Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


Francis Collins on Abortion: Obama’s Pick for NIH and His “Devout” Views on Terminating Down Syndrome Children

posted by David Klinghoffer
Do you ever notice how religious believers are always cited by the media as “devout” precisely when they are equivocating on basic Judeo-Christian moral and theological tenets? Dr. Francis Collins has some startling ideas on abortion. Startling, that is, from an Evangelical Christian who is Obama’s choice to head up the National Institutes of Health. He’s a favorite church speaker with Evangelical audiences, especially on how Darwinism poses no threat to their faith.
My colleague Bruce Chapman notes, “When the confirmation hearings take place I would not be surprised to hear some sharp questions about Dr. Collins’s less known views on subjects that have not come out on his pulpit tours.” The following was shared with me. So I’ll share it with you.
From a 2006 interview here on Beliefnet:

Q: [S]ometimes when parents learn that their child has Down Syndrome, they terminate the pregnancy. What is your opinion of that sort of scenario?

A: I’m troubled that the applications of genetics that are currently possible are oftentimes in the prenatal arena. That is not the reason I went into this field.

The reason I went into this field was to figure out how to treat illnesses, rather than try to stop such individuals from even being born. But, of course, in our current society, people are in a circumstance of being able to take advantage of those technologies. And we have decided as a society that that choice needs to be defended.

From a 1993 New York Times profile of Collins:

“It is difficult to say you can’t abort, but for overall cultural mores, you run into problems,” Dr. Collins said. “It’s the classic slippery slope. You have a gray scale going from diseases like Tay-Sachs disease that cause death in early childhood all the way to the other end of the spectrum with abortions for sex selection, which most people would say is a misuse of technology. In between is a gray zone. Where do you draw the line?

In a 1998 book he co-authored, Principles of Medical Genetics, he considers a bioethical situation where a genetic counselor is discussing with a (married) mother, 8 weeks pregnant, whether to abort her child because there’s a 7 to 8 percent chance the child will have a mild learning disability. Should the mother indicate an interest in aborting, Collins and his two co-authors commend to the counselor a stance of “respect for [patient] autonomy” and “nondirective counseling.” In other words, the medical professional in this context should be morally neutral.
You’ll find a link to the page in the book on Google Books here.
In an appendix to his bestselling The Language of God (2006), he questions “the insistence that the spiritual nature of a person is uniquely defined at the very moment of conception.” He also defends “therapeutic” human cloning in these terms:

I would argue that the immediate product of a skin cell and an enucleated egg cell fall short of the moral status of the union of sperm and egg. The former is not part of God’s plan to create a human individual. The latter is very much God’s plan, carried out through the millennia by our own species and many others.

NPR has a wonderful photo of Dr. Collins “all smiles” at a White House ceremony where President Obama signed an Executive Order giving a green light to research performed on human embryonic stem cells.
You might want to take a look at my post from last week on Abortion & “Worldview-Induced Blindness.”


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Your Name

posted July 9, 2009 at 10:45 am


Andrew Sullivan posted a study on Down Syndrome Children a few years back. There has been a huge decrease in Down Syndrome Children being born even though women are having children at an older age. Having children at an older age is the biggest risk factor for this condition. Anyway the study showed that there was no demographic differance among the parents of down syndrome children that were born. One would expect that most all of these kids would have conservative christian parents, but there was no differance showing that a lot of evangeninitals are aborting. If fact the highest rates of abortion, teen pregnancy, out of wedlock births are in the bible belt. But are we really supprised. Hmmmm, I wonder how common Down Syndrome Children are in the Orthodox Jewish communities. Anyone???



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm


I wouldn’t mind, David, if you were criticizing Collins for a pro-abortion stance. I myself find his stance abhorrent, and I bless Sarah Palin for raising Trig–if her public pillorying has any long-term benefit, raising awareness of Down syndrome and the ugly attitudes that many people who call themselves “liberal” have about it may be one.
The problem is that you will try to imply that this has something to do with Collin’s acceptance of evolution, as though accepting one implies accepting the other. You do this by pointing at your “Abortion and worldview blindness” post, where you make the connection explicit.
But you never establish the connection. You merely assert it. Collins may think it’s okay to abort babies with Down syndrome, and he believes in evolution-fine.
But I also believe in evolution, and think it is wrong to abort babies with Down syndrome.
The reason there is no contradiction, is because there is nothing in the theory of evolution that says it’s okay to abort babies with Down syndrome. There’s nothing in the theory of gravitation that says it’s okay drop large rocks from a great height on babies with Down syndrome, even though the theory of gravitation will tell you HOW to do such a thing IF you are so inclined. The theories of relativity and quantum mechanics tell you how to destroy cities full of babies with Down syndrome; but they don’t tell you that you SHOULD.
In short, as I and other commenters have pointed out over and over, the theory of evolution, like all other scientific theories, contains no prescriptive content; and we have adequately established that we know far more about it than you, David.
Animals are subject to natural laws, as are men; but men in addition are subject to other laws which require justice and mercy, and science is silent about such laws.
Catholicism, for example, has made its peace with evolution, but doesn’t seem to be in any danger of capitulating on abortion.
ID cannot save you. The “Designer” may well have intended us to be abortionists. Only if the Designer can be identified with the God of Abraham can you avoid the pitfall you claim everyone else is falling into. If you claim that, of course, your scientific fig leaf is stripped away.



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David Klinghoffer

posted July 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm


Gabriel, the connection is very simple and I think you’d find it statistically corroborated. If a person thinks a human being is the product of blind churning processes, it’s a lot easier to equivocate on the destruction of human lives than it would be if he thought the whole human being reflects purposeful design by a transcendent intelligence that is also, per religious tradition, loving and just.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm


If a person thinks a human being is the product of blind churning processes, it’s a lot easier to equivocate on the destruction of human lives than it would be if he thought the whole human being reflects purposeful design by a transcendent intelligence that is also, per religious tradition, loving and just.
Then why aren’t Darwinists raising humans on farms for food, or hunting them for sport?
How do you know the “Designer” didn’t create humans with that purpose in mind? The “Designer” or “Designers” created all life, did they not?
Didn’t God command the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites? The fact that they were human beings created by a transcendent intelligence didn’t stop them from doing so, or so the Bible claims.
Anyway, right there you gave the game away: “transcendent intelligence”. Id is religion, you just admitted it. The “Designer” is the God of Abraham. Just be honest and admit it.



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Turmarion

posted July 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Gabriel, excellent post. I do wonder if Collins’s original statements were more nuanced if read in the full context, but I agree with you that his view on abortion is apalling, and also that it has nothing to do with evolution.
David: I think you’d find it statistically corroborated (in fact, it made the news lately) that the more church-going Christians were more in favor of the use of torture. Traditionalist Catholic groups (as we saw from the flap last spring) seem to correlate more with being anti-Semitic. We could pick any religious, social, or political group we like and probably correlate all kinds of nasty beliefs and behaviors with it. Thus, I guess along with evolution, we should ban Judaism, Christianity, conservatism, liberalism–hey, I’ve got it! Let’s just ban the human race! After all, “every inclination of {humans’] hearts is evil from childhood”. (Exodus 8:21) Oh, wait–God already tried that and changed His mind….



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Glen Davidson

posted July 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm


Give it up, David.
Your organization, the DI was recently flashing around poll numbers that purport to show (albeit via deceptive questions) that Americans are far more likely to be supporters of intelligent design than of “undirected evolution.” Yet we have some of the world’s most liberal abortion laws.
Ireland and most of the South American countries, which generally raise little objection to evolutionary science, continue to have laws against abortion on demand. Catholics, whose universities simply use “Darwinism” as a matter of course, have been the most consistent opponents of abortion in this country.
Statistics may correlate fairly well between atheists and lax attitudes toward abortion (but it’s not 100% there either), indeed, but the correlation between evolution and abortion is far from clear. One could, of course, suggest that Catholics don’t believe in strictly “Darwinian” evolution, that supposedly explaining the difference, but you have to pretty much pick and choose “facts” to fit your conclusions. Not a problem for the overwhelming majority of IDists, I know, but a problem for those of us who think that intellectual honesty matters.
I would not pretend that atheists are particularly deep thinkers on the whole, either, so the mere fact that there is a herd position that most adhere to tells us nothing definite about how “atheistic evolution” leads to conclusions regarding abortion. Academics certainly appear to have a herd mentality (their dominant political positions seem to follow a kind of petty bourgeois “logic,” rather than to strike out in favor of the “little people” for whom most presume to speak), and the mere fact that the prominent academic atheists tend toward the academic petty bourgeois position tells us little more than about their ideological uniforms.
You simply don’t have facts properly disentangled and analyzed to support your claims, rather you rely upon crude statistical correlations and your own conflation of evolution with atheism to go on. Didn’t you learn anything about proper justification of claims in college?
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm


Breaking it down for the rest of the class, David claims ID is “scientific”. That means that the “Designer(s)” could have been aliens or whatever. So there is no reason to suppose a “transcendent” intelligence, unless ID is just a cover for sneaking religion into the classroom, which everyone knows it is, because the Discovery Institute says so where they think judges won’t overhear.
If ID doesn’t have “transcendence” built-in, then ethically and morally it has the same ethical content as other scientific theories, i.e. zero. So it cannot have any ethical advantage over theistic evolution or orthodox Darwinism. If it does have “transcendence” built-in, it is religion.
Why does David endorse ID, then? Partly because he is paid to, but mostly because it’s a lie. Neither he nor anyone else at Discovery Institute believe in it. They prove this by their dishonesty about what it is and by what they say when they think only believers are in the room.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm


You simply don’t have facts properly disentangled and analyzed to support your claims, rather you rely upon crude statistical correlations…
Glen, he never even produced the statistics! Statistics he made up and don’t tell anyone about don’t count.
Anyway, in the millenia before Darwin humans, religious or not, were committing atrocities on each other. What was the reason then?
I think it has something to do with having evolved from something like a plains ape, and so we should be glad we find ANY civilized behavior at all; but David thinks God made us that way. That’s just a short step to saying God WANTS us to be that way. David will deny the implication for his own faith, but impute it to his opponents.



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Glen Davidson

posted July 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm


Yes, Gabriel. I have to wonder what makes so many failures acceptable to them.
I’m not sure why it is, but it seems to me that they have to keep “true to the Truth,” and by comparison any adherance to the facts comes in decidedly second. I mean, obviously they’re caught in a conflict so long as they have beliefs contrary to cross-correlated facts, but the beliefs come first, and anything we count as intellectual honesty is pretty cheap to them.
The evil of atheism and of “atheistic science” just is “the Truth,” so why go looking at the facts before you blame “atheistic science”? Theistic evolutionists are already “known” to be dishonest (David tries not to say so explicitly, but it’s implied in nearly all of the his evolution posts) according to such “Truth,” so any reliance upon “facts” is an extremely flimsy thing, a mere prop to the intellectual drunkenness that is ID, where they may be convenient (made up “facts” often being the most convenient).
I wonder about the money connection. One can hardly forget that bad “science”, bad logic, and the use of made up or twisted “facts” can only be well rewarded by groups and organizations committed to disembowelling science and other honest intellectual endeavors, and few of these people actually appear even aware of how bad their “arguments” reveal themselves to be to anyone knowledgeable and honest. So it’s always hard to know which comes first, the bad thinking which then seeks out rewards from those who value bad thinking, or the corruption of money seeking bad thinking to buy. On the whole, though, I think it’s mostly the former, since it’s hard to think convincingly in the intellectually base fashion that DI spokespersons do when you can see through it.
Can they really believe that they are subject to conspiracies to silence their “great arguments” and “evidence” though? I’m sure that they can’t always, but they can deny it, even when we discuss the evidence and they do not (always insisting that we must read and discuss their cherry-picked objections, never admitting the importance of evolutionary explanation to science in so many of its aspects). They try to convince themselves that we’re just not open to their way of thinking, so they themselves dismiss every argument and evidence that they can’t touch.
The projection is amazing, but that’s also why they’re relatively few among people who have had the education which allows most of us to avoid such chicanery.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Glen Davidson

posted July 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm


If you want to see how blatantly religious John West’s recent arguments against evolutionary theory and for ID are, go here:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/07/clarity_and_confusion_stephen.html
Oh, he’ll sometimes bring up a few creationist canards based on the false dilemma that if life is really really complex, therefore the god-like designer (don’t you dare call it god, though).
But it’s kind of amazing how blatantly religious the DI’s posts often are now, although they’re comically interspersed with Luskin’s nonsense about how old, thoroughly answered, creationist “criticisms of evolution” in fact have nothing to do with the propagation of religion.
The one lie that the DI puts out that its spokespersons have always known is a lie–although I’m sure their denial was working full blast–is that ID isn’t religiously motivated. West’s merely cursory attempts–which he leaves out of many posts–to prop up that transparently dishonest claim show that they’re fatiguing with respect to that.
Much as it is with David’s bit about “transcendent intelligence.”
Apparently aliens may have evolved transcendence!
Glen Davidson



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Glen Davidson

posted July 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm


I make mistakes, but most seem unimportant. This I think I should fix:

Oh, he’ll sometimes bring up a few creationist canards based on the false dilemma that if life is really really complex, therefore the god-like designer (don’t you dare call it god, though).

To something like:

Oh, he’ll sometimes bring up a few creationist canards based on the false dilemma that if life didn’t evolve, then the god-like designer (don’t you dare call it god, though). And if life is really really complex in the patterns expected with non-teleological evolution, then life didn’t evolve.

The billions of pieces of evidence that life did evolve are all coincidences, you know, rendered meaningless by ID.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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crowepps

posted July 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm


“Q: [S]ometimes when parents learn that their child has Down Syndrome, they terminate the pregnancy. What is your opinion of that sort of scenario?
“…And we have decided as a society that that choice needs to be defended.”
I may be dense but I don’t get why this true statement is ‘proof’ of anything. It’s my understanding its estimated that 95% of fetuses prenatally diagnosed with Downs are aborted, and this is legal.
“In between is a gray zone. Where do you draw the line?”
Again, I don’t get why this true statement is ‘proof’ of something sinister. The last 35 years or so have been a long discussion about where to draw the line.



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your name

posted July 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm


if 95% of prenatally diagnosed fetuses are aborted, a hell of a lot of evangenitals are aborting their extra chromosone babies. Lets face it only a small percent of a woman’s eggs will ever/can ever be fertalized. It only makes sense if a bum extra chromosone egg gets fertilized, that she might want to give another non mutant egg a chance.



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Your Name

posted July 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm


Doesn’t evolution teach that natural selection destroys the unfit? And weren’t there eugenics movements that advocated destroying,or at least sterilizing the unfit. And Nazism was essentially a Darwinian based eugenics movement, getting rid of inferior races and all. Hitler wrote that this was hos cpore philosophy in chapter 11 of “Mein Kampf”. The restof the book continues this theme.



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freelunch

posted July 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm


Doesn’t evolution teach that natural selection destroys the unfit?
Not in the sense that you imply in the rest of your comment.
And weren’t there eugenics movements that advocated destroying,or at least sterilizing the unfit?
Yes. They had nothing to do with the fitness that Darwin spoke of.
And Nazism was essentially a Darwinian based eugenics movement, getting rid of inferior races and all. Hitler wrote that this was hos cpore philosophy in chapter 11 of “Mein Kampf”.
That is not true in any sense. I can see why you hide when you show us your profound and foolish ignorance. It’s hard to believe that anyone who is capable of stringing together English sentences could write this nonsense.



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Vulgarian

posted July 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm


Yes nature is unkind to the unfit. The weak gazell gets eaten. So Your Name July 9, 2009 8:28 PM, in that sense, mother nature (god if you like) is a nazi



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Concerned Evangelical

posted July 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm


I was shocked to see that there is no Jews for Jesus branch in Washington State. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one here! Wouldn’t Mercer Island be the perfect place? We could locate somewhere where it would be easy for our unsaved Jewish neighbours to see our presence. David could not be more enthused with JFJ. Could you lend a hand please?



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Your Name

posted July 9, 2009 at 11:56 pm


freelunch
Why exactly does eugenics have nothing to do with Darwinism? They are both about elimination of the unfit?
And what Hitler wrote in “Mein Kampf” very closely parallels what Darwin wrote in chapters 4 and 5 of “The Descent of Man,” where Darwin wrot ethat it was inevitable that the more highly evovled races would exterminate the less highly evolved races. Why is there no connection?



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 12:01 am


The title of chapter 11 of “Mein Kampf” is “Nation and Race”. It is all about Hitler’s theory of the Aryan master race. Volume 2 deals with Hitler’s plans to put his theories into action. Please explain to me how this is not Darwinian?



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freelunch

posted July 10, 2009 at 8:53 am


Your Name kept trying to bait folks with his 11:56 and 12:01 posts that showed how far he was willing to go to misrepresent what he calls “Darwinism”.
For those who are genuinely ignorant of what natural selection is about, please remember that Darwin’s discovery was about the competition for niches among differing populations. A population that is rich enough and advanced enough to care for the poor, the lame, the blind and others with serious inability to deal with nature is not affected by natural selection. Murdering millions for political reasons, even if some of them may have some common ancestry, has nothing to do with this and our dishonest correspondent knows that.
I have no idea if your name has read Mein Kampf, but it is absolutely clear that he has not read any of Darwin’s works. If he had, he would understand that a description of what might happen is not the same as an attempt to murder people and justify it with fraudulent claims. I wonder if this enemy of knowledge, who appears to be so ashamed of his behavior that he won’t even give us a unique, consistent pen name calls himself a Christian.



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Zvi I Weiss

posted July 10, 2009 at 10:28 am


I am not sure of the point of this “KoP” item. First of all, Traditional Judaism does NOT treat [independant] life as “beginning at conception. As a result, very “devout” Jewish Rabbinical scholars have BOTH endorsed Stem cell reasearch with unused embryos conceived “in a test tube” AND also [in various NON-Life threatening situations) abortions performed before the 40th day after conception (such as after a rape). So, what is the point of the comment here? That Obama appointees have to respect the current climate rather than tying to change it? Or that this appointee appears to have no “moral spine” as evidenced by the citation from th appointee’s book? Even this is a problematic area. On the one hand, we object that the doctor does not take a “moral stand” On the other hand, historiclly, Jews were reluctant to go to non-Jewish doctors BECAUSE of the fear that such doctors would try to “push” non-Jewish morality… Well, we can no havit it both ways… either we want to have doctors with “moral values” and risk getting a morality that we disagree with OR we want the doctors to let us use OUR moral values… Well, which is it???



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Drinne

posted July 10, 2009 at 10:47 am


Dear Mr. Klinghoffer,
While I defend your right to express your views in this context and certainly on this forum, I do get your blog information on my daily Torah update and I have become curious especially after this post as to whom you represent to speak “for the community” as it were. Since your views are not appreciably shared by my co-religionists but do echo a more evangelized politic merging of right wing relgions.
I have found this reference to the Discovery Institute, which seems to be your primary background:
“In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Discovery Institute pursues “demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions”,and the institute’s manifesto, the Wedge strategy, describes a religious goal: to “reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”
And therein lies the rub. Your views seem to be entering my voluntary Torah Study set up through Beliefnet, and yet I find that they enter the political far more than the religious.
As strong separation of church and state is mandatory. Mr. Collins views are mostly in line with mainstream Judaism in America as far as “I may not approve, but it’s relgion’s job and not the state’ to convince people that they shouldn’t” and I do wish that your box to the right would make it clearer whom you represent so that your exercise in free speech should not be mistaken with representing any type of “movement judaic view”. I am sure that I have co-religionists that agree with you, and equally sure I have co-religionists that do not.
Judaism has several strains of tradition and belief and one of them is that there is no soul ensconced in the body until the 7th day of breath. So abortion is a non issue on the life-begins for that theory. It is a religious belief that kept rabbis from having an appropriate way to deal with the grief of miscarriage, so it really isn’t new. Your conflation of Mr. Collins views of abortion with a problem instead of being a reasonable answer in a secular state indicates that your concern is closer to your institute affiliation’s than any Judaic position I am familiar with, except possibly the Ultra Orthodox and even then I do not believe that many of them welcome a blending of Christian law into the daily operatons of our secular government.
Let us just say I find Mr. Collins approach to be both devout and appropriate for someone holding a public office and your concern to be far more threatening to the church/state divide. And I wonder indeed where you would draw the line once your real life job becomes a litmus test of whether or not you are allowed to be considered religious. For anything other than the Catholic church, which has a central authority, I do not believe you are allowed to lock people out of your place of worship because of their professions and his is “scientist” who happens to be Christian but does not happen to agree with you. He can be devout and not agree with you. I am only confused because I am getting you with my Torah study.
I also wish I had the choice to find you, as opposed to having you sent to me in a specifically study based context- I would prefer to hear from someone who was actually representing some type of Judaic study or thought and possibly applying it to politics instead of using Judaism or Jewish texts to justify intrusion into the public sphere for an obviously evangelical agenda. A bit of history would show that blurring the line between church and state never works well for the Jews in the long run.
BTW – my son’s Day School has no problem teaching Evolution, the Big Band and Seed Theory and Genesis at the same time without any conflict at all, as a matter of fact they enhance each other. So I fail to see why so many other people are insistent that it’s impossible.



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 10:50 am


The ones pushing for abortion rights “on demand” are not concerned about whether the fetus is a human or not. As for the 40 day period of grace to perform abortions, that may or may not be valid. I am not learned enough to tell. What I am concerned about is the use of abortion after deciding that a (nother) child is an inconvenience. As to late term abortion, everyone should be aware of this bizarre, cruel method of termination of the baby’s life. This is euthenasia. There is no other way to describe it.



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 11:02 am


Freelunch:
Stephen Jay Gould wrote that evolution happens primarily at the level of the individual organism. And Dawkins wrote that evolutuion happens even at the level of the gene, y’know “The Selfish Gene”.
And Hitler made it abundantly clear that he was talking about competion between races, which are populations. His whole focus was on Darwinian racial theories.
And I’m not sure what your point about Darwin was. Darwin was talking about competition between races, just like Hitler was. Are you saying that evolution is not a good guide for morality? I agree with you.



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 11:05 am


And i don’t use my name because of the decided lack of civility some people display. Oh, and since I did site “The descent of Man” Imust have read it.



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 11:09 am


And in the second half of “Mein Kampf” Hitler wrote that he was creating a political philosophy based on race. So in his case, there was no difference between murdering people for political reasons, and mudering them for race based reasons.
Oh, and the Nazis did murder and strerilize the handicapped because they were considered unfit. So they did practise Darwinism within a population, as well.



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Zevulun

posted July 10, 2009 at 11:16 am


As far as I can tell, these “basic Judeo-Christian moral and theological tenets” have been in dispute for centuries. What a relief that you have settled the matter for the rest of us.



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Your Name

posted July 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm


Many of the same people who oppose abortion, also oppose welfare and would NEVER adopt a Down Syndrome baby.



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crowepps

posted July 10, 2009 at 7:34 pm


Or that this appointee appears to have no “moral spine” as evidenced by the citation from th appointee’s book?
It seems to me more like disqualifying Collins from being “devout” because he isn’t insistently and adamently anti-abortion. Sort of an unconstitutional religious litmus test – to state that the population chooses abortion or that the population recognizes grey areas mean you aren’t religious enough.



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Your Name

posted July 11, 2009 at 1:47 am


When God blessed Abraham and Sarah children,Sarah is old.They have even twins Isaac and Jacob.They have strong faith in what God had told them.It is always by faith that we are truly blessed.In this modern world,where science and all the knowledge and inventions research and technologies,there were many things now to consider for old woman to get pregnant,the old times since Sarah had proven that her age is not a hindrance for God’s will,why not now in this present times?God is the same yesterday,today and for all times by faith we believe this truth about God.It is my faith that if it’s God’s will, nothing is impossible because when God creates,there is always a plan and purpose,if it’s not,then be it.His ways are not our ways.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm


And in the second half of “Mein Kampf” Hitler wrote that he was creating a political philosophy based on race. So in his case, there was no difference between murdering people for political reasons, and mudering them for race based reasons.
Your Name, Hitler rejected that evolution could happen. If you had ever bothered to read Mein Kampf, you would know that Hitler says, in “Nation and Race”, that organisms can never change their essential nature. Hitler explicity said on more than one occasion that Man was made in God’s image, and that Man could have never evolved from animals.
On these very comment threads we provided abundant quotes from Hitler expressing his rejection of evolution.
It is tiresome to refute the same lies over and over again. David Klinghoffer already tried it here and got embarrassed.
Evolution by natural selection does say that killing the “unfit” is a moral good, because it is a scientific theory that attempts to describe the world as it is, it does not provide morals for us to live by.
You might as well say that Newton’s Law of Gravitation says we should make airplanes illegal.



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Sophist

posted July 12, 2009 at 1:58 am


Should the mother indicate an interest in aborting, Collins and his two co-authors commend to the counselor a stance of “respect for [patient] autonomy” and “nondirective counseling.” In other words, the medical professional in this context should be morally neutral.

Perhaps. Or perhaps he is simply aware of the fact that the patient can get up and walk out of the room at any time, and therefore getting all judgemental and bossy is not likely going to do any good, and that the best approach is to talk is a respectful manner instead of telling them what to do or calling them murderers. There is not enough context to say whether or not this is the correct interpretation, but it seems plausible, especially since he finds the whole situation troubling.
Oh, and Your Name, “Darwinism” and Nazism have nothing to do with each other. Evolution is descriptive: it looks around and tells you what is, and has been, and likely will be, happening. Nazism is normative: it tells you what it thinks ought to be the case. When Darwin noted that indiginous people were likely to be wiped out, he was not saying that it was a good thing, or that it should be made to happen, he was merely prediction the most probable course of events. And guess what–he was right! When Darwin notes that nature tends to destroy the weak, he is merely relaying to you what has been observed and not approving of it, just as the observation that people tend to drown when submerged in water contains no moral support for the drowning of people.
Also, Nazism is not dependent on Evolution in any way. What it is dependent on is thousands of years of the selective breeding of animals–and loads of racism, of course. If Darwin had never set pen to paper, Nazism would not differ one iota from what it ended up being. All the basic ideas had been around forever. If you want bigger cows, only allow the largest to breed, and send the rest to the slaughterhouse. Hitler took these priciples, and applied them to human beings. For this he did not need, and did not have, the support of “Darwinsim”.



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Gabriel Hanna

posted July 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm


Hitler on evolution in Mein Kampf:
The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.
Hitler here says explicitly that one species cannot evolve into another. Darwinists says pandas are vegetarians evolved from carnivores, and Hitler here denies that such a thing is possible.
Where do we acquire the right to believe that man has not always been what he is now? The study of nature teaches us that, in the animal kingdom just as much as in the vegetable kingdom, variations have occurred. They’ve occurred within the species, but none of these variations has an importance comparable with that which separates man from the monkey — assuming that this transformation really took place.Hitler’s Table Talk, p. 248.
[I]t 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.Mein Kampf
So don’t bother with the Darwin-Hitler connection-there isn’t one. It would be generous to say that Hitler’s biological ideas were confused, and it is difficult to say what, if anything, he knew about biology.
Only someone ignorant of Darwinism and Hitler could say that Hitler was a Darwinist. His eugenic and racial ideas only sound like Darwinism to someone who has only heard of twisted caricatures of Darwinism spread by people like David Klinghoffer.
We’ve had the Hitler-Darwin argument thrashed out in these comment sections only a couple of weeks ago. It is a typically creationist tactic to revive a previously discredited argument, hoping to spread the lies one or two steps ahead of the truth.



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c141nav

posted July 12, 2009 at 7:08 pm


I wonder if Dr Collins studied under Peter Singer at Yale?



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