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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Culture war over "Darwin and Hitler" is in full swing

This is a follow-up to my post, "First Darwin and Lincoln, and now Darwin and Hitler".

A news article in the website of the Anti-Defamation League reported,

ADL Blasts Christian Supremacist TV Special & Book Blaming Darwin For Hitler

New York, NY, August 22, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today blasted a television documentary produced by Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries that attempts to link Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust. ADL also denounced Coral Ridge Ministries for misleading Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the NIH, and wrongfully using him as part of its twisted documentary, "Darwin's Deadly Legacy."

Here is a hodge-podge of my own thoughts:

Why is the ADL concerned only about Collins? There are probably other people appearing in the show who do not want to be in it, either.

A BIG question -- what could Collins have possibly said that could be interpreted as supporting the theme of this TV program? I am really curious. Honest.

I think that under the "fair use" doctrine, Collins and others might not have any legal recourse if Coral Ridge Ministries insists on including them in the program against their will. According to Wikipedia, one of the questions for determining whether quoted material is covered by fair use laws is: "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes." For example, I don't think that a quotation of Collins could legally be used to endorse a product without his permission.

Are the TV show's interpretations of history wrong just because they happen to support the agenda of those who produced the show?

To me, the most important question is whether the historical facts presented in the show are accurate. Which historical facts are selected and how they are interpreted are different matters.

Even if Darwinism is true, that is no reason to avoid examining Darwinism's social consequences. We know that there has been something called "Social Darwinism," and it is fair to examine the influence it might have had on Nazism, letting the chips fall where they may. The study of history benefits from the presentation of different viewpoints, even if some of those viewpoints are biased.

While condemning linkage of Social Darwinism to the holocaust, the hypocritical ADL has no qualms about linking Christianity to the holocaust. A speech published on the ADL website says of the holocaust, "The motivation was ideological. The racist-antisemitic ideology was the rational outcome of an irrational approach, an approach that was a cancer-like mutation of the Christian antisemitic ideology that had sullied Christian-Jewish relations all through their two millennia of coexistence." (from a speech that Yehuda Bauer gave to the German House of Representatives in 1998).

There is no question in my mind that Social Darwinism or something similar influenced the Nazis, but I feel that this TV show exaggerates that influence. And I don't feel that this influence counts against Darwinism -- Darwinism should be evaluated just on its own scientific merits.

ADL's Foxman does not explain how the show insults the Nazis' victims. All he said was, "Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people." But the ADL was silent when a book titled "IBM and the Holocaust" claimed that Hitler needed IBM's help to carry out this plan.

The ADL's Foxman has apparently not even seen the TV program but has already passed judgment on it. His opposition to the program is just "political correctness."

To the ADL, anything that in its opinion "trivializes" the holocaust is verboten. The ADL does not own a copyright on historical interpretation of the holocaust. The ADL has its own ax to grind and should not be taken seriously.

Would the ADL have objected to this TV program if the ADL did not support Darwinism? The ADL supports Darwinism mainly because the ADL views teaching or even mention of criticisms of Darwinism in public schools as a violation of the separation of church and state. The ADL strongly supports the Darwinist Kitzmiller v. Dover decision and Jewish groups have in various court cases filed amicus briefs opposing the teaching or even mention of criticism of Darwinism in the public schools.

I don't think that Social Darwinism directly caused the holocaust, but I do think that Social Darwinism helped inspire the Nazi programs for eliminating mentally and physically impaired people, homosexuals, etc.. So I think it can be argued that social Darwinism helped create a "slippery slope" of believing that it was morally OK to exterminate undesirables and that this slippery slope was a contributing cause of the holocaust.

This attempt to link Darwin and Hitler is not new. Wikipedia says,

. . . . .some pre-twentieth century doctrines subsequently described as Social Darwinism appear to anticipate eugenics and the race doctrines of Nazism. Critics, particularly proponents of creationism, have frequently tried to link evolution, Charles Darwin and Social Darwinism in the public mind with racialism, imperialism and eugenics, making the accusation that Social Darwinism became one of the pillars of Fascism and Nazi ideology . . . .

What about the Darwin Day Celebration's efforts to link Darwin and Lincoln? Isn't that propaganda too? There is infinitely less connection between Darwin and Lincoln than there is between Darwin and Hitler -- the only thing that Darwin and Lincoln really share in common is the same official birthdate. I'll bet that Darwinists are thanking their lucky stars that Darwin and Hitler do not have the same birthday.

For more information and thoughts, I recommend that readers see Panda's Thumb, Uncommon Descent, and Dispatches from the Culture Wars, which are listed in the URL link list in the left sidebar of the home (main) and archive pages (but not the individual-post pages). An Uncommon Descent article on the subject is here.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

What a non-issue. Someone who dislikes Darwin tries to blame him for other people's misuse and misinterpretation of his theory. In a like manner we could blame nearly every evil in the universe on religion with the lion's share to Christianity.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 7:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>> What a non-issue. Someone who dislikes Darwin tries to blame him for other people's misuse and misinterpretation of his theory. <<<<<<

What a stupid remark -- but coming from you, that is typical. By your standards, an awful lot of the study of history is a study of "non-issues."

Thursday, August 24, 2006 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> What a stupid remark <

I guess it went over your head, as usual.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

I have to agree. This definitely is a non-issue. It says nothing about Darwin nor his supporters. It does show the depths of illogic that his detractors are willing to go to however.

Yes, ViW, It does seem like Larry(?) is missing the point. That is so common that it is not really worth noting.

Friday, August 25, 2006 7:59:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Bill Carter said...
>>>>>>I have to agree. This definitely is a non-issue. It says nothing about Darwin nor his supporters. It does show the depths of illogic that his detractors are willing to go to however. <<<<<<

Christianity has definitely been linked to the holocaust. Does that say anything about Jesus and his supporters? Even the ADL has linked Christianity to the holocaust, but I am not aware that any leader of a Christian church ever called for the extermination of Jews or other "undesirables."

Use your head. Oops, I forgot -- you don't have one.

The idea is to investigate whether there are historical links -- however tenuous or indirect -- between Darwinism and Nazism. This is called the study of history. As noted in my original post, Wikipedia said,

. . . . .some pre-twentieth century doctrines subsequently described as Social Darwinism appear to anticipate eugenics and the race doctrines of Nazism. Critics, particularly proponents of creationism, have frequently tried to link evolution, Charles Darwin and Social Darwinism in the public mind with racialism, imperialism and eugenics, making the accusation that Social Darwinism became one of the pillars of Fascism and Nazi ideology . . . .

There is nothing that I hate more than "politically correct" suppression of unorthodox views of history.

Friday, August 25, 2006 1:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

> Christianity has definitely been linked to the holocaust. Does that say anything about Jesus and his supporters? <

You pathetic imbecile. You are arguing ViW's case. If you agree with him, why not just say you agree or stay silent? Instead you argue his case and pretend you are refuting him. You really are deteriorating menatlly and it is very obvious. Please try to get help.

Friday, August 25, 2006 3:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

There is increasing evidence that Larry(?) does not read posts before he feebly attempts to respond to them.

His latest actions, while comical, should not come as a surprise.

I suggest that Larry(?) and his blog might actually be an invention of a psychology student who is writing his thesis and wants a textbook example of a deteriorating mind.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 7:16:00 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Hitler, of course, was a creationist, at least as far as human beings were concerned.

Hitler explicity rejected Darwinism and the evolution of man.

From Hitler's Tischgespraeche for the night of the 25th to 26th February 1942 'Woher nehmen wir das Recht zu glauben, der Mensch sei nicht von Uranfaengen das gewesen , was er heute ist? Der Blick in die Natur zeigt uns, dass im Bereich der Pflanzen und Tiere Veraenderungen und Weiterbildungen vorkommen. Aber nirgends zeigt sich innherhalb einer Gattung eine Entwicklung von der Weite des Sprungs, den der Mensch gemacht haben muesste, sollte er sich aus einem affenartigen Zustand zu dem, was er ist, fortgebildet haben.'

I shall translate Hitler's words, as recorded by the stenographer.

'From where do we get the right to believe that man was not from the very beginning what he is today.

A glance in Nature shows us , that changes and developments happen in the realm of plants and animals. But nowhere do we see inside a kind, a development of the size of the leap that Man must have made, if he supposedly has advanced from an ape-like condition to what he is' (now)

And in the entry for 27 February 1942 , Hitler says 'Das, was der Mensch von dem Tier voraushat, der veilleicht wunderbarste Beweis fuer die Ueberlegenheit des Menschen ist, dass er begriffen hat, dass es eine Schoepferkraft geben muss.'


From Mein Kampf - Volume 2

"Thus for the first time a high inner purpose is accredited to the State. In face of the ridiculous phrase that the State should do no more than act as the guardian of public order and tranquillity, so that everybody can peacefully dupe everybody else, it is given a very high mission indeed to preserve and encourage the highest type of humanity which a beneficent Creator has bestowed on this earth."

"And, further, they ought to be brought to realize that it is their bounden duty to give to the Almighty Creator beings such as He himself made to His own image."

Nobody has ever found one word by Hitler mentioning Darwin, Darwinism or claiming that human beings evolved from creatures that were not human beings.

By the way, there are some doctored quotes from Hitler's Table Talk on the web. They are English translations of a French hoax version.


As I have the original German, und kann fliessend Deutsch sprechen, I would be quite happy to post the original German, if somebody believes Hitler attacks the doctrines of Christianity in the Tischgespraeche,

Saturday, August 26, 2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

<< ... television documentary ... attempts to link Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler ... >>

>> Christianity has definitely been linked to the holocaust. <<

Does anyone else notice the logical absurdity here? On the one hand, we have Darwin inspiring the Nazis. On the other, the Christians inspired the Nazis. One might be tempted to conclude that Darwinism is a sect of Christianity (or vice versa). LOL!

There's a far better case for the connection of the Islamofascists to the Nazis. Yasser Arafat's uncle Husseini paid a visit to Adolf Hitler two months before the infamous Wannsee conference.

Considering their commitment to reason and science, maybe the Islamofascists belong to the pro-Darwin movement? :-P

(BTW, to any residents of Barney Frank's Massachusetts district -- please support Chuck Morse for Congress!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Well it looks like the windmill that Larry(?) was attacking struck back and knocked him off of his horse.

And he claims that people fear his great debating ability! Brayton and Wesley should allow him back on their blogs just for the entertainment value.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I was impressed by the following quote on Uncommon Descent, posted by Charlie --

"Some assert that Hitler got his antisemitism from the church -- as if the church ever taught that the blond-haired blue-eyed Aryans were the master race and needed to get rid of the Jews to preserve their racial purity."

This post on UD has a lot of quotes, in case anyone cares to read them.

The study of history benefits from the presentation of a variety of viewpoints.

The only history-based argument that the ADL's Foxman made against the TV show was that Hitler did not "need" Darwin in order to plan the holocaust. But if Hitler had been told that he did not "need" Darwin in order to plan the holocaust, he might have answered impatiently like an exasperated King Lear, "O, reason not the need!" Or if Hitler had been asked why he wanted to exterminate Jews, he might have answered eloquently, "because they're there." Now that would really "trivialize" the holocaust.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said ( August 26, 2006 12:46:52 PM ) --

>>>>> There's a far better case for the connection of the Islamofascists to the Nazis. Yasser Arafat's uncle Husseini paid a visit to Adolf Hitler two months before the infamous Wannsee conference.

Considering their commitment to reason and science, maybe the Islamofascists belong to the pro-Darwin movement? :-P <<<<<

You say that the fundies are crazy for blaming Darwin for Hitler but you're blaming the Moslems? You lousy crackpot.

BTW, Turkey, the only Moslem nation in that international opinon poll, scored lowest on acceptance of Darwinism.

>>>>>> (BTW, to any residents of Barney Frank's Massachusetts district -- please support Chuck Morse for Congress!) <<<<<<

You homophobe.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 6:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

< You homophobe. >

No, no, you're holding the cue card upside down! Again!!!

The Nazis were homophobes (and some were homosexuals). (Talk about conflicted!)

The endorsement looks more like a compliment to Morse, rather than a slam of Frank.

However, regarding this attempted bit of name-calling:

Frank's employee / lover Gobie ran a prostitution service from Frank's DC apartment. And, Frank used his Congressional status to "fix" 33 of Gobie's parking tickets. (In Frank's district, all of this endears one to his constituents.) (To Frank's credit, he did fire Gobie.)

Frank's voting record in Congress is nothing to brag about either.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

Fake Larry(?)

> You say that the fundies are crazy for blaming Darwin for Hitler but you're blaming the Moslems? <

As a sane person with some brain cells remaining would know, he wasn't blaming the Moslems. He was pointing out the weekness of your argument. You lousy dimwit.

> You homophobe. <

I'm sorry to see that you are so ignorant of politics that you see no other reason not to vote for Barney Franks. Try to read up on these subjects before you display your ignorance.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

The above post from "anonymous" is actually Real Dave. I now have no more respect for him than I do for Larry(?).

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:12:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

<< BTW, Turkey, the only Moslem nation in that international opinion poll, scored lowest on acceptance of Darwinism. >>

Thank you for corroborating my point.

<< You say that the fundies are crazy for blaming Darwin for Hitler but you're blaming the Moslems? You lousy crackpot. >>

The "fundies" are not "crazy" for blaming Darwin for Hitler; they do have a (somewhat) plausible argument -- I just think it's wrong.

It is obviously absurd to blame the Moslems for Hitler. Some of them, however, were more than mere allies, as that article showed. It is high time that those decent Moslems (that we're told exist) fully disowned them.

As for Bill's remark -- perhaps I deserved that. However, my level of frustration and annoyance with Larry(?)'s blather and name-calling is telling me that I should quit posting or reading here. My patience is wearing thin.

Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

Hitler used creationist arguments that creationists adore.

From 'Mein Kampf' Volume 1 Chapter 11

'The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.'

Sunday, August 27, 2006 1:46:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Steven Carr said ( 8/27/2006 01:46:39 AM ) --

>>>>>> Hitler used creationist arguments that creationists adore.

From 'Mein Kampf' Volume 1 Chapter 11

"The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves.The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice." <<<<<

I don't see those statements about the animals as being "creationist arguments" -- I think that no Darwinist would disagree with those statements. All that the statements say is that some animals have particular natures or behaviors that cannot be changed. However, I disagree with the applcation of those statements to humans because humans have a lot of ability to control their behavior whereas the animals often act through instinct. However, the animals are not always completely controlled by instinct -- for example, a lion cub and a lamb that are raised together remain on friendly terms when they grow up.

I think that what we have here are reductionist efforts to oversimplify history by trying to attribute historical events to single causes when in fact there are many causes. Some people are trying to prove that the holocaust was caused by Christianity, others are trying to prove that it was caused by Darwinism or Social Darwinism, and now we even have someone trying to prove that it was caused by "Islamofascism." Almost any historical viewpoint can be "proved," depending on what facts are selected and how they are interpreted. Another good example of reductionism in the study of history are attempts to prove that slavery was the principal if not the sole cause of secession and the Civil War. I think that the best historians are those who take a broad view instead of trying to "prove" something, because these historians will not try to avoid some historical fact or interpretation just because it does not support a particular viewpoint. I am very suspicious of historical analyses that try to prove something, unless the evidence is overwhelming.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 3:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> I think that no Darwinist would disagree with those statements. <

You seem to miss the point. If things are always the same, they can't evolve. Most Darwinists would disagree with that.

> All that the statements say is that some animals have particular natures or behaviors that cannot be changed. <

They are changing all of the time.

> humans have a lot of ability to control their behavior whereas the animals often act through instinct. <

It is just a matter of degree.

> I think that what we have here are reductionist efforts to oversimplify history by trying to attribute historical events to single causes when in fact there are many causes. <

Correct.

> Some people are trying to prove that the holocaust was caused by Christianity, others are trying to prove that it was caused by Darwinism or Social Darwinism, and now we even have someone trying to prove that it was caused by "Islamofascism." <

Nobody here is claiming any of these. You just don't understand their arguments.

> Another good example of reductionism in the study of history are attempts to prove that slavery was the principal if not the sole cause of secession and the Civil War. <

Right twice in only one month! Your record is improving.

> these historians will not try to avoid some historical fact or interpretation just because it does not support a particular viewpoint. <

As you do with evolution.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 6:43:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said ( August 26, 2006 8:30:45 PM ) --
>>>>> BTW, Turkey, the only Moslem nation in that international opinion poll, scored lowest on acceptance of Darwinism.

Thank you for corroborating my point. <<<<<<

Your arguments are so confused that I don't know what in the hell your points are. I don't know whether you are trying to say that Moslems tend to be Darwinists or that they don't tend to be Darwinists. I was just responding to your ambiguous statement, "Considering their commitment to reason and science, maybe the Islamofascists belong to the pro-Darwin movement? :-P" Anyway, my only purpose in citing the international poll results was to provide information -- I was not trying to make a point. And often I will even cite things that oppose my own position.

>>>>> The "fundies" are not "crazy" for blaming Darwin for Hitler; they do have a (somewhat) plausible argument -- I just think it's wrong. <<<<<<

I am finding that there is much more connection between Darwinism and Nazism than I realized. For example, Wikipedia says the following about Ernst Haeckel, a Darwinist scientist:

He extrapolated a new religion or philosophy called monism from evolutionary science. In monism, which postulates that all aspects of the world form an essential unity, all economics, politics, and ethics are reduced to "applied biology". His writings and lectures on monism were later used to provide scientific (or quasi-scientific) justifications for racism, nationalism, and social Darwinism .....

Haeckel . . stated that "politics is applied biology", a quote used by various Nazis. The Nazi party used not only Haeckel's quotes, but also Haeckel's justifications for racism, nationalism and social Darwinism.


I have been accused of excessive reliance on Wikipedia, but I have generally found Wikipedia to be objective, fair, and reliable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>>>> I think that no Darwinist would disagree with those statements. <

You seem to miss the point. If things are always the same, they can't evolve. <<<<<

The quotation of Hitler never said or even suggested that those animals could not evolve. The quotation was just speaking in broad general terms about inherited characteristics -- the quotation said nothing about the possibility of rare random mutations. You are reading into the quotation something that is just not there.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> The quotation of Hitler never said or even suggested that those animals could not evolve. <

Of course it did.

> The quotation was just speaking in broad general terms about inherited characteristics <

It seems quite specific.

> the quotation said nothing about the possibility of rare random mutations. <

"Nobody told me that the key would not open the front door."

> You are reading into the quotation something that is just not there. <

I am reading what is there that you lack the ability to see. Of course at this stage you see little of anything that is there but a great deal that is not.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:28:00 PM  

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