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.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another "Darwin-to-Hitler" feud

This new feud is described here and here.

Darwinism popularized the idea that death of the unfit is essential for progress. Death of the unfit prevents them from reproducing and/or makes room for the fit or the fitter. Death of the unfit in the form of natural selection created the human race from protozoa. The human race owes its existence to death of the unfit. The “fundamental concept underlying all of biology” (from the new Florida science standards) is death of the unfit. Richard Dawkins called natural selection "the most momentous idea ever to occur to a human mind." Isn’t death of the unfit wonderful? If we don’t have natural selection in the human race, let’s replace it with artificial selection. Let’s buy “I love Darwin” T-shirts and coffee mugs. Let’s confer “Friend of Darwin” certificates. Let’s celebrate Darwin Day and the Darwin-Lincoln birthdate coincidence. Etc..

Also, some basic principles about Darwinism’s influence on the Nazis are still largely being missed –
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(1) Anti-semitic Nazi programs targeted fit Jews as well as unfit Jews and so were not true eugenics programs. Eugenics’ contribution to Nazi ant-semitism was to create the idea that it is morally OK to get rid of undesirables.

(2) A “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. Darwinism cannot be blamed for something that the Nazis did not do.

Another issue is the need for objectivity in the study of history. When the Anti-Defamation League says that we should ignore the Darwin-Hitler connection because Hitler did not “need” Darwin (”O, reason not the need!” — King Lear), that is not being objective.
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13 Comments:

Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Off-topic, but of interest to Larry:

Judge Otero issued a summary judgment in favor of UC on Friday in ACSI v. Stearns. This disposes of the last of ACSI's claims, and marks a complete victory for UC. ACSI filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit the same day. The ruling can be found here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008 8:52:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I think I will wait a few days to see what others say about the decision. This blog does not get much traffic and few people are waiting breathlessly to see my opinion of the decision. And I have already stated most of my opinions about the case and have little new to say.

Monday, August 11, 2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

You've got it right, Larry. Darwin said the same thing in slightly different words at the end of his chapter on Instinct in The Origin of Species. He proposed "One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die."

Monday, August 11, 2008 3:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, to summarize your point, 'Darwinism' is responsible for the Holocaust that didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

That's it. Darwin's crude and buffoonish notion was that new species arose from old simply because the unfit died, and the fit thus replaced them as the breeding stock. Granville Sewell called it "easily the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science, in my opinion" in the magazine Human Events, April 16, 2008.

Old Darwin tugged on his beard,
And cried, "It is just as I feared!
My theory's so dumb,
In centuries to come,
They'll say it's a crime it appeared!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 7:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Natural selection is a real process, known to many biologists long before Darwin, although not under the actual phrase "natural selection." (However, a farmer named Patrick Matthew, writing about it in 1831, did call it "this natural process of selection" and "selection by nature's law.") Natural selection thus wasn't discovered by Darwin at all, although he perhaps arrived at the same idea independently of others.

Given enough time in which to work, natural selection operating on random mutations or other undirected, inheritable changes, must evidently accomplish whatever it is able to accomplish, somewhat as running water can eventually wear away stone. But what is it really able to accomplish? And what did it actually do?

That has never been established, but Darwin and his disciples simply extrapolated from minor changes in already-existing living forms and assumed that natural selection, working on chance inheritable variations, had somehow created all of life's variety. Extrapolation of that sort isn't justified. And I don't think that there is any actual reason to believe in such a concept today.

Suppose that intelligence of some sort produced many mutations, many changes in DNA, and that that largely led to the emergence of many new species, genera, families etc.? Behe reached that conclusion in The Edge of Evolution (2007), and Alfred Russel Wallace had held similar views, much earlier. So while creationists can believe in intelligent design, so can non-creationists such as Behe and quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff, who think that all existing species have descended from older ones, in a long process.

Evidence of intelligent involvement in the origin of all species, such as ID purports to provide, would lead to the conclusion that it wasn't really the death of the unfit in a mechanistic struggle for survival, that created us. Hence there wouldn't be any justification for eugenics, or for other attempts to mechanically manipulate the genetic constitution of humanity; except perhaps on a voluntary basis in the case of some real, hereditary diseases.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:18:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The movie EXPELLED actually stressed the Nazi murder of many disabled people, including infants, as part of their eugenics program; I don't recall much stress on the Holocaust. The media seem to have misrepresented the movie as focusing on more on persecution of Jews by Nazis.

In fact, I don't believe that I've ever read much about Nazi eugenics is the media; they generally stress the Holocaust.

But in his book Darwin's Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World (1998), evolutionary biologist Michael R. Rose discussed the Nazis in his chapter on Eugenics, making it clear that that was their emphasis. Rose went into disgusting detail: "Adolf Hitler advocated infanticide for all those newborns with birth defects...the Nazis proceeded to sterilize and euthanize those they regarded as unfit..." etc., etc.

Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

More from Michael R. Rose (above) on Nazi eugenics:

"The Nazis established a system of genetic health courts, and physicians had to report genetic disorders to these courts. A 'medical eugenics' system in place, the Nazis proceeded to sterilize and euthanize those they regarded as unfit. Their victims included the deformed, the schizophrenic, the mentally retarded, the epileptic, and the institutionalized mentally ill generally. Children who were considered defective were killed by deprivation of care, morphine overdose, or cyanide poisoning, usually without the knowledge of their parents, who would be told that their child had died during medical treatment." (Rose, Darwin's Spectre, 1998, p.143-4.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

"Thanks" to Darwinism, it's possible that eugenics could rise to plague humanity again. But it's also certain that Dawkins and other Darwin-crazies are working hard to hatch other obnoxious suprises for us. For instance, Dawkins, writing in the British newspaper The Guardian, 27 Dec., 2001:

"The same benefits in moral education could be delivered by a successful hybridization of a human and a chimpanzee...But cloning a new Lucy is more practicable, and it would shatter our speciesist illusions very effectively."

The "illusions" that Dawkins hopes to shatter amount to the idea that humans are superior to apes! Shattering it would be, he thinks, a "moral" accomplishment. But since it's hard to hybridize humans with chimps, he hopes that genetic engineers in the future will split the difference between the human and chimp genomes, and thus rig up some new DNA which can then be used to clone a pathetic, half- human-half-chimp creature which he imagines might resemble "Lucy," a putative fossil ancestor of humans.

Designer babies, to start with? And then trying to redesign the whole human genome to artificial specifications? I'm sure that Darwinitwits somewhere are dreaming about even loonier things.

Friday, August 15, 2008 3:57:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said,
>>>>>"The same benefits in moral education could be delivered by a successful hybridization of a human and a chimpanzee...But cloning a new Lucy is more practicable, and it would shatter our speciesist illusions very effectively."

The "illusions" that Dawkins hopes to shatter amount to the idea that humans are superior to apes! <<<<<<

Shades of the "The Island of Dr. Moreau."

Didn't Spain just grant human rights to apes?

Note: Michael R. Rose should not be confused with Michael Ruse.

Friday, August 15, 2008 4:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Dawkins was working hard on cloning a chimp-human hybrid, but abandoned the project when it was discovered that one already exists. It's PZ.

When the zoologist changed his name to Dr. Richard Frankenstein, shrinks resolved on prefrontal lobotomy as the best treatment for his condition. To their chagrin, they found that Dawkins has no prefrontal lobes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008 3:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Adolf Hitler said...

"Das, was der Mensch von dem Tier voraushat, der veilleicht wunderbarste Beweis für die Überlegenheit des Menschen ist, dass er begriffen hat, dass es eine Schöpferkraft geben muss." ("An advantage humans enjoy over animals, and what may be the best proof of their superiority, is that they have grasped there must be the power of a creator.") — Tischgespräche, Feb. 1942.

(Ref.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008 2:08:00 PM  

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