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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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.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jewish IDism

The Darwinian Fundamentalism blog reported three articles about ID that were published in the Fall 5767/2006 edition of Jewish Action. One of these articles, titled "The Faith of Darwinism and the Science of Intelligent Design" by Arnold Slyper, director of Pediatric Endocrinology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, is pro-ID and has several errors. This article says:

Belief in Darwinism and religious life are truly incompatible.

. . . . it is vital that all Jewish high school students, Orthodox or otherwise, and whether in a public or Jewish school, be fully aware of the religious implications of classic Darwinism. It is also important that we refute the misconception that ID is a Christian idea. It is Jewish to the core and one of our fundamental beliefs.

Wow. Them's fighting words. However, there are many Jews who do not share those beliefs. Some Jewish organizations, particularly the Anti-Defamation League, have been particularly hostile to the teaching or even mention of criticisms of Darwinism in the public schools. The American Jewish Congress, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and the American Jewish Committee were organizational co-plaintiffs in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982), though some Christian clergy members were also co-plaintiffs; the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress filed amicus briefs in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987); and the ADL, the AJC, and the Americans United for Separation of Church and State jointly filed an amicus brief in the appeal of Selman v. Cobb County (now on remand in a federal district court). 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. I presume that these Jewish organizations' opposition to criticisms of Darwinism in the public schools is primarily motivated by church-state separation issues rather than scientific issues.

Slyper says,
The controversy [i.e., the Kitzmiller case] elicited little interest in the Jewish community.

See above. Also, the controversy in the Jewish community is discussed in an article titled "Evolution cases expose Orthodox vs. liberal rifts".

Slyper says,
By turning a blind eye to the debate, religious leaders are unwittingly giving credence to the type of arguments proposed by Judge Jones.

Religious leaders up to an including the pope have not turned a blind eye to the debate, but have been quite vocal about it.

Slyper says,
By World War I, many of the implications of social Darwinism, such as colonialism and the extremes of capitalism, had largely become untenable from both a political and moral standpoint. Nevertheless, the Jewish people were to experience first-hand the horrors of this theory when it resurfaced, unbridled, in Nazi Germany.

It was not just in Nazi Germany that social Darwinism continued after WW 1 -- the eugenics movement was quite active and influential in the USA between the world wars. See here, here, and here.

Also, Slyper's above statement about Nazi Germany contrasts sharply with ADL national director Abraham Foxman's vitriolic condemnation of a TV program that linked Darwinism to Nazism.

Also, as for the statement about colonialism, colonialism was still strong in the years between the world wars. Nations that had colonies held on to them, and some nations established new colonies -- e.g., Italy took over Ethiopia and Japan took over Manchuria. It was not until after WW 2 -- in some cases, well after WW 2 -- that colonialism was abandoned.

About Jewish Action magazine (from Wikipedia) --
Jewish Action is an American Orthodox Jewish magazine published by the Orthodox Union. The magazine generally presents a Modern Orthodox viewpoint . . . . .Published since 1940, it is printed quarterly, with a special Passover issue. Its regular quarterly editions have a mail readership of 50,000, and its Passover issue has a distribution of 100,000. Though generally sold via mail subscription, it is also distributed through retail stores and food outlets throughout North America.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And your point is?

Sunday, September 24, 2006 8:40:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...
>>>> And your point is? <<<<<

And your point is?

Sunday, September 24, 2006 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Fundamentalist Religous Organization Approves ID, Dislikes Dover Decision

The Sky is Blue

Grass is Green

All on tonight's 11 o'clock News

Sunday, September 24, 2006 9:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

As usual, you had no clue what anonymous (or anyone else) meant. Even with Kevin’s brilliant example you are still in the dark. This puts you in a minority of one. Will things ever change? Will you someday realize that the sun rises in the east? It is not an illusion caused by the little green men from the L.A. Times.

Monday, September 25, 2006 7:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

This seems like an interesting conundrum for an anti-semitic proponent of ID. My guess is that you will side with the religious zealot...

I'm siding with reason!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 1:12:00 PM  

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