Birdblog

A conservative news and views blog.

Name:
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, May 29, 2006

Darwin and the Culture of Death

For some time now I have been planning to write a lengthy piece (for publication) on the connection between Darwinism, Eugenics, and Nazism. Unfortunately, Richard Weikart beat me to it. (Snooze you lose!) Here is a decent review of the arguments made by Weikart, in a piece at the New Oxford Review.

Let me offer you a small sample of the review by Anne Barbeau Gardiner:

From Darwin to Hitler is a fine work about how Darwin's notion of morality virtually supplanted Christian morality in Germany between the 1870s and the 1930s. In The Descent of Man (1871), Darwin suggested that morality was the result of biological evolution and that it differed only in degree, not in kind, from the social instincts of animals. While admitting that man, due to his cognitive abilities, had evolved further than animals, Darwin insisted that his social instincts, too, had developed by natural selection in the struggle for existence. Richard Weikart shows that Darwin's materialist account of morality hugely influenced German intellectuals of that era, causing many of them to reject the sanctity of life.

Darwinists such as Bartholomäus von Carneri, Ernst Haeckel, and Georg von Gizycki concluded that evolutionary science had proven free will and man's soul to be illusions. Gizycki rejoiced that evolution had introduced "a this-worldly moral philosophy to replace the prevalent otherworldly conception," while Friedrich Jodl argued that, given its origin, morality had to be "in evolutionary flux." Wilhelm Schallmayer said it plainly: "evolution leads undeniably to the demand for the continued development of ethics in the sense of evolutionary ethics."

Friedrich Hellwald and Alexander Tille saw evolution as doing away with inherent human rights. Once Darwin made the "biological inequality" of humans a matter of science, some individuals began to be labeled as "less valuable" than others. Rudolph Penzig, an advocate of secularization, declared that "biological evolution undermines any religious foundations for morality." In other words, Darwinism was already besieging the walls of the City of God. The feminist Helene Stöcker, who synthesized Nietzsche and Darwin, urged the "overthrow" of Christian morality for the sake of a "Darwinian-inspired eugenics program."



For those of you who are unaware, Darwin turned against Christianity after the death of his non-believing father and brother, calling it ``a damnable doctrine`` because Christian dogma consigned them to hell. He then went on to create a purely mechanistic theory of evolution which could be used as a weapon against the Church. His cousin Francis Galton was one of the founders of the Eugenics movement, a movement which sought to apply Darwinian Evolutionary principles to improve the human breeding stock. Eugenics was the core principle of Nazismsm, and Christian Fundamentalism was born in part as a response to the rise of Eugenics.

Science aside, Darwinism has been at the heart of virtually every evil movement since it`s creation. Nazismsm, Communism (Karl Marx admitted that he applied Darwinian theory to economics, and he wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who wisely refused permission), abortion, euthanasia, racism, etc. are all ``gifts`` from the philosophy of Darwin.

One must wonder about something which bears such bad fruit.

|

45 Comments:

Anonymous GusCubed said...

Such a shame that so many people spend so much time trying to connect the theory of evolution to Nazism. The penultimate paragraph is particularly hard to swallow:
'Science aside, Darwinism has been at the heart of virtually every evil movement since it`s creation. Nazismsm, Communism (Karl Marx admitted that he applied Darwinian theory to economics, and he wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who wisely refused permission), abortion, euthanasia, racism, etc. are all ``gifts`` from the philosophy of Darwin.'

Obvious straw men aside, I don't really think you want to be playing the 'look what this way of thinking has wrought' game. Religion will always lose

Think on the following:
1. Did euthenasia, abortion and racism exist before Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species'?
2. Eugenics is NOT natural selection - it is precisely the opposite. Read this (much better informed blog) http://www.greythumb.org/blog/index.php?/archives/80-Eugenics-doesnt-work.-Ask-why,-asshole..html
3. Is the 'sanctity of life' that the godless german philosophers rejected mentioned in the bible, anywhere? I can't get past all the genocides inflicted on the jebusites etc.
4. Charles Darwin has been labelled racist, and it may appear so to modern eyes, but by the standards of th time he was anything but. One of his closest friends and mentors was a freed slave called John Edmonstone

The theory of evolution by means of natural selection is just a scientific theory that explains, very neatly and with overwhelming evidence to support it, the diversity of life on earth. It was never meant to tell people how to live or treat one another - that is the job of religion apparently, and what a good job they've done.

'He then went on to create a purely mechanistic theory of evolution which could be used as a weapon against the Church'

OK, this really gets me angry. Darwin did not invent some crazy 'mechanistic' theory to be used as a weapon against the church. He held off publishing his theory for over 20 years because of the inevitable reaction of the church and spent most of this time accumulatng evidence to support his nascent theory. Which, by the way, has never been disproved in the 150 years since it was first posited. When the theory was first published, archeopteryx was yet to be discovered, DNA was unheard of so was continental drift, radio-isotope dating and dendrochronology and only a tiny proportion of the natural world had been classified and studied. In all those years since, all of these new discoveries have bolstered Darwin's theory. It is probably one of the best supported theories in the history of science.

Any attacks on the theory's scientific rigour will only make fundamentalists look even more misled and dishonest than they already are. So what then? The only option that the extremists have left seems to be to either attack Darwin himself, or to decry the consequences that knowledge of the theory leads to.

If you are going to hold Darwin responsible for what others misguidedly do in his name or in the name of his theory of evolution then should we blame jesus for the crusades, the medieval witch-trials, the hundred years, thirty years wars etc. ad nauseam?

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guscubed is correct. Blaming nazism and other evils on darwin is downright silly - after all, Hitler was a christian, as were slave owners in the united states, torturers for the inquisition. Religion will indeed always lose if one wants to point the finger at atrocities.

All this aside, evolution and natural selection are a fact, and say absolutely nothing about how humans should behave. They do, however, shine a bright light on why humans behave the way they do.

Blaming darwinism for evil is like blaming electricity for people being put to death by electrocution. Electricity isn't good or bad, it just is. Same goes for all the rest of science, evolution included.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous SRNissen said...

You, Mr. Birdnow, apparantly know nothing of the history of Nazism (a christian ideology), racism (a christian institution) or evolution (a purely secular theory).

Don't talk about what you don't understand, it will leave you looking the fool. And if you do understand it, don't lie about what you understand, it will leave you looking evil.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Guscubed, this post was not about the science of Darwinism (which I have dealt with previously) but about the social impact.

Your ``religion will always lose`` is evidence that you know very little history. Your question about the history of euthenasia, abortion, and racism misses the point and you either know it, or you are being disingenuous. Your ``eugenics is NOT natural selection`` shows that you weren`t paying attention; Darwin`s cousin founded the movement based on Chas. research-if species evolved through Natural Selection then it should be possible (and indeed desirable) to artificially guide evolution.

Read the New Testament for answers on the Sanctity of Life.

Your ``it is one of the best supported theories in science`` is meaningless on so many levels; the fossil record is an embarassment, for example. It is not entirely the fault of the theory; biologists have only one example to study-DNA and RNA based life.

Uh, I`m not a fundamentalist; I`m Catholic.

The ending is one of the great canards; from the very beginning Darwin`s theory led to trouble-and from the very people acquainted to it (if you want a comparison, look to Islam.) If you knew any history, you would know the Crusades were a response to Islamic aggression, you would know that any witch trials were held by civil authorities and not the Church, etc.

You need to take your head out of pro-Darwin sites and learn outside of your comfort zone.

Anonymous, Hitler was not a Christian but a neo-pagan, and the fact that some slave-holders professed Christianity ignores the fact that the Church was largely responsible for the abolitionism of the 18-19 centuries.

All this aside, evolution and natural selection are a fact

Your faith is touching.

srnissen, you need to go back to Kintergarden.

I find it interesting that none of you ever show up here until I post something like this. (Except, possible you, anonymous.) This proves my post hit close to the mark!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous MotorMind said...

That you're a Catholic doesn't exclude that you're a fundementalist. It saldo strikes me as odd that you go against the doctrine of your Church, which has accepted evolution fully.

Also, what Darwin's cousin or any other person might have done does not at all reflect on the theory of Evolution, which is nothing but the best fitting scientific explanation on why evolution occurs (that evolution is a fact has already been established long before Darwin published his theory). Like all science, evolutionary theory is totally agnostic when it comes to any kind of morality. Morality stems from political, social and religious systems... and the latter indeed have a bad name when it comes to unethical behavior.

Hitler's ideas were an offshoot of Christianity. His antisemitism was fed by centuries of Christian anti-jewish propaganda, from the Catholic and protestant churches alike. If you want to see the source of this and most other inhuman actions, you will have to pay very good attention to the history of Christianity itself.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Motormind, first off don`t speak about things you obviously don`t understand; Darwinism is NOT a matter of Faith and Morals, and is therefore not required belief by Catholics.

Science is very often political in nature, and fashions come and go. As things stand, Darwinian evolution (as opposed to other theories)has been clung to desperately by people such as yourself despite an underwhelming amount of evidence in it`s favor because it is YOUR religion.

Your comment on Nazism illustrates your complete ignorance of the evolution of socialism, and of history in general. NATIONAL SOCIALISM-get it? It was directly related to Nitzche, to Rousseau, and to Eugenics (Social Darwinism). I suppose Islamic anti-Semitism (which is an oxymoron, by the way) is a Christian idea, or the anti-Semitism of the Emperor Tiberius, etc. Riiight!

Oh, and if you want to see the source of this and most other inhuman actions, you will have to pay very good attention to the history of Liberalism, and the desperate desire of liberal atheism to destroy God.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Brandon_T_Stanley said...

Here I come....
A twenty year old has to come online to give the fools an education. Does this mean I am a genius or that fools are more foolish than I thought.

I will begin with this: I am ambivaltent about evolution. But What I will never compromise is my doubt of the thing in modren times which is masqueraded as science. All the charges made against Chrisitanity were foolish. A child could have written them. But I fear a child did not write them. Instead so called "thinking adults" wrote them. Terrible really.

Let us begin then, children, to learn of this thing called science.
Science, you must remember, is a simplistic term. What is commonly meant is the hypothetico-deductive method. The basic assumtions of the hypothetico-deductive method are that ambigiousness must be avoided in all definitions. Anything unlcear must be PROVEN.
Just had to define science for you.
What is the limit to this? Human language. Anyone involved in translation would tell you of the difficulties of human language. Absolute truth from strings of words? Or from observation? What of human reason? What place has it in evolution's evolution?

What was it that overturned the thoery of Heliocentricity? Complexity. Copernicus decided that the 30 different calculations needed to prove it acutally proved the latter- not by their result but by their very existence. How complex is evolution? Cell life just appeared? "Slow mutation" over centurties? I see. That makes sense. No over-complexity there. It makes so much sense that many resort to saying that a comet had to have hit the earth to introduce the first organic compounds.

Look friends, when you resort to petty attacks upon Christianity, all of which were factually wrong, you lose all credibility. If our science has become this dogmatic we are in trouble. A country without such dogmatism will jump ahead in technology, and we will collectively pay for the stupidity which is blaring from these comments.

Science, I fear, has become a faith. It has its own creation, evolution; and its own eschatology, global warming.

I am ambivalent about evolution. But what I am not ambivalent about is stupidity. An offense to God or a threat to our survival, whatever your view on the source of life is.

Nazism did come right from Darwin's theory. The view of whites' as a superior race was before Darwin only a belief. After Darwin bigots believed they had proof.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous guscuned said...

*Sigh* I just knew it was going to come to this.

Brandon: Your post appears to be nothing but a pompous and random word salad. Thanks for defining 'SCIENCE!!!' for me, but as Wolfgang Pauli might have said about your definition: It's not even wrong.

Timothy: You claim that I was being disingenuous when I asked whether euthenasia, abortion and racism existed before Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species'.Remind me, who it was that made the claim : 'Darwinism has been at the heart of virtually every evil movement since it`s creation. Nazismsm, Communism (Karl Marx admitted that he applied Darwinian theory to economics, and he wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who wisely refused permission), abortion, euthanasia, racism, etc. are all ``gifts`` from the philosophy of Darwin.'

I don't accept that Darwinism is responsible for nazism, communism or Paris Hilton. Why some people want to believe so is another matter.

I understand that religious people fear that accepting life can and does evolve means that there is one less mystery that can be assigned to the realm of the supernatural. However just because it is unpalatable, doesn't make it any less true. Should we turn our backs on knowledge simply because people will distort and misuse it?

Another argument I have heard against accepting evolution is that it means that we are no more than animals, and therefore we have no claim to absolute morality or there can be no absolute moral authority without god.

Yes, we are animals. But we are the only ones we know of that has developed such a high degree of intelligence. This unique trait has seen us proliferate like no other species on the planet. It has enabled us to overcome vastly stronger and ferocious predators. We can fly through the air, stand on the bottom of the sea and even on the moon. We have art, culture, music, the Simpsons. All because of our one defining trait, our intelligence. And you want us to turn off our brains, to squander the gift that makes us truly unique, just because you think it threatens the existence of your invisible friend?

The ending is one of the great canards; from the very beginning Darwin`s theory led to trouble-and from the very people acquainted to it (if you want a comparison, look to Islam.)
What, is Islam suddenly pro-evolution?

If you knew any history, you would know the Crusades were a response to Islamic aggression, you would know that any witch trials were held by civil authorities and not the Church, etc.

Hmm, I suggest you do a bit of research yourself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

As I said before, you really don't want to play the 'argument from consequences' fallacy regarding evolution and religion. I could provide you with a much longer list of Christian inspired atrocities if your really wanted. Besides, Chritianity has been around for 2000 years, it's had a lot more time to get blamed for stuff.

Lastly going back to the science and rigour of the evidence that supports the modern synthesis.How exactly is the fossil record an embarrasment? And to whom?

5:36 PM  
Blogger Brandon_T_Stanley said...

" *Sigh* I just knew it was going to come to this."

Yes, more stupidity. Why would I expect anything else?

You apparently could not answer my definition of science, except brush it aside.

"As I said before, you really don't want to play the 'argument from consequences' fallacy regarding evolution and religion. I could provide you with a much longer list of Christian inspired atrocities if your really wanted. Besides, Chritianity has been around for 2000 years, it's had a lot more time to get blamed for stuff."

Science began with Aristotle. it has been around longer than Christianity. But you paragraph lacks logic. You attempt to attack Christianity with the childish "violence for religion" theme, but then seem to say its ok. Illogic of the expert on science aside....

I suggest you do some research on Anna Comena and her "Alexiad". It is one of THE ORIGINAL SOURCES, not revisionism, written by the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor who called for help to the Pope. Just for a little history.......

Islam invaded Spain. You should know this. Islam invaded all the Eastern Roman holdings in North Africa. Islam invaded southern Italy, the Greek isles, and Sicily. They invaded france three times, one of which was a multinational "islamic crusade" called by the Spanish Caliph. All before the Crusades. But I guess those anti-science Christians can never defend themselves. Silly me! Islam itself was never something accepted by anyone, but only forced on people. Even the Arabs were compelled to accept Submission.

If you cannot understand history, a discipline based on simple reading and methodical research, then how can you understand science? Answer: for you it is not about science but a new faith.

You say Darwinism cannot be responsible for Nazism. This is interesting. Ideas have consequences. It cannot be otherwise. You seem to deny anything bad can come from the evolutionary ideal. This tells me that you are dogmatic, not scientific. Nazism did not wholly come from Darwin. But it did have alot to borrow from it. After all, if men are only higher apes, having evolved from lower, then why would man not try to evolve towards some end?

8:20 PM  
Anonymous guscubed said...

You apparently could not answer my definition of science, except brush it aside.

Sorry, there was a question?

Science began with Aristotle. it has been around longer than Christianity.

If you want to discuss the history of science you should remember that the modern, empirical scientific method is widely held to have been founded by Sir Francis Bacon.

But you paragraph lacks logic. You attempt to attack Christianity with the childish "violence for religion" theme, but then seem to say its ok. Illogic of the expert on science aside....

How many times does it have to be spelled out? 'Appeal to consequences' is a logical fallacy, hence my allusion to Christian inspired atrocities - hoping that by couching the fallacy in terms you might understand, you could start to realise that just because someone may not like the consequences IT HAS NO BEARING ON THE TRUTH OF THE INITIAL PREMISE.


As for "Anna Comena and her "Alexiad". It is one of THE ORIGINAL SOURCES, not revisionism, written by the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor who called for help to the Pope. Just for a little history......."

I will admit I am not a great historian, but even I know that one, biased source does not give you an accurate representation of events.

You say Darwinism cannot be responsible for Nazism. This is interesting. Ideas have consequences. It cannot be otherwise. You seem to deny anything bad can come from the evolutionary ideal. This tells me that you are dogmatic, not scientific. Nazism did not wholly come from Darwin. But it did have alot to borrow from it. After all, if men are only higher apes, having evolved from lower, then why would man not try to evolve towards some end?

In defence of the consequences of 'Darwinism' (not something that needs to be defended in my opinion, any more than the consequences of Boyles' law, Relativity or any other scientific theory) I will leave you with this quote:

"Darwin argued against the arguably racist idea, widespread in his day, that different races of humans were different species. And his idea of variation in all groups (along with the dependence of criteria 'fitness' on specific local environments) undercut the principle of racism, that there is some racial essence
which unites all members of a 'race' and makes them superior or inferior to members of other 'races.' So I cannot see the Nazis (who extolled natural selection, but relied on artificial selection rather than trusting nature to do it, and do not seem to have been
enthusiastic about the idea of common descent) as true intellectual
heirs of Darwin. "
http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/browse_frm/thread/3927f5576fba8b04

9:34 PM  
Blogger Brandon_T_Stanley said...

"If you want to discuss the history of science you should remember that the modern, empirical scientific method is widely held to have been founded by Sir Francis Bacon."

This is true. But you have to also remember that Aristotle was the pioneer of observations.

"How many times does it have to be spelled out? 'Appeal to consequences' is a logical fallacy, hence my allusion to Christian inspired atrocities - hoping that by couching the fallacy in terms you might understand, you could start to realise that just because someone may not like the consequences IT HAS NO BEARING ON THE TRUTH OF THE INITIAL PREMISE."

Sir! You act as if I have committed a blasphemy against your god? I have not declared myself an ifidel against the prophet Darwin. I simply express doubt in his theory of evolution, empiricism devoid of mathematical backup, and current science. Doubt is health. From doubt comes inquiry and from inquiry comes truth.

Comparing Boyle's law and Relativity to that of Evolution misses the point. One is a mechanistic account of man, which is, whether or not one likes it, very deterministic. The others of physical entities. Humankind is embued with enough introspection to naturally know the difference.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous guscubed said...

OK Brandon, so we've moved on from the appeal to consequences to the real problem that the OP and yourself have. You don't like the theory of evolution.

Is it because there is a problem with the science? Or is it because you hold a religious belief that you think is in some way challenged by the theory of evolution?

If you think there is a problem with the science, I would love to hear it. Please bear in mind that the vast majority of scientists who have studied biological sciences overwhelmingly believe that evolution is a fact and the modern synthesis is an accurate protrayal of how species evolve from common origins. There is no evil atheist conspiracy either, the first person who can conclusively prove the theory of evolution is wrong would certainly earn themeselves a nobel prize as well as all the fame and fortune they desire.

If it is the latter I understand, but again the vast majority of people who believe that evolution is a fact have no problem resolving this with their faith.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Uh, gus, there is a problem with the science.

The fossil record is an embarassment; every change in species should be documentable with the fossil record. In fact, few (if any) are, and this just doesn`t fit with classic Darwinian theory. That`s the reason why so many different Neo approaches have been tried-just ask Stephan Jay Gould about punctuated equilibrium.

From a statistical standpoint the developement of life bucks absolutely incredible odds.

The development of an information coding molecule defies the universal concept of entropic decay. If you want to bet on that tornado in a junkyard argument, come to Missouri and I`ll play some poker with you.

Darwinism makes it difficult to explain some things, like why the only dynosaurs we find today are birds. Why do we require 8 hours of sleep? Some creatures need more, some less. It`s dangerous to sleep; Natural Selection should have reduced the need for it.

Nobody is disputing evolution here, just the Darwinian version.

But we are not going to get into that here, and, as King of this blog duly anointed by God and E-Blogger, I am not going to allow this discussion to turn to a long argument over the science. That is not the purpose of this post. This post is about the consequences of the devotion to and application of the theory.

It is there that you, the Faithful defenders of the Void, feel the ground shake beneath you. It is easy to draw a line directly connecting Darwin`s theories with the worst of the Twentieth Century. It`s no surprise that Nazism would be centered in Germany. Germany was the most highly educated nation on Earth, while had the strongest anti-Christian and anti-religious strain among it`s intellectual class. The battle between Catholicism and Lutheranism in the German states had so weakened the influence of Christianity, while the great German philosophers came out of the later school of Liberalism, which was decidedly atheistic.

Your best option is to argue that, yes, Darwinism influenced these movements as a perversion, a misuse of the theory. This may well be the case (although I may be a bit skeptical), but it does not change the fact that the theory produced some terrible things.

Can you name the good that Darwinian Evolutionary Theory has given us? Funny, I really can`t think of anything. I can think of innumerable profit Mankind has gained from Religion and Christianity; Science was the gift of Christianity, and modern science had it`s start in the desire to know God. Before the coming of Judaism and Christianity men killed the entire family of their enemies. We have the civil society where courts of law judge men and punish mercifully because our laws are Biblically based. (Have you ever heard of Sejanus? He had been the head of the Praetorian Guard, and had saved Tiberius` life. He was slated to become Emperor on Tiberius` death, but Tiberius came to suspect him of treason and murdered his entire family. Guards raped his 4 year old daughter, because Rome had never executed a virgin. This was the great civilization that was Rome.) America is the most charitable nation on Earth because of our Judeao-Christian heritage (look up the statistics on private giving, if you don`t believe that.) None of these things would have come without this thing called Christianity.

And if you want to huff and puff about the middle-ages and the Inquisition, I suggest you read Professor Thomas Madden`s works on the subject. In fact, most Midieval scholars do not agree with the dismal portrayals made by the Left on the Middle-Ages. It is, much like the myth that Columbus ``proved`` the World was round to a disbelieving world (everyone knew it was round, and since the time of the Greeks), a falsehood designed to twist the truth to better fit a particular worldview. It doesn`t wash.

I have no problem resolving evolution with my faith, and if you would care to read my archives you will see I have stated that plainly and repeatedly. But there is something wrong with Natural Selection; it was devised by a virulent anti-Christian, has been used as a club to beat the Church, and has serious unresolved science. The fact that so many of you become so upset when someone challenges anything to do with Darwinism is all the proof that we need to show that it is on shaky ground.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous MotorMind said...

Birdnow,

Evolutionary biology - like all other scientific endeavors - in itself is highly a-political, but creationists keep dragging it into the political arena, acting as if scientific theories are the results of democratic processes. They aren't. In science, theories become accepted when there is enough evidence to back them up. There is an immense mass of evidence in favor of the theory of evolution - to obtain an overview of the evidence, just peruse http://www.talkorigins.org.

Denying the existence of this evidence amounts to lying, which is a very heavily frowned upon by the book you claim to believe in.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Argy Stokes said...

And what theory was responsible for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the fire bombing of Dresden? That's right.





















The Theory of Gravity.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Motormind, I guess that`s why Darwinists had to fake evidence, such as Piltdown Man and the Pepper Moth.

A-political my superbly evolved rear-end!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's a darwinsist? I thought the evolutionary biologists, biochemists, and paleontologists had long ago, if ever ceased to use such a term when consdering evolutiontary theory.

Piltdown man is not an example ever used by anyone [even remedially informed] since its revelation as a hoax more tha 75 yrs ago..

the moth a good example.. so, was there a point or pattern to your words?

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erm, you've got your timeline completely messed up. Darwin came up with the theory of evolution before he de-converted and before his father died.

You really should have checked this before you posted.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Bird, I believe you've made a bit of an error in equating the effects of the misuse of an idea with the idea itself.

Furthermore, by one of your primary examples (Nazism as motivated by evolutionary ideas) you seem to believe that evolution by natural selection is the root of these evils.

Perhaps it's silly of me, but I was under the impression that socioeconomic issues stemming from the outcome of World War I had something to do with it. The idea that the Aryans were somehow a "superior" race was born from an attempt to inspire German nationalism by connecting Germany with a bygone golden age of Nordic heroes. By doing so, it was believed, the German people would rise up to reclaim this virtuous heritage. Social Darwinism, it would seem, was more of an effect than a cause here.

As to racism, I would suggest that we are all blessed with a certain degree of xenophobia (after all, it's not hard to imagine that the initial suspicion of those who are different from us, or not in "our group" probably served a pretty useful function). It is what we do with that sense that matters. Trying to erase the theoretical construct that attempts to explain the phenomenon doesn't erase the phenomenon. I would bet the house that I just bought that racism and xenophobia existed long before Darwin was even a glint in his father's eye.

And abortion and euthanasia? Regardless of your viewpoint with regard to either, where exactly is the causal relationship between Darwin's theory of evolution and either of those?

Moving on...

"Can you name the good that Darwinian Evolutionary Theory has given us?"

Um. Well... I'm willing to bet that a cursory look at the progress in animal husbandry and farming might yield a few.

Oh, and the validity of laboratory animals as analogs of human systems in many pharmaceutical studies sorta relies on many evolutionary premises being true.

Oooh! Big one! Our understanding of the mechanism behind bacterial antibiotic resistance!

I'm sure there are PLENTY more, but you only asked "Can you name the good...?" My answer is yes.

"Science was the gift of Christianity"

Something tells me science was around a bit longer than Christianity was...

Speaking of science,

"The fossil record is an embarassment; every change in species should be documentable with the fossil record."

To begin with, the "fossil record" is constantly yielding new specimens that indicate transitions in body plan (Tiktaalik comes to mind here). Far from an embarrassment, the fossil record is continuously expanding our understanding of how life has developed over time, and solidifying the certainty with which evolution is regarded. If you would care to use more recent sources, you may find your position with regard to the fossil record on shaky ground.

Secondly, your expectation that every change in species ought to be observed in the fossil record is the height of idiocy. Every fossilized specimen is rightly viewed with a certain degree of wonderment, as fossilization is certainly a process for which the phrase "right time, right place" is applicable. Conditions within a relatively narrow range must be met in order for an organism's remains to be fossilized. Honestly, if you want to argue your point intelligently, if might be helpful to understand the science upon which it rests. You obviously don't, and your "point" suffers for it.

"The development of an information coding molecule defies the universal concept of entropic decay."

Written with the sure hand of one who has no idea what he's talking about. If you look around you, you'll see examples of such defiance all around you. In fact, if you only consider your own body, you'll be astounded by the number of processes that seem to "defy the universal concept of entropic decay". The formation of proteins, even of DNA itself are great examples. Even the tendency of DNA to retain its double-helical shape. But how can this be?

Put simply, because the entropic cost of organizing atoms into complex molecules like proteins and DNA is abundantly offset by the enthalpic benefit of doing so. When you join two pieces of the DNA backbone, for instance, you liberate two phosphate groups, and in the process, also liberate a whole freaking lot of energy. Therefore, the fact that you have decreased entropy by joining two relatively complex molecules into one even more complex molecule is okay, because you've also liberated tons of energy, thereby reducing the free energy.
Protein folding works the same way.

Your argument, which is loosely based on a flawed understanding of the 2nd Thermo law, if true, would mean not only that evolution is impossible, but indeed life itself as we know it is impossible, too. Since we know that's not the case, I'm thinking that your argument is probably flawed in some fundamental way...

"Nobody is disputing evolution here, just the Darwinian version. "

You prefer Lamarck?

3:05 PM  
Anonymous brian said...

Oh, yeah.

". . .the Pepper Moth."

Was not a hoax. Unless you're going to tell me that entymology textbooks are filled with vicious lies because some of those pictures are "staged" to offer better resolution and minimize movement.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous EB said...

Motormind, I guess that`s why Darwinists had to fake evidence, such as Piltdown Man and the Pepper Moth.

There are several fundamental problems with that assertion:

1. The Piltdown man hoax was exposed by evolutionary biologists, working in the Darwinian paradigm. If Piltdown man provided evidence FOR evolution by natural selection, WHY did they expose the hoax?
2. Evolutionary science falsified Piltdown man in another way - at the time Piltdown was found, the notion of a human ancestor with a large cranium and ape-like jaw was plausible. But all subsequent fossil finds indicated that the jaw changed before cranial capacity increased. So, Piltdown man didn't make sense - either Piltdown was wrong, the large number of relevent fossils were wrong, or something was fundamentally wrong with our understanding of human evolution. The fact that Piltdown was a hoax makes the available data EASIER to reconcile with the established patterns of evolutionary change.
3. Piltdown said nothing about natural selection, so it had no bearing whatsoever on the most important part of Darwin's theory.

Regarding the Pepper moths, the data were absolutely NOT faked. The allegations that they were is a Creationist accusation that simply IS NOT backed up by the available records. The reality is:

1. The FUNDAMENTAL conclusions of the original Kettlewell experiments have been shown to be absolutely repeatable by workers like Mike Majerus and Bruce Grant.
2. Subsequent workers have show there is (as might be expected) more complexity to changes in the frequency of Pepper moth melanism. But none of this additional complexity is relevant to the FUNDAMENTAL conclusion.
3. Bruce Grant showed similar patterns in America.
4. There is no credible evidence for fraud on the part of Kettlewell, and the allegations made by Judith Hooper have been viewed as highly inaccurate by the scientific community. She was unable to document any malfeasance on Kettlewell's part in a convincing manner.
5. Even if Kettlewell HAD faked his data, the fact that multiple workers have reproduced data supporting the fundamental conclusions, often using better experimental designs than Kettlewell's, indicates that we know why melanistic pepper moth's increased and then decreased in frequency.
6. Some of the creationist allegations about the Biston betularia - e.g., Jonathan Wells' statement that "Scientists have known since the 1980s that the moths do not normally rest on tree trunks." It depends on what Wells means by "normally" - Majerus' data indicate they do so about 25% of the time, spending the rest of their time under branches or at the junctions between branches. Wells is either showing a poor command of the relevant literature (Majerus' book is the modern classic in this area) or he is lying. Either way, he is wrong.

I'm also curious about the connection you allege between Marx and Darwin. It does appear that Marx admired Darwin, but there is no evidence that Darwin was an admirer of Marx. All of the evidence suggests that Darwin was a capitalist and "social Darwinism" (which Darwin himself did not promote) was usually cited as support for a laissez faire approach to economics - not a socialist one.

Finally, saying that the name of Hitler's party was the National-Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) does not indicate that it embraced all Marxist priciples. The party did have a strong socialist history, linked to their founding economic theorist (Gottfried Feder) but by the time the Nazi's came to power they were certainly not a purely socialist party.

Even if they were, the problem with the Nazi party was (and is, considering neo-Nazis) their virulent anti-Semitism.

I are absolutely correct that suppose Islamic anti-Semitism is not a Christian idea (and I would add Islamic anti-Semitism is not an oxymoron, since anti-Semitism has been DEFINED as a hatred of Jews since at least the beginning of the 20th century - the fact that Arabs are a Semetic people means the definition is a distortion of the original meaning of "Semite", but that is another manner. The definition of Semites has been subject to change - in the middle ages, it was applied to all asians, while the more modern linguistic definition would exclude Turks and Persians, many of whom are muslim).

However, neither the existence of Arab anti-Semitism (using the standard definition) nor the policies of Tiberius changes the fact that Christian anti-Semitism in Europe contributed to the persecution of Jews in Germany. Was it the only factor? No, that is not my assertion. My assertion is simply that it contributed, and that it made far more of a contribution to the social milieu than evolution (Darwin, Lamarikian, or whatever) did.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Scratch said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous SmellyTerror said...

The theory of evolution just explains the facts we can see, and has been astoundingly accurate in predicting things we would find.

Do you have a better theory? If so, let us have it! You will become famous and a little bit rich.

In the mean time, we have evolution. It's a theory that explains the facts. That's all. What people do with it is utterly irrelevant to the theory itself. It has no bearing on the theory - just as people doing bad things in the name of Christianity would have no bearing ont he correctness or otherwise of Christianity.

Imagine: Cave Dweller Dan invents fire. Cave Dweller Bruce uses that fire to burn Cave Dweller Chris.

Should fire be blamed? Should Dan? Most importantly, is the "theory of makin' fire" somehow less correct because of the poor use to which is has been put?

No, of course not. The argument is meaningless. Your post, even if was accurate, is completely pointless.

EVEN IF you could somehow lay the hysterical list of sins you have at the door of Darwin's theory (and you've not actually shown any evidence), but EVEN GRANTING THAT, so what? Darwin has, apparently accurately described a process that's been going on forever and will go on whether we notice it or not. Well spotted, that man!

Darwin didn't invent evolution, he just NOTICED IT.

So because someone said, "hey, look at that, I bet this is happening!" - he's what? Evil?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hitler wrote: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.."

7:06 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Hi Brian!

Thanks for a curteous and thoughtful response. I appreciate speaking with someone willing to have a reasonable conversation.

You said;

Bird, I believe you've made a bit of an error in equating the effects of the misuse of an idea with the idea itself.

Furthermore, by one of your primary examples (Nazism as motivated by evolutionary ideas) you seem to believe that evolution by natural selection is the root of these evils.


My whole point (actually my post is the review by someone else of someone else`s book) is that, for whatever it`s purpose, Darwinian theory has been at the heart of these evil things. I did not say that, in and of itself, Natural Selection is evil, but that it was one of the fundamental underpinnings of these evil things. I doubt Darwin intended this, but I do believe part of what drove him to develope his theory was an anger at Christianity. That said, I reiterate that the theory in and of itself is not inherently evil, but it has born some very bad fruit.

Perhaps it's silly of me, but I was under the impression that socioeconomic issues stemming from the outcome of World War I had something to do with it. The idea that the Aryans were somehow a "superior" race was born from an attempt to inspire German nationalism by connecting Germany with a bygone golden age of Nordic heroes. By doing so, it was believed, the German people would rise up to reclaim this virtuous heritage. Social Darwinism, it would seem, was more of an effect than a cause here.

I would agree with much of that-except your conclusion. Germany was the intellectual and philosophical capital of Europe (hence the world) prior to 1914, and the German philosophers were generally in the Nietzchian mode. Darwinism buttressed their philosophy nicely, and Eugenics took hold in late 19th Century German thought. This, coupled with the need to hold the Empire of the Hohenzollerns together (Germany had been a loose confederacy) along with an acceptance of Rousseau`s idea of mystical nationalism (to replace Christianity as the binding force for nations) were deeply imbeded in the German psyche prior to the Great War. The socioeconomic forces were the motivations of the plain folk of Germany, and they were willing to follow the elites on this path of virtuous German purity. The core was Eugenics, Nietzche, and pagan.

I agree that racism is a common human malady, one which Christianity is supposed to (and often successfully has been able to) resist. Still, the virulent form seen during the 20th Century was a throwback to the pre-Christian era, and would not have occured had it not been for the Eugenics movement.

And abortion and euthanasia? Regardless of your viewpoint with regard to either, where exactly is the causal relationship between Darwin's theory of evolution and either of those?

Margaret Sanger was a devotee of Eugenics, and she started the movement (at least in America) for these things in a desire to purify the gene pool. Eugenics was a movement started by Spencer and Darwin`s first cousin, based on his work.

"Can you name the good that Darwinian Evolutionary Theory has given us?"

Um. Well... I'm willing to bet that a cursory look at the progress in animal husbandry and farming might yield a few.

Oh, and the validity of laboratory animals as analogs of human systems in many pharmaceutical studies sorta relies on many evolutionary premises being true.

Oooh! Big one! Our understanding of the mechanism behind bacterial antibiotic resistance!


I don`t believe any of these things are a result of Natural Selection, but of intelligen design (lower casement) based on genetics and selective breeding.

Something tells me science was around a bit longer than Christianity was...

To a degree; philosophy and engineering has indeed, as has been astronomy (mostly for religious reasons) and botany. Science, as we in the West understand it, came into being as a result of dedicated, organized work done in monasteries and Universities (which didn`t exist before the Church.) Why didn`t we see any major scientific explosion in China, or the pre-Columbian Americas? They knew things, but didn`t have the Scientific Methods which were developed by the Church. Even the later Enlightenment guys like Bacon were standing on the shoulders of those Midieval monks.

I agree; fossils are not something you trip over. Still, why so scarce? Why can`t we find some complete sets? Darwin recognized this problem himself, and modern Neo-Darwinists like Gould have been trying to come up with alternatives like Punctuated Equilibrium to reconcile theory with the record. I`m hardly bringing up anything controversial here. Yet it`s like pulling teeth to get the advocates of Darwinism to admit this.

If this is not the case, why the hubub over that recent alleged transition between sea critter and land animal (I forget what it`s called, and don`t feel like bothering to look it up)? Because there aren`t any missing links, that`s why. This will be (if true) groundbreaking.

Written with the sure hand of one who has no idea what he's talking about. If you look around you, you'll see examples of such defiance all around you. In fact, if you only consider your own body, you'll be astounded by the number of processes that seem to "defy the universal concept of entropic decay". The formation of proteins, even of DNA itself are great examples. Even the tendency of DNA to retain its double-helical shape. But how can this be?

You`re putting the cart before the horse, here; you are arguing from an established, existing, replicating structure to ``prove`` that that structure must have come from the process which you claim produced it. This is circular logic A causes B which Causes C which must therefore prove A. OF COURSE a replicating molecule is replicating! The question is, how did such a molecule spontaneously generate (complete with hellishly complicated biological code) via purely random processes. I have heard it compared to a snowfall, but I have yet to find life arise in a blizzard, nor have I seen an I-pod form from the chrystals (you do get some interesting shapes sometimes...) But the idea that the existence of DNA proves that DNA can form is self serving.

Put simply, because the entropic cost of organizing atoms into complex molecules like proteins and DNA is abundantly offset by the enthalpic benefit of doing so. When you join two pieces of the DNA backbone, for instance, you liberate two phosphate groups, and in the process, also liberate a whole freaking lot of energy. Therefore, the fact that you have decreased entropy by joining two relatively complex molecules into one even more complex molecule is okay, because you've also liberated tons of energy, thereby reducing the free energy.
Protein folding works the same way.


You know, a certain amount of order can appear spontaneously (try throwing a deck of cards on the ground and count pairs) but THE DNA MOLECULE? Come on! Each link in the chain is crucial. Geophysicist Charles Braxton calculated the odds of just one amino acid protein forming as 1X10exp67. Of course, that`s just one of the needed proteins. It`s been argued that this could be accomplished piecemeal, but even if those odds are way off, you`re talking about something that`s not as likely as my defecating a laptop computer (I`m still waiting.) Also, you run into Behe`s theory of irreducible complexity (which may or may not apply on a macro level, but almost certainly applies to information coding-see how well a program works without a key piece.)

I never was one to believe in spontaneous miracles, except when they are divinely engineered.

"Nobody is disputing evolution here, just the Darwinian version. "

You prefer Lamarck?


You know, until the Michelson-Morley experiment and Einstein, everyone believed in the existence of the Ether. Does that make the Ether real? I believe in the truth, the search for which seems to have ended in favor of a dogma. Darwinists seem to be more interested in staying in their comfort zone, in proving the veracity of their faith, than in admitting the problems with their theory. We need some new ideas, Brian! Let`s quit hiding and try to find some answers!

Oh, yeah.

". . .the Pepper Moth."

Was not a hoax. Unless you're going to tell me that entymology textbooks are filled with vicious lies because some of those pictures are "staged" to offer better resolution and minimize movement.


Brian, I weary of explaining this. First, there is absolutely every likelihood that Kettlewell doctored his presentation (if not his research). It doesn`t matter; the whole affair merely proved the melatin nature of the moths, and had absolutely nothing, not one thing, to do with Natural Selection, and the people who promoted this damn well knew it! It was promoted, like Piltdown, to buttress a flagging theory at the time. It stands, in spite of the fact that it proves nothing, as a testament to a certain scientific dishonesty on the part of the defenders of Darwinian theory.

Let me ask you a question; did your old history texts say that Columbus proved to an ignorant Christendom that the world is round? Mine did. You know what? It is a big, fat, purposeful lie concocted in the 19th Century here in America! A fallen away methodist named John Draper popularized this myth in his book in 1874, and a guy named Andrew Dixon White wrote a book called ``A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom`` in the 1890`s Both of these guys had axes to grind, both were devotees of Darwin, and their work (with the help of late 19 and early 20th Century atheists) eventually became standard teaching in American textbooks. It was all b.s.; the reason that people thought Columbus a fool was because he was-his calculations for the circumference of the Globe were approximately half of the best estimates of the time (which were pretty close to our current ones) and everybody figured Columbus would get hopelessly lost or die of thirst on the sea. That a new Continent should be in his way never occured to him, and Columbus never knew he had not, in fact, reached India. The point is that Europe knew the Earth was round from the time of the Greeks, and everyone knew THAT until a concerted effort was made to promote a lie-and you`ll find it in your textbook.

If you can find such an obvious fabrication in textbooks, don`t be surprised to find others.

My point is, be critical. Don`t take my word for it (I know you won`t) but don`t accept these things blindly. THAT is what offends me about this whole Darwin business the most; it`s the bile and aggression of the defenders of the theory. Most of them (present company excepted) don`t want to discuss rationally anything to do with the theory. Not the history, not the science, nothing. It has become (if it ever was anything but) more faith than science, and the dialogue that occurs is often an attempt to drown out any opposition. Look at how many people who NEVER visit this blog showed up to shout at me! Me, I don`t care who is proven correct because it affects neither my faith nor my pride. What I do care about is pursuing the truth. I know that Darwinism has holes in the science, and I know that, from an historical perspective, it has been (if only indirectly) the cause of much trouble in this world.

I don`t know how long I will have to continue this conversation, but you are welcome to reply, and are always welcome here at Birdblog! Feel free to disagree with me; this is Liberty Hall! I welcome any thoughtful, civil person.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Anonymous, read Mein Kampf, for crying out loud!

Hitler was a pagan, and his ``God`` was hardly the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Uh, Smellywhatever, you didn`t even read the post; most of it was an excerpt from a book review. I wrote maybe two paragraphs.

Why don`t you buy the book, and you can get the argument in detail.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Beaming Visionary said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing that distinguishes the Holocaust from the previous 1,933 years of Christian anti-Semitism was that there were more sophisticated machines involved.

Birdnow, you're trying to play the cheerleader, building up your philosophy as perfect and "reading out" of it everybody who actually did bad things. It's the "No True Scotsman" trick.

The underlying motives of the Holocaust relied upon the violent exclusionist / exterminationalist rhetoric of Christianity, and Christianity's routine de-valuing of human life in favor of the unseen and metaphysical. It was no different from any medieval pogrom or passion-play riot, except as a matter of mechanical scale. If you want to blame a scientist for it, don't blame Darwin, blame Henry Ford and his assembly line technology.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Stanton said...

If it is true that Darwinism is the core principle of Nazism and Communism, then would it be possible if you could answer a few of my questions? If the Nazi government was so enamoured of Evolutionary Biology, why was it that when the paleontologist Ernst Stromer requested that the fossil specimens in the Munich Natural History Museum be moved to a safer location, his Nazi superiors not only refused his request, but had his three sons, who were officers in the German Army, transfered to the Russian Front, with the express purpose of having them die there? And why wasn't Adolph Hitler moved to tears or histrionics when the Munich Natural History Museum was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid, as Stromer predicted, with all of its priceless fossil specimens, with the sole exception of the Tanzanian Brachiosaurus, obliterated? If the Nazis were so enamoured of Evolutionary Biology, why did they dismiss the paleontologist Rudolf Kauffman from his teaching post, and let him die in an Estonian death camp, when he was shot in the back by a guard?
If the Communists were so enamoured of Evolutionary Biology as you claim, why was it, then, that Stalin had all Mendelian and Darwinist biologists in Russia purged or banished to Siberia, on the behalf of his pet agronomist, Trofim Lysenko? If Trofim Lysenko was an Evil Communist Evolutionist as you suggest, then why was it that he helped to literally ruin Soviet Agriculture with his magic show of things like claiming to be able to create wheat plants out of rye seed, or conjure the "Vegetable of the Proletariet" from a hybrid of radish and cabbage?
If it is true that Evolutionary Biology leads to wickedness as you suggest, then can you please explain to me how reconstructing prehistoric animals, or speculating on the geneaology of birds of paradise are exercises of unforgivable sin, whereas praying for the death, destruction and damnation of one's fellow countrymen, like the way Pat Robertson does after every disaster, is not?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous EB said...

Birdnow,

I weary of explaining this.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO evidence that there were any irregularities associated with Kettlewell's experiments that resulted in any false conclusions.

Even if Kettlewell were as horrible a person as the Creationists allege, Kettlewell's fundamental conclusions ARE ABSOLUTELY SUPPORTED BY SUBSEQUENT RESEARCH. Kettlewell's conclusions have been considered in eight separate field studies, of various designs, performed between 1966 and 1987. Some of the design changes--such as reducing the density of moths, randomly assigning moths to trees, altering locations on trees where moths were positioned, and positioning killed moths to control for differences in viability and dispersal - were made to correct deficiencies identified in his original experiments.

So, either Kettlewell did the experiments sufficiently well to capture a major part of what was going on, or he guessed correctly and faked things sufficiently well that the ACTUAL SCIENTISTS were not able to detect this when they repeated the experiments.

But there are bigger issues with your misunderstanding of the actual situation - many creationists are fond of pointing out that Kettlewell's experiments demonstrate MICROEVOLUTION (which they acknowledge) and say nothing about MACROEVOLUTION. Most real scientists do not draw a clear dividing line between micro- and macroevolution... they blur into each other. But the point remains that you are believing one biased account of Kettlewell which is:

1. Difficult to reconcile with the subsequent work on industrial melanism (based on accumulation of the pigment melanin, NOT melatin nature).
2. Only demonstrates microevolution BASED UPON NATURAL SELECTION.

The statement that "...the whole affair merely proved the melatin[sic] nature of the moths, and had absolutely nothing, not one thing, to do with Natural Selection" is nonsense. What was it based on if not natural selection? The melanistic phenotype segregates in a Mendelian manner in Biston, so the speculation that it is some sort of induction is demonstrably false.

You have not explained how:

1. Piltdown man advanced the case for evolution by natural selection. I suspect that even a detailed survey of paleoanthropological literature would be unable to reveal one actual scientist who used Piltdown to support evolution by natural selection. (Note that this doesn't assert that Piltdown was irrelevant - it was a bad hoax - but it was not perpetrated to support "Darwinian evolution" simply because it says nothing about natural selection, and no responsible scientist ever said that it did).

2. The truth or falsehood of Kettlewell's experiment - which has been repeated - makes the case for anything other than microevolution by natural selection.

I have to agree with guscubed that this argument is a collection of straw men. Indeed, I've seen no evidence that the straw man arguments are even being made by somebody with a basic understanding of the theory of evolution by natural selection.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous SmellyTerror said...

I was answering this, sir:

Science aside, Darwinism has been at the heart of virtually every evil movement since it`s creation. Nazismsm, Communism (Karl Marx admitted that he applied Darwinian theory to economics, and he wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin, who wisely refused permission), abortion, euthanasia, racism, etc. are all ``gifts`` from the philosophy of Darwin.

Did you not write that?

2:08 PM  
Anonymous bbirdnow said...

In response to "gascubed" and his comments: No sir, euthanasia, abortion, and racism did not exist openly before Darwin and his magnum opus. Euthanasia is a twentieth century phenomenon, the main idea is to put someone to death when they have outlived their usefulness to society. I think we did that a year ago with Terry Schiavo.
When we talk about abortion existing before Darwin, we conclude that it did exist as a medical possibility. It did not exist openly, only in a subrosa fashion, and was performed by disreputable "doctors". It took our Darwinian legalists nearly two centuries to invent a right to abortion in 1973.
Did racism exist before Darwin? The clear answer is "No". This might come as a shock to gascubed but racism is a twentieth century construct, built on the cultural standards of a particular age. To assert, as he does, that racism has always existed is an ahistorical argument having no validity. Racial and ethnic hatreds have always existed, but "racism" has only existed since the term was coined in the late 1950s.

Gascube, I bekieve that you were "gassed" when you posted your comments!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Anonymous, you are woefully ignorant of history.

Stanton, I would be happy to answer your questions:

1.You know full well that Stromer was an enemy of the Nazi administration, and that what was done to him was because of that, not because he was a Darwinist, as you suggest. I`m not very familiar with Kauffman, but I suspect that was likewise the case.

This is immaterial; the Nazi association with Darwin was philosophical, as I am pretty sure you understand. Eugenics, the love-child of Darwinism, was one of the central pillars of Nazism, and the concentration camps and ovens were the fruits of it. That the Nazis would bear no love for their enemies is little wonder; consider what they did to Ernst Rohm and his Brownshirts, who were integral members of the movement. Do you really believe that Stromer`s problems stemmed from science?

2.Marx published Das Kapital in 1867, and Stalin`s pet Neo-Lamarckian came on the scene at the end of the 1920`s. You conveniently ignore the entire history of Marxism until that point. Stalin also didn`t trust doctors, and had them all killed. He was a screwball, with even goofier ideas than his predecessors. It was Stalin the Man.

The influence of Darwin on Marx is beyond question, as Marx admitted that he tailored his theories based on Natural Selection.

In short, Stanton you have Marshalled a legion of scarecrows into battle.

EB,

Is the Iguana a case of natural selection? Come on, you`re smarter than that!

Oh, and if you would care to read Edward Larson`s Pulitzer Prize winning ``Summer for the Gods`` you would know that the Piltdown fake revived what was then a flagging theory among both scientists and the public. Before Piltdown Darwinism was falling into disfavor.

In short, EB you have Marshalled a legion of scarecrows into battle. You, sir, are the straw man General.

Indeed, I've seen no evidence that the straw man arguments are even being made by somebody with a basic understanding of the history of science, or the most fundamental awareness of the roots of his own viewpoint.

Smelly,

Please wait until you`re sober before posting anything more.


Guys, it`s been fun watching you twist and squirm to extricate your necks from the rope. I`ve seen more contortions than a Chinese Circus, but I`m afraid it just hasn`t quite made it.I may or may not post more; feel free to talk among yourselves!

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quoth the Birdy:
Racial and ethnic hatreds have always existed, but "racism" has only existed since the term was coined in the late 1950s.

Fascinating. So, by extension, the Bible is proven to be a lie, because the story of Sodom and Gomorrah cannot possibly have happened, because homosexuality did not exist until the word for it was coined in the 1800s. Heterosexuals are even worse-off, since that word is even younger. I guess people laid eggs back in the day, or something. Words are more powerful than I'd thought!

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Stanton said...

If you had actually read "Mein Kampf", you would actually realize that it reads more like Martin Luther's "The Jews and Their Lies." Furthermore, Hitler was not a student of Biology, let alone Darwin, especially since he thought that blood was the most important factor in determining ethnicity. In fact, it was the fear of turning German soldiers Jewish by transfusion that lead Hitler to ban the formation of blood banks in Nazi Germany, leading to the deaths of thousands of wounded German soldiers. Then again, perhaps you think that Charles Darwin invented a time machine to go back in time to turn Martin Luther into an Antisemite?

And if you actually did read about Russian history in the 20th Century, which you haven't, you would have realized that Darwin had nothing to do with the rise of Stalin. Lysenko had all of his Mendelian and Darwinian contemporaries purged because he was able to appeal to Stalin that Darwinian and NeoMendelian Biology was unacceptable to Marxist thought.

Furthermore, can you answer my question about how reconstructing prehistoric animals and trying to find out the geneaology of organisms is tantamount to rounding up people to kill them with the express purpose of selling their hair and gold teeth to industry, while praying for all of the people who disagree with you to die horribly in a disaster is not, without blabbering on about armies of scarecrows?

Let me rephrase my main question, then: How is imagining how a trilobite would have looked like when it was alive an example of something being Mortal Sin, as you claim all things in Evolutionary Biology is? I'm an artist by hobby, and one of my favorite themes are the restoration of prehistoric animals. Furthermore, I find it gravely distressing when I realize people find my art to be offensive. As such, if you intend to respond to me again, please answer this question.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Stanton said...

In fact, I don't really care anymore that you think that it was really Darwin, and not Hitler, who started the 2nd and 3rd Reichs, and that it was really Darwin who put Stalin in power, wrecked Soviet agriculture, and caused Chernobyl to blow up.

Really, what I care is why you equate things like imagining what colors a trilobite would be when it was alive with mass murdering people so their bodyparts can be sold to interested industries at a profit.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous guscubed said...

bbirdnow:In response to "gascubed" and his comments: No sir, euthanasia, abortion, and racism did not exist openly before Darwin and his magnum opus.

... are you serious?

If so, then I suggest you get help, or read a history book.

PS. assuming someone else's identity is not only rude, it's fundamentally dishonest.

timothy birdnow:You know, a certain amount of order can appear spontaneously (try throwing a deck of cards on the ground and count pairs) but THE DNA MOLECULE? Come on! Each link in the chain is crucial.Geophysicist Charles Braxton calculated the odds of just one amino acid protein forming as 1X10exp67

Along with the tornado in a junkyard metaphor, this displays a complete ignorance of both biochemistry and statistics. I'm not sure how he came up with this number (a link would be edifying) but I can bet he was calculating the probability of the protein spontaneously forming as a sequential trial, rather than trillions of simultaneous trials. This is rather like saying that your odds against winning a lottery are 30 million to one and therefore the chances of anyone winning the lottery are 30 million to one. But surprise, surprise there is almost always at least one lottery winner a week!

Strictly speaking, the above probability calculation is an (incorrect) criticism of abiogenesis, not evolution. All that is required for evolution to occur is that replication occurs, with errors, and selection favours certain inherited traits over others. Evolution per se is not concerned with how the first self-replicating macromolecule arose. Evolution kicks in after this event but doesn't attempt to explain how it occurred.

Amino acids occur naturally as a result of common inorganic processes and are even common in interstellar space. Amino acids also spontaneously form polypeptides in a reducing environment. What is a one amino acid protein? A protein consisting of just one amino acid? I would agree that such a thing is unlikely to form on a prebiotic earth, simply because it would be very rare for a growing polypeptide to only concatenate with only one kind of amino acid as it spontaneously assembles in a reducing environment.

Hoyle's analogy of the tornado in a junkyard has several flaws. Most importantly he ignored the fact that evolution only requires a self-replicating molecule to start the gradual, step-wise process to eventually (3.5bn years) produce the lifeforms we see around us today.

Anyway if you wish to read why the tired creationist claim that 'life is statistically impossible' is just plain wrong, you could do worse that to read this: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html

I seriously urge doubters to read it, the biggest hurdle I have found in the special olympics that is the evolution vs. creationism debate is that it is very quick and easy for someone to assert an untruth (deliberate or misinformed) and it takes a lot longer to refute it.

It`s been argued that this could be accomplished piecemeal, but even if those odds are way off, you`re talking about something that`s not as likely as my defecating a laptop computer (I`m still waiting.) Also, you run into Behe`s theory of irreducible complexity (which may or may not apply on a macro level, but almost certainly applies to information coding-see how well a program works without a key piece.)

Behe's 'Irreducable Complexity' theory is better named 'Irreproducible Irreducibility'. It is bunkum mostly because he argues from the a priori position that some complex systems could not have evolved. He ignores the fact that all complex systems have evolved from simpler ones that may not have had any functions in common with the complex ones. The compenents of seemingly irreducibly complex systems have been conserved and have evolved together because they prouce a novel and useful function for the organism - the original function of the components are often not obvious because the complex system itself has been under evolutionary pressure to improve or change it's function and thus the original function of the components is lost.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous EB said...

Wow... I am simply in awe of you Mr. Birdnow...

Is the Iguana a case of natural selection? Come on, you`re smarter than that!

An example of a rarely used debating style... argument from obcurity.

Yes, the phenotypes of iguanas reflect their evolution history, including the influence of natural selection upon their history.

The fundamental problem with your assertion is that you provide nothing about the iguana that makes it unlikely to be the product of natural selection. I would add that there are multiple species of iguana - so it isn't even clear which iguana you are referring to. Clarify your argument if you actually want to make any sort of case.

Oh, and if you would care to read Edward Larson`s Pulitzer Prize winning ``Summer for the Gods`` you would know that the Piltdown fake revived what was then a flagging theory among both scientists and the public. Before Piltdown Darwinism was falling into disfavor.

Again, you advance a nonsensical argument. You cite a book by a talented historian regarding the "Scope's Monkey Trial" as evidence for attitudes toward Darwinian evolution among the public and the scientific community. Dawson found Piltdown man in 1908-9. The modern (or neo-Darwinian) synthesis - the major advance of integrating Mendelian genetics and the idea of evolution by natural selection, began in ernset some time thereafter with Fisher's reconciliation of Mendelian genetics and continuous characters in 1918. None of the intial development of the modern synthesis was influenced in any way by Piltdown man (or by any aspects of paleoanthropology).

Instead, figures like Fisher, Dobzhansky, Mayr, Stebbins, Julian Huxley and (most importantly from the standpoint of any discussion of fossils) G. G. Simpson were influenced by genetics and work in Drosphila. Simpson published his Columbia lecture series book in 1945, before the revelation in 1953 that Piltdown was a hoax. But Piltdown was not a major example in THE BOOK that set out to reconcile the modern evolutionary synthesis and paleontology.

Furthermore, Piltdown interfered with acceptance of fossils that showed the actually pathway of human evolution - when Dart found Australopithecine fossils in the 1920s he was derided. But the reality is that NEITHER the Australopithecine fossils nor the Piltdown forgery said anything about the role of natural selection of evolution. The evidence for a major role for natural selection comes from other data entirely.

You may or may not be correct that belief in "Darwinism" among the general public was flagging in 1909. That is irrelevant. Belief in or understanding of evolutionary theory in the general publich has always been limited. You are a clear example of that.

In short, EB you have Marshalled a legion of scarecrows into battle. You, sir, are the straw man General.

Indeed, I've seen no evidence that the straw man arguments are even being made by somebody with a basic understanding of the history of science, or the most fundamental awareness of the roots of his own viewpoint.


You have done absolutely nothing to answer any of the relevant questions. I think that is because you cannot. You are only able to parrot - in an inappropriate context - an inapproprate source.

Your historical perspective also misses several major points. Unlike you - who appears to chained to a tree of contingencies while missing the forrest of reality - I realize that the IMPORTANT THING is not whether a subset of scientists were energized to work on a topic because of a fraud, it is whether they were able to solve problems correctly after being energized to do so. Even if every single figure involved in the modern synthesis were inspired by Piltdown man, the fact is that (with the exception of Simpson) they worked on a completely different system. If it were revealed tomorrow that something that inspired you was a fraud, would that mean you had accomplished nothing in your life?

The scary part is that you seem to actually believe that you are making a relevant arguement. I ask you to tell me how Piltdown man supports the hypothesis that natural selection influenced human evolution. You are unable to do so because you do not appear to understand natural selection. You have cherry picked information on the development of scientific ideas from inappropriate sources and used them to support your argument in an inappropriate manner.

Finally, you proclaim yourself an expert in the history of science while repeating stories - like Marx's desire to dedicate Das Kapital to Darwin - this is known to be apocryphal. Yep, I would say that I've just seen the 5-star general of the straw man army out on maneuvers!

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Stanton said...

You know, rather than taking the time to disregard what we have asked of you so that you can insult us instead of answering with straight-forward questions, can you do us, or at least me, a favor?
Go out to your local library or bookstore, and get a copy of "The Fossil Book" by Carroll and Mildred Fenton, or maybe "Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution," by Richard Fortey, or "Trilobites" by Ricardo Levi-Seti, or if you're really, really lucky, borrow a copy of "Fossil Crinoids" by Hans Hess.
Read one of those books from cover to cover, please, and tell me how a person could be inspired to rape his neighbor's daughter to death after reading one of these books.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. The truth is out there. Darwinists have blinded themselves to it willingly. Sad but true.

Keep it up. Richard Weikart's book is indeed very historically accurate. Beate Wilder Smith's - the late great creationist scientist's (3 Phd.'s) wife - book is also very good as an eye witness account. "The Day Nazi Germany Died"

There are actually several well written, historically accurate books on the subject. Too bad Darwinists can't read anything that goes against their little god of materialism.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So were straw men created exactly as they are now by Jeebus, or did they evolve from straw apes?

8:55 AM  
Blogger 握壽司Stanley said...

徵信社,尋人,偵探,偵探社,徵才,私家偵探,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,抓猴,出軌,背叛,婚姻,劈腿,感情,第三者,婚外情,一夜情,小老婆,外遇,商標,市場調查,公平交易法,抓姦,債務,債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信社

6:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com