet in the thirties. So, to even be talking about evolutionary biology within the context of Hitler’s Germany is simply ahistorical.

    2.) According to Will Provine, Mendelism, when discovered in the first decade of the 1900’s, was death to Darwinian theory. Darwinian theory had to be, as it were, ‘resurrected’ through the likes of Morgan, and Fisher and others. In particular, the work—statistical work—of R.A. Fisher revived the possibility of Darwinian mechanisms giving rise to new species, and breathed fresh life into Darwinian theory. In his “The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection”, the renouvement of Darwinism was complete, resulting finally in Thomas Huxley’s “The Modern Synthesis”. Thus, historically, Darwinism, after a ‘near-death experience’ in the beginning of the 20th century, nevertheless, experienced went into an ascendancy from the middle of the second decade of the 1900’s (~1915) until 1940—the very time that eugenics was experiencing its own ascendancy. It’s simply covering your head in the sand to think that there was no historical link between Darwinism and the atrocities of Hitler’s Republic.

    3.) Regarding the Scope’s Trial, let’s not forget that the VERY reason that Wm. Jennings Bryan got involved was NOT to defend the Christian interpretation of Genesis, but because he was extremely concerned that Darwinism, unchecked, would lead to a rise in the Eugenicist movement. The “eu” of eugenics means ‘true’ or ‘good’. Thus, eugenics means, literally, “good genes”. Now is anyone going to seriously argue that, based on this translation, eugenics has nothing to do with Darwinism and its concomitant notion of the ‘fittest’ ?

    4.) Someone, in a quote above, told of an incident wherein a teenager, way back in the twenties, killed someone from no more than a ‘eugenicist’ urge. Let’s remember that at Columbine, the killers went specifically after Christians—the ‘unfit’—seeing themselves as enforcers of Darwinian theory (the killers wore T-shirts with the picture of Darwin on the front IIRC). Indeed, there are at times ‘inconvenient truths’.

  86. 86
    StephenB says:

    —–“Who is the almost the only person in this thread to use his own full name, and is unafraid to have his background, evidence, positions, and training fully exposed for all to view?

    I believe that anonymity, like patriotism, is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

    Like Jerry, I have had similar experiences. Also, I critique both Islamic and Materialist ideologies. In the bizarre world of political correctness and selectivee freedom of speech, your point of view is safe. Mine isn’t.

  87. 87
    DLH says:

    Darwin’s and early Darwinist’s belief in human INequalitydirectly opposes the foundation of the USA where:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . . .

    Weikart documented that:

    4. Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality. Haeckel emphasized inequality to such as extent that he even classified human races as twelve distinct species and claimed that the lowest humans were closer to primates than to the highest humans.

  88. 88
    tribune7 says:

    Allen

    The Rev. Klaas Hendrikse has been ha pastor for more than 20 years at one of the Protestant congregations in the southwestern town of Middelburg in the Netherlands .

    He calls himself an atheist.

    How do your stats handle him?

  89. 89
    specs says:

    Darwin’s and early Darwinist’s belief in human INequalitydirectly opposes the foundation of the USA

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

    Human inequality exists. There is a wide range of innate physical and mental capabilities across the human species. The quote above, one of the most beautiful ever penned IMO, is a political statement not a scientific observation. Science does not stand or fall based on how it’s used or misused by politicians. That is why your point and, indeed, this whole conversation is a farce. Darwin is no more to blame for eugenics or Nazism than nuclear physicists are for nuclear weapons and, indeed, probably less so. Eugenics is essentailly animal husbandry as applied to humans and animal husbandry predates Darwin by untold centuries.

  90. 90

    Please refrain from responding to bililiad, he’s/she’s/it’s a Panda’s Thumb troll.

    Exposure of Nick Matzke’s idiotic contention that the Nazis banned Darwin’s Origin of Species.

  91. 91
    duncan says:

    William J Murray (59) & bililiad (61)

    I can see the logic in concluding that no afterlife = no being held to account = doing whatever you can get away with + morals / norms based only on expediency.

    However, I’m an atheist and I intuitively and actually know that this argument is fallacious. So… why? Here are some thoughts.

    Human morality is a function of a combination of memory, imagination and reason. If you stick your hand in the fire you feel pain. If you later see someone forcing another person’s hand into the fire you know (i) it will hurt them (memory), and (ii) they are not doing it voluntarily (reason), and you feel empathy (imagination). The inevitable conclusion is that the event should be prevented – it’s simply logic.

    The empathy is involuntary. Why is a murder scene in a film frightening? We know perfectly well that the participants are actors, no-one is actually getting hurt, and that all we are actually seeing is the effect of light passing through celluloid. But the apparent suffering of others produces an unpleasant and alarming reaction in ourselves, whether we like it or not, even when we know the whole thing is staged. For many people this reaction is so strong that they will avoid frightening films even though they know there is no actual suffering (apart from their own!). Unless you have some form of malfunction it is impossible to escape emotionally from the effects of involuntary empathy – which becomes guilt when it’s a consequence of our misdeeds.

    There are of course degrees – someone starving to death at the bottom of your street would be completely unacceptable, but someone starving to death half way across the world is troubling when we think about it, but for most of us has little real impact on how we live our lives. Objectively, both events should produce the same moral response, but they don’t.

    The “me” versus “us” question is all about self-interest. We enjoy helping people, and we all benefit from the general application of good behaviour. We want to contribute to an environment where good behaviour is the norm because the consequence of not being able to assume a general level of good behaviour i.e. a breakdown of order, is extreme anxiety. It is interesting how our moral involvement and sense of obligation dilutes with physical and emotional distance (this is the ‘imagination’ aspect at work). A parent’s love for their child, which can involve complete self-sacrifice, is given entirely willingly. We want to be good because it suits us.

    People’s good behaviour is often dependent upon the facility for good behaviour. You think you’re not violent? Well, you might soon be if you were starving and found yourself in a food riot.

    Let’s say I had the chance to steal my neighbour’s money and could be confident I’d be unseen, I’d still have the problem that it would show on my face. Why would it? Whatever the reason, it’s nothing to do with believing in Jesus.

  92. 92

    jerry asked (in #82):

    “…are you against patriotism?”

    No, scoundrels who take refuge in it.

  93. 93

    kairosfocus wrote (in #85):

    “…if one accepts as accurate the estimate that 0.209% of federal prisoners, this is still an incarceration rate only one half of their numbers in the general population.”

    This was precisely my point. I was not arguing that religious believers are more likely to commit antisocial acts, I have been arguing that the data indicates that atheists (and therefore many, if not most evolutionary biologists) are less likely to do so, an empirical observation that directly contradicts the thesis upon which this thread is based.

    Personally, I believe that what causes most people to commit antisocial (and social) acts is not their religious beliefs nor their understanding of evolutionary biology (or lack thereof). As a parent of six children, a thirty-six-year teacher, and a long-time student of human behavior, I have a very strong belief (supported by much empirical data from human development and family studies, psychology, and sociology) that both antisocial (and social) behavior is overwhelmingly a product of family dynamics, parenting, economic inequality, and social peer pressure.

    In other words, religious belief (and the lack thereof) today is mostly an effect of these factors, rather than a determining cause (and exposure to evolutionary biology as a science is irrelevant).

  94. 94

    As I have already pointed out, I have very publicly and vigorously condemned eugenics (in all of its negative forms) as a perversion of science in general, and evolutionary biology in particular. Furthermore, I am very happy that such uses of sciences are now mostly behind us.

    The question for the future, therefore, is not “Does evolutionary biology lead inevitably to crime, debauchery, eugenics, and totalitarianism?”, because the answer clearly is NO, not any more than religious belief does.

    Nor is the question “Does evolutionary biology lead naturally to good behavior, equality, freedom, and ‘niceness’?”, because the answer again is clearly NO, not any more than religious belief does.

    The real question for the future is “Given what we now understand about the root causes of human social behavior, can we shape human behavior to bring about a better world for all of us? This question hits close to home, because it’s a question every responsible parent and teacher asks many times a day every day.

    Recognizing the evil purposes to which science has been perverted in the past is part of finding answers to that question. So is admitting that religious belief (and the lack thereof) is largely irrelevant to the answer to that same question.

  95. 95

    nullasalus wrote (in #86):

    “The latter seems to be popular.”

    Popular with whom? You seem particularly fond of ad hominem attacks.

  96. 96

    DLH wrote (in #91):

    “Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality.”

    This is an absurd misrepresentation of the concept of variation between individuals in populations. As Richard Lewontin has pointed out, the amount of variation between individuals in populations is immensely greater than the measurable differences between mean values in different populations. this conclusion flows directly from work in comparative population genetics, carried out mostly by evolutionary biologists. Ergo, the quotation cited above is not only wrong, it is such an egregious misrepresentation of the facts as to lead one to question the motives and veracity of the person making it.

  97. 97

    tribune7 asked (in #92):

    “How do your stats handle him?”

    I don’t know; I didn’t collect the data, I am only citing it as evidence as part of the argument I am making. Furthermore, I’m not certain what relevance a single case of anecdotal evidence has to any argument being pursued here.

  98. 98
    tribune7 says:

    In other words, religious belief (and the lack thereof) today is mostly an effect of these factors, rather than a determining cause (and exposure to evolutionary biology as a science is irrelevant).

    And you miss (or amazingly discount) the effect cultural values — which are invariably based on some kind of religious view have on parenting, social peer pressure and how the poor are treated.

    BTW, should economic inequality be addressed via the means of:

    Karl Marx — forced distribution of services and goods?

    Ayn Rand — the explicit recognition that economic inequality is deserved and that there is no moral compulsion to assist the poor?

    Jesus Christ — that God loves the poor and there is a several moral requirement to assist them but force should not be used to compel it?

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    Mr MacNeill:

    You are a scholar.

    Please, re-read the summary of a lot of research.

    Among other things it will tell you a lot about the problems of using self-identification as a metric of proneness to criminal activity,as opposed to more committed behaviours.

    Next, when one counts in the patterns of evolutionary materialism influenced declines in serious religious affiliation, and the associated import of atheists and associated secularised who do not name themselves explicitly in that way [e.g. through non-responsive or calling themselves non-religious], a very different picture will emerge than you are trying to paint.

    Namely, that the highly secularised and secular — which as a mass [as opposed to majority] phenomenon in our civilisation traces directly to the rising influence and associated agendas of evolutionary materialism — dominate in imprisonment and in recidivism.

    Also, may I beg to remind that evo mat rooted secularism and secularisation are deeply implicated in the damage to families and related issues; sometimes in ways that are actually celebrated as “liberation” — but liberty is not license or libertinism.

    [BTW: for most of history, people have usually been far poorer and subjected to far greater deprivation and hardship than in our day, as e.g. life expectancy numbers so chillingly tell us. The sort of cultural breakdown we are seeing is unprecedented, save for previous periods of the death of a high culture [Cf Rom 1, read as a classic eyewitness summary of a decadent culture and where it was headed, Augustine’s City of God also makes for chilling reading on this]. And, that has usually been associated with a loss of faith and a loss of morality, LED by the decadent and corrupt wealthy and powerful. By far and away, most poor people across time have been honest and decent — so let’s stop slandering them. The same, historically, can hardly be said for the rich and powerful. Thus, Lord Acton’s “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely . . .” Today’s social dynamics and family dynamics are horrible, but that is not unconnected to the ideas and agendas that have dominated the intellectual elites for generations now across Western Culture; ESPECIALLY in the universities, the finishing schools for the elites.]

    Note, therefore, the explicit summary of a lot of research:

    . . . only 54% of Federal and State Prisoners actually consider themselves religious, and 33% can be confirmed to be practicing their religion. . . . .

    In the federal prisoner statistics, a full 20% of the respondents either answered “none” or provided no response to the question on religious affiliation. Based on response patterns to similar questions on nationwide surveys, it is likely that all or nearly all of these persons would be in the “nonreligious” category (or the “atheists” category, to use the terminology from the atheist web page itself). Even without adding the “.209%” of the population that specifically identified themselves as atheists, the segment of the prison population which self-identifies as non-religious is approximately twice as large as found in the general population . . . .

    Virtually any article in an academic, peer-reviewed sociology journal that addresses religious behavior and criminal behavior finds that religious behaviors such as church attendance, prayer, home observances, etc., are either negatively correlated to criminal and/or anti-social behavior (drug use, school drop-outs, etc.), or have no correlation. In other words, according to social scientists, religious behavior is associated with lower rates of criminal behavior.

    Third, this is all on a distraction from a very important issue that needs to be fairly and squarely faced.

    Finally, please, do not do damage to any respect you may have built up in this blog by playing cherry-picking games with important balancing information.

    For instance, let us draw attention back to:

    As I show in meticulous detail in my book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, the Nazis’ devaluing of human life derived from Darwinian ideology (this does not mean that all Nazi ideology came from Darwinism). There were six features of Darwinian theory that have contributed to the devaluing of human life (then and now):

    1. Darwin argued that humans were not qualitatively different from animals. The leading Darwinist in Germany, Ernst Haeckel, attacked the “anthropocentric” view that humans are unique and special.

    2. Darwin denied that humans had an immaterial soul. He and other Darwinists believed that all aspects of the human psyche, including reason, morality, aesthetics, and even religion, originated through completely natural processes.

    3. Darwin and other Darwinists recognized that if morality was the product of mindless evolution, then there is no objective, fixed morality and thus no objective human rights. Darwin stated in his Autobiography that one “can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”

    4. Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality. Haeckel emphasized inequality to such as extent that he even classified human races as twelve distinct species and claimed that the lowest humans were closer to primates than to the highest humans.

    5. Darwin and most Darwinists believe that humans are locked in an ineluctable struggle for existence. Darwin claimed in The Descent of Man that because of this struggle, “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”

    6. Darwinism overturned the Judeo-Christian view of death as an enemy, construing it instead as a beneficial engine of progress. Darwin remarked in The Origin of Species, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

    These six ideas were promoted by many prominent Darwinian biologists and Darwinian-inspired social thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All six were enthusiastically embraced by Hitler and many other leading Nazis. Hitler thought that killing “inferior” humans would bring about evolutionary progress . . .

    Now, think about what people who think of themselves and others along these lines are liable to do when they attain sufficient power or get into situations where they can get away with acting out on such beliefs. (As one who has worked in the College and university context myself, I can report that I find there the principle is too often that the only restraint is prudence: can I get away with it? And, often that is in the precise context of evolutionary materialist views and socialisation within the institution, often from student days on. I am not asking on this; I am reporting as an eyewitness.]

    GEM of TKI

  100. 100
    Larry Fafarman says:

    No connection between Darwinism and eugenics? Well, the Station for Experimental Evolution merged with the Eugenics Record Office in 1920 to form the Carnegie Institution’s Dept. of Genetics. LOL The Darwin-to-Hitler connection is at least as strong as the bible-to-ID connection.

    We have known ever since the demise of the dodo that there is such a thing as “survival of the fittest” or natural (or sometimes artificial) selection. The idea that Darwin introduced is that the action of this natural selection upon random mutations produced higher and higher forms of life, and I think that is the idea that inspired eugenics.

    Also, Nazi anti-semitism targeted the fit as well as the unfit and so was not a traditional eugenics program. I think that Nazi eugenics was extended to include the idea that society could be improved by getting rid of people believed to be of low moral character, e.g., Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies.

    Another consideration is that the Jewish holocaust was probably exaggerated. A “systematic” holocaust of Jews was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. It would be like, say, trying to systematically exterminate all of the Presbyterians, or all of the Methodists, or all of the atheists in the USA. It couldn’t be done.

    I am still waiting for the Anti-Defamation League to comment on the Darwin-to-Hitler message of the movie “Expelled.” It is becoming apparent that the ADL’s Abraham Foxman’s attack on the Coral Ridge Ministries’ Darwin-to-Hitler “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy” TV program was motivated more by anti-Christianity than by opposition to the Darwin-to-Hitler idea (Ben Stein is Jewish and one of his supporters in the movie wears a yarmulke, the mark of an orthodox Jew).

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: it is also utterly unsurprising to me — on long observation — to see that people who think and act like that are often associated with the pattern of tyrannical, oppressive and unjust behaviours documented in the upcoming movie, Expelled.

  102. 102
    nullasalus says:

    Allen,

    “Popular with whom? You seem particularly fond of ad hominem attacks.”

    I bring up the comparison of reception and treatment between people who say ‘study of biology demonstrates there is no God’ and ‘study of biology demonstrates there is a designer’ and you ignore it, repeatedly. You respond to the topic of a link between eugenics and darwinism with a poll about the religious beliefs of prison inmates, interpreting it to do vastly more predictive and explanatory work than it can – ad hominem, and disconnected from the topic besides. When you bring up how you allow ID and creationism proponents to lecture your class, I respond that I have no opinion on the content of your class one way or the other. I’ve gone out of my way to leave the ‘ad hominem’ out – you’ve been relying on it.

    You assert “The question for the future, therefore, is not “Does evolutionary biology lead inevitably to crime, debauchery, eugenics, and totalitarianism?”, because the answer clearly is NO, not any more than religious belief does.” That’s an oversimplification to say the very least, Allen – we know for a fact it happened in the past. And nowadays we have Peter Singer justifying his views about eugenics and morality largely on the grounds of evolutionary history, and ‘condemnation’ doesn’t seem to be the reaction some of the more outspoken scientists have to this. If your instinctive reaction to this is to dive for an utterly unrelated ‘Well, this statistic says religious people have committed crimes’ article, it’s clear you’re doing so because you don’t like the point that’s being made.

    It all comes down to the same problem – when does a mere ‘personal opinion’ become ‘a perversion of science’? Because as near as I can tell, the answer is ‘when it’s unpopular with the right people, in the right number’. Once upon a time, people – even scientists – didn’t view the link between evolution and eugenics as an abuse. They saw it as a reasonable application of known science to public policy, and the scientists weren’t clamoring to correct them. You say they were wrong? Wonderful – I agree. But what will you do about the abuses in the here and now? You certainly seem to be motivated to handle this ‘Intelligent Design’ problem. And I imagine – correct me if I’m wrong – you approve of the reaction James Watson experienced for his comments. Meanwhile, Provine and others hold what amounts to a ‘design detection’ view of scientific data that has yielded ‘no design’ across the board, and oh – that’s mere personal opinion. Not abuse. Even, apparently, if books and articles are written for the layman public expressing as much.

    You may think I’m attacking you, but I’m not – I’m trying to make you understand why people like me, even with our skepticism of ID, are far more skeptical of the people running around “defending science”. Because as near as can be seen, there’s a double standard in play – like when appeals to academic freedom and open-mindedness are made, only to have it mentioned that a person can and should be denied tenure for any damn reason desired by the committee, because that’s just the name of the game.

    Can you see why people would regard these positions with some derision, Allen?

  103. 103
    tribune7 says:

    Furthermore, I’m not certain what relevance a single case of anecdotal evidence has to any argument being pursued here.

    Because the case you make via the stats you cite is that religious persons are more inclined to crime than avowed atheists, and if the reality is that atheists claim membership to religious groups — and it is pretty hard to argue against that reality — then the argument falls apart.

    So you then must look at what is the criteria for being religious. Checking a box on a form? Regular attendance at a service? Tithing? Fidelity to a set of standards?

    Using the first three are rather useless since they can easily be gamed. Citing the last is where light might be shone on the issue but you have to ask what standards. If the standards are to lie, steal and cheat to get ahead, then practitioner of that religion would be expected to be disproportionally represented in prisons.

    If the standard is to love one’s neighbor as one’s self and one is faithful to that standard, then the only way one will be in prison is as a martyr.

  104. 104
    tribune7 says:

    KF, I’m glad you are sticking around 🙂

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Larry:

    Remember, in Europe Jews had — sadly, and in the teeth of serious NT counsels, e.g. in Ac 17 [i.e. the culture was in a state of rejection of specific moral duty as identified in its primary reference on morality; but then, to be human is to struggle to be morally sighted and serious] — long been seen as an identifiable, despised religious and racial minority.

    That is why they were scapegoated.

    In Germany, too, many had been given distinctive names when they were forced by the state to stop using patronymics.

    Major state efforts were made to separate the races, including having to show one’s racial “purity” to get married, hold key jobs, etc, etc.

    So, they identified those they intended to target, and set out to murder them. Whether they succeeded with 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 millions [the upper end being more likely] is immaterial.

    BTW, similar things obtained for the Gypsies, who in large swathes of E Europe were a significant, identifiable and oppressed population.

    And more.

    GEM of TKI

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Trib:

    This is a swan song — I am here because I am babysitting a misbehaving USB disk drive.

    GEM of TKI

  107. 107
    tribune7 says:

    KF–you are singing very sweetly.

    We will miss you.

  108. 108

    Larry Fafarman (re #102):

    Please read my post #96. If you were intending your post as a response to mine, you clearly have a serious reading comprehension problem.

  109. 109
    joshuabgood says:

    I will say this for Allen, he uses his real name and this gives his viewpoints added honesty and legitimacy imo. There are few on this site that do so, and I commend those that do, Dr. Dembski, Allen, etc. Also if one uses their own name they likely will feel, from time to time the urge to retract rash statements. Allen has on this site retracted some of his thoughts both on this site as well as others. As a minor participant on this forum, though a major participant on others, I urge more of us to give our real names. Sure there is some risk involved but it keeps the discussions cleaner in my experience and more worthwhile.

    All for now
    joshuabgood (real name =)

  110. 110

    nullasalus wrote (in #106):

    “I bring up the comparison of reception and treatment between people who say ’study of biology demonstrates there is no God’ and ’study of biology demonstrates there is a designer’ and you ignore it, repeatedly.”

    I’m sorry if it seems that way to you. I’ll address this question now:

    In my courses at Cornell (as I have posted repeatedly), people are not silenced on the basis of their views. On the contrary, they are encouraged to present their views to the rest of us, and to defend them to the utmost of their ability. It is the responsibility of the rest of us to do everything in our power to tear those ideas apart; to subject them to the most rigorous skepticism possible. Only by doing so can we come to some understanding of the way things are, rather than how we would like them to be.

    And so I not only do not attack creationists and ID supporters as persons, I give them as much respect as anyone else, so long as they reciprocate the same (and indeed, even if they do not, which sometimes happens). I am not interested in repressing anyone’s viewpoint, I am interested in discovering what a dispassionate examination of nature can tell us about its workings.

    This is why I (and my friend Will Provine) invite and encourage creationists and ID supporters to make presentations in our evolution classes and to subject themselves to the kind of intense critical scrutiny that we encourage our students to bring to bear on their ideas (and our own). Furthermore, I post regularly on this and other blogs, defending my ideas with evidence (not opinion) and attacking those I find unsupported by the evidence or in support of political or personal opinions.

  111. 111
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 100

    DLH at 91 “Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality.”

    This is an absurd misrepresentation of the concept of variation between individuals in populations.

    A strawman argument, misrepresenting the author. Before you start rewriting history, please read the rest of Weikart’s conclusion #4 above:

    Haeckel emphasized inequality to such as extent that he even classified human races as twelve distinct species and claimed that the lowest humans were closer to primates than to the highest humans.

    This is supported by numerous authors: e.g. See:

    Haeckel divided humans into 12 species and 36 subspecies (using criteria such as hair type, skin color and speech) and arranged them in a hierarchy depending on their proximity to the ape. These species were the equivalent of zoological species, and white Europeans – the “Mediterranean species” – were the most highly evolved of all. Haeckel contended that the differences between civilized races and the lowest “savages” were such that the latter should be classified with the animals. He also believed that the differences could not be overcome by attempting to civilize savages, as this would only accelerate their extinction, to which they were doomed in the struggle for existence with superior races.

    Mike Hawkins, Social Darwinism and Race, in Ch 17 of A Companion to Nineteenth-century Europe, 1789-1914, by Stefan Berger 2006 p 228 ISBN:1405113200; citing Haeckel 1876 Vol. 2 pp 307-9, 325, 363-5.

    Better to forthrightly face up to Haeckel and recognize his impact on Social Darwinism, eugenics, Hitler, the Holocaust etc.

  112. 112
    nullasalus says:

    Allen,

    “I’m sorry if it seems that way to you. I’ll address this question now:

    In my courses at Cornell”

    I’ve said before, I’m not talking about your classes at Cornell – I’m not there, I have no idea how they’re run either way, and I have no view on them. Others have commented on what Provine thinks his teaching accomplishes, and even that I don’t care to verify or claim.

  113. 113

    Tribune7 wrote (in #107):

    “…the case you make via the stats you cite is that religious persons are more inclined to crime than avowed atheists…”

    Apparently I have not been clear enough: the case I have been trying to make (and the reason for citing the statistics about crime and religious belief) is that being an atheist (and therefore in most cases accepting evolutionary biology as a reasonable description of how nature came to be the way it is) is not correlated with antisocial behavior. The opposite premise – that being an atheist and accepting evolutionary biology is correlated with antisocial behavior – was, I thought, the underlying premise of this thread, was it not?

  114. 114
    nullasalus says:

    That got posted early by accident, so I’ll continue.

    My problem comes down to the uneven treatment across the scale. Behe, Dembski, and others – the ‘ID movement’ as a whole, a large collection of viewpoints – get attacked and derided for their views, on the grounds that it is an abuse of science. Meanwhile, Victor Stenger not only claims that ‘science proves there is no god’, but slaps the claim right on the cover of his book. Where’s the condemnation? Where is the outcry at the abuse of science? When Dawkins talks about God as a scientific hypothesis, where are the cries of ‘misusing science’? Why is one mere opinion to be ignored, the other a perversion that must be crushed?

    You complain that people are unjustifiably linking evolution and atheism – yet on these blogs and on bookshelves, we routinely see quotes from ‘defenders of science’ who do exactly that. Hell, I always find it interesting that you routinely talk about how neo-darwinism and the modern evolutionary synthesis is radically out of date, while elsewhere people assert that to question the rapt validity of either is tantamount to being a scientific troglodyte.

    Again – insofar as any group or individual attempts to ‘keep science and philosophy distinct’ even among professionals, all evidence points not only to a failure, but one that is so due to purposeful bias, or selective concern.

  115. 115
    jjcassidy says:

    One of the things that gets lost in all this is that Darwinism didn’t make homocidal maniacs out of scientists. As distasteful as some of Charles Darwin’s resulting morality is to me, he nonetheless was a reluctant witness to some of what he saw.

    Science being what scientists say it is, and the ultimate understanding of life as evolved being the sophisticated preserve of experts alone, is perhaps a fine point.

    But there are other things in view here. For example, if scientists and their refined knowledge of evolution didn’t create the NAZI state, who did? We can answer that the general unwashed public, not understanding the finer points of biology did. Upon this, the “skeptic” is satisfied.

    But that just misses the point of this culturally. We are now advocating it not for all future biologists, but for all informed citizens. And while saying it is the narrow province of biology to determine what exactly it is, we offer that it can be somehow leverageable knowledge, that somehow if I just believe it, I don’t have to go running to the nearest biologist to make informed decisions–or do I?

    If Darwinists complain that people frequently don’t understand it, how can we argue that society as a whole benefits from a illusory “common understanding”?

    It’s crap. It’s all special pleading and elitist crap. Who is willing to accept that History is “what historians say it is”? However, even given that all we have to do is have enough scientists siding with eugenics, and that principle gives us “Eugenics as Science” again.

    If you’re providing it as a general elixir, it helps to examine it’s general effects in the past. Narrowly focusing on Darwin’s preferences more than misses the point–it boots the ball.

  116. 116

    DLH wrote (in #115):

    “Better to forthrightly face up to Haeckel and recognize his impact on Social Darwinism, eugenics, Hitler, the Holocaust etc.”

    I completely agree, and have done so, repeatedly. What relevance does this have to evolutionary biology today?

  117. 117
    DLH says:

    Allen_MacNeill at 120
    The challenge is taking evolutionary biology, that has:
    * 1) materialistic assumptions,
    * 2) practioners stating that this AND ONLY THIS is “Science”
    * Consequently only evolutionary biology is “true”
    * All others are “not science” and thus “false”.
    * Imposing exclusively that view on schools and academia.
    * Firing etc anyone who disagrees.

    Exposing this is the object of Expelled.

    Allowing neo-Darwinian evolutionary biology as “A” theory is one thing – and even then, applying its “laws” to social situations results in totalitarian consequences that are diametrically opposed to the foundational rule of law in the USA.

    Requiring and imposing those assumptions and theories brings with it an elitist oligarchical totalitarianism.

    It is those methods that were evident in Hitler and Nazism that we see evident today.

    Such are the objections – to put it politely.

    For the impolite version , look at 125,000,000 people killed by totalitarian dictators strongly influenced by Darwinism and atheism, including Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot.

    Such implications and consequences can only be countered by a vigorous corresponding education in the rule of law and of unalienable rights. e.g., begin each evolutionary biology textbook by:
    We affirm that
    “all men were created equal and were endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights . . .”

  118. 118
    specs says:

    begin each evolutionary biology textbook by: We affirm that “all men were created equal and were endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights . . .”

    FYI. Political science is not considered a life science. Just thought you should know that.

  119. 119
    tribune7 says:

    is that being an atheist (and therefore in most cases accepting evolutionary biology as a reasonable description of how nature came to be the way it is) is not correlated with antisocial behavior.

    Allen, very few people self-describe themselves as atheists. Those that do are responsible for vastly disproportionate amount of antisocial behavior.

    I think it is probable that a handful of atheists were responsible for most of the murders in the last century — and that’s not counting the pagan Hitler.

  120. 120
    Paul Giem says:

    Alllen_MacNeill,

    You have some work to do. In (10) you gave some statistics, which indicated that a tiny fraction of federal prison inmates identified themselves as atheists. You gave as your source the “Federal Bureau of Prisons.”

    Then Janice said, (46)

    Allen MacNeil’s figures on the religious affiliations of US prison inmates did not include the figure for non-responders. It was just under 20% of the sample.

    JjCassidy (47) then seconded her observation and gave a link which supported her claim, specifically debunking atheist propaganda on this issue.

    You then came back at (55) with:
    ______

    Janice wrote (in #42):

    “It was just under 20% of the sample.”

    Janice is apparently both mathematically and logically impaired. If you add up the percentages listed in my post (#8, above), they total 98.8%. This means that the “non-respondent” frequency was 0.02%, not “just under 20%”. Off by four orders of magnitude…
    ______

    Did you read jjcassidy’s link? The link acknowledges that the percentages add up to approximately 100%, but notes that this 100% was of the respondents who named a religion, not of the total respondents, and that there were approximately 20% whose data didn’t get counted in that “100%”, who were labeled as “Unknown/No Answer”.

    You have billed yourself as fair and a practitioner of critical thinking. You have four options:

    1. You can come up with a link or a reference to the original data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons showing that indeed there were essentially no “unknown/no answer” inmates. rather than the number cited by Janice and jjcassidy;

    2. You can acknowledge Janice’s point, and apologize for spreading misinformation, and explain why you said that the data you cited came from the Federal Bureau of Prisons when you actually got it from a website which had filtered the data (or however you got it) (apologizing is not easy, but sometimes necessary 😉 );

    3. You can ignore the criticism, continue posting, and allow everyone to realize that you play fast and loose with statistics and are willing to distort them to imply that opponents are dishonest on issues where they are not, and thus lose trust; or

    4. You can simply disappear from this thread, like you did from this thread (see comment 79 ff) and this thread (see comment 64 ff) and hope everyone forgets, and you can come back later and continue to post with some people trusting you to play it straight as you see it.

    The choice is yours.

    BTW, note that I am using my own name.

  121. 121
    mynym says:

    Allen_MacNeill: This “fact” explains why evolutionary biologists are over-represented in prisons, whereas Christians and Muslims are under-represented, right?

    Actually sociologists have observed that many prisoners claim to be Christian because they think it helps how people view them. It should also be noted that there are prison ministries which lead prisoners to actual conversion. Indeed, psychologists have observed that religious conversion is one of the few variables which correlates to lower recidivism rates.

    Atheists, by contrast, comprise about 8 to 10% of the American population, but only 0.2% of the prison population. Again, I strongly suspect that this pattern is also mirrored by the percentages of evolutionary biologists that wind up incarcerated.

    Your argument is rather ignorant, as many sociologists would point out. You have failed to control for variables, apparently fail to analyze raw data and instead simply argue: “Here are the numbers, see, see!” One might as well argue that the Nazis weren’t criminals based on a survey of German prisons when they were in power.

    So every assertion made by the majority of the posters in this thread are not only wrong, they are as wrong as they could possibly be.

    That’s incorrect. You may as well argue that Nietzsche had nothing to do with Nazism because he wasn’t a criminal or some such. I haven’t read this thread yet but I hope that someone pointed out the utter absurdity of your argument on this topic.

    I’ve debated many people about such things, many who wish to deny things, including holocaust deniers. It is about accurate history, perhaps for you it’s about politics and so on and that’s why you project that onto others.

  122. 122
    mynym says:

    Allen MacNeil’s figures on the religious affiliations of US prison inmates did not include the figure for non-responders. It was just under 20% of the sample.

    It doesn’t matter.

    A survey which might matter would ask: “What part did the teachings of Christ play in your criminal acts? Did you commit your crimes based on Christianity or because you are a Christian?”

    Or perhaps: “Would the notions of survival of the fittest and the absence of God prevent your criminal acts?” (After all, most evolutionary biologists aren’t in prison so Darwinism must prevent crime and so on.)

  123. 123
    Charles says:

    Allen_MacNeil:

    (Echoing Paul Giem)

    4. You can simply disappear from this thread, like you did from this thread (see comment 79 ff) and this thread (see comment 64 ff) and hope everyone forgets, and you can come back later and continue to post with some people trusting you to play it straight as you see it.

    And this thread wherein your debunked atheist talking points were deleted, your allowing us to think you were a professor was corrected (but not by you) and you were put into moderation, which did not prevent you from acknowledging the refutations offered, did it.

  124. 124
    mynym says:

    Here’s another inconvenient “fact”: “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.”
    Source: Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League

    He also said: “It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to “reclaim America for Christ”….”

    I mention that because it reveals the prejudice that apparently motivates him to make ignorant statements.

    He says, “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people.

    But Hitler himself disagreed:

    Old-fashioned antisemitism, Hitler argued, was insufficient, and would lead only to progroms, which contribute little to a permanent solution. This is why, Hitler maintained, it was important to promote “an antisemitism of reason,” one that acknowledged the racial basis of Jewry. (Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany by Alan Steinweis :8)

    That is to say, some shameful aspects of Martin Luther’s history would not be enough. Yet science was not merely a means to an end, in the minds of many eugenicists and Nazis it was the definition and foundation of what they believed to be true. That’s why they said:

    The Christian churches build on the ignorance of people and are anxious so far as possible to preserve this ignorance in as large a part of the populance as possible; only in this way can the Christian churches retain their power. In contrast, national socialism rests on scientific foundations.
    (The German Churches Under
    Hitler: Backround, Struggle, and Epilogue
    by Ernst Helmreich
    (Detriot: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1979) :303)

    Foxman: Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points….

    Apparently he is too ignorant to realize that biologists are once again involved in a Kulture Kampf in which an inherently mendacious form of scholarship is being fought for. A scholarship which a history summarized this way:

    The scholars whom we shall quote in such impressive numbers, like those others who were instrumental in any other part of the German pre-war and war efforts, were to a large extent people of long and high standing, university professors and academy members, some of them world famous, authors with familiar names and guest lecturers abroad…
    If the products of their research work, even apart from their rude tone, strike us as unconvincing and hollow, this weakness is due not to inferior training but to the mendacity inherent in any scholarship that overlooks or openly repudiates all moral and spiritual values and, by standing order, knows exactly its ultimate conclusions well in advance.
    (Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Germany’s Crimes Against the Jewish People by Max Weinreich
    (New York:The Yiddish Scientific Institute, 1946) :7)(Emphasis added)

    I’ve noted this summary of Nazi scholarship many times because biologists still agree with it.

    Foxman: It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to … turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law.”

    Apparently it must be remembered that despite those who are ignorant of history Nazi leaders sought to destroy Christianity based on scientism. Indeed, many thought that “biblical law” promoted the degeneration of society because it stands in direct contradiction to Darwinian mythology in which progress as we know it is explained based on the fit reproducing and the “unfit” dying.

    The stark contradictions between Christian reasoning and Darwinian reasoning is part of the reason why an article of Nazi policy was to demand the “immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany.” cf. (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William Shirer :237)

  125. 125
    DLH says:

    specs at 122

    FYI. Political science is not considered a life science. Just thought you should know that.

    By the same token, FYI. Life science is not considered political science. The evolutionary metaphysical assumptions of materialism or naturalism should be explicitly declared and not imposed on the body politic as “scientific”. Just thought you should know!
    The proposed citation was as a reminder to clearly distinguish and separate these issues.

  126. 126
    mynym says:

    One more inconvenient “fact”:
    “In actual fact, knowledge meant nothing to Hitler; he was not acquainted with the pleasure or the struggle that goes with its acquisition; to him it was merely useful…

    Knowledge seems to mean nothing to many biologists because they are trained to imagine away the only known way of knowing anything: sentience and the intelligent agency associated with it.

    Is it not the attitude of all Darwinists that knowledge must be defined by its usefulness and fitness as defined by natural selection? I’d agree that Hitler had a rather limited intellect in many ways, yet in my experience biologists are just as stupid. Dawkins is a good example of it. For example, recently he wondered why the topic of breeding better musicians could not be brought up again given how much time has past since Hitler. In his own way he was admitting what biologists are generally stupid enough to try to lie about in my experience, the link between Darwinian reasoning and Nazism. As he said: “…if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability?”

    Because biologists seem to tend to believe irrational things it seems to me that it’s important to deal with such reasoning. Just pointing out that it’s eugenics revisited and relying on a sense of historically based stigma when so many are ignorant of history isn’t enough.
    So why not? It’s hubris. There is no reason to assume that humans cannot think through their biology. Dawkins does not know that they cannot, he apparently does not even believe that he cannot. And if it is possible that humans have the ability to imprint mind on matter then mathematical and musical ability may have little to do with the physical substrate which they inform. But back to the stigma, it’s important to point out why it’s there. As someone opposed to Dawkin’s “biological thinking” in the past noted:

    We are not talking here about a machine, a horse, nor a cow… No, we are talking about men and women, our compatriots, our brothers and sisters. Poor unproductive people if you wish, but does this mean that they have lost their right to live?”
    And after a couple of poignant examples of specific people killed, the bishop concluded, as he had begun, with Biblical imagery, this time not of Jesus weeping but of “divine justice”—ultimate punishment—for those “making a blasphemy of our faith” by persecuting clergy and “sending innocent people to their death.” He asked that such people (who could only be the Nazi authorities) be ostracized and left to their divine retribution…
    Galen’s sermon probably had a greater impact than any other one statement in consolidating anti-”euthanasia” sentiment; hence, Bormann’s judgment that the bishop deserved the death penalty.(The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Lifton :93-94)(Emphasis added)

    A short story for anti-ID biologists:
    There once was a pack of beasts who tread the same paths they always tread, eating, sleeping and so on. But one day a beast who was more than a beast spoke and said to them, “Why do you tread these paths?” At this the other beasts all turned and tore that beast apart. But language had already been spoken and all the beasts realized they could speak. Even those who argued against it saying, “But we are just beasts would it not be nice to tread the same paths we always tread?” found themselves speaking to do so. So the beasts tried to avoid speaking while sniffing each other to maintain the Herd.

  127. 127
    mynym says:

    As distasteful as some of Charles Darwin’s resulting morality is to me, he nonetheless was a reluctant witness to some of what he saw.

    But that’s part of the point, the socialists and national socialists who believed the mythology of Progress promoted by Darwin often took the same attitude. What’s worse, to openly admit to the sins typical to man or to say that every evil thing you say is just an inevitable “fact” of science?

    Again, it should be pointed out that biologists have a history hiding their judgments in science. E.g.

    S. became a missionary for this biomedical vision…
    As for anti-Semitic attitudes and actions, he insisted that “the racial question… [and] resentment of the Jewish race… had nothing to do with medieval snti-Semitism…” That is, it was all a matter of scientific biology and of community.(The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Lifton :130)

    Allen_MacNeill said: Saying that Darwinian evolutionary theory was “necessary” for Naziism and the Holocaust is like saying that science was “necessary” for Naziism and the Holocaust…

    Do you think that Darwinian evolutionary theory is like science?

  128. 128
    ericB says:

    Allen_MacNeill (40): “I believe you are referring to this often quote-mined fragment:

    “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.” [emphasis added]

    I have emphasized the word “will” in the quote above. It is clear from reading Darwin’s published works that he:

    1) was an abolitionist who deeply abhorred slavery, and

    2) did not ever advocate the extermination of anyone, and certainly not “the savage races”. ”

    I’ve never claimed that Darwin, the person, preferred that the savage races be exterminated. Indeed, I don’t doubt that Darwin wrestled with the conflicts between the implications of his theory and the perspectives he would like to retain (e.g. that humans not only have “sympathy which feels for the most debased” and “benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature” but that these are or at least are considered “noble qualities”).

    Nevertheless, you haven’t affected my point at all. I agree Darwin isn’t advocating. Nor is he merely offering an opinion about world events out of the blue, as though it were somehow disconnected with his biological perspective.

    His prediction about the expected extermination of lesser races is obviously and inescapably the natural conclusion from applying his theory of biological development to humans and their variations. Surely you are not seriously suggesting the two are disconnected, are you?

    Your points work against you. If Darwin wanted the lesser races exterminated, then one might say he was stepping beyond the implications of his theory for preference’s sake. Since he didn’t prefer that personally, one must conclude that his description was nevertheless compelled by the implications of his own theory, despite all personal preference.

    What Darwin predicted, the Nazis set out to fulfill, having placed their national socialism on a “scientific” foundation.

    I don’t think anyone, especially including Wiker, has maintained that Darwinism inevitably leads to Nazi holocaust. On the other hand, it does not seem that you have shown any internal or inherent contradiction between what Darwin taught and its implementation by the Nazis.

    From the Nazi perspective, why shouldn’t they have concluded, based on Darwin’s own theory and conclusions, that their final solution was incompatible or inappropriate?

  129. 129
    ericB says:

    Allen_MacNeill (117): “The opposite premise – that being an atheist and accepting evolutionary biology is correlated with antisocial behavior – was, I thought, the underlying premise of this thread, was it not?”

    No, that would not be a fair characterization.

    Wiker’s objective (echoed by this thread) is to set forth clearly the historical connection of how Darwin’s theory and the consequent effect on the perspective toward human life and morality (NOTE the six points listed at the start of the thread) supported the eugenics movement and the Nazi efforts to purify the race.

    You have affirmed (e.g. in 121) what DLH wrote (in #115): “Better to forthrightly face up to Haeckel and recognize his impact on Social Darwinism, eugenics, Hitler, the Holocaust etc.”

    No doubt you are aware that not everyone acknowledges these facts and some Darwinists try to deny them.

    Well then, this thread is reaffirming the truth about those historical facts. It is to be hoped that that perspective shouldn’t have continuing application today — at least, those who still hold that morality is not merely a human construct tend to hope so.

    Making sure everyone is informed about these facts is part of the safeguard against their spread and reapplication in new, mutated forms. That is why we make holocaust museums and why we remind ourselves how they came to the conclusions they did.

  130. 130
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Allen_MacNeill said (#112)

    Larry Fafarman (re #102):

    Please read my post #96. If you were intending your post as a response to mine, you clearly have a serious reading comprehension problem.

    My comment was #104, not #102. No, it was not an answer to #96. All #96 says is,

    jerry asked (in #82):

    “…are you against patriotism?”

    No, scoundrels who take refuge in it.

  131. 131
    scordova says:

    Allen MacNeill on his website gave a very good argument that Hitler was a creationist.

    I must give credit where credit is due, and I recommend ID proponents read what he wrote at evolutionlist.blogspot.com filed under “Godwin’s Darwin”.

    The arguments he presented could be used against creationists, so it would be good for ID proponents and creationists to be familiar with the very good arguments Allen put forward.

    I was lucky enough to ask Richard Weikert personally about some of the arguments used to say Hitler was a creationist, most are wrong and I credit Allen for not using those. Allen found some rather novel passages in Hitler’s writings.

    My counter arguement, is that technically, by today’s standards, Darwin could be called a creationist as well. So there are some nuances to all of this.

    Hitler would be better classified as a Darwinist in terms of social Darwinism, imho, but perhaps not in terms of evolution.

    Dawkins in contrast is against social Darwinism but advocates it at the biological level. Dawkins is at least smart enough to realize that survival of the fittest would imply murderers and rapists are evolutionarily more fit — an alarming conclusion that was made by Thronhill & Palmer (tendency to rape is selectively favored), and David Buss (tendency to murder is selectively favored).

    It seems Darwin was a

    1. creationist in terms of arguing for an ultimate Creator who made the first life.

    2. Darwin was a biolgoical Darwinist in terms of evolution of species

    3. Darwin was a social Darwinist

    If Allen’s essay is accurate, Hitler was basically only 1 and 3, and not #2. So I still would classify Hitler as a Darwinist in the social sence, but not a Darwinist as one might regard evolutionary biologist like our good friend Allen MacNeill.

    I regret a good man like Allen has been tarred by the behavior of others who claim the case for selection like Hitler.

    Although if we come to terms with selection as what preserves what is good, and Darwin used the word “good”, then murderers, rapists, and plunderers like Ghengis Kahn (who fathered 30,000??? kids in the process), was the world’s most exceptionally “good” man.

    In fact, evolutionary biologists called him The Greatest Lover.

  132. 132
    Charlie says:

    One thing I credit MacNeill for is his use and defence of Table Talk as historical. The claims about its fraudulence are usually swallowed hook-line-and-sinker.
    Table Talk also tells us that Hitler disbelieved all Biblical miracles, discounted the entire Old Testament, denied the divinity of Christ, bought into the old argument that Jesus was the son of a Roman Soldier, thought Paul was a lying Judaizer, wanted to destroy Christianity, thought it a sick lie, etc. Not sure what kind of Creationist he was, but definitely not a Biblical one.
    I certainly don’t choose Hitler’s public speeches and Mein Kampf over his private conversations about Christianity.

  133. 133
    tribune7 says:

    Allen MacNeill on his website gave a very good argument that Hitler was a creationist.

    You could make a much better argument that Jefferson was a creationist, hee hee.

    I think it would be important to point out, though, that Hitler would be a TE rather than a seven 24-hour days, Bible believing type.

    If we do not respect the law of nature, imposing our will by the might of the stronger, a day would come when the wild animals would again devour us, and the insects would eat the wild animals, and finally nothing would exist except the microbes… The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.
    –Adolph Hitler (Table Talk)

    I have no problem describing Osama Bin Laden as a creationist, either.

    Of course, Mao, Lenin, Stalin and Pol Pot were clearly atheists, and Stalin specifically credited Darwin for his enlightenment.

  134. 134
    DaveScot says:

    Sal

    MacNeill’s arguments are a load of crap from top to bottom. He lied here for over a year letting people call him doctor and professor without correction. He’s all hat and no cattle.

    Here’s a tip from your old pal Dave, one of those things my momma taught me:

    If you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.

  135. 135
  136. 136
    Charlie says:

    Here’s Hitler’s idea of what god he believed in:

    “Man has discovered in nature the wonderful notion of that all-mighty being whose law he worships. Fundamentally in everyone there is the feeling for this all-mighty, which we call god (that is to say, the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe).” — Adolf Hitler
    Source: Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941-1945 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953), p. 5.

    This is the same kind of non-deity, monism supported by Haeckel – no surprise.

  137. 137
    Charlie says:

    Hitler’s suport of creationism:

    In the New Age envisioned by National Socialism, biblical Christianity was politically subversive, even a “rebellion … against nature”(page 91 . It’s perceived absurdity had been impressed on Hitler during his Austrian schooldays, when, as he mockingly recalled, students attended a catechism class at ten A.M. to hear the biblical story of Creation, only then to listen, at eleven A.M., to Darwin’s version of it in a natural science class – the latter winning hands down. (page 92)
    During the war years Hitler recommended a slow “natural death” for Christianity by exposing its dogmas to the light of science.(page 93)

    Harvard historian, Steven Ozment’s A Mighty Fortress: A New History Of The German People.

  138. 138
    Charlie says:

    Amongst the religions practiced today, there is none that goes back further than 2500 years. But there have been human beings, in the baboon category, for at least three hundred thousand years.

    Table Talk

    All that is left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.

    (Table Talk, 14th October, 1941)

    From Bormann’s Circular on God and Christianity:

    When we National Socialists speak of a belief in God, we do not understand by God, like naive Christians and their spiritual opportunists, a human-type being, who sits around somewhere in space…The force of natural law, with which all these innumerable planets move in the universe, we call Almighty or God. The claim that this world force is concerned about the fate of every single being, of every smallest earth bacillus, or can be influenced by so-called prayers or other astonishing things, is based on a proper dose of naivety or alternatively on a commercial shamelessness.

    That’s in accordance with the laws of nature. By means of the struggle, the elites are continually renewed. The law of natural selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of human failure.

    (Table Talk, 10th October, 1941)

    http://www.worldfuturefund.org.....cology.htm
    Quoting Ernst Haeckel almost word for word:

    “[It is] useful to know the laws of nature – for that enables us to obey them. To act otherwise would be to rise in revolt against heaven.” — Adolf Hitler
    Source: Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Secret Conversations, 1941-1945 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953), p. 116.

    [Sounding very Descent Of Manlike]:For as soon as the procreative faculty is thwarted and the number of births diminished, the natural struggle for existence which allows only healthy and strong individuals to survive is replaced by a sheer craze to ‘save’ feeble and even diseased creatures at any cost. And thus the seeds are sown for a human progeny which will become more and more miserable from one generation to another, as long as Nature’s will is scorned.” — Adolf Hitler
    Source: Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 4.

    “Difference which exists between the lowest, so-called men, and the other higher races is greater than between the lowest men and the highest apes.” — Adolf Hitler
    Source: Hitler quoted in Heinz Bruecher, Ernst Haeckels Bluts- und Geisteserbe (München: Lehmann, 1936), p.

    “[Hitler] stressed and singled out the idea of biological evolution as the most forceful weapon against traditional religion and he repeatedly condemned Christianity for its opposition to the teaching of evolution . For Hitler, evolution was the hallmark of modern science and culture, and he defended its veracity as tenaciously as Haeckel.”—*Daniel Gasman, Scientific Origins of Modern Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League (1971), p. 188.

    “Adolf Hitler’s mind was captivated by evolutionary thinking—probably since the time he was a boy. Evolutionary ideas, quite undisguised, lie at the basis of all that is worst in Mein Kampf and in his public speeches. A few quotations, taken at random, will show how Hitler reasoned . . [*Hitler said:] ‘He who would live must fight; he who does not wish to fight, in this world where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.’ “—*Robert E.D. Clark, Darwin: Before and After (1948), p. 115.

  139. 139
    Charles says:

    DaveScot, Scordova:

    MacNeill’s arguments are a load of crap from top to bottom.

    Further evidence of same:
    Allen MacNeill on his website gave a very good argument that Hitler was a creationist.

    at Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion – Nuremberg and therein:

    http://www.lawandreligion.com/.....urches.pdf
    “(2) The Nazi conspirators, by promoting beliefs and practices
    incompatible with Christian teaching, sought to subvert the influence of the Churches over the people and in particular over the youth of Germany. They avowed their aim to eliminate the Christian Churches in Germany and sought to substitute therefore Nazi institutions and Nazi beliefs and pursued a programme of persecution of priests, clergy and members of monastic orders whom they deemed opposed to their purposes and confiscated Church property.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism_and_Religion
    “Other members of the Hitler government, including Rosenberg, during the war formulated a thirty-point program for the “National Reich Church” which included:
    * The National Reich Church claims exclusive right and control over all Churches.
    * The National Church is determined to exterminate foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800.
    * The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible.
    * The National Church will clear away from its alters all Crucifixes, Bibles and pictures of Saints.
    * On the altars there must be nothing but Mein Kampf and to the left of the altar a sword.”

    So much for Allen MacNeill’s research. One wonders if his evolution research is any more grounded in fact.

  140. 140
    Charlie says:

    MacNeill’s “like a creationist” speech is specious and selective.
    He says Hitler claimed we were made in the image of God and created from the beginning.
    In Table Talk #51 Hitler said:

    But there have been human beings, in the baboon category, for at least three hundred thousand years.

    MacNeill says Hitler took Jesus as his Lord and savior, but Hitler did not accept any teachings of the Bible on Jesus as they are all Jewish fabrications, and did not believe in Jesus as the Son of God but the son of a soldier and a whore. His Jesus was an Aryan warrior, not the Jesus of history or Christianity.

    Hitler was unlike a creationist.

  141. 141
    allanius says:

    This is priceless. A college lecturer cites Hitler’s propaganda as evidence of what Hitler really thinks. So much for critical thinking! How much are they charging the sheep up there in Ithaca?

    Now, there are only two possibilities. Either his argument is disingenuous and a demonstration of the will to power–i.e., he thinks that the noble end of saving Darwinism justifies dishonest means and dissimulation. Or he’s in over his head and has no understanding of rhetoric or politics.

    Hitler was an enthusiastic Darwinist, a virtual worshipper of the “blonde beast,” and an enemy of God and religion. To think otherwise is to demonstrate the same willingness to be duped as the German masses.

    So again we will pose the good Dean’s question to our favorite local Darwinist: which are you, Sir–a knave among fools or a fool among knaves?

  142. 142
    congregate says:

    EricB at 132-

    His prediction about the expected extermination of lesser races is obviously and inescapably the natural conclusion from applying his theory of biological development to humans and their variations. Surely you are not seriously suggesting the two are disconnected, are you?

    In 1491 there were millions of “savages” in the New World. By 1859 that population had dropped drastically. It had nothing to do with the fact that Darwin noticed and described the nature of natural selection. His theory was not “applied” by the Europeans who came over and unintentionally spread diseases which the “savages” had no immunity to, it was exemplified by them.

    Do the commenters who think Hitlerism was a result of “Darwinism” think we should suppress the facts, in order to prevent it happening again? So much for academic freedom!

  143. 143

    Sal (#135):

    Thank you, Sal: your have always been, in all of your interactions with me, a gentleman and a scholar.

  144. 144

    To the rest of those still following this thread (all five of you):

    Through long experience, I generally do not post on threads that have exceeded 100 posts. Not only do I have an abhorrence of Godwin’s Law (although this thread started out by adhering to it), I have found that by 100 posts the only people following the thread are those who have an inordinate desire to see their own writing online. Also, I don’t have time to follow all of the threads to which I have posted (especially now, with final exams and my summer courses looming).

    Ergo, this is my last post on this thread. I’m sure we will encounter each other again. Auf wiedersehen!

  145. 145
    StephenB says:

    —–Sal: “Allen MacNeill on his website gave a very good argument that Hitler was a creationist.”

    Sal, please! Don’t fall for this. Everyone knows that Hitler was a demagogue, who would and did say anything to attain power. His pro-Christian comments were calculated only to play to a Christian audience. Everyone knows that he hated Christianity and renounced it as a child.. Further, all of his henchmen were Darwinists. What do you think all the “experiments” were about? No serious thinker believes that Hitler was of one mind while his enforcers were of another mind. You have to look at the big picture. This is a slam dunk case if you know all of the facts.

  146. 146
    DLH says:

    On the importance of human rights see:


    Pope Benedict’s address to the UN
    April 18. 2008

  147. 147
    Charlie says:

    Hi/bye Allen MacNeill,
    I would hope that you would find that even those of us who disagree with you are gentlemen as well.
    Your latest ad hominem is no reply, of course.
    To sum up my participation here:
    Allen MacNeill read Darwin selectively. Darwin’s scientific published writing indicates not only that the Caucasian race is evolved to a higher state than those of barbarians and savages, but that the Caucasians would, in the not distant future, exterminate the other races. In so doing, the human race would have achieved a higher evolutionary level. Additionally, allowing the unfit to marry and propagate is highly injurious to the development of the human race and its evolution.

    Allen MacNeill, while commendably attempting to become the gentleman scholar, continues to be too quick to label others liars. In the case of Provine, Demski’s statements were a warranted and fair interpretation. Provine likens learning about evolution to becoming an atheist and polls his students’ personal beliefs and the changes in them. Allen MacNeill, too, thinks that learning about science has religious implications. Like many preachers, Allen MacNeill fails to meet his own standards.

    MacNeill read Hitler just as selectively in making his case about Hitler’s supposed Creationism. Hitler was an opportunist and presented contrary public and private faces. Privately he was a de facto atheist, hated Christianity, was trying to destroy it, and was influenced thoroughly by the biological theories of his day.

    I read with great interest the statistics on prisoners and their faith and found Allen MacNeill misread and misrepresented those as well.

    Some people write a lot more online and are more enamoured of their own writing than those who find one thread important enough to maintain participation even after the magical 100-comment mark.

  148. 148
    Charles says:

    Allen_MacNeill @ 147:

    Let the record reflect MacNeill chose door No. 4:

    Through long experience, I generally do not post on threads that have exceeded 100 posts. … Ergo, this is my last post on this thread. I’m sure we will encounter each other again. Auf wiedersehen!

    4. You can simply disappear from this thread, like you did from this thread (see comment 79 ff) and this thread (see comment 64 ff) and hope everyone forgets, and you can come back later and continue to post with some people trusting you to play it straight as you see it.

    I don’t have time to follow all of the threads to which I have posted (especially now, with final exams and my summer courses looming).

    i.e. “I can’t be expected to follow rebutals to my posts. I’m only a university instructor with exams and summer courses, and I exhaust all my discretionary time right about time proof of my allegations are required.”

  149. 149
    mynym says:

    …this is my last post on this thread.

    Good. In some ways I don’t blame you for the rather stupid and ignorant views you promoted here. They are the type thing that the majority of biologists tend to believe. For example, many believe in associating religion with criminality. Change the “ID/creationism” to the “Jewish influence” and the ravings of some scientists could be those of any Nazi. For example:

    The intellectual virus named ‘intelligent design.’ …This virus certainly is a problem in the country…the ‘creationists’…have decided some years ago…to dress up in academic gear and to present themselves as scholars…laugh off this disguise.
    […]
    Feeding like leeches on irrational beliefs…offensive little swarm of insects…must be taken care of by spraying biological knowledge….(The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions by David Berlinksi :185)

    As with all metaphors no one really means anything literal by them, except when they do. The tendency of Darwinists to associate religion with criminality and disease showed up in an article on the National Geographic on Darwinism which asked “Was Darwin wrong?” on the cover. (It answered nearly full page NO! next to the article.) It was a ridiculous little article which promoted some of Haeckel’s ideas:

    Embryology too involved patterns that couldn’t be explained by coincidence. Why does the embryo of a mammal pass through stages resembling stages of the embryo of a reptile? Why is one of the larval forms of a barnacle, before metamorphosis, so similar to the larval form of a shrimp? Why do the larvae of moths, flies, and beetles resemble one another more than any of them resemble their respective adults? Because, Darwin wrote, “the embryo is the animal in its less modified state” and that state “reveals the structure of its progenitor”….

    It’s as if proto-Nazi ideas evolve from this highly irrational form of thinking. There seems to be a high level of hatred for Johnathan Wells for disputing such reasoning. The article ends with a picture of a Russian convict with a big tattoo of a cross on his chest. The association is of religion and crime , criminals and religion and so on as is typical to proto-Nazi thinking.

    The article notes something about how he picked up the tattoo and a virulent disease in a Russian prison and goes on to say that his best hope for a cure is medical science. Given the arguments of association involved it’s not entirely clear if they mean a cure for religion or for the disease. But if religion is like a disease then people shouldn’t be quarantined based on medical science?

  150. 150
    mynym says:

    Some readers probably cannot refute the similarities in mentality and reasoning but still think, “Well, I know a professor who thinks like that and he seems to be a nice fellow. He is nice but Nazis are not nice so it doesn’t matter that they think the same way.”

    Given the complexity of human nature you’re right in some sense, a nice fellow who believes some degenerate ideas may remain a nice fellow by being double minded. It’s his students that know nothing of what originally shaped the mind that is now double minded who may be different. If history is any measure then at some point the moral capital built up by venerable traditions/”religion” which define what it is to be a nice fellow tend to run out. Everyone is “nice” in person, until they aren’t.

  151. 151
    DLH says:

    Darwin influenced early 20th century China. e.g.
    Biology and Revolution in Twentieth-Century China
    By Laurence Schneider P 43

    “Two chapters of the Origin of Species were carefully translated into Chinese and published in 1903-1904, and the first complete translation appeared in 1920. Typically, however, Darwin’s ideas were conveyed darkly through social Darwinist literature aimed at social and cultural reform in China. Among the earliest and most celebrated of this genre was the interpretation of T.H. Huxley’s Evolution and ethics by the reformer Yan Fu (1853-1921). This was required reading by generations of Chinese revolutionaries and reformers, and for China’s post-1911 revolution “enlightenment intellectuals” whose cultural reform agenda was suffused by a belief in an “evolutionary cosmology” and a natural law of progress”.

  152. 152
  153. 153
  154. 154

    Churchill said in his address after Chamberlain’s ill-fated attempt at appeasement at Munich, 1938 (emphasis added):

    ‘… there can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi power, that power which spurns Christian ethics, which cheers its onward course by a barbarous paganism , which derives strength and perverted pleasure from persecution, and uses, as we have seen with pitiless brutality, the threat of murderous force. That power cannot be the trusted friend of the British democracy …’

    William Donovan, a prosecutor at Nuremberg, documented copious proof that the Nazis planned to exterminate Christianity.

    German kids had to confess that Germany had “sinned against natural selection”.

    Vox Day has pointed out:

    “A comparison of a 2000 survey of the British prison population with the 2001 national census revealed that whereas individuals claiming atheism or no religion make up only 15.5 percent of the British population, they comprise 31.9 percent of those imprisoned.

    “Of course, it stands to reason that those who do not believe in biblical morality would not subscribe to it. The fact that so many atheists behave as well as anyone else is not testimony to superior atheist morality, but rather, the moral inertia fortuitously intrinsic to Western civilization.”

  155. 155
    DLH says:

    Allan_MacNeill at 148 asserts that blog BEGAN (sic) with Godwin’s law i.e.

    “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    See Meme, Counter-meme, By Mike Godwin. Godwin’s purpose:

    the comparisons trivialized the horror of the Holocaust and the social pathology of the Nazis. It was a trivialization I found both illogical (Michael Dukakis as a Nazi? Please!) and offensive (the millions of concentration-camp victims did not die to give some net.blowhard a handy trope).

    . . .the counter-meme mutated into even more useful forms. (As Cuckoo’s Egg author Cliff Stoll once said to me: “Godwin’s Law? Isn’t that the law that states that once a discussion reaches a comparison to Nazis or Hitler, its usefulness is over?”)

    MacNeill’s apparent efforts fall foul of “Quirk’s Exception”):

    It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin’s law will be unsuccessful (this is sometimes referred to as “Quirk’s Exception”).

    Godwin admonished:

    The best way to fight such memes is to craft counter-memes designed to put them in perspective. The time may have come for us to commit ourselves to memetic engineering – crafting good memes to drive out the bad ones.

    Let us take Godwin’s admonition to heart.

  156. 156
    Paul Giem says:

    All,

    It looks to me like Charles (152) is only partly right. Allen MacNeill (147) has chosen to look like he chose the fourth option (again), but this time he actually chose the third. We can be reasonably certain that he read comment 124, as it was just 4 comments below his last one, and he obviously read comment 135, as he mentioned it accurately in 147. That means that in all probability he did not just disappear leaving us to wonder whether he read comment 124 or not; he in fact read it and chose not to respond. He thus gives evidence that although he admires those who apologize for their mistakes (see comment 107), and “hope[s] to live up to” their “example”, he can’t quite bring himself to do so. Maybe he should hang around the Friends some more (36).

    The excuse he gave in comment 147, that “I generally do not post on threads that have exceeded 100 posts”, is not adequate (see here, comment 148). It especially should not be good enough to nullify an obligation to correct the record.

    I hope nobody feels elated about this. I personally was hoping that he could be noble enough to recognize an obvious mistake and admit it. I feel sad that someone of his stature, who strove in other areas to be fair, would prove to be so here, and there is some sense of loss as I realize that his sense of fairness was not enough to allow him to admit his mistake.

    But for those who disapprove of his decision, you need to ask yourself an important question; if he had admitted that he made a mistake, would you have jumped all over him, and tried to make him feel bad now that you had caught him? Would you have tried to argue that he had been wrong once, and he really ought to revamp his whole philosophy because of this one mistake? Has someone else ever done that to him, and could that have made him reluctant to ever again admit to an adversary that he was wrong? We can train people to do wrong if every time they do the right thing they get punished. I do remember something about motes and beams.

    I’m not accusing everyone. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t put it on. However, if the shoe fits, . . . grow out of it.

  157. 157
    scordova says:

    I do not believe Hitler was a creationist in the traditional sense, and neither can Hitler’s words be seen as a trustworthy confession of a creationist in the Christian sense.

    Even if I disagree with Allen, I felt his argument would hold water with those less familiar with history (as I was). I certainly am delighted to hear counter arguments…

    As far as why I have lent my support to Allen, he has received glowing admiration from the persecuted pro-ID IDEA students at Cornell and he has defended their academic rights at some peril to his own career, particularly in 2006 when he hosted one of the best design courses for college credit ever offered.

    For those of us in the IDEA chapter at GMU, who experience meaness and hostility from the facutly there, Allen by comparison at Cornell has shown himself to be a gentleman.

    Let us not make enemies of those who have shown great kindness to persecuted pro-ID students. It would be hard to set aside my gratitude for what he did on their behalf.

  158. 158
    tribune7 says:

    if he had admitted that he made a mistake, would you have jumped all over him, and tried to make him feel bad now that you had caught him?

    No.(speaking for myself of course). I would have felt one more person would have been enlightened to the indisputable and unyielding fact that Hitler was an anti-Christian and I would have happily welcomed Allen into the club.

  159. 159
    Charlie says:

    Hi Sal,
    I’ve always appreciated and taken into account your respect for Allen MacNeill. But, as he says, disagreeing with him, even vehemently, is not disrespectful. Nor does it mean we can’t be friends.
    I disagree with both his assessment of many facts and many of his posting behaviours. Pointing these out ought not make us enemies.

  160. 160
    ericB says:

    congregate (146): “In 1491 there were millions of “savages” in the New World. By 1859 that population had dropped drastically. It had nothing to do with the fact that Darwin noticed and described the nature of natural selection. His theory was not “applied” by the Europeans who came over and unintentionally spread diseases which the “savages” had no immunity to, it was exemplified by them.”

    Sorry, but I wasn’t clear enough. You’ve misunderstood my statement concerning “applying his theory of biological development to humans and their variations”. I was and am referring to the intellectual exercise of considering the implications of his theory. If Darwin is right, then what should one expect when one considers what these ideas mean in the particular context of human affairs?

    As I pointed out to Allen_MacNeill, the fact that Darwin did not personally prefer the extermination of the lesser races only strengthens, not weakens, the conclusion that his prediction comes out of his theory, not his preference.

    “Do the commenters who think Hitlerism was a result of “Darwinism” think we should suppress the facts, in order to prevent it happening again? So much for academic freedom!”

    What suppression are you alluding to?

    If there is anyone who has been objecting to facts being raised concerning this topic, it is those who object to those who document how the Nazis saw their final solution to be the logical conclusion from Darwin’s theory applied to (supposedly) benefit humanity.

    In order to prevent new versions of this evil from happening again, it is important to not only remember their means, but to also remember how they could think this was a good thing. Otherwise, what protects against the old evil via new means and in new forms?

    It is too bad that Allen_MacNeill did not answer my questions to him above, but you are free to offer your own answer if you care to.

  161. 161

    Huxley Historical Society honors The Fjord…

      Saturday noon, April 9, at the Nord-Kalsem Community Center, Huxley area residents were invited to a Norwegian Fjord dinner, prepared and served just like the good ol’ days. In a recent project to preserve history, Duane Finch has researched and ……

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