Nick Matzke posted Entry 2616 on October 1, 2006 09:54 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2610

Here at PT, we have recently had several posts on banned books and Nazis.

Last week, the American Library Association recognized Banned Books Week, and we had the spectacle of the ID movement trying to claim that Of Pandas and People was banned from the Dover school library. Subsequent discussion revealed that (a) the Court explicitly debunked that idea in March 2005, (b) the book is still in the Dover school library as far as anyone knows, and (c} the ALA does not have Pandas on its banned books list, although they have a record of a challenge in 1993.

Regarding Nazis, a month or two ago we had another resurgence of discussion of DI fellow Richard Weikart’s book, From Darwin to Hitler, and the crass propaganda based on the book that the ID/creationist movement has pumped out. In short, two historians (one of eugenics, and one of Germany) have said that Weikart’s attempt to link Darwin and Hitler is tenditious at best.

Well, last night I was at the book store looking for Seed magazine (the new issue is not up on the website yet, but have a look at the November issue if you get a chance). I poked around in the science section, and discovered Richard Dawkins’ new anti-religion book, The God Delusion. Whatever you think of its merits on the whole (I have not read it yet and am instinctively pessimistic when Dawkins gets outside of biology), it has at least one very good point: it prominently cites Bottaro et al. in the Behe-debunking section. The main ID people have yet to even acknowledge the article, but it’s nice to know that someone is paying attention. So that was pretty cool.

Then, I happened to walk by the history section (much bigger than the science section), about half of which seems to be about WWII and Nazis. Somewhere in there I saw something about the famous Nazi book burnings of 1933, and probably because of the above-described PT posts, I thought, “Hmm, I wonder what books were burned by the Nazis?” This question I promptly forgot about (welcome to my brain). But something jogged my memory today and I did a bit of googling.

The best resource on the matter seems to be “When books burn“, an online exhibit sponsored by the University of Arizona Library. It was created by Lisa Bunker and Bonnie Travers. Of course the exhibit begins with the famously prophetic and sobering line from an 1821 play by German playwright Heinrich Heine: “Where one burns books, one will soon burn people.” (Not to be confused with the lines from one of the Indiana Jones movies: “Goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them.” And: “Nazis. I hate these guys.”)

Anyway, the exhibit contains a page called “Lists of Banned Books, 1932-1939.” The page begins by noting that it is hard to tell exactly what books the Nazis burned at their various book burnings (which I believe were largely orchestrated by radicalized university students, another sobering point):

Lists of Banned Books, 1932-1939

What was forbidden? What was burned? It is difficult to say for sure, in part because there were so many agencies which got involved. According to Leonidas Hill, author of “The Nazi Attack on Un-German Literature, 1933-1945,” by 1934, over forty agencies had lists ennumerating 4,100 publications to be banned. The following list is necessarily partial, but should represent the most influential literature blacklists from 1933 to 1935.

The page then presents eight lists of books that the Nazis banned, including images of the documents, the text in German, and the translation in English. The seventh is some “guidelines” published in Die Bucherei, “the official Nazi journal for lending libraries.”

[Guidelines] 1935
Die Bucherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published these collection evaluation “guidelines” during the second round of “purifications” (saüberung).

Well, what’s in the list? Naturally, communists, jews, democrats, pacifists, and…guess who…

Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279

1. The works of traitors, emigrants and authors from foreign countries who believe they can attack and denigrate the new German (H.G. Wells, Rolland).

2. The literature of Marxism, Communism and Bolshevism.

3. Pacifist literature.

4. Literature with liberal, democratic tendencies and attitudes, and writing supporting the Weimar Republic (Rathenau, Heinrich Mann).

5. All historical writings whose purpose is to denigrate the origin, the spirit and the culture of the German Volk, or to dissolve the racial and structural order of the Volk, or that denies the force and importance of leading historical figures in favor of egalitarianism and the masses, and which seeks to drag them through the mud (Emil Ludwig).

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

7. Books that advocate “art” which is decadent, bloodless, or purely constructivist (Grosz, Dix, Bauhaus, Mendelsohn).

8. Writings on sexuality and sexual education which serve the egocentric pleasure of the individual and thus, completely destroy the principles of race and Volk (Hirschfeld).

9. The decadent, destructive and Volk-damaging writings of “Asphalt and Civilization” literati! (Graf, H. Mann, Stefan Zweig, Wassermann, Franz Blei). [transl. note: a derogatory term for writers dealing with upper middle class urban society].

10. Literature by Jewish authors, regardless of the field.

11. Popular entertainment literature that depicts life and life’s goals in a superficial, unrealistic and sickly sweet manner, based on a bourgeois or upper class view of life.

12. Nationalistic and patriotic kitsch in literature (P.O. Höcker!).

[Source for German text: pp. 143-144 of Strothmann, Dietrich. Nationalsozialistische Literaturpolitik: ein Beitrag zur Publizistik im Dritten Reich. Bonn: H. Bouvier, 1968. Translation by Dr. Roland Richter. Bold added.]

Another list, the “Blacklist for Public Libraries and Commercial Lending Libraries,” includes this as an item:

According to the principles governing the compilation of this list, the following publications must be removed from public and commercial lending libraries:

a) All writings that ridicule and belittle the state and its institutions, or that attack or question its moral foundation.

b) All writings that attack or attempt to dissolve the order of the community of the Volk and its moral foundation, specifically those against the race and biological requirements of a healthy Volk (marriage, family, etc.).

c) All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk.

Considering that the Discovery Institute’s Richard Weikart has said (e.g. here, and in his book) that Darwin undermined traditional Christianity and therefore respect for life, and thereby made possible the Nazis and their atrocities, isn’t it odd that he didn’t mention the above points in his book?

Obligatory cautions

Since Nazis are to internet discussions what gasoline nitroglycerin is to fires, I will make some obvious points to head off misinterpretation:

1. The fact that Darwin and Haeckel (or at least “primitive Darwinism”, whatever that means – additional insight here is welcome) were banned does not automatically make Darwin/Haeckel/evolution good. There is (or should be) no reverse Godwin’s Law wherein anything oppressed by the Nazis automatically wins. An obvious example here is communist writings.

2. Just because anti-Christian writings were banned does not mean that Christianity is bad or supported Nazism. Hitler was a vegetarian; it does not follow that vegetarians are evil. Although some ID supporters have difficulty getting this sort of subtlety through their thick skulls, the point of raising Christianity when Darwin/Hitler is being discussed is not to besmirch Christianity, but to show that the Nazis were blustering, inconsistent thugs primarily interested in hate and power, and would happily appropriate/coopt/twist/distort any concept, consistent or not, that they thought would help their selfish causes. Raising the case of Christianity also usually exposes the hypocrisy of ID/creationists who push the Darwin-to-Hitler propaganda as part of their apologetics agenda, because they typically respond in injured tones about how the Nazis weren’t actually employing true Christianity. Exactly our point.

3. The above lists do not prove that books by Darwin or Haeckel were actually physically burned, only banned; such details may or may not exist somewhere in the historical record. It is also possible that Darwin/Haeckel were promoted at some times/places and banned in others, because after all, as noted above, the Nazis were inconsistent goose-stepping morons.

4. Darwin and evolutionary biology do not get a free pass. Even though it is ludicrous to say that Darwin led to Hitler (which is highly dubious even for Haeckel, as Weikart acknowledges repeatedly, not realizing how this sinks his Darwin argument), despite the fact that he was a liberal and opposed to slavery, Darwin still had some of the racism of his day, as can be seen in Descent of Man. Furthermore, although Darwin cannot really be blamed for this either, eugenics was bad enough on its own terms (although if you want to get technical it actually came to prominence in the early 1900s, when natural selection (“Darwinism”) was in scientific eclipse), and there are a number of biologists who should have known better. (Apparently T.H. Morgan in 1925 was the first major scientific critic, and still quite late and too mild. Clarence Darrow evidently did better in 1926.) You won’t learn this from the ID movement, but suitably scathing reviews on the subject can be found in places like the Encyclopedia of Evolution and Melvin Konner’s book The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit.

5. [Added in edit on a commenter’s suggestion] Since we are being thorough here, it is also worth pointing out that many Christians resisted the Nazis, from opposing them via the churches to hiding jews. A notable example is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who resisted the Nazi attempts to take over the church and, despite his earlier commitment to pacifism, eventually participated in a plot to kill Hitler. He was arrested, put in jail, then concentration camps, and finally executed by hanging in April 1945 just weeks before the camps were liberated by the Allies.

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Comment #136671

Posted by Jedidiah Palosaari on October 2, 2006 12:42 AM (e)

Excellent post. I think it wise to add that any Christians who actually practiced their faith- concerned with social justice and pacifism- were in great trouble under Hitler, and the camps were filled with many of those as well.

Comment #136672

Posted by A.Y. on October 2, 2006 12:44 AM (e)

Game, set, and match? That, along with the other countlessly mentioned lines of argument, pretty much eschews the “Darwin to Hitler” tangent.

Comment #136675

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 2, 2006 1:02 AM (e)

Excellent post. I think it wise to add that any Christians who actually practiced their faith- concerned with social justice and pacifism- were in great trouble under Hitler, and the camps were filled with many of those as well.

I agree completely. Read my Dietrich Bonhoeffer in college, in fact.

Comment #136680

Posted by Bob O'H on October 2, 2006 1:17 AM (e)

Just a comment on eugenics: J.B.S. Haldane wrote an article where he promulgated a “positive” eugenics, where parents would be able to choose the characteristics of their offspring (“Oh, I soooo want a daughter who looks like Paris Hilton!” - the father’s reply resulting in immediate ejection from the clinic). Now, I think his arguments were naïve but he certainly had good intentions.

My main point is that we should be careful to paint eugenics as necessarily evil. A lot of it was, but some eugenics ideas were being promoted for entirely high-minded ideals. I don’t agree with them, but I think one should at least respect the motives of the promotors.

My other point is that Haldane is worth reading. If PZ can find a copy of his article “The argument from design” (I’ve got it in a collection called “Science and Life: essays of a rationalist”), he’ll have a lot of fun. More relevant here is his article “The biology of inequality” (in “On Being the Right Size”), where he demolishes the “nasty” eugenics in 3 very short footnotes. He then quotes a Dr. Johann von Leers’ argument that the Nordic culture had its peak a few thousand years ago when it was pure, and was now (i.e. 1930s) returning to this peak. To which Haldane comments:

It is interesting to think that the Nordic race, if properly purified, may rise even higher than the culture of the Stone Age. When one reads statements as that, one is tempted to ask whether they are made in order to obtain or retain posts, or whether, possibly, they may not be a rather subtle form of propaganda intended to make the existing racial doctrines in Germany appear ridiculous.

I think Haldane would have fitted in rather well at PT, don’t you?

Bob

Comment #136691

Posted by Andrew McClure on October 2, 2006 2:06 AM (e)

Just a comment on eugenics: J.B.S. Haldane wrote an article where he promulgated a “positive” eugenics, where parents would be able to choose the characteristics of their offspring (“Oh, I soooo want a daughter who looks like Paris Hilton!” - the father’s reply resulting in immediate ejection from the clinic). Now, I think his arguments were naïve but he certainly had good intentions.

Incidentally I think that’s the plot of Gattaca.

Comment #136695

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 2, 2006 2:19 AM (e)

Yes, communists like Haldane were much more sensitive to the role that class could play in producing social misery, and critical when biology was used as an excuse for what were obviously social problems.

I took another look at Morgan’s 1925 book, Evolution and Genetics, which I have. The final chapter discusses human genetics and genetic diseases. He doesn’t absolutely oppose eugenics in all its forms, but he is pretty harsh on much of the stupidity that was going on. He especially has it in for the “race-propagandists”, who he mentions several times. Here are the last two paragraphs of the chapter (and book):

Least of all should we feel any assurance in deciding genetic superiority or inferiority as applied to whole races, by which is meant not races in a biological sense but social or political groups bound together by physical conditions, by religious sentiments, or by political organizations. The latter have their roots in the past and are acquired by each new generation as a result of imitation and training. If it is unjust “to condemn a whole people” meaning thereby a political group, how much more hazardous is it, as some sensational writers have not hesitated to do, to pass judgment as to the relative genetic inferiority or superiority of different races.

If within each human social group the geneticist finds it impossible to discover, with any reasonable certainty, the genetic basis of behavior, the problems must seem extraordinarily difficult when groups are contrasted with each other where the differences are obviously connected not only with inateiial advantages and disadvantages resulting from location, climate, soil, and mineral wealth, but with traditions, customs, religions, taboos, conventions, and prejudices. A little goodwill might seem more fitting in treating these complicated questions than the attitude adopted by some of the modern race-propagandists.

(Thomas Hunt Morgan (1925), Evolution and Genetics, pp. 206-207. Italics original.)

I have read several eugenics historians mention Morgan but basically say it was too little, too late. Haldane is sometimes mentioned also, but in an ambiguous way. But the above quote, coming from probably the leading biologist in the country at the time, in his popular-level book on evolution in the year of the Scopes Trial, was not insignificant I think. According to his Nobel biography (he won the Nobel in 1933), he was made a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London in 1919 and won the Darwin Medal in 1924. Not a lightweight.

Comment #136713

Posted by Hans-Richard Grümm on October 2, 2006 3:52 AM (e)

Just a nitpick: Heinrich Heine wrote lyric and - extremely witty - political poems (e.g. the Wintermärchen), but never any plays.

HRG (who considers Heine lyrics set to music by Schubert or Schumann as among the most sublime works of art).

Comment #136752

Posted by Alan Bird on October 2, 2006 7:31 AM (e)

JBS Haldane seems to have been a considerable wit as well. Apart from his famous remark about god & beetles, I rather enjoyed the fact that he called his parrot Onan ‘because it spilt its seed upon the ground’.

Comment #136754

Posted by Kim on October 2, 2006 8:03 AM (e)

Eugenetics was commonly practised all around the world in some way. Maybe not as radical as the Nazi’s, but the forced sterilisation of disabled people to prevent procreation of them is the same. And by widening the definition of what fell under ‘disabled’, you could get a lot of people under there.

Comment #136756

Posted by Gerard Harbison on October 2, 2006 8:11 AM (e)

I’m about halfway through Dawkins’ book. The first few chapters were both informative and very funny. I found his scientific argument against a deity a little weaker. I agree with his contention that one can argue scientifically against a deity, and that ‘non-overlapping magisteria’ is a cop-out; I just don’t think he made the case as strongly as he could have.

But overall, so far, I’d highly recommend it.

Comment #136764

Posted by roophy on October 2, 2006 10:20 AM (e)

Just a nitpick: Heinrich Heine wrote lyric and - extremely witty - political poems (e.g. the Wintermärchen), but never any plays.

Except Tragödien nebst einem lyrischen Intermezzo (1823), with the plays Almansor and William Ratcliff (both of which have been performed on the stage).

Comment #136773

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 2, 2006 11:57 AM (e)

The quote is from Almansor I think.

Comment #136774

Posted by Steve Reuland on October 2, 2006 11:59 AM (e)

Nick wrote:

…the Nazis were blustering, inconsistent thugs primarily interested in hate and power, and would happily appropriate/coopt/twist/distort any concept, consistent or not, that they thought would help their selfish causes.

Gee, you’d think the IDists would have a very intimate understanding of this sort of attitude.

Comment #136776

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on October 2, 2006 12:11 PM (e)

(Not to be confused with the lines from one of the Indiana Jones movies: … “Nazis. I hate these guys.”)

“I hate f@#$ng Illinois Nazis.” – Jake Blues (John Belushi), “The Blues Brothers”

Comment #136782

Posted by Steven Carr on October 2, 2006 1:00 PM (e)

A competent scholar like Dr. Weikart should certainly have been able to find those documents.

Perhaps he didn’t have space in his book to write about them?

Comment #136803

Posted by Lebensraum on October 2, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

Hitler in his own words:

* My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognised these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognise more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…and if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. Speech in Munich (12 April 1922)

* Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country] … I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press—in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past … [few] years. The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922–1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871–872.

* The Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See, and is endeavouring to develop them.
o Speech at the Reichstag (23 March 1933)

* The Catholic Church considered the Jews pestilent for fifteen hundred years, put them in ghettos, etc, because it recognized the Jews for what they were. … I recognize the representatives of this race as pestilent for the state and for the church and perhaps I am thereby doing Christianity a great service by pushing them out of schools and public functions. 26 April 1933, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich]

* Imbued with the desire to secure for the German people the great religious, moral, and cultural values rooted in the two Christian Confessions, we have abolished the political organizations but strengthened the religious institutions. Speaking in the Reichstag on 30 January 1934

* And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God. Mein Kampf, p. 174

* The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine. Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 12

* For how shall we fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine, if we ourselves spread uncertainty and doubt by constant changes in its outward structure? …Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas… it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith. ove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God. Mein Kampf, Vol. 2 Chapter 5

Comment #136824

Posted by entlord on October 2, 2006 4:16 PM (e)

A very quick search for “primitive Darwinism” turned up the phrase in some T.S. Eliot criticism and also with A.E. Wilder-Smith, the creationist. Again, from very hurried reading it appears that “primitive Darwinism” refers to “Darwinism that deals with man as only an animal, without consideration of theology”. Wilder-Smith uses this connection to link Darwinism to Communism. (I wonder what he would have made of Pol Pot?)

Comment #136827

Posted by Wheels on October 2, 2006 4:35 PM (e)

If we’re going to talk about Hitler and Christianity, it’s probably a good thing to get this out of the way. Hitler’s views on Christianity seem to be mixed at best. Things like “Positive Christianity” and the obvious and well-documented subversion of public architecture into political, Nazi-ideological shrines, and the heavy use of “Folk” rites seem to speak more to a kind of Christo-pagan-pseudoaryan fusion intended to re-invent the cultural history of Germany into a version more in line with either Hitler’s own personal beliefs or simply the policies of the Nazi party.
The more I look into this sort of thing the more I think that Hitler was simply playing off the popularity and influence of Christianity to advance his own agenda rather than any sincere religious convictions for Christianity proper. I haven’t read enough to conclude whether he had ANY genuine religious convictions or simply used religious language when expressing them in public. Either way, it’s clear that Hitler viewed religion as a powerful tool for control. Nazism was the state religion. Political and religious fervor was whipped up into a Cult of the Blood to promote solidarity among the German public and squelch dissent beneath a romanticized, revisionist wave of cultural rape and groupthink.

Either way, Hitler being Christian or simply selling himself under the Christian label, there’s a lesson for IDists or anybody else who want to make appeals to God in order to push their vision through the masses for the purposes of social upheaval.

Comment #136857

Posted by RBH on October 2, 2006 6:40 PM (e)

Wheels wrote

Either way, Hitler being Christian or simply selling himself under the Christian label, there’s a lesson for IDists or anybody else who want to make appeals to God in order to push their vision through the masses for the purposes of social upheaval.

It’s not social upheaval that’s the goal, it’s social control. See “Dominionism” and ponder the fact that the major funder of the Disco Institute has been Christian Reconstructionist Howard Ahmanson.

RBH

Comment #136907

Posted by Chris on October 2, 2006 10:46 PM (e)

Hmmm…. religious themes in a nazi propaganda piece….
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_of_Will#Themes

Comment #136908

Posted by Wheels on October 2, 2006 10:49 PM (e)

Well I figured the IDists were somewhat less ambitious at that than than the Nazis. As far as I know they only wanting to overturn secular society and bring back The Good Ole Days that never existed, before Darwinist Materialism bore its oh so bitter fruits that cause all sorts of problems. With the Nazis, their dream was more about reshaping society so that they would have immediate, personal power and influence over society. Honestly, I can’t see Johnson or Dembski going for such power grabs themselves. Maybe there’s something I’m missing?

Comment #136911

Posted by Adam on October 2, 2006 10:57 PM (e)

Excellent post. It gives a very nice objective portrayal of the actual events without taking any cheap potshots at anyone. This is exactly how we defenders of science ought to approach this issue. Well done!

Comment #136923

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 3, 2006 1:38 AM (e)

Actually, I did take some potshots at the Nazis I think.

Comment #136975

Posted by William E Emba on October 3, 2006 6:30 AM (e)

Nick Matzke wrote:

Hitler was a vegetarian.

Actually, he was not. He suffered severe stomach pains if he ate meat, though, so he kept his intake of cooked flesh to a minimum. He especially liked liver dumplings.

Comment #136977

Posted by ben on October 3, 2006 6:52 AM (e)

(Hitler)…especially liked liver dumplings

I had been on the fence regarding Hitler, but this detail cinches it. He was evil.

Comment #136978

Posted by Bing on October 3, 2006 7:12 AM (e)

Although Hitler had probably never read Darwin, he tended more to philosophy, he was without question inspired by the American Eugenics movement.

Edwin Black in War Against the Weak establishes this definitively.
His website is www.waragainsttheweak.com

Comment #136980

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 3, 2006 7:16 AM (e)

Maybe there’s something I’m missing?

Yes, there is.

Do a Google for “Christian Reconstructionists”.

Then do a Google for the name of DI board member (and cash cow) Howard Ahmanson.

What DI wants is theocracy. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Comment #137007

Posted by Keith Douglas on October 3, 2006 9:51 AM (e)

Wheels: I think many of the authoritarians have learned that you get defeated faster when you go public; so instead you prop up a figurehead who will act as a sort of lightningrod for criticisms of your policies (e.g., Reagan, Bush II).

Comment #137021

Posted by Just saying that on October 3, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

Nazis were leftists, like the americans who aggressively tout state schools and state run evolution teaching.

Comment #137025

Posted by k.e. on October 3, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

Just saying that -said:

Nazis were leftists, like the americans who aggressively tout state schools and state run evolution teaching.

Huh?

…oookay…then explain why they considered the communists their political polar opposites and why Hitlers greatest support came from the major industrialists in the form of capital and exclusive access to the conservative media.

Or are you saying the 1930’s German communists (it was unsafe to claim being one after Hitler came to power) were right wing?

You need a history lesson there JST the nearest analog to the the Nazis in present day American politics that has the same support by capital and the conservative media is?

Comment #137027

Posted by pwe on October 3, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Do a Google for “Christian Reconstructionists”.

Then do a Google for the name of DI board member (and cash cow) Howard Ahmanson.

What DI wants is theocracy. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

Umm, maybe, maybe not. They deny it: The Truth About Discovery Institute and “Theocracy”.

Anyway, if anybody has the time for it, I’ve started writing a review of From Darwin to Hitler with some naughty as hom attacks on the DI and Weikart: Review of Richard Weikart: From Darwin to Hitler (part 1).

Comment #137028

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 3, 2006 11:37 AM (e)

…the nearest analog to the the Nazis in present day American politics that has the same support by capital and the conservative media is?

I hope you’re saying that drawing such parallels is easy and therefore meaningless.

“Nazis did x, he does x, therrefore he’s like a Nazi”: I find these implications distasteful, no matter who is making them.

Comment #137037

Posted by Miguelito on October 3, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

Anybody else notice that the Nazis appeared to be defending traditional marriage and attacking sexual education in the book bannings as well?

Far too many parallels with the Christian Right.

Comment #137039

Posted by Nick ((Matzke)) on October 3, 2006 12:31 PM (e)

Like I said before…remember Godwin’s Law.

Comment #137040

Posted by Edin Najetovic on October 3, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

Oh boo. All those disclaimers about christians working against the nazis, spare me please. Why is it, when talking about nazis, that everyone runs to say their particular niche -or any niche they sympathise with for that matter- did lots to oppose them?

Let me be the first to say it: there are many more christians and atheists too, I have no doubt, that collaborated with the Nazis and facilitated their rise. To add constant disclaimers to everything concerning nazis is to build up the legendary larger-than-life evil that the nazis are rapidly becoming (have become?) and to discredit the real truth behind all of this: the evil of the nazis is an integral part of humanity and we would do well to heed its hateful upcroppings everywhere they appear.

And as for whether Darwin facilitated the rise of Hitler, well, indirectly it doubtlessly did. But indirectly, so did Christ. All these posts are just reductio ad hitlerem arguments and serve no real purpose other than to be mocked. To treat them seriously is to give in.

Comment #137042

Posted by k.e. on October 3, 2006 12:38 PM (e)

GuyeFaux said:

I hope you’re saying that drawing such parallels is easy and therefore meaningless.

“Nazis did x, he does x, therefore he’s like a Nazi”: I find these implications distasteful, no matter who is making them.

Yes of course that was how I was drawing the parallel. The illustration was meant to show the inanity of his assertion and no more. The nonsense that ‘Just saying that’ was trying to get away with was that the Nazi party were from the political left when in fact they were the exact opposite.

However, there is another angle that is much more interesting, it appears to me that modern politics and it’s use of the media really was systematically laid out first by Goebbels and his influence still resonates today in political parties of all persuasions.

Have a read of Goebbels’s speeches, particularly his pre 1933 ones on propaganda (they are all on
http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goebmain.htm)
His understanding of the human mind and how the body politic responds en mass to very simple ideas, seems to me to be the scripts the spin masters from the various PR machines that all political parties use today, have a quick peek at first.

Comment #137047

Posted by k.e. on October 3, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

Edin Najetovic

And as for whether Darwin facilitated the rise of Hitler, well, indirectly it doubtlessly did. But indirectly, so did Christ.

…plus the French Revolution, or Cromwell’s movement, or Buddhism, Islam

…from Dr Joseph Goebbels 1927 speech “Knowledge and Propaganda”

…Some kind of idea is at the beginning of every political movement. It is not necessary to put this idea in a thick book, nor that it take political form in a hundred long paragraphs. History proves that the greatest world movements have always developed when their leaders knew how to unify their followers under a short, clear theme. That is clear from the French Revolution, or Cromwell’s movement, or Buddhism, Islam, or Christianity. Christ’s goal was clear and simple: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He gathered his followers behind that straightforward statement. Because this teaching was simple, crisp, clear, and understandable, enabling the broad masses to stand behind it, it in the end conquered the world.

Comment #137048

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 3, 2006 12:50 PM (e)

Just saying that wrote:

Nazis were leftists, like the americans who aggressively tout state schools and state run evolution teaching.

Once again we see creationists don’t bother reading what they are purporting to respond to.

Look at the list of books they were banning, JST. Seem familiar? Communists, liberals, sex, pacifists, egalitarians, Jews and, of course, Darwin. Now, which end of the political spectrum has problems with all those very same people? The liberal side? Not likely.

It’s a laundry list of hyperconservative boogeymen and I’m surprised it’s changed so little since Hitler’s day.

So, tell me, in what way was Hitler leftist? In his treatment of homosexuals? No, wait, he wanted them all dead (literally), just like the Christian Reconstructionalist loons on the right do today (again, literally)!

All you have is an empty assertion. Can you support it? How were the Nazis leftist? Come on, JST!

I’m a Republican myself, but I strongly object to the radical hyper-right’s overwhelming influence in the party over the saner moderate elements.

Hmm, according to Wikipedia, the Nazis opposed public smoking. Hmm, maybe they weren’t so bad after all… :-)

Comment #137051

Posted by k.e. on October 3, 2006 1:02 PM (e)

Well public smoking apart, this little side spat where the DI inadvertantly shoots itself in the foot again with the tired same old, same old, only serves to show how little their political masters care about the real dangers of ignoring history.

Guess who said this, a German Nazi sometime between 1930 and 1945
or a US/UK politician sometime from 2000 onwards:

1) There’s no telling how many wars it will take to
secure freedom in the homeland

2) We must wage a total war on terrorism

3) So total war is the demand of the hour.

4) We would not deserve to lead this nation if we tolerated to any degree
whatsoever any threat to the homeland.

5) Peace through victory!

6) We are fighting for our lives. If we lose it will mean the
end of our nation and our history. This war is a defensive
war. It was forced on us by our enemies.

7a) Often [the leadership] cannot reveal the
reasons for its actions without giving valuable
information to the enemy.

7b) Much of the evidence we have is intelligence
and highly sensitive. It is not possible without compromising
people or security to release precise details.

8) We wage a war to save civilization, itself. We did not seek it,
but we must fight it – and we will prevail.

9) We feel no hatred against the Czech/Afghan people.

10) We would have nothing against Czecho-Slovakia/Iraq if, first, it had not
suppressed Germans/Kurds, and, second, if it was not intended as the
instrument of a future attack on Germany/America.
Upon us falls the task of preventing such an attack at all costs.

11) This is a battle with only one outcome: our victory not theirs.

Answers:

1) George Bush Speech 5th Aug 2002
2) Ken Adelman Wednesday, February 13, 2002; Page A27 Washington Post
(Adelman was assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975
to 1977, and arms control director – seriously: “arms control”! –
under President Ronald Reagan.)
3) Joseph Goebbel’s “total war” speech 18 February
1943
4) Joseph Goebbel’s speech 5 June 1943

5) Joseph Goebbel’s speech 24 December 1941

6) J. Goebbel’s article 26 September 1943

7a) ibid

7b) Tony Blair speech to Parliament, 4th October 2001.

8) George W Bush speech 01 Nov 2001

9) Adolf Hitler speech April 3rd 1939

10) ibid

11) Tony Blair speech Labour Party conference, Brighton 2001

Comment #137056

Posted by Larry Gilman on October 3, 2006 1:26 PM (e)

Nick Matzke wrote:

There is (or should be) no reverse Godwin’s Law wherein anything oppressed by the Nazis automatically wins. An obvious example here is communist writings.

While it is true that a text’s merit is not necessarily proportional to its unpopularity, the example of “communist writings” doesn’t strike me as “obvious.” I happen to like some communist writings, especially those of the pre-Marx communists like William Morris (back when the words “socialist” and “communist” really were interchangeable). As for the Marxian and post-Marxian stuff, I admit I haven’t read Das Kapital (who has?) or Stalin’s love-letters, if any. Perhaps they’re vicious. If so, so what? I doubt they’re much worse than the old Social Darwinist writings that fallaciously cited natural selection in favor of grinding up match-girls and crossing-sweeps to raise the race; and if that literature doesn’t get “Darwinian writings” cast wholesale into the lake of fire, why should the worst of Communism get “communist writings” so thrown? I have read the Communist Manifesto, at least, and I thought much of it amiable. Nor, perhaps, are my instincts completely outside the pale. A 2002 Columbia Law School survey (http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/dorf/20020529.html) found that 35% of Americans polled thought that the central ideological nugget of the Manifesto—“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”—is in the U.S. Constititution. Well, that’s a point of limited value, since 35% of Americans also think that the Moon is made of American cheese, but it still stays something about certain “communist writings” and widespread assumptions about justice.

So, whoa, easy on the communie-bashing.

Regards,

Larry

Comment #137057

Posted by Glen Davidson on October 3, 2006 1:27 PM (e)

And as for whether Darwin facilitated the rise of Hitler, well, indirectly it doubtlessly did. But indirectly, so did Christ.

The real issue is that IDists clearly haven’t got the science to back up their claims, so they bring up morality instead. Nevertheless, we have to respond anyhow, thus “Godwin’s law” doesn’t apply to most of the remarks here(Godwin’s law doesn’t really mean anything anyway, it’s just a way of responding to the jerks who bring up the “nazi’s” where the mention means nothing except attempted intimidation).

OK, what I’m saying is that I agree with the quote above, and wish to add how many creationists and IDists like to point out how science arose in Xian society. Not only do we have Xian influence playing into the whole nazi phenomenon (for and against, but Goebbels knew how to play that angle), any influence from evolution that also played into the nazis may as easily be credited to Xianity as physics is (and as problematically credited as well).

They really can’t claim that Xianity gave rise to chemistry, physics, and non-evolutionary biology, while claiming that Xianity had nothing to do with the appearance of a theory of causation for organisms, whose principal scientist was educated in theology (for a time) at Xian university in a Xian society. If evolution be faulty on some grounds, it is Xianity which is responsible, or anyway, at least as much as Xianity is responsible for the successes of physics and Behe’s cherished biochemistry.

Essentially, one has to consider all of the West’s productions to have some of their origins in Xianity. One may argue out the relative levels of causation, of course, and an ID book has done so. But the ID binary supposes that ‘this is good and Xian (or at least monotheist–meaning Jewish far more than Muslim)’, and ‘this is evil and non-Xian or anti-Xian’. That’s absurd, though.

Darwin and Darwinism are, for better or worse, products of Xian society–not solely, but considerably. Later evolutionary theory is more universal and empirical, certainly, but the earliest theory did benefit from the Platonic and Aristotelian strains in Xianity, as well as from developments in science proper.

By casting “Darwinism” in the Satanic role do some IDiotic Xians attempt to divorce the Xian societal roots of “Darwinism”, something they’d trumpet if they accepted evolution instead of rejecting it. Yet if “Darwinism” is held to be responsible for anything, nazis and others, its roots in Xian society and in a science that Xians largely accepted and promoted, cannot be ignored.

I know that there are atheists who would reject Xian roots of evolution as strenuously as IDists do, pointing out that Darwin was never really very religious, etc., etc. Hardly matters, since even Darwin’s agnosticism (which was acknowledged only later, whenever it arose) has a kind of Xian slant to it, and his outlook (including prejudices) are that of Victorian Xian society.

He was doing “God’s work” essentially as Newton did it, studying “creation” to understand it as rational creatures should do, regardless of his particular beliefs. The study of nature was promoted in Xian society as a kind of method of discovering God and his purposes, and only when that went sour for certain sections of Xianity did the attempt to destroy science arise as ID (thankfully, the YECs actually tend to believe in science as a general rule (with exceptions), and the denouncement of “materialistic science” (by which they indict evidence based science) comes more from the IDists than from the creationists).

To be sure, this isn’t going to change anything. Evolution is evil to the IDists, hence not a product of Xianity. They must cast evolution as the enemy of Xianity so that its evidences do not have to be considered–except via reaction against it.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #137060

Posted by Anton Mates on October 3, 2006 2:04 PM (e)

Just saying that wrote:

Nazis were leftists, like the americans who aggressively tout state schools

What, like in Florida’s Education Omnibus Bill? Damn Florida hippies, trying to legislate history.

Comment #137071

Posted by David Fickett-Wilbar on October 3, 2006 3:51 PM (e)

It may be significant that all of the dated quotations given by Lebensraum (oy) were from 1934 or earlier. This is the period when Hitler was either acquiring power or consolidating it. He was willing to use whoever he could find to achieve those ends. I suspect that the references to Christianity acquired a different tone as the Third Reich went along in its thousand year – I mean, 12 year – reign.

Comment #137077

Posted by William E Emba on October 3, 2006 4:39 PM (e)

Larry Gilman wrote:

While it is true that a text’s merit is not necessarily proportional to its unpopularity, the example of “communist writings” doesn’t strike me as “obvious.” I happen to like some communist writings, especially those of the pre-Marx communists like William Morris (back when the words “socialist” and “communist” really were interchangeable). As for the Marxian and post-Marxian stuff, I admit I haven’t read Das Kapital (who has?)…

I have done no more than skim goodly portions of volume 1.

In the history of economic thought, Karl Marx is extremely important. He is an equal to Adam Smith or David Ricardo. Much of Marx’s detail is flat out inaccurate. But the same can be said about economists before and after Marx. Overall, his predictions about the future of capitalism were mostly accurate: corporations would have to grow and innovate, and workers would continually get the short end in any distribution of economic value.

Pundits who worship Smith (free markets!) and Ricardo (free trade!) and ignore or revile Marx are just morons. Marx was ultimately wrong, but not in any way more or less embarrassing than Smith and Ricardo.

Comment #137078

Posted by Anton Mates on October 3, 2006 5:05 PM (e)

David Fickett-Wilbar wrote:

It may be significant that all of the dated quotations given by Lebensraum (oy) were from 1934 or earlier. This is the period when Hitler was either acquiring power or consolidating it. He was willing to use whoever he could find to achieve those ends. I suspect that the references to Christianity acquired a different tone as the Third Reich went along in its thousand year – I mean, 12 year – reign.

At the height of his power he was much more dismissive of the Church, but he continued to regularly invoke God and self-identified as a Catholic even in private. It’s just that, being Hitler, he thought his particular version of Catholicism was better than anyone else’s, including the Pope’s. For instance, he thought the doctrine of transubstantiation was insane, and blamed Paul for distorting an Aryan Christ’s teachings into communism.

Comment #137081

Posted by Darth Robo on October 3, 2006 5:30 PM (e)

Okay, does anybody know what happened to the comments box on the anit-evolution uk thread? I can’t leave a comment!!!

:-(

Comment #137149

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 3, 2006 10:10 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #137150

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 3, 2006 10:14 PM (e)

Umm, maybe, maybe not. They deny it: The Truth About Discovery Institute and “Theocracy”.

From the Wedge Document:

Five Year Goals
* To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
* To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
* To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals
* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its influence in the fine arts.
* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Certainly sounds theocractic to ME.

The IDers can deny whatever they want to deny. Their own words show their denials to be BS.

But then, we already knew they were unabashed liars, didn’t we.

Comment #137228

Posted by Lebensraum on October 4, 2006 9:45 AM (e)

It may be significant that all of the dated quotations given by Lebensraum (oy) were from 1934 or earlier. This is the period when Hitler was either acquiring power or consolidating it. He was willing to use whoever he could find to achieve those ends. I suspect that the references to Christianity acquired a different tone as the Third Reich went along in its thousand year – I mean, 12 year – reign.

Nah, just got bored of going through the nearly endless (and chronologically-ordered) Hitler invocations of God and Christianty. You could see this for yourself if you just followed the Wikiquote link.

Here’s some from during the war:

* “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” Adolph Hitler to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941

* “But he who dares to use the word “God” for such devilish activity blasphemes against Providence and, according to our belief, he cannot end except in destruction.” Speaking before the Reichstag about Jews and international “warmongers,” on 4 May 1941

* “God the Almighty has made our nation. By defending its existence we are defending His work.” In a radio address, 30 January 1945

Comment #137232

Posted by pwe on October 4, 2006 10:12 AM (e)

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

From the Wedge Document:

Five Year Goals
* To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
* To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
* To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals
* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its influence in the fine arts.
* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Certainly sounds theocractic to ME.

The IDers can deny whatever they want to deny. Their own words show their denials to be BS.

So, they are theocracy-deniers? The question, though, is that maybe they say different things to Howard Ahmanson than to the rest of us. It’s unclear to me, exactly, what they want - except more money to the rich.

DI Senior Fellow George Gilder gave a speech back in 2004, where he said:

George Gilder wrote:

So, the way to think of this is: a foreigner with a dollar can do two things with it. He can buy an American good—buy an apple exported from the United States, for example—or he can buy an asset in the United States. If he purchases the apple, he eats it and we don’t have it anymore. If he purchases the asset in the United States, we keep it. And he registers a deeper commitment to America than he does in buying an apple, or a side of beef or any other kind of American product.

(source: Market Economics and the Conservative Movement)

What Gilder ignores is that if no-one buys anything, production will soon stop, no matter how much money’s around. For some reason, money has come to mean everything, whether anything is produced or not - long term this will lead to inflation.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

But then, we already knew they were unabashed liars, didn’t we.

They do appear unreliable to me, I must admit; but then again, I don’t have a Ph.D, so what do I know?

Comment #137266

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 4, 2006 12:02 PM (e)

… Nazis are to internet discussions what gasoline nitroglycerin is to fires…

Eh? Gasoline is the better analogy: Nitro can be burnt, but only shock waves make it explode. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitroglycerin for the exciting details.

(But it might not hurt to strike out that “tenditious” and insert “tendentious”…)

And there is a strong case to be made that Nazism not only appropriated Christianism, but to a significant degree grew from Christian roots - much as we see Christianism as a major element in a certain emerging contemporary dictatorship.

Jedidiah Palosaari: …any Christians who actually practiced their faith- concerned with social justice and pacifism- were in great trouble under Hitler, and the camps were filled with many of those as well.

Yes and no: any German in the 3rd Reich who expressed or acted on such feelings was likely to go behind barbed wire - but there were never enough who did so to “fill the camps” (that job was undertaken by, first, leftists & other opponents of the regime, and later, Jews, Slavs, et al).

Comment #137329

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 4, 2006 6:27 PM (e)

It’s unclear to me, exactly, what they want

No reason for you to be unclear — they are nice enough to spell out EXACTLY what they want, and are even kind enough to then list exactly what steps they will take in the next five, ten and twenty years to get it.

You can read it all at:

http://www.geocities.com/lflank/wedge.html

They certainly make no secret at all of what they want.

Comment #137331

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 4, 2006 6:34 PM (e)

The question, though, is that maybe they say different things to Howard Ahmanson than to the rest of us.

A correction here — the Wedge Document was not written for Howard Ahmanson (Ahmanson had **already** provided the seed money for the Center for The Renewal of Science and Culture by the time the Wedge Document was written), nor was it written to raise money (notice that it doesn’t mention “money” or “fundraising” anywhere in it, and contains no appeals for donations whatsoever).

In its “The Wedge Document; So what?” document arguing these things, the DI is simply lying to us. Again.

Comment #137480

Posted by pwe on October 5, 2006 11:43 AM (e)

Lenny Flank wrote:

A correction here — the Wedge Document was not written for Howard Ahmanson (Ahmanson had **already** provided the seed money for the Center for The Renewal of Science and Culture by the time the Wedge Document was written), nor was it written to raise money (notice that it doesn’t mention “money” or “fundraising” anywhere in it, and contains no appeals for donations whatsoever).

You do have a point here, I’ll admit. It’s just they I - as some kind of Christian - cannot really think that other Christians will deliberately lie in order to push their agenda through. If it’s worth converting people to, it’s worth admitting it. Anyway, Weikart’s book is clearly ‘Reconstructionist’, so what’s the point in keeping a secret that is denied by their own publications?

Lenny Flank wrote:

In its “The Wedge Document; So what?” document arguing these things, the DI is simply lying to us. Again.

Well, you might be right, but what evidence do you have? Besides, of course that the publications of DI-CSC fellows indicate so. But then, why this double-talk?

I’m no fan of conspiracy-theories - after all, the IDists themselves claim the existence of a worldwide Darwinist conspiracy - so how do we make a distinctinction between whether the DI is just pumping Ahmanson for money or they are really his lackeys?

Comment #137488

Posted by Darth Robo on October 5, 2006 12:25 PM (e)

“worldwide Darwinist conspiracy”

If the conspiracy is worldwide, can it really be considered a conspiracy anymore?

Comment #137492

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 5, 2006 1:12 PM (e)

pwe: …I - as some kind of Christian - cannot really think that other Christians will deliberately lie in order to push their agenda through.

Then please don’t ever complain if/when non-believers opine that there is something mentally defective in anyone who follows your creed.

What you say you “cannot really think” is an extremely well documented phenomenon, extending from creationism to the abortion/contraception debate to pedophilia to the Vatican banking scandal to the Crusades to the blood libel to that story about the teenager whose pregnancy was attributed to a ghost.

Please examine the nature of your mental block and seek help in freeing yourself from same, if you can’t manage that by yourself. The life (money/freedom/sanity/etc) you save may be your own.

Comment #137496

Posted by stevaroni on October 5, 2006 1:39 PM (e)

Down here in my part of the world (Texas) there is now afoot an effort to remove a certain book from the classroom reading list of the Conroe district high schools.

Apparently, this vile, socially dangerous book must go because it contains “discussions of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, “dirty talk,” references to the Bible and using God’s name in vain.”

To prevent damage, do not proceed any further until you unplug your irony meter

OK, The name of this book that the Grand Parkway Church wants banned?

Wait for it….

Fahrenheit 451.

Yes, Ray Bradbury’s famous tome about … banning books.

(I heard those irony meters popping - maybe next time you’ll listen when I warn you)

Comment #137498

Posted by Henry J on October 5, 2006 2:07 PM (e)

Well, maybe they just want people to start using the Celsius (Centigrade?) temperature scale? Well, er, on second thought, maybe not.

Comment #137501

Posted by bernarda on October 5, 2006 2:17 PM (e)

What kind of ignorant libertarian BS is this, “There is (or should be) no reverse Godwin’s Law wherein anything oppressed by the Nazis automatically wins. An obvious example here is communist writings.”?

I came here hearing this was a serious blog. Well you can’t always believe what you hear. “communist writings”, as if there is only one ideological line. Get real.

Comment #137502

Posted by Coin on October 5, 2006 2:43 PM (e)

…just to warn you, anyone tempted to respond to that last confusing post should probably first take a look at the things bernarda has been posting on the Respectful Insolence blog on scienceblogs over the last couple days.

Comment #137503

Posted by Henry J on October 5, 2006 3:22 PM (e)

No thanks, I’d rather not. The one example is more than enough.

Comment #137504

Posted by Coin on October 5, 2006 3:28 PM (e)

Reasonable.

Comment #137581

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 6, 2006 7:14 AM (e)

It’s just they I - as some kind of Christian - cannot really think that other Christians will deliberately lie in order to push their agenda through.

You’ve not been listening to ID/creationists for very long then, have you …

They lie routinely, continuously, and unashamedly.

Comment #137582

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 6, 2006 7:18 AM (e)

cannot really think that other Christians will deliberately lie

They also lie about ID being “Christian”. Just ask them about the, uh, space aliens.

You ask what the point of their lying about it is? It’s quite simple, really – it’s so they can go into court and testify witha straight face “ID isn’t about a religious agenda, no sirree Bob”, like they did in Dover, under oath. Naturally, they were lying about that too.

Comment #137595

Posted by pwe on October 6, 2006 8:46 AM (e)

Pierce R. Butler wrote:

What you say you “cannot really think” is an extremely well documented phenomenon, extending from creationism to the abortion/contraception debate to pedophilia to the Vatican banking scandal to the Crusades to the blood libel to that story about the teenager whose pregnancy was attributed to a ghost.

We are moving a bit off topic here; but anyway: deliberatelu lying and not telling the truth isn’t the same. These people may have been wrong, but they might still have believed, what they said.

Pierce R. Butler wrote:

Please examine the nature of your mental block and seek help in freeing yourself from same, if you can’t manage that by yourself. The life (money/freedom/sanity/etc) you save may be your own.

LOL; but you forget that creationists/IDists claim the same about ‘Darwinists’ - that they are deliberately lying. If you have two parties, each accusing the other of lying, who’s to be trusted?

Comment #137597

Posted by pwe on October 6, 2006 8:51 AM (e)

Lenny Flank wrote:

You’ve not been listening to ID/creationists for very long then, have you …

They lie routinely, continuously, and unashamedly.

Quite correct. I happen to live in a country, where this kind of believe are a very rare species. A couple of years ago the leader of a conservative Lutheran group suggested that Genesis be used in biology class. Except that it was noted that he had made the suggestion, no-one really paid any attention.

In the US things are clearly different; but as an outsider, I really can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Comment #137607

Posted by Staffan S on October 6, 2006 9:26 AM (e)

Nick, the “another resurgence of discussion” link doesn’t work for me.

Comment #137609

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 6, 2006 9:32 AM (e)

Ignore the accusations and just look at the argument and evidence.

Creationists claim the fossil record was sorted by a flood. I’ve been asking them for decades to explain how mangroves got to the top in this system. To date, not a single creationist has had even a shadow of an answer.

And that’s just scratching the surface of creationist inability to deal with the evidence.

Please read these and tell me what you think:

* My article on fossil sorting.
* Another article I wrote, this one on the most detailed creationist fossil sorting argument
* Problems With a Global Flood, 2nd Edition by Mark Isaac
* 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution, by Douglas Theobald, Ph.D.

Comment #137621

Posted by Henry J on October 6, 2006 10:13 AM (e)

Re “If you have two parties, each accusing the other of lying, who’s to be trusted?”

Maybe the one that can produce evidence and logic to support its position? ;)

Comment #137759

Posted by Follower of Edwin Black on October 7, 2006 6:46 AM (e)

See www.waragainsttheweak.com for the truth about Darwins influence on humanity.

Comment #137766

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 7, 2006 7:58 AM (e)

LOL; but you forget that creationists/IDists claim the same about ‘Darwinists’ - that they are deliberately lying. If you have two parties, each accusing the other of lying, who’s to be trusted?

Do you seriously mean to tell me that, if two people tell you two different things, you have no idea whatever how to tell which is right?

If someone tells you that the moon is made of rock, and someone else tells you that it’s made of green cheese, you have no idea how to tell which it is?

If someone tells you there are WMD’s in Iraq, and someone else tells you there are not, you don’t have a clue how to tell if there really are?

If IDers tell you that they’re not creationists, and then tell you ten seconds later that one of their objectives is to defend creationism, you have no idea at all whether they are lying to you?

Wow. No WONDER you are sympathetic to creationism. (shrug)

Comment #137767

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 7, 2006 7:59 AM (e)

See www.waragainsttheweak.com for the truth about Darwins influence on humanity.

Then read “Mein Kampf”, count how many times Herr Hitler mentions “Darwin” or “evolution”, and then count how many times Herr Hitler mentions “Goid” or “The Creator”.

Let us know what you find.

Comment #137795

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 7, 2006 11:12 AM (e)

pwe: These people may have been wrong, but they might still have believed, what they said.

Stick around, or poke through the archives of this controversy (particularly the decision of the Kitzmiller case) - you’ll see time and again where a leading creationist says something, ahem, counterfactual; is patiently set straight with details and documentation; offers no rebuttal or acknowledgement; and shortly repeats the same untrue assertion. So far, dishonesty & insanity are the only theories suggested that match this behavior - and most of these guys function too well on a social level for the insanity model to fit very well.

See the quote mining section at http://www.talkorigins.org for abundant further evidence in support of the dishonesty thesis.

Perhaps someday someone will formulate an in-between hypothesis of self-deception & rationalization that better describes & predicts this phenomenon. It may not be called X’s theory of religion, but I predict it will be supported by data from study of same.

pwe: If you have two parties, each accusing the other of lying, who’s to be trusted?

Neither. Look at the external evidence and form your own conclusions.

Meanwhile, please attempt to adjust your thinking: Many Christians will deliberately lie to push their agenda through. If you lack the technical background to feel confident in assessing the creo/evo debate regarding this question, contemplate the words & actions of the dominant faction of the regime currently controlling the world’s sole military hyperpower.

Comment #137796

Posted by Sounder on October 7, 2006 11:36 AM (e)

See www.waragainsttheweak.com for the truth about Darwins influence on humanity.

Awesome, thanks for this post. Nothing demonstrates to a fence-sitter the ridiculousness of science-denialism better than the irrational conspiracy theories which the dissonance of denialism inevitably lead to.

Comment #137799

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 7, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

Follower of Edwin Black: See www.waragainsttheweak.com for the truth about Darwins influence on humanity.

I went, I saw - I didn’t click on every last link, but I checked out quite a few, and couldn’t find Darwin’s name, or the word “evolution”, mentioned anywhere on the site. Got anything more specific or evidence-based?

Comment #137833

Posted by Andrew McClure on October 7, 2006 2:19 PM (e)

Sounder wrote:

Awesome, thanks for this post. Nothing demonstrates to a fence-sitter the ridiculousness of science-denialism better than the irrational conspiracy theories which the dissonance of denialism inevitably lead to.

Well, the thing about that site is that it does contain a thread of real historic information about a real blot on the history of America and American genetics– the American Eugenics movement and the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which was in fact funded by the Carnegie Foundation until they either realized what was going on there or got cold feet and pulled all the funding, shutting it down. The problem is from this starting point (at least if that page is any indication) the book appears to go to some really weird places, missing the part in the actual history of science where eugenics was repudiated by the scientific community as pseudoscience, and instead going off on some tangent about the “movement” of “human genetics”, which… just… what?

I for one would actually be rather interested in a serious history of eugenics in America and what went wrong, and I could find it quite believable that the Nazis were in some of their actions inspired by American eugenicists if the historical case for such such were well supported, but I see some decent-sized warning signs that this particular book has an agenda. In the meantime, as Pierce Butler notes above, it’s interesting that we have people trying to use Edwin Black’s book to make the connection between Darwin and Eugenics, since Edwin Black himself doesn’t appear to make that connection anywhere I’m aware of.

Comment #137869

Posted by Sounder on October 7, 2006 6:08 PM (e)

Andrew McClure wrote:

snip

Yes, that was my point. A common thread among pseudo-science movements and its members is the association of the mainstream scientists of the field with “scare groups”–communists, nazis, pagans, whatever–in an effort to portray the scientists and their theories as morally evil. It’s a political scare tactic of the lowest order, and is a good sign of an intellectual coward with no true argument to make.

Subjects like Follower here are a rare breed, though, going the extra mile and not only associating certain traits shared between the scientists and AtheistHitlerStalin, but assembles a full plot, tying the current science historically to old evils and boogie men without any regard for proof; a full-blown tale of conspiracy.

As far as this one goes, I can’t grade it any higher than a C+: linking to a book about the mis-guided ideas and horrific methods of 20th-century eugenicists, and inserting the name “Darwin” a single time in the post, is pretty uninspired. Now, should he ever decide to publish a complete book establishing Hitler as a consequence of a scientific theory–with Hitler’s name in the title–THEN he’ll be in the big leagues!

Comment #137898

Posted by Hoosier X on October 8, 2006 3:50 AM (e)

Didn’t you hear?

Godwin’s Law has been suspended for the duration.

That means until the conservatives stop acting like Nazis.

(They could start by getting one or two of the Republican leadership to stop saying that opponents of the war are helping the terrorists. THE GODDAM WAR IS HELPING THE TERRORISTS!)

Comment #138130

Posted by A. Shickelgruber on October 9, 2006 5:43 AM (e)

Godwins law should have been invoked many posts ago.

Why dredge up old stuff about Hitler and his belief in master races, or any nonsensical connection to a book with a subtitle like “On the Preservation of Favored Races”? or a book like “The Descent of Man” and its unfortunate mention of the elimination of savage races?

People might get the wrong idea.

Comment #138166

Posted by pwe on October 9, 2006 9:10 AM (e)

Pierce R. Butler wrote:

Neither. Look at the external evidence and form your own conclusions.

Meanwhile, please attempt to adjust your thinking: Many Christians will deliberately lie to push their agenda through. If you lack the technical background to feel confident in assessing the creo/evo debate regarding this question, contemplate the words & actions of the dominant faction of the regime currently controlling the world’s sole military hyperpower.

Yes, that’s a good point, when the political motives are so obvious that you can’t ignore them no matter how hard you try.

But the creationists/IDists are right that Haeckel forged those embryo drawings, and that he was highly speculative.

And, notice that Nick Matzke listing the Guidelines from Die Bücherei emphasizes the 6th entry:

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

Weikart mentions in From Darwin to Hitler that the Monist League opposed Nazism and was banned, so Matzke (sorry, Nick) is not really having a point here. This is sloppy research!

And that’s what I mean. The IDists/creationists use shallow argumentation frequently, but so does the other side. To me, it’s not a question of evolution or not (I’m no biologist!), but about who appear to be most trustworthy in general. And it’s not always the evolutionists that come up on top there.

With the DI fellows it’s difficult to figure out, what they are really going for. I have written a critique of a speech by George Gilder, wherein Gilder is quite the acrobat performing some elaborate logical leaps; but he might still believe, what he says - and it might even work, because he can inspire confidence into his audience.

Things are more tricky than simply true or false sometimes :-)

Comment #138193

Posted by Anton Mates on October 9, 2006 11:05 AM (e)

A. Shickelgruber wrote:

Why dredge up old stuff about Hitler and his belief in master races, or any nonsensical connection to a book with a subtitle like “On the Preservation of Favored Races”?

Well, one would hope that people could read the entire title: “The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” They would then realize:

a) that “preservation of favored races” is being invoked only as a mechanism for speciation, which has nothing to do with Nazi goals;
b) that “favored” doesn’t mean “superior” in any intellectual/moral/political sense; and
c) that races which are “favored” in the natural selection sense don’t have to commit genocide to win out over everybody else; by definition, they’re already winning just by having greater reproductive success.

You may think that expecting most people to read twenty whole words in a row without breaking for lunch is unrealistic these days, but I like to be an optimist. After all, The Da Vinci Code was much longer than that,

or a book like “The Descent of Man” and its unfortunate mention of the elimination of savage races?

People might get the wrong idea.

Again, you’d hope people would realize that a book can mention the elimination of “savage races” without endorsing it. Otherwise, every history textbook on Earth which mentions, say, colonialism-driven genocide is in league with the Nazis, and that doesn’t really make sense.

Plus, most people seem reasonably aware that even some books which do endorse genocide, like the Bible, aren’t automatically directly responsible for Nazism. Again, might as well be an optimist about the average level of reading comprehension.

Comment #138194

Posted by Anton Mates on October 9, 2006 11:11 AM (e)

pwe wrote:

But the creationists/IDists are right that Haeckel forged those embryo drawings, and that he was highly speculative.

But it wasn’t the creationists/IDists who pointed that out in the first place. Haeckel’s doctrine of recapitulation is not accepted by modern evolutionary theory, and his original drawings have been criticized by other embryologists for at least a century, which is why very few modern textbooks actually use them–they use more accurate drawings or photographs instead. Gould completely demolished Haeckel in his Ontogeny and Phylogeny, written 30 years ago, and since then repeatedly criticized any textbooks which used outdated drawings. The creationists are late to the party.

And, notice that Nick Matzke listing the Guidelines from Die Bücherei emphasizes the 6th entry:

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

Weikart mentions in From Darwin to Hitler that the Monist League opposed Nazism and was banned, so Matzke (sorry, Nick) is not really having a point here. This is sloppy research!

Huh? Nick bolded the entry which included the banning of Darwin. That was his main point, not anything to do with Monism.

Moreover, if you read the rest of his post, you’ll see Nick point out that Weikart’s defense of Monism/Haeckel, re: connections to Nazism, is inconsistent with his attack on Darwin. This is because (as you can read about in a previous PT post on this topic) the case for Haeckel’s contributing to Nazism is much stronger than the case for Darwin doing the same.

So, no, Nick’s actually making two good points.

Comment #138412

Posted by pwe on October 10, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

But it wasn’t the creationists/IDists who pointed that out in the first place. Haeckel’s doctrine of recapitulation is not accepted by modern evolutionary theory, and his original drawings have been criticized by other embryologists for at least a century, which is why very few modern textbooks actually use them–they use more accurate drawings or photographs instead. Gould completely demolished Haeckel in his Ontogeny and Phylogeny, written 30 years ago, and since then repeatedly criticized any textbooks which used outdated drawings. The creationists are late to the party.

This is true; but try to put yourself into the minf of a creationist. We have Häckel’s forged drawings, the Piltdown Man, and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly), and perhaps a few more cases. For the layman - such as me - this doesn’t really look good, and, yes. that’s what the creationists are exploiting. But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

Anton Mates wrote:

Huh? Nick bolded the entry which included the banning of Darwin. That was his main point, not anything to do with Monism.

Ehh, let’s have the text again:

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

It might not have been Matzke’s intention to focus on Monism; still, it would have been fair to mention that the ban on Monism was known and mentioned by Weikart. Also note that Darwin isn’t mentioned, only ‘primitive Darwinism’ (whatever that was).

Anton Mates wrote:

Moreover, if you read the rest of his post, you’ll see Nick point out that Weikart’s defense of Monism/Haeckel, re: connections to Nazism, is inconsistent with his attack on Darwin. This is because (as you can read about in a previous PT post on this topic) the case for Haeckel’s contributing to Nazism is much stronger than the case for Darwin doing the same.

Of course, but Weikart isn’t claiming that Darwin contributed to Nazism, only that Darwinism did so.

If you want to, you can read (my version of) Weikart’s thesis on Wikipedia.

I am no fan of Weikart; but I think it better to argue against him on points that he actually made than on points he can just ignore or turn around.

Comment #138455

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 4:45 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

This is true; but try to put yourself into the minf of a creationist. We have Häckel’s forged drawings, the Piltdown Man, and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly), and perhaps a few more cases. For the layman - such as me - this doesn’t really look good, and, yes. that’s what the creationists are exploiting. But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

But it should look good. That’s, what, five or six big hoaxes in a field that’s been around for a century and a half? And all have been found out from within the field, most within a few years of their appearance. (Archaeoraptor doesn’t even count, really–that was National Geographic‘s goof, by going ahead and publishing while the peer-reviewed journals like Nature and Science rejected papers about it from the get-go.)

I understand that creationists have a very distorted understanding of biology and the people who practice it, so they naturally think that it’s a hotbed of fraud and dishonesty; but they’re simply wrong. Piltdown man and Haeckel’s overdone drawings don’t weaken the credibility of biology any more than N-rays and Crookes’ ghost-hunting exploits weaken the credibility of physics. And they’re certainly far less damning than the pervasive dishonesty among leading creationist/ID lights, from Kent Hovind’s tax-evasion attempts, to Bill Dembski promoting the idea that Kevin Padian hates Asians.

(Incidentally, it’s unclear that Haeckel’s drawings were intentionally fraudulent. He seems to have always drawn more than he actually saw, on radiolaria as well as embryos–not necessarily to mislead anybody, but because he wanted to show his subjects as he knew they “really were.” Which doesn’t excuse him as a scientist, of course, but I wouldn’t say he proved to be personally dishonest.)

Ehh, let’s have the text again:

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

It might not have been Matzke’s intention to focus on Monism; still, it would have been fair to mention that the ban on Monism was known and mentioned by Weikart.

Again, Nick just cut and pasted the entire list, and he did mention that Weikart opposes the idea that Haeckel’s ideas contributed to Nazism. Given that mention, it doesn’t seem necessary for him to specifically list Weikart’s reference to the Monism ban.

Also note that Darwin isn’t mentioned, only ‘primitive Darwinism’ (whatever that was).

Nick also made that point in his post.

Of course, but Weikart isn’t claiming that Darwin contributed to Nazism, only that Darwinism did so.

Then presumably the banned book list Nick provided is even more relevant, since it specifically says “Darwinism.”

If you want to, you can read (my version of) Weikart’s thesis on Wikipedia.

I think you make good points in pointing out where Darwin’s scientific claims and personal ethos clash with Nazism–and I do wish people paid more attention to the former before shouting about the moral/philosophical consequences of evolution–but it seems equally relevant to me that, as Nick shows, even the Nazis didn’t think of themselves as Darwinists.

I am no fan of Weikart; but I think it better to argue against him on points that he actually made than on points he can just ignore or turn around.

I think you’ll find that that the two categories are not mutually exclusive….

Comment #138499

Posted by Simplicit on October 10, 2006 6:37 PM (e)

Lenny Flank wrote:

and then count how many times Herr Hitler mentions “Goid” or “The Creator”.

Considering that Hitler and his thugs were masters at deception, one would do well to be highly skeptical and not believe their every utterance.

Remember, the Nazis aimed to win the support of a very Christian Germany, so “God”, “Creator”, “Jesus” were invoked regularly to assuage the masses. Of course, this was nothing but a sham, an outright lie and deception of the highest order.

Thus, Jesus was presented as “Aryan”, and Hitler - as reincarnation of said (or at least as a “German Messiah” of sorts). In fact, Germans were required to “pray” to Hitler’s image.

The Nazis and their supporters were atheists. They believed in one thing only - themselves. And of course, that “might makes right”.

And they had plenty of willing supporters for their demented plans among the scientific community, as well as “philosophers” and “lawmakers”.

Comment #138500

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2006 6:37 PM (e)

the Piltdown Man

Let’s talk about that one, shall we ….?

Whenever fundies talk about Piltdown Man, they for some odd reason neglect to mention a few things:

First, it was EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGISTS, not creation “scientists”, who
discovered the Piltdown fraud. The creation ‘scientists” were just
standing around looking stupid.

Second, many of those evolutionary biologists rejected Piltdown right
from the beginning, since it did not fit into the established fossil
sequence. While they did not suspect fraud, they did suspect that
the jawbone and the skull simply did not belong together.

Third, the evolutionary biologists (not creation ‘scientists’) who
discovered the fraud did it using RADIO-DATING techniques — the
very same ones that creationuts keep telling us are so wildly
inaccurate and unreliable.

And finally, since creationists reject both radio-dating AND the
order of the fossil record, they have NO BASIS AT ALL upon which to
declare that Piltdown is a fake anyway. Not only did the creation
‘scientists’ not discover the Pitldown fraud (they were just standing
there looking stupid), but they COULD not have, since they “don’t
believe in” the very things that led evolutionary biologists to
suspect and then demonstrate that it was a fraud.

Since creationists reject radio-dating and the order of the fossil record, it would appear as if they simply have no reason to think that Piltdown IS a fake……

and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly)

The name is correct, but alas for you, it was not a “fake”. It was a “composite”, pieced together from two legitimate fossils (neither of which was a forgery or fake) to increase its sale value. Indeed, one of these two fossils actually turned out to be a new previously unknown speices, which happens to fit perfectly into the fossil series from dinosaurs to birds. Creationuts, for some odd reason, never want to mention that part.

But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

Such as, oh, the “Paluxy manprints”, the “Jurassic human finger”, the “pre-Cambrian pollen”, the “Cretaceous human tooth”, the “trilobite that got stepped on by a sandal” …. .

Comment #138501

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 10, 2006 6:40 PM (e)

Considering that Hitler and his thugs were masters at deception, one would do well to be highly skeptical and not believe their every utterance.

Right, just the utterances that mention “evolution”. Then, they are being completely forthright and honest, right?

Idiot.

Comment #138507

Posted by Simplicit on October 10, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

Right, just the utterances that mention “evolution”. Then, they are being completely forthright and honest, right?

Evolution served their demonic ends – just as their blasphemous use of “God” did.

If you can’t understand that, have a look in the mirror before resorting to name-calling.

Comment #138508

Posted by Simplicit on October 10, 2006 7:27 PM (e)

Right, just the utterances that mention “evolution”. Then, they are being completely forthright and honest, right?

Evolution served their demonic ends – just as their blasphemous use of “God” did.

If you can’t understand that, have a look in the mirror to understand the true meaning of “idiot”.

Comment #138509

Posted by Simplicit on October 10, 2006 7:29 PM (e)

Right, just the utterances that mention “evolution”. Then, they are being completely forthright and honest, right?

Evolution served their demonic ends – just as their blasphemous use of “God” did.

If you can’t fathom that, look in the mirror for the true meaning of “idiot”.

Comment #138512

Posted by GuyeFaux on October 10, 2006 7:42 PM (e)

Did you get your comeback right the third time?

Comment #138514

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 7:44 PM (e)

Simplicit wrote:

Considering that Hitler and his thugs were masters at deception, one would do well to be highly skeptical and not believe their every utterance.

Sure. But now you need to find at least a few utterances where Hitler says something different. And although he readily criticized the church and mainstream Christian doctrine in private, I’m not aware of anywhere where he suggested he didn’t believe in God, or even the (at the very least) moral supremacy of Jesus.

It’s fairly obvious that Adolf Hitler, if he was Christian, was a very very strange one. Even by the standards of, say, Martin Luther. But just being as *cough* idosyncratic in his theology as he was in his morality doesn’t make him an atheist.

Remember, the Nazis aimed to win the support of a very Christian Germany, so “God”, “Creator”, “Jesus” were invoked regularly to assuage the masses. Of course, this was nothing but a sham, an outright lie and deception of the highest order.

Thus, Jesus was presented as “Aryan”, and Hitler - as reincarnation of said (or at least as a “German Messiah” of sorts). In fact, Germans were required to “pray” to Hitler’s image.

The Nazis and their supporters were atheists.

There were several million members in the Nazi party at its height. It’s very difficult to imagine them all being atheists and somehow managing to fool “a very Christian Germany” into believing them pious folks. Moreover, how could they have fooled all the Christian Germans into going along with them unless the latter thought what they were doing was compatible with Christianity? It’s not like they could say, “Hey Christians, turn around for a sec,” and then quickly wage a war and round up the undesirables before the poor trusting Christians noticed.

Moreover, neither “Hitler is God’s chosen” nor “Hitler is God” are atheist sentiments.

Comment #138526

Posted by Simplicit@optonline.net on October 10, 2006 11:11 PM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

Moreover, how could they have fooled all the Christian Germans into going along with them unless the latter thought what they were doing was compatible with Christianity?

OK. First, the Nazi propaganda machine was highly sophisticated and effective. Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.

Second, the Nazis were certainly not God-fearing or God-loving. Cold-blooded, ruthless murderers are not God-fearing folk – no matter what they claim (cf. Today’s Islamofascist thugs).

Third, please read up on The White Rose, and specifically their “leaflets”, to get an even better grasp of goings-on in Nazi, Germany. These were medical students who were truly God-fearing, valued life and cared for their countrymen.

Quote from the 4th leaflet of the White Rose: “Every word that comes from Hitler’s mouth is a lie. When he says peace, he means war, and when he blasphemously uses the name of the Almighty, he means the power of evil, the fallen angel, Satan. His mouth is the foul-smelling maw of Hell, and his might is at bottom accursed. Man is free, to be sure, but without the true God he is defenseless against the principle of evil.”

Comment #138528

Posted by Anton Mates on October 10, 2006 11:43 PM (e)

Simplicit@optonline.net wrote:

Moreover, how could they have fooled all the Christian Germans into going along with them unless the latter thought what they were doing was compatible with Christianity?

OK. First, the Nazi propaganda machine was highly sophisticated and effective. Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.

…oh.

Second, the Nazis were certainly not God-fearing or God-loving. Cold-blooded, ruthless murderers are not God-fearing folk – no matter what they claim (cf. Today’s Islamofascist thugs).

That’s not what the Old Testament says. And an awful lot of people seem to have loved and feared gods that recommended cold-blooded, ruthless murder.

Third, please read up on The White Rose, and specifically their “leaflets”, to get an even better grasp of goings-on in Nazi, Germany. These were medical students who were truly God-fearing, valued life and cared for their countrymen.

Indeed, there have been God-fearing people on both sides of almost every conflict in history.

Comment #138529

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 11, 2006 12:01 AM (e)

…oh.

ditto.

Comment #138560

Posted by Darth Robo on October 11, 2006 2:56 AM (e)

pwe said:

“But still, there’s a record of forgeries.”

There’s also a record of forgeries in the art world. So everyone should stop painting.

Simplicit (great name by the way) said:

“Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.”

That’s a classic! :)

Comment #138582

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 6:54 AM (e)

Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.

Hey Doc, look !!!! Someone else who believes in witchcraft !!!!!

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #138588

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 8:16 AM (e)

pwe wrote:

This is true; but try to put yourself into the minf of a creationist.

Ouch! I don’t fit!

pwe wrote:

We have Häckel’s forged drawings, the Piltdown Man, and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly), and perhaps a few more cases.

And we have literally mountains of extremely potent evidence.

Meanwhile, creationism has a much longer history of fakes and no evidence.

Why are a list of fakes you can count on one hand telling for the “creationist mind” but creationism is supposed to get a free pass?

pwe wrote:

For the layman - such as me - this doesn’t really look good,

Well, then you must think creationism looks utterly atrocious!

Wait, it does.

Even better, when fakes are revealed, scientists STOPPED USING THEM AS EVIDENCE!

Quick, check the web and see how many creationist websites you can find still pretending Paluxy has human tracks (despite AIG, the ICR and numerous other major creationist organizations admitting they’re debunked).

That must move creationism from looking utterly atrocious to completely stupid.

pwe wrote:

and, yes. that’s what the creationists are exploiting.

We are well aware they exploit outliers to ignore trends. This is nothing new in the annals of pseudoscience.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Whenever fundies talk about Piltdown Man, they for some odd reason neglect to mention a few things:

First, it was EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGISTS, not creation “scientists”, who discovered the Piltdown fraud. The creation ‘scientists” were just standing around looking stupid.

Mom always said, “Do what your good at.”

Then she told me to get a job anyway. Strange woman.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Second, many of those evolutionary biologists rejected Piltdown right from the beginning, since it did not fit into the established fossil sequence. While they did not suspect fraud, they did suspect that the jawbone and the skull simply did not belong together.

Yes. It took the discovery of the second skull to convince scientists that it wasn’t a mistake. Scientists tend to regard the evidence as essentially honest, which can leave them vulnerable to hoaxes. James Randi has written quite a bit about this.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Third, the evolutionary biologists (not creation ‘scientists’) who discovered the fraud did it using RADIO-DATING techniques — the very same ones that creationuts keep telling us are so wildly inaccurate and unreliable.

More than that, as the order of fossils became better known, it became more and more obvious that Piltdown didn’t fit. Scientists were treating it like an outlier long before it was shown to be a fake. In fact, it was the ongoing suspicion that it was a fake that led to it being tested. If they had still thought of it as real, they wouldn’t have done separate dating tests on the skull and jaw. They KNEW it wasn’t matching up, that’s why they checked to see if they matched. They didn’t. Piltdown fulfilled the predictions of the fossil record by turning out to be a fake.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

And finally, since creationists reject both radio-dating AND the order of the fossil record, they have NO BASIS AT ALL upon which to declare that Piltdown is a fake anyway.

Yes, if creationists were internally consistent (and pigs could fly over the frozen hell filled with hen’s teeth), they would be arguing that Piltdown was a real fossil that defied EVILutionist expectations and showed that the predictions of science were WRONG! It’s exactly the kind of out-of-place fossil that creationism demands must exist, only, of course, in huge numbers rather than just two skulls in England.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

Such as, oh, the “Paluxy manprints”, the “Jurassic human finger”, the “pre-Cambrian pollen”, the “Cretaceous human tooth”, the “trilobite that got stepped on by a sandal” …. .

The Tuba City prints, the London hammer, the fossil hat, the “ancient” spark plug…

Not all of those are forgeries, per se, but they are all clear examples of creationists trying to pass off something as if it was something other than what it is.

Simplicit@optonline.net wrote:

Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.

Um, no. Himmler, Hess, and some of the others were occultists, but there’s no record of Hitler having been. Given how much else has come out about the Nazi occult societies, we’d likely known if Hitler had.

As for hypnotic powers… ooooookaaaay.

Simplicit@optonline.net wrote:

Second, the Nazis were certainly not God-fearing or God-loving. Cold-blooded, ruthless murderers are not God-fearing folk – no matter what they claim (cf. Today’s Islamofascist thugs).

Translation: No True Scotsman likes sweet porridge!

Comment #138590

Posted by AC on October 11, 2006 8:52 AM (e)

pwe wrote:

This is true; but try to put yourself into the minf of a creationist. We have Häckel’s forged drawings, the Piltdown Man, and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly), and perhaps a few more cases. For the layman - such as me - this doesn’t really look good, and, yes. that’s what the creationists are exploiting. But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

What Anton said. On one hand, we have a statistically acceptable record of humans screwing up in their pursuit of science. On the other hand, we have people who so consistently, maliciously lie to support their position that one might poetically opine that deception is the very air they breathe. Seriously, if you have any doubts as to who has more credibility, I urge you to review the history more deeply. I recommend that to anyone who has reached the same creationist-sympathetic conclusion.

Simplicit wrote:

Evolution served their demonic ends – just as their blasphemous use of “God” did.

OK. First, the Nazi propaganda machine was highly sophisticated and effective. Hitler himself appears to have had hypnotic abilities, and may have dabbled in the occult to acquire or hone said abilities.

Second, the Nazis were certainly not God-fearing or God-loving. Cold-blooded, ruthless murderers are not God-fearing folk – no matter what they claim (cf. Today’s Islamofascist thugs). [empasis mine]

Just so you know, you just rolled your credibility up in a tight wad and shot it into the sun.

Obviously you believe very strongly in God, Satan, demons, etc. Fortunately, none of them exist. Try not to shoot the messenger on this one.

In other news, the Nazis were humans who, acting on some of the darkest facets of human nature, committed crimes against humanity. As a human, I think that’s a more-than-sufficient condemnation.

Comment #138597

Posted by pwe on October 11, 2006 9:55 AM (e)

AC wrote:

What Anton said. On one hand, we have a statistically acceptable record of humans screwing up in their pursuit of science. On the other hand, we have people who so consistently, maliciously lie to support their position that one might poetically opine that deception is the very air they breathe. Seriously, if you have any doubts as to who has more credibility, I urge you to review the history more deeply. I recommend that to anyone who has reached the same creationist-sympathetic conclusion.

The problem, though is, who’s story to study? Somebody - I don’t remember wo - once said that we don’t have history, we only have images of history. The creationists have their own versions of history, and how is anyone to know that it’s wrong? Because the evolutionists say so; but they have a record of forgeries, so why trust them?

Don’t get me wrong, I am (almost) as evil an evolutionist as the rest; but since my background is sociology rather than natural science, I see things somewhat differently. Apparently we have two groups of people that disagree on something; but they throw out exactly the same arguments against the other group. From a sociological point of view, creationists and evolutionists therefore appear to be pretty similar.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

And we have literally mountains of extremely potent evidence.

Meanwhile, creationism has a much longer history of fakes and no evidence.

That’s interestingly not how the creationists look at it :-)

Michael Suttkus wrote:

Why are a list of fakes you can count on one hand telling for the “creationist mind” but creationism is supposed to get a free pass?

Well, actually AiG has a page with Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.

Of course, it may seem odd that you need AiG’s permission NOT to use an argument; but that’s just freedom of speech according to Ken Ham’s Amendment to the US Constitution, I’d think.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

Even better, when fakes are revealed, scientists STOPPED USING THEM AS EVIDENCE!

Ooh, not quite so, it would appear. Check out Kenneth Miller’s page about Haeckel’s embryos. Kenneth Miller had co-authored a biology textbook, in which Haeckel’s embryo drawings originally were used. This was changed in a subsequent edition due to complaints. As Miller writes:

So, what have we done?
Well, we fixed it!

In 1998 we rewrote page 283 of the 5th edition to better reflect the scientific evidence. Our books now contain accurate drawings of the embryos made from detailed photomicrographs

That’s more than a CENTURY after Haeckel had been accused of forgery!

Michael Suttkus wrote:

Quick, check the web and see how many creationist websites you can find still pretending Paluxy has human tracks (despite AIG, the ICR and numerous other major creationist organizations admitting they’re debunked).

I’ll readily admit that for some reason refutations of creationist claims travel slowly on the net. As an aside, try to check out how many websites still list Ron Wyatt’s archaeological discoveries as genuine, although even AiG has heavily debunked some of them.

We don’t have truth, only images of truth. As long as the images remain, nobody will know the difference - as long as they don’t look at other images, that is.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

That must move creationism from looking utterly atrocious to completely stupid.

But who’s looking?

Comment #138605

Posted by pwe on October 11, 2006 10:08 AM (e)

Darth Robo wrote:

pwe said:

“But still, there’s a record of forgeries.”

There’s also a record of forgeries in the art world. So everyone should stop painting.

LOL - that might actually solve a lot of problems.

Anton Mates responding to Simplicit wrote:

But now you need to find at least a few utterances where Hitler says something different. And although he readily criticized the church and mainstream Christian doctrine in private, I’m not aware of anywhere where he suggested he didn’t believe in God, or even the (at the very least) moral supremacy of Jesus.

It’s fairly obvious that Adolf Hitler, if he was Christian, was a very very strange one. Even by the standards of, say, Martin Luther. But just being as *cough* idosyncratic in his theology as he was in his morality doesn’t make him an atheist.

If Mein Kampf is anything to go by, Hitler there operates with nature as a deity, the Almighty Creator, whose “iron-strong laws” cannot be broken without dire consequences.

You are quite right that if Hitler was a Christian, he was a very strange one. He had high thoughts about Jesus, but a Jesus fighting against the Jews. However, it is worth mentioning that Hitler considered culture-building and altruism to be specially “Aryan” virtues (given by the Creator), and he found his contemnporary Germans lacking here. The remedy was to roll things back to the original “Aryan” race by purifying the Germans and removing any Jewish influence.

Comment #138609

Posted by pwe on October 11, 2006 10:28 AM (e)

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Whenever fundies talk about Piltdown Man, they for some odd reason neglect to mention a few things:

….

Since creationists reject radio-dating and the order of the fossil record, it would appear as if they simply have no reason to think that Piltdown IS a fake……

A good point :-) Anyone familiar with AiG knows that they consider all intermediaries between apes and Homo sapiens sapiens to suffer from some disease caused by the Fall, so they have obvious difficulties in discovering forgeries themselves. How are we to know, what kind of diseases the Fall could have brought about?

Simplicit wrote:

Considering that Hitler and his thugs were masters at deception, one would do well to be highly skeptical and not believe their every utterance.

Remember, the Nazis aimed to win the support of a very Christian Germany, so “God”, “Creator”, “Jesus” were invoked regularly to assuage the masses. Of course, this was nothing but a sham, an outright lie and deception of the highest order.

Hmmm, I agree with you concerning Hitler’s public sppeeches, which is where he mostly calls himself “Christian”, but I’m not so sure that it goes for Mein Kampf. The Table Talks are debatable, because Martin Bormann possibly edited them to fit his own Lutheran anti-Catholic taste - although this only makes sense if Bormann was a Christian.

As Anto Mates I think that Hitler was a strange Christian, if he was one; but calling him an atheist may not really work out - unless you consider everybody that doesn’t adhere to some specific variety of Christianity to be an atheist :-)

Simplicit wrote:

The Nazis and their supporters were atheists. They believed in one thing only - themselves. And of course, that “might makes right”.

Well, maybe so, maybe not so. It’s interesting to consider the case of Leo Strauss, the American philosopher, was a member of the Nazi party, until his party membership and his Jewish origin were considered too incompatible and he had to escape to the USA. Strauss had a very interesting interpretation of Plato, according to which Plato had only started his Academy in order to raise a group of adherents so he could take over the power in Athens; but Plato didn’t himself believe in any of his own philosophy. This may not tell us all that much about Plato, but maybe it does tell us something about the Nazi party. But how are we to decide? Why did Hitler & Co. want power just for the sake of power? And if they had wanted that, why not simply join an existing party such as the Catholic Centrum od the Socialdemocrats?

Comment #138610

Posted by Glen Davidson on October 11, 2006 10:33 AM (e)

This is true; but try to put yourself into the minf of a creationist. We have Häckel’s forged drawings, the Piltdown Man, and Archaeoraptor (if I remember the name correctly), and perhaps a few more cases. For the layman - such as me - this doesn’t really look good, and, yes. that’s what the creationists are exploiting. But still, there’s a record of forgeries.

A lot of good answers have been given, but I’d like to add that you do well to point out that to the mind of the creationist, and some fence-sitters, the forgeries don’t look good.

I have watched creationists fall for scams on one of these forums. Both times that I recall were on carm.org. One was a fishing reel in phyllite that one creationist site was touting as “proof” that the rocks weren’t old (its supposedly being in a metamorphic rock raised red flags immediately in my mind). Joe Meert and others checked out the story and the findings, and the creo site had to retract the claim (it appears that the reel had been artificially attached to the phyllite).

The other case was more local to carm.org. A blatant fabrication, invented to show how gullible creationists were, was brought up (once again) by “evolutionists” pretending to be creationists who were claiming to have found humans with dinosaurs, or some such unexpected thing. Like the creationists who fell for the fishing reel in phyllite, the targeted creationist lapped up this fraud most eagerly.

The former affair was especially interesting, because the fraud was simply spread by the creationist site without question, without checking, without research of any kind. The fact that it was supposed to disprove “evolutionist” claims was enough for them to put it on their website.

A related issue is that genuine fossils of Archaeopteryx have been questioned by many creationists, and whatever Hoyle happened to be (panspermist seems the closest to a proper label). Some still repeatedly fault Archaeopteryx’s status, despite having no evidence against its (10 specimens–though many without feathers. Three, at least, do have the crucial feathers) well-documented authenticity.

What is bizarre is that some creationists feel the need to cast aspersions on archaeopteryx because it is such a good “transitional” fossil, while others deny that it is a reasonable transition at all. Denial appears to be their only commonality.

The whole matter is difficult because it is so one-sided. We don’t rely upon fakes to evidence evolution. We never have, either. The first well-known transitional fossil used to bolster evolution was the superb archaeopteryx, and its authenticity was fairly well demonstrated from the beginning. Previous to archaeopteryx we used “nested hierarchies”, homologies, and other evidences to give evidence for evolution.

Notable fakes like Piltdown Man were in no way produced to provide evidence that evolution occurred. Like other intermediates, Piltdown was sometimes used in that role, however the question of evolution was deemed to be settled scientifically well before Piltdown was ever produced. Piltdown faked only a narrow aspect of evolution, if a very interesting one, and apparently was produced (and too readily accepted) for specific evidence of one aspect of evolution, and for the glory of England.

Good transitionals, like Raymond Dart’s (Taung baby, IIRC) finds in South Africa, were shunted aside due to that fakery. What I’m saying is that around the time of Piltdown we already had good fossils, like australopithecine and H. erectus, and unfortunately Piltdown obscured these facts.

Creationists, on the other hand, have indeed used many fakes to try to deny evolution and/or bolster their own claims. The Paluxy tracks, a whole host of essentially unprovenanced artifacts from before the “flood”, and the fishing reel that I mentioned previously, sample the various fakes that creationists actually relied upon to make sweeping claims that turned out to be incorrect. Evolution never hung on Piltdown being correct, while the fakes used by creationists were supposed to sweep away evolution and to establish creationism.

But we have excellent transitionals, like archaeopteryx, like H. erectus, and like australopithecus (and Tiktaalik, the cynodonts, Ichthyostega, the horse series, the rhinocerus series, etc.). Creationists only have exploded claims based upon fakes, and denial.

Thus another aspect of the one-sidedness. We typically do not to have lists of creationist fakes, rather we bring up the real evidences for evolution when we want to demonstrate that it happened. Creationists have really nothing except denial and the fact that there were some actual fakes. Which is why they have their little lists which they publish hither and yon, while we rarely point out their fakes.

This is why the fakes are “troubling” to many laymen. They only know of the fakes that are publicized to them. Plus, the creationists almost always claim that fakes like Piltdown were made to back up evolution, when fame and money appear to be the primary motives for Piltdown (both fame and money) and for archaeraptor (money). An untrue story is thus faked by the creationists about these fakes, and repetition spreads this untruth among those who do not know better.

The upshot is, of course, that the fakes on both sides matter little, even though we never needed our fakes to make our general claims about evolution, and creationists have relied on their fakes exactly in order to make their general claims. What matters is the evidence that has been well-authenticated (like archaeopteryx, the more so after Hoyle questioned it).

Creationists try to obscure this fact by bringing up fakes and stating (incorrectly) that evolutionary theory depended upon these fakes. Thereby they ignore the important evidences, including transitional fossils even though genetic evidence is probably more important and persuasive, to concentrate on the non-evidence.

How this is so wrong-headed is something that we have to try to point out again and again. Obviously we have not done an especially good job of it so far, but many of us try in our limited way. One trouble is that a simple untruth goes halfway around the world before the (more comlicated) truth gets out of the door. Yet it appears that our side needs to do a rather better job at getting that truth out there.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #138616

Posted by pwe on October 11, 2006 11:00 AM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

But it should look good. That’s, what, five or six big hoaxes in a field that’s been around for a century and a half? And all have been found out from within the field, most within a few years of their appearance. (Archaeoraptor doesn’t even count, really–that was National Geographic‘s goof, by going ahead and publishing while the peer-reviewed journals like Nature and Science rejected papers about it from the get-go.)

Yes, statistically this might not look bad; but that’s not how creationists report things. They still bask in the Cambrian explosion, the missing geological column, the failure to produce life from non-life, and so on. It all adds up.

The problem is that ONE forgery or ONE unexplained problem is enough. We might say that there’s a natural explanation for the Cambrian explosion, but then we have faith, and evolution is proved to be a religion. We might say that despite a few forgeries we have faith in evolutionary science, but then we are simply trusting the priests of a religion.

Anton Mates wrote:

(Incidentally, it’s unclear that Haeckel’s drawings were intentionally fraudulent. He seems to have always drawn more than he actually saw, on radiolaria as well as embryos–not necessarily to mislead anybody, but because he wanted to show his subjects as he knew they “really were.” Which doesn’t excuse him as a scientist, of course, but I wouldn’t say he proved to be personally dishonest.)

Well, rumor has it that the road to hell is paved with bad excuses (‘apologetics’ in Greek). Haeckel apparently didn’t consider himself to be dishonest; he was so sure about the theory that he was willing to invent evidence. But that’s not SCIENCE, is it? If we don’t make a distinction between what’s really out there and what we would like to be out there to fit our theories, we aren’t doing science, are we?

Anton Mates wrote:

Again, Nick just cut and pasted the entire list, and he did mention that Weikart opposes the idea that Haeckel’s ideas contributed to Nazism. Given that mention, it doesn’t seem necessary for him to specifically list Weikart’s reference to the Monism ban…..

Nick also made that point in his post.

Ok, maybe I should reread the OP. Excuses to Nick, if I have falsely accused him of misrepresenting Weikart.

Anton Mates wrote:

Then presumably the banned book list Nick provided is even more relevant, since it specifically says “Darwinism.”

Wasn’t it “primitive Darwinism”? The Nazis possibly considering themselves to represent “advanced Darwinism”.

Actually. after the discovery of Mendel’s works around 1900, ‘Darwinism’ went a bit out in the dark, and Mendelian discrete inheritance was the new king. In the 1930s the modern synthesis came around; but possibly the Nazis had cut themself off from the scientific community in general and didn’t notice that.

Anton Mates wrote:

I think you make good points in pointing out where Darwin’s scientific claims and personal ethos clash with Nazism

Thanks for you nice words :-) But actually that part is the most debatable, since it may collide with Wikipedia’s rules - it may count as ‘original research’.

Anton Mates wrote:

–and I do wish people paid more attention to the former before shouting about the moral/philosophical consequences of evolution–but it seems equally relevant to me that, as Nick shows, even the Nazis didn’t think of themselves as Darwinists.

But the question remains: what would the Nazis have understood by ‘Darwinists’?

Anton Mates wrote:

I think you’ll find that that the two categories are not mutually exclusive….

Now, that’s dirty thinking, isn’t it?

Comment #138617

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 11:03 AM (e)

pwe wrote:

The problem, though is, who’s story to study? Somebody - I don’t remember wo - once said that we don’t have history, we only have images of history.

I said that.

Or, did you mean “who said it first”? :-)

pwe wrote:

The creationists have their own versions of history, and how is anyone to know that it’s wrong? Because the evolutionists say so; but they have a record of forgeries, so why trust them?

The first sentence has some value as an argument, but the second is pure pre-existing bias. If “record of forgeries” is a concern, it’s a concern for both sides and we can objectively compare the record of forgeries between the sides. Creationism loses any such comparison.

The first is interesting, though. I worry about stuff like this and have given it a lot of thought.

Anyone not willing to put the effort into looking at the evidence is going to find themselves caught in a war of words. I think it’s pretty clear even there that the creationists have nothing, but what do I know, I’m biased! 20 years of trying to get creationists to explain fossil sorting and watching them claim oak trees can race up mountains or just flee in terror from the facts will do that to a man.

(The creationists are fleeing from the facts, not the oak trees, just to clarify he previous sentence.)

Even if you just watch a debate for any length of time, yes you’re going to see people on both sides slinging insults around, but it can’t possibly take long to see that one side keeps having unanswered challenges while the other can’t even decide on a single focus.

And if you’re not even willing to absorb the debate, then, yes, it’s going to look like two sides slinging words at each other. But that’s your problem. If you want to make an informed decision, you’re going to have to actually think about what’s being said and what’s going on.

pwe wrote:

Don’t get me wrong, I am (almost) as evil an evolutionist as the rest;

Work on that. Eat a puppy or something for lunch. Work your way up to kittens and we’ll talk again.

pwe wrote:

but since my background is sociology rather than natural science, I see things somewhat differently. Apparently we have two groups of people that disagree on something; but they throw out exactly the same arguments against the other group. From a sociological point of view, creationists and evolutionists therefore appear to be pretty similar.

There are similarities. We’re both defending something important to us, both trying to defend “truth” as we see it.

The difference being one of us has evidence.

pwe wrote:

Michael Suttkus wrote:

And we have literally mountains of extremely potent evidence.

Meanwhile, creationism has a much longer history of fakes and no evidence.

That’s interestingly not how the creationists look at it :-)

And it’s not how flat earthers look at it. There are people who, to this day, think we live inside a hollow sphere. Doesn’t change the fact that by any objective measure, creationists have more frauds, and so if frauds is your standard of judgment, creationism loses.

pwe wrote:

Well, actually AiG has a page with Arguments we think creationists should NOT use.

Of course, it may seem odd that you need AiG’s permission NOT to use an argument; but that’s just freedom of speech according to Ken Ham’s Amendment to the US Constitution, I’d think.

Yes, AIG is among the best creationist organizations for dumping bad arguments… eventually.

This is a bit like saying “the nicest serial killer”, but there you go. They did, after all, eventually take down the article which claimed simultaneously that Archaeopteryx was probably a dinosaur with fake feathers added, and if it wasn’t, it was a bird with no dinosaur features at all. (Yep, probably a dinosaur, but if not, it doesn’t even look like a dinosaur, gotta love ‘em.)

Still, I’m not sure what your point is. Ken Ham’s not giving them permission to not use the arguments, he’s asking people not to use them.

pwe wrote:

Ooh, not quite so, it would appear. Check out Kenneth Miller’s page about Haeckel’s embryos. Kenneth Miller had co-authored a biology textbook, in which Haeckel’s embryo drawings originally were used. {snip}

Textbook publishers aren’t scientists and I doubt Miller was the one who put the pictures in to start with. That doesn’t really address my original statement.

However, I will modify. Scientists, as a whole, stop using evidence when it’s found to be a forgery. Individual scientists are humans and prone to human error, even the error of refusing to accept facts against favored theories.

Nonetheless, I’ll put science’s record on this up against creationism’s any day of the week. AIG had the schizophrenic Archaeopteryx page up for over a year after I noticed it and complained about it.

pwe wrote:

I’ll readily admit that for some reason refutations of creationist claims travel slowly on the net.

Because they have no peer review system and, frankly, most of them don’t care. Keep in mind, the Paluxy tracks are still being actively asserted by even big names like Karl Baugh and Kent Hovind, while the rebuking of them is one page at AIG that I expect gets more traffic from EVILutionists than creationists.

pwe wrote:

As an aside, try to check out how many websites still list Ron Wyatt’s archaeological discoveries as genuine, although even AiG has heavily debunked some of them.

I wouldn’t call Ron Wyatt a scientist in any event. He was a bit of a nutter from the start.

Comment #138623

Posted by Henry J on October 11, 2006 11:49 AM (e)

Re “(The creationists are fleeing from the facts, not the oak trees, just to clarify he previous sentence.)”

The creationists weren’t fleeing from the oak trees. Got it. :)

Comment #138634

Posted by Glen Davidson on October 11, 2006 12:41 PM (e)

The problem, though is, who’s story to study? Somebody - I don’t remember wo - once said that we don’t have history, we only have images of history. The creationists have their own versions of history, and how is anyone to know that it’s wrong? Because the evolutionists say so; but they have a record of forgeries, so why trust them?

This is one of the problems in education, in public knowing. Ideally it isn’t even an issue of “whose story to study?” Instead you study the evidence.

I know, I know, practically it is far more difficult, and most are not going to understand the evidence sans interpretation. I don’t want to get into that now, except to say that the importance of good science education, including evolution and how it is evidenced, remains very crucial in making the effort to cause many people to understand how the science side is based upon the evidence.

Don’t get me wrong, I am (almost) as evil an evolutionist as the rest; but since my background is sociology rather than natural science, I see things somewhat differently. Apparently we have two groups of people that disagree on something; but they throw out exactly the same arguments against the other group. From a sociological point of view, creationists and evolutionists therefore appear to be pretty similar.

Yes, that is what we’re up against. The IDists, especially, have co-opted a number of terms, reinterpreted the data to fit their own biases, and faulted us for supposedly lacking evidence. Much of the public cannot tell the difference between the two, though we may be making some headway via Dover and other forums.

Again, that is why the fight over the schools is so crucial.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

And we have literally mountains of extremely potent evidence.

Meanwhile, creationism has a much longer history of fakes and no evidence.

That’s interestingly not how the creationists look at it :-)

But we know that already. And there aren’t any simple answers as to why, or how to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, it is often a matter of who gets to the person first.

I know how I was told that Piltdown was faked in order to provide evidence for evolution. This was supposed to be a fatal blow against evolution. It takes a while to unlearn these falsehoods, but I had the advantage of an interest in science and a commitment to allowing the other side to provide their arguments (being young was an advantage for this). Many do not have this.

But you presumably know this anyhow. What happened in Germany with Hitler? You know how effective propaganda is when it is the primary “source of information” for people (I’m only comparing the two for the effect of repeating untruths to the people, not making a moral comparison overall). For various reasons quite a number of people rely upon creationists first for their understanding of evolution, and evaluate claims for the latter only, or primarily, through what they “learned” from, say, AIG.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

Even better, when fakes are revealed, scientists STOPPED USING THEM AS EVIDENCE!

Ooh, not quite so, it would appear. Check out Kenneth Miller’s page about Haeckel’s embryos. Kenneth Miller had co-authored a biology textbook, in which Haeckel’s embryo drawings originally were used. This was changed in a subsequent edition due to complaints.

Wait a second. Only in a rather unconventional sense can one say “scientists still used them as evidence” by pointing out that one or more scientists, when writing textbooks, did use the questionable drawings. “Scientists” at large did not use, and were not using, Haeckel’s drawings as evidence for the theory of evolution, nor for embryological studies, quite as Michael Suttkus stated.

As Miller writes:

So, what have we done?
Well, we fixed it!

In 1998 we rewrote page 283 of the 5th edition to better reflect the scientific evidence. Our books now contain accurate drawings of the embryos made from detailed photomicrographs

That’s more than a CENTURY after Haeckel had been accused of forgery!

Yes, but Haeckel’s “evidences” were not generally relied upon by “evolutionists” to support the theory of evolution. It was in textbooks, where peer review is absent and a number of mistakes continue to be made (many mistakes appear in subjects other than evolution in the textbooks, while creos focus on evolution mistakes almost exclusively, in order to paint of false picture of motives), did such fakery continue to exist.

Creationists conflate textbook errors with the practice of science–presumably because they know so little about the latter. This is why I have to call you on your mistake of essentially conflating scientists’ use of evidence with the rather poor standards upheld by all too many textbooks (not necessarily Miller’s, either. This may be a rather rare textbook mistake on his part, I don’t know).

We don’t have truth, only images of truth. As long as the images remain, nobody will know the difference - as long as they don’t look at other images, that is.

Even to say that begs questions of what “images” are, what “truth” is, and whether or not “images of truth” has any particular meaning. Importantly, most of us in this society actually do have a general idea of truth as relying upon the evidence that might be presented in court, or in science. The matter of eidola and questions of interpretation need not disturb us.

The problem is that most people don’t really understand science in its actual operations, plus they may have “learned” about evolution from someone who has specifically distorted science to fit their own biases. Then there’s the tendency of people to infer “purpose” in their explanations of phenomena, especially where their own bodies are concerned.

Unquestionably we have an uphill battle in trying to get people to apply the same rules of evidence used in science, the courts, and even in chit-chat about heredity, to the resemblances between the various animals.

Perhaps if we personalized the questions more, people might understand better. Maybe we could point out to them how they naturally do infer heredity from looks, body forms, and notable family characteristics. That nearly everyone would absolutely insist upon the relatedness of all humanity, based on obvious similarites, we may do well in pointing out to them that there has to be a cause for the similarities between humans.

Them move to the chimps, and ask what could cause the similarities between humans and chimps, elaborating on the rather astonishing similarities which lie beneath the superficial (and sometimes crucial) differences. The fact that there was some question in people’s minds, including Linnaeus, of whether chimps were human or animal accentuates the marked similarities. From that, emphasize the importance of causality that everyone uses to explain human similarities and differences, and note that similar effects should be considered to have similar causes, unless some other cause can be shown to exist and to be able to account for the similarities and differences.

After all, it is not ourselves who insist upon a break in causality.

Anyway, it’s just a thought that occurred to me (not new, certainly, but perhaps not as emphasized as it could be) when I noted that people tend to think in terms of “purpose”. Well, they don’t always, notably when they are explaining the similarities and differences caused by heredity. So if we could appeal to that part of humanity, which believes in actual causes for the similarities and differences in humans, and for the similarities and differences in dogs and chimps, perhaps a number will understand that the similarites between humans, chimps, and dogs, need the same kinds of causal hereditary explanations that they normally resort to in explaining the similarities and differences among reproducing entities.

Not that many won’t continue to prefer to believe in a break in causality in order to claim “purpose” for the various species. But this becomes tenuous where many intermediates exist, as in human and in horse evolution, and where organisms show no break (in “purpose” especially, I would note) between bird and reptile, as in archaeopteryx. Therefore, I’d end this particular lesson with the lack of meaningful breaks between the organisms, as fossils, and genetically.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #138644

Posted by Raging Bee on October 11, 2006 1:26 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

We might say that despite a few forgeries we have faith in evolutionary science, but then we are simply trusting the priests of a religion.

Is that statement based on faith, or on your complete inability to distinguish between science and religion?

Your insistence that science is a “religion” reminds me of how grade-school kids weasel out of a losing argument: “That’s just your opinion, and we’re all entitled to our own opinions; so there.” This logical fallacy is known as “crybaby subjectivism.” Or just “lying.”

Comment #138662

Posted by AC on October 11, 2006 2:05 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

The problem, though is, who’s story to study? Somebody - I don’t remember wo - once said that we don’t have history, we only have images of history. The creationists have their own versions of history, and how is anyone to know that it’s wrong? Because the evolutionists say so; but they have a record of forgeries, so why trust them?

First of all, “because the evolutionists say so” is not how one knows that “creationist versions of history” are self-serving lies. Secondly, “the evolutionists” should be trusted over the creationists because their record is vasty superior, and their claims actually match the evidence (which is there for all to see, regardless of anyone’s “image of history”).

Comment #138675

Posted by Anton Mates on October 11, 2006 2:38 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

Yes, statistically this might not look bad; but that’s not how creationists report things.

In other words, creationists report things inaccurately.

They still bask in the Cambrian explosion, the missing geological column, the failure to produce life from non-life, and so on. It all adds up.

Since the Cambrian explosion is not particularly problematic for evolutionary theory, the geological column isn’t missing, and the failure of scientists to create life in the lab within less than a century has very little bearing on whether life could arise somewhere on an entire planet over a period of hundreds of millions of years, this basically amounts to saying that, yes, creationists spend a lot of time saying things that aren’t so.

The problem is that ONE forgery or ONE unexplained problem is enough.

That’s absurd. What field of science hasn’t had one case of forgery or fraud? To say nothing of, say, religions or political movements. The Shroud of Turin is a fake, therefore Catholicism fails? George W Bush lied about some stuff, therefore conservatism and evangelical Christianity are completely invalid?

Even I wouldn’t say Kent Hovind’s tax-evasion schemes show creationism to be bad science. Creationism is bad science because nobody ever makes a good scientific case for it, not because many creationists have made bad ones.

As for unexplained problems…solving unexplained problems is what science is for! If there were no unresolved problems in biology, why would we do biology?

We might say that there’s a natural explanation for the Cambrian explosion, but then we have faith, and evolution is proved to be a religion.

Um, not if we have evidence for said natural explanation. One explanation, for instance, is that many morphologically complex organisms existed in the Pre-Cambrian, but hadn’t formed any hard parts which could fossilize. Ediacaran and Vendian fossils support this explanation; no faith required. There are several other explanations, not mutually exclusive. To commit to any one of them without evidence would be an act of faith, sure, but so would be the rejection of them in favor of a supernatural explanation.

We might say that despite a few forgeries we have faith in evolutionary science, but then we are simply trusting the priests of a religion.

Again, not if we have a reason for that trust. If forgeries are rare, if they’re quickly identified from within the field and then discarded, we have a good argument for trusting the field on its most long-settled questions.

You have, I assume, been lied to at some point in your life? Did it make you conclude that you have no reason to believe any human ever, about anything?

Well, rumor has it that the road to hell is paved with bad excuses (‘apologetics’ in Greek). Haeckel apparently didn’t consider himself to be dishonest; he was so sure about the theory that he was willing to invent evidence. But that’s not SCIENCE, is it? If we don’t make a distinction between what’s really out there and what we would like to be out there to fit our theories, we aren’t doing science, are we?

No, and Haeckel is most definitely at fault there. His philosophical beliefs overpowered his scientific objectivity. And, again, his peers called him on it.

Then presumably the banned book list Nick provided is even more relevant, since it specifically says “Darwinism.”

Wasn’t it “primitive Darwinism”? The Nazis possibly considering themselves to represent “advanced Darwinism”.

You’d need evidence for that. If the only time the Nazis ever officially mentioned “Darwinism” was to call it primitive and ban books about it, the burden of proof’s on anyone who wants to claim that really there was another version of “Darwinism” which the Nazis actually supported…and furthermore that that other and totally hypothetical version had anything to do with Darwin himself or mainstream evolutionary biology.

Actually. after the discovery of Mendel’s works around 1900, ‘Darwinism’ went a bit out in the dark, and Mendelian discrete inheritance was the new king. In the 1930s the modern synthesis came around; but possibly the Nazis had cut themself off from the scientific community in general and didn’t notice that.

Very likely. Most Nazis (the rank and file, at least) were not sufficiently well-educated that they’d need to cut themselves off; they simply weren’t aware of or interested in contemporary science.

From a previous post:

Ooh, not quite so, it would appear. Check out Kenneth Miller’s page about Haeckel’s embryos. Kenneth Miller had co-authored a biology textbook, in which Haeckel’s embryo drawings originally were used. This was changed in a subsequent edition due to complaints.

This is incorrect; the textbook’s drawings, as Miller says, were not Haeckel’s own, but were modeled on them (probably via previous generations of textbooks). Furthermore, the inaccuracy of the drawings was known in Haeckel’s time, pointed out by Gould, and again in the embryologists’ paper that motivated Miller and Levine to replace the drawings. This wasn’t a case of science relying on bad data, but of particular science educators doing so. (Pharyngula has examples of several textbooks which used more accurate portrayals.) Lastly, Miller and Levine did not endorse Haeckel’s actual theory, recapitulationism, so they can’t be accused of perpetuating his fraud.

In a nutshell, this shows you that you shouldn’t trust everything you see in a bio textbook. When in doubt, ask the experts.

Comment #138720

Posted by Simplicit on October 11, 2006 5:42 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

unless you consider everybody that doesn’t adhere to some specific variety of Christianity to be an atheist :-)

No, my friend. Not at all the case. As for the ‘hypnosis’ issue, here’s a quote I found from F. D. R. :

Franklin D. Roosevelt from his famous Lend Lease Speech:

Nazi forces are not seeking mere modifications in colonial maps or in minor European boundaries. They openly seek the destruction of all elective systems of government on every continent; including our own. They seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers who have seized power by force.

Yes, these men and their hypnotized followers call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.

I also found an interesting book on-line - ‘Mind Over Matter’ - compiled from talks and letters of a 20th Century Jewish leader - Rabbi M. M. Schneerson - who studied at University of Berlin and the Sorbonne. The book is well worth the read.

From Mind Over Matter a tad past 1/2 down the page:

By the way — and maybe it is more than just by the way — what can guarantee that people will behave in a righteous and just manner, if not for the belief in a greater power?

In previous generations there were some who believed (and I stress this word, because it was no more than a belief) that one could rely on the natural inclination to justice in man’s heart. Hence there would be no need for belief in a Creator who commands people to behave in a certain manner. According to this belief, man’s internal moral sense would render unnecessary any Divine mandate to rein his will, desires, or rationalized values, because of his supposed intrinsic integrity. In our generation, however, the facts have been painfully and conclusively disclosed that this assumption is completely invalid.

The very nation which spawned a diversity of famed pioneers of diverse philosophical perspectives, including various ethical systems, as well as the greatest scientists — it was specifically that nation, with all of its tens of millions of citizens, that murdered and destroyed millions of men, women, and children without any justification. Their annihilation was based purely on a feeling of superiority and control. In fact, their leaders “sanctified” their actions by receiving approval from the scientists and the heads of the universities, including even founders of philosophical and ethical systems, approval without any conditions or reservations at all.

Of course, I know that there were individuals amongst that nation who disagreed. But that doesn’t override or even weaken the fact that hundreds of professors and scientists were among the ideologues behind the Third Reich’s behavior.

Comment #138729

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 6:41 PM (e)

I repeat once again, just for you, PWE:

Do you seriously mean to tell me that, if two people tell you two different things, you have no idea whatever how to tell which is right?

If someone tells you that the moon is made of rock, and someone else tells you that it’s made of green cheese, you have no idea how to tell which it is?

If someone tells you there are WMD’s in Iraq, and someone else tells you there are not, you don’t have a clue how to tell if there really are?

If IDers tell you that they’re not creationists, and then tell you ten seconds later that one of their objectives is to defend creationism, you have no idea at all whether they are lying to you?

Wow. No WONDER you are sympathetic to creationism. (shrug)

Comment #138732

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 6:44 PM (e)

A. Shickelgruber

By the way, Herr Shickelgruber, it sure is a good thing that your mother married Alois, isn’t it. After all, I certainly can’t imagine hordes of people enthusiastically shouting, in unison, “Heil Schickelgruber!!!!”

;)

Comment #138736

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 11, 2006 6:47 PM (e)

Haeckel is most definitely at fault there. His philosophical beliefs overpowered his scientific objectivity. And, again, his peers called him on it.

Right. The creationists were just standing around looking stupid.

Just like they did with Piltdown, Nebraska Man and Archaeoraptor.

Can anyone name ANY scientific discovery, of any note, in any area of science, made at any time in the past 100 years as the result of creation “science” … ?

Me neither.

Comment #138739

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 11, 2006 6:57 PM (e)

Well, if FDR said so, that makes the case! US presidents are well trained in science and always give objective reports of events not remotely influenced by hyperbole!

The mere facts about hypnosis, I will now completely ignore as irrelevant.

Comment #138764

Posted by Anton Mates on October 11, 2006 11:30 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

As for the ‘hypnosis’ issue, here’s a quote I found from F. D. R. :

So the evidence for Hitler’s magical nation-spanning mind control powers is that FDR once referred to the Nazi supporters as “hypnotized” in a speech.

You know, he also said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I think it’s fairly obvious from this that America was surrounded by an impregnable gravitic forcefield that could only be breached by the infamous Nazi Terror Ray.

Rabbi M. M. Schneerson apparently wrote:

By the way — and maybe it is more than just by the way — what can guarantee that people will behave in a righteous and just manner, if not for the belief in a greater power?

In previous generations there were some who believed (and I stress this word, because it was no more than a belief) that one could rely on the natural inclination to justice in man’s heart. Hence there would be no need for belief in a Creator who commands people to behave in a certain manner. According to this belief, man’s internal moral sense would render unnecessary any Divine mandate to rein his will, desires, or rationalized values, because of his supposed intrinsic integrity. In our generation, however, the facts have been painfully and conclusively disclosed that this assumption is completely invalid.

Apparently Rabbi Schneerson failed to notice that neither a natural inclination to justice nor a Divine mandate managed to prevent Germans from supporting Nazism.

Rabbi M. M. Schneerson also wrote:

Of course, I know that there were individuals amongst that nation who disagreed. But that doesn’t override or even weaken the fact that hundreds of professors and scientists were among the ideologues behind the Third Reich’s behavior.

So were hundreds of priests.

C’mon, Martin freaking Luther declared, repeatedly, that the Jews should be driven from their homes and forced into slavery. Was he a secret atheist too? Or hypnotized by the magic spells of atheist neighbors? Or is it possible that maybe, just maybe, belief in a Creator doesn’t reliably stop people from doing horrible things?

It’s particularly odd to me that someone from an Abrahamic faith would think this, since half their sacred texts consist of God actually appearing to people, giving proclamations, performing miracles, striking down sinners and so forth, and then five minutes later those people are off sinning again. Adam and Eve, Cain, the wandering Hebrews, Jonah, Judas…heck, Satan…if the Divine mandate wasn’t obvious enough to keep those guys behaving well, how’s it supposed to work on you and me?

Comment #138828

Posted by pwe on October 12, 2006 11:07 AM (e)

Anton Mates wrote:

pwe wrote:

As for the ‘hypnosis’ issue, here’s a quote I found from F. D. R. :

Just for the record: it is Simplicit you are quoting :-)

Anton Mates wrote:

So the evidence for Hitler’s magical nation-spanning mind control powers is that FDR once referred to the Nazi supporters as “hypnotized” in a speech.

I believe to have read somewhere that F.D.R. was very pro-Nazi in the beginning.

Anyway, what’s the value of one politician’s opinion about another?

Around the time of the latest US general election I had some contact with LaRouche’s Schiller Institute. However, while I sympathized with some of the ideas, I was very worried about the mode of argumentation. We were given an election article, where almost every sentence had at least one of the words “Nazi-like”, “Hitler-like” and “fascist” applied to the Republicak Party in general and George W. Bush in particular. Interestingly I found on the Internet a newspaper article from the early 90s that used exactly the same vocabulary about LaRouche. So its apparently a US tradition to boost yourself by throwing mud at the other part - and the mud apparently comes from the same pool independently of who’s throwing.

Michael Suttkus wrote:

Well, if FDR said so, that makes the case! US presidents are well trained in science and always give objective reports of events not remotely influenced by hyperbole!

The mere facts about hypnosis, I will now completely ignore as irrelevant.

Yes, Hitler’s appeal to the Germans cannot only have been a question of hypnosis. We need to look deeper into than that. The systematic use of propaganda, the use of radio, and so on. And of course the background of an economic depression. When do people look for a savior?

Comment #138829

Posted by pwe on October 12, 2006 11:22 AM (e)

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

I repeat once again, just for you, PWE:

Do you seriously mean to tell me that, if two people tell you two different things, you have no idea whatever how to tell which is right?

I’m a postmodernist, unless you say that I am not, in which case I would say that you might be right, it’s just that somebody else said that I’m a postmodernist.

More seriously, we can’t check everything - occasionally we need to rely on others, and we can’t check each and everything down to the bottonless bottom.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

If someone tells you that the moon is made of rock, and someone else tells you that it’s made of green cheese, you have no idea how to tell which it is?

If somebody said it was made of X rocks and somebosy else saif it was made of Y rocks, I wouldn’t have much of a chance of saying who’s right and who’s wrong.

I have reason to believe that the moon isn’t made of green cheese; but that’s actually because I believe something I’ve read in a book. I’ve never on the moon myself. Have you?

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

If someone tells you there are WMD’s in Iraq, and someone else tells you there are not, you don’t have a clue how to tell if there really are?

No, I don’t - maybe the WMDs are hidden in some cave somewhere that nobody has looked into yet :-)

The case here is somewhat special, though - if WMDs are not found within a certain timelimit, they are NOT there (even if they are). It’s a question of the burden of proof.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

If IDers tell you that they’re not creationists, and then tell you ten seconds later that one of their objectives is to defend creationism, you have no idea at all whether they are lying to you?

But which time were they lying? Apparently they much have told the truth one of the times. People telling the truth 50% of the times should count as pretty trustworthy (for US citizens, that is ;-)).

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank wrote:

Wow. No WONDER you are sympathetic to creationism. (shrug)

No, I’m really just trying to figure out, what they mean, and why they mean it :-)

Comment #138831

Posted by Raging Bee on October 12, 2006 11:40 AM (e)

pwe wrote:

I believe to have read somewhere that F.D.R. was very pro-Nazi in the beginning.

I believe to see that pwe’s command of historical fact is as lame as his grammar.

Comment #138832

Posted by pwe on October 12, 2006 11:47 AM (e)

Ok, I’ve reread the OP and have the following comments to Nick’s list of ‘Obligatory cautions’:

Nick Matzke wrote:

2. Just because anti-Christian writings were banned does not mean that Christianity is bad or supported Nazism. Hitler was a vegetarian; it does not follow that vegetarians are evil. Although some ID supporters have difficulty getting this sort of subtlety through their thick skulls, the point of raising Christianity when Darwin/Hitler is being discussed is not to besmirch Christianity, but to show that the Nazis were blustering, inconsistent thugs primarily interested in hate and power, and would happily appropriate/coopt/twist/distort any concept, consistent or not, that they thought would help their selfish causes. Raising the case of Christianity also usually exposes the hypocrisy of ID/creationists who push the Darwin-to-Hitler propaganda as part of their apologetics agenda, because they typically respond in injured tones about how the Nazis weren’t actually employing true Christianity. Exactly our point.

It’s a good point (though I’d like to see the argumentation toned down a few bits :-)). Concerning the Weikart issue, as Weikart has it, the German Darwinists were fervently anti-Christian. Haeckel wasn’t exactly pro-Christian; but Weikart doesn’t quite catch Haeckel’s critique of Christianity. Also, Hitler wites somewhere in Mein Kampf that Christian ethics as it was currently demanded that the inferior be allowed to breed, while those more created according to the image of God were not.

Nick Matzke wrote:

3. The above lists do not prove that books by Darwin or Haeckel were actually physically burned, only banned; such details may or may not exist somewhere in the historical record. It is also possible that Darwin/Haeckel were promoted at some times/places and banned in others, because after all, as noted above, the Nazis were inconsistent goose-stepping morons.

The Monist League was banned and its members persecuted for the duration of Hitler’s reign. I how no information about ‘Darwinists’ in general.

Nick Matzke wrote:

4. Darwin and evolutionary biology do not get a free pass. Even though it is ludicrous to say that Darwin led to Hitler (which is highly dubious even for Haeckel, as Weikart acknowledges repeatedly, not realizing how this sinks his Darwin argument), despite the fact that he was a liberal and opposed to slavery, Darwin still had some of the racism of his day, as can be seen in Descent of Man….

Ok, I have to apologize to Nick for having overlooked this. But, just to be an evil evilutionist, I have to mention that Weikart doesn’t actually have a “Darwin argument”. His argument is somewhat vague, since it deals with ‘Darwinists’/’Darwinism’, and that’s his real problem. It’s unclear from his book, if all of these Darwinists understood excatly the same by being Darwinists.

Nick Matzke wrote:

5. [Added in edit on a commenter’s suggestion] Since we are being thorough here, it is also worth pointing out that many Christians resisted the Nazis, from opposing them via the churches to hiding jews. A notable example is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who resisted the Nazi attempts to take over the church and, despite his earlier commitment to pacifism, eventually participated in a plot to kill Hitler. He was arrested, put in jail, then concentration camps, and finally executed by hanging in April 1945 just weeks before the camps were liberated by the Allies.

I believe I picked up from somewhere that Weikart is critical towards Bonhoeffer. Yes, here it is; Weikart has written a book The Myth of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Is His Theology Evangelical?.

Comment #138849

Posted by Anton Mates on October 12, 2006 2:26 PM (e)

pwe wrote:

Just for the record: it is Simplicit you are quoting :-)

Oop, my bad.

I believe to have read somewhere that F.D.R. was very pro-Nazi in the beginning.

I don’t think that was ever the case; FDR was always more hostile to Nazi Germany (and fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan) than the American mainstream. America was dominated by isolationism pre-Pearl Harbor, whereas FDR advocated direct intervention to aid nations under military attack.

I’ve seen a few quotes suggesting that the Nazis admired FDR, but only for his economic skill in helping the US out of the Depression.

Comment #138854

Posted by Coin on October 12, 2006 2:46 PM (e)

Ok, I have to apologize to Nick for having overlooked this. But, just to be an evil evilutionist, I have to mention that Weikart doesn’t actually have a “Darwin argument”. His argument is somewhat vague, since it deals with ‘Darwinists’/’Darwinism’, and that’s his real problem. It’s unclear from his book, if all of these Darwinists understood excatly the same by being Darwinists.

In political writing, it is often convenient to make points by being intentionally vague. By making links without actually stating them, you can make points you could never get away with actually defending if anybody called you on them. Frequently stating things near one another to give the impression they are related, or playing fast and loose with categories like “darwinism” and assuming your reader will read in the equivocation for you, are good ways of expressing things this way. It doesn’t really matter whether you ever actually said it, what matters is whether your reader walks away with the impression you did.

Given that Weikart wrote a book named “From Darwin to Hitler” whose front cover contains pictures of Darwin and Hitler and some kind of note about evolution “fueling” “Hitlerism”, but he then later made public statements backing away from linking Darwin to Hitler, I think it’s entirely fair to say he was doing this kind of thing on purpose. His argument may be vaguely worded, but it is not subtle. Given the circumstances I don’t think we are really obligated to give him the benefit of the doubt on this.

Comment #138864

Posted by Michael Suttkus, II on October 12, 2006 3:29 PM (e)

A lot of people were Pro-Nazi back when all the world at large knew about the Nazi party was that they were nationalist Germans bent on fixing Germany’s screwed up economy and self-image.

There was a time when the Nazi weren’t known for death camps and hate.

Comment #138872

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on October 12, 2006 4:26 PM (e)

A lot of people were Pro-Nazi back when all the world at large knew about the Nazi party was that they were nationalist Germans bent on fixing Germany’s screwed up economy and self-image.

There was a time when the Nazi weren’t known for death camps and hate.

This may have some truth but anyone paying close attention could plainly see they were thugs throughout the 20s and right up to 1933 when they got power and rapidly banned/arrested all of the other parties – first communists, then social democrats, then the Centre Party (catholics), then the right-wing Nationalists merged with the Nazis and it was a one-party state.

Part of the problem in post-WWI Germany was that it was almost in a low-level civil war, and each party, even the centrist moderate parties, had its own paramilitary organization, and these groups would run around and beat each other up. This served to legitimate/obscure the Nazis’ violence as they proceded to get better at violent oppression than everyone else.

Comment #138876

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 12, 2006 4:40 PM (e)

MS II:

A lot of people were Pro-Nazi back when all the world at large knew about the Nazi party was

Nick:

This may have some truth but anyone paying close attention could plainly see

Both Michael’s and Nick’s comments are fair, but–before we descend into a needless wrangle–let’s be clear that they’re not premised upon the same people having access to the same degree of information: Michael is talking about the impression which might reasonably have been formed by people at a distance from the turmoil with only superficial information to work from, what “most” people actually knew during the early going; Nick is talking about people who were either unavoidably closer to the situation, or those who took the trouble to dig beneath superficial impressions, i.e., what people should have known before claiming to be informed.

Often a crucial distinction, that, and one which we see crop up around here with reference to a good many other bodies of “knowledge,” about which people assert opinions.

Comment #138902

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 12, 2006 6:39 PM (e)

More seriously, we can’t check everything - occasionally we need to rely on others, and we can’t check each and everything down to the bottonless bottom.

Right. So if someone says “the moon is made of green cheese”, and someone else says “the moon is made of rocks”, there’s no way we can check each and every thing down to the bottomless bottom, and hence no way for anyone to determine whether the moon actually IS made from rocks or from green cheese. It’s all just a matter of this word or that word.

Right?

What an idiot. (sigh)