Nick Matzke posted Entry 998 on May 4, 2005 01:03 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/996

http://home.uchicago.edu/~rjr6/index_files/image006.jpgLast month, Robert Richards, a noted historian of science, particularly evolution, at the University of Chicago, gave a talk, ‘The Narrative Structure of Moral Judgments in History: Evolution and Nazi Biology.’  See the event listing.  The talk has been attracting some attention on the blogosphere, i.e. Light Seeking Light and Red State Rabble.

The Richards talk is described in a reasonably detailed news account from the University of Chicago student newspaper, the Chicago Maroon. According to the news story, Richards addressed the arguments of historians (unnamed in the news article) that “made [Charles] Darwin and [Ernst] Haeckel complicit in the crimes of the Nazis, though both had been dead for decades before the rise of the Nazis.”

Richards set up some general principles for judging actors in history, and then addressed Darwin and Nazism:

While Richards maintained that the moral judgments are unavoidable in narrative history, he did offer his audiences several principles to govern these moral judgments. First, he said, there is “the supreme principle of assessment,” which should evaluate all actions with the same moral core. Other principles included understanding the intention and beliefs of the actor, and the actor’s motive for acting.

Based on these principles, Richards concluded that it could only be “tendentious” and “dogmatic” to condemn Darwin for Nazism, although Richards confessed that he still has not made up his mind on Haeckel.

(Ahmed (2005), quoting Richards. Bold added.)

This is, of course, rather relevant to the writings of Discovery Institute associate and ID-supporter Richard Weikart, whose book From Darwin to Hitler draws exactly this line:

In Hitler’s mind Darwinism provided the moral justification for infanticide, euthanasia, genocide, and other policies that had been (and thankfully still are) considered immoral by more conventional moral standards.  Evolution provided the ultimate goals of his policy: the biological improvement of the human species.

(Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 215)

Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism, especially in its social Darwinist and eugenics permutations, neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.  Darwinism — or at least some naturalistic interpretations of Darwinism — succeeded in turning morality on its head.

(Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 233)

Numerous ID supporters have promoted the Darwin-to-Hitler thesis, wielding Weikart’s book.  Weikart has done essentially nothing to restrain his colleagues, despite popping up to reply to his critics on essentially every forum and discussion board.  See previous PT posts, such as this one, for documentation.

I don’t know if Richards discussed Weikart’s book specifically — I bet he did, but there is no evidence on this at the moment — but his critique of the general argument is apropros.  In terms of Hitler’s inspiration, the German biologist Ernst Haeckel is certainly much closer to the root of Hitler’s evil than Darwin.  Quite a list of factors favor this view:

  1. Haeckel died in 1919 and was active in the early-20th century German discourse that Hitler read

  2. Haeckel lived and worked in Germany

  3. Haeckel was an anti-Semite and campaigning biological racist

  4. Haeckel was a strong, explicit promoter of eugenics

  5. Haeckel was a strong, explicit promoter of morally radical atheistic philosophies like monism (Weikart makes much of the alleged overturning of conventional religion and moral standards in Germany)

Darwin, on the other hand,

  1. died a generation earlier

  2. lived and worked in England, not Germany

  3. was racist but basically in a similar fashion to Abraham Lincoln

  4. was not a promoter of eugenics

  5. was not pushing atheism or radical moral philosophy, and instead argued that evolutionary theory fit well with the long-established natural law tradition of morality

It seems clear that Haeckel-to-Hitler (whatever the limitations of that view) is far more plausible than Darwin-to-Hitler.  Even in the index to From Darwin to Hitler, Weikart mentions Haeckel on about 82 pages, while Darwin gets mentioned on only 49.

So what does Richard Weikart, the author of From Darwin to Hitler, say about the Haeckel-to-Hitler thesis?

“As I reformulated my study on evolutionary ethics to include discussions on the value of human life, another topic became inescapable: the influence of this discourse on Hitler.  Hitler was not even on my radar screen when I began my research, and Daniel Gasman’s one-sided attempt to link Haeckel and Hitler made me wary.”

(Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. x, Preface)

“Hardly anyone has pursued the thesis of a single dominating influence on Hitler more relentlessly than Daniel Gasman with his Haeckel-to-Hitler hypothesis. […] However, Gasman’s approach is too blinkered, ignoring the huge disparities between Haeckel and Hitler.  In many respects Haeckel lined up with liberal progressives of his time, promoting the peace movement and homosexual rights, among other liberal causes.  Gasman makes altogether too much ado about Haeckel’s anti-Semitism, which, though misguided, was not a likely source for Hitler’s anti-Semitism.  For one thing, Haeckel’s anti-Semitic utterances are extremely rare, and they are much milder than Hitler’s.  Also, there were many anti-Semitic thinkers in the early twentieth century whose views are much closer to Hitler’s.  Even many socialists, including some Marxists, jumped on the eugenics bandwagon.

Also, Gasman cannot prove that Hitler ever actually read any of Haeckel’s works, so whatever influence Haeckel allegedly exerted on Hitler may have been mediated by others.  Indeed Haeckel’s works were widely read in the early twentieth century, and it would not be surprising if Hitler read one or more of them.  However, many eugenicists, racists, and anti-Semites peddled Haeckel’s ideas, too, and they were widely discussed in the popular press, so it is not at all unlikely that Hitler imbibed them through others.  Thus, Gasman is right to point out that Haeckel’s ideas were an important influence on Hitler, but they by no means provided the ideological foundation for facism, and Haeckel was by no means a proto-fascist.”

(Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 217)

“The Haeckel-to-Hitler (and Haeckel-to-Fascism) thesis is pursued relentlessly by Daniel Gasman in The Scientific Origins of National Socialism (London, 1971), and Haeckel’s Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology (New York, 1998).  Gasman’s work is not highly regarded by most historians, and with good cause.”

(Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 235, Endnote 4 of the Introduction)

To quote Jon Stewart, “Whaaaaa?”  Weikart says that Haeckel-to-Hitler is bogus, but then writes a whole book devoted to From Darwin to Hitler?  Something doesn’t add up here.

Reference

Usman Ahmed (2005).  “Richards addresses moral role of historians at Ryerson Lecture.”  Chicago Maroon, April 15, 2005.

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Comment #28008

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 1:54 AM (e)

hmm. and to think i always stopped with this ridiculous darwin-hitler thing whenever i saw:

“— or at least some naturalistic interpretations of Darwinism “

which is what all of the bs related to social darwinism always boils down to.

Comment #28015

Posted by Jason Ware on May 4, 2005 3:56 AM (e)

‘was racist but basically in a similar fashion to Abraham Lincoln’

I don’t think that’s a good comparison.

Darwin may have been racist but no more so than anyone else in Victorian England at the time and most probably less.

Comment #28017

Posted by Dave Cerutti on May 4, 2005 4:22 AM (e)

I went to a talk by Mary Poplin, a professor of Christian education and education for disadvantaged students. Not to detract from her noteworthy achievements in bringing education to those who need it most, but some of her views aren’t what people whould be taught. After hearing her discuss the notion that all lines of thought stemming from non-Christian sources had aspects of “evil” to them, I asked what she thought of the possibility that mainstream (i.e. actual) science could be marginalized by Lysenkoist programs. I mentioned the case of evolution being rejected in Stalin’s USSR. Her response, “well, Darwin was a racist, and Hitler based his views on Darwinism.” And on from there, with a smiling and “oh, so moderate and open-minded am I” tone. Mary seemed to be bubbly rather than malicious with her musings about God helping out scientists by sending visions to their wives, but some of these people really don’t get it–some of them even profess to hate PCism, all the while putting on a smiling face and acting as if they’re open to all these new possibilities when they don’t care what anyone else is going to tell them.

The theme of the talk was how she came to be a Christian, after realizing that her radical feminism open-mindedness really wasn’t open-minded at all. I neglected to mention that she should try converting to Christianity again, if it’s all about dispelling false mysticism and seeing clearly.

Comment #28019

Posted by Ian Hearn on May 4, 2005 5:11 AM (e)

Something Fishy In Africa.

The fossil of a previously unknown Boneless fish is the oldest fish fossil to be found in Africa

“These exciting fossils will help fill in the ‘missing link’ in the evolutionary history of very early fishes,” Professor Aldridge said.
Each new fossil find helps to paint a more complete picture, and indicate when various new adaptations evolved.
“The fossil record confirms that the evolution of fish was a step-wise event,” explained Professor Aldridge. “The various characters that make up a fish, or a vertebrate, didn’t all appear at once - they were added one-by-one through evolutionary time.

Apoligies if this has been on PT before.

Comment #28025

Posted by louis on May 4, 2005 6:26 AM (e)

What always amuses me about the “Darwin to Hitler” argument is that it presupposes that ideas about racial purity and supremacy didn’t exist prior to Darwin. Not only that but it also supposes that people had never justified their actions/ideas by appealing to the “good of the {insert grouping of choice here}”. Not to mention the GLARING strawman in the claim that evolutionary biology specifically advocates that things be done for the good of the species, as if the species were the sole unit of selection and as if that were the “point”.

Sadly for the “Darwin to Hitler” posse one can equally make the case “Muhammed to Hitler” or “Jesus to Hitler” or “Aristotle to Hitler” with similar facility and accuracy. It’s just such a crock that these ideas (evolution and racial purity ideologies) are inextricably linked together.

Social Darwinism my sainted nether regions! Why not have Social Newtonism, which by some “interpretations” must mean that (should we adhere to some of Newton’s more fruity ideas) that because of gravity we must drop people of differing religious views to us out of high windows thus killing them to maintain the purit of our theology?

Bah!

Comment #28026

Posted by louis on May 4, 2005 6:28 AM (e)

What always amuses me about the “Darwin to Hitler” argument is that it presupposes that ideas about racial purity and supremacy etc didn’t exist prior to Darwin. Not only that but it also presupposes that people had never justified their more dubious actions/ideas by appealing to the “good of the {insert grouping of choice here}”. Not to mention the GLARING strawman in the claim that evolutionary biology specifically advocates that things be done for the good of the species, as if the species were the sole unit of selection and as if that were the “point”. There’s just simply too much nonsense in the idea to wade through.

Sadly for the “Darwin to Hitler” posse one can equally make the case “Muhammed to Hitler” or “Jesus to Hitler” or “Aristotle to Hitler” with similar facility and accuracy. It’s just such a crock that these ideas (evolution and racial purity ideologies) are inextricably linked together.

Social Darwinism my sainted nether regions! Why not have Social Newtonism, which by some “interpretations” must mean that (should we adhere to some of Newton’s more fruity ideas) that because of gravity we must drop people of differing religious views to us out of high windows thus killing them to maintain the purity of our theology?

Bah!

Comment #28028

Posted by Tom Curtis on May 4, 2005 6:39 AM (e)

Several people have expressed the opinion above, that Darwin was racist. I do not believe that this view can be sustained by the evidence. Although Darwin wrote several passages that could be viewed as racist in effect, he also frequently lauds people of other races, and not in the stilted way that suggests he is praising their acheivement as exceptional for their race, but simply as exceptional (or at least laudatory) simpliciter.

I think a better reading of Darwin is that he was not a racist, but rather a cultural supremacist. He thought the overwhelming difference between an Englishman and a man from another race was, not that the former was English, but that he was bathed in English culture. He found the company of Fuegans on board the Beagle as least as congenial as that of the English sailors, for they had imbibed, for two years, English culture. But Fuegans in their native culure he considered the lowest humans on Earth. The difference, culture rather than race, was the basis of his discrimination.

Comment #28029

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:46 AM (e)

Regarding Hitler and evolution and creationism, see:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/nazis.htm

Comment #28034

Posted by John Landon on May 4, 2005 6:57 AM (e)

Attempting to defend Darwin from any direct link to Hitler is obviously only fair in what was a complex history. Also, practically everyone was influenced by Darwin and used him to justify their own views.
But when all is said and done the whole tone of cultural discourse was set into a tailspin by Darwin’s (and Spencer’s) work. I was looking at J.Barzun’s _Darwin, Marx, and Wagner_ (from before the Synthesis!, 1941), and he noted just how dreary it was to research the literature of the late nineteenth century in the wake of Darwin’s book, all the forgotten stuff packed off to the archives. The lead up to WWI was filled with pseudo-Darwin. To take it at the high end, compare Kant and Nietzsche (who was critical of Darwin, and yet…). The sudden vicious tone is unmistakable. BTW, even Nietzsche has been quite sanitized, cf. the recent _Nietzsche, Biology, and Metaphor_, dredging up his remarks on extermination.
So while Weikart’s work shows still another important thematic coopted by the ID people, sure to discredit everything they touch, the often disastrous thinking induced in many by Darwin can never be taken lightly.

Any theory about survival of the fittest needs vigilance! Even now the genocidal lunatics are out there, and I have met a number, and they never appear in print. All they need is the wrong moment to get activated. Those underground lunatic Darwinians are always there.

Comment #28037

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 7:20 AM (e)

I knew someone would crawl out of the slime and try to deflect this topic into one of a connection between Christianity and Nazism. I won my private bet–it was Lenny, with the link to the drivel he provided. Before ya’ll go there, I’ll remind you:

Rutgers university (that hotbed of fundamentalist Christendom) has a Nuremberg project (here is the link)where they are investigating new documents. One major part of the Nazi Master plan was “The Persecution of the Christian Churches.”

The editor of the project, Julie Mandel, said

“A lot of people will say, ‘I didn’t realize that they were trying to convert Christians to a Nazi philosophy.’ … They wanted to eliminate the Jews altogether, but they were also looking to eliminate Christianity.”

(the Phildelphia Inquirer, Jan. 9, 2002.)

And from a 1945 OSS report: “Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion”

In light of these, it is clear that Nazis “quote mined” Christianity for their own purposes, that they treated some misguided Christians as “useful idiots” for their own purposes, and that ultimately they would institute a plan of persecution against the church.

Try to stay on topic–which is Darwin and Nazism, not Christianity and Nazism.

Comment #28038

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 7:24 AM (e)

What always amuses me about the “Darwin to Hitler” argument is that it presupposes that ideas about racial purity and supremacy etc didn’t exist prior to Darwin. Not only that but it also presupposes that people had never justified their more dubious actions/ideas by appealing to the “good of the {insert grouping of choice here}”. Not to mention the GLARING strawman in the claim that evolutionary biology specifically advocates that things be done for the good of the species, as if the species were the sole unit of selection and as if that were the “point”. There’s just simply too much nonsense in the idea to wade through.

What amuses me about it is that the very idea of a “genetically pure master race”, is anti-evolutionary. Evolution **depends** on genetic diversity, and cannot work without it.

Any “genetically pure master race” would suffer the same fate as a monocultured wheat field when faced with a disease or parasite. Its future would be short, and its demise certain.

As usual, those who mis-use evolution, are also the ones who understand it the least.

Comment #28041

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 7:48 AM (e)

“As usual, those who mis-use evolution, are also the ones who understand it the least.”

Too bad the same can be said of nuclear physics?

Comment #28043

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 8:04 AM (e)

“I knew someone would crawl out of the slime and try to deflect this topic into one of a connection between Christianity and Nazism”

Slime, eh? Suggesting that Nazism could not have arose without hundreds of years Church sponsored anisemtism is not so much a ‘deflection’ as a counter-explanation. Although the Nazis are probably best understod neither as “Christians” nor “Darwinists” per se, it is difficult to imagine Nazism springing up without either. In fact, it’s utterly ridicuous. The Church paved the way for the extermination of the Jews.

Look at “Hitler’s Willing Executioner’s” by Daniel Goldhagen for an in-depth discussion.

Comment #28045

Posted by PZ Myers on May 4, 2005 8:38 AM (e)

All well and good, but what the heck does atheism have to do with “radical moral philosophies” or Nazism? Your fifth item in each of your two lists just doesn’t fit.

Comment #28046

Posted by D.B. Light on May 4, 2005 8:43 AM (e)

Thanks for the link. This is an interesting site and I will be returning often. Regarding the link between Darwin and Hitler, I think that there is a general misconception here about historical causation. Yes, of course, Darwin’s ideas provided scientific rationales for some of the greatest crimes against humanity ever perpetrated. Similarly, Marx’s claim to “scientific” authority did the same for the even greater crimes perpetrated in Communist countries. But that is a far cry from saying that Darwin and Marx bear some responsibility for those crimes. History doesn’t work that way.

1) Both Darwin and Marx articulated ideas that were not completely unique to them. Lots of other people were thinking along the same lines and the same general concepts would have emerged regardless of whether or not either man ever wrote a word.

2) The assumption is that absent Darwin or Haeckel there would have been no Hitler (or no “final solution”) and that absent Marx there would have been no Stalin or Mao. I rather doubt that – the organization of modern states, the technologies of control, etc. that underlay the rise of totalitarianism would have emerged regardless of whether these ideas were in the air. And, scapegoat groups would have been persecuted in the pursuit of national and social unity. Even if the justifying ideas were absent the same historical situations were likely to emerge, and there are always sources of justification – religion for instance.

3) Nor does the fact that horrific crimes were committed in the name of “science” invalidate the scientific enterprise any more than the fact that crimes were committed in the name of religion invalidates religion. The ideas are not in themselves determinative. Hitler does not invalidate Darwin, nor Stalin Marx, anymore than Torquemada invalidates Jesus Christ.

Comment #28049

Posted by HPLC_Sean on May 4, 2005 9:13 AM (e)

If Darwin’s Origin led to Nazism then:
Einstein killed hundreds of thousands at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Wright brothers killed 3000 at the World Trade Centers.
Utterly ridiculous.

Comment #28050

Posted by Paul King on May 4, 2005 9:33 AM (e)

Any study of the origins of Nazi racial theory has to take into account that it was derived from the Gobineau via Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

Gobineau’s main work on the subject, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, was written in 1853-55, predating Darwin’s publication of his views of evolution.

Comment #28051

Posted by ambrose on May 4, 2005 9:34 AM (e)

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/nazi-priests.jpg.
  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.jpg.
  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 #28052

Posted by jeebus on May 4, 2005 9:41 AM (e)

“I knew someone would crawl out of the slime and try to deflect this topic into one of a connection between Christianity and Nazism.”

Even if there is (at best) an ambiguous connection between Christianity and Nazism, there is certainly no confusion over the DIRECT ROLE Christianity has played in countless other murderous actions.

Oops. Just a technicality, but please replace “Christianity” with “Christians.”

Of course, the role Christians played in Nazism is not ambiguous at all……Doesn’t the Bible teach us to kill people who are different than us?

Comment #28053

Posted by caerbannog on May 4, 2005 9:54 AM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

….….
In light of these, it is clear that Nazis “quote mined” Christianity for their own purposes, that they treated some misguided Christians as “useful idiots” for their own purposes, and that ultimately they would institute a plan of persecution against the church….……

Here are some photos of some of those Christian “useful idiots”: http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

Comment #28055

Posted by the Ticktockman on May 4, 2005 10:17 AM (e)

In light of these, it is clear that Nazis “quote mined” Christianity for their own purposes, that they treated some misguided Christians as “useful idiots” for their own purposes, and that ultimately they would institute a plan of persecution against the church.

some misguided Christians?” A whole country’s worth (and then some)? Unfortunately, Christianity is terribly “quote minable,” and so anti-semitism, sectarian disputes, and the use of religioun as a motivating factor for war precede Nazism and Darwin by centuries. Use of scripture for one’s own purposes and belief in the validity of that scripture are not mutually exclusive (e.g., “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”).

Try to stay on topic—which is Darwin and Nazism, not Christianity and Nazism.

The topic is “From Darwin to Hitler, or Not.” In weighing against a theory, one serves the debate better by adducing other hypotheses. I’d suggest that interpretations of Christianity played a far more significant role in Nazi propaganda and belief than interpretations of Darwin and evolutionary theory (which post-date many conceptions of racial/cultural superiority). Thus, this is very much part of the overarching topic under discussion. Cheers,

-TTm

Comment #28059

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 10:34 AM (e)

Ambrose, caerbannog, TTm, jjebus, since you can’t stay on topic and can’t grasp a point, I’ll try to direct you.

There is a difference between co-opting something for one own’s advantage and sincere support. The Rutgers works trumps anything written before it, for before the Rutgers project it was possible to argue that Nazis believed their own talk when they misused scripture for anti-Semitic purposes. The Rutgers work shows they despised Christianity. The Rutgers work, alas, does not show that they despised evolution.

So back to Darwin and Nazism. Maybe we could start with Hess’s “national socialism is nothing but applied biology.”

Comment #28066

Posted by Jeff Guinn on May 4, 2005 11:19 AM (e)

David:

You could.

But I recommend reading Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” (a truly classic book) first.

You would thereby learn how irrelevant Darwin was to National Socialism.

Comment #28069

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 11:23 AM (e)

How shocking! The Nazis, while claiming to be Christians, persecuted other people who called themselves Christians!

…sounds eerily like what Christians have been doing to one another for the past 20 centuries or so, doesn’t it?

And how can the “persecuted” Christians be distinguished by the “persecuting” Christians, pray tell me? Did you get a phone call from Up There, David, telling you that the Nazis were “no true Scotsmen”?

Comment #28071

Posted by DaveL on May 4, 2005 11:30 AM (e)

I don’t have the exact details at hand, but isn’t it the case that Louis Agassiz, one of the most famous 19th century scientists who never accepted Darwinism, was also rabidly racist? I recall a quote included in one of Gould’s essays where Agassiz was literally revolted by an encounter with a black person in America.

Racism and anti-Semitism will use any tool at hand, and as they are looking for a hammer will see any tool as a hammer; when they do, it’s foolish to blame the tool.

Comment #28072

Posted by Louis on May 4, 2005 11:30 AM (e)

ARGH! Heddle that’s another irony meter you’ve blown!

In the same post referring to the co-option of something for one’s own advantage as a defense/rebuttal of the statedly religious (and even christian in places) sections of Nazi ideology, and then claiming a Darwinian basis for certain Nazi ideology. Oh dear.

Everyone knows the Nazis misused a variety of spiritualist and religious doctrines to suit their own ends and garner popular support. Everyone also knows that their latching onto concpets contained in social Darwiniasm (not something I would defend anyway) and evolutionary biology and twisting them to suit their racist and anti-semitic ideals was an equally unsupportable piece of dishonesty.

The only distinction is that evolutionary biology (as Lenny correctly points out) shows that ideas about racial purity being favoured are clearly incorrect and self-defeating, and that various religions (esp christianity in this case) have been used with apparent scriptural justification to “justify” the most abhorrent practices in human history. Mainly due to the simple fact that religion is something dreamt up in the mind to express desires about the universe and science has to deal with reality as it is, not as it wants it to be. Of course if you disagree with that as I am sure you will, please feel free to answer Lenny Flank’s question about why your religious opinions are any more correct than anyone else’s……

Please stop flogging your tired old strawman.

Comment #28074

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 11:40 AM (e)

Louis,

I agree with you–I absolutely think it is meaningless to tie evolution to Nazism. Of course the Nazis co-opted evolution, and of course this has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of evolution, which is a scientific theory and thus politically agnostic. I was responding in kind to the idiots who wanted to tie Christianity to Nazism, as a deflection. Your hero Lenny is the chief of sinners in this regard.

Comment #28075

Posted by someeyes on May 4, 2005 11:45 AM (e)

Jeff Guinn wrote:

But I recommend reading Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” (a truly classic book) first.

‘Road to serfdom’ is probably the lengthiest slippery slope fallacy ever…

Comment #28078

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 11:52 AM (e)

Hmmm, David dodged my question. I wonder why.

And how can the “persecuted” Christians be distinguished by the “persecuting” Christians, pray tell me?

What makes the “persecuted Christians” more Christians than the “persecuting Christians”?

Face it, David: as much as you wish it to go away, history has shown us countless examples of Christians (both as individuals and as organizations) harassing, torturing, murdering other Christians (as well as non-Christians, of course).

Do you know where the real difference is, between “Darwin-to-Hitler” and “Luther-to-Hitler” reasoning?

That we do have a way to see whether the Nazis were “Darwinists” (hint: they weren’t), whereas we don’t have any such way to check whether Nazis were “Christians” (unless one takes the entirely ludicrous idea that David Heddle’s opinion is enough to bar Nazis from being Christians).

Martin Luther wasn’t “misrepresented” or “interpreted” by the Nazis.

Comment #28081

Posted by T. Bruce McNeely on May 4, 2005 11:54 AM (e)

It’s totally absurd to imply that Nazi genocide would not have occurred in the absence of the theory of evolution. Genocide has been a part of human behavior throughout history. See Jared Diamond’s writings or (ahem) the Old Testament. Artificial selection (breeding) has been known about for just as long. If the Nazis did resort to Darwin’s work to justify their actions (something I doubt occured to a significant degree), it would simply be that, a justification.

Comment #28086

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 12:08 PM (e)

Oh FCD let me see if I can find your question:

how can the “persecuted” Christians be distinguished by the “persecuting” Christians

They can’t, if I understand your question. Christians can sin in all conceivable ways–what’s your point? Can you distinguish between evophiles who supported Hitler and those who opposed him?

I avoided answering because it was a rather dumb question.

Certainly I cannot say whether this Nazi or that Nazi was a Christian, an no doubt some regarded themselves as such–but we now can say the Nazis as a party had a plan tp persecute Christians. (They do not seem to have had a plan to persecute ecolutionists.) In other words, it has now been demonstrated that the Nazi party as an organization did not consider itself Christian, but anti-Christian.

Comment #28089

Posted by PvM on May 4, 2005 12:17 PM (e)

While history and logic may not be your strongest skills they seem to still be exceeding your understanding of evolutionary science.

Why not address the issues raised?

Face it, David: as much as you wish it to go away, history has shown us countless examples of Christians (both as individuals and as organizations) harassing, torturing, murdering other Christians (as well as non-Christians, of course).

Do you know where the real difference is, between “Darwin-to-Hitler” and “Luther-to-Hitler” reasoning?

That we do have a way to see whether the Nazis were “Darwinists” (hint: they weren’t), whereas we don’t have any such way to check whether Nazis were “Christians” (unless one takes the entirely ludicrous idea that David Heddle’s opinion is enough to bar Nazis from being Christians).

Martin Luther wasn’t “misrepresented” or “interpreted” by the Nazis.

Comment #28090

Posted by Louis on May 4, 2005 12:19 PM (e)

Heddle,

Lenny’s not precisely my hero per se (sorry Lenny, I can tell you’re crushed, no, really!), but he has asked a question you and many others apparently cannot answer. Now any fool can ask a difficult or unanswerable question, but Lenny’s question does have an answer and the interesting thing about the answer is watching the shennanigans of the dishonest type of theist (for by no means are they all of this type) whilst they try to wriggle away from giving the answer they know to be honest and correct.

The Nazi/evolution/christianity thing has only one problem for you and your ilk. As you have freely admitted evolutionary biology and Nazi ideology have nothing to do with one another. The trick is that certain christian ideals and certain Nazi ideals actually have a lot in common, where they aren’t actually identical. Interestingly, as one might expect, christianity also contains ideals that are entirely antithetical to both these same nazi and christian ideals mentioned in the previous sentence. Hmmmmm now comes the trick, how do we decide which set of ideals to follow and why….

Back to Lenny.

Comment #28093

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 12:31 PM (e)

Heddle:

Where, exactly, in your precious Rutgers report does it say that the Nazi Party considered itself anti-Christian?

PvM:

I suppose you are talking to Heddle, but you should probably make it clearer.

Comment #28095

Posted by Ed Darrell on May 4, 2005 12:34 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'li'

Comment #28098

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 12:48 PM (e)

Louis,

Lenny asks an idiotic question that I have answered too many times, but here goes again: I think my opinions are correct, because if I didn’t, I’d change them (duh). I do not think they authoritative, but I do think thet are correct. You see the difference? Lenny doesn’t. Do you hold to any opinions that you think are wrong?

FCD, I may have gone out on a limb, maybe I was off base by equating a master plan for persecuting Chistians with being anti-Christian. They just seem so similar.

Comment #28100

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 12:55 PM (e)

Heddle:

That’s exactly the point I made and you missed.

If attacking Christians makes one anti-Christian, then Catholics are anti-Christian, Protestants are anti-Christian, Greek Orthodox are anti-Christian, and so on and so forth ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

Sorry, David: Christians have attacked, persecuted, ostracized, tortured, killed, and spit upon other Christians since the beginning of Christianity. That the Nazi did likewise does not detract from their considering themselves Christians.

Comment #28105

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 1:09 PM (e)

@Hedley:
“…the idiots who wanted to tie Christianity to Nazism, as a deflection.”

a defelection from what? the ties to evolution, which you yourself have also dismissed?

“Of course the Nazis co-opted evolution, and of course this has no bearing whatsoever on the merits of evolution, which is a scientific theory and thus politically agnostic.”

If you want to defend christianity in a political sense, you best find some better battles to fight.

Comment #28106

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 1:13 PM (e)

Geez FCD, the difference is not even subtle. Let’s assume a gross oversimplification, that in Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants are fighting over purely religious differences. Then one group of Christians is killing another, and both groups sincerely claim to be Christian. What the Nuremberg documents show is that the Nazis wanted to get rid of the church altogether. That they would use party plants within the churches for their purposes, persecute church leaders, and eliminate all denominations. The Nazi plan was not to wipe out Catholics and Protestants in favor of “Nazi Christianity”, but to eliminate them in favor of National Socialism, period. Go read the documents.

Comment #28107

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 1:14 PM (e)

test

Comment #28108

Posted by Ed Darrell on May 4, 2005 1:19 PM (e)

Heddle,

Nor does the Rutgers archive show that Nazis liked evolution, or even knew anything about it. Nor does the archive, showing that there were plans to oppress some Christian churches, suggest in any way that the Nazis were opposed to all Christian churches.

I suspect that a fair study would show there were a number of Darwinists shipped to the concentration camps or otherwise made non grata, marginalized, or forced to leave Germany. Do you really think we should say that the Nazis having driven Einstein away means they were opposed to nuclear theory? (There was the famous compilation of ‘100 scientists’ essays against Einstein;’ Einstein said, “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”)

So stick with the 300 DI scientists against Darwin, but don’t further muddle your already muddled politics with Nazi-ism, pro or con. Some things don’t deserve to be made into hash.

300 scientists? If Darwin were wrong, one would be enough. 100 scientists? 300 scientists? What’s the difference?

Comment #28109

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 1:23 PM (e)

I went, I read, and you are guilty of wishful thinking.

I do not object to your disassociating yourself from the Nazis; on the contrary, I applaud that. But whitewashing the Nazis’ own consistent declaration of Christianity, on the basis of their intention of demolishing any competing Christian organization in their path, is pure hogwash.

Or maybe the fact that Stalin murdered hundreds of thousands of Communists and dismantled or took over the organizations of the Bolshevik “old guard” should have him re-classified as an anti-Communist, David? What’s good for the goose, etc.

Comment #28111

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 1:26 PM (e)

David

I think my opinions are correct, because if I didn’t, I’d change them (duh). I do not think they authoritative, but I do think thet are correct.

That’s nice. Why not keep your non-authoritative religious opinions to yourself then?

Thanks.

Comment #28112

Posted by Andrew on May 4, 2005 1:27 PM (e)

Um, idiot: Christian Nazis who killed Christian non-Nazis is “one group of Christians killing another,” which is the whole point of Aureola Nominee, FCD’s argument in the first place.

In any event, given the overwhelming evidence that Hitler considered himself to be a Christian, Heddle’s argument amounts to nothing more the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. Everyone else knows this already.

Comment #28115

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 1:45 PM (e)

Andrew, you are truly a moron. The whole point of the Rutgers documents is that Hitler wasn’t a Christian, but that he played the game, when it suited him, for political purposes. Do you have any skill at following an agument?

Ed, I’ll stick with my muddled politics, just as sure as you’ll stick with your muddled logic.

FCD, yes–declaring their Christianity in public, when it suited them, certainly trumps a secret plan to kill Christians! By all means!

Comment #28117

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 1:51 PM (e)

“ The whole point of the Rutgers documents is that Hitler wasn’t a Christian, but that he played the game, when it suited him, for political purposes. “

hmm. just like most of the neocons, David.

Comment #28118

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

The keyword is “competing Christian organizations”, David.

Much like the Catholic Church tried to do with several Protestant sects, or vice versa, for instance.

If you were a Nazi Christian in Nazi Germany nobody would ship you off to a concentration camp for uour Christianity, so no, the Nazis hadn’t “a secret plan to kill Christians”, but merely “a not-so-secret plan to kill non-Nazi Christians”.

Nazism wasn’t a necessary consequence of Christianity, but this is not what we were talking about.

Andrew:

Heddle knows that this is simply the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, as I said so in my very first post on this thread. I’m afraid he’s not simply mistaken; he’s being dishonest, in the service of “a greater cause”.

Comment #28120

Posted by Andrew on May 4, 2005 1:57 PM (e)

Since I’m apparently too moronic to ascertain who’s a “real” Christian and who’s really pretending, I’d like David Heddle to set forth that criterion for me.

So Heddle, here’s my question: When someone professes, both publicly and in private, that they are a Christian (as Hitler did), how do I know whether they’re actually a “real” Heddle-approved Christian or not?

Comment #28123

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 2:14 PM (e)

Andrew, here is a very, very good clue! Are you ready? Write this down: If they have a secret master plan to persecute and kill Christians, then they are not “Heddle-approved.”

Comment #28125

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 4, 2005 2:20 PM (e)

Still playing with words, eh, David?

Hint: killing some Christians for not toeing the party line is not the same as killing Christians for being Christians.

And that’s that for me. Your state of denial is only mildly amusing, and your dishonesty not at all. Take care.

Comment #28129

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 2:36 PM (e)

David Heddle,

If the Nazi’s attempted extermination of the Jews had so little to do with the thousand year-old tradition of European Christian antisemitism, then I ask you to provide an alternative explanation as for: 1) Why the Jews were singled out by the German people? and 2) What factors created the conditions for the implimentation of the Final Solution.

And if you believe that any old scapegoat would have been adequate, please explain why this adequate scapegoat has historically alway been the Jew.

(And oh, please do this without refering to Christianity. Good luck…and be careful!)

Comment #28131

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

Or maybe: The Nazi’s weren’t Christian. They just co-opted ‘regular’ European Christian antisemitism to suit thier own goal of exterminating the Jewish people…

I’m fine with that too!

Comment #28133

Posted by the Ticktockman on May 4, 2005 2:50 PM (e)

Andrew, here is a very, very good clue! Are you ready? Write this down: If they have a secret master plan to persecute and kill Christians, then they are not “Heddle-approved.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t a very useful answer unless you have the benefit of historical hindsight and/or access to that secret master plan.

-TTm

Comment #28142

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on May 4, 2005 3:07 PM (e)

PZ wrote,

All well and good, but what the heck does atheism have to do with “radical moral philosophies” or Nazism? Your fifth item in each of your two lists just doesn’t fit.

That is the key bit of Weikart’s argument, evolution=Darwinism=atheism=downfall of morality. A classic core tenent of creationism/ID, actually. I disagree, of course.

Given how Weikart has always responded with alacrity to previous critiques on the web, if we don’t see a reply from him in a few days I think we can safely consider his argument holed beneath the waterline.

Comment #28146

Posted by Ed Darrell on May 4, 2005 3:15 PM (e)

Nazis persecuted Darwin’s followers, too
Well, David, if muddle is what you want, here it is.

From the Cornell index to the documents, we get this little wonder, which details the Nazi hassling of free-thinkers, including Darwinists – wasn’t this what you said had NOT happened?

Volume X
Subdivision: Subdivision 18 / Relations with the Christian Churches
Part Not applicable
Section 18.05 (PID-PW Series No. 15)
Title: “The German Monists Organization” (.PDF) / CONFIDENTIAL
Pages: 6, plus an unnumbered cover page.
Date: June 1945
Language: English; the translator is identified as “O.W.I., R&A Section, Translator’s Unit.”
Author: Franz Hesse
Witness: Not applicable

Other Names: Ernst Haeckel; Spinoza; Hume; Locke; Comte; Feuerbach; Darwin; Nietzsche; Helmholtz; Goering; Hermann Sudermann; Prof. Unna; Prof. Immanuel Herrmann; Prof. Robert Reimann; Wilhelm Boelsche; Prof. Friedrich Jodl; Pfarrer August Kalthoff; Prof. Theodor Hartwig; Prof. Wilhelm Ostwald; Prof. August Forel; Prof. Felix Linke; Prof. Heinrich Schmidt; Prof. M. H. Baege; Prof. Arnold Dodel; Herbert Eulenberg; Dr. Graf Arco; Dr. Rudolf Goldscheid; Dr. Max Deri; Dr. Paul Wolski; Dr. Raabe; Prof. Heinrich Schmidt; Albert Bessner; Rudolf Virschow; Friedrich Schiller; Hitler; von Papen; Dr. Max Seber; Dr. Georg Kramer; Otto Knopf; Ernst Mach; Albert Einstein; Joergen Joergensen; Richard von Mises; Rudolf Carnap; Hans Reichenbach; Niels Bohr; Philip Frank; Moritz Schlick; Bertrand Russell; H. G. Wells

Other Dates: July 1933; May 1935; January 1938; October 1938; May 1939; 10 March 1945

Abstract: This document is a brief history of the German Monist Organization from 1933 to 1939, and recounts how the community of free-thinkers managed to survive and communicate, through various carefully-camouflaged publications, despite being constantly scrutinized by the Gestapo. The author’s main contention is that the Catholic and Protestant Churches were not the only religious or philosophical organizations to suffer at the hands of the Nazis, and that their respective claims to having a privileged place in the reconstruction of Germany is both unwarranted and dangerous. This document is a typewritten copy of good to fair quality on slightly browning paper.
Keywords Persecution of Christian Churches; Crimes against humanity; Free Masons; Free-Thinkers; Non-Confessionals; Christian sects; German Monists; Persecution of unorthodox thought; Monistische Monatsheft; Die Stimme der Vernunft; Natur und Geist; Natural philosophy; German Faith Movement; Deutsche Glaubensbewegung; Positivism; Vienna Circle

A .pdf of the photocopy of the document can be read here:
http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/donovan/

As I noted before, this is a political issue, not an issue of science. There is no positive correlation between evolution and the Third Reich – if anything, the correlation is negative. Attempts to claim otherwise, in addition to being boorish, are incorrect.

Comment #28147

Posted by neo-anti-luddite on May 4, 2005 3:17 PM (e)

Not to step on any toes, but the Gypsies (or Travellers, if you prefer) were also sytematically rounded up and exterminated by the Nazis, for pretty much the same reasons. Although fewer Gypsies than Jews suffered at the Nazis’ hands, most of the authorities I’ve read agree that a far greater percentage of the total Gypsy population of Nazi-occupied Europe died than did the comparable Jewish population (I’ve read estimates that approach 75%, but the accuracy of such claims is tricky to ascertain given the nature of Traveller society).

Just an FYI, and certainly not an attempt to downplay the horrors of the Holocaust with regards to Jews or any other targeted group.

As for the Nazi-Christianity link, it seems to me that many of the ceremonies and trapping of the Nazi state religion are a pastiche of Christian and non-Christian traditions (with a strong dose of overly romaticized “paganism” (a term I’m using extremely losely here)).

As for the Nazis’ supposed use of Darwin as a justification for their atrocites, well…the technique seems more than a little similar to Dembski’s quotation of Ward about the Cambrian Explosion. Duplicity in the service of one’s own version of “the higher good” is a depressingly common phenomenon among us humans.

Comment #28148

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

“…but the Gypsies (or Travellers, if you prefer) were also sytematically rounded up and exterminated by the Nazis, for pretty much the same reasons.”

And these reasons are…?

Comment #28149

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 3:31 PM (e)

I.e. since German Jews were some of the most assimilated in Europe, it’s hard for me to understand what you mean by “the same reasons”.

Comment #28153

Posted by neo-anti-luddite on May 4, 2005 3:36 PM (e)

They are a convenient scapegoat population that the majority of Germans (and, truth be told, Europeans in general) viewed negatively at the time; they are a non-Aryan enthic group; they attempt to keep their own traditions and culture separate from the one(s) in which they find themselves (ie: they are the Other); they wouldn’t conform to the State’s rules.

You know, the usual Nazi crap.

Comment #28154

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 3:38 PM (e)

Just a brief quiz to lighten things up here. Who uttered the following statement?

I affirm my faith when I’m asked about it, but I always try to do so in a way that communicates absolute respect not only for people who worship in a different way, but just as much respect for those who do not believe in God, who are atheists. Atheists have just as much of a right to the public discourse as people of any religious faith in this country. And I think we have got to really stand and, if necessary, fight for that principle.

Virtual six-pack to the winner.

Comment #28155

Posted by neo-anti-luddite on May 4, 2005 3:40 PM (e)

While it’s true that German Jews were some of the most assimilated in Europe, that doesn’t mean that the non-Jewish Germans felt that way. Of course, Hitler elevated the ethnic tensions by conflating them with class tension (ie: the “rich Jew” stereotype), which found fertile ground in the economically depressed post-WWI non-minority German population.

Comment #28156

Posted by SteveF on May 4, 2005 3:40 PM (e)

Was it Sean Hannity?

Comment #28158

Posted by David Heddle on May 4, 2005 3:52 PM (e)

GWW,

That’d be Al Gore, when he took a break from inventing the internet. Make that Coors, I enjoy a nice reactionary brew.

Comment #28159

Posted by neo-anti-luddite on May 4, 2005 3:55 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

That’d be Al Gore, when he took a break from inventing the internet.

Except, of course, that Al Gore never actually claimed that he invented the Internet. Care to link to your source, David?

Comment #28160

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 4:01 PM (e)

Make that Coors, I enjoy a nice reactionary brew.

Heh, it’s been a while but you cracked me up with that line. Kudos!

The sixer is David’s. Al Gore was (and is) the man.

Comment #28161

Posted by jeebus on May 4, 2005 4:02 PM (e)

“Who uttered the following statement?”

George W. Bush?

(I actually have heard him make a few PC comments regarding atheism, so it’s worth a try…)

Comment #28163

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 4:04 PM (e)

“they are a non-Aryan enthic group”

Then why did they stick those yellow stars on ‘em?

“they attempt to keep their own traditions and culture separate from the one(s) in which they find themselves”

They do? How conspiritorial!

“they wouldn’t conform to the State’s rules”

I don’t kno what this is supposed to mean.

“they are the Other”

Do we have a postmodernist? (Nothing to see here, move along, they are “the other”.)

Comment #28164

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 4:13 PM (e)

Since we’re talking about the intellectual origins of Nazism, it is important to note that coordinated anti-gypsy programs didn’t start for some time after the Nazis took power. Persecution of the gypsies was a (tragic) afterthought:

“For Nazi Germany the Gypsies became a racist dilemma. The Gypsies were Aryans, but in the Nazi mind there were contradictions between what they regarded as the superiority of the Aryan race and their image of the Gypsies…

“At a conference held in Berlin on January 30, 1940, a decision was taken to expel 30,000 Gypsies from Germany to the territories of occupied Poland…

“The reports of the SS Einsatzgruppen [special task forces] which operated in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union mention the murder of thousands of Gypsies along with the massive extermination of the Jews in these areas.

“The deportations and executions of the Gypsies came under Himmler’s authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all Gypsies to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions…”

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/gypsies.html

Comment #28165

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 4:16 PM (e)

And Heddle, judging by your CV it looks like you have some time on your hands.

Pity you chose not to answer any of my questions…

Happy Holocaust Rememberance Day to All and to All a Good Night!

Comment #28166

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on May 4, 2005 4:18 PM (e)

The “The German Monists Organization” PDF mentioned above is apparently here, specifically:

http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/donovan/show.asp

…about halfway down.

Comment #28168

Posted by isidore on May 4, 2005 4:29 PM (e)

But before I go:

“While it’s true that German Jews were some of the most assimilated in Europe, that doesn’t mean that the non-Jewish Germans felt that way. “

Oh they felt this way. In fact, that’s what make Jews so creepy to non-Jews. I.e. one never knows who might be a Jew. Th eironic thing is that, if all Jews just slapped on black hats and grew beards, nobody would give them much notice…

Comment #28169

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 4:36 PM (e)

hahahhahaha.

heddley fell for that one hook, line, and sinker GWW!

I applaud your efforts.

should i spill the correct answer?

i’ll “disemvowel” it:

Cc Cnnlly

in The Washington Post, 12/18/99

tho in truth, it is a perfect example of “quote constructivism” if you will allow me to use the term.

if you don’t know what this is all about, I’m sure GWW will tell you soon enough.

BTW, COORS SUCKS!

I like Bass Ale or Guinness myself.

cheers

Comment #28171

Posted by hortensio on May 4, 2005 4:39 PM (e)

Tiny, irrelevant, non-Holocaust-related comment to the original post:

I don’t know if Richards discussed Weikart’s book specifically — I bet he did, but there is no evidence on this at the moment…

He mentioned it as a sort of one-liner as he was introducing his theme toward the start of the lecture. Rough [memory-tainted?] paraphrase: “An example that doesn’t need any comment is a book that came out recently. Its title was From Darwin to Hitler.” As I recall, though, he didn’t discuss any specific books or authors who make this connection; he discussed the grounds on which such claims can be made and evaluated.

Comment #28172

Posted by caerbannog on May 4, 2005 4:42 PM (e)

David Heddle wrote:

Make that Coors, I enjoy a nice reactionary brew….

(This probably should be posted over at the Bathroom Wall, but what the heck..)

Q: Why is Coors like sex in a canoe?

A: Because it’s f@#&ing close to water!

Comment #28173

Posted by Jim Harrison on May 4, 2005 4:43 PM (e)

Like any other immense group, the Christians contain good men and bad, wise and foolish. I do think, however, that the active defense of the religion, like any other sustained attempt to play to the cheap seats, tends to harm the character of the apologist. The faith provides a blanket excuse to resort to any rhetorical method whatsoever, including, obviously, nonstop dishonesty. Well, you have to admit, if the end is ever going to justify the means, saving souls from eternal perditiion fits the bill.

Too bad the whole program is so childish.

Comment #28174

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 4:43 PM (e)

Oh my, I just noticed GWW’s reponse “confirming” Hedley’s supposedly “correct” answer.

Please tell me you were just leading him on? Your question was the perfect one to lure out folks that don’t pay attention to where quotes come from.

do you want to provide the correct link to show where the quote really came from, or should I?

Comment #28178

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 5:00 PM (e)

Sir TJ – it was Al Gore who said the line about respecting atheist’s views as much as the views of religious people. That’s what the contest was about.

Of course Al Gore never claimed to have invented the Internet. Everyone who isn’t a sleep walking zombie knows that by now.

I assume Heddle was making a joke when he referenced the sad myth re the Internet – granted, a much less amusing one than his joke about Coors being a “reactionary brew,” but still a joke.

Only David can set us straight (frightening prospect, but there you go).

Comment #28180

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 5:12 PM (e)

oh man, i thought you were referring to the fact that what Al said was so horribly quote mined by Ceci in the post article, which is documented on the Howler:

http://www.dailyhowler.com/h121899_1.shtml

I stand corrected then.

I have to ask then; what was the point of bringing that quote up to begin with?

Comment #28185

Posted by Anna on May 4, 2005 5:33 PM (e)

Speaking as someone who was present at Richards’ lecture:

Haeckel was no more anti-semitic than anyone around him; in fact, in many respects he was far more tolentant of Jews than your average Fritz. He put Jews at the top of evolutionary tree right along with Europeans and advocated their assimilation through intermarriage. So any statement to the effect that Haeckel considered Jews biologically inferior and deserving only of extermination is plain ridiculous.

Comment #28188

Posted by mynym on May 4, 2005 5:39 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #28197

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:02 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #28198

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:05 PM (e)

I knew someone would crawl out of the slime and try to deflect this topic into one of a connection between Christianity and Nazism.

You mean there is no link? Gosh, then who the hell is this “Almighty Creator” that Hitler mentions dozens of times in “Mein Kampf” )but oddly enough, doesn’t mention evolution or Darwin even ONCE) …. .

Oh, and why do all the neo-Nazi and Klan groups talk about this same “Almighty Creator”, and also do not mention “Darwin” or “evolution”.

Hmmmmmmm ……

Comment #28199

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:10 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #28204

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

(There was the famous compilation of ‘100 scientists’ essays against Einstein;’ Einstein said, “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”)

Anything like “400 Scientists who oppose darwinism” … ?

Comment #28206

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 4, 2005 6:18 PM (e)

BTW, COORS SUCKS!

I like Bass Ale or Guinness myself.

I homebrew my own porter.

I call it “Viking Piss”.

Comment #28207

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 6:23 PM (e)

Sir TJ

I have to ask then; what was the point of bringing that quote up to begin with?

An ill-advised attempt to provide some mental relief from a discussion about the Nazi’s reasons for killing Jews versus Gypsies?

That’s all I got, sorry.

Comment #28212

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 6:31 PM (e)

my bad for reading more into it then.

:/

cheers

Comment #28215

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 6:33 PM (e)

mynym

Darwin layed the foundation that Hitler built on. Anyone even vaguely aware of the history knows that historical fact.

Hitler was a carpenter?

Comment #28216

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 6:35 PM (e)

I call it “Viking Piss”.

sounds like a good name for a label.

It’s so hard to get good brew out here in the desert.

:(

Comment #28228

Posted by Great White Wonder on May 4, 2005 7:05 PM (e)

It’s so hard to get good brew out here in the desert.

When I was in Tempe recently I became a huge fan of Bridgeport IPA. The alcohol content is perfect for sustained swigging.

Comment #28232

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 7:10 PM (e)

Bridgeport IPA…

on tap or bottled?

Comment #28234

Posted by Sir_Toejam on May 4, 2005 7:13 PM (e)

“Hitler was a carpenter?”

hmm. now who else was also historically considered to be a carpenter?

coincidence?

;)

Comment #28237

Posted by Steve Reuland on May 4, 2005 7:20 PM (e)

Not to step on any toes, but the Gypsies (or Travellers, if you prefer) were also sytematically rounded up and exterminated by the Nazis, for pretty much the same reasons.

So were homosexuals. Guess who wants to round up and execute all of the homosexuals today? I’ll give you a hint: The guy who bankrolls the DI, which gave Weikart a fellowship for his book, counted himself among their numbers not long ago.

Comment #28248

Posted by DAB on May 4, 2005 7:57 PM (e)

Congratulations to mynym for his expert use of the classic device: “As even a freshman knows…” I’ve been involved with history for 35 years, including three years of graduate study under Leonard Krieger, and I don’t recall the Darwin to Hitler notion as being treated as factual. It is around, as are Luther to Hitler, Friedrich II (both of them) to Hitler, Rousseau to Hitler (one of my favorites), Goethe to Hitler, and a few dozen more. Where is the solid scholarship?

Comment #28336

Posted by gaebolga on May 5, 2005 7:15 AM (e)

You forgot “Wagner to Hitler”….

Comment #28347

Posted by isisdore on May 5, 2005 8:54 AM (e)

“You mean there is no link?  Gosh, then who the hell is this “Almighty Creator” that Hitler mentions dozens of times in “Mein Kampf” )but oddly enough, doesn’t mention evolution or Darwin even ONCE) …. .”

The Holocaust has little to do with monotheism or “creationism” or whatever it is you’re trying to say here. According to your logic then, their is a “link” between ancient Judaism and the holocaust. I mean there *is* a “link” I suppose but’s it’s not that helpful for understanding why a modern nation would industrialize the extermination of an entire group of people.

The most direct “cause” for the Holocaust is more specifically European Christian antisemitism and its prosletyzing, superseccessionist theology and decades of church sponsored antisemitism.

(And the “Jewish Problem” was much older than Darwin or the industrial revolution.)

But to suggest that the Holocaust resulted from a belief in an “Almighty Creator” or old-testament deity, although a great “dis” to a bigotted ID asshole, is also to suggest that Jews are somehow “to blame” for the Holocaust. And it’s also wrong.

Comment #28351

Posted by isisdore on May 5, 2005 9:04 AM (e)

“Odd, that evolutionists cannot seem to understand the principles involved in tracing the evolution of an idea…”

Odd that fundamentalist Christians can’t (or don’t) bother to trace the roots of antisemitism to medeival Christian theology and culture.

What’s the “meme” that best explains this recurrent pattern of hypocracy and self-denial among your ilk I wonder?

Comment #28510

Posted by "Rev Dr" Lenny Flank on May 5, 2005 8:01 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #28858

Posted by Pauli Ojala on May 7, 2005 2:38 PM (e)

Sir - Sirius,

1) It seems that you have not paid attention to the bull’s eye:
Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” may have been written by the other Thule Society occultist Rudolf Hess, but from Hitler’s babble talk, at least. The Kampf-word was a direct translitteration from the… from the… from the Origin.

Whose the full name was
Darwin, Charles (1859) The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the STRUGGLE for Life.

2) Haeckel did die, eventually. His final act, however, was to help to erect the Thule Society in 1919, a secret organ that desperately seeked a common man as a glimmering Fuhrer to hide the real elitistic drive. ruling Nazi’s quicly forbid the Thule behind the Germanenorden in 1933-34- but for the very reason to cover up their way of arranging the money to run a private army of S.A. that was four times bigger than the Wehrmacht a’la Versailles pact.

They were hired arms, not philantropists! And they were largely pair abroad, US mainly. Here we get to Skull & Bones. Samuel Bush worked for Remington, for instance.

SA troops (storm troopers) numbered 350,000 for many years when the correspondent ultra rightwing parties got only a few percentage of the votes in elections. Who paid these private arms, that were four times larger than Wehrmacht, the German field army after the Versailles? SA did not manage its duties for charity and its troops were not considered “Altkämpfers”, as the organization was dismantled after Hitler assumed power. Despite the title of Fritz Thyssen’s (1873-1951) book “I paid Hitler” (1941) the sum of 1 million German marks displayed in it is not satisfactory.

As for George Walker, according to the accusations of Loftus and Aarons, at the time he did not yet directly benefit from financing Hitler. He invested.

“Walker was one of Hitler’s most powerful financial supporters in the United States. The relationship went all the way back to 1924, when Fritz Thyssen, the German industrialist, was financing Hitler’s infant Nazi party.” (p. 358).

If true, Walker was supporting the movement in its most vulnerable and critical period. It was the period after the 1923 inflation, when Hitler was released from prison and the politics were brutalized and radicalized. The foreign currency prooved to be vital, when inflation raised the exchange rate fabulously high. (1.11.1923 one US dollar costed 130,000 million German marks, which consumed all of the savings of the middle class.)

Both H’s were funky occultists, but I can see why Dr. Weikart does not want that label to his book.

3) Weikart does not say that there is a direct causality between Darwin and Hitler. You are baking the issue, boys! Making it all up. All Weikart says is: “Ever since Darwin”. That is: “a chronological follow up from Darwin’s unleashing until Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel”.

4) It was UNCLE DARWIN, who explicitly gave the mantle to the young and ambitious Ernst! In the Descent he flatters an totters the boy professor to the seventh heaven! “His knowledge is Soooooooouuuuu much fuller than mine!” And blaa blaa blaa.

C’me on! Let’s face it. Darwin ATE most of his “specimen” quote unquote. Haeckel had more titels and epithets that a prize winning German shepherd. Darwin had not any. He was a drop out. Two times. Whence the “Master of Arts” in his old days?!?

The correspondence between Haeckel-Darwin-Haeckel has not been published yet in full. But it is already clear that the letters prove that Darwin blessed the boy. Both had been married to their cousins - and when Ernst’ cousin died in his husband’s 30th birthday… Darwin was nothing but sympathy. Haeckel even visited the ol’ Down’s rogue by the time. Ernst could not even attend to the funerals. He became so bitter to God.

Even the “bulldog” publically confessed that his German counterpart was the real “rotweiler” of Darwin. A bigger shot than he was. The grandpa of Julian Huxley and Aldous Huxley. Thomas Henry Bulldog was the one who translated Haeckel’s stuff, coming up with his term “agnostic”. It was not only against the church but also against the Monist conviction and Moneron-fakes. Yes, uxley recycled the brutal embryo figures at the ethical tangent despite the fact that he knew the spontaneous generation in Monera were a deliberate fraud.

4) In the same year, 1859, also 24 canines invaded Australia with a similar vigor. Now they number how many? And who knows the name of this Thomas Austin, Darwin’s country man?

Pauli.Ojla@gmail.com
Helsinki
Finland

Comment #28866

Posted by Ed Darrell on May 7, 2005 3:36 PM (e)

Pauli Ojala said:

1) It seems that you have not paid attention to the bull’s eye:
Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” may have been written by the other Thule Society occultist Rudolf Hess, but from Hitler’s babble talk, at least. The Kampf-word was a direct translitteration from the … from the … from the Origin.

Whose the full name was
Darwin, Charles (1859) The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the STRUGGLE for Life.

Suggesting that Hitler got his idea for using the German word for “struggle” from Darwin would require that Hitler had read Darwin, for which there is not even a claim of a possibility.

The struggle Darwin writes about is the struggle to gather food and make a nest – anyone who had read Darwin would understand immediately that Hitler’s struggle, in prison, was not in any way the same.

And anyone who has bothered to read Darwin knows that Origin of Species addresses human struggle not at all.

And as to the political family links to the rise of Hitler – between the Lindberghs, Kennedys and Bushes, it’s a wonder that Hitler’s crew didn’t just buy Germany, if we were to put stock in half the conspiracy stories that come down the pike.

There is no connection. Hitler’s refusal to allow transfusions was based on his solid, anti-Darwinian misunderstanding of science. The end.

Facts are stubborn things, John Adams said. Even more stubborn than conspiracy theorists.

Comment #28946

Posted by Pauli Ojala on May 8, 2005 3:32 AM (e)

“And anyone who has bothered to read Darwin knows that Origin of Species addresses human struggle not at all.”

Darwin, actually, concluded the Origin with a hint on that direction. After much speculation, a short mention of the future prospect is even more effective, of course. He played tactics and the strategy helped the conservative readership to accept “his theory”.

I would also recall that Darwin’s Descent of Man was published in 1871, prior to Adolf’s birth even.

“The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.” Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, p. 318. Francis Darwin (editor).

By the time, angry mob worried about the “Lebenstraume” certainly had suck the “Struggle” concept already in their mother’s milk. Darwin’s Origin IS a complicated book and heavy to digest for a high school dropout.

“Any study of the origins of Nazi racial theory has to take into account that it was derived from the Gobineau via Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
Gobineau’s main work on the subject, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, was written in 1853-55, predating Darwin’s publication of his views of evolution.”

Even Haeckel was not the MAIN progenitor of anti-semitism. What makes him differ from ther extravagant persecutor Theodor Fritsch, for instance, are the big prints and Haeckel’s sermons to common crowds in rented halls.

Gobineau, then, he was an obscure lunatic. It was Haeckel who gave the fool his prestige and audience and attention.

Haeckel considered human thought as a mere physiological process and stressed the physical similarity of humans and animals. The man and the myth applied the cherished comparative embryology to cheapen human beings from special creation to animal kingdom.

Haeckel’s Wonders of Life (Lebenswunder 1904) was a supplement to the best-selling Riddle of the Universe (1899), and in it Haeckel declared that the newborn human infant is deaf and without consciousness, from which he reasons that there is no soul or spirit even by birth. Haeckel advocated the destruction of abnormal new born infants and argued that it cannot rationally be classed as murder. Eventually, Haeckel recapitulated convincing statistics to persue “an act of kindness” and “redemption from evil” to liquidate the invalids by a dose of morphia .

Daniel Gasman (1971) reminded how Haeckel had declared:
“Among the Spartans all newly born children were subject to a careful examination and selection. All those that were weak, sickly, or affected with any bodily infirmity, were killed. Only the perfectly healthy and strong children were allowed to live, and they alone afterwards propagated the race.’” (The History of Creation, p. 170).

It is not only “guilt by association” that Haeckel predated Hitler in the Spartan admiration. Corporal science and corporal legislation - that is the Haeckelian legacy of popularization.

Let us recall that premature infants have been even operated without local anaesthesia or analgesic drugs almost until our times. Western countries, generally, have broadly embraced the fact that a new-born child can feel pain only at the late 1980’s.

Eventually, Haeckel recapitulated convincing statistics to persue “an act of kindness” and “redemption from evil”. As a father of a “Dummkopf” who is supposed to “suffer” from autism, I want to draw attention on how Haeckel exhorted to liquidate the invalids by a dose of morphia:

“We must class as a traditional dogma the widespread belief that man is bound under all circumstances to maintain and prolong life, even when it has become utterly useless - a source of pain to the incurable and of endless trouble to his friends. Hundreds of thousands of incurables - lunatics, lepers, people with cancer, etc. are artificially kept alive in our modern communities, and their sufferings are carefully prolonged, without the slightest profit to themselves or the general body … What an enormous mass of suffering these figures indicate for the invalids themselves, and what a vast amount of trouble and sorrow for their families, what a huge private and public expenditure! How much of this pain and expense could be spared if people could make up their minds to free the incurable from their indescribable torments by a dose of morphia!” (Haeckel, Wonders of Life, 1904, p. 118).

Haeckel was not satisfied in infanticide, but ascended down to the genocide:
“ … the morphological differences between two generally recognized species - for example sheep and goats - are much less important than those … between a Hottentot and a man of the Teutonic race” (The History of Creation, 1883, p. 434).

Haeckel categorized human beings as “Woolly-haired” or “Straight-haired”. The former were “incapable of a true inner culture or of a higher mental development” (The History of Creation, 1876, p. 310).

Only among the Aryans was there that “symmetry of all parts, and that equal development, which we call the type of perfect human beauty” (The History of Creation, 1876, p. 321).

Haeckel’s final judgement was given in the Wonders of Life:

“The mental life of savages rises little above that of the higher mammals, especially the apes, with which they are genealogically connected. Their whole interest is restricted to the physiological functions of nutrition and reproduction, or the satisfaction of hunger and thirst in the crudest animal fashion … one can no more (or no less) speak of their reason than of that of the more intelligent animals.” (The wonders of life, 1905, p. 56-7).

“the lower races - such as the Veddahs or Australian Negroes - are psychologically nearer to the mammals - apes and dogs - than to the civilised European. We must, therefore, assign a totally different value to their lives … Their only interest are food and reproduction … many of the higher animals, especially monogamous mammals and birds, have reached a higher stage than the lower savages” (The wonders of life, 1905, p. 390, 393).

Anthropologists dismissed Haeckel’s racist drawings of brains, skulls, faces, ears and arms of human races and primates 50 years ago. Embryology has been transformed into “developmental biology”, but has analogous responsibility. The Haeckelian legacy of popularization relates to the myth of disability of newborn babies to feel pain, abortion legislation, psychoanalysis, and many other influential deductions. After the methodologies in cultivating embryonic cells have abrupted, there is also economic interest involved in the modern developmental biology. Haeckelism should not be cherished upon the stem cell legislation.

Pauli.Ojala@gmail.com
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/David_Magen_Amon.html

Comment #28947

Posted by Pauli Ojala on May 8, 2005 3:45 AM (e)

I am a father of an autistic boy - just as is William Dembski, “Dumbski” so called. For that reason, I am most concerned of Ernst Haeckel’s propaganda against the most innocent minds in our Western culture, these “Dummkopfs” of ours.

Please let me give a more national excuse:
FINNENFRAGE

What was the impact of the Haeckelian amplification of the “Mongolian” malign regarding Finnish-speaking country folk in the rampant executions and concentration camps after the Civil War of Finland in 1918?

Already in the Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (1868), Haeckel classified Finns as Mongolians or peoples who resembled them. Finland was a country located at the bloody northern borders of the east and west. Were the Mongolian (Finno-Ugrian) people capable of establishing a state?

Finnenfrage had to do with the claim, that the Prussian population was related to the “Mongolian” Finns. What was in doubt, was the ethnic nobility of the Bavarians. The primitiviness of the Finns was taken as a matter of fact, in the Gobinean shadow.

The meticulous pathologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was an adversary of the Haeckelian evolution and appears as one of the main opponents in Ernst Haeckel’s books. (In a personal level, Haeckel wonders in his correspondences whether his old mentor Virchow had emotional life at all due to his discipline and pedantry.) Franz Boas, another German Jew, was also a student of Virchow. I consider Boas, the maligned anthropologist, as one the greatest dissidents of the time, due to his unbelievable (but genuine) results on the complexity of the Inuiti language etc. (Boas was forced to leave not only Germany but also United States.)

Professor Aira Kemiläinen is the grand old lady studying Finns in the shadow of the Aryans. She described how

“Virchow… travelled to Finland in the 1870’s in order to study the Finnish people and its roots. He was astonished when he saw that Finns were blond. His voyage was caused by the famous ‘Finnenfrage’ (‘question of the Finns’)” (1998 p. 69).

In Wonders of Life (1904), Haeckel categorized Finns as a “middle civilised race”, which had seven races below them, and four races above them. Of the twelve categorical races, these latter four were “higher civilised races”, “lower cultured races”, “middle cultured races” and “higher cultured races”. The first higher stage above the Finns included the culture of the fifteenth century Italians, French, English, and Germans. In Haeckel’s booklet on the evolutionary history of man, published in Finnish in 1911, there were only two divisions: the natives and the cultural people. The Mongolic and the Caucasian races were distinguished in the latter one, but the detail did not seem to bother the publishing labour movement much. Haeckel’s evolutionary tree of the Indo-European languages, naturally, did not include the peculiar Finno-Ugric language.

“The views on the subject of European nations which have large colonies in the tropics, and have been in touch with the natives for centuries, are very realistic, and quite different from the ideas that prevail in Germany. Our idealistic notions, strictly regulated by our academic wisdom and forced by our metaphysicians into the system of their abstract ideal-man, do not at all tally with the facts. Hence we can explain many of the errors of the idealistic philosophy and many of the practical mistakes that have been made in the recently acquired German colonies; these would have been avoided if we had had a better knowledge of the low psychic life of the natives (cf. the writings of Gobineau and Lubbock).” (Haeckel, The wonders of life, 1905, p. 390-1).

Let us quote the Gobineau, recommended by Haeckel the scientist, on Finns, then:

“creatures so incontrovertibly ugly and repulsive as the ordinary specimens of the Mongolian race … These are all people of low stature, with wide faces and prominent cheek-bones, yellowish or dirty brown in colour—The Finns have always been weak, unintelligent, and oppressed—in the south through miscegenation with the Negroes and in the north with the Finns.” (Gobineau, Inequality of Races (1853-55, 1967).

To cut the short of a less romantic drama, Joseph Arthur “Comte” de Gobineau (1816-1882) proclaimed that a Finn does not have a stronger desire than to have a man of noble blood to spend a night on his tent with his wife or daughter. Gobineau divided mankind in three races: the White, the Black, and the Yellow (the Good, the Bad - and the Ugly, in essence). The Yellow were extremely ugly, and the group included not only Finns, but also Mongols and Tartars. Finnish historian Aira Kemiläinen writes (1998 p. 85):

“Finns were a primitive aboriginal people in Europe and in Asia. They were short of stature and deformed. Their limbs were feeble and they had protruding cheekbones and slanting eyes. They were more yellow than the Chinese, who had the blood of the White race. How else could the Chinese have created a high culture? Even the Hungarians were ‘white Huns’; they had White ancestors … In an Aryan society at the top were Aryans, in the second class were the Celtic and Slavic peoples and men and women of mixed blood. The deformed Finns were lowest.”

The earlier race theories with the symptomatic Nordic admiration had been formulated by men like de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927) – a Germanophile Frenchman, and Englishman and son-in-law of Wagner living in Wien, respectively.

Given the prejudices at the international level, it is no wonder, that the Finnish speaking population was reluctant to adopt early eugenic ideas. Every literate Finn knew what kind of rubbish was the widely held “scientific” view of Finns as short and dark Mongolian or East Baltic race.

The Finnish tragedy is, that the “ryssäviha” (hatred of the Russians) had a visible, if not so broad, support especially at the universities after the victory of the Whites (many of the Finnish opinion leaders, even of the church, had been members of the AKS, Academic Carelian Society, in their youth). Soviet Union did not even admit that it had made the initiative and attacked Finland in 1939, which embittered the minds further. The Russian population was not seen as a victim of a political dogma. The Soviet National Anthem claimed that the Union was created by the common will of nations. Let us remember, that the BIGGEST SHOT who adored and magnified Haeckel’s name was no one else than V.I. Lenin, the terrorist who seems to have been in the gang that the firt bank robbery in Finland.

It is a stunning fact that the notion of Finns as Mongols remained in Swedish encyclopaedias as late as to the 1950’s (Hämäläinen 1985). This took place regardless the trend that the confusion with Laplanders began to be refuted from the books even in Germany soon after Finland gained her independence in 1917. Beauty contests and Olympic medals seem to have been more efficient in correcting the prevailing stereotype of Mongol-like Finns than were the craniometrical surveys etc. The irritant of the nine gold medals at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912 also complicated the issue. Hannes Kolehmainen won the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter events and the marathon and is said to have “run Finland on to the world map”. Paavo Nurmi had time to set 31 outdoor track world records and won nine gold- and three silver medals between 1920 and 1928 (Paasivirta 1981) – before he was disqualified as a “professional” by the Swedish chairman of the time.

Swedish-speaking establishment had ruled two of the four ranks in the old estate based Diet of the Grand Duchy of Finland (the bourgeois and the gentry, apart from the clergy and the peasants). In 1906, the one citizen one vote -principle in the new unicameral Parliament diminished the power under the Czar to a mere 12%.

Harry Federley, the father of genetics in Finland whose correspondence to Haeckel we have unearthed (lots of Kampf-word there), prompted publicly, that the Finnish franchise should be reduced on a scientific and social basis (1919), to the best of the emerging new nation. In practice this means that Federley demanded that Finland should give up democracy and justified his cause by biology.

Pangermanic regime was no exclusive and isolated case, but followed the norm in the countries ranking high in the Haeckelian legacy. In Finland, National Socialism was never established. There were societies in that direction, but they did not enjoy large memberships. As a party, the extreme Right Patriotic People’s Movement (IKL) had fascist characteristics - but merely 8 representatives in the parliament in 1939.

Scandinavian countries pioneered in the sterilization laws and race-biological institutes, but the ideal of race hygiene was not put to a final action in Finland. There was anthropologist “mismeasure” of Finnish Romanies, Lapps, and Finns themselves, but the plan to file all of the population was terminated soon.

Nature or nurture? In Finland, the term was not the Anglo-Saxon “eugenics” according to Francis Galton (geographer, statistician, and first cousin of Charles Darwin), but “race hygiene”, as formulated by Alfred Ploetz. (Ploetz got a Nobel Prize in 1936 for his work on racial hygiene; Proctor 1988, pp. 15, 28).

To cut to the short of the drama, Finns had been misconceived to the Lapps in the Northern Finland in the popular uttering of the Mid-European light-weight anthropologist. The Mongolian category was received with malicious pleasure among some of the descendants of the ancient oppressors and landlords, despite the evident misunderstanding.

Hitler’s formulation of the human races correlated directly with Haeckel’s versification (that is Gasman’s main finding: 1971, pp. xxii; 157). I mean: Haeckel had those brilliant blue eyes, not Adolf himself. At the top of the unilinear progression were the “Nordics”, a tall race of blue-eyed blondes. Haeckel’s position on the Jewish question was assimilation, not yet an open elimination. But was it different only in degree, rather than kind?

In the Haeckelian legacy, World War I was a war of nations, whereas World War II was a war of races. In the same vein, the victory of the Whites in the Civil War in 1918 was a victory for Western culture in the eyes of the Swedish-speaking military leadership and the Red herds were associated with Mongols (Aro 1985). For Federley, the Civil War of Finland outlined anthropological conclusions.

The standard Nazi slogan “politics is applied biology” was Haeckel’s phrase, originally (Milner 1993, p. 207). Harry Federley represents a Finnish case for this application. Finnenfrage, of course, did not draw the main conclusion in Germany. Writes Gasman:

“ … Haeckel was one of the most vociferous opponents of the jews and his importance for the history of anti-Semitism in Germany is that he did much to bring the Jewish question INTO THE REALM OF BIOLOGY.” (Gasman 1971, pp. xxii, 157).

Have you ever heard of the Russian pogroms, tavarits? Maybe even 1,5 million Jews lost their lives in the ghetto pogroms. BUT: they did not have that biological nuance, least to say core, yet!!!

Pauli.Ojala@gmail.com

Comment #28948

Posted by Pauli Ojala on May 8, 2005 4:52 AM (e)

“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.”

Main stream Monism argued that the weed called Judaism was in charge for the introduction of transcendental dualism into the Western society in its accelerating decline. Jews – the inventors of the monotheistic God and Christianity - were the explicit scapegoat. Jews were the great symbol of man’s rebellion against nature. Jews were the source of the decadence. And the old Haeckel sought their immediate exclusion from contemporary society.

Genocide was not yet openly exhorted for the people of the book, but Haeckel justified anti-Semitism by charging Jews themselves for persecution’s eternal return. Haeckel’s close followers like French authors Jules Soiree and George Vacher de Lapouge did demand the destruction of the Jews more openly. It was all in the name of science, and far more extreme and physically threatening than the harangues of Houston Stewart Chamberlain with his program of Aryan Christianity (Gasman 1998, 2002).

Anti-Semitism was not a German phenomenon. It was more kind of a price by which Germany sold its aggressions to the indifferent European countries. United States withdrew its ambassador from the Germany at the Kristallnacht unlike all the European countries. Prior to the well-known marriage laws of the Nazi-Germany, however, similar prohibitions were constituted even in the multicultural states of America upon the speculation that the mulatto was a relatively sterile and short-lived hybrid. The absence of blood transfusion between “white” and “coloured races” was self evident (Haller 1963, p. 52; Allen 1975).

Pauli.Ojala@gmail.com
http://www.helsinki.fi/~pjojala/David_Magen_Amon.html

Comment #29997

Posted by Robin Datta on May 14, 2005 7:08 AM (e)

Incidentally Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln shared the same birthday:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=Abraham+Lincoln%27s+date+of+birth%3A&btnG=Search

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=Charles+Darwin%27s+date+of+birth:&spell=1

Comment #32617

Posted by Pauli Ojala on May 28, 2005 6:13 PM (e)

Wasn’t that also true for Napoleon and Wellington? They also shared their age, can you imagine that!!!

That’s why I want to do homage to Mr. Interference on science. The paradox of the Bush-bashing is the sympathy raised by the repention from the “Sins of the Fathers” by somebody who’s trademark is loyalty. White House Paper was a dear document on the history of the bioethics on the planet Tellus.

WHITE HOUSE PAPER ON EMBRYO BUSINESS & THE SINS OF THE FATHERS

President George Walker Bush addressed his nation in the 9th of August, 2001, on the potential of some types of embryonic stem cells to lead to new and revolutionary therapies. In his speech, President Bush publicly commended and called for more federal funding of scientific research using stem cells from sources other than human embryos. Instead of federal funding for the embryonic stem cell research, focusing on the ~65 preliminary ebryonic stem cell lines, adult progenitor cells – and private companies in the wild market - was exhorted in the largest economy of the world.

The White House Paper can be reproached for using a double standard on ethics, regarding approval of the foreign ESC-lines that were already introduced and concerning the mere transfer of the embryonic utilization from the state to the private companies. Nevertheless, this statement seems to be the most wellknown attempt for a request of a time-up, and I consider this opinion as the singularity on the bioethics, regarless one’s opinion concerning putative challenge to the Hippocratean research tradition: The recycled evolutionary Haeckelian embryo fraud has been at the ethical tangent and you desperately need to win back the reputation of science there in the US. Next I try to shed light on the historical significance and the political repercussions behind the “White House Paper”.

Now that the US archives of the WW II are being declassified by the Interagency Working Group, as appointed by William Clinton in 1995, extremely stringent questions have been asked regarding the civilian annihilation and the Western coalition (Jokisipilä 2001). Why did not the allies bombard the civilian destruction factories, or even their railway connections during their air reign, despite the fervent requests? Both London and Washington were aware, after all, of the destiny of the Jewish civilians, their co-victims, and their protectors, since the Barbarossa that began in June 1941. The number of broken messages 1941-42 was nearly two thousand. One burst could contain even 3000 casualities, and these “enigmas” were so congruent and monogenous that soon they were not even briefed to the British leaders etc. After the war, this information was hidden from the courts of war crimes. The cold war against the former Soviet Union began earlier than thought.

No Jew, as an indication, was handed Red Cross passport, whereas fugitive men like the commendant of Treblinka (Stangl), Death angel with his “mengelian genetics” (Mengele), the leader of the Gestapo in Poland (Kutschmann), and “The Butchler of Lyon” (Barbie) were allowed it - and even recruited for the western espionages in the last case, according to the most controversial intelligence surveys by Loftus and Aarons (1993, 1994). There were only a handful convicted men in Nürnberg, usually released a few years later. The bulk part of the race-breeders and, finally, civilian massmurderers, escaped via the “ratline” through Italy with the smuggled money stolen from the war victims. Despite the pious smoke screen after the shoa (unvoluntary holocaust), the economical collaboration and outright money laundring for Nazies in the west went largely untried, it seems.

Ethics in science means the study of morals, not moralizing as such. In contrast to the rhyme pecunia non olet (money does not smell), I think this is a most relevant issue because in the business the free act of choice is most emphasized.

This has nothing to do with the new ethics of modern bioscience, has it? It might have. As a result of the White House Paper, the scientific community in the Europe seems to have stood up to oppose the “banning politics” of George Bush Jr. in a nearly solid front. Why did the “president’s men” call to Scandinavian professors (Outi Hovatta, personal communication) to home at the mid-night to ask the number of the existing embryonic stem cell lines, then?

George Bush Junior got both of his names from George Bush Senior - the second Vespasian-Titus relationship in the history of one of the world’s oldest democracies. The father of George Bush Senior and the grandfather of George Bush Junior was the post-war senator Prescott Bush, from whom the two presidents inherited their family name. The grandfather of George Bush Senior and the great-grandfather of George Bush Junior was investor (and former heavyweight boxing champion) George Herbert Walker, from whom the two presidents inherited their first name. The second name of G. W. Bush denotes Walker, whereas the whole name of the Senior president is George Herbert Walker Bush.

Classified ones are not the files of choice as scientific references, but an introduction to the one of the most heated debates related to the motives behind the Bush’es seems not only justified, but a key insight, to me.

Among the most prominent authors linking the fathers of the Bush family directly to Nazi Germany is the former US Justice Department Nazi War Crimes Prosecutor John Loftus, mentioned above. As a prosecutor, Loftus had access to Top Secret files, and as a private attorney he has helped intelligence agents to obtain lawful permission to declassification. The research by Loftus and Aarons is severely biased in its topic, but it is their “license to leak” that has stirred up discussion to the point of open and public letters from organizations like Antifa to G.W. Bush.

The most controversial titles of Loftus and Aarons include Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis and the Swiss Banks (1993, 1998) and The Secret War against the Jews: How the Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People (1994).

Loftus and Aarons are one of the authors claiming that affiliates of Prescott Bush’s company were under investigation for aiding the Nazis in the time of war. The accusations refer to I.G. Farben, well-known for its connection to German in provision of oil, chemicals, and munitions. The cartel is also mentioned in the context of building and operating slave labor factories and death camps after their scaling up from the euthanasia projects.

To make a long story on nihilism short: These cartels gave a totally new meaning for recycling, human transplants and Haeckelian term of ecology. The Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation and the Upper Silesian Coal and Steel Company located in a particularly well-known area in Poland. As far as the most recent accusations by Loftus go, the coal deposits could be processed into coal or additives for gasoline - in Auschwitz.

According to Loftus and Aarons, Prescott Bush became the national chairman of the United Service Organization’s annual fund campaign, which raised $33 million 1942 to provide entertainment for Allied troops. That was also the year, when the 18-year old George Bush Senior abandoned his plans to enter Yale, and made the historical decision to volunteer in the war. Loftus and Aarons claim that while George Bush Sr. was in flight school preparing himself to save his family’s reputation, the U.S. government charged his father with running Nazi front groups in the country.

“Under the sharing with the Enemy Act, all the shares of the Union Banking Corporation were seized, including those held by Prescott Bush as being held for enemy nationals … The U.S. government found that huge sections of Prescott Bush’s empire had been operated on behalf of Nazi Germany and had greatly assisted the German war effort” (Loftus & Aarons 1994, p. 360-1).

As for George Walker, according to the accusations of Loftus and Aarons, at the time he did not yet directly benefit from financing Hitler. He invested.

“Walker was one of Hitler’s most powerful financial supporters in the United States. The relationship went all the way back to 1924, when Fritz Thyssen, the German industrialist, was financing Hitler’s infant Nazi party.” (p. 358).

If true, Walker was supporting the movement in its most vulnerable and critical period. It was the period after the 1923 inflation, when Hitler was released from prison and the politics were brutalized and radicalized. The foreign currency prooved to be vital, when inflation raised the exchange rate fabulously high. (1.11.1923 one US dollar costed 130,000 million German marks, which consumed all of the savings of the middle class.)

SA troops (storm troopers) numbered 350,000 for many years when the correspondent ultra rightwing parties got only a few percentage of the votes in elections. Who paid these private arms that were four times larger than the German army after the Versailles? SA did not manage its duties for charity and its troops were not considered “Altkämpfers”, as the organization was dismantled after Hitler assumed power. Despite the title of Fritz Thyssen’s (1873-1951) book “I paid Hitler” (1941) the sum of 1 million German marks displayed in it is not satisfactory. Fritz Thyssen fled from the Nazi-Germany after the invasion of Poland. He did not acknowledge the authorship of the I paid Hitler, however. Was the book a public cover?

The most malicious online book George Bush - The Unauthorized biography (http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm) was published by Tarpley and Chaitkin as an assault against the re-election campaign of George Bush Sr. in 1991. Regardless of the documentation of its claims (which I find wanting), these assaults have to be taken into account in order to understand the political backround for the White House Paper.

Tarpley and Chaitkin introduced also the fourth generation, great grandfather Samuel Bush, as a child of his World War I –time. As far as the story goes, Samuel Bush’ clan kept specimen of lower races in cages for show and had an antropologist to lecture on them. (The preferred cage-race were “Bushmen” not only in Ernst Haeckel’s science books … )

To put things in perspective, again, the accusations of “sins of the fathers” in the “bushism” could be compared to the accusations against some neutral countries, such as in the case of the Swiss banks or Swedish industry. Esse non videri: In their The Art of Cloaking, Aalders and Wiebes present a case of even a closer link to the IG Farben (1989, 1996) in the case of the largest private bank in Sweden. If Joseph Stalin, in accords with his name, trusted in steel, see Fritz 1973 for a review of Swedish iron ore and German war industry.

It is dramatical that Simon Wiesenthal has lived 100 years, after visiting his 44 kg. A rough estimation of the number of documents putting forward the heroic story of Raoul Wallenberg in the Swedish media is some three thousands. From the viewpoint of the accusations against Raoul’s two uncles, a document per 10-30 rescued Jews could righteously be called biased popularization. This pious smoke screen has indeed been noticed by the “Nazi-hunters” before their retirement.

The export and import numbers, respectively, with the Nazi German in the case of the semi-allied Finland, my own country judged as a country that attacked Soviet Union and that paid all its “war indenmities”/reparations, were 16.2% and 20.7% in 1939; 52.6% and 20.3% in 1940; 53,5% and 53,2% in 1941; 65,8% and 72,0% in 1942; 67,1% and 75,0% in 1943; and 66,5% and 71,1% in 1944 (Visuri & Forsberg 1992). The 1939 numbers are indicative of the fact that Finland fought and very hardly survived through the Winter War 1939-1940 all alone, without an ally. Germany sold Finland to USSR.

Regarding the “Kampf” and the Russians, there is evidence that In Ukraine and Baltic countries people welcomed the German troops as redeemers. These illusions evaporated soon, when the SS (Schutzstaffel) and civilian administration followed the field-army. Hitler did not even try to separate the Russian people from the Soviet government. The Eastern Europeans Slavic people were born “slaves”, indeed. If the Finnish speaking Finns sold to Molotov were Mongols and inferior to the Swedish-speaking elite, for Hitler the Slavic people were “Untermenschen” (Bullock 1958 pp. 423-5).

Why did Hitler open a second front by attacking to east, against all of the advices in his headquarters? The command for Barbarossa was undersigned only 5 months after the speech to the parliament, declaring invasion to the opposite direction (England) (Bullock 1958, p. 377). What if the failure of the Red Army (with its many executed officers) to take over Finland in the Winter War, despite Ribbentrops’ license from the Nazi-Germany, contributed to the strategy? USSR had ten times more men across the borders and Finland did not have even a decent artillery or air force, but Josif “steely” Stalin could not take Finland. And so Adolf Hitler, as asperger character together with Joseph Goebbels, underestimated it.

We are living at the time of the declassification of files from the World War II, but privileged researchers would not have had to wait to check the roots of the brutalizing recapitulationary myth. The scientific references were never classified. Haeckel’s bitter materialism culminated in the upper right panel of his most famous illustration: In the “earliest” stage of the brutalized human embryo.

What if President Bush tried to be earnest in this particular ethical tangent? What if he could have been the man who should have been taken dead seriously? What if we would also consider judging the present in the past context, before the market forces break loose?

Pauli J. Ojala
Pauli.Ojala@gmail.com
SOURCES:
Aalders, G.; Wiebes, C. (1996) The Art of Cloaking Ownership: The Secret Collaboration and Protection of the German War Industry by the Neutrals: The Case of Sweden. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, Netherlands
Allen, G.E. (1985) Life Sciences in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge History of Science. Eds Bassalla G & Coleman W. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
Bannister, R.C. (1979) Social Darwinism: science and myth in Anglo-American social thought. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA
Bullock, A. (1958) Hitler – A study in tyranny. Finnish translation by R Wilenius. 2nd ed. Tammi, Helsinki, Finland
Friedländer, S. (1997) Nazi Germany and the Jews. New York: Harper Collins, NY
Fritz, M. (1973) Swedish iron ore and German steel, 1939-1940. Scandinavian Economic History Review 21: 133-144
Gasman, D. (1971) The Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League. MacDonald, London, UK
Gasman, D. (1998) Haeckel’s Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology. (Studies in Modern European
Gobineau, J.A. (1853) The Inequality of Races (English translation 1967). New York: Howard Fertig Co.
Haeckel, E. (1900) The Riddle of the universe at the close of the nineteenth century. The Rationalist Press Association, Watts & Co., London, UK
Hailer, M.H. (1963) Eugenics: Hereditarian attitudes in American thought. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ
Harrington, A. (1996) Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ
Kemiläinen, A. (1998) Finns in the shadow of the ‘Aryans’. Race theories and racism. Finnish Historical Society, Studia Historica 59. Gummerus, Jyväskylä, Finland
Loftus, J.; Aarons, M. (1994) The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. New York: St.Martin’s Press
Loftus, J.; Aarons, M. (1993, 1998) Unholy Trinity. The Vatican, the Nazis and the Swiss Banks. 2nd ed. New York: St.Martin’s Press
Mosse, G. L. (1985) Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism. 2nd ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, WI
Payne, S (1995) A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. University of Wisconsin Press. Madison, WI.
Proctor, R. (1988) Racial Hygiene. Medicine under the Nazis. Harvard University Press, MT
Reilly, P.R. (1991) The surgical solution: A history of involuntary sterilization in the United States. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London
Tarpley, W.G.; Chaitkin, A. (1991) George Bush: the Unauthorized Biography. Executive Intelligence Review, Washington, DC
Thyssen, F. (1941) I Paid Hitler, New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc.
Weindling, P. (1989) Health, Race and German Politics Between national Unification and Nazism 1870-1945. Cambridge History of Medicine. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

Comment #36971

Posted by Pauli Ojala on July 4, 2005 12:41 PM (e)

Is it really true, that 80% of the Eastern European Jews were dismissed as “feebleminded” in the US IQ-tests between 1910 and 1930?

If it holds, when was the cultural parameter and learning from the books discerned away from these tests?