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Does Darwinism Lead to Racism?

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Elementary my dear Watson.
Dr. James Watson
Further updates on Watson’s apology are at TheBRITES.org .

Well, I don't have a lot of time, but I'll respond the best I can... magnan snip....forced evolution (artificial human breeding = eugenics) Eugenics as "forced evolution" is only accurate if you're talking about the "microevolution" that even young earth creationists and ID advocates believe in. Why? Eugenics was used on in the so-called human "kind" for improvements. Creationists say that humans are a distinct kind and that any changes within a "kind" is just "microevolution" and is therefore consistent with the "creation model". That's probably part of the reason why creationists like Tinkle and Lammerts had no problem with eugenics, maybe? You statment about there being "...no absolute moral or spiritual arguments against eugenics" also applies to many practices in the bible. In the OT god ordered women and babies killed. Why? Presumably because of lack of resources to take care of the babies of Israels' enemies or some such thing. Avalos talks about OT genocide in his article as well. The point being that even the bible itself demonstrates situational ethics, not absolute morality. So, to complain that evolution doesn't have any absolute moral or spiritual arguments against a distateful practice requires one to ignore that the bible doesn't have any such absolutes either. Remember Avalos talking about the book of Ezra? As for scientific or naturalistic arguments against eugenics, I would again recommend Stephen Gould's book, The Mismeasure of Man. I linked to it earlier. Reynold Hall
Reynold Hall, you have made some interesting points about the errors of stereotyping Darwin and modern Darwinists as racist eugenics advocates. The fact remains that the ideology of Darwinism and its underlying materialist reductionism inevitably defines humans as not being more than animals who can at least in principle be bred for any characteristics whatsoever, including intelligence. In this ideology all "spiritual" and moral qualities are outworkings of the genes (and of perhaps epigenetic DNA). Even these characteristics of human beings can be molded by forced evolution (artificial human breeding = eugenics). In this ideology there are no absolute moral or spiritual arguments against eugenics. Just practical reasons, such as the huge difficulties in applying such programs for long enough times (numbers of generations), or quibbles over the exact degree of heritability of the particular desired characteristic and positive or negative linkages with other characteristics. Or simple distaste for treating human beings like animals, with no logical justification for this distaste within the Darwinist ideology. This is the very human willingness to entertain a cognitive dissonance in order to conform to modern liberal social norms and political correctness - one has to get on in life, after all, and such suggested programs would cause turmoil in our present society. It would be very counterproductive in net effect at least in the short term. I would suggest that this sort of thinking is behind the distaste of most modern Darwinists for eugenics, and it would still be alien to the attitude of most ID advocates. magnan
Ah. Ok. I had also tried to post in the original topic that inspired my comment. So far, that hasn't shown up yet. Still, here is good enough. Reynold Hall
I wonder what happened the first time I tried to post…oh well.
akismet spam filter. It will sometimes even catch the comments of moderators. Patrick
I wonder what happened the first time I tried to post...oh well. I know that it’s kind of late to post in response to the original post about Watson But I’ve just gotten the time to do so now, but I figure that what I’ve got to say will apply here just as well as in the original post about Watson… I'm replying to some of Jason’s comments (in italics) from the original Watson post linked to above: Jason Rennie (comment #3) on that blog when he "answers" that question: "Anybody willing to offer predictions about when Darwinists will be getting back big time into the eugenics business?" They've been there since Sanger started Planned Parenthood and never got out of the game. Evidence, Jason? Do "Darwinists" in general support eugenics? Remember, you're speaking in the plural here. Maybe you should do a little more work on this issue to see what "Darwinists" really think about when it comes to Eugenics. You could read Stephen Jay Gould's Mismeasure of Man and see that in the case of eugenics the researchers were biased, the theories flawed, and the science manipulated to favor the outcome of a specific ideology. They started with their conclusions, and made the science fit their racist beliefs. We shouldn't be surprised that someone like Watson who embraces an a-telic Darwinist account of life embraces ideas like this. Without some conception of the equality of all men provided by (to cite one good example) The Imago Dei, there is no reason to think that all men are equal, and we should applaud Watson for at least being honest and taking his Darwinism seriously. It makes a nice change from the dubiously honest rhetoric we are normally treated to. Huh? "taking his Darwinism seriously"? It's obvious that Jason is speaking from ignorance or perhaps dubiously honest rhetoric about how Darwin thought here. For more honest, knowledgeable information check out here BTW, Jason, Hector Avalos' article on Talk Reason may be a good place for you to read to find out that even "telic" thinkers themselves did not believe that we were all created the same. His section on "Pre-Darwinian blood purity", including an examination of the book of Ezra is informative. Some more information about Darwin, Galton, and eugenics… You may also be interested to read about a Creationist eugenicist. Jason also said in comment #46 Maybe you need to actually do the hard work and stop reading it like it was a newspaper written yesterday for your personal consumption and not ancient documents written to people in a different culture and place. Sure that takes some hard work and thinking, but that seems preferable to this knee jerk ignorance you display don't you think? That's advice you could well follow, Jason. Have a look at the first site I mentioned, and what it references, and read Gould's "Mismeasure of Man" and see if you can still say that Darwinism is consistent with eugenics. You may also want to read this, as well. Odd, isn't it? You complain about eugenics today, yet when someone calls you up on your faith's moral inconsistencies when it comes to "god's" treatment of people in the OT that (your comment #46) is the best defence you can come up with? What about this consistent absolute moral basis you people are always prattling on about? More to the point it never seems to be pointed out by YECs or IDists that Victorian England was a slightly different time and place with a different culture than we've got now. Darwin was no more racist then anyone else who was around him. In fact, according the sources mentioned in the first link, Darwin was less racist than those around him, and he hated how his fellows treated people of different cultures. Something that you've failed to mention. Probably to make it more believable that "Darwinism" is somehow compatible with eugenics. Real impressive. So far you've 1) overgeneralized "Darwinists" to make it seem that the idea itself should imply favouring of eugenics, and you've ignored the fact that biologists themselves like Stephen Gould have written against eugenics. As have many of the scienceblog authors who have excoriated Watson for his remarks. 2) attributed views to Darwin that he himself didn't hold (by saying that Watson, by his remarks was "taking his Darwinism seriously") 3) ignored the cultural context of the time and place where Darwin lived. For more about another form of racism. Reynold Hall
Tina: These are off topic quotes from CS Lewis, as I mentioned in the first sentence of my post. The particular quotes of CS Lewis caught my eye since we debate atheists, on a fairly constant basis, on this site. another off topic subject, http://www.biotech-info.net/StrohmanMarch09.pdf ,I found this interesting quote at the site: Stephen J. Gould (deceased), the ex president of The American Association for the Advancement of Science and esteemed professor of biology at Harvard University summed up much of these news reports in an Op-Ed page report of his own (NY Times, Feb. 19th 2001): "The collapse of the one gene for one protein, and one direction for causal flow from basic codes to elaborate totality, marks the failure of (genetic) reductionism for the complex system we call cell biology." Thus a few scientists were not so surprised by ENCODE. bornagain77
Bornagain are you OK? What are you trying to say here and why? Tina
Off Topic: A friend sent me a few good C.S. Lewis quotes: A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason. Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. I gave in, and admitted that God was God. I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning. A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. bornagain77
Disregard above message - sent OK once I removed "The" Tina
Galapagos Finch e-mail The BRITES@yahoo.com not responding??? Please post contact details here. Tina
So oppressed/underprivileged classes, through the pressure of natural selection, have resulted in lower intelligence. It's so obvious! So fair! So very humanist! We are looking for journalists at TheBRITES. Interested? Galapagos Finch
To be fair many Darwinians style themselves as Humanists...and I think Dr Watson falls into this category. The remarks in question are really clumsy expressions of real issues relating to the oppressed/underprivileged classes. Tina

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