Intelligent Design

Darwinism and popular culture: Oh to be merely Darwin’s dog … ?

Spread the love

Just recently, Darwin lobbyist Eugenie Scott was referred to as Darwin’s golden retriever. In a similar vein, Richard Dawkins is styled Darwin’s Rottweiler.

Yes, yes, it’s true, Thomas Henry Huxley was known as Darwin’s bulldog, for his dogged defense of his patron’s views. But Huxley was socially far inferior to Darwin in a sharply class-based society, so it made intuitive sense that his inferiority be emphasized.

So what’s with this modern penchant for self-abasement?

Better to be Darwin’s dog than a traditional human being with a mind and soul? Well, they said it of themselves or their friends said it of them. I didn’t.

In general, I can’t pretend to understand the ridiculous hagiography of the ol’ Brit toff Darwin, but go here, here, and here for some fun reads in the new “Darwin” religion, that is catching on with the public like mustard ice cream.

16 Replies to “Darwinism and popular culture: Oh to be merely Darwin’s dog … ?

  1. 1
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    T.H. Huxley was of course a raving atheist. His son, Leonard Huxley became the head of RPA (Rationalist Press Association), which is an atheist book publishing firm dedicated to defaming Christianity and promoting Darwin and Haeckel’s works. Lots of famous evolutionists were involved with RPA. Now, Leonard Huxley’s son was Julian Huxley, the arch-eugenist anti-christian architect of the modern Culture of Death. That’s quite a Huxley legacy. Granpa TH Huxley had a thing against the Salvation Army too. He spend loads of ink slandering them.

    More info here:

    RPA
    Evolutionists and Eugenics

  2. 2
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    By the way, it seems that Eugenie Scott is a member of the American Eugenics Society.

  3. 3
    dbthomas says:

    By the way, it seems that Eugenie Scott is a member of the American Eugenics Society.

    Nice try there, Vlad. The “American Eugenics Society” no longer exists. In 1972 it was re-named to the Society for the Study of Social Biology, and if you notice, Scott is listed on that page you linked as having joined in 1974. It’s currently in the process of being renamed yet again, this time Society of Biodemography and Social Biology. The name change should sufficiently clue you into the fact that promoting (or even discussing eugenics) is no longer its purpose. I’m afraid the reality is far duller and less sensational than you’d probably like:

    The Society for the Study of Social Biology is devoted to furthering the discussion, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge about biological and sociocultural forces which affect the structure and composition of human populations.

    I suspect you already knew all this already, though.

  4. 4
    dbthomas says:

    BTW, I can’t actually verify that Scott is currently a member of the SSSB, nor can I verify that she ever was, for that matter. The only other reference to this besides the page you linked was some guy posting on another forum as “Ethan Clive Osgoode”, who also happens to run the site you’ve linked to above. So, which do you prefer: “Vladimir” or “Ethan”? Because over on Telic Thoughts, your name links to Ethan’s page over at FreeRepublic.

    Apropos of nothing, isn’t Google just the best?

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    NWE on Eugenics, which may help explain some of the why of a switch from “bulldogs” to “golden retrievers”:

    Eugenics is a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through various forms of intervention. The purported goals have variously been to create healthier, more intelligent people, save society’s resources, and lessen human suffering.

    Earlier proposed means of achieving these goals focused on selective breeding, while modern ones focus on prenatal testing and screening, genetic counseling, birth control, in vitro fertilization, and genetic engineering. Opponents argue that eugenics is immoral and is based on, or is itself, pseudoscience. Historically, eugenics has been used as a justification for coercive state-sponsored discrimination and human rights violations, such as forced sterilization of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, in some cases, genocide of races perceived as inferior. Today, however, the ideas developed from eugenics are used to identify genetic disorders that are either fatal or result in severe disabilities. While there is still controversy, some of this research and understanding may prove beneficial . . . .

    Eugenicists advocate specific policies that (if successful) would lead to a perceived improvement of the human gene pool. Since defining what improvements are desired or beneficial is, by many, perceived as a cultural choice rather than a matter that can be determined objectively (by empirical, scientific inquiry), eugenics has often been deemed a pseudoscience. The most disputed aspect of eugenics has been the definition of “improvement” of the human gene pool, such as what comprises a beneficial characteristic and what makes a defect. This aspect of eugenics has historically been tainted with scientific racism . . . .

    In reaction to Nazi abuses, eugenics became almost universally reviled in many of the nations where it had once been popular (however, some eugenics programs, including sterilization, continued quietly for decades). Many pre-war eugenicists engaged in what they later labeled “crypto-eugenics,” purposefully taking their eugenic beliefs “underground” and becoming respected anthropologists, biologists, and geneticists in the postwar world (including Robert Yerkes in the U.S. and Otmar von Verschuer in Germany). Californian eugenicist Paul Popenoe founded marriage counseling during the 1950s, a career change which grew from his eugenic interests in promoting “healthy marriages” between “fit” couples.[15]

    High school and college textbooks from the 1920s through the 1940s often had chapters touting the scientific progress to be had from applying eugenic principles to the population. Many early scientific journals devoted to heredity in general were run by eugenicists and featured eugenics articles alongside studies of heredity in nonhuman organisms. After eugenics fell out of scientific favor, most references to eugenics were removed from textbooks and subsequent editions of relevant journals. Even the names of some journals changed to reflect new attitudes. For example, Eugenics Quarterly became Social Biology in 1969 (the journal still exists today, though it looks little like its predecessor). Notable members of the American Eugenics Society (1922–94) during the second half of the twentieth century included Joseph Fletcher, originator of Situational ethics; Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Procter & Gamble fortune; and Garrett Hardin, a population control advocate and author of The Tragedy of the Commons.

    Despite the changed postwar attitude towards eugenics in the U.S. and some European countries, a few nations, notably, Canada and Sweden, maintained large-scale eugenics programs, including forced sterilization of mentally handicapped individuals, as well as other practices, until the 1970s. In the United States, sterilizations capped off in the 1960s, though the eugenics movement had largely lost most popular and political support by the end of the 1930s . . . .

    In modern bioethics literature, the history of eugenics presents many moral and ethical questions. Commentators have suggested the new “eugenics” will come from reproductive technologies that will allow parents to create so-called “designer babies” (what the biologist Lee M. Silver prominently called “reprogenetics”). It has been argued that this “non-coercive” form of biological “improvement” will be predominantly motivated by individual competitiveness and the desire to create “the best opportunities” for children, rather than an urge to improve the species as a whole, which characterized the early twentieth century forms of eugenics.

    So, the question is, whether the leopard changes its spots, or simply finds a new camouflage.

    GEM of TKI

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    I notice evolutionists love the ‘bulldog’ thing.
    It justifys a passion that allows malice to be used against the good guys.
    I welcome the attention as a YEC guy to this Scott women. It means that its recognized there is a problem with creationism. We are a threat and growing. They are right.
    Power to her fame.
    In fact now or in the past the discussions of origins and origins in public institutions has been a elite game.
    The more the press gives attention to Scott the more it makes it public and a public interest.
    Creationism in any forms does well in the public and will do very well if we can reach the public.
    Ms Scott where should creationists send our contributions to you?

  7. 7
    dbthomas says:

    KF @ 5:

    So, the question is, whether the leopard changes its spots, or simply finds a new camouflage.

    Is “the leopard” supposed to be anyone or any group in particular? Or is this just idle speculation?

  8. 8
    dbthomas says:

    She’s director of the NCSE. BTW, she not really into the bulldog thing. Hence her joke that she’s “Darwin’s Golden Retriever”.

  9. 9
    Anthony09 says:

    “Darwin’s bulldog” was an epithet meaning that he tenaciously defended Darwin. People have been using dog-nicknames for these sorts of things for ever. For example, in UFC many fighters are called “The Pitbull” to indicate fierceness.

    Scott’s and Dawkin’s new epithets are simply meant to be humorous references to Huxley’s epithet, no more. That is really all that is meant, O’Leary’s somewhat insulting insinuations notwithstanding.

    BTW, I have noticed that O’Leary does a lot of insinuating and suggesting. I have not yet seen her make many actual claims and arguments, though. Why is that?

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    We might infer from the OP and some of the comments here that the author of the OP and others do not own pets. If they did, they would know that, far from being treated as inferior and akin to servants or slaves, dogs and cats are regarded as well-favored and much-loved companions.

    We should also note that it is one version of Christian belief that holds that the natural world has been provided by God for us to exploit as we choose. This allows for animals to be treated as no better than rocks or plants since they are held to have no souls.

    As for “Darwin’s bulldog” we should remember that, according to the Bible, one man was so in thrall to his God that he was prepared to sacrifice his child as proof of his devotion to this “all-loving” God and that he was led to believe that this God would look upon him with favor for so doing.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    Vladimir Krondan @ 1

    T.H. Huxley was of course a raving atheist.

    As most here know, T H Huxley is credited with coining the word ‘agnostic’ because he wanted a label for beliefs which were neither theistic nor atheist.

  12. 12
    Anthony09 says:

    Vladimir, what’s a “raving atheist”? Are you a “raving christian”?

  13. 13
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    dbthomas wrote:

    Nice try there, Vlad. The “American Eugenics Society” no longer exists. In 1972 it was re-named to the Society for the Study of Social Biology,

    Good of you to explain that the SSSE is just another name for the American Eugenics Society.

    dbthomas wrote:

    The name change should sufficiently clue you into the fact that promoting (or even discussing eugenics) is no longer its purpose.

    If the Nazi party renamed itself, would you sign up?

    Seversky said:

    T H Huxley is credited with coining the word ‘agnostic’ because he wanted a label for beliefs which were neither theistic nor atheist.

    The word “atheist” in those days (today too, actually) carried with it heavy negative connotations: much like the terms ‘public defacator’ or ‘eater of babies’ and such do. So atheists are forever inventing sexier labels for themselves.

  14. 14
    dbthomas says:

    Good of you to explain that the SSSE is just another name for the American Eugenics Society.

    Vlad, or, er, Ethan:

    a. I already linked to that page, remember? It doesn’t help your case. But, um, alright: you’re welcome? Oh, and it’s SSSB. Not ‘E’.

    b. Read for comprehension. It has nothing to do with eugenics anymore. Follow that other link I kindly provided to the SSSB’s website. It’s really rather boring. Tell you what though: you go ahead and comb through all the various articles published in its journal over the years, and get back to us if you discover evidence of a lurking eugenic conspiracy. Mere mentions of the word don’t count, mind you. We’ll need some actual evidence of eugenics advocacy, preferably within the last decade or so. OK?

    If the Nazi party renamed itself, would you sign up?

    Ah, so, the AES was actually the NSDAP? Or were you just going for guilt-by-association? Yeah, it used to be a pro-eugenics society (so did the USA-at-large, for that matter). And? Germany used to be the Third Reich. And half of it used to be East Germany. None of those things are true anymore, though, now are they?

    Also, you’ve failed to prove Scott is a member. You just have some website that says she is based on some nebulous ‘Osborne list’. Where is this list? Oooh, oooh, lemme guess: it’s like all secret and conspiratorial and stuff? Do you think maybe they were involved in 9/11 too? I smell a Pulitzer!

  15. 15
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    dbthomas says,

    I already linked to that page, remember? It doesn’t help your case.
    … Read for comprehension

    The page says “American Eugenics Society” and lists the presidents from 1922 until today. But you say the society ceased to exist in 1972.

    It has nothing to do with eugenics anymore… you go ahead and comb through all the various articles published in its journal over the years, and get back to us…

    Who is “us”? The papers are much like the papers published by AES members before 1972. What do you think should be found there? Rants about the Jews?

    Ah, so, the AES was actually the NSDAP? Or were you just going for guilt-by-association? Yeah, it used to be a pro-eugenics society (so did the USA-at-large, for that matter). And? Germany used to be the Third Reich. And half of it used to be East Germany. None of those things are true anymore, though, now are they?

    I asked a simple question: “If the Nazi party renamed itself, would you sign up?” Now, any normal person would just say no, but for some reason you embarked on this fine whitewash of the AES. And, in the process slandering the majority of americans back then. Yeah, the majority of americans were eugenists, according to you. I guess that’s why Osborn told the rest of the AES members to stop using the ‘e’ word, because the public (the majority of americans) couldn’t stand it.

    And? Germany used to be the Third Reich. And half of it used to be East Germany. None of those things are true anymore, though, now are they?

    Keep digging yourself deeper. Your performance is not uninstructive, though. We (people of sense) are supposed to believe that the American Eugenics Society de-nazified itself somehow and suddenly became a respectable organization. What did they do? Kick out all the eugenists? That would mean they kicked out all their members. Did they apologize for foisting eugenics on the public? Did they apologize for all the white-supremicist neo-nazis in their society? Did they recognize their misdeeds and fraudulent science? Well, no. But they are good guys now, we’re supposed to take your word for it.

    In a way it’s understandable why evolutionists have to doggedly defend and whitewash this organisation, when you consider how many prominent evolutionists are on the membership list. But really, do you have to slander the “majority of americans” in the process and drag them down to the level of the eugenists?

  16. 16
    Vladimir Krondan says:

    O’Leary writes:

    I can’t pretend to understand the ridiculous hagiography of the ol’ Brit toff Darwin,

    Speaking of ridiculous hagiographies of Darwin, perhaps the most ridiculous (and therefore the best) is an early one by Haeckel disciple V. Robinson:

    Darwin, Saint of Science

Leave a Reply