Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


What if James von Brunn Had Been an Intelligent Design Advocate?

posted by David Klinghoffer

For those who objected to my post yesterday quoting Holocaust Museum shooting suspect James von Brunn on the role of evolutionary doctrine, however distorted, in his rationale for racism, let me ask you a question. Try this thought experiment. If in his crazed manifesto he had somehow found support for his thinking not in evolution but in intelligent design, do you think we would have heard nothing about it from the media as in fact we’ve heard nothing (except from me) about his evolutionary thoughts? What if he had based his hate explicitly on Biblical literalist creationism? Or on Roman Catholicism? Or Evangelical Protestantism? Or Orthodox Judaism? Would that similarly have been hushed up? 

Continue the thought experiment. Let’s say, in this imaginary scenario, that the media had indeed made clear his support for intelligent design, creationism, Roman Catholicism, or what have you. Would you then be condemning the media as you condemn me?
Please tell me your answer. Honestly now, and without resorting to personal abuse if you can possibly manage it. For those who can’t manage it, please go ahead and answer anyway. I still want to hear your reply.


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Ian

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm


If he were a biblical literalist, he would have stoned his wife if she cheated on him…



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm


OK, Ian, so I’ll jot you down as preferring to dodge the question. Anyone else?



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Turmarion

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm


1. I think almost all mainstream media coverage of religion in any context is generally shallow, superficial, ignorant, and marginally competent.
2. Surveys have shown again and again that journalists, by and large, are much more secular than the public at large (hence point 1). Additionally, sensationalism sells. Thus, it’s always “good” journalism (in the sense of stirring up controversy, selling papers, and getting attention) to print stories about religious scandals, pedophile priests, gay pastors, and such. Given this, I’m sure that in your scenario, the guy’s beliefs would have been trumpeted to the high heavens. It’s much like the way that pro-life Christians all get tarred with the same brush as the fanatic types like the one who shot Tiller. Unfair, but there it is.
3. However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Yes, the media probably would unfairly trumpet the beliefs of an ID or Evangelical shooter; but does that give you license to unfairly trumpet the beliefs of a white supremacist? The only way that this makes sense is if you actually feel that Darwinism/evolution tends to lead to this sort of thing. Do you? But then, many secularists probably sincerely believe that conservative Christianity leads to abortion-doctor shootings. Both beliefs (that either evolution or conservative religious beliefs lead to fanaticism and murder) are wrong.
4. To return to what I said in the last post, to trumpet the Jewishness of Baruch Goldstein, who shot up the Muslims at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, would be to smear all Jews and to imply that Judaism intrinsically leads to such abominable actions. Do you understand that what you’re doing smears all evolutionary biologists and all who believe evolution to be scientifically correct, and implies that their scientific beliefs intrinsically lead to such abominations?
To put it bluntly, David, are you implying that teaching evolution is breeding anti-Semitic murderers or potential Hitlers? Do you realize what a smear that is? Does it bother you what you’re implying about biologists, science teachers, and scientists around the world?



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Glen Davidson

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm


Continue the thought experiment.

Yes, let’s.
Suppose he had believed in Mendelian genetics (or at least a distortion of same) and artificial selection, do you think the media would report that?
Oh, that’s right, he does, and they didn’t.
As to whether they’d report if he had believed in ID or creationism, well, did they announce it in the case of Roeder? I didn’t pay that much attention, but I didn’t hear it. I don’t know if he is a creationist. It likely isn’t relevant.
I don’t recall ever saying that the media are fair. What does that have to do with doing the right thing?
The fact of the matter, however, is that I do not think that an IDist or other creationist would be identified as such if they killed.

If in his crazed manifesto he had somehow found support for his thinking not in evolution but in intelligent design, do you think we would have heard nothing about it from the media

Not at the level at which von Brunn used “genetic” and “evolutionary” rationalizations I frankly do not think that it would be mentioned–or if it were, it would be listed in context, unlike how you did it. That’s just it, his twisted view of evolution is only “support,” not the primary reasons given, and almost certainly nothing but a convenient-seeming rationalization.

What if he had based his hate explicitly on Biblical literalist creationism? Or on Roman Catholicism? Or Evangelical Protestantism? Or Orthodox Judaism? Would that similarly have been hushed up?

Von Brunn did not base his hate “explicitly” on evolutionary ideas or modern genetics. At most they played a “supporting role” to a truly bizarre set of conspiracy theories about Jews, false histories, and racial prejudices. Your analogy fails because you do not account for the prominence played by fictions and, likely, paranoia, vs. the rather minor “support” he claimed for his violent tendencies from his misinterpretations of genetics and evolution.
If his main “reason” for his violence were attributed to ID, Biblical literalism, Catholicism, evolutionary thought, or the like, that would be reported. But even then not as you did, with the claim that “ideas have consequences,” because even the media have more sense than to suppose that a murderer’s claims are to be taken at face value.
Tell me this, did Cho’s religious rantings about Jesus, and his Christian upbringing, play a major role in the reporting of the reasons for the Virginia Tech massacre? No, they did not. Why? Because Cho was crazy, and no one believed that he was really playing the role of Christ, even before the shootings. The guy had serious mental problems, and religion only channeled those.
As far as we can tell, evolutionary thought and genetics are likewise only channels and rationalizations for von Brunn’s racial hatred and delusional projections of imagined crimes onto the Jews. Seriously, if you read von Brunn at all closely, his real “reasons” are that Jews are out to cause all sorts of corruptions and takeovers. That’s his main “reason” given for his diatribes and violence.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm


Turmarion, I’m not trumpeting anything. I don’t have the power to trumpet anything. I’m one journalist with a blog, that’s it. What I did do was *mention* the fact in public. That is all. Had I not done so, then the fact would have remained totally unknown. Would that have been preferable?
I don’t see how merely quoting Von Brunn’s words smears other Darwin believers. But just so you know, and you probably do know, Darwinism as a justification for racism was incredibly common and mainstream *among scientists* for most of the first century following the publication of the Origin and Descent. The biology textbook that was at the center of the Scopes trial, Hunter’s “A Civic Biology,” advocated evolution, racism, and eugenics. Should that fact also be hushed up?



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John Pieret

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm


“But then, many secularists probably sincerely believe that conservative Christianity leads to abortion-doctor shootings.”
According to Dan Mathewson, Assistant Professor of Religion at Wofford College, the secular media did downplay the impetus Scott Roeder’s Christian beliefs had in his shooting of Dr. Tiller.
Do I believe that “the media” would have played up an ID connection? No. Do I believe that some few bloggers on my side of the science/ID divide would have been as disingenuous as you? Unfortunately, yes.



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm


John Pieret, you write: “Do I believe that “the media” would have played up an ID connection? No.” Sometime I’d like to visit the planet you live on. Sounds like a civilized place.



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Glen Davidson

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm


The biology textbook that was at the center of the Scopes trial, Hunter’s “A Civic Biology,” advocated evolution, racism, and eugenics. Should that fact also be hushed up?

It’s all context, you know.
What did you leave out, David?
I’ll tell you what you left out, you left out the fact that the lawyer defending Scopes, Clarence Darrow, wrote a scathing attack on eugenics. What is more, it largely died out in the US in the 30s, no thanks to creationists like yourself.
Why don’t you find out what the creationist (or at least non-evolutionist) textbook said? It would not surprise me if it, too, favored eugenics. But even if it didn’t, why is it that evolutionists could either be pro-eugenicist or anti-eugenists. Indeed, why were there creationist eugenicists? Was creationism a hotbed of anti-eugenicist activity? If not, why not?
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



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Ian

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm


No to stoning? Maybe he’d create a contraversy where there is none. That would seem to be consistent with at least one case I know of.



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John Pieret

posted June 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm


“Sometime I’d like to visit the planet you live on. Sounds like a civilized place.”
In other words, you have neither reason or facts to support your contention that all the media is as crass as you.
By the way, will you emphasize the fact that eugenics was a gross distortion of Darwin’s theory and had its heyday in the era dubbed “the Eclipse of Darwin,” when natural selection was generally considered a minor factor in evolution if it had any effect at all? Will you link your constant eugenics tar brush to J.B.S. Haldane’s demonstration in 1927 that eugenics could not work? I know you wouldn’t think to link it to the Bible’s use as justification for slavery just a few decades before, a sad episode in religion’s history every bit as relevant to religion today as eugenics is to modern evolutionary science.



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Your Name

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm


Truthfully David–if Von Brunn had advocated Intelligent Design, I would have paid no more heed to that than I did to his ravings about Jews, evolution, and every other subject. You don’t seem to grasp that Von Brunn has a sick mind. Whatever he had to say about anything is no justification for your barely disguised interpretation that his “thoughts” (if you can call them thoughts) were somehow related to the tragic shooting in a semi-sacred place. Do you have anything constructive to say about the wisdom of the Bible–which is, after all, the reason for your blog. Or will you go on (and on and on) about Darwin, evolution, & intelligent design? If so, please rename your blog or stop writing it.



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm


Whitewash alert: John P. claims, “[E]ugenics was a gross distortion of Darwin’s theory.”
From the “Descent of Man”:
“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men . . . do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment. . . . Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”



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Glen Davidson

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm


David, can you distinguish between a theory from the commentary surrounding it?
Because it looks as if you can’t, and if it is true that you can’t, that would explain a lot of your misconceptions.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



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Ted Herrlich

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm


No matter what drove von Brunn, I believe it would have been covered in the news. This is a tragedy! Only someone like you would use it as propaganda for your masters over at the DI.
What drove him is less an issue that his actions. I don’t know what drives you, but it certainly is not intellectual honesty and an understanding of evolutionary theory.
In my opinion von Brunn is as much a ‘Evolutionist’ as you are a respected scientist and philosopher.



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm


Glen writes: “David, can you distinguish between a theory from the commentary surrounding it?” In Darwin’s own writing the theory and its implications/application are all entangled. The great man himself set down his thoughts that way. In understanding his legacy, that’s what we have to deal with. Trying to disentangle the threads for him, tossing out the applications of the theory as Darwin himself saw it as if they didn’t exist, amounts to a whitewash and a coverup.



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PStryder

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm


1: Von Brunn did not have evolutionary thoughts. Von Brunn does not understand evolution. What Von Brunn understands is his own hate-fueled racism.
2: My ire with you was in NOT pointing out that Von Brunn has no understanding of the science of evolution.
3: You didn’t point out his lack of understanding of the science of evolution for one of two possible reasons:
a: You don’t understand evolution either, or
b: You do understand evolution, and were deliberately conflating this nut-job’s views with the science of evolution for your own ends.
So which is it?



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Glen Davidson

posted June 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm


In Darwin’s own writing the theory and its implications/application are all entangled.

Does that explain to you why we don’t call evolution “Darwinism”? It’s not the only reason, naturally, because the theory has changed a good deal since his day, from the addition of genetics to ideas of “neutral evolution” and of sympatric and allopatric speciation.
The theory, though, has never been what Darwin wrote, regardless of how he mixed up his musing with the explication of his theory.

In understanding his legacy, that’s what we have to deal with.

That is indeed true, but it has little or nothing to do with how we understand evolution today. You’re now confusing the history of science with the science.

Trying to disentangle the threads for him, tossing out the applications of the theory as Darwin himself saw it as if they didn’t exist, amounts to a whitewash and a coverup.

Yes, if you do so in a biography or in a history of evolutionary science.
If you’re doing evolutionary science, you deal with theory and ignore Darwin’s Victorian beliefs. No one even reads Darwin in order to understand the present theory, except insofar as they are interested in the historical context.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



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UppruniTegundanna

posted June 11, 2009 at 7:01 pm


Well, it’s a good question, but I think people end up getting so caught up in trying to shoehorn people who have done bad things into whatever their particular political or social disagreement is, that they miss the bigger issue. James VonBrunn was a White Seperatist, a racists, anti-semite, generally he ignored all of the last 200 years of moral philosophy which indicates that it is illogical and immoral to judge a human being on anything other than their actions (and to a lesser extent, their words). Whether Von Brunn accepted evolution or not, wether he preferred ID or not, whether he believed in God or not, is beside the issue – what we need to look at in these situations is what is the issue or ideology that superceded all these things? It was his racism. His insistence that we have to look at people in terms of superificial differences and that solipsistic desire to think of oneself as automatically better than others.
This is what we all need to fight, Christian, atheist, jew, muslim etc – the view that “I get to be better than all others, simply because I am me”.
Well, that’s my two cents!



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Turmarion

posted June 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm


PStryder and Glen: Excellent posts–major dittos from me.
David: What I did do was *mention* the fact [of von Brunn's beliefs] in public. That is all. Had I not done so, then the fact would have remained totally unknown. Would that have been preferable?
Whether it would have been preferable depends on whether one sees it as relevant or not. For example, if such a person were a member of a white supremacist church such as the Church of the Creator, or a hate group such as the Aryan Nation, that would obviously be relevant and should be reported, since such membership might be relevant to the action and might presage similar actions by other members. If he claimed to have been inspired by a very controversial commentator, newspaper, or TV show, that might be relevant, if there was a possibility of causality. However, if he were a Presbyterian, or a member of the Rotary Club or a reader of The Wall Street Journal, that would not be relevant information, and thus it wouldn’t really matter much if it were reported or not. We presume that Presbyterians, Rotarians, or WSJ readers have no higher liklihood of being a homicidal maniac than anyone else.
So, is believing in evolution more like being a Presbyterian or a member of the Church of the Creator? Is it more like being a Rotarian or a Nazi? Is such information relevant in that other “evolutionists” may be waiting in the wings to lay more people low? In short, is there a logical, causal connection between believing in evolution and being a mass murderer? I asked you this question directly, and I note that you avoided answering it. What about it?
Parenthetically I don’t even think it’s established that von Brunn is an “evolutionist”. Many conservative Christians have strong views about the “mixing of the races” and “inferior stock” while at the same time taking Genesis extremely literally and disbelieving evolution. I didn’t see any mention in von Brunn’s writings about Darwin or evolution at all. As I’ve pointed out before, the Spaniards were talking racist, anti-Semitic crap about limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) long before Darwin was even born! They certainly didn’t believe in evolution, but their beliefs on races and Judaism would have done von Brunn proud!
I don’t see how merely quoting von Brunn’s words smears other Darwin believers.
Also, you have steadfastly refused to acknowledge that correlation is not at all the same thing as causation. E.g. Christians have cited chapter and verse and written tomes to justify anti-Semitism, slavery, racism, etc. over the centuries. Thankfully, most Christians have overcome this. Does this mean, though, that being a Christian causes you to be an anti-Semite or racist? Does being pro-life cause you to shoot an abortion doctor? Does being Jewish cause you to slaughter Muslims? Heck, that guy that shot up the Unitarian church in Tennessee last year explicity said he was doing it because they’re liberal, and liberals are ruining this country. Does this mean that being a conservative predisposes you to murderous rampages?
You’re being very much disingenuous. I think we’d all agree that the church’s shooter’s use of conservative principles as an excuse for his murders is a twisted excuse, not something to be laid at the feet of conservatives. Baruch Goldstein’s justification of his actions by Jewish principle was a scandalous, monstrous lie, not the insidious fruit of Jewish belief. The guy who shot Dr. Tiller was a disgrace to the pro-life movement, not the inevitable outcome of it. I assume you agree with all this, right? So tell me: how is what you’re saying any different?
You are stating this in big, bold heads: James von Brunn, Evolutionist! Surely you see that the unsubtle implication is, “This is what evolutionism ends in! This is its result!” Then, when you’re called on it, you retreat to saying you “merely quoted” von Brunn or that you don’t see how it smears other believers in evolution. Come on! Are you saying that if there had been a big headline, “Baruch Goldstein: Jew!” whose writer said, “Judaism as a justification for anti-Islamic actions was incredibly common and mainstream among Jews,” that that wouldn’t be a smear, even if it could be proved true (and I don’t think it is true)?!
But just so you know, and you probably do know, Darwinism as a justification for racism was incredibly common and mainstream *among scientists* for most of the first century following the publication of the Origin and Descent. The biology textbook that was at the center of the Scopes trial, Hunter’s “A Civic Biology,” advocated evolution, racism, and eugenics. Should that fact also be hushed up?
I am quite aware of all the facts you mention here, and I would hope that any intelligent person who has some knowledge of the history of science and American history would know that, too. Then again, Christianity as a justification for anti-Semitism was incredibly common and mainstream among Christians for centuries, and no, that shouldn’t be “hushed up”. But that doesn’t mean that Christianity is false–it means that too many Christians drew the wrong conclusions from the teachings of their founder (Jesus was certainly no anti-Semite!), and that too many racists were Christians. It also does not mean that Christianity inevitably of its nature leads to anti-Semitism. If that were true, it would indeed be an evil and false religion. But that’s not true!
Likewise, no amount of “mainstream” Darwinian justification of racism has anything to do with whether or not its scientifically true! Right? Too many scientists drew the wrong conclusions from their science, and too many racists were scientists. If necessary linkage of evolution and racism were true, it would indeed be an evil belief–but such necessary linkage is not true! Yes, we should know about the racism of the early evolutionists–not in order to make us say, “Gee, that’s so awful–it must be untrue,” but to make us say, “Gee, that’s awful–in light of the firm scientific establishment of the evidence, that means we must educate people that racist ideas are not synonymous with or logically to be drawn from evolution. They need to understand that it’s a mechanism, not a metaphysic.” Likewise, remembering the Christian roots of anti-Semitism shouldn’t make people leave the faith, but extirpate anti-Semitism and to realize that it need not be associated with Christians or Christianity. Do you see the analogy?
Finally, you use very subtle polemical language: “Should that be hushed up?”–as if there is some massive conspiracy to keep from the public just how evil and ugly evolution is, how it leads people to become racists and murderers. Ditto in your later post talking about “whitewashes or coverups”. Or do you deny the implication? I think we should know how early evolutionary scientists and biologists were racist so that we can understand how mistaken they were in thinking racism followed from evolution (it doesn’t); just as everyone should know about the anti-Semitism of Christians, so that we can understand how mistaken they were in thinking anti-Semitism folled from Christianity (it doesn’t). Do you see? Do you deny the analogy? Or if you do, on what conceivable grounds?
Once again, David, I really like your writing, and you write very powerfully and movingly on many things. I think, though, that you have a huge blind spot on evolution, for whatever reason. You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to (though that’s equivalent to denying the sphericity of the Earth), but ad hominems, name calling, and smears like this are totally inappropriate and way, way beneath you. Certainly, if you want to have any kind of dialogue at all with the other side (some of which, I know, are as bad or worse–and I’d say the same to them), this isn’t the way to do it.



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Maor Ray

posted June 11, 2009 at 8:06 pm


The low forehead Von Brunn is now one of your colleagues just because he agrees with your views on evolution. It appears that you are willing to overlook his racial hatred because his of his so-called Intelligence. Since when can stupid and intelligence occupy the same space? Current world views and advance academic degrees are based on the tradition of men. However, obtaining them does not make one more qualified to find truth. It is the dejected and often misunderstood scholar who seeks G_D who discovers truth. I know this because I have earned the most prestigious of your degrees, but I never found truth until I found G_D.



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Matt Silberstein

posted June 11, 2009 at 9:44 pm


Basing a doctrine on evolution is no more, and no less, sensible or significant as basing a doctrine on physics. “What goes up must come down” is a quasi-true statement about things in the world. If someone used that in a political view they would just be silly. If someone used geocentrism to then show that, for example, their church should be the center of humanity, that is wrong of several levels. One does not pick wrong and bad science at random, one picks it for the ideas, the ideology involved. One uses correct science because that is how the world works.
I hope that helps.



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Pope Disturban the Vth

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:19 am


“Since when can stupid and intelligence occupy the same space?”
I’m guessing you’ve never met an actual human being, then? In my experience, being “intelligent” has never stopped people from believing stupid things–it just makes them ARGUE for their crazy beliefs that much more eloquently.



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Mats

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:48 am


If the killer had been an ID advocate, the Obama media would be all over the place using that as means ot show the “dangers” of believing in so called “unscientific” theories. Now that we know tha he was an evolutionist, the Obama media is silent about it.
Thank God for Fox News and other news agencies who are not working for Obama, but working for the people.



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JLT

posted June 12, 2009 at 4:46 am


David Klinghoffer
June 11, 2009 5:08 PM
Ah yes. The same quote from Darwin’s The Decent of Men, again with the same omissons. Here’s the full quote:
“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.”



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Ebenezer

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:23 am


Re: the thought experiment.
To tackle the questions asked:
[quote]Try this thought experiment. If in his crazed manifesto he had somehow |found support for his thinking not in evolution but in intelligent design, do you think we would have heard nothing about it from the media as in fact we’ve heard nothing (except from me) about his evolutionary thoughts?[/quote]
I must admit that I am not sufficiently familiar with the full scope of US journalism to answer that question. However I would like to add, that the question itself is besides the point.
Your article advanced a theory (Darwinism as root cause for the shooting) that, in scope and content, was rather far-fetched. As I said, I am in no position to pass judgement on the US press. However, even if the press would indeed have descended to an equal level of fallacy, this would not improve the reasoning of your article an iota.
In advancing a theory one is bound to substantiate it. Rational argument is not about scoring points, but about advancing thought through discourse. Therefore, sloppy thinking has to be called upon [b]regardless [/b]of whether the other side indulges in sloppy thinking too.
[quote]Would that similarly have been hushed up? [/quote]
And here’s the crux with this “defence”. For some reason you fail to tackle the criticisms of your article directly. Instead you claim that the article was essentially correct and is merely ignored (hushed up) for ideological reasons. This is conspiratory thinking. Given the sound criticisms of your article it is simply most likely that it is ignored simply because it is inconsistent and does not support it’s conclusions.
[quote]Would you then be condemning the media as you condemn me?[/quote]
I should hope so. Realistically though, I would be probably be angry about the idiocy of the author without taking action. However, this is simply due to the fact that I can count on the “opposing camp” to deliver the deserved trashing (one of the beauties of open public discourse). Should these criticisms not be forthcoming, I would indeed feel compelled to deliver them myself.
Bad arguments for your own position do hurt that position in the long run and should therefore be put down early.
For the same reason I consider defending that article further a fools notion (unless you have a load of good arguments you “forgot” to add in the first round). No amount of hinting at partisan reception will improve the arguments itself.



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Your Name

posted June 12, 2009 at 7:49 am


James von Brunn wasn’t gunning for creationists. Evolution has nothing to do with the story or his actions. There’s no reason the press should have said anything about it. It’s silly if that’s what you see in it.



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tarbo

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:09 am


Klinghofer’s responce to Van Brunn is just another bizarre example of the flailing the Discovery Institute and the Neo-Con Right does to try to advance thier position. Van Brunn was a ‘Christian’ not an evolutionist. All those White supremacist, Neo-Nazis are christians who hate evolution and do support intelligent design.
And Fox News is the voice of the people? Well, you’re right on that one. Fox is the voice of the people ; Neo-cons wanting to take over the country for the fabulously few wealthy people.



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WAH

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:30 am


What’s your point? Seriously. Try to make your argument complete and explicit. I imagine you’ll see the problem. (I hope you’ll see the problem.)



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Charles Cosimano

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:25 am


The fact that an elderly nutcase believes in something that is true does not make it any less true. There are all manner of things that get distorted in the minds of those whose minds do not work very well.
Evolution is a truth based upon observed data. The data and the truth do not change because someone misuses it.



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Zevulun

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:31 am


Honestly, aren’t you reaching here? Your thought experiment is incomplete and obtuse, for this man was deluded in other ways, too.
What troubles me is that you’re writing these things under the subtitle of “recovering the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible.”



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Raging Bee

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:37 am


Klinghoffer: thanks to JLT reposting your Darwin quote WITH THE BITS YOU DELIBERATELY LEFT OUT, you now stand exposed as a quote-mining liar. What, if anything, do you have to say for yourself?
IF you’re really serious about “recovering the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible,” you’d remember this bit: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Sound familiar?
Recovering the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible — UR DOIN IT WRONG!



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NH

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:46 am


I presume that both Adolph Hitler and James von Brunn believed in the theory of gravity too. That doesn’t make the idea of gravity any less valid, or any more dangerous to society.



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm


Doyou see these words, “however distorted” in your own post?
Have you no shame sir?



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DavidF

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm


David K is simply making the point here that we are failing to soberly and objectively assess people and their actions. If there is some killing–people need to see if the killer fits within one’s own ideological biases. If the killer is primarily simply a monster with distant connections to the opposing ideology–the case David K is alluding to–is there any doubt that the liberal media would greatly over-play such a connection?
This is easy to surmise given the fact this man hated the neo-cons, the Weekly Standard and right wing Jews and yet, the spin says he is a man of the Right. All evidence suggests he is a man of the Left–so the left recoils in the same way when 19 Muslims hijacked planes for 9/11, the Muslim community sweared up and down they could not be Muslims, it is all a lie and the Jews really did it.
But David’s hypothetical is very unlikely since anyone who understands creation and the physical world as the product of design is not going to set out to destroy. This is why there can be no doubt that Darwinism was a factor in the murderous Nazi and Communist regimes since they deny a plan and a purpose and empower the most fit to mold reality to their will.



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John Pieret

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm


As to David’s “Whitewash alert” and quote mine so dishonest that even Ben Stein has disavowed it, JLT has already given the full quote. Furthermore, Darwin never advocated “negative eugenics,” where government forcibly prevents certain people from breeding but only lukewarmly supported “positive eugenics” where the government encouraged the most “fit” to breed … you know, like tax breaks for the wealthy. It too wouldn’t work under Darwin’s own theory but no one is claiming that Darwin was an infallible prophet.
Negative eugenics was deemed necessary based mostly on Alpheus Hyatt’s idea of species senescence (where species would degenerate after reaching an adaptive maximum — similar to creationist claims that we have degenerated since the more robust immediate descendents of Adam and Eve) and was thought to be staving off the inevitable decline of humans.
So why not an outcry against Hyatt? That’s simple … everyone would go “Who?” and it would be of no use in a public relations campaign against modern science based on innuendo and smears and nothing else.



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Raging Bee

posted June 12, 2009 at 1:33 pm


…the Muslim community sweared up and down they could not be Muslims, it is all a lie and the Jews really did it.
First, the word is “swore,” not “sweared.” Second, the “Muslim community” as a whole have long admitted that 9/11 was indeed perpetrated by Muslims; the denialists and scapegoaters were a small minority of Muslims. Your attempt to accuse “the Muslim community” of such a huge lie is just plain pathetic.
But David’s hypothetical is very unlikely since anyone who understands creation and the physical world as the product of design is not going to set out to destroy.
Really? No one who believed in a Creator-God ever set out to destroy anything anywhere? No one ever set out to destroy anything before Darwin was born? Have you EVER read ANY history?
Rescuing Klinghoffer from embarrassment — UR DOIN IT WRONG! Not that Klinghoffer is rescuable at this point…



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Your Name

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm


Are you that confident that he isn’t? It’s fairly safe for you to pretend that Hitler was an evolutionist, but von Brunn is still alive. If you were to ask him directly if he believed he shared a common ancestor with a chimpanzee, I wonder how he would answer. If you had the chance would you have the courage to ask him to clarify his beliefs or are you satisfied with a quote that you can interpret or misinterpret as you see fit?



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LazerA

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:10 pm


DavidF wrote:

But David’s hypothetical is very unlikely since anyone who understands creation and the physical world as the product of design is not going to set out to destroy. This is why there can be no doubt that Darwinism was a factor in the murderous Nazi and Communist regimes since they deny a plan and a purpose and empower the most fit to mold reality to their will.

History would certainly seem to indicate that totalitarian regimes with atheistic ideologies are capable of evil on a far greater scale and with far less compunction than those that ascribe to a theistic belief system. This is especially true if the theistic system exists independently of the state.
Nevertheless, belief in a Creator, by itself, clearly does not guarantee that a group or individual will not “set out to destroy”. For example, Islamic terrorists, by and large, clearly do believe in Creation by God with a definite plan and purpose. History abounds with such examples.



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm


“But David’s hypothetical is very unlikely since anyone who understands creation and the physical world as the product of design is not going to set out to destroy.”
Epic. Fail.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/scottish-backpacker-stabbed-to-death-after-creationism-row-765266.html
Thanks for playing.
This incident also fully addresses the ridiculous hypothetical. Nobody trumpeted this isolated incident as a means to discredit creationism. There are other valid reasosn to do so.



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Roger

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm


Hmmm, lets go from “thought experiment” to reality. Here is an article I recently stumbled upon from December, 2007:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/scottish-backpacker-stabbed-to-death-after-creationism-row-765266.html
I wonder how the liberal evolution-biased U.S. media missed this. A creationist killed a believer in evolution. Shall we blame ID for this since ID is really creationism in different clothes, right?
The killer was found guilty of manslaughter but acquitted of murder. After all, as the judge said, he was “a person of good character”. He got a 3-5 year jail sentence.
“And you want to tell me that ideas don’t have consequences?”
Seems like your ideas have consequences also.



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Turmarion

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm


In the interest of keeping some essential questions out of the morass of overlong posts (some of which are mine!), and of trying to get David to respond to some questions he hasn’t answered yet (with appreciation for the ones he did answer a few threads ago):
1. Do you, David, believe that the teaching and promotion of evolution is somehow creating a milieu that is breeding killers like von Brunn or potential Hitlers?
2. If the answer to 1. is “no”, then what is the relevance of von Brunn’s beliefs?
3. Do you think that all the nasty things you mention (eugenics, shootings, etc.) are the necessary and inevitable outcome of evolution; or are you willing to admit that these may be mere twisted interpretations that are not representative of current thought among current biologists?
4. Do you understand the analogy I’ve made with Christianity and anti-Semitism, i.e. that some want to argue that Christianity necessarily and inevitably leads to anti-Semitism, when in fact this is not representative or true of most modern Christianity? If you don’t accept the analogy, what’s the difference?
5. Do you understand how your statements are seen by those who support evolution as vicious smears and slurs despite your repeated insistence that you don’t intend that? Do you understand how this poisons any possible dialogue?
6. Given stuff like this and this, are you willing to concede at least the possibility that much of the Nazi atrocities, eugenics, etc. might have happened anyway, or at least that there are pre-Darwinian sources for them?
You say you want dialogue, but when you are asked direct questions like this you seem very reluctant to respond. You’ve answered some of my questions in the past–that’s a good start. How about it now?



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BT

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm


Thank you, JLT and John Pieret, for your lucid and thorough posts!



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DavidF

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm


>
No-this is not what I said–and I did not make any blanket statement concerning all of human history I said going forward from today–it is incredibly unlikely that someone who in today’s context who espouses ID theory would intentionally destroy in this manner. This killer was obviously no Christian much less an ID theorist.
Now concerning all of history–have Christian ever destroyed anything–well, yes. Those who hate and destroy are not likely to be in today’s context religious Christians or Jews. If bombs are going off that intentionally kill innocents–it is fair to assume that those bombs either come from Muslims or atheists. If there are exceptions–sure, there can be rare exceptions.
Who can disagree with statements that are so obviously valid? Random violence comes from those who subscribe to randomness and a murderous ideology–not Judaism or today’s Christianity.



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Glen Davidson

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm


David’s feeling sorry for himself:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/06/is_it_somehow_petty_offensive.html
He just mentioned what von Brunn said, you know. How can that be so wrong?
Then he gets into the same old nonsense. He thinks the dark history of religion shouldn’t be ignored, so why should Hitler’s mangling of the already pseudoscientific Social Darwinism not count against “Darwinism”?
Why shouldn’t science be re-thought because of how it’s been misused? Huh? That’s fair, isn’t it? Never a mention of how Mendel’s (originally) genetics were misused, but oh that “Darwinism…”
No answers to what we’ve been saying, no apologies for taking von Brunn’s remarks completely out of context, and ignoring the overwhelming importance of the rampant anti-Semitic conspiracy theories actually driving von Brunn. No, David just feels sorry for himself because it can’t be so wrong to point out the truth.
Btw, there he doesn’t mind linking this nonsense his single-minded attempt to tar “Darwinism” for Columbine and whatever else he can find any kind of connection at all to “Darwinism,” however weak and beside the point. He’s not going to get any replies at the DI’s website, of course, since they don’t allow comments.
I think we’ve found the one thing David’s good at. Whining.
Glen Davidson
tinyurl.com/6mb592



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Glen Davidson

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:52 pm


This from the Klinghoffer remarks linked in my previous post is particularly egregious:

Ironically, the day of the Holocaust Museum shooting, an interesting new Jewish web magazine, Tablet, published a fascinating scholarly essay by Paula Fredriksen about how under the Nazis, some German theologians tried to fit Jesus into a Nazi mold. They drew on anti-Jewish writings widely available in Christian tradition.
Is it “beyond the pale” to point this out? No, of course not. So what’s the difference? I would say it’s not only appropriate to document the dark side of religion. It’s necessary. The Anti-Defamation League commented on the Holocaust Museum shooting, pointing to this “reminder that words of hate matter, that we can never afford to ignore hate because words of hate can easily become acts of hate, no matter the place, no matter the age of the hatemonger.”

Yes, what’s the difference? We all know that Darwinists have pledged loyalty to Darwin like Christians pledge their lives to Jesus, so it’s exactly the same thing, you know.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not gunning at Christianity, or meaning to comment on it at all beyond what is necessary. What I’m pointing out is the extreme absurdity of the notion that evolutionary theory, “Darwinism” in David’s parlance, is anything like a religion, any more than relativity is.
Einsteinism was practiced when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, you know.
Have any “Darwinists” ever done anything in the name of Darwin, or in the name of “Darwinism”? Of course not, what a stupid concept. Christians have committed acts for the sake of Christ/Christianity, and Jews have done things in the name of G-D/Judaism, by contrast, and we can judge adherents of either religion on what they have done for their religion, good or bad. Muslims to, etc., etc.
But that’s why David and the other IDiots (I use that in retaliation for his name-calling) keep calling evolutionary theory “Darwinism,” exactly in order to pretend that it is like a religion, that it should be judged morally. Because that is what he does, rather than looking at it open-mindedly like a person acting in good faith would do. It’s also why he wrote this yesterday:

In Darwin’s own writing the theory and its implications/application are all entangled. The great man himself set down his thoughts that way. In understanding his legacy, that’s what we have to deal with. Trying to disentangle the threads for him, tossing out the applications of the theory as Darwin himself saw it as if they didn’t exist, amounts to a whitewash and a coverup.

He treats Darwin like he does rabbis when discussing religion. The latter is fine, of course, because that’s what one often does in religion, cites authorities.
That is not what we do with science, of course. Darwin is not who we turn to in order to decide things, we look to theory to guide us, and to evidence to inform us.
He can never treat science right, though. His latest on the DI blog is just so much pretense that “Darwinists” do such and such, when I have never known anybody who did anything except science (rarely even then) as a “Darwinist.” None of us is a “Darwinist,” and only call ourselves “evolutionists” for the sake of convenience in these battles (realistically, we aren’t “evolutionists” any more than we are “relativists” or “quantumists,” we simply don’t deny the reasonable inferences in physics and biology).
But to David we will always be labels, specifically, “Darwinists,” because he does not judge evolutionary theory or the people who don’t deny them on the merits of evolutionary theory, rather he judges evolution and us morally on the basis of his religion. That he cannot cease from doing, or he’ll have to admit that he has been ignorantly and horribly wrong.
And you see just how good he is at admitting that he was wrong.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/6mb592



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elvisizer

posted June 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm


david, all your ‘thought experiments’ assume that there is a conspiracy to ‘hush up’ the connection to evolution here. The problem is, there is no connection, so there is nothing to hush up!
Also, I noticed in the first article that you continue to insist that there are connections between Darwin and Mein Kampf. Have you read Mein Kampf? Hitler says straight out in it that he’s a creationist! here’s the quote (from Volume 2, Chapter 10): “For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties. Whoever destroys His work wages war against God’s Creation and God’s Will.”



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Roger

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm


After reading what David wrote at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/06/is_it_somehow_petty_offensive.html (one of many Discovery Institute sites), it seems that what he wrote here is very mild in comparison.
“It’s historically undeniable that Darwinian thinking forms a thread linking some of the most reprehensible social movements of the past 150 years.”
“Why would the incredibly popular and influential work called Mein Kampf not be a reason to think twice about Darwinism?”
“What’s not reasonable is to give Darwinism’s social influence a special pass, forbidding any mention of it as somehow out of bounds. Very far from reasonable indeed, it’s nothing less than a cover-up.”
David tries to appear as if he is giving a balanced view: “It’s also the case that ideas have consequences and knowing those consequences can rightly prompt us to look with renewed skepticism at a given idea, whether religious or scientific. 9/11 was a good reason to go back and take a second look at Islam. Not to reject it, but to consider it critically. The Crusades are a good reason to do the same with Christianity. Not to reject it, but to think twice. That’s all.”
Yes, those are reprehensible, but they were not the result of the insane thinking and act of a single person like von Brunn. David several times has mentioned that he thinks von Brunn was sick and a “wacko”. Should we give the same weight of consideration to the ravings of maniacs as we do social/cultural movements? Should we “look with renewed skepticism at a given idea” when we find that the Virginia Tech killer considered himself as being persecuted like Jesus Christ or when we find that Charles Manson was an avid bible reader and went on his killing spree partly based on his readings of Revelations?
Of course not. I think most reasonable people understand that the ravings of the insane are just that, ravings. Does David advancing the idea that evolution was somehow responsible for von Brunn going off the deep end of any use? Does it have anything useful to say about the discussion between ID and evolution. No.
BTW, somehow my first comment on this thread has not appeared. I got a message that it was pending approval of the blog owner. However, my second comment appeared promptly. I wonder what the difference was.



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Roger

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:11 pm


Frankly, I thought David’s “thought experiment” was more to misdirect the heat from his thoughtlessness onto an easy target. The obviously biased liberal media. It’s not David’s fault that “we’ve heard nothing (except from me) about his [von Brunn's] evolutionary thoughts”. Sure, lets ignore the other 99.9% of von Brunn’s racist diatribe and concentrate solely on the few paragraphs that might vaguely indict evolution as the REAL culprit.
David says, “No, he doesn’t cite Darwin by name in the part of his book that’s readable online — the first 6 of 12 chapters. But do you get the general drift? And you want to tell me that ideas don’t have consequences?” [wink, wink, nudge, nudge]
So, vaguely mentioned ideas by people not named means they are responsible for the actions of lunatics? I guess we should condemn all of Christianity because the Virginia Tech killer likened himself to Jesus Christ and Charles Manson was an avid bible reader and based his murder spree on Revelations?
Yes, ideas “have consequences” like the idea of taxation without representation led to the American Revolution. I guess they must have been crazy too.



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David Klinghoffer

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:16 pm


Elvisizer, I never claimed that Hitler’s writing is coherent. It’s a grab bag, no question. But first of all, as I’ve already clarified in this thread, Hitler’s God, as he himself puts it, is “Eternal Nature” (Vol. 1, Ch. 2, end). More importantly, the sentence you quote is in no way an action plan for the Holocaust or anything else significant about Hitler. It’s a sop. “You shall not kill”? We know he didn’t believe that. What he did believe and put into action is much better reflected in Vol. 1, Ch. 11, “Nation and Race,” which is pure Darwin: “Struggle is always a mean for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefor, a cause of its higher development,” etc.



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Turmarion

posted June 12, 2009 at 9:39 pm


I read the same article at the other side that Glen cited, and I wanted to point out a couple things regarding it, as well. I note with interest the quote:
Why would the incredibly popular and influential work called Mein Kampf not be a reason to think twice about Darwinism? Not to reject it, but to get yourself properly informed and make up your own mind rather than simply go along with the prestige culture and media view.
Here David is fully (and falsely) equating a scientific theory with religion. In fact, further down, he says:
It doesn’t negate the point to remind me that Hitler put his own wicked spin on kindly Charles Darwin’s words…Nor that today’s evolutionary scientists, unlike their fairly recent predecessors, do not truck with racism (though some certainly do truck with anti-religious agitation, reserving special venom for the God of the Hebrew Bible). All these same things could be said about religion-based haters of today and centuries past. They too distort their tradition. Yet they emerge from it, and so, again, that’s a sound reason to give a second, skeptical look to the relevant religious traditions. (emphasis added)
This paragraph makes it completely clear that David views scientific theories (and like many Americans, he erroneously identifies “theory” with “hypothesis”, which he further misunderstands as “mere guess”) as pretty much no different from religions. It’s especially ironic that he comments on those who “reserve special venom for the God of the Hebrew Bible”, and then three sentences later says that distortion of religious tradition is a “sound reason to give a second, skeptical look to the relevant religious traditions.” Given that the Hebrew Bible itself mandates genocide (“kill every one that pisseth against the wall”–I’m not going to bother to give specific quotes, since I’ve done it before–just read Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel, and I and II Chronicles for highlights, and Google “Amalek”), this is, to say the least, either hilarious, droll, inconsistent, or way out there, depending on one’s point of view.
By the way, as a Christian myself, I’m not attacking Christianity or Judaism. It’s just that if the less savory aspects of the Hebrew Bible were brought up to David as an attack on his faith, he’d take issue with it, no doubt, but is at the same time claiming that negative fallout from religion merits a second look at those traditions. Can’t have it both ways!
In any case, the equation of scientific theory and religion is totally specious. Evolution or any other scientific theory, regardless of any social, moral, or metaphysical implications, good or bad, stands or falls solely based on empirical grounds rooted in the scientific method. One might “make up one’s own mind” about a religion, since no religion can be either proved or disproved empirically or philosophically; better or worse reasons for adherence might be put forth, but that’s not the same as proof. On the other hand, regardless of evolution’s reputed socio-cultural effects, “making up one’s own mind” on it makes no more sense than making up one’s own mind on the spherical shape of the Earth, or heliocentrism, or the speed of light. These are demonstrable facts; one may choose to reject them, just as one may insist that 2+2=743.1, but that doesn’t alter the way the world is.
I’ve pointed out to David before, in this regard, that some historians of ideas have argued that the socio-cultural effects of the heliocentric cosmos were largely negative, and yet no one suggests it should be given “a second, skeptical look” or that geocentrism is true for these reasons. Of course, he has yet to address this.
Once more, this is just another example of David’s using subtle and disingenuous rhetorical techniques to argue that evolution’s truth or falsity depends on its social effects, real or otherwise, and to equate it with a religious belief. What’s worse, he makes all these provocative statements linking evolution causally with Nazism, eugenics, and now murder, and then when he’s called on it, he retreats back to a “I’m just sayin’” defense and saying it’s not about rejecting evolution, but taking a second look at it and making up one’s own mind. This is disingenuous and deceptive.
Finally, I notice that David still hasn’t answered the questions I explicitly directed to him. If he is sincere in wanting dialogue, he should come clean. Otherwise, he is just engaging in talking points and ugly slurs that might play well with the ID/creationist community, but will only alienate anyone else.



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Roger

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm


David says, “What he [Hitler] did believe and put into action is much better reflected in Vol. 1, Ch. 11, “Nation and Race,” which is pure Darwin: “Struggle is always a mean for improving a species’ health and power of resistance and, therefor, a cause of its higher development,” etc.” Pure BS. That is no more “pure Darwin” than the crusades were pure God’s will. As Turmarion says, David “is just engaging in talking points and ugly slurs…”
It seems from his posts on this topic and his numerous comments, David is not interested in discussion but in asserting his fallacious ideas. I get the impression that he is sitting back thinking, “Well, I really got their goat on this one.”



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Ro

posted June 13, 2009 at 11:28 am


Using Google for dramatic effect and to show a ‘connection’ between Neo-Nazis in you article proves what exactly?:
“If you want a good chill, Google the phrase “natural selection” as it appears on the popular neo-Nazi website Stormfront.org.”
489 pages came up for me (all of them just as demented as you would expect from Neo-Nazis).
It was reported in ‘the media’ that James von Brunn was wearing a Confederate hat when he stuck. Replace “natural selection” for “confederate” and you get 4,030 hits. Are there complaints of a Confederate whitewash too? Probably. Well, there are Confederate/Nazi conspiracy pages on the web. But, maybe they’re just as *non-news worthy* and JvB’s rants on evolution. He was mad, violent and racist – I’m glad that made the mainstream media.
If you think using Google to back up your arguments is an ethical thing to do, try a few other searches. “Charles Darwin” appears 505 times on Stormfront.org and “Jesus Christ” 1,220 times. Does that prove that Neo-Nazis think about Christ more often than Darwin?
Chilling journalism. Chilling.



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Dale Dean

posted June 13, 2009 at 12:55 pm


I don’t know Roger, but he sounds like a liberal his thoughts or one that has faulty reasoning in his argument.
Are liberals brain damaged, or what? Roger needs to reread his first comment again, and really think about what he said. Taking the philosophy of evolution, that many of its proponents of the past and present have stated: is the survival of the fittest and has not moral mandate, and equating that to a misguided murderer who “likened himself” with “Jesus Christ”, or Manson with being an “avid Bible reader”, is like comparing opposites.
It’s kind of like this; what would you think of your son’s actions if you instructed him to go over and show “love” to his mother. However, he interpreted that to mean, “kill” his mother and did so. Wouldn’t you think that he go it wrong and just did the opposite of that he was instructed to do? I think to the rational mind that is most obvious. The same could be said for Roger’s understanding of the Virginia Tech murderer and Manson. Logic and reason dictates that a man that preaches peace and love toward others, and practices those values (“Jesus Christ”), cannot–by any sane person, be understood to justify killing people in the name of “Jesus Christ”. Again, why don’t liberals realize just how fault and foolish their reasoning is to those with common sense?



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What's Good for the Goose

posted June 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm


David: They don’t have the intellectual honesty or humility to get your point.



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Your Name

posted June 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm


Good for the Goose:
Show me an intellectually “honest” ID Creationist who hasn’t twisted the definition of science into theology. Show me an “honest” ID Creationist who hasn’t at some point or other as ignored evidence or, in some cases, selectively uses evidence to uphold a fallacious argument. Where are all the ID Creationists in the peer-reviewed journals (Oops! I forget there is a conspiracy to keep them out). Why haven’t they sued for discrimination (Oops, the system is in conspiracy against them)?
Point the finger at yourself Good for the Goose when making specious accusations about intellectual honesty. Indeed, Judge Jones noted in his ruling that “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.” Obviously the judge, a fine church-going Republican, appointed by a Republican president, had it in for them–which he seems to have known: “Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court.”
Why did David’s intellectually honest friends put Michael Behe up as a sacrifice at the Dove trial (all the rest of them had “other engagements”)? Why didn’t the defendants appeal the trial? Why did Behe refuse PBS’s “Nova” invitation to participate in the “Evolution” series and set the record straight?
They didn’t because they had NOTHING to support their flimsy arguments. ID Creationsim is a relgious belief and that’s all there is to it.
Why don’t you, Good for the Goose, provide incontrovertible evidence of your expertise on evolutionary theory, Victorian history, eugenics, Nazi propaganda, and the like?
Do you have anything substantive to utter aside from weak ad hominem attacks and being a cheerleader for a laughable theology no serious scientist or theologian of repute supports.



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What's Good for the Goose

posted June 14, 2009 at 10:00 pm


Your Name: I wasn’t defending ID or attacking Darwinism. I was pointing out that David had hoisted the guilt by association crowd on its own petard and effectively illustrated the rank hypocrisy that flows from the Left in matters such as this. Are you such a fundamentalist that you can’t see beyond your own rage about those with whom you disagree to the satirical point he was making?



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Alchemist

posted June 15, 2009 at 9:15 am


Goose:
Evolution/Natural Selection has no ideology. It is a law of nature–blaming evolution on anything would be like blaming gravity for an airline disaster.
Perhaps Your Name was a bit piqued at the incessant self-superiority that ID folk tend to have, as if they had some divine mandate for their POV. In reality, hypocrisy has no ideology either — when one finger points, three point back.



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Your Name

posted June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm


To Alchemist above:
I’m no scientist but I thought Evolution was a “theory” while gravity is a “law of nature.”
There is no real proof of one species “evolving” into another species but demonstratable proof that “natural selection” accounts for small changes within species in order to respond to the environment.
It is my understanding that “evolution” cannot explain the variety and complexity of life, nor the jump of non-life to life.



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Ro

posted June 15, 2009 at 6:41 pm


Your Name:
Why not read point two of this page…
http://www.aaas.org/news/press_room/evolution/qanda.shtml



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Alchemist

posted June 15, 2009 at 8:21 pm


Your Name:
1) No biological scientist worth his/her salt doubts the validity of evolution. It is a fact. By the way, gravity is theoretical — no one understood what it was until Newton began describing it via mathematics. Current understanding of gravity is based on theoretical observations, repeatedly observed, just like evolution (read up on fruit fly genetics–it’ll teach you a thing or two about evolution).
2) Evolution has been repeatedly observed with ABUNDANT fossil evidence (most famously horses and whales). This is an old, tired argument ID Creationist always use. Can’t any of you think of anything original aside from how to dupe the public?
3) You cannot use a logical fallacy (Argument from Ignorance) to support a denial of evolution. Just because we don’t know the entire mechanism doesn’t mean that the entire theory is invalid. By analogy: Do you believe in gravity? What evidence do you have for gravity? Can you describe the precise mechanism by which gravity operates? Obviously, it does. Does the fact that we cannot fully describe the law of gravity invalidate its existence? Jump up and down and see.



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Alchemist

posted June 15, 2009 at 8:24 pm


Your Name:
1) No biological scientist who seriously pursues his/her field doubts the validity of evolution. It is a fact. By the way, gravity is theoretical — no one understood what it was until Newton began describing it via mathematics. Current understanding of gravity is based on theoretical observations, repeatedly observed, just like evolution (read up on fruit fly genetics–it’ll teach you a thing or two about evolution).
2) Evolution has been repeatedly observed with ABUNDANT fossil evidence (most famously horses and whales). This is an old, tired argument ID Creationist always use. Can’t any of you think of anything original aside from how to dupe the public?
3) You cannot use a logical fallacy (Argument from Ignorance) to support a denial of evolution. Just because we don’t know the entire mechanism doesn’t mean that the entire theory is invalid. By analogy: Do you believe in gravity? What evidence do you have for gravity? Can you describe the precise mechanism by which gravity operates? Obviously, it does. Does the fact that we cannot fully describe the law of gravity invalidate its existence? Jump up and down and see.



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Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




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