Anti-Defamation League's Darwin problem
An article titled "Richard Dawkins's Jewish Problem," posted by David Klinghoffer on Evolution News & Views and his Kingdom of Priests blog on Beliefnet, says,
The Anti-Defamation League, the country's leading group dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, is rightly sensitive to the offense of trivializing the Holocaust. Why, then, has the ADL said nothing in protest against the Darwinian biologist and bestselling atheist author Richard Dawkins and his comparison of Darwin doubters to Holocaust deniers?
The ADL has objected to attempts to inject Nazi imagery into the health-care reform debate ("Such statements only serve to diminish and trivialize the extent of the Nazi regime's crimes against humanity"), the abortion debate ("Such analogies can only trivialize and diminish the horror"), the animal-rights debate ("the issue should stand on its own merits, rather than rely on inappropriate comparisons that only serve to trivialize the suffering of the six million Jews"), and in many other contexts.
But if Rush Limbaugh, for example, used "outrageous, deeply offensive and inappropriate" Nazi comparisons to stigmatize sponsors and supporters of health-care reform, why is it no less outrageous to compare people (like the late Irving Kristol, for example) who doubt Darwinian evolution to the moral cretins who deny the Holocaust? In his new book, currently the #22 best seller on Amazon, The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, Dawkins calls Darwin critics "history-deniers" and dwells on the comparison, even remarking that "The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust."
David Klinghoffer is completely clueless here. What we have here has nothing to do with "trivializing" the holocaust, David. To the ADL, "trivializing" the holocaust means cynically exploiting the holocaust to further a political agenda, and by that standard, the hypocritical ADL "trivializes" the holocaust as much as anyone. The "trivialization" issue is just a pretext cooked up by the ADL. What the ADL does in regard to Darwinism is try to show it in the most favorable light. The ADL is rabidly pro-Darwinist for the following reasons: (1) Darwinism is opposed by Christian and Moslem fundies, who are despised by the ADL, and (2) the ADL fears that teaching criticisms of Darwinism in the public schools threatens the principle of church-state separation. The ADL went so far as to call the Kitzmiller decision a "victory for students." ADL national director Abraham Foxman angrily denounced the Darwin-to-Hitler message of the Coral Ridge Ministry's TV documentary "Darwin's Deadly Legacy" and an accompanying book, saying, "Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people." However, when Ben Stein's movie "Expelled" also carried a Darwin-to-Hitler message, the ADL was faced with a problem: Ben Stein is Jewish and the movie includes two prominent Jewish supporters -- David Berlinski, an agnostic Jew, and Gerald Schroeder, who even wears a yarmulke in the movie. The ADL initially "solved" the problem by pulling the article denouncing the Coral Ridge Ministry but finally bit the bullet by reinstating that article and adding an article denouncing "Expelled."
Of course, I am very disturbed that Klinghoffer refers to holocaust deniers as "moral cretins," but that is another issue.
Labels: Darwin-to-HItler (new #2)