Bio: Karl Giberson

Karl Gibberson Karl Giberson is the director of the Forum on Faith and Science at Gordon College and the former editor of the magazine Science and Spirit. His most recent book is Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution (take a peek inside the book here). He has
published over a hundred articles, reviews, and essays, both technical and
popular, and written three additional books: Worlds Apart:
The Unholy War Between Science and Religion
(1993), Species of
Origins: America’s Search for a Creation Story
(2002, with ENC
historian Don Yerxa), and Oracles of
Science: Celebrity Scientists Versus God and Religion
(2007, with
Spanish physicist/philosopher and priest, Mariano Artigas). Worlds Apart is the only book on the controversial topic of evolution published by the denominational press of the conservative Church of the Nazarene.

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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 23, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I think God is playing a little bit of hard-to-get with theistic-evolutionists and creationists. The point that you made about dinosaur bones and human bones not being found together resonates in any mind, but the refutation may be as simple as that people didn’t live around dinosaurs. Would you want to? The remains of humans that are found are considered by creationists to be post-flood. Surmising from the imagination the scenario of a global flood we could assume (one of those reasonable assumptions) that most, if not all humans made haste to save their lives by escaping to higher grounds and in boats, in which case makes it more likely that any pre-flood human fossils will never be found, let alone with dinosaurs (higher ground and being longer in the water would necessarily mean less chance of being buried in sediments). In any case, the fact is that either side will have to interpret the evidence that is before them and make the decision they make. I think that in this issue and in any it should be that the Christian be led by the Holy Spirit.

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Kevin Butterfield

posted October 24, 2008 at 2:08 pm

The only preparation in this debate seemed to be the acceptance of the civility of the other, but since we are coming together as Christians who are in disagreement we must do more to prepare the debate than non-Christians do. It must be caused between the two parties to disemble their arguments into more basic parts until a common-ground is achieved before the debate can have any effectiveness. The guiding rule for constructive debate is that whenever a common-ground is not attained both parties must revert to a more simple framework until both parties are standing on the same ground. This is, indeed, the lowest common-denominator (a logical concept) approach, and it should be as exhaustive as any in that sense. If both parties need to define a common understanding of logic itself then so be it, but all that is happening here is the usual clash of ideas.

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Gary Hurd, Ph.D.

posted October 27, 2008 at 3:21 am

Dear Colleague,
I bought a copy of your book “Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution” after reading a very disparaging review by Intelligent Design Creationist (IDC) William Dembski. I must admit that I have stalled reading it at your very shallow and poorly researched chapter 3, “Darwin’s Dark Companions.” I started to worry at page 61 when you veered off into falsehoods like “ ’Darwin’s name was on the lips of Nazism as they rationalized their implementation of the “final solution.” Nonsense!
This is a disappointing failure of scholarship that became more obvious when I realized that you had almost exclusively relied on secondary citations from creationists for your “research” on Nazis. The exorable book by Richard Weikart was the apparent source for most of your “understanding” of the issue.
This is too important, professor, to play such lazy games. My book on the creationist distortion of science, history, and scripture could have been finished years ago if I were able to gloss over such critical areas.
Let me recommend some further reading :
Bergen, Doris L.
1996 “Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich” (University of N. Carolina Press)
Cornwell, John
1999 “Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII” New York Penguin Group.
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah
1997 “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust” New York: Alfred A. Knoph.
Gross, Jan T.
2001 “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland” Princeton University Press
Lifton, Robert Jay,
1986 “The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide” New York: Basic Books Inc.
Nicosia, Francis R., Jonathan Huener
2002 “Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany” New York: Berghahn Books
Steigmann-Gall, Richard
2003 “The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity 1919-1945” 2003 Cambridge University Press.
You make a bare mention of Martin Luther. A mere sentence. Compare the significance that Luther had to the Nazis:
The Nazi “Office of Racial Policy” 1938 publication Inromationsdienst/em> gave prominent display to Martin Luther’s advice on the “proper” treatment of Jews:
“ … to put their synagogues and schools to fire, and what will not burn, to cover with earth and rubble so that no-one will ever again see anything there but cinders … Second, one should tear down and destroy their houses, for they do also in there what they do in their schools and synagogues … And third, one should confiscate their prayer books and Talmud, in which idolatry and lies, slander and blasphemy is taught (From Proctor 1988: 88).”
Proctor, Robert N.
1988 “Racial Hygiene:Medicine Under the Nazis” Boston:Harvard University Press.
The founder of Protestant Christianity was a greater inspiration to the Nazis than any scientist. Science, politicized by the same conditions that radicalized both Left, and Right, was used as justification for actions long advocated as “Christian.”
In fact, evolutionary theory, or even the minor erroneous digression of eugenics, was a trivial component of the Nazi ideology. You seem totally unaware that the Nazis ordered the collective works by Charles Darwin and Ernst Häckel were banned from all public libraries and burned.
Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279
Die Bucherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published these collection evaluation “guidelines” during the second round of “purifications” (saüberung).
6. Schriften weltanschaulichen und lebenskundlichen Charakters, deren Inhalt die falsche naturwissenschaftliche Aufklärung eines primitiven Darwinismus und Monismus ist (Häckel).
Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279
6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel)
Yet, you still assert along with creationists like Weikart and even Henry Morris that “Darwinism” contributed to Nazism. Well then, so did gravity.

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posted October 30, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Dr. Hurd,
If you do not think that the Nazis were wholeheartedly embracing Darwinism in their designs, you need to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The facts on display for all the world to see.

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Karl Giberson

posted November 4, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Dr. Hurd:
I did not intend to state that Nazism was based to any significant degree on Darwinism. I tried to be clear that the connection was rhetorical. Nazis used evolution as propaganda, not as a foundation. If you read more carefully, you will see that I am more nuanced than you first think. I will tell you that my view of Weikart’s book was negative before I began writing this chapter. I was careful not to just repeat his hyperbole.

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Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.

posted November 9, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Weikart thoroughly documented the pervasive influence of Darwinism on Hitler. He is a modern historian who lived in Germany for years, and knows how to document his case.
Two-bit christophobes like Hurd and various gutter atheist sites try to paint Hitler as a Christian, but haven’t a hope, despite Hurd’s bluffy book listing. Weikart has pointed out the following Nazi policies that can’t remotely be linked to Christianity of any sort:
1. Nazi eugenics policies, which led to the compulsory sterilization of 200,000 disabled people, forced abortions for the disabled, and in 1939 killing the disabled (about 200,000 disabled people were murdered).
2. The drive for population expansion (Darwin claimed in Descent of Man that the birthrate should not be limited, because a higher birthrate was advantageous for evolution). Hitler often expressed the same view.
3. The need for living space or Lebensraum (this was one cause of World War II, not just a minor feature). Hitler often expressed the need for living space in evolutionary terms.
4. Racial inequality—Darwin and Haeckel argued for human inequality on the basis of Darwinian evolution.
5. Anti-Marxism—the leading German Darwinist Haeckel argued that Darwinism disproved Marxism.
6. History as a racial struggle for existence.
7. The evolution of moral traits—Hitler believed that Jews had evolved bad moral traits, while Aryans had evolved good moral traits.
I would add, the extremist persecution of the Slavs, e.g. 3 million Polish Christians exterminated.
The article linked above documents the hatred of Hitler and the Nazis for Christianity. It also summarizes the book “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope” by Rabbi David Dalin, which documents that Pope Pius XII saved more Jews than Schindler. There is also a movie clip from a Nazi propaganda film which includes the confession, “We have sinned against natural selection.”

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