Nick Matzke posted Entry 2384 on June 17, 2006 03:05 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2379

Last year, I wrote a post called From Darwin to Hitler, or not? This post discussed the book From Darwin to Hitler by historian Richard Weikart, who just happens to be a Discovery Institute fellow. The thesis of the book is that Darwin and his ideas – common ancestry and natural selection – somehow led to Hitler and Naziism, although the logic connection between the two sets of ideas is extremely murky. Weikart’s book has been used by the Discovery Institute (see e.g. here), ARN (see the description of the new video – also look carefully at the tasteful video cover, posted at left), and other creationist groups to promote exactly this idea, which creationists had already been promoting for decades anyway, just without an official historian behind them.

While it is tempting, and I think legitimate, to dismiss the whole thing as a severe expression of Godwin’s Law, there are more sophisticated criticisms. My major points in my post were that (a) Weikart goes out of his way to bash and dismiss the “Haeckel to Hitler” thesis promoted by an earlier historian (Daniel Gasman), noting among other things that Haeckel was a pacificist, but (b) Haeckel has much more direct links to Naziism than does Darwin – Haeckel was closer in time, location, idealogy, promotion of eugenics, influence on Germany in the early 1900s, etc; therefore (c} Weikart’s Darwin-to-Hitler thesis is even sillier than the Haeckel-to-Hitler thesis that Weikart himself criticizes. But I’m just a blogger.

I previously linked to a news story describing a lecture by a University of Chicago historian of Darwin and eugenics, Robert Richards. The news article did not specifically mention Weikart, but I surmised then that Weikart’s book was the target of Richards’s critique. It looks like I was right, because Richards has now posted the published version of his lecture on his website (pdf). Richards’s conclusion?

Robert J. Richards wrote:

[…]

The Judgment of “Historical Responsibility”

Brücher’s attribution of moral responsibility to Haeckel is of a type commonly found in history, though the structure of these kinds of judgments usually goes unnoticed, lying as it does in the deep grammar of historiography. For example, historians will often credit, say, Copernicus, in the fifteenth century, with the courage to have broken through the rigidity of Ptolemaic assumption and, thus, by unshackling men’s minds, to have initiated the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This, too, is a moral appraisal of historical responsibility, though, needless to say, Copernicus himself never uttered: “I now intend to free men’s minds and initiate the scientific revolution.” Yet, historians do assign him credit for that – moral credit for giving successors the ability to think differently and productively.

The epistemological and historical justification for this type of judgment is simply that the meaning and value of an idea or set of ideas can be realized only in actions that themselves may take some long time to develop – this signals the ineluctable teleological feature of history. While this type of judgment derives from the moral grammar of history, this doesn’t mean, of course, that every particular judgment of this sort is justified.

The Reaction of Contemporary Historians

How has Haeckel gone down with contemporary historians? Not well. His ideas, mixed with his aggressive and combative personality, have lodged in the arteries feeding the critical faculties of many historians, causing sputtering convulsions. Daniel Gasman has argued that Haeckel’s “social Darwinism became one of the most important formative causes for the rise of the Nazi movement.” [14] Stephen Jay Gould and many others concur that Haeckel’s biological theories, supported, as Gould contends, by an “irrational mysticism” and a penchant for casting all into inevitable laws, “contributed to the rise of Nazism.” [15] And most recently, in a book published last summer, entitled From Darwin to Hitler, Richard Weikart traces the metastatic line his title describes, with the mid-center of that line encircling Ernst Haeckel.

Weikart offers his book as a disinterested historical analysis. In the objective fashion that bespeaks the scientific historian, he declares, “I will leave it to the reader to decide how straight or twisted the path is from Darwinism to Hitler after reading my account.” [16] Well, after reading his account, there can be little doubt not only of the direct causal path from Charles Darwin through Ernst Haeckel to Adolf Hitler but also of Darwin’s and Haeckel’s complicity in the atrocities committed by Hitler and his party. They bear historical responsibility.

It is disingenuous, I believe, for the author to pretend that most readers might come to their own conclusions despite the moral grammar of this history. Weikart, Gasman, Gould, and many other historians have created a historical narrative implicitly following – they could not do otherwise – the principles of narrative grammar: they have conceptualized an end point – Hitler’s behavior regarded here as ethically horrendous – and have traced back causal lines to antecedent sources that might have given rise to those attitudes of Hitler, tainting those sources along the way. It is like a spreading oil slick carried on an indifferent current and polluting everything it touches.

Now one can cavil, which I certainly would, about many deficiencies in the performance of these historians. They have not, for instance, properly weighed the significance of the many other causal lines that led to Hitler’s behavior – the social, political, cultural, and psychological strands that many other historians have, in fact, emphasized. And they thus have produced a mono-causal analysis which quite distorts the historical picture.

While responsibility assigned Darwin and Haeckel might be mitigated by a more realistic weighing of causal trajectories, some culpability might, nonetheless, remain. Yet is there any consideration that might make us sever not the causal chain but the chain of moral responsibility? After all, Haeckel and, of course, Darwin had been dead decades before the rise of the Nazis. And as Monty Python might have put it, they’re still dead.

[…]

Conclusion

It can only be a tendentious and dogmatically driven assessment that would condemn Darwin for the crimes of the Nazis. I will confess, though, that I have not yet made up my own mind about the historical responsibility of Haeckel, with whom I have considerable sympathy.

[…]

[Robert J. Richards (2005). The 2005 Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture: “The Narrative Structure of Moral Judgments in History: Evolution and Nazi Biology.” Given on April 12, 2005. The University of Chicago Record, May 26, 2005.]

To be fair to Weikart, his webpage lists his replies to historian critics, including Richards (evidently Weikart has another critic who bashed his book in the Journal of Modern History, although I have not yet read the review in the March 2006 issue of the journal).

Weikart’s reply is basically “But I didn’t mean to tar Darwin and evolution with the odious reputation of Hitler and the Nazis, I put some weak disclaimers to this effect at the beginning of my book.” But this is ludicrous. The title of Weikart’s book is From Darwin to Hitler, and he has participated in and endorsed the streams of anti-evolution propaganda put out by the Discovery Institute and related groups – see the links above, and don’t miss www.darwintohitler.com – based explicitly on Weikart’s book (which, if memory serves, the Discovery Institute financed in the first place). At best, Weikart is an innocent academic who is being used by the creationists for their own nefarious ends. But it’s impossible to believe that he is that stupid, especially since he has regularly shown up at ID conferences and events (and in their videos) to advocate his thesis.

Some people think that the fake science of ID is a threat only to biology. But here is another piece of evidence showing that the ID movement is quite willing to twist any academic subject to carry out their mission to take down evolution.

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Comment #106329

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 17, 2006 4:53 PM (e)

I’ve never understood why historians felt a need to the apparent source of Hitlers behavior.

you don’t need a linneage; all you need are three things to explain Hitler’s rise to power:

Ignorance
Desperation
Apathy

Ignorance of information about the how much each of us share, rahter than what divides us. in Hitler’s case, he used that ignorance to make the jewish into a scapegoat for…

Desperation - Whenever a group of peope feel threatened, and see a dim future, desperation can motivate behavior that would otherwise seem unlikely. Germany after the treaty of Versailles was a MESS. sending a letter cost 1-2 million marks; buying a loaf of bread cost a “wheelbarrow” full of cash.

Apathy - It became easy to “look the other way” when given promises of a better life to come.

No need to propose any particular historical linneage. The pattern repeats itself throughout history, up to the present day.

Comment #106330

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 17, 2006 5:06 PM (e)

Ignorance
Desperation
Apathy

Sounds kind of familiar, eh?

Comment #106331

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 17, 2006 5:13 PM (e)

Weikart’s reply is basically “But I didn’t mean to tar Darwin and evolution with the odious reputation of Hitler and the Nazis, I put some weak disclaimers to this effect at the beginning of my book.” But this is ludicrous. The title of Weikart’s book is From Darwin to Hitler, and he has participated in and endorsed the streams of anti-evolution propaganda put out by the Discovery Institute and related groups — see the links above, and don’t miss www.darwintohitler.com — based explicitly on Weikart’s book (which, if memory serves, the Discovery Institute financed in the first place). At best, Weikart is an innocent academic who is being used by the creationists for their own nefarious ends. But it’s impossible to believe that he is that stupid, especially since he has regularly shown up at ID conferences and events (and in their videos) to advocate his thesis.

As with everything else in ID “theory”, all this “evolution caused Hitler” crap was standard YEC boilerplate thirty years ago, and is just being recycled and repackaged by the cheap-tuxedo’d IDers.

“However
one may react morally against Hitler, he was certainly a consistent
evolutionst.” (Morris, “Evolution and Modern racism”, ICR Impact,
October 1973) “The philosophies of Karl Marx and
Friedrich Nietzsche–the forerunners of Stalin and Hitler–have been
particularly baleful in their effect: both were dedicated
evolutionists.” (Morris, Troubled Waters of Evolution, 1974 p. 33)

Once again, we see that ID simply has nothing to offer, nothing at all whatsoever, that wasn’t already said decades ago by the creation “scientists”. (shrug)

Comment #106333

Posted by Mark on June 17, 2006 5:23 PM (e)

I had a weird conversation with a YEC co-worker on this subject. When she made this Darwin-Hitler connection, I asked, “So, are you calling ME a Nazi? Are you saying that I believe in the extermination of Jews, or in eugenics, or anything else, at all, that the Nazis believed? Have you seen ANY evidence that would give support to that concusion?” She pretty much abandoned the idea on the spot, because when directed at any actual human being, it’s obviously ridiculous. Her easy capitulation was actually MORE frustrating, because I know she’ll still use the argument later. Intellectual integrity doesn’t seem to be a vital component of that worldview, so being thoroughly refuted, even to the point of admitting that your argument is illogical, doesn’t preclude using it later if it serves the cause. Ad hominem arguments, however, are okey-dokey.

Comment #106336

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on June 17, 2006 5:48 PM (e)

Note that pages 268-274 of Ann Coulter’s book Godless (part of chapter 11, “The Aped Crusader”) are all about Darwin/Hitler. Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler is cited repeatedly. This Nazi section comes right after the section blaming Darwin for Marxism/communism. Fun quote:

Ann Coulter wrote:

The path between Darwinism and Nazism may not be ineluctable, but it is more ineluctable than the evolutionary path from monkey to man. Darwin’s theory overturned every aspect of Biblical morality. Instead of honor they mother and father, the Darwinian ethic was honor they children. Instead of enshrining moral values, the Darwinian ethic enshrined biological instincts. Instead of transcendent moral values, the Darwinian ethic sanctified death.

So it should not be surprising that eugenicists, racists, and assorted psychopaths always gravitate to Darwinism. From the most evil dictators to today’s antismoking crusaders, sexual profligates, and animal rights nuts, Darwinism has infect the whole culture. And yet small schooolchildren who know that George Washington had slaves are never told of the centrality of Darwin’s theory to Nazism, eugenics, abortion, infanticide, “racial hygiene” societies, genocide, and the Soviet gulags.

In his magnificent book From Darwin to Hitler, Richard Weikart documents the proliferation of eugenics organizations in Germany around 1900, all of which asserted their “scientific imprimatur by claiming harmony with the laws of evolution.”

[Ann Coulter (2006), Godless, p. 269.]

Comment #106339

Posted by Tom Curtis on June 17, 2006 6:32 PM (e)

Sir_Toejam

I’ve never understood why historians felt a need to the apparent source of Hitlers behavior.

you don’t need a linneage; all you need are three things to explain Hitler’s rise to power:

Ignorance
Desperation
Apathy

While ignorance, desperation and apathy are root causes in most of the evils humanity has perpetrated on itself, the particular forms of the atrocities, and the ideology that justify them are shaped by cultural influences - the influences historians seek to trace. Ignorance, desperation and apathy may have led to Nazism in 1930’s Germany, but in an Islamic society, in a nation forged by a political union with a fundamentalist sect, they led to Al Qaeda in the 80’s and 90’s.

So historians do well to recognise the influences that led ignorance, desperation and apathy into Nazism in Germany - a recent recognition of the Germans as a people and a nation; a thwarted nationalism; a centuries long tradition of religiously justified anti-semitism; and sad to say, a eugenicist movement cloaked in Darwinian terminology. The moral responsibility for the latter does not, of course, lay with Darwin. Those same eugenicists without Darwin would have resorted to relgious justifications against miscegination, as their more religious racist contemporaries still did.

Comment #106341

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 17, 2006 6:48 PM (e)

This Nazi section comes right after the section blaming Darwin for Marxism/communism.

hilarious, but not surprising coming from Coulter. she just stream-of-conscious like spews any rhetoric she ever heard that might please her fan base.

I hereby officially claim the idea of blaming George Bush on Darwinism.

Comment #106343

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 17, 2006 6:52 PM (e)

oh, and I should probably claim the idea of darwinism being culpable for “Coulterism” as well.

;)

[quote]cultural influences - the influences historians seek to trace. Ignorance, desperation and apathy may have led to Nazism in 1930’s Germany, but in an Islamic society, in a nation forged by a political union with a fundamentalist sect, they led to Al Qaeda in the 80’s and 90’s.
[/quote]

thanks; that’s the point i was hinting at when i mentioned the same factors as a modern influence.

None of us are excepted.

Comment #106346

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 17, 2006 8:01 PM (e)

My standard response to all the “Hitler is the result of evolution” crapola can be found at:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Hitler.cfm

Comment #106355

Posted by Adam Ierymenko on June 17, 2006 10:31 PM (e)

“My standard response to all the “Hitler is the result of evolution” crapola can be found at:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Hitler.cfm”

Ahh… but that there is facts and reason. Facts and reason come from the Devil.

Comment #106366

Posted by Registered User on June 18, 2006 1:05 AM (e)

I hope everyone here will pre-order my book, From Goehring to Weikart: the History of Propagandists, Intelligent Design, and Liars for Jesus”.

The best chapter I can tell you about is the one where Weikart gets Casey Luskin drunk on wine for the first time. It’s called “Cathedral of Tears” and when you read the transcripts you will freak.

Comment #106372

Posted by Bob O'H on June 18, 2006 2:15 AM (e)

Nick Matzke wrote:

…Weikart has another critic who bashed his book in the Journal of Modern History, …

Nick, I’ve sent you a .pdf to your gmail account.

A couple of quote-mines from the review:

Up until the late nineteenth century, he [Weikart] claims, European civilization was governed by what he calls the “Judeo-Christian ethic” and its central principle, the “right to life.” This principle was “reflected in European legal codes which strictly forbade assisted suicide, infanticide, and abortion” (75). Weikart does not explain how other aspects of these codes, such as their requirement of the death penalty and their acceptance of domestic abuse, child labor, and other life-threatening practices, affirmed the “sanctity of human life.”

and the conclusion:

Neither religion nor science is well served by this oversimplified view of their complex history.

Bob

Comment #106377

Posted by LackOfDiscipline on June 18, 2006 3:09 AM (e)

Good article Rev. Dr. I was not aware that Hitler justified much of his crimes via Divine Right.

Sadly, it’s expected that the creationists/IDers would assert that a “philosophy” (evolution) that produces mass violence is evil, while they completely ignore the fact that religious literature is the inspiration for much of the violence through history. I guess, as usual, there is simply no reason to expect them to apply any form of logic in the first place.

Comment #106380

Posted by Popper's Ghost on June 18, 2006 4:47 AM (e)

Regardless of his professional title, Weikart is just another IDiot jackass, and is treated properly by Pat Hayes here:

http://redstaterabble.blogspot.com/2005/03/richard-weikart-workin-in-quote-mine.html

I have made my share of mistakes. We all do. That being said, even as an undergraduate, I would never have dared (or wanted to) employ the sort of quote mining that is routine in your published work. It is a shame that the professors who guided your education did not require you to fully engage the people and ideas that are the subject of your research….

You also remind me that you’ve read extensively in the primary sources. I would say extensively, but not deeply. As a university professor, you have had the rare privilege of reading, thinking and writing for a living. I think it’s a shame you’ve wasted the opportunity to come to a deeper more rounded understanding of all the factors involved in the rise of Nazi ideology, and allowed yourself to become a mere propagandist instead.

Demonizing Darwin, evolution, and science is not a noble calling.

Comment #106382

Posted by a maine yankee on June 18, 2006 5:32 AM (e)

Who does the DI blame for all those “tyrants” and mass murderers before 1859? Vlad Tepes, et al.
Could it be they all had precognition of The Origin? Were the witch hunts a precursor of natural selection? History, bloody history, makes so much sense now.

Comment #106385

Posted by Alan B. on June 18, 2006 6:02 AM (e)

To the extent that any theory of eugenics is based on evolution, it would seem to me to be based on the principles of microevolution, understood by plant and animal breeders for centuries prior to Darwin.  The connection between macroevolution and eugenics (never mind Nazism) has never made any sense to me.

Comment #106386

Posted by TomS on June 18, 2006 6:09 AM (e)

A couple of points:

The early 20th century was known as the period in which “darwinian evolution” was out of favor with scientists.
It was called the “Eclipse of Darwinism”. It seems to be that the various social/political movements of that era
relied more on “mendelism” or even “lamarckianism” or just simply the kind of folkloric beliefs about “blood
lines”.

Our contemporaneous anti-evolutionists make a point of telling us that they accept “micro”evolution -
evolution “within kinds” - and reject only “macro”evolution. There is no way that anyone can tie major
evolutionary events (such as the natural origin of the bacterial flagellum) to these social/political movements.
If there is any evolution implicated, it is most clearly evolution within “human kind”.

If the anti-evolutionists want to suggest that acceptance of evolution has evil consequences, then they
ought to tell us how they can reconcile this with their acceptance of “micro”evolution.

Comment #106389

Posted by science nut on June 18, 2006 6:56 AM (e)

Registered User wrote:

“I hope everyone here will pre-order my book, From Goehring to Weikart: the History of Propagandists, Intelligent Design, and Liars for Jesus.”

May I suggest a book cover to parody the one with Darwin and Hitler? How about a cover showing pictures of Dr. William Dembski and Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels? …and a fading picture of all the DI fellows in the background!!!!

Comment #106390

Posted by doyle on June 18, 2006 7:46 AM (e)

One point that might be made: Darwin discovered something that turns out to be true. He didn’t develop a school of thought or a branch of philosophy. He can be “blamed” for nothing. If it were true that various people abandoned morality in the face of this truth, that doesn’t make evolution less true. It is also true that the earth does not sit on the back of a turtle, and revolves around the sun. But to fundamentalists, (potentially) dangerous truth = false. Here, the creationist/ID message can be seen most starkly: we must suppress knowledge for the good of the people.

Comment #106391

Posted by the pro from dover on June 18, 2006 7:55 AM (e)

Charles Darwin was an opponent of eugenics despite the fact that it was a product of his cousin Francis Galton. The theory of natural selection depends on diversity of inherited characteristics. Those species that are the most successful will have the greatest variety of potential adaptations. This will permit some of their populations to enter new ecologic niches and successfully compete with the occupants of these niches. This was his “wedge strategy”. Then when barriers (usually physical ones) separated those populations from the original parental stock then over time these divergences of characters would prevent these separate groups from interbreeding when they later became reintroduced by some other natural event.
This is how a new species is created. The idea of a “purity of race” was diametrically opposed to natural selection which depended on variability and Darwin fought it whenever it came up, starting with Herbert Spencer. A lot of the Coulterization of the abuse of the word “evolution” is like terrorist bombers like Timothy McVey justifying their actions because they were told that “the big bang” was the “scientific truth” in physics class which is scientific proof that explosions are beneficial.

Comment #106392

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 18, 2006 8:04 AM (e)

My personal reaction, which I’m sure has been repeated any number of times before, was “Whaaat… Wasn’t hatred of jews and that particular miscegenation based on Hitler’s and the culture’s belief in christianity? Which, btw, is the basis for creationism. Can DI play that game much longer?”

I also thought Hitler and his closest associates was flirting with pantheism and german mythology (“aryan races”) as mentioned elsewhere, but reading Lenny’s article I’m not so sure anymore.

Comment #106393

Posted by Keith Douglas on June 18, 2006 8:25 AM (e)

One might also notice that there are similarly titled books that do intend to draw some connection between the people mentioned. For example, the famous From Frege to Gödel, which is a collection of papers and commentary about logic from 1879 to 1931. The editor certainly means to put Gödel’s work in the same class as Frege’s - of profound importance and on the same subject. This is where I would be skeptical of a Darwin to Hitler thesis. (Admittedly, this requirement is vague.)

Tom Curtis wrote:

The moral responsibility for the latter does not, of course, lay with Darwin. Those same eugenicists without Darwin would have resorted to relgious justifications against miscegination, as their more religious racist contemporaries still did.

And of course there were other strands of Nazism somewhat independent of this, making up Volkish excuses to be barbarians. Cf. Heidegger, who can be blamed in a small way for some of the monstrosities of the Nazis, since he was one and carried out their policies eagerly. I would think a historical analysis would start with proximate influences, like Heidegger’s. Note especially that since Heidegger was so hostile to science, he was somewhat invulnerable to the pseudoscience that the Nazis put out … So if Heidegger had rose to greater ascendency (i.e., got his wish of being court philosopher to Hitler) we would have seen contentious interpretations of the Presocratics and other stuff mixed in with Nazi propaganda rather than pseudobiology.

Comment #106394

Posted by Laser on June 18, 2006 9:04 AM (e)

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC shows a short film about Hitler’s rise to power. According to the film, Hitler derived much of his anti-Semitic rhetoric from some writings of Martin Luther. I wonder how Weikart missed that?

Comment #106398

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 18, 2006 9:15 AM (e)

To the extent that any theory of eugenics is based on evolution, it would seem to me to be based on the principles of microevolution, understood by plant and animal breeders for centuries prior to Darwin. The connection between macroevolution and eugenics (never mind Nazism) has never made any sense to me.

Indeed, anyone who understands evolution would realize that “eugenics” is inevitably an evolutionary failure. After all, the whole point behind eugenics is to produce a “genetically pure” “master race” in whcih everyone is genetically the same. Evolution, however, is based on genetic VARIETY, and the more genetic variety there is, the more stable the species is. Take away that variety by inbreeding the “master race”, and all you have left is a genetic *monoculture*, the weakest and most vulnerable form of population.

Evolution and eugenics work at cross purposes.

Comment #106399

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 18, 2006 9:21 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote.'

Comment #106401

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 18, 2006 9:27 AM (e)

I also thought Hitler and his closest associates was flirting with pantheism and german mythology (“aryan races”) as mentioned elsewhere,

Some of the Nazi hierarchy thought Christianity was “too Jewish”, and started a cult of Odin-worship instead. Hitler, as far as I can tell, never embraced them and remained a Catholic throughout his life.

It should perhaps be noted that the Catholic Church enthusiastically supported Hitler during his rise to power.

It should perhaps also be noted that a large percentage of the US population also supported Hitler during his rise to power, including the Catholic priest Charles Coughlin (one of the first radio evangelists), Charles Lindbergh (who got a medal from Goebbels for his work on behalf of the Reich) and Henry Ford (who wrote a book called “The International Jew” that was reprinted and distributed in Nazi Germany).

Pat Robertson’s idiotic book “The New World Order” cites a large number of neo-Nazis and anti-Semites as “sources”, so apparently the fundie-Nazi connection is still alive and well in certain quarters.

Comment #106402

Posted by Sean Walker on June 18, 2006 9:37 AM (e)

Oppressive Totalitarian Regimes are a direct result of evolution.

When’s the Discovery Institute going to write books about Al Queda and Sadam?

Oh, that might fly in the face of their logic and it would require an original argument. I guess it will be a long time in coming.

Comment #106405

Posted by haliaeetus on June 18, 2006 10:19 AM (e)

Lenny:

It should perhaps also be noted that a large percentage of the US population also supported Hitler during his rise to power, including the Catholic priest Charles Coughlin (one of the first radio evangelists), Charles Lindbergh (who got a medal from Goebbels for his work on behalf of the Reich) and Henry Ford (who wrote a book called “The International Jew” that was reprinted and distributed in Nazi Germany).

Don’t forget Shrub’s grand pappy, Prescott.

In October 1942, ten months after entering World War II, America was preparing its first assault against Nazi military forces. Prescott Bush was managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman. His 18-year-old son George, the future U.S. President, had just begun training to become a naval pilot. On Oct. 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City which were being conducted by Prescott Bush.

Under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the government took over the Union Banking Corporation, in which Bush was a director. The U.S. Alien Property Custodian seized Union Banking Corp.’s stock shares, all of which were owned by Prescott Bush, E. Roland “ Bunny ” Harriman, three Nazi executives, and two other associates of Bush.@s1

The order seizing the bank “ vests ” (seizes) “ all of the capital stock of Union Banking Corporation, a New York corporation, ” and names the holders of its shares as:

“ E. Roland Harriman–3991 shares ”
[chairman and director of Union Banking Corp. (UBC); this is “ Bunny ” Harriman, described by Prescott Bush as a place holder who didn’t get much into banking affairs; Prescott managed his personal investments]

“ Cornelis Lievense–4 shares ”
[president and director of UBC; New York resident banking functionary for the Nazis]

“ Harold D. Pennington–1 share ”
[treasurer and director of UBC; an office manager employed by Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman]

“ Ray Morris–1 share ”

[director of UBC; partner of Bush and the Harrimans]

“ Prescott S. Bush–1 share ”
[director of UBC, which was co-founded and sponsored by his father-in-law George Walker; senior managing partner for E. Roland Harriman and Averell Harriman]

“ H.J. Kouwenhoven–1 share ”
[director of UBC; organized UBC as the emissary of Fritz Thyssen in negotiations with George Walker and Averell Harriman; managing director of UBC’s Netherlands affiliate under Nazi occupation; industrial executive in Nazi Germany; director and chief foreign financial executive of the German Steel Trust]

“ Johann G. Groeninger–1 share ”
[director of UBC and of its Netherlands affiliate; industrial executive in Nazi Germany]

“ all of which shares are held for the benefit of … members of the Thyssen family, [and] is property of nationals … of a designated enemy country…. ”

By Oct. 26, 1942, U.S. troops were under way for North Africa. On Oct. 28, the government issued orders seizing two Nazi front organizations run by the Bush-Harriman bank: the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation.@s2

U.S. forces landed under fire near Algiers on Nov. 8, 1942; heavy combat raged throughout November. Nazi interests in the Silesian-American Corporation, long managed by Prescott Bush and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act on Nov. 17, 1942. In this action, the government announced that it was seizing only the Nazi interests, leaving the Nazis’ U.S. partners to carry on the business.

Bush Property Seized–Trading with the Enemy

Comment #106406

Posted by J. G. Cox on June 18, 2006 10:38 AM (e)

doyle wrote:

we must suppress knowledge for the good of the people

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil still casts its shadow over them.

It seems absurd though. My response to complaints about how evolution”ism” is evil it simply that the potential social, political, or ethical consequences of a scientific theory have absolutely no bearing on whether or not that theory is (scientifically) true.

Comment #106407

Posted by Roger Albin on June 18, 2006 11:01 AM (e)

People interested in this complicated topic might take a look at the work of the late George Mosse. A leading expert on Nazi ideology, Mosse wrote some interesting essays on 19th century racism. One of his basic points is that 19th century racism often involved the deliberate rejection of scientific rationalism.

Comment #106408

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 18, 2006 11:31 AM (e)

Don’t forget Shrub’s grand pappy, Prescott.

And Joe Kennedy.

Comment #106412

Posted by haliaeetus on June 18, 2006 2:27 PM (e)

Yeah, I recall reading somewhere Joe was somewhat of a anti-semetic bigot who favored appeasement of Hitler. Did he help the Third Reich financially - and/or profit from it - as did Prescott?

Comment #106447

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 18, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

I don’t think Kennedy had any direct financial ties. Just an apologist and appeaser.

Comment #106456

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 18, 2006 6:32 PM (e)

Folks,

Having carefully read all the above posts and Lenny’s lengthy talkreason article, I can only conclude that you all miss the point. YOU JUST DO NOT GET IT! And you cannot battle your oppenents if you do not understand them.

The point is not what Hitler or Darwin said or didn’t say, what they believed or didn’t believe. We all know that people don’t always verbalize precisely what they mean, and don’t always mean what they verbalize, especially when they have hidden agendas up their sleeve.

The point, my friends, is this: Evolution is based on the idea that nature operates on the basis of Nazi-like tactics. Survival of the fittest implies that ethics, morality, right and wrong, are all tossed to the wind and the ONLY thing that matters to the development of life is how “fit” (albeit with all the comlexities that word entails, something that is usually glossed over) an organism is.

When I see a video clip of 6 or 7 hyenas getting their food by ripping flesh from a live zebra, for example, I can only shake my head and say to myself - what on earth did that poor zebra do to deserve such a fate. And the even larger question then becomes - what kind of God is this who builds his universe on the basis of this kind of process? By glorifying this into a mulit-billion year process upon which the fundamentals of life are based, evolution comes face to face with these Nazi-like tactics and implies that the process of building life is God-less.

Now, you might say that this is going on anyway, right in front of our eyes, even before Darwin was born. True. But with humankind around, a religious person can convince himself that this is one of the defects in the world that God has assigned to us the task to rectify. Humans and only humans are the ones with the free will (as opposed to those hyenas) and the partnership with God to civilize and perfect the planet.

I say this as a friend of science and evolution in particular. Those of you who know me, know that I accept evolution as a fact of life (and know that the Bible does too). So don’t start throwing mud my way, it will do you no good. Deal with the issues.

Comment #106458

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 18, 2006 6:54 PM (e)

Actually, Carol, Nazi tactics are not the general mechanism(s) of evolution. The selfish gene rules, not warfare against other societies. This is why the Nazi’s (and Hitler’s) use of pro-individualistic Nietzsche was such bad philosophy (btw, it’s absurd to suggest Hitler was a Xian in anything but registry, given his appeals to highly atheistic Nietzsche, and Goebbel’s reports of Hitlers verbal attacks on Xianity).

On the other hand, if one selfish person decides to kill an ethnic group, don’t look to evolution to oppose it. Evolution is indeed amoral, and humans appear to have exterminated many groups (one reason we exist).

However, religion has very often been a part of the struggle of one group to prevail over another. Thus we do not look to religion to save us from ourselves–nor do we really have much reason to suggest that secularism will make us wonderful beings either. That is to say, religion is often considered to be “the solution”, but hasn’t been in the entirety of recorded history.

The one thing I think we should acknowledge is that no one has “the solution” to the violence that our humanity typically finds appalling (at least in our well-fed state). To claim that secularism or science per se will save us is probably wrong (Nazis tended to favor both), much as saying religion will save us is absurd.

Finally, though, I doubt that we will deal with our problems by denying what we are, substituting an idealistic religious vision in its place. This would only set us up for more rounds of violence.

The Holocaust happened exactly where the Enlightenment made its smallest impact in Europe. For ourselves, that is a powerful argument in favor of the societies that embody Enlightenment ideals. I will concede that it is not much of an argument to those who think religion has the answers.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106461

Posted by Registered User on June 18, 2006 7:40 PM (e)

Carol Clouser, the disengenuous book promoter, writes:

The point, my friends, is this: Evolution is based on the idea that nature operates on the basis of Nazi-like tactics.

Ah yes. This is the part of Darwin’s theory that is often forgotten. The cooperative herding behavior of buffalos didn’t evolve as a mechanism for protecting themselves from carnivorous predators.

In fact, the herds are buffalo Concentration Camps organized by wolves with the help of those appeasing prairie dogs.

Tune in next week when Carol tells us about the Final Solution for the aphid problem.

Comment #106462

Posted by Registered User on June 18, 2006 7:49 PM (e)

Glen D

it’s absurd to suggest Hitler was a Xian in anything but registry

No more absurd than suggesting the same for the professional liars, propagandists and gay bigots at the Discovery Institute, or the people who carried out the Spanish Inquisition.

Let’s face it: the argument that American Christianity is a near bankrupt religion is not a particularly difficult one to make. If Hitler ever said he was Christian then that’s pretty much all it takes to be one. For all we know, he prayed for forgiveness in that bunker, found Jesus, and is up there in Heaven right now. Who’s to say? Anyone here know otherwise?

I didn’t think so.

Comment #106463

Posted by Arden Chatfield on June 18, 2006 7:58 PM (e)

(btw, it’s absurd to suggest Hitler was a Xian in anything but registry, given his appeals to highly atheistic Nietzsche, and Goebbel’s reports of Hitlers verbal attacks on Xianity).

So why do you feel justified in ignoring all the statements Hitler made where he said he was a Christian? (E.g. http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm) Why do Goebbel’s claims and quoting Nietzsche override that?

I hope this isn’t one of those “No real Christian would do the things Hitler did, therefore Hitler wasn’t a Christian” type arguments…

Comment #106469

Posted by JS on June 18, 2006 8:16 PM (e)

btw, it’s absurd to suggest Hitler was a Xian in anything but registry, given his appeals to highly atheistic Nietzsche, and Goebbel’s reports of Hitlers verbal attacks on Xianity

I find claims like these highly suspect for two main reasons, both of which have to do with the way ideolouges behave - be they cretinists, religio-fascist or orthodox communists:

First of all, they don’t shut up about their true motivations and viewpoints. As Lenny is so fond of pointing out, that’s precisely what came back to bite the cretinists on the butt in Edwards and Kitzmiller.

Second, they aren’t adverse to using ‘arguments’ that don’t actually support their position as long as they sound impressive (witness - or should I say ‘witless’ - Dembski and information theory).

In combination, it is my impression that when there is a contradiction between the claimed goals and motivations of a fundie and his arguments, one should look at the goals and motivations first.

It would of course also be interesting to look at the proportion of appeals to Neitzsche vs. Christianity. Oh, and the Vatican archives from that period, which they curiously won’t divoulge… Of course, that may be because the current iteration of the Vatican was created by Benito Mussolini…

Comment #106480

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 18, 2006 9:02 PM (e)

have i ever mentioned how much BS the Clouserbot can produce on a single thread before?

I think I have.

Oh well.

“Clouser, Clouser, Clouser!”

Comment #106483

Posted by carol clouser on June 18, 2006 9:10 PM (e)

Glen,

Warfare per se is not what makes Nazism stand out. It is wholesale cruelty visited upon the weak, the defenseless, and the less powerful that makes Nazism stand out in its barbarity and evilness. In doing so Hitler (may his name and memory be erased) gained nourishment and encouragement from evolution where he saw this type of behavior given the imprimatur of nature (and God) as described by science. If long necked giraffes survive at the expense of the short necked ones who cannot reach to the upper branches of trees, and the long necked fellows don’t even think about altruistically sharing with their weaker brethren and as a result they wither away, than that is in the spirit of Nazism.

Comment #106487

Posted by Vyoma on June 18, 2006 9:22 PM (e)

Clouser wrote:

If long necked giraffes survive at the expense of the short necked ones who cannot reach to the upper branches of trees, and the long necked fellows don’t even think about altruistically sharing with their weaker brethren and as a result they wither away, than that is in the spirit of Nazism.

Uhhhhh… what? Anthropomorphizing much?

For giraffes, reasoning — and particularly moral reasoning to respond to your particular charge against our long-necked African friends — isn’t part of the picture. As far as anyone has been able to tell, giraffes are incapable of abstract thought. They don’t have the hardware.

Humans, on the other hand, can reason in the abstract. To equate humans and giraffes (even if giraffes are just an example of animals in general) makes as much sense as equating a redwood with an oyster and then pointing out the redwood’s inferiority in that it lacks the ability to survive in salt water.

If Nazi philosophy is even a little bit reliant on equating humans with animals, then all that’s been demonstrated is how utterly wrong the Nazis had evolutionary biology. In this case, even if the swore on copies of The Origin of Species when being inducted as the commandants of concentration camps, they were no more correct in their assumptions about the theory than Charles Manson was correct in thinking that the Beatles were sending him secret messages to start a race war in Los Angeles.

So… what exactly is your point, Carol Clouser?

Comment #106495

Posted by carol clouser on June 18, 2006 10:18 PM (e)

Vyoma,

I don’t see why you are having difficulty with my “point”. But I will try and rephrase it so that even you can understand. What evil minded people see in evolution is that the (God’s designed) natural world is based on the proposition that it is OK to engage in Nazi-like tactics, so long as the “fit” do it to the less fit for the sake of their becoming more fit. And equating humans to animals is absolutely part of the fabric of evolution, as you probably know. This was an endorsement the Nazis derived from evolution. I have even heard it in interviews with gang members and mafia hit men. “It is the way of the world,” say they.

Comment #106498

Posted by haliaeetus on June 18, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

From what I’ve gleaned from my readings, Hitler was a follower of Luther, and was trying to remake the Church in the image of Luther’s anti-semitism.

Was Luther a “Christian?” By all accounts he was.

Comment #106499

Posted by haliaeetus on June 18, 2006 10:57 PM (e)

Carol:

I don’t see why you are having difficulty with my “point”. But I will try and rephrase it so that even you can understand. What evil minded people see in evolution is that the (God’s designed) natural world is based on the proposition that it is OK to engage in Nazi-like tactics, so long as the “fit” do it to the less fit for the sake of their becoming more fit. And equating humans to animals is absolutely part of the fabric of evolution, as you probably know. This was an endorsement the Nazis derived from evolution. I have even heard it in interviews with gang members and mafia hit men. “It is the way of the world,” say they.

That is a commission of the Naturalistic Fallacy - used to refer to the claim that what is natural is inherently good or right, and that what is unnatural is bad or wrong.

Comment #106501

Posted by John Monfries on June 18, 2006 11:12 PM (e)

This kind of guilt-by-later-“association” thinking spreads well beyond the English-speaking world. Last year in Indonesia, I came across what seems to be a translation into Indonesian of a book by the well-known Turkish creationist Harun Yahya. The title was “Bencana Kemanusiaan Akibat Darwinisme”, (The Human Tragedy Arising from Darwinism), and the cover showed photos of such famous soul-mates as Darwin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Mussolini. The insidious thing about this is that - as far as I can see - no truthful information about evolution gets into Indonesia, so people like Yahya have the field to themselves.

Comment #106510

Posted by Arden Chatfield on June 19, 2006 12:07 AM (e)

From what I’ve gleaned from my readings, Hitler was a follower of Luther, and was trying to remake the Church in the image of Luther’s anti-semitism.

Was Luther a “Christian?” By all accounts he was.

Um, yes.

Hitler’s antisemitic rhetoric was common currency in prewar Germany, and much of it came straight from Martin Luther, who became quite unhinged about Jews later in his life. The details are here:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm

Comment #106514

Posted by Jim Harrison on June 19, 2006 1:01 AM (e)

No thug ever needed to read the Origin of Species to learn how to excuse his actions by claiming “that’s the way of the world.”

By the way, trying to blame 16th Century religious leaders (Luther) for 20th Century political monsters (Hitler) may or may not be useful rhetoric. It’s pretty hard to defend as a historical explanation, however, unless you think that historical figures, like Neoplatonic Gods, transcend time and control future human beings by remote control.

Comment #106516

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 1:51 AM (e)

It is wholesale cruelty visited upon the weak, the defenseless, and the less powerful that makes Nazism stand out in its barbarity and evilness.

as opposed to any of the other times in human history where the exact same friggin thing happened.

total numbers? commies had the nazis beat on that.

sheer brutality against the defensless? how bout the mass genocide in Rwanda?

nope, that’s not what makes nazism stand out.

try again?

Comment #106517

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 1:57 AM (e)

This was an endorsement the Nazis derived from evolution.

and yet, there is no evidence that this statement is correct in any sense. why doesn’t that surprise me?

You’re confusing the idea of fitness with “dehumanization”.

dehumanization is always used by those who want to justify things like genocide, but it has NOTHING to do with anything Darwing ever said, or anything ever found in the ToE.

more meaningless projections on your part.

Comment #106519

Posted by Popper's Ghost on June 19, 2006 2:42 AM (e)

Carol troll Clouser wrote:

It is wholesale cruelty visited upon the weak, the defenseless, and the less powerful that makes Nazism stand out in its barbarity and evilness.

Clouser talks about us not getting it, and then shows that she completely and utterly does not get it. Yes, the Nazis – among others – justified their cruelty and amorality based on the cruelty and amorality, as they perceive it, of nature. There’s a name for that – it’s called social Darwinism. It has nothing to do with evolution, which is the shifting of frequencies of traits in a population, or the theory of evolution, which explains and characterizes those shifts. As for the connection to Darwin: Darwin observed this cruelty in nature – he was a naturalist. The observations are empirical facts and quite independent of the person making them or of the theories that those observations motivate. Nature isn’t cruel because Darwin said so, or because he proposed a theory about nature! The Nazis would have developed the same views even if there had been no Darwin to observe and comment on nature. And Darwin’s own comments on the cruelty of nature were of quite a different nature; to him, evolution solved the problem of theodicy, because God didn’t commit individual cruel acts, they were the inexorable consequences of the process that he sent in motion by which life unfolds (though he eventually dropped that view after the death of his daughter and father). The Nazi view was radically different – as the Hitler quotes show, he considered the cruelty he practiced to be endorsed by God, who had privileged some people over others. Nothing in the theory of evolution supports any a priori privilege.

Comment #106520

Posted by Popper's Ghost on June 19, 2006 3:20 AM (e)

By the way, trying to blame 16th Century religious leaders (Luther) for 20th Century political monsters (Hitler) may or may not be useful rhetoric. It’s pretty hard to defend as a historical explanation, however, unless you think that historical figures, like Neoplatonic Gods, transcend time and control future human beings by remote control.

Perhaps you missed the original statement: “According to the film, Hitler derived much of his anti-Semitic rhetoric from some writings of Martin Luther.” Luther was a bit of a monster himself. And if someone in the 24th century reads Mein Kampf and decides to enact Hitler’s program, I think it would be fair of those in the 24th century to attribute some blame to Hitler, without any appeal to Hitler’s power to control the future.

Comment #106525

Posted by Vyoma on June 19, 2006 4:35 AM (e)

Clouser wrote:

I don’t see why you are having difficulty with my “point”. But I will try and rephrase it so that even you can understand. What evil minded people see in evolution is that the (God’s designed) natural world is based on the proposition that it is OK to engage in Nazi-like tactics, so long as the “fit” do it to the less fit for the sake of their becoming more fit. And equating humans to animals is absolutely part of the fabric of evolution, as you probably know. This was an endorsement the Nazis derived from evolution. I have even heard it in interviews with gang members and mafia hit men. “It is the way of the world,” say they.

Then you haven’t made any point. Perhaps that’;s why I failed to see it.

Do you mean to say that the phrase “It’s the way of the world” was never used as a justification for cruelty before the publication of On the Origin of Species? Or was only the equivalent “It’s God’s will” used?

Did Darwin not acknowledge the existence of altruism?

And no, evolutionary theory does not equate humans to animals anymore than it equates giraffes to animals. Animal is a broad category containing many different elements, not a single criterion to which all species are reduced. In other words, the fact that something is an animal does not mean it is the same as all other things are animals. The whole point of evolutionary biology — one which you appear to have absolutely missed — is to explain diversity, not to argue away its existence. The fact that humans, an animal that can reason, should act like animals that are incapable of reason anymore than the the fact that lions, animals that eat meat, should act like goats, animals that eat plants. In short, the only way to justify either your reasoning or that which you attribute to the Nazis is to base both on the same incorrect estimation of what Darwinian evolution says. Darwinian theory thus cannot be said to have been the cause either of Naziism or your own fallacious thoughts on the subject. Both are based on a misunderstanding of the subject so profound that it may as well not have been involved at all.

Comment #106526

Posted by Vyoma on June 19, 2006 4:48 AM (e)

Vyoma wrote:

The fact that humans, an animal that can reason, should act like animals that are incapable of reason anymore than the the fact that lions, animals that eat meat, should act like goats, animals that eat plants.

This should read: The idea that humans, animals that can reason, should act like animals that cannot is no more supported by Darwinian theory than is the idea that lions, animals that eat meat, should act like goats, animals which do not.

Comment #106536

Posted by Caledonian on June 19, 2006 6:49 AM (e)

It is wholesale cruelty visited upon the weak, the defenseless, and the less powerful that makes Nazism stand out in its barbarity and evilness.

Stand out from what? Those traits are pretty much the standard for human societies throughout history.

Does the name ‘Jericho’ ring a bell, Clouser?

Comment #106543

Posted by Laser on June 19, 2006 8:14 AM (e)

By the way, trying to blame 16th Century religious leaders (Luther) for 20th Century political monsters (Hitler) may or may not be useful rhetoric. It’s pretty hard to defend as a historical explanation, however, unless you think that historical figures, like Neoplatonic Gods, transcend time and control future human beings by remote control.

Nobody is suggesting this “remote control” you mention. What people are suggesting is that the ideas of people in history can influence others, even hundreds of years later.

According to this site, Hitler listed Martin Luther as one of the greatest reformers.

And here is a quote from a historical work, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer:

“There is not space in this book to recount adequately the immense influence that Martin Luther, the Saxon peasant who became an Augustinian monk and launched the German Reformation, had on the Germans and their subsequent history. But it may be said, in passing, that this towering but erratic genius, this savage anti-Semite and hater of Rome…Through his sermons and his magnificent translation of the Bible, Luther created not only a new Protestant vision of Christianity but a fervent German nationalism and taught them, at least in religion, the supremacy of individual conscience…It doomed for centuries the possibility of unification of Germany.”

It is more than rhetoric to say that Luther’s ideas influenced Hitler. There is actual historical research to support the claim.

Comment #106593

Posted by TomS on June 19, 2006 9:22 AM (e)

Today’s anti-evolutionists accept evolution within “humankind”.
That’s just “micro”-evolution, so they repeatedly tell us.

The claim that acceptance of evolution gives support to
evil clearly has reference only to micro-evolution,
evolution as it applies to humans.

There are no conceivable moral consequences to the
acceptance of “macro”evolution, such as the origins of
the vertebrate eye.

How can one be a pro-micro-evolutionist, and argue that
micro-evolution gives support to evil?

Comment #106612

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 19, 2006 10:50 AM (e)

Caledonian,

“Stand out from what? Those traits are pretty much the standard for human societies throughout history. Does the name ‘Jericho’ ring a bell, Clouser?”

Now, why would you bring up Jericho of all places? To make yourself, the Christian anti-semite that you are, feel better about the unmitigated and uninterrupted evil behavior of your coreligionists throughout the millennia toward the Jews, by saying to yourself “everyone including the Jews behaved this way”.

Well, it does not work. This is an old ignorant anti-semitic canard. The fact that you have to go back over three thousand years to dig up some dirt against the Jews speaks volumes all by itself.

And the argument is devoid of any merit. According to most scholars and archeologists, absolutely nothing happened at Jericho. And if you are taking the Bible as your reliable and dependable source, then logic dictates that you consider all that it says about those events. Are you ready to do that? Whenever you are, just let me know.

Vayoma and Popper’s Ghost,

Everything you say is correct and my original statement still stands.

STJM,

It is not my job to teach you basic history. Go get a well rounded education for a change.

Comment #106615

Posted by k.e. on June 19, 2006 11:17 AM (e)

“Ideas find people to spread them”
Goebbels’ Speech at the
1927 Nuremberg Rally
some Calvinists at least face up to the facts. Unless of course they made Hitler an Austrian Catholic and Beethoven a German Calvinist.

Oh well, birds of a feather stick together.

Fascism and Fundamentalist religion are birds of a feather, talk about borrowing each others methods.

When the currency changes from donkey’s to atom bombs watch out for those who claim to know the ‘one true word of dog’ thank you “Mien Kampf reading, God believing, President of Iran”.

Propaganda, mind control and politics a heady mix.

Create a tribal enemy and make each member a martyr in their own lunch box, oh is that from the bible?

Wipe out the enemy down to the last mother, child, tree and mouse as per the old testament, over and over

Modern Political/religious movements have only one mentor/god and that is the loveable Herr Goebbels, and a firm hand on the good book.

Worldview movements aim for the feelings. The force behind worldview movements has never been understanding, but rather faith. For example: Christ never wrote a party program, but did preach the Sermon on the Mount. In it he laid the foundations of a new world, summarized in the simple phrase “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Rousseau’s words were the foundation of the French Revolution, but if an agitator had not stood at his side his theory would have slumbered on the bookshelves. Marx’s “Capital” is the foundation of the Marxist movement. It would have remained book learning had not thousands of agitators made it a political force. Bebel and Lenin gave this philosophy political power, not Marx. Mussolini is both the philosopher and agitator of Fascist thinking. He is also the statesman who found in the March on Rome the right action while he was chewing on his pen behind his desk. When someone asked him about his theory of the state, he answered that he had developed it while being asked! When one wants to condemn a speaker who has found a way to connect with the masses, one calls him a demagogue.

And rightly so.

Comment #106622

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 19, 2006 11:42 AM (e)

So why do you feel justified in ignoring all the statements Hitler made where he said he was a Christian? (E.g. http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm) Why do Goebbel’s claims and quoting Nietzsche override that?

Hitler was a liar and a consummate propagandist. The people who recommend taking his public word at face value (re select issues, of course) are far too credulous.

And please don’t try to pin “no true Scotsman” onto me. I’m no Xian, and my favorite philosopher is Nietzsche, but anyone who tries to turn Hitler’s Wagnerian and Superman fantasies into a Xian vision is straining credibility.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106625

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 19, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

Carol wrote:

Warfare per se is not what makes Nazism stand out. It is wholesale cruelty visited upon the weak, the defenseless, and the less powerful that makes Nazism stand out in its barbarity and evilness. In doing so Hitler (may his name and memory be erased) gained nourishment and encouragement from evolution where he saw this type of behavior given the imprimatur of nature (and God) as described by science. If long necked giraffes survive at the expense of the short necked ones who cannot reach to the upper branches of trees, and the long necked fellows don’t even think about altruistically sharing with their weaker brethren and as a result they wither away, than that is in the spirit of Nazism.

I didn’t even begin to suggest that warfare made the Nazis stand out. I mentioned “violence”, the “Holocaust”, and this:

Glen D wrote:

On the other hand, if one selfish person decides to kill an ethnic group, don’t look to evolution to oppose it. Evolution is indeed amoral, and humans appear to have exterminated many groups (one reason we exist).

However, religion has very often been a part of the struggle of one group to prevail over another.

The genocides prescribed in the Bible are an issue here, though I did not wish to bring it up immediately. Enlightenment types tend to eschew Biblical violence. And even if they’re racist, eugenicist, and/or anti-Semitic, they tend to view “ethnic cleansing” as non-rational. Adherents of the Enlightenment tend to put rationality and sanity above the irrational (which is why the Enlightenment is not embodied merely by secularism and science (science can be an instrument in non-rational goals)), and this, plus their self-interest in maintaining fragile economic and intellectual interconnections, typically slowly erodes ancient hatreds–at least within single societies.

And no, may Hitler’s memory not be erased (yes, I understand the “invocation” or curse, but don’t agree with the literal sentiment). Humans do not have free wills, hence we must learn what we can about how Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin became so very evil.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106637

Posted by Arden Chatfield on June 19, 2006 1:22 PM (e)

Hitler was a liar and a consummate propagandist. The people who recommend taking his public word at face value (re select issues, of course) are far too credulous.

This does not demonstrate evidence that his claims to be a Christian were false. It sounds like you’re rejecting Hitler’s claims to be a Christian for no better reason than because you ‘already know’ he wasn’t one.

Comment #106652

Posted by Vyoma on June 19, 2006 2:28 PM (e)

Clouser wrote:

Vayoma and Popper’s Ghost,

Everything you say is correct and my original statement still stands.

I said that you weren’t making a valid point. I’m glad that we can agree on this. I’m glad that you agree that evolutionary biology and Darwinian theory are in no way culpable for any attempt by Nazis to use them as a justification for committing attrocities, and I’m glad that you assent that your contention that Darwinian theory equates human, reasoning animals to those that cannot reason was unfounded. It’s nice to see that you are capable of giving up so egregious an argument as you are considering how vehemently you have attempted to defend the points which you have now wisely rejected.

Comment #106659

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 3:24 PM (e)

It is not my job to teach you basic history. Go get a well rounded education for a change.

more projection.

IOW, you don’t really know what makes the nazi attrocities stand out in your mind any more than any other human attrocities in history….or you do and just don’t want to specify. C’mon, admit it! From a Rwandan point of view, I’m sure the Tutsis view the Hutu as evil incarnate…

MY sense of history is just fine, thank you very much.

Comment #106663

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 3:36 PM (e)

To make yourself, the Christian anti-semite

seems you struck a nerve with our local zionist, there Cale.

Comment #106665

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 3:40 PM (e)

Vayoma and Popper’s Ghost,

Everything you say is correct and my original statement still stands.

hmm, if you take a look at AFDave’s ultimate creationist rantings over on ATBC, you will see quite similar rhetoric.

no matter what she is told, the clouserbot will always be convinced she is correct, and all others not.

It just goes to show you don’t have to be xian to be a fundamentalist robot.

Zionist/Creationist; same thing.

Comment #106677

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 19, 2006 4:21 PM (e)

Some zionists might be the equal of creationists, indeed. But Einstein was counted as a zionist (I don’t believe he denied that he was, though I could not back up the claim), and seemed to have more concern for the Palestinians than we have seen in too many zionists (to be fair, Israel has been more sensitive to Palestinians lately, though they have a long way to go). Zionists like those at Tikkun, while they are not especially my preference, are often strong critics of, say, Shamir’s policies.

I say this hoping to help head off a potential unnecessary fight over Jews, Israel, problems from both sides of the conflict, and events which occurred in ancient Israel. It’s rather off-topic anyway, though it isn’t surprising that these issues do come up on this thread.

I certainly have sympathy with Sir TJ’s point about past genocidal wars, conflicts, and outright exterminations.

However, this is one reason why I don’t like too much blame being placed upon religions for their sins and, well, atrocities. Humans have done very bad things, and evolution is what mostly explains, but does not excuse, these things. Enlightened religionists and non-theists can both get past the past if they are more interested in the future than in old vendettas. This is why I was reluctant to bring up Biblical genocides, but really it is too much to suggest that scientific evolution was a positive causal factor in Hitler’s evil (though non-scientific evolution did), when religion (many religions, of course) has played a role in too many atrocities (I’m not saying that ideology and cultural identity wouldn’t have sufficed in past genocides if theology hadn’t been present to use, but it was present and it was used).

Genocides have been all too frequent, and even in our time we have too often turned a blind eye (Darfur?). We are limited, quite obviously, and we have a substantial violent inheritance from our primate forebears. If we stick with the Enlightenment, rather than falling for superstitious “causation”, we will work to understand genocide and attempt to prevent these, without especially blaming anybody except those directly responsible.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106678

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 19, 2006 4:32 PM (e)

Sorry, I meant “Sharon” where I wrote “Shamir”.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106679

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 19, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

Vyoma,

“I said that you weren’t making a valid point. I’m glad that we can agree on this.”

I was referring to the substance of your remarks pertaining to evolution and Nazism, not the sideshow of whether you think I am making a point or not.

“I’m glad that you agree that evolutionary biology and Darwinian theory are in no way culpable for any attempt by Nazis to use them as a justification for committing atrocities,”

I never said they were culpable. I said the Nazis used evolution, in THEIR minds, as an endorsement of their tactics, and so do other types of evil doers, and that this is the case irrespective of what Hitler or Darwin said or didn’t say.

“and I’m glad that you assent that your contention that Darwinian theory equates human, reasoning animals to those that cannot reason was unfounded.”

I never equated humans to animals nor did I ever imply that Darwinian theory does. In fact,the Nazi argument from animals is far stronger than from humans precisely because the animals, unlike humans, cannot (we assume) reason. Their behavior is thus perfectly “natural”. I did say that “equating humans to animals is part of the ‘fabric’ of evolution” by which I was referring to the proposition that humans are refined apes. This does tend to blur the wide chasm between these respective species.

“It’s nice to see that you are capable of giving up so egregious an argument as you are considering how vehemently you have attempted to defend the points which you have now wisely rejected.”

You are ignoring the end of my sentence, to the effect that “the original statement still stands”. And indeed it does. I am giving up NOTHING, except having a rational discus ion with YOU.

STJM,

I can tell that your understanding of the holocaust is skewed and distorted by the way you keep repeating the word “zionist”. You obviously do not know what the term means. You really need to bone up in this area. Read some Elie Wiesel or something. I do not want to get into this here and now.

Comment #106682

Posted by Vyoma on June 19, 2006 4:58 PM (e)

Clouser wrote:

In fact,the Nazi argument from animals is far stronger than from humans precisely because the animals, unlike humans, cannot (we assume) reason. Their behavior is thus perfectly “natural”. I did say that “equating humans to animals is part of the ‘fabric’ of evolution” by which I was referring to the proposition that humans are refined apes. This does tend to blur the wide chasm between these respective species.

This doesn’t even make sense. According to everything you’ve now said, it’s your assertion that the Nazis used Darwinian theory as an excuse to commit attrocities and misrepresented what was actually propounded in the theory. In which case, who cares? How is this any different than attrocities wherein justification is made on any other basis?

And no, humans are not “equated” to apes in On the Origin of Species nor anywhere else I’ve ever encountered outside of the straw men set up by Creationists of various stripes. The whole point of evolutionary biology — and I repeat this for a second time — is to explain the differences between organisms, not to dismiss them. Humans are not “refined apes” anymore than moose are “refined deer.” The whole point of Darwinian theory right through the modern synthesis and up to the latest molecular biology is to demonstrate the difference between organisms. What part of this are you failing to comperehend?

Evolution demonstrates relatedness and ancestry. It shows us how little change is really necessary for organisms to diverge in radical ways while allowing us to reconstruct life’s history and make predictions about its future.

The only one equating apes and humans here would appear to be you.

Comment #106699

Posted by Scott on June 19, 2006 6:19 PM (e)

I think I get what Clouser is trying to say. Leaders of certain groups have taken the notion of the phrase, “survival of the fittest”, and twisted it to say that, “We [our group] are [obviously] the fittest, therefore we are [obviously] intended by Nature to survive, and so we should hasten the demise of those who aren’t as “fit” as we are.” Better yet, they get to claim a “scientific” justification for their political views. I think this is the darker side of eugenics. It is obviously a misuse of the evolutionary notion of “fitness”, but it is a common one.

But as I see it, this notion of imposing one’s will on others is completely independent of Evolution. Many groups in history have claimed a special place in creation, proclaiming to the faithful that anyone who is not one of “us” is [obviously] not “fit” [or blessed enough or moral enough or intelligent enough] to survive, and it is therefore acceptable (even desirable) to do bad things to those who are not “us”.

But claiming that Evolution *causes* such human behaviour is confusing natural “causality” with a very human “justification”. One could just as easily claim that a belief in Alah “causes” such behaviour, or that a belief in God “causes” such behaviour. It’s like saying that the hyenas got together and *decided* that the zebras were less “fit”, and so needed to be eaten.

Comment #106707

Posted by Darth Robo on June 19, 2006 6:49 PM (e)

Just stumbled across this (unintentionally) amusing post.

Carol wrote:

“Evolution is based on the idea that nature operates on the basis of Nazi-like tactics. Survival of the fittest implies that ethics, morality, right and wrong, are all tossed to the wind”

As had already been pointed out, the Nazi’s were not the first or only ones to use these tactics.

“When I see a video clip of 6 or 7 hyenas getting their food by ripping flesh from a live zebra, for example, I can only shake my head and say to myself - what on earth did that poor zebra do to deserve such a fate.”

“But with humankind around, a religious person can convince himself that this is one of the defects in the world that God has assigned to us the task to rectify. Humans and only humans are the ones with the free will (as opposed to those hyenas) and the partnership with God to civilize and perfect the planet.”

Humans are the only ones with free will? And any animal “lower” than us doesn’t? Surely it’s a mistake to confuse a lesser intelligence with a lack of free will.

And could you (or God) also elaborate on how we would attempt make Hyena’s more civilized? I suppose one could try to hand them a knife, a fork, a napkin and a nice dinner suit then they would just turn around and LAUGH AT YOU. Before ripping you to shreds. (Ramen)

Sorry if I’m a bit harsh, but equating Hitler with “Darwinism” is fallacious at best and it kinda bugs me. I wouldn’t throw all religious people together just because Hitler was religious.

Comment #106714

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on June 19, 2006 7:08 PM (e)

I always want to ask the people who associate Darwin with Nazis if they make a similar association between the Beatles and Charles Manson. I wouldn’t put it past some of them.

Comment #106725

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 19, 2006 8:08 PM (e)

Vayoma,

I will go over this one more time, a special treat for you.

“This doesn’t even make sense. According to everything you’ve now said, it’s your assertion that the Nazis used Darwinian theory as an excuse to commit attrocities and misrepresented what was actually propounded in the theory. In which case, who cares? How is this any different than attrocities wherein justification is made on any other basis?”

You are twisting my words here and misrepresenting what I wrote. I said nothing about the Nazis making “excuses”, nor did I say that they misrepresented evolution. Unfortunately, they understood evolution correctly and accurately. Then they proceeded from there to certain conclusuion that they deemed to be supported by evolution. And therein lies the tragedy.

Who cares? Why, I do and so should you! How can you not care? What planet are you from? How is this different? It is connected to our work as scientists and we need to take responsibility. Besides, it is an argument in the hands of our opponents in the religious communities.

A better question you may have asked would have been: What can we as scientists do about it? I have some thoughts on this issue but you are not yet ready to hear them. First you need to care.

“And no, humans are not “equated” to apes in On the Origin of Species nor anywhere else I’ve ever encountered outside of the straw men set up by Creationists of various stripes. The whole point of evolutionary biology — and I repeat this for a second time — is to explain the differences between organisms, not to dismiss them. Humans are not “refined apes” anymore than moose are “refined deer.” The whole point of Darwinian theory right through the modern synthesis and up to the latest molecular biology is to demonstrate the difference between organisms. What part of this are you failing to comperehend?”

You are flat out wrong. Evolution is as much about similarities as it is about differences. And to say otherwise is unadulterated silliness. This is applicable both to genetics and behavior.

“Evolution demonstrates relatedness and ancestry. It shows us how little change is really necessary for organisms to diverge in radical ways while allowing us to reconstruct life’s history and make predictions about its future.”

The “how little change” part of your statement is true but has only been realized recently. And this has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Comment #106729

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 19, 2006 8:34 PM (e)

Darth Robo,

“Just stumbled across this (unintentionally) amusing post.”

Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you learned something from it too.

“As had already been pointed out, the Nazi’s were not the first or only ones to use these tactics.”

But they were a major user based on race (loosely speaking) and the concept of genetic superiority (fitness).

“Humans are the only ones with free will? And any animal “lower” than us doesn’t? Surely it’s a mistake to confuse a lesser intelligence with a lack of free will.”

Truly “free will” does require some level of reasoning in order to transecend instinct and selfishness.

“And could you (or God) also elaborate on how we would attempt make Hyena’s more civilized? I suppose one could try to hand them a knife, a fork, a napkin and a nice dinner suit then they would just turn around and LAUGH AT YOU. Before ripping you to shreds.”

You think you’re funny. Did you think of providing food so they are not hungry enough to be willing to put up with all that hard work to obtain their food? We should do it for the Zebras! Join PETA and prevent this cruelty to animals, not by humans, but by other animals.

Or to get even funnier, perhaps to protect the zebras we eliminate the uncivilized hyenas (they are thieves too), therby ridding the world of this cruel and uncivilized element. I think lions are far more civilized. They try to kill in seconds and usually succeed. In any event, I was speculating as to how theologians might resolve this problem of God’s universe being naturally based on so much cruelty and suffering (on the part of creatures with no free will). But the problem is much bigger with evolution. Then this unsavory business went on for billions of years in the absence of humans, as opposed to a mere few thousand years and in the presence of humans. This is also why fundamentalists see evolution as Godless.

Comment #106731

Posted by Vyoma on June 19, 2006 9:00 PM (e)

Clouser wrote:

Who cares? Why, I do and so should you! How can you not care? What planet are you from? How is this different? It is connected to our work as scientists and we need to take responsibility. Besides, it is an argument in the hands of our opponents in the religious communities.

What planet I’m from? Why, I’m from the planet where more than 2/3 of my immediate family was wiped out by Nazis.

Why should I not care if the Nazis perverted Darwinian theory or evolutionary biology in general? Because there’s nothing that anyone can do about people who pervert ideas to suit their own purposes. It has nothing to do with me, and there’s no way to predict who will do it. Although I did read some excerpts from an apologist named Judah Lander (I may have that spelled wrong) that indicates an interesting way in which apologetics seems to be moving in an effort to misrepresent biology. Now, I would have no way of knowing beforehand what someone like that individual might do before he does it, so all that can be done about such individuals, whether they are authors or politicians or “scientists,” is to respond to them.

In anutshell, if the Nazis perverted evolutionary theory, then it has nothing to do with evolutionary theory and everything to do with people who pervert ideas. It says nothing at all about the thing they perverted, and the list of things that have been used in such a way would include everything from Capitalism to Communism to chemistry to publishing.

A better question you may have asked would have been: What can we as scientists do about it? I have some thoughts on this issue but you are not yet ready to hear them. First you need to care.

But you’ve already stated them. I think you’re dead wrong.

Exactly what kind of scientist are you? Where do you do your work? I’m curious.

You are flat out wrong. Evolution is as much about similarities as it is about differences. And to say otherwise is unadulterated silliness. This is applicable both to genetics and behavior.

Only insofar as it demonstrates relatedness. Evolutionary theory is primarily about how diversity arises.

The “how little change” part of your statement is true but has only been realized recently. And this has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Only insofar as it is an inconvenience to your argument. To refresh your memory, the Nazis acted in a way that was specifically designed to eliminate diversity in favor of an ideal. That’s the very nature of their brand of eugenics and what lies at the heart of the Teutonic ideal physique that they esteemed. This runs absolutely counter to evolutionary biology, in which it is heterozygosity that lends strength to a taxa, not genetic homogeneity. The Nazi philosophy had nothing to do with legitimate biology, and as such has nothing to do with legitimate biologists who actually understand the field.

Comment #106734

Posted by the pro from dover on June 19, 2006 9:33 PM (e)

A little more about giraffes. The phenomenon of giraffes strrrrrreeeeeetttttching their long necks to get those tender tidbits ia a zoo related pseudophenomenon. Even if their necks were proportional to their bodies giraffes would still tower over all other browsers. In fact those long necks don’t give any giraffes survival value over their shortnecked brethren because of a feeding advantage. The advantage is in sex. Giraffe males use their long necks in combat over rivals and can inflict grevious wounds with them. When faced with a predator they fight them with kicks but they fight rivals with their necks and heads. Lamarck loved giraffes because they were the perfect example of acquiring a characteristic that would adapt them to their environment. Wrong. Darwin was much more intersted in a giraffes tail and had nothing to say about the neck. Wise man. The expression “survival of the fittest” is not a Darwin original. It comes from Herbert Spencer. Spencer was a good friend of T.H.Huxley (also referred to as “Darwin’s Lenny”), and it’s use was suggested by A.R. Wallace to Darwin because it was already in wide use in England and people understood it better than “natural selection”. This was a mistake in retrospect because it is reproduction not survival that matters in the end (although you must survive to reproduce-as long as your not an aphid). This also explains why on the veldt one frequently sees shortnecked male giraffes with their manes in a combover with gold chains around their necks driving Miatas. I will not make the obvious comparison of the neck of the giraffe to the shoe size of the human male.

Comment #106738

Posted by Darth Robo on June 19, 2006 9:50 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

“But they were a major user based on race (loosely speaking) and the concept of genetic superiority (fitness).”

I still maintain that Nazi’s weren’t the first ones to do it. The slave trade (“based on race (loosely speaking)”) is a good example of tossing “ethics, morality, right and wrong” to the wind. This was practiced by many countries centuries ago under the preconception of superiority. Maybe not “genetic” superiority specifically, since genetics wasn’t discovered by that time. But basically it was the “I’M better than YOU” excuse. Yet you still equated evolution with the Nazi’s. I understand why fundamentalists see evolution as Godless. I also understand why they’re wrong. I apologize if I missed the point about theologians dealing with the cruelty and suffering issue.

“Truly “free will” does require some level of reasoning in order to transecend instinct and selfishness.”

Just curious, but on this “scale of free will amongst animals”, with humans presumably being placed at the top, just how can we measure the amount of free will other animals have? Which animals do have free will and which don’t? This sounds like the “I’M better than YOU (animals)” thing to me.

Comment #106742

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 10:06 PM (e)

I will go over this one more time, a special treat for you.

1. anything from you would be about as far from a “special treat” as one could possibly imagine.

2. You are a liar, as I KNOW, not only will you repeat yourself innumerable times. You do it with every topic you decide to involve yourself with.

3. You will never manage to correct yourself ONCE at any time, nor accept ANY evidence contrary to your beliefs.

Since ANYBODY who has ever seen you post more than once can see this as your MO, how is again that you are any different than the standard creobot, except for the particular religion that sparks off your idiotic rants?

Comment #106744

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 19, 2006 10:20 PM (e)

But they were a major user based on race (loosely speaking) and the concept of genetic superiority (fitness).

“loosely speaking” indeed; your speech is as loose as Ann Coulter’s. Carol, you understand what fitness means about as well as my 9 year old nephew understands quantum physics. You have NO qualifications nor background to expound upon the ToE, and you know it.

Carol lies about being a scientist (she isn’t). she once said she served as a science advisor for a school district, but she never provided evidence for even THAT contention.

every issue of science she involves herself in always ends up demonstrating her LACK of science knowledge, except in issues where she has direct aquaintances that can fill her in (like astrophysics), and even then she 9 times out of ten missapplies whatever she is going on about.

her ideas are idiotic, wrong, and she won’t EVER accept otherwise.

for those unfamiliar, all you have to do is search for her name here or over at ATBC to see how many times she pulls this crap, and how many times she’s been torn down.

I’m surprised she hasn’t mentioned Judah Landa’s book on the translation of the OT yet, but I’m sure she will get to it soon enough.

all i can say is anybody attempting to “discuss” anything with her is seriously wasting their time.

but hey, you don’t have to trust me on that, you can, as i said, just do a search for her name to see how many times she tries to confuse folks with her BS.

She is no more on the side of teaching good science than AFDave over on ATBC is.

Comment #106752

Posted by Henry J on June 19, 2006 11:23 PM (e)

Re “(although you must survive to reproduce - as long as your not an aphid).”

Or a male praying mantis. ;)

Henry

Comment #106764

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 20, 2006 1:10 AM (e)

Darth Robo,

No need to apologize. With many intervening posts, it is sometimes difficult to keep one’s eye on the ball.

Measuring free will? Interesting question. One would need to first define the term precisely, then do a study. I personally am having trouble accepting free will for humans, let alone animals.

Vayoma,

Not trying to pull rank on you in the tragedy department, but I too have lost many close relatives to the Nazis (may their memory be obliterated).

I have described my background at length in other threads. I have a Ph.D in physics, but probably know more about biology than many biologists do about physics, the fundamental science. I was a working research physicist for a few years, many years ago, but the visicitudes of life eventually animated me into secondary education, serving as the director of science in a large northeastern (US) school system. For the last few years I have worked as a freelance editor of scholarly books, focused primarily on science and religion topics.

TJM,

Your attitude and tactics demonstrate that YOU are incapable of dealing with, let alone ever accepting, alternate views, at least on matters that even remotely interface with science. Your brain is stuck in concrete, much like any fundamentalist’s.

I am under no obligation to present you with any evidence for anything. You are free to believe or not believe anything I say about anything. I couldn’t care less. Happy mud throwing!

Comment #106767

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 20, 2006 1:33 AM (e)

I am under no obligation to present you with any evidence for anything.

well, it’s obvious that’s how you think, as you rarely have.

It’s the very reason Lenny keeps asking you:

“…and why should we care about your opinions, exactlY?”

BTW, I didn’t start out being disgusted by your misrepresentations and ignorance. You convinced me with your oft repeated drivel over a period of several weeks after you first started posting on PT and ATBC….and I’m not the only one.

my only goal whenever i see you appear is to steer folks to an accurate portrayal of how you present arguments, by telling them to check your posting history here.

They can see for themselves exactly where you are coming from, and why it’s a waste of time to debate anything with you.

of course, my overall goal is to finally convince you that you would be far better off pushing your agenda on a religious forum somewhere, since you have shown over and over again how clueless about biology and evolution you are.

your latest screed included.

Comment #106788

Posted by Vyoma on June 20, 2006 5:16 AM (e)

Clouser wrote:

I have described my background at length in other threads. I have a Ph.D in physics, but probably know more about biology than many biologists do about physics, the fundamental science. I was a working research physicist for a few years, many years ago, but the visicitudes of life eventually animated me into secondary education, serving as the director of science in a large northeastern (US) school system. For the last few years I have worked as a freelance editor of scholarly books, focused primarily on science and religion topics.

So you weren’t a social studies teacher at Mainlands Regional?

Comment #106809

Posted by Roland Anderson on June 20, 2006 8:00 AM (e)

Yes it’s true. All members of the SS were required to swear an oath of undying loyalty to Charles Darwin with their right hand on a copy of the Origin of Species and their left hand on a portrait of Ronald Fisher. If Darwin had not existed then there would have been no genocides or crime of any kind, and all of us would be living in a flowery meadow where everyone lives like brothers and sisters and Pimm’s is on tap, just like the world was before 1859. All deprivation, violence and unhappiness is caused by humankind’s despair at the idea of being related to chimps.

Now please can someone explain why this means that the theory of evolution does not account for the diversity of life on Earth?

Comment #106817

Posted by kyangadac on June 20, 2006 9:40 AM (e)

It’s probably late in the day to buy into this thread but there are some fairly dubious assumptions being made on both sides of the argument here.
Firstly, Darwinism and the eugenics movement which it inspired(see below) were not confined to Germany but were the common currency of European’s especially those of Anglo origin from about 1870 on.

I (and others - see Richard Broome’s ‘Aboriginal Victoria’ Chapter 9, M.U.P. 2005) can clearly identify the effect of the spread of Social Darwinism during the 1870’s in Australia. By the 1890’s the validity of racial superiority was so unquestioned that, Aborginal people were deliberately excluded from the Australian Constitution on the grounds of their supposed racial inferiority. This was finally corrected in the referendum of 1966.

The eugenic ideas of Nazi Germany were widely admired in most countries of European origin during the 1930’s.

The idea of racial superiority is present in the writing of both Darwin and Wallace. The idea that Darwin and Wallace were writing some value free science is just hogwash. They were both completely aware of the political implications of what they were writing. From their point of view identifying humans as all belonging the same race(in spite of skin color)established their liberal credentials. But they had no compunction in regarding ‘natives’ as inferior races to be bred out.

A practice that was institutionalized in Western Australia from 1915 to 1944.

Darwinian evolution is a paradigm not a value free discovery. Scientists who pretend otherwise are as blind as creationists.

Comment #106819

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on June 20, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

Maybe a little less equivocation between “Darwinism”, “Social Darwinism”, and pure and simple racism would be advisable.

Comment #106820

Posted by k.e. on June 20, 2006 10:14 AM (e)

kyangadak said:

Darwinian evolution is a paradigm not a value free discovery. Scientists who pretend otherwise are as blind as creationists.

Gott mit uns…..Politics and relgion.

kyangadak…..You may need to bone up on some reality.

Sacred Causes: Religion and Politics from the European Dictators to Al Qaeda:

Comment #106822

Posted by kyangadac on June 20, 2006 10:40 AM (e)

k.e wrote

kyangadak…..You may need to bone up on some reality.

you’re point being?

Comment #106824

Posted by k.e. on June 20, 2006 10:47 AM (e)

kyangadac wrote:

you’re point being?

1.That you are stupid
2. This whole debacle is about political religion and nothing to do with science.

Comment #106825

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on June 20, 2006 10:54 AM (e)

I’d be really interested in finding out whether “countries of European origin” were any less racist around, say, 1815 or so, before big bad ugly “Darwinism” reared its head.

Paradigm, my rear end!

Comment #106827

Posted by kyangadac on June 20, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

k.e. wrote

1.That you are stupid
2. This whole debacle is about political religion and nothing to do with science.

It’s also about the misuse and use of science. As well as (I would contend) about the way in which scientific ideas evolve in a particular culture and affect the culture.

Consider, for instance, the writing of Kropotkin on evolution - his ideas (regarding the importance of cooperation) were dismissed at the beginning of the 20th Century because they were politically unpalatable.The dominant paradigm of the time emphasised competition instead which enabled people to make a virtue out of (supposed) racial superiority. In Australia, it was considered scientifically true that aborginal people were dying out due to the superior competition of white people.

What Kropotkin had to say about evolution makes at least as much as sense as the dominant paradigm of ‘competition’ but show me a text book on evolution that quotes him?

I would make the point that not only is evolutionary biology constrained by the social ideas of the time but even ‘hard’ sciences such as organic chemistry make assumption that are predicated on political correctness with regard to their employers.

Comment #106841

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on June 20, 2006 12:01 PM (e)

Commenting on various points:

1. Doing the “From Luther to Hitler” book would be no more valid that Darwin-to-Hitler or anything else. True, Luther was definitely a more significant historical figure in the evolution of Europe, and particularly Germany, but he had been dead for 400 years. It is important to take note of his virulently anti-Semitic book, but it is not as if anti-Semetism started there. The Holocaust Museum in DC does note Luther in the history of anti-Semitism in Europe, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t try to lay it all on Luther.

2. I would not rely on a random webpage like http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm as an authoritative or fair history. The website is clearly geared towards bashing Christianity in general, using its own version of the “Argumentum ad connections to Hitler”, which is no more valid for Christianity than for evolution.

3. My nomination for silliest comment of the week:

Folks,

Having carefully read all the above posts and Lenny’s lengthy talkreason article, I can only conclude that you all miss the point. YOU JUST DO NOT GET IT! And you cannot battle your oppenents if you do not understand them.

The point is not what Hitler or Darwin said or didn’t say, what they believed or didn’t believe. We all know that people don’t always verbalize precisely what they mean, and don’t always mean what they verbalize, especially when they have hidden agendas up their sleeve.

The point, my friends, is this: Evolution is based on the idea that nature operates on the basis of Nazi-like tactics. Survival of the fittest implies that ethics, morality, right and wrong, are all tossed to the wind and the ONLY thing that matters to the development of life is how “fit” (albeit with all the comlexities that word entails, something that is usually glossed over) an organism is.

When I see a video clip of 6 or 7 hyenas getting their food by ripping flesh from a live zebra, for example, I can only shake my head and say to myself - what on earth did that poor zebra do to deserve such a fate. And the even larger question then becomes - what kind of God is this who builds his universe on the basis of this kind of process? By glorifying this into a mulit-billion year process upon which the fundamentals of life are based, evolution comes face to face with these Nazi-like tactics and implies that the process of building life is God-less.

Now, you might say that this is going on anyway, right in front of our eyes, even before Darwin was born. True. But with humankind around, a religious person can convince himself that this is one of the defects in the world that God has assigned to us the task to rectify. Humans and only humans are the ones with the free will (as opposed to those hyenas) and the partnership with God to civilize and perfect the planet.

Stop zebra cruelty! Kill all the hyenas!

Comment #106844

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on June 20, 2006 12:02 PM (e)

kyangadac:

I am still waiting for you to explain how e.g. the British Empire was any less racist in 1815 than it was in 1875.

If the shameful treatment of Australian Aboriginals was linked to “Darwinism”, one would expect that treatment to arise after Darwin published his magnum opus.

Comment #106847

Posted by Laser on June 20, 2006 12:31 PM (e)

Nick, regarding your points:

1. I agree that anti-Semitism didn’t start nor did it end with Luther, and that the Holocaust Museum film didn’t put all (or much) of the blame at his feet. Still, just because someone has been dead for 400 years doesn’t mean their ideas aren’t influential. Why do people say things along the lines of “So-and-so has been dead for hundreds of years, so they had no (or little) influence”? Descartes has been dead for 400 years, and his ideas are still influential. People still read the works of Plato, Aristotle, and others, even though they have been dead thousands of years. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is required reading at West Point–how long has he been dead?

2. Fair enough.

3. I second your nomination.

Comment #106930

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 20, 2006 4:08 PM (e)

I realise, especially after reading the thread, that it is only partial true to claim that christianity was the reason for Hitler’s and Germany’s racism. Racism based on building an ingroup is older of course. But on a similar note I think Glen is wrong when he says that “To claim that secularism or science per se will save us is probably wrong (Nazis tended to favor both), much as saying religion will save us is absurd” since religion has this exact modus operandi. A relative morality doesn’t include ingroups as a basis, and I think any morality that does is bad.

Carol and kyangadac wants to confuse the use of science as a tool with a social and political background in which these ideas were spawned and are used. One can always discuss the proper use of a tool, but I can’t see them doing credible cases for their contentions.

Specifically in Carol’s case the fact that nature such as in evolution and ecology shows that diversity is a result and is more robust shows that racism and eugenics are contrafactual to our theories. Other similar areas are markets of different kinds where selection breeds diversity. Logically Carol should blaim them too since they support the general picture.

Comment #106934

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 20, 2006 4:58 PM (e)

But on a similar note I think Glen is wrong when he says that “To claim that secularism or science per se will save us is probably wrong (Nazis tended to favor both), much as saying religion will save us is absurd” since religion has this exact modus operandi. A relative morality doesn’t include ingroups as a basis, and I think any morality that does is bad.

Well obviously there is not much to disagree with above, and defending my statement won’t really add much. Still, I think that religion deserves some defending.

Importantly, I was favoring Enlightenment ideals, regardless of whether or not the bearers of the Enlightenment are religious or not. If the Enlightenment tends toward secularism, as I believe it does, it does not necessarily destroy religion, so that any number of Enlightenment figures were indeed religious, often Deist.

If many ancient religions are indeed largely based upon ingroups, nothing demands that they must be. In Roman times, promiscuous adoption of religious beliefs tended to create a partial melting pot in the Empire. In more recent times, having rational ideals has tended to cut across religious lines, so that quasi-religious secular ideals, like American beliefs in the Declaration of Independence (the idealistic parts, not the complaints about Indians), have often been incorporated into American sectarian beliefs.

As a non-religious person, I am well aware that religious people did often help to make the environment in which I can be secular and scientific. Perhaps the rational denouement of Enlightenment ideals is a thoroughgoing secularism, however it is too much not to include those who (arguably) lag behind as part of the progress toward a more rational existence. As well, it is too much for me to denounce absolutely anyone who denies that Enlightenment ideals should be pursued, even though I have every right to favor those ideals.

Regardless, the ancient in-group religious notions are not helpful to modern comity. We do see that, on both sides, in the Mideast and in terrorist ideologies. It is, however, more likely that enlightened religious ideas will displace ancient beliefs than will any bare secularism.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #106943

Posted by Jim Harrison on June 20, 2006 6:16 PM (e)

The comments section of an internet post is no place to contest deeply embedded folk-notions about how history works. But maybe it’s worthwhile to at least raise the suspicion that blaming Hitler on Darwin is goofy not only because Darwin is a weird choice for villain, but because of the dubiousness of the whole business of “blaming individuals for the calamaties of ages.”

So far from being responsible for Hitler, Luther doesn’t have all the much to do with what Lutheranism became after his death, which, by the way, church historians have been telling us for some time now. If there’s ever a day of judgment, Luther will have plenty of explaining to do for what he wrote and did in his own time, but it’s worse than unjust to blame him for what people would do with his name centuries later. It’s a mistake.

Comment #106957

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 20, 2006 7:19 PM (e)

I would make the point that not only is evolutionary biology constrained by the social ideas of the time but even ‘hard’ sciences such as organic chemistry make assumption that are predicated on political correctness with regard to their employers.

To a point, yes. Provided one makes the distinction between science and the social USES of science.

After all, the speed of light is the same for a communist as it is for a capitalist.

Comment #106959

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 20, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

I realise, especially after reading the thread, that it is only partial true to claim that christianity was the reason for Hitler’s and Germany’s racism.

No single thing was “the” reason for it. Like every other social movement, it was a confluence of many different social, economic, political and other factors.

The point being made here, though, is that when the fundies claim that *evolution* is “the” reason for Hitler’s and Germany’s racism, they are (1) wrong and (2) ignoring the things that Herr Hitler wrote about “God” and “The Creator” that the fundies might find, well, uncomfortable.

Perhaps Carol would be so kind as to point out anywhere in “Mein Kampf” where Hitler even mentions the *word* “evolution” …. . ?

Comment #106964

Posted by the pro from dover on June 20, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

Darwin was unquestionably a cultural elitist but his writings clearly show that he did not believe “savages” to be constitutionally inferior to white Europeans at all. Wallace was even more vocal in his belief in the equality of all races even though he believed human intelligence to be divinely designed. Compared to attitudes even 100 years later they were pretty darn enlightened. Actually the idea of “survival of the fittest” probably came initially from T. Malthus although H. Spencer was the one who popularized it.

Comment #106984

Posted by Henry J on June 20, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

Re “Stop zebra cruelty! Kill all the hyenas!”

Then when the zerbras have overpopulated and are either starving or raiding farm crops, what then? ;)

——–

Re “If the shameful treatment of Australian Aboriginals was linked to “Darwinism”, one would expect that treatment to arise after Darwin published his magnum opus.”

Was H.G. Wells involved?

Henry

Comment #107051

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on June 21, 2006 2:24 AM (e)

Here’s a thought: perhaps we could blame Hitler for Hitler.

Comment #107068

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 21, 2006 7:13 AM (e)

And the people who elected him.

Comment #107078

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on June 21, 2006 8:17 AM (e)

…and the people who elected the politicians of other countries who cheered the “law and order” Hitler brought to chaotic Germany.

Comment #107091

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 21, 2006 8:56 AM (e)

Henry J,

“Then when the zerbras have overpopulated and are either starving or raiding farm crops, what then?”

Then we cull the herd HUMANELY. I am sure you can figure out ways of doing so.

One thing we ought not do is hunt for sport and in disregard of the suffering that causes. And I am proud to say that my people do not engage in such activity nor does the Hebrew Bible allow for it.

Comment #107106

Posted by k.e. on June 21, 2006 9:38 AM (e)

Wow

Give me a break genocide Carol.

Documented over and over in your Bible.

Comment #107114

Posted by kyangadac on June 21, 2006 10:08 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #107158

Posted by TomS on June 21, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

IF evolution is a description of nature acting with Nazi-like tactics …

IF it is, and I deny that it is …

An anti-evolutionist who accepts the operation of evolution within a “kind” has as much of a problem
as anybody else.

The only difference would be that a person who accepts the scientific description can say, “I don’t
let what happens in the natural world dictate my morality.” The “evolutionist” notes that death is
sometimes a factor in the changes that take place in living things. Rather like the destruction of
earthquakes and volcanos sometimes result in new lands being formed. It just is, and is not a
recommendation for us to destroy things.

While the advocates of creationism/intelligent design - how do they account for the Nazi-like tactics
of living things?

After all, they don’t deny the reality of “micro”evolution, which is where the Nazi-like tactics
supposedly take place.

The creationists/IDers don’t deny the reality of death or of micro-evolution. They repeatedly tell us
that they accept evolution as long as it doesn’t involve “new information”, or “major new bodily
functions”, or “the origins of biological units larger than the species”. They don’t deny that “loss
of information” takes place as the evolutionists describe it. They don’t deny the operation of
natural selection within a “kind”, such as “human-kind”. They don’t deny competition between
individuals.

If the world of life is purposeful and value-laden, then what lessons are we to draw from the
Nazi-like tactics of micro-evolution?

If, and I repeat IF, we are to grant the description of the world of life in micro-evolution as using
Nazi-like tactics, what do these anti-macro-but-pro-micro-evolutionists (that is, the
creationists/IDers) have to say about it?

Comment #107235

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 21, 2006 3:35 PM (e)

Tom S,

“An anti-evolutionist who accepts the operation of evolution within a “kind” has as much of a problem as anybody else.”

You make a strong point there, much stronger than the flailing in the wind and the mud throwing by the other commenters, including the poster Nick Matzke.

But careful examination reveals some key differences between the camps. In evolution the process (1) has been going on for billions of years, (2) the process has been going on long before human beings - with their sense of morality and uniquely endowed with free will to do much about the cruelty - appeared, and (3) the process is dominant in being responsible for sculpting the form and function of all life on earth, including humans themselves.

In creationism (an approach I do not share) the process (1)has been going on only for a mere few thousand years, (2) has not occured in the absence of humans on the planet in a position to react, and (3) does not play as dominant a role as in evolution and is not responsible for the appearance of humanity itself.

I addition, evolution focuses much on the dynamics of this process, whereas creationism is more muted about the whole business.

Comment #107238

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 3:46 PM (e)

the flailing in the wind and the mud throwing by the other commenters, including the poster Nick Matzke.

the only one flailing here, as usual, is yourself Carol “Save the Bunnies!” Clouser.

You should go to the arctic and keep those baby seals from being clubbed!

they NEED you Carol; far more than anybody here does.

Comment #107240

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 21, 2006 3:48 PM (e)

K.e.,

The ignorant, anti-semitic canards you peddle can only be due to your swallowing whole all the lies and misunderstandings eminating from those folks about the Hebrew Bible, which your cannot yourself read in the original.

Just last week there appeared a major piece in the science section of the NY Times (reprinted from Biblical Archelogy Review) that scientifically (carbon dating) laid to rest all the drivel we have heard for decades from so called “scholars” about there being no evidence supporting the Biblical story pertaining to the existence of the states of Edom and Israel prior to the eighth century BCE. Well, now even they must believe.

Comment #107246

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 3:58 PM (e)

One thing we ought not do is hunt for sport and in disregard of the suffering that causes.

nor arbitrarily decide the fate of an entire species like a hyena because somebody thinks the way they hunt is subjectively “cruel”.

Should we wipe out killer whales because they strip the skins off of blue whales and leave them to die?

You’re nuts, aren’t you Carol? Admit it.

Comment #107252

Posted by Popper's Ghost on June 21, 2006 4:28 PM (e)

Doing the “From Luther to Hitler” book would be no more valid that Darwin-to-Hitler or anything else. True, Luther was definitely a more significant historical figure in the evolution of Europe, and particularly Germany, but he had been dead for 400 years. It is important to take note of his virulently anti-Semitic book, but it is not as if anti-Semetism started there. The Holocaust Museum in DC does note Luther in the history of anti-Semitism in Europe, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t try to lay it all on Luther.

Gotta love these non-sequiturs and strawmen. The statement was “According to the film, Hitler derived much of his anti-Semitic rhetoric from some writings of Martin Luther.” Nothing about anti-semitism starting with Martin Luther, and nothing that being dead for 400 years is relevant to. Ditto with

So far from being responsible for Hitler, Luther doesn’t have all the much to do with what Lutheranism became after his death, which, by the way, church historians have been telling us for some time now. If there’s ever a day of judgment, Luther will have plenty of explaining to do for what he wrote and did in his own time, but it’s worse than unjust to blame him for what people would do with his name centuries later. It’s a mistake.

Nothing in the statement about “Lutheranism” or “what people would do with his name”.

Comment #107291

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 21, 2006 7:28 PM (e)

TJM,

“nor arbitrarily decide the fate of an entire species like a hyena because somebody thinks the way they hunt is subjectively cruel.”

HA! “somebody” thinks….”subjectively” cruel…Why don’t you do a study on the zebras….ask them what they think about the method…. Perhaps “somebody” thinks the Hutus were only “subjectively” cruel to the Tutsis, to use your example.

And nobody, certainly not I, suggested “deciding” the fate of an entire species.

“You’re nuts, aren’t you Carol? Admit it.”

You should be as nuts as I am.

Do I take it that you are also opposed to the principles (not the tactics) of PETA, fighting to prevent cruelty to animals? Or do you think that only humans ought not be cruel to animals, but animals may be cruel to other animals and we ought not get involved in THEIR affairs?

You don’t even begin to show any sign of having a well reasoned, thoughtful and consistent position on this matter.

Comment #107298

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 7:55 PM (e)

keep on with that projection, Carol.

Perhaps “somebody” thinks the Hutus were only “subjectively” cruel to the Tutsis, to use your example.

talk about not understanding the concept. The two aren’t remotely comparable.

look, in your hypocrisy you miss that you attribute humans with “free will”, and we commit attrocities within our own species. Yet you don’t attribute animals with the same qualities, even when they commit essentially the same attrocities. That’s why it’s subjective, Carol. You’re love of the quick kill of a lion is belied by the fact that when a new male manages to kick out the old in a pride, he/they (sometimes they gang up - usually brothers), will usually kill the cubs currently in the pride in order to bring the females into estrous quicker.

DAMN THOSE INFANTICIDAL LIONS!!! We should take them to jail, eh?

should we stop killer whales from eating the skin from blue whales?

what about thinking in the reverse direction:

I’ve seen killer whales actually RETURNING a prey item to the beach (baby seal), instead of eating it like they normally do. Would you attribute that to free will or not?

gees, Carol, I could go on for hours, and list thousands of examples on point; starting from the microbial and working up to large, charismatic mammals. But then, you don’t even base your arguments from actual observation, do you?

Do I take it that you are also opposed to the principles (not the tactics) of PETA, fighting to prevent cruelty to animals? Or do you think that only humans ought not be cruel to animals, but animals may be cruel to other animals and we ought not get involved in THEIR affairs?

I’ve NEVER seen any representative of PETA (note that stands for PEOPLE for the ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS - which means by PEOPLE), ever espouse the view that what we view as cruelty by ourselves is in any way applicable to other species.

What you are all about is sheer anthropomorphism, nothing more. do you think your pet cat thinks like you do? do you think you can think *FOR* your cat?

PETA serves a valuable function for helping to prevent a dog from being abused by its owner, for example, but somehow I’m missing where their mission goal was ever to prevent one predator from feeding on its natural prey from a moral standpoint.

Where on earth do you get these whacky ideas?

In fact, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen an argument as extremely anthropomorphised as yours.

I’ll let others here be the judge:

Has anybody else seen a better example of anthropomorphism?

Like i said; you should stick to trying to save baby seals from being clubbed. that’s more your speed.

Comment #107299

Posted by the pro from dover on June 21, 2006 7:57 PM (e)

The wealthy mavens of PT need to take up a collection to put Carol and Toey on a deserted island and uh…. see what happens. Any bets?

Comment #107303

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 8:04 PM (e)

The wealthy mavens of PT need to take up a collection to put Carol and Toey on a deserted island and uh…. see what happens. Any bets?

I’ll take that bet. what odds are you giving? Can i pick the island?

Comment #107304

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 21, 2006 8:05 PM (e)

With your first example in mind, maybe your next try should be putting Ken Miller and Ann Coulter on the same island?

it’s about the same comparison.

Comment #107358

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 22, 2006 2:24 AM (e)

STJM,

Here is a quote from the PETA website. It speaks for itself.

“The renowned humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, who accomplished so much for both humans and animals in his lifetime, would take time to stoop and move a worm from hot pavement to cool earth. Aware of the problems and responsibilities that an expanded ethic brings, he said, “A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to aid all life which he is able to help … He does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy … nor how far it is capable of feeling.” We can’t stop all suffering, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop any.”

I am not criticising hyenas for being hyenas. And if I didn’t distinguish between animals and humans with regard to free will and reasoning ability at least 20 times, then I didn’t do so even once. The PETA platform goes far beyond man not abusing his dog. They are oppseed to your eating animals, using their fur or other body parts, experimenting on them in the lab, and so on. Now, I do not support all these goals. The key issue is humankind’s responsibility to alleviate cruelty and suffering, both human and animal, as much as possible. That is the contrast between evolution as practiced for billions of years and the expectations set for an ethical, moral and civilized human being.

Comment #107367

Posted by the pro from dover on June 22, 2006 5:53 AM (e)

I’d select Ted Bundy over Ken Miller for Ann any day.

Comment #107441

Posted by fnxtr on June 22, 2006 12:26 PM (e)

SirToejam:

Has anybody else seen a better example of anthropomorphism?

Pick any religious text ever written, anywhere.

Comment #107483

Posted by Ethyl on June 22, 2006 4:04 PM (e)

Holy crap. I hardly ever comment here (though I lurk a fair bit), and I really have to say, Carol, that you’re totally out of it. I’m amazed that you don’t realize the fact that you contradict yourself constantly and talk complete rubbish without even seeming to realize it, and then you get real real MAD at people who call you out on it.

Also, this stuff about trying to keep animals from being mean to each other is just…I mean, it’s just crazy-talk.

Carol, do you really think humans ought to be in the business of trying to keep animals from killing and eating each other? If so, why? Your posted quote from Schweitzer doesn’t support that idea, by the way. Alls it says is that people shouldn’t harm animals. Which is all PETA says, too, as far as I know. Not too many people think it’s worthwhile to try to keep wild animals from killing each other. Wonder why?

Comment #107488

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 4:49 PM (e)

Pick any religious text ever written, anywhere.

I’m gonna have to disagree with you there. Most religions focus on morality as applied to its practitioners, which are, in any case i can think of, always human.

I was wrong to equate Carol with a standard creationist. Creobots only care about converting humans to their religion. Carol not only wants to convert us, she wants to convert all the animals too!

I’m sure when she realizes that even plants can be cruel and vicious, she’ll want to convert them as well.

no, she’s more of a SuperCreobot!

I think the person who suggested she act as missionary to the hyenas of the world was correct.

In fact, I’ll play the role of hyena so Carol can try to convince me her morals apply:

http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/hyenas.wav

Comment #107493

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 22, 2006 5:35 PM (e)

Ethyl,

“I really have to say, Carol, that you’re totally out of it. I’m amazed that you don’t realize the fact that you contradict yourself constantly and talk complete rubbish without even seeming to realize it, and then you get real MAD at people who call you out on it.”

Thanks for the introduction. That was real sweet of you.

“Also, this stuff about trying to keep animals from being mean to each other is just…I mean, it’s just crazy-talk. Carol, do you really think humans ought to be in the business of trying to keep animals from killing and eating each other? If so, why?”

I never said anything of the sort. I even comlimented lions on their finesse. The issue is cruelty and suffering in the animal kingdom.

“Your posted quote from Schweitzer doesn’t support that idea, by the way. All it says is that people shouldn’t harm animals.”

That is false. Go read it again, carefully this time. Especially the part that says, “A man is really ethical only when he obeys the constraint laid on him to aid all life which he is able to help … He does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy … nor how far it is capable of feeling.” In other words, Schweitzer advocates that humans be proactive here.

“Which is all PETA says, too, as far as I know.”

Well, by now you SHOULD know better, since I quoted the PETA folks above saying, “We can’t stop all suffering, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop any.”

Now, what aspect of this do you disagree with or think of as “rubbish”?

And if you asked the zebras do you think they would distinguish between cruelty perpetrated against them by humans (bad, must be stopped) and that by hyenas (good, natural, keep it up fells)?

“you get real real MAD at people who call you out on it.”

Wrong. I DO NOT get mad or angry, as a rule. And you certainly have not “called me out” on anything.

Comment #107497

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 5:46 PM (e)

The issue is cruelty and suffering in the animal kingdom.

you’re not helping your case, here, Carol.

In other words, Schweitzer advocates that humans be proactive here.

and what would schweitzer say to the idea of culling herds “humanely”, because you thought that the natural predators that did so were being “cruel”?

It’s called projection, Carol. look it up sometime, so you can figure out why it is that you post this drivel.

Comment #107498

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 5:47 PM (e)

here.. Carol, I’m a hyena!

convince me of the evil of my ways!

http://home.earthlink.net/~tjneal/hyenas.wav

Comment #107522

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 22, 2006 7:41 PM (e)

Glen says;

“As a non-religious person, I am well aware that religious people did often help to make the environment in which I can be secular and scientific.”

I agree. Though I think at the time religion was an economic and political power which either benefited from beneficiary duties, or didn’t see any immediate power loss to do so.

Comment #107524

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on June 22, 2006 7:56 PM (e)

Carol says:

“But careful examination reveals some key differences between the camps. In evolution the process (1) has been going on for billions of years,”

That evolution is a fact have nothing to do with claiming it was a basis for nazism.

““I really have to say, Carol, that you’re totally out of it. I’m amazed that you don’t realize the fact that you contradict yourself constantly and talk complete rubbish without even seeming to realize it, and then you get real MAD at people who call you out on it.”

Thanks for the introduction. That was real sweet of you.”

It was an honest assesment from a first time blogger. And it happens to accord with what some older blogger have told you earlier. That should tell you something.

Comment #107539

Posted by fnxtr on June 22, 2006 9:44 PM (e)

Sir TJ:
Quite right, the thrust of most spirituality is an attempt at “better living”. The anthropomorphism I’m thinking of is in the depiction of the divine.

Comment #107541

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 22, 2006 9:53 PM (e)

The anthropomorphism I’m thinking of is in the depiction of the divine.

ahh, gotchya.

just goes to show those that those who practice anthropomorphism in one direction, usually end filtering all the world through that perspective.

Comment #107596

Posted by Ethyl on June 23, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

Yeesh.

Carol,
I did read those quotes. Several times. They say nothing, NOTHING about whether animals killing and eating one another is something humans should attempt to put a stop to. They refer solely to the acts of humans towards animals.

Do you think we should try to stop animals from killing one another?

If the answer to the above is yes, can you really not see that that’s pretty, um, wacky?

Comment #107602

Posted by Darth Robo on June 23, 2006 9:26 AM (e)

I have to admit, I found it hard to pin down exactly where Carol was coming from with some of her comments. The ones about ‘free will’ for example. Is this intentional on her part? Anyway, I’m glad it’s not just me.

Comment #107619

Posted by Carol Clouser on June 23, 2006 11:40 AM (e)

Ethyl,

“Do you think we should try to stop animals from killing one another?”

That ridiculous question is like asking if I think we should try to stop the tide from coming in. Have you not read a word I wrote in this thread? What is the point of engaging in conversation if people don’t listen to each other?

I wonder if the over-sensitivity here to discussing this issue is perhaps related to the performance of nasty experiments on animals that some of the biologists here might be engaged in, now or in the past. By “nasty” I mean anything the animals would strongly prefer not be done. If this discussion is making you feel guilty there, well, you do have free will and the guilt demonstrates that some latent humanity is still present since animals experience no guilt, shame or embarrassment.

Comment #107654

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 23, 2006 3:44 PM (e)

hmm, I don’t catch any guilt in any of the responses to your, to put it mildly, rather odd worldview.

However, I do wonder if you feel any guilt for claiming yourself to be a scientist, and yet hold such an anthropomorphic, emotional view of the world.

I bet you do feel guilt at the level of cognitive dissonance you can’t seem to help but display every time you start posting on PT.

Is that why you have stuck here so long? Are you waiting for someone to call you on this?

You’ve set youself a quandry that neither religion nor science can solve for you Carol.

the dichotomy represented by your horribly clashing worldviews highly suggest you pick one or the other, and stop pretending.

based on the direction and content of most of your posts on PT, I personally think you would be much happier abandoning the science part of your worldview set altogether, even if you did spend a significant amount of effort getting a PhD in physics.

You are not now, nor apparently ever have, pursued a career in science after getting your degree (if you even did). However, your aplogetics on moral issues and Landa’s Judaism has been quite clear, and apparently you have spent a very large proportion of your time investigating and promoting these aspects of your worldview set.

so, drop the science pretense, Carol. Embrace your apparent view of how the lion will lie with the lamb, and get on with your life.

seriously.

Comment #107742

Posted by argystokes on June 24, 2006 12:07 AM (e)

Well, I’m a little late to the party, but this is a pretty interesting thread. Carol, I admit that I normally find you pretty goofy, and have no idea why you hang out here rather than on Christian forums where your message of Bible=Science might actually have a benefit, but I appreciate your willingness to take utilitarianism to its logical conclusion. Nature sucks, and a good utilitarian ought to seek to aleviate suffering there as well as in civilization.

I will conjecture, however, that you have never owned a dog, because this statement:

… animals experience no guilt, shame or embarrassment.

is utterly false.

Comment #108519

Posted by Ethyl on June 26, 2006 12:21 PM (e)

Ok, Carol. Thanks for proving you’re a complete whacko.

“Ethyl,

“Do you think we should try to stop animals from killing one another?”

That ridiculous question is like asking if I think we should try to stop the tide from coming in. Have you not read a word I wrote in this thread?”

So, wait. Is it rediculous because you feel like you’ve made your point and I’m just not getting it? Or rediculous because you never said such a thing? If it’s the latter, you’re contradicting yourself again!

So, Carol, do you really think that we should be trying to get hyenas to eat zebras more nicely?

Comment #108612

Posted by peter on June 26, 2006 11:13 PM (e)

Why is poor old Darwin akin to Satan for the Cretinist? Nature isn’t cruel because Darwin said so. If you’re going to blame people for the observation of scientific principles which might later be abused to inflict harm, you might as well also blame Newton for aerial bombing raids. They could never happen if he hadn’t noticed the effects of gravity.

Comment #108622

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 26, 2006 11:37 PM (e)

So, Carol, do you really think that we should be trying to get hyenas to eat zebras more nicely?

no need to ask, really, that was pretty much her starting point.

I really can’t say I’ve ever met anybody who thought we should curb the behavior of predators because they are “cruel” before.

If the Clouserbot is anything, she is unique.

Comment #108991

Posted by Ethyl on June 28, 2006 11:21 AM (e)

“no need to ask, really, that was pretty much her starting point.

I really can’t say I’ve ever met anybody who thought we should curb the behavior of predators because they are “cruel” before.

If the Clouserbot is anything, she is unique.”

I can’t tell what she’s saying anymore. At first that sounded like her position, then she posted lots of quotes that seemed to say that only people should be nice to animals, then she seemed to think I was missing something. Unique? Yeah….that’s one word that springs to mind. Though…there are others.

Comment #109134

Posted by Henry J on June 28, 2006 10:51 PM (e)

Re “Nature isn’t cruel because Darwin said so.”

Nor would that cruelty go away if evolution weren’t a factor - animals have been eating each other all along regardless of whether they evolved that way or were “intelligently designed” (AKA deliberately engineered) that way.

Henry