Gary Hurd posted Entry 775 on January 31, 2005 04:37 PM.
Trackback URL: http://degas.fdisk.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/773

Former chemist and professional creationist Jonathan Sarfati of Answers in Genesis Ministry continued today in the decades old creationist tradition of trying to directly equate evolutionary biology with the Nazis.  In an article for The Conservative Voice, called “The Holocaust and Evolution”, Sarfati accuses biologists and science educators of complicity with, if not out and out responsibility for, the Nazi Holocaust, and the Columbine High School killings.

The Conservative Voice promotes such ideas as “LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: TOOLS OF THE TERRORIST.”  Sarfati has made some remarks that we should all be familiar with; creationists have been making these charges of many years.

“… Nazis eagerly made use of the evolutionary concepts already entrenched in German academia. Note that the subtitle of Darwin’s The Origin of Species by means of natural selection was: The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Evolutionary teachings were simply carried to their logical conclusion by the Nazis who tried to exterminate the ‘inferior’ races like the Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs, as well as the ‘unfit’ (e.g. the handicapped). “

“However, the Western nations have not learned the lessons of the horrific wars and genocides this century. Evolution is today entrenched in our universities even more than it was in Nazi Germany.

And our report of the Columbine High School massacre documents the on-going effects of evolutionary thinking in the young (“How to build a bomb in the public school system, 1999”.

Somehow I don’t think that the hypocrites who whined when I pointed out the obvious parallels between the social organization of science deniers and other fringe social groups like Holocaust deniers, will be upset.  Otherwise, they would have protested these creationist lies many years ago.

Comment #14713

Posted by Fross on January 31, 2005 05:28 PM (e) (s)

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti…

Or could Hitler have gotten his ideas from another source? Maybe the founder of Protestant religion?

Comment #14717

Posted by Harrison Bolter on January 31, 2005 06:09 PM (e) (s)

I wonder if this “scholar” would also blame fundamentalist evangelical Christianity for the actions of people like the person who leads protests with signs bearing messages like ‘God Hates F—s’, or the people who advocate and carry out the assault and murder of abortion providers? Somehow, I don’t think he’d see any connection…

Comment #14718

Posted by Mike Walker on January 31, 2005 06:18 PM (e) (s)

Don’t forget to read the comments/responses attached to the end of the opinion piece!

The problem for people like Safarti who contribute to interactive online news sites is that they can be very easily refuted and shown to be the fools that they are.

I doubt he’ll be adding more opinion pieces on that site any time soon (unless they remove the comment function a la the DI web log).

Comment #14719

Posted by Gary Hurd on January 31, 2005 06:24 PM (e) (s)

In 1938, the Nazi “Office of Racial Policy” publication Inromationsdienst Martin Luther’s advice on the “proper” treatment of Jews was given prominent display:

… to put their synagogues and schools to fire, and what will not burn, to cover with earth and rubble so that no-one will ever again see anything there but cinders … Second, one should tear down and destroy their houses, for they do also in there what they do in their schools and synagogues … And third, one should confiscate their prayer books and Talmud, in which idolatry and lies, slander and blasphemy is taught” From Proctor 1988: 88.

The founder of Protestant Christianity was a far greater inspiration to the Nazis than any scientist. Science, politicized by the same conditions that radicalized both Left, and Right, was used as justification for actions long advocated as “Christian.”

The Nazi Office of Racial Policy held thousands of public meetings a month promoting anti-semitism and attacking “muddle-headed humanitarianism” (Humanitätsduselei) or, what we call “liberalism” today. It seems they and “The Conservative Voice” have something in common.

However, there is an excellent passage in Evans pg. 92-93:

“The minutes [taken by Dr. Paul Otto Schmidt] for the second day’s meeting, on 17 April 1943, recorded a statement by Ribbentrop, in Hitler’s presence, to a point made by Horthy: “On Horthy’s retort, what should he do with the Jews then, after he had pretty well taken all means of living from them— he surely couldn’t beat them to death— the Reich Foreign Minister [Ribbentrop] replied that the Jews must either be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. There is no other way.”

Hitler almost immediately confirmed Ribbentrop’s explicitly murderous statement at some length: Hitler: “Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome poverty and degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One had fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn’t want to work [in Third Reich concentration camps], they were shot. If they couldn’t work they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be infected. That was not cruel, if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more? Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished.” (references and footnotes are found in Evans, 2001:92-93)

Here we have Hitler, in his argument to Hungary’s Admiral Horthy, invoking not an übermench racist position, but an anti-Bolshevik, and nationalist one. If Hitler tried to draw rhetorical support from _Social_ Darwinism_ arguing in Mein Kampf, it is not evident from the text, and in any event was at most merely a twig on the trunk of his anti-Semitism. His opposition is to what he considered a Marxist threat, not drawn from Darwin, which was more a rationalization of his hatred than its origin. Further, the theoretical models Hitler drew from was not evolution in any event, but the Germ Theory of Disease, and Christianity.

Evans, Richard J.
2001 Lying about Hitler New York:Basic Books.

Hitler, Adolf
1999 (orig. 1925) Mien Kampf Ralph Manheim, translator. New York: Houghton
Mifflin Co.

Proctor, Robert N.
1988 Racial Hygene:Medicine Under the Nazis Boston:Harvard University Press.

Comment #14722

Posted by Timothy Sandefur on January 31, 2005 07:02 PM (e) (s)

Ed Brayton, who posts on PT frequently, has had several excellent posts about the whole Darwin-caused-Nazism nonsense, lately. (Don’t know why he hasn’t cross posted them here…) This one is probably the best, but scroll up and down for more.

Comment #14723

Posted by Orac on January 31, 2005 07:17 PM (e) (s)

Yes, it’s very common for right-wingers to claim that Nazis were Darwinists. In actuality, racial hygiene, the “science” (pseudoscience, actually), upon which Nazis based their racial “theories” was a perversion of Darwinism along the lines of social Darwinism, combined with directed breeding of humans and eugenics.

Comment #14726

Posted by Joe McFaul on January 31, 2005 07:36 PM (e) (s)

Not once does Safarti actually quote Hitler himself. Let’s give Adolf a chacne to defend himself agasint Safarti’s scurriloius charges:

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.
-Adolf Hitler, in his speech on 12 April 1922

[Note, “brood of vipers” appears in Matt. 3:7 & 12:34. John 2:15 depicts Jesus driving out the money changers (adders) from the temple. The word “adders” also appears in Psalms 140:3]

This idea that Hitler was an evolutionist is a form of holocaust denial. Casey, are you listening?

Comment #14728

Posted by Bryson Brown on January 31, 2005 07:49 PM (e) (s)

I particularly like the use of ‘logical conclusion’ in Safarti’s piece. It seems to come down to: I want to associate A with B, so I declare B is a ‘logical consequence’ of A and hurry on, hoping the audience doesn’t notice that no actual connection was made…

Talk of Darwin was a rhetorical stalking horse for some Nazis (a grotesque travesty given Darwin’s actual views). But (as others have already pointed out) the roots of anti-semtism are firmly set, deep in the Christian tradition.

There’s a sad, dazed sort of repetitiveness in the routine appeal to the subtitle of Origin. Everyone’s heard it before; treating it as evidence for racism is grotesquely tendentious, not to mention just plain stupid… what we’re looking at here is a marketing plan that hasn’t had a new idea in decades, and is short even on new slogans. It will take a very sheltered environment to save this species of intellectual disfunction…

Comment #14730

Posted by ~DS~ on January 31, 2005 08:17 PM (e) (s)

Oh …OK we’re Nazis again. I hope Mr Luskin is paying close attention and will soon leap to our defense in the interest of fairness and equity.

Comment #14731

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on January 31, 2005 08:59 PM (e) (s)

DS wrote:

Oh … OK we’re Nazis again. I hope Mr Luskin is paying close attention and will soon leap to our defense in the interest of fairness and equity.

I sent Casey the link just now. I guess we will see.

Comment #14732

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on January 31, 2005 09:05 PM (e) (s)

I also entered a comment below Sarfati’s article and backed it up here.

Comment #14734

Posted by Bartholomew on January 31, 2005 09:51 PM (e) (s)

Perhaps Sarfati ought to run his sicko ideas past people like Noam Lahav, Emeritus Professor of Origin of life and Soil Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem…

Comment #14741

Posted by Katarina Aram on February 1, 2005 08:04 AM (e) (s)

Any time anyone tries to create negative propaganda, they invoke the Nazis, it is so tiring.

I just want to say that this post is definitely helpful, and if you’re a creationist, remember that you started throwing around the Nazi comparison first, instead of science, so don’t whine if it backfires on you.

Comment #14745

Posted by kaye on February 1, 2005 10:05 AM (e) (s)

Can we just invoke Godwin’s Law on the whole publication and be done with it?

Comment #14747

Posted by Tara Smith on February 1, 2005 10:36 AM (e) (s)

Typical AiG tactic. Here’s one by Carl Wieland on the same topic.

Comment #14750

Posted by Joe McFaul on February 1, 2005 10:57 AM (e) (s)

I meant to add that Safarti’s article is not original in The Conservative Voice.

Here it is, word for word, in the Answers in Genesis online mag apparently published in 1999:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/…

Same publishing standards as Meyer, obviously.

Comment #14755

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on February 1, 2005 12:22 PM (e) (s)

But at least Sarfati doesn’t go around trying to convince people that his “Nazi” screed has been a “peer-reviewed” publication two, three, or four times over.

Comment #14759

Posted by Gary Hurd on February 1, 2005 01:22 PM (e) (s)

Joe McFaul’s observation is dead-on.

This doesn’t detract form the critical comments at all. But it raises the question of whether Sarfati submitted this to “The Conservative Voice” or if they merely lifted it from the Answers in Genesis Ministry website?

Common standards require that reprints be identified as such, and authors must inform editors if their submitted work has already been published.

Answers in Genesis Ministry is a well known science denial outfit, that is regularly exposed as liars. For example, I have dealt with them several times, one example being http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dinosaur/blood.h…. Directly refuting Sarfati is great fun as in Boiled Creationist with a Side of Hexaglycine: Sarfati on Imai et al. (1999).

Dr.GH

Comment #14769

Posted by Steve Reuland on February 1, 2005 04:50 PM (e) (s)

So, does the Conservative Voice subscribe to the idea that it was Darwin’s fault that conservatives push Social Darwinism? How bad of him to mislead them like that!

Comment #14772

Posted by Mike Walker on February 1, 2005 06:29 PM (e) (s)

It seems that the comments attacking Sarfati’s article has flushed another DI fellow out of the woodwork…

www.csustan.edu/history/faculty/weikart/index.html

Richard Weikart
Dept. of History
California State Univ., Stanislaus
Turlock, CA 95382

But from looking at his web site (including a curriculum vitae containing a “Fellowships” section) you’d be hard pressed to find any hint of his relationship with the DI.

Maybe it’s just an oversight, but it is a little curious not to even acknowledge such a high profile relationship. Perhaps he’s a little concerned his DI connections might reveal a slight bias in his research?

I took a look at the start and end of his online lecture. He spends the first five minutes claiming that he is only critiquing the “history of Darwinism” but by the end, along with some quality quote mines, he makes it clear that he believes that Darwinists cannot but help be led to the same logical conclusions that the Nazi evolutionists came to - support for eugenics and the “erosion of the Respect for Life ethic”. Only those who are influenced by morality from outside Darwinism (no doubt he means religion) can resist the urge.

For the sake of the students, I hope thet he isn’t this research teaching in his regular classes.

Comment #14773

Posted by Great White Wonder on February 1, 2005 06:40 PM (e) (s)

he makes it clear that he believes that Darwinists cannot but help be led to the same logical conclusions that the Nazi evolutionists came to - support for eugenics and the “erosion of the Respect for Life ethic”. Only those who are influenced by morality from outside Darwinism (no doubt he means religion) can resist the urge.

Yes, but for Christianity we’d all be slashing each other’s throats and frying our babies alive because we’d have no “logically consistent: reason not to. This is the nutshell version of a typical evangelical argument against those twin bogeymen, atheism and “secular humanism”, although in its most absurd form it is presented as a “rigorous philosophical proof.”

Feel free to gag yourself over at the Evangelical Outpost where such claims are repeated daily, over and over and over ….

Comment #14775

Posted by Bartholomew on February 1, 2005 08:03 PM (e) (s)

It’s not just Nazis! Here’s the latest from D James Kennedy (in an article by a journalist so ignorant she refers repreatedly to “Anthony Flue”):

Communistic evolution, according to the Senate committee that examined it, is responsible for 135 million deaths in peacetime…There’s no religion that has a tiny fraction of that many deaths on it conscience.

Comment #14777

Posted by Great White Wonder on February 1, 2005 08:29 PM (e) (s)

There’s no religion that has a tiny fraction of that many deaths on it conscience.

Not even bacteriology?

Comment #14801

Posted by ambrose on February 2, 2005 09:41 AM (e) (s)

Christians are understandably sensitive about the holocaust, because it was inspired in large part by the New Testament, and Hitler himself was a self-proclaimed Christian.

Here is Hitler, for example, on the importance of the Passion Play at Oberammergau [just like Mel Gibson’s blockbuster]:

“His blood be on us and our children… [Matthew 27:25], maybe I’m the one who must execute this curse … I do no more than join what has been done for more than 1,500 years already. Maybe I render Christianity the best service ever!” (Adolph Hitler, 1942)

If Christians try to equate the Holocaust with subjects other than Christianity, I suggest referring them to the following articles and images, as well as the Bible, which reveal all too clearly the discomfort that comtemporary Christians have about the Holocaust:

  1. The article “The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis” in Free Inquiry Magazine.
  2. The page devoted to Hitler’s Christianity at http://www.nobeliefs.com/.
  3. An alarming photograph of Nazi priests with “seig heil” salutes: http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/images/na….
  4. The Swastika+Cross symbol of the Nazi Reich Church: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/church2.gif….
  5. Hitler greeting a Catholic Cardinal on stage at a Nazi rally: http://www.nobeliefs.com/images/hitler_cardinal4….
  6. The Catholic church was instrumental in Hitler’s and Nazism’s ascension in Germany by the mutually beneficial treaty between Hitler and the Vatican signed in 1933. Hitler used his Catholicism to appeal to Pope Pius XII to gain his blessing as the German Fuhrer and secure the important Concordant with the Catholic Church.
  7. Hitler’s Mein Kampf was never banned by the Vatican, an utterly astounding and despicable fact if you’ve ever read it, especially in comparison to other banned books of the era [early 1920s], such as James Joyce’s Ulysses.
  8. Neither was Hitler ever excommunicated from the Church. Indeed, he remained until his death a faithful Catholic and a strategic ally of the Vatican.
  9. The belt buckle of the Nazi Army “Gott Mit Uns” (God Is With Us): http://www.nobeliefs.com/images/buckle.jpeg.

    By the way, a “Gott Mit Uns” Nazi poster appears in the movie Life is Beautiful about the Holocaust.

  10. Let’s wrap this up with another quote from the New Testament:

    For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)

Now where are those links with the Holocaust and evolution?

Comment #14955

Posted by Gary Hurd on February 4, 2005 12:57 PM (e) (s)

As there have been no further comments, I’ll conlude that this discussion is over for the momment. Consequently, I’ll close the comments so as to avoid becoming a spam target.

Thanks to all.