I'm from Missouri

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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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.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Book links Darwin to Hitler

The above title was a little sensationalized in the hope of attracting visitors' attention. Actually, the book only directly links the American eugenics movement and Hitler. It is Sir Francis Galton, Darwin's cousin who was influenced by him, who is regarded as the founder of eugenics. So there is a link, however tenuous and/or indirect, between Darwin and Hitler. Is blaming Darwin for Hitler any worse than blaming Columbus for Custer, which American Indians do? BTW, it seems that no one has noticed that Darwin, despite his fame, was never knighted and/or lorded, unlike many other well-known Britons (how does "Sir Charles Darwin, Lord So-and-so" sound?).

The website of a book titled "War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race", written by Edwin Black, author of the absurd book "IBM and the Holocaust", says that the book describes "[h]ow American corporate philanthropies launched a national campaign of ethnic cleansing in the United States, helped found and fund the Nazi eugenics of Hitler and Mengele — and then created the modern movement of 'human genetics.' " The website says,

American eugenic crusades proliferated into a worldwide campaign, and in the 1920s came to the attention of Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazis, American eugenic principles were applied without restraint, careening out of control into the Reich's infamous genocide. During the pre-War years, American eugenicists openly supported Germany's program. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the work of its central racial scientists. Once WWII began, Nazi eugenics turned from mass sterilization and euthanasia to genocidal murder. One of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute doctors in the program financed by the Rockefeller Foundation was Josef Mengele who continued his research in Auschwitz, making daily eugenic reports on twins.

Daniel J. Kevles, who teaches history at Yale and who wrote a book titled ''In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity,'' panned Black's book in a New York Times op-ed piece, which said,

Black is the author previously of ''IBM and the Holocaust,'' a work strongly suggesting that the company, with its punch-card machines, knowingly assisted Hitler's brutalities. His ''War Against the Weak,'' apparently written with similar intent, is a muckraking book about a subject incontestably awash in muck. In the vein of the genre, it is a stew rich in facts and spiced with half-truths, exaggerations and distortions. The most pungent ingredient is its central thesis: eugenic doctrines and policies favoring ''Nordic superiority'' were in fact invented in the United States, were developed in alliance with American wealth and power, and were then exported, inspiring Hitler and achieving their ultimate realization in the Holocaust . . . . . . .

True enough, eugenic actions were pioneered in the United States, and a number of American eugenicists praised the Nazi sterilization law, noting it was devoid of racial intent and robustly consistent with Buck v. Bell. But it greatly oversimplifies matters to say that the American example pointed Nazi Germany down the road to the Holocaust. Many American eugenicists opposed the Nazis outright, and even the most avid enthusiasts of sterilization turned against them after the proclamation of the Nuremberg Laws. Black basically argues that because the mad beast had some American markings, its chief features must have all been bred in the United States. But as he himself acknowledges, the nations of Europe had their own, indigenous eugenics movements. Notions of Nordic superiority had strong, independent roots abroad, and so did ideas of racial improvement through measures like sterilization. The Nazis did draw on American precedents, but Black neglects to weigh the impact of the imports against the force of native impulses.

The website of "War Against the Weak" has a list of excerpts of reviews of the book in prominent publications, along with links to some of these reviews. I discovered that the website of "IBM and the Holocaust" also lists excerpts of reviews and links to some of the reviews -- not all the reviews were completely complimentary, but I found, not surprisingly, that two very critical reviews in the New York Times were not listed.

One can only wonder how or where Black gets the thousands of secret and confidential documents and the dozens of hardworking "volunteer" assistants that he needs to write these books. He even advertises for volunteer assistants. The reward for volunteering is mention in the acknowledgments.

In condemning a TV show that linked Darwin to Hitler, the Anti-Defamation League's national director Abraham Foxman said,

This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. 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.

So why didn't the ADL also condemn Black's books? After all, didn't Black "trivialize" the holocaust for the purpose of selling his sensationalistic books? Did Hitler really "need" IBM and the American eugenics movement to help him dream up, plan, and carry out the holocaust? And doesn't the book "War Against the Weak" arguably link Darwin to Hitler because of Darwin's link to the eugenics movement, even though the book might not specifically mention the latter link? IMO, the reason why the ADL attacked the TV show but not Black's books is that the ADL is a strong, vocal supporter of Darwinism. And IMO the reason why the ADL is a strong, vocal supporter of Darwinism is that the ADL sees the teaching or even the mention of Darwinism in the public schools as a violation or threat against the separation of church and state. The ADL applauded the Darwinist Kitzmiller v. Dover decision -- in fact, the judge, Judge John E. Jones, III, was a guest speaker at the annual meeting of the ADL national executive committee -- and Jewish groups have in several court cases filed amicus briefs opposing the teaching or mention of criticisms of Darwinism in the public schools. It's all politics.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

And your point is?

Thursday, September 07, 2006 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>> And your point is? <<<<<<

Not everything has to have a "point." Some things can just be for informational purposes only. But this post does have some points, e.g., (1) Edwin Black's two cited books, though widely acclaimed, are badly flawed, and (2) ADL Foxman's attack on the TV show is motivated by strong support for Darwinism, which is motivated by concern over separation of church and state in evolution education.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:07:00 AM  

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