Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Kennedy, Hitler, Weikart and the ADL

The Anti-Defamation League has joined the chorus blasting D. James Kennedy’s flagrantly dishonest TV special about Darwin and Hitler. They issued a press release that addressed the Francis Collins issue as well:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today blasted a television documentary produced by Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries that attempts to link Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust. ADL also denounced Coral Ridge Ministries for misleading Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the NIH, and wrongfully using him as part of its twisted documentary, “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.”

After being contacted by the ADL about his name being used to promote Kennedy’s project, Dr. Collins said he is “absolutely appalled by what Coral Ridge Ministries is doing. I had NO knowledge that Coral Ridge Ministries was planning a TV special on Darwin and Hitler, and I find the thesis of Dr. Kennedy’s program utterly misguided and inflammatory,” he told ADL.

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement: “This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to “reclaim America for Christ” and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law.”


And here is Kennedy’s blatantly dishonest reply. Take a look at this stunning claim:

Even leading evolutionist Niles Eldredge freely admits the link between Darwin and Hitler. Eldredge, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has written that “social Darwinism,” which he regards as an illegitimate offspring of Darwin’s theory, “has given us the eugenics movement and some of its darker outgrowths, such as the genocidal practices of the Nazis in World War II–where eugenics was invoked as a scientific rationale to go along with whatever other ‘reasons’ Hitler and his fellow Nazis had for the Holocaust.”

Are they too stupid to understand that if social darwinism was an illegitimate offspring of evolution, as it is both in reality and in Eldredge’s view, then it cannot be an admission of a “link between Darwin and Hitler”? Or are they just lying, knowing that most of their followers are too stupid to recognize the obvious contradiction in this paragraph? And does it really matter whether the explanation is stupidity or dishonesty to exploit stupidity?

Kennedy’s response also tries to gain credibility by citing Richard Weikart, author of a book called From Darwin to Hitler and, not surprisingly, a Discovery Institute fellow. Other historians have almost universally rejected Weikart’s thesis, including at a conference on Judaism and evolution attended by ScienceBlogger John Lynch last year, where every single historian in attendance other than Weikart rejected his simplistic argument. A good example of that rejection can be found in this review by Sander Gliboff, historian from Indiana University. He writes:

The method becomes problematic, however, when one tries to argue from these kinds of resemblances to causal relationships. Is the scientific causing the political? Influencing it? Converging with it? Being appropriated and misrepresented by it? Maybe the influences go the other way, and science is responding to political trends and pressures. Maybe science and politics are both responding to something else in the historical context. A good historian of science will have an eye out for various patterns of give and take among biologists, physicians, social philosophers, politicians, even theologians, interested segments of the public, and eventually Hitler. With Weikart, it is a foregone conclusion that the connections are causes and influences, always emanating from Darwin.

That stands the proper method of historical interepretation on its head, but that’s hardly the worst sin of the book. The book makes the same ridiculously simplistic argument that Kennedy makes, that Hitler could not have happened without Darwinism “undermining” the validity of Christianity, since Christianity held that everyone is valuable and that ethic had to be changed to make the final solution palatable. This is an astoundingly ridiculous argument for anyone to make, doubly so for an actual historian.

In order to be a valid argument, there would have to have been no genocide in pre-Darwinian history, back when that alleged Christian ethic of the value of every human being held sway. But not only is that not the case, one can point to instances of genocide not only justified by Christian theology but explicitly ordered by their Biblical God (according to their scripture, of course; I don’t believe it for a moment). And to go even further, there is a vast history of Christian pogroms against the very group that Hitler’s genocidal zeal was aimed, Jews. And as I showed a few days ago, Hitler cited those anti-Jewish statements by Christian theologians over the centuries to justify the Final Solution.

We know that it was possible for people to target the Jews for oppression and even death based solely on Christian hatred of the Jews because it happened several times throughout the history of Europe. After the Roman Empire converted to Christianity in the 4th century, it instituted a long series of anti-Jewish laws similar to the Third Reich. The Justinian Code, based so heavily on Biblical laws, had an entire section on the rights of Jews, essentially forbidding them from having any. They were forbidden to build synagogues, forbidden to read their scriptures in Hebrew, and even forbidden to gather in public places. Their property was confiscated.

There were many church conferences that passed anti-Jewish laws. The Trulanic Synod in 692 even made it illegal for a Christian to go to a Jewish doctor. The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 required Jews to wear distinctive clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians (sound familiar? Remember, this was centuries before Darwin was born). The Council of Basel forbid Jews from attending universities. All of this was perpetrated by Christians long before Darwin lived; so much for the notion that before Darwin undermined Christianity, everyone was valuable.

And do we even have to go into Martin Luther, a man whose vicious anti-Semitism virtually knew no boundaries? It’s not an accident that Luther was Germany’s most influential theologian and Lutheranism the official church of Germany at the time of Hitler’s takeover. It was largely Luther’s virulent anti-Jewish screeds that provided fertile ground for Hitler’s assault on the Jews. It was Luther who encouraged his followers to set Jewish synagogues on fire and declared that “they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.” Sounds a lot like a concentration camp, doesn’t it?

Another historian to pan Weikart’s book is Ann Allen from the University of Louisville, an expert in German history in particular. In the Journal of Modern History, she wrote:

Another evil that Weikart attributes to Darwinism is racism, which during this era fueled cruel and even genocidal policies in many parts of the world. But the major problem here, as he himself admits, is that the form of racism that was most important to Hitler — antisemitism — cannot be traced to Darwin or Darwinism. Weikart does not explain that the origins of this prejudice lie chiefly in a much older tradition of Christian anti-Judaism, for which Darwinism provided only a new and prestigious rationale. For to attribute the decline and fall of Christian civilization to Darwin is to overestimate the influence of even that great thinker. In fact, National Socialism was able to gain widespread support among populations that were, in their great majority, practicing and believing Christians. Furthermore, with a few notable exceptions, Christian belief raised few obstacles to cooperation with National Socialist policies. In many cases, moreover, the religious intolerance that was encouraged by the churches actually increased popular support for Nazi antisemitism.

This picture of the Holocaust as the outcome of a “culture war” between religion and science leads to serious distortions on both sides. The “Judeo-Christian” worldview is unproblematically associated here with many beliefs — such as opposition to birth control, legalized abortion, and assisted suicide — that many believing Christians and Jews would reject. And “Darwinism” is equated with a hodgepodge of ideas about race, politics, and social issues. If all these ideas were to fall into well-deserved obsolescence, this would in no way detract from the validity of Darwin’s contributions to modern biological science. Neither religion nor science is well served by this oversimplified view of their complex history.

The bottom line, and I do not think I’m being too strident in using this language, is that this simplistic “Darwin led to Hitler” thesis is laughably ridiculous. It simply cannot be taken seriously by anyone with even a minimal amount of historical knowledge and the ability to reason. Small wonder, then, that it is being pimped so heavily by the Discovery Institute and their creationist allies like D. James Kennedy.

Comments

  1. #1 plunge
    August 23, 2006

    It really is enlightening to read “On the Jews and their Lies.” Aside from anachronisms, this work could easily have been written by Hitler, and it virtually lays out in full view the justification and even suggested means for the holocaust to proceed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Jews_and_their_Lies

  2. #2 Treban
    August 23, 2006

    It is amazing to me that anyone would connect Hitler to Darwin. But it really does follow Kennedy’s style to do so. I don’t even think he sees the hypocrisy in what he says. His thinking is more likely that he is “following the holy spirit” and letting “god” speak through him. I think he realy believes what he says – and that is more frightening than him lying. I think he is able to convince so many people of what he believes because he actually believes it himself. I know more than a couple of otherwise intelligent people who have bought into his “America as a christian nation” rhetoric and his anti-evolution sentiments – though to credit my friend who is a chemist, he doesn’t buy the Darwin as Nazi BS. But even he is unconvinced evolution is more than a theory full of holes. . .

  3. #3 DragonScholar
    August 23, 2006

    Nicely said. Allow me to speculate further . . .

    Putting on a tinfoil fedora for a moment – it seems he’s blaming some of the failings associated with Christians on Darwin. Is this just plain ignorance, or a new “Darwin caused all problem” strategy where the sins of the past will be heaped on Darwin et al (or perhaps “pre-Darwinists”)?

  4. #4 arkie
    August 23, 2006

    Minor error that must be corrected: “Sander Gliboff, historian from the University of Indiana.”

    As my wife (IU,’76) has repeated informed me, there is no “University of Indiana”. There is only “Indiana University”. She can offer no logical explanation of why the Hoosiers screwed up the naming of their school in 1820.

  5. #5 hooligans
    August 23, 2006

    If you go over to the Uncommon Descent website, you’ll see Mr. William Dembski has written up his own version of “Kennedy’s blatantly dishonest reply.” He goes on to say, “The outrage which says that the Nazi racial theory is a vulgarization of Darwinism is simply unmerited.”

    In my own opinion, what is vulgar, are the blatent distortions and sickening distortions those at the UD website perform everyday. As a social studie and science teacher in our public schools, I see the results of groups like the Coral Ridge Ministries in class everyday. I can actually see the damage they have done to these precious minds. The deceptive and dishonest practices are truly a weapon in a brewing culture war. I hope that those like Kennedy and Dembski get their trash stuffed right back down their throat.

  6. #6 pwe
    August 23, 2006

    Are they too stupid to understand that if social darwinism was an illegitimate offspring of evolution, as it is both in reality and in Eldredge’s view, then it cannot be an admission of a “link between Darwin and Hitler”?

    Ooh, I’m no expert on these matters, but someone once told me that he had heard from …. that the term “social Darwinism” was coined by Herbert Spencer as a name for his own theory that predated the release of The Origin of Species. Spencer’s social Darwinism defended hard-core capitalism, and it’s from his theory the term “survival of the fittest”, reluctantly accepted by Darwin as synonymous with “natural selection”, originated.

    Anyway, the Nazi view on eugenics is rather Intelligent Design. How can killing of the weak be natural selection? If it’s done with a purpose, it’s intelligent design by definition – ask William Dembski, if you don’t believe me. Also, it was Hitler’s idea to revert to the (presumed) original Germanic race from the Age og Migration. His ideas of that race was based on reading the old stories about these people. These stories, most likely written to be recited at royal courts for entertainment rather than as completely factual stories, described the Germanics as heroic fighters until death for their nation.

    Did Darwin write those stories? No, of course not. If the people summoned by Kennedy to make his film were serious, they would tell people to not believe in fairy-tales that are written in books. The Bible is a book, so there may be a slight problem here, no?

  7. #7 Glen Davidson
    August 23, 2006

    One may detect a very tenuous link between Darwin and Hitler, of course, in the sense that ‘all things are connected’.

    Beyond that it’s pretty much BS. English science was all about mechanism, causality, what Hitler might have called “shopkeeper science”–keeping track of all of the transactions. German science, while it became good solid science by the 20th century in most areas, tended toward the Romantic in the biological realm. Haeckel’s musings about a true recapitulation of phylogeny in each ontogeny, that sort of thing.

    I think Nietzsche was great, but his later anti-anti-Semitism and opposition to German nationalism as it existed in his day did not prevent Hitler from being influenced by, and misusing, Nietzsche’s writings (I will say that Nietzsche wrote some few things that make one’s skin crawl, but his writings in their entirety are much as Heidegger characterized them, as involving primarily an artistic conception of life). And Nietzsche was pointedly opposed to “Darwinism”, preferring, yes, a kind of Romantic striving of life toward power. It may not be possible to show that Hitler did prefer the Nietzschean/Romantic conception of evolution (found also in Schelling, Hegel, and I dare say Marx in altered form), but all evidences, from the use of the term “Superman” to the idea of controlled human evolution, points away from a belief in Darinian theory, and toward pre-Darwinian and competing conceptions of progressive evolution.

    Hitler was caused by Darwin in about the same way that Lysenko was caused by Darwinian conceptions of evolution–as a reaction against the real science. As such, Kennedy et al are sloshing through analogous reactions against science and substituting pseudoscience for the real science, much as Nazis, commies, and also less dangerous folk, have done in the past. Let us hope that their reactions against truth will be less violent than were Hitler’s and Stalin’s were (to be fair, I think that indications thus far is that they are less aggressive in their use of power).

    That said, have you noticed how ID/creo “arguments” are drifting away from the so-called “science”, and toward moralistic screeds and denunciations of their opponents as being the source of various evils? We seem to have accomplished something in opposing their pseudoscience after all, although they’re not about to quit, and will happily smear morally those who they can’t answer scientifically. After all, it never was about science, and all about moral dictation, anyhow.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  8. #8 Ed Brayton
    August 23, 2006

    arkie wrote:

    As my wife (IU,’76) has repeated informed me, there is no “University of Indiana”. There is only “Indiana University”. She can offer no logical explanation of why the Hoosiers screwed up the naming of their school in 1820.

    Someone else emailed me about that and I changed it. Given that A) I’m a Big Ten guy; B) I’m a huge college basketball fan; and C) Lynn is an Indiana grad too – I really should have gotten that one right, eh? My apologies to Tom Jonas, Josh Claybourn, Bobby Knight and everyone else who loves good ol’ IU. But that does not mean I’m going to start calling Ohio State “THE Ohio State University” as their alumni insist it be called.

  9. #9 Albion
    August 23, 2006

    These people don’t learn. First they try to claim that Francis Collins is on their side; when he complains, they trot out Niles Eldredge. Do they perhaps think that Niles Eldredge won’t find out what they’re doing and respond to their nonsense? I thought they’d learned by now that when you want to use blatant quote mines, it’s easier to use quotes from dead people so they don’t pop up and contradict you.

  10. #10 Raging Bee
    August 23, 2006

    Wow. Just wow. This stuff is even stoopider than Pope Palpadict blaming “neo-paganism” for the Holocaust.

    And it could be a lot more dangerous, to the extent that it gets people to hate science and the pursuit of knowledge and blame them for all the world’s ills.

  11. #11 Dragonscholar
    August 23, 2006

    That said, have you noticed how ID/creo “arguments” are drifting away from the so-called “science”, and toward moralistic screeds and denunciations of their opponents as being the source of various evils?

    That’s par for the course. Each time they get defeated, they’ll ramp up the attack machine since they have nothing else (Dembski is down to making PARIS HILTON jokes). ID has jumped the shark so hard it’s flying of into the stratosphere, slamming a Mountain Dew, and yelling “yee-hah!”

    The problem, however, is that they now the IDers only have personal attacks left and they won’t break down after all the personal and emotional investments. Me, I expect things to get uglier as they ramp up their rhetoric as opposed to take a moment and think, and maybe take it further (perhaps encouraging IDist students to harass professors, etc.).

  12. #12 Flint
    August 23, 2006

    After a while, it’s just hard to get it up anymore. Creationists have their one trick, and play it their entire lives. If it were possible to spike the water cooler at the Discovery Institute with an instant cure for creationism and dishonesty, the fellows would need living assistance to eat, there’d be so little left of their brains.

  13. #13 Matija
    August 23, 2006

    Few months ago I was back home in Serbia on a family visit (I live in Canada). Serbia is sadly, like much of Eastern Europe, flooded by piles of conservative and anti-modernist propaganda. Anyway, at one bookseller’s stall on the Danube waterfront, I saw Serbian translations of “From Darwin to Hilter” and “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” almost next to each other. I guess modern righ-wingers in the West haven’t explained the more traditional ones from behind the Iron Curtain that the talking points have changed.

  14. #14 tacitus
    August 23, 2006

    Note that Kennedy’s “rebuttal” makes no mention of Francis Collins or any defense of his (previous) inclusion in their show. The general consensus seems to be that Collins’ interview will no longer be included in the broadcast. We shall see.

    Kennedy has certainly been laying the anti-evolution diatribe on thick in the past few weeks. Every radio and TV broadcast he’s been putting out has been dedicated to attacking evolution. Of course, it’s all to do with raising money–he ends every radio broadcast with an appeal for donations towards the cost of his new Darwin/Hitler TV show on Sunday.

    Amusingly, Salvador Cordova was claiming on Demski’s blog that Kennedy’s new show was evidence of a more “science-only” approach to Intelligent Design, saying that Kennedy was moving away from organizations like Answers In Genesis and ICR. That, of course, is idiotic. Kennedy regurgitates the worst that young-earth creationists have to offer. In fact, this very morning he waa replaying an old Ken Ham presentation that included words of wisdom explaining why it was okay for Adam and Eve’s children to intermarry, and why Noah’s Ark was large enough to hold a full complement of the animal kingdom.

  15. #15 Michael Suttkus, II
    August 23, 2006

    Spencer came up with the term “Survival of the Fittest” and did so before Darwin wrote “Origin of Species”. This is what pwe is confusing in his post above.

    Spencer did formulate what would come to be known as “social Darwinism” before Darwin wrote OoS, but the term, obviously, didn’t come into vogue until afterwards.

    Hitler himself claimed he was inspired by God and Christianity. He doesn’t seem to have mentioned Darwin or Hitler even once in his writings. I consider the Darwin-Hitler connection assertion exactly as valid as Kent Hovind’s claim that Darwin was responsible for the Trail of Tears… Nevermind that it happened 20-30 years earlier! Kent Hovind says Darwin caused the Trial of Tears and the Holocaust and that’s good enough for me!

  16. #16 Steevl
    August 23, 2006

    What I don’t get is, even if everyone believed their silly claims, what is their point supposed to be?

    Imagine the Nazis did use Darwinism to justify the Holocaust, and that it wouldn’t have happened if the theory of evolution hadn’t been proposed, that it was in fact a direct result of the publishing of the Origin of the Species. That doesn’t mean evolution doesn’t happen. It’s not a reason to reject the theory.

    What are they suggesting, that we teach our children lies because the truth is immoral?

    Mind you, that’s what they do with sex and drug education.

  17. #17 entlord
    August 23, 2006

    Dr Kennedy claims a list of degrees, BA from the University of Tampa, Masters of Divinity from Columbia University, Masters of Theology from the Chicago Graduate School of Theology and a Ph.D. from New York University. Are these actual degrees or along the lines of what is usually seen with these televangelists?

    I note that Dr Kennedy has aligned himself with Ken Ham and his theories about “blood and race”. His Answers in Genesis site provides an overview of his views on various “scientific questions”. While Dr Kennedy has not explicitly endorsed a Young Earth view of creation, it seems his association with Ham would imply Dr Kennedy’s views are evolving.

  18. #18 RobertC
    August 23, 2006

    In case anyone is interested in delving deep into this issue:

    The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945
    Steigmann-Gall http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0521823714
    is a good read.

    “Using party pamphlets and writings of key members, he demonstrates that as early as 1920 the group declared that it represented the standpoint of a positive Christianity, which provided the tenets of its anti-Semitic and antimaterialist stance. Many of the Nazi elite believed that their own party doctrine and Christianity shared common themes”

    I’m curious how the antimaterialist stance of Nazism is even compatable with Darwinism? The connection between Nazi mystic purification of the Earth for the “Aryan” race, and some notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ seems tenuous at best.

    A shorter, analysis with references and photos, at:
    http://www.nobeliefs.com/hitler-myths.htm

  19. #19 Lettuce
    August 23, 2006

    Ed wote:

    arkie wrote:

    As my wife (IU,’76) has repeated informed me, there is no “University of Indiana”. There is only “Indiana University”. She can offer no logical explanation of why the Hoosiers screwed up the naming of their school in 1820.
    Someone else emailed me about that and I changed it. Given that A) I’m a Big Ten guy; B) I’m a huge college basketball fan; and C) Lynn is an Indiana grad too – I really should have gotten that one right, eh? My apologies to Tom Jonas, Josh Claybourn, Bobby Knight and everyone else who loves good ol’ IU. But that does not mean I’m going to start calling Ohio State “THE Ohio State University” as their alumni insist it be called.

    Just so long as we all call the Badgers, “Wisconsin-Madison” (as is correct).

    Thanks

    Lettuce (proud Panther) – Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  20. #20 Daniel Morgan
    August 23, 2006

    I concur with your assessment of Luther. I wrote about it a few back in June, if anyone’s interested, I provided lots of links to worthy reading on the topic of Luther’s link to Hitler.

  21. #21 Alann
    August 23, 2006

    Too bad they never did any research. Thirty minutes on the web and I feel I know more then they do, here is what I learned:

    - The idea of “Selective Breeding” significantly predates Darwin going all the way back to Plato’s “The Republic”.

    - Eugenics was introduced by Sir Francis Galton as a derivative from Darwin’s theory that one could apply artificial selection (as was done in the breeding of other animals) to humans. Essentially stupid people would outbreed smart people resulting in a “reversion towards mediocrity”. While not proposing a specific remedy the idea implied a form of positive eugenics, not negative eugenics which the term is now synonymous with.

    - Darwin did discuss Galton theory of eugenics, again without suggesting any actual implementation, and significantly predating any discussion of negative eugenics

    - Positive eugenics – encourage breeding between talented people

    - Negative eugenics – discourage or prevent breeding between “undesirable” elements.

    - Social Darwinism, which claims that social practices like charity or welfare interfere with natural selection and need to be stopped, is a misnomer. It is not a direct derivative of evolution, and was actually opposed by Darwin who felt that these “social instincts” where actually the product of evolution and benefited the society as a whole.

    In any case the point is moot. Even in a hypothetical world where the holocaust was the direct result of Darwinism, it could no more discredit evolution than the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the Chernobyl disaster could discredit atomic theory. How knowledge is used does not determine its veracity.

  22. #22 Timcol
    August 23, 2006

    I actually think this is all very cool and is a breakthough in the historical method. We now have a legitimate and scholarly basis for personally blaming Jesus for the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the Salem witch trials and any number of other terrible crimes done in the name of Christ. Thanks Coral Ridge! Now THAT would make for a good documentary!!!

  23. #23 AnthonyK
    August 23, 2006

    Am I alone in blaming God for the Hitler thing? After all, He let it happen. But then he didn’t seem to be too fond of the Jews – and spookily he doesn’t to care for the Arabs much either. At least He’s never done anything to the Christians. Oh, wait, the brain thing…
    This just in from the Onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/51849

  24. #24 Siamang
    August 23, 2006

    “In any case the point is moot. Even in a hypothetical world where the holocaust was the direct result of Darwinism, it could no more discredit evolution than the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the Chernobyl disaster could discredit atomic theory. How knowledge is used does not determine its veracity.”

    You don’t seem to understand the strategy here. The goal isn’t to prove Darwinism wrong scientifically. Changing scientific understanding was never their goal. They don’t care what scientists think. They want to change the culture to topple the scientists. They can do that without arguing the science.

    The goal is to make it a dangerous idea -one that can be kept out of the schools. One that can be used to provoke an anti-science movement.

    It’s phase 3 of the wedge. They’ve moved on to Confrontation. Biology is no longer the battleground. Now it’s morality and history. Get ready for historical quote-mining aplenty.

  25. #25 Pierce R. Butler
    August 23, 2006

    Hitler did mention Darwin, or at least evolution, at one point in Mein Kampf (which I don’t have a copy of to hand for a verbatim quote).

    The gist of it is that purportedly young Adolf challenged his teachers that they were contradicting themselves by teaching Genesis in religion classes and evolution in science classes. The more reliable accounts of Hitler’s youth indicate he was a mediocre student and did nothing unusual or memorable, so it’s likely that he noticed the contradiction but made up the story of confronting & confounding the faculty about it.

    The Nazis did, however, make a big deal of calling their policies “applied biology” and the like, and wrapped themselves in the banner of public health by calling their “subhuman” targets various forms of disease in the social body. Will Kennedy & Weikart & the rest of the hyperchristian political machine launch a crusade against public health agencies next? (Their crusade against practically all forms of contraception and reproductive health – also laced with abundant bogus accusations of Nazism – is already a significant step in that direction.)

  26. #26 richCares
    August 24, 2006

    I spent some tome reading about this over uncommondescent
    I learned a lot over there, More than we are just a christian nation. I learned that the theory of evolution is “Social Darwinism”. Wow,I didn’t know that. Hitler claiming to be christain was a lie, he was really an evil evolutionist. And Kennedy is a great man telling us the evils of the world is not caused by Satan, but by evil Darwin. Wow, an eye opener.

    After learning all of this, I had to take a cold shower. It really scared me that there are so may ignorant people over at Dembski’s site. They love to pat each other’s back. At first it was humorous to visit Dembski’s site but now it is really sad. I imagine you have fail the class to be admitted to their world.

  27. #27 deadman_932
    August 24, 2006

    For one brief mad moment, I thought of posting a list at UD of quotes by Hitler extolling the virtues of Christianity and its influence on his thought.

    There’s also quotes by almost every high-ranking Nazi on this subject.

    But..as Siamang noted above, that would be playing into their hands (or at least letting them direct the debate).

    They’re covering the vacuity of their “science” while attacking strawmen. It stinks like a rotting red herring in the noonday sun, or the decaying remains of Dembski’s ethics and morals.

  28. #28 entlord
    August 24, 2006

    It appears race is the topic of the day today as NPR had a discussion of race as it appears in scientific journals and race as it is interpreted to the lay public by various mainstream publications. I guess all of this interest evolved from the Survivor series new theme of racially segregated teams competing against each other.
    Media Matters has the Rush Limbaugh take on sports and race (didn’t he already embarrass himself before on this topic?) explaining why African Americans can’t swim. I have to wonder how Reverend Kennedy forgot to include Rush in this great project of his? Rush predicts that the Hispanic race will be the winners.

  29. #29 Torbjörn Larsson
    August 24, 2006

    “Ooh, I’m no expert on these matters, but someone once told me that he had heard from …. that the term “social Darwinism” was coined by Herbert Spencer as a name for his own theory that predated the release of The Origin of Species.”

    I don’t know this matter, so I googled. Wikipedia says:

    However Spencer’s major work, Progress: Its Law and Cause (1857) was released two years before the publication of Darwin’s Origin Of Species, and First Principles was printed in 1860. In regards to social institutions, there is a good case that Spencer’s writings might be classified as ‘Social Darwinism’. He argues that the individual (rather than the collectivity) is the unit of analysis that evolves, that evolution takes place through natural selection, and that it affects social as well as biological phenomena.

    In many ways Spencer’s theory of ‘cosmic evolution’ has much more in common with the works of Lamarck and August Comte’s positivism work than Darwin.”

    “His views on man’s place in nature were very influential and broadly accepted. While he had an interest in all the sciences, Spencer never committed his time to a single field of study and was not an experimentalist. Perhaps this broad range of knowledge and lack of specialization made his views and writing so accessible and popular.”

    “In 1902, shortly before his death, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature.”

    The term “Social Darwinism” itself was only coined in 1944, when the American historian Richard Hofstadter published a book entitled Social Darwinism in American Thought.”

    Hmm… Much of what creationists ascribe to Darwin seems to be Spencer’s cosmic evolution:
    “Darwin’s theory is probabilistic, i.e., based on changes in the environment that sooner or later influence the change of individuals, but do not have any single, specific goal. Spencer’s is deterministicfatalistic … and progressively finalistic … Darwin’s theory does not equal progress … Spencer’s theory introduces the concept of social progress …” [Bold added]

    But: “Theories of social evolution and cultural evolution are common in European thought.”

  30. #30 pwe
    August 25, 2006

    Torbjôrn Larson, quoting Wikipedia, wrote:

    “The term “Social Darwinism” itself was only coined in 1944, when the American historian Richard Hofstadter published a book entitled Social Darwinism in American Thought.”

    Thanks for the correction. I knew I should have checked it :-)

    Anyway, Herbert Spencer’s theory, as I wrote, predated The Origin of Species, which therefore could not have influenced Spencer. Also notice the title of Spencer’s “major work”: Progress: Its Law and Cause. The very word “progress” tells us that it is Lamarckian rather than Darwinian, although Darwin wasn’t completely free from equating evolution with progress. Still, for Hitler, the idea wasn’t progress, but a return to the original Germanic (or “Aryan”) race. It’s more like the YEC claim that God created the world perfect, and after the fall everything has gone downhill.

  31. #31 JB
    August 25, 2006

    I think Glens praise of Nietzsche is quite amusing.

    What a man! “Elimination of the weak and defective, the first principle of our philosphy. And we should help them to do it!” (Nietzsche the Syphillitic, The Anti Christ, sec. 2)

    Gee, I wonder if Hitler could have gotten any inspiration from that?

    Hmmm.

    And citing Heidegger is icing on the cake. Thats one philosphy professor who managed to keep his post in a GERMAN University all through World War II…quite an accompishment under the Nazis.

    But as to Eugenics, see Edwin Black’s, War Against the Weak (www.waragainsttheweak.com) for a few eye openers!

  32. #32 JB
    August 25, 2006

    By the way, I would point out to Michael Suttkus that although Spencer came up with the term “survival of the fittest” Darwin accepted it in later editions of the origin.

    Darwin is dirctly complicit in this, and you can’t hide his racist, sexist Victorian elitist remarks in The Descent of Man.

    His remarks about vaccination “weakining the race” are a real “gas”.

  33. #33 JB
    August 25, 2006

    By the way, I would point out to Michael Suttkus that although Spencer came up with the term “survival of the fittest” Darwin accepted it in later editions of the origin.

    Darwin is dirctly complicit in this, and you can’t hide his racist, sexist Victorian elitist remarks in The Descent of Man.

    His remarks about vaccination “weakining the race” are a real “gas”.

  34. #34 Glen Davidson
    August 25, 2006

    I think Glens praise of Nietzsche is quite amusing.

    What a man! “Elimination of the weak and defective, the first principle of our philosphy. And we should help them to do it!” (Nietzsche the Syphillitic, The Anti Christ, sec. 2)

    Gee, I wonder if Hitler could have gotten any inspiration from that?

    Thanks for repeating my point, dumbshit. Are you such a mindless moron that you didn’t catch my point that Hitler paid attention to Nietzsche more than to Darwin, or catch that I wrote of some of Nietzsche writings making your skin crawl?

    And yes, I know all about Heidegger’s Nazism, having had classes from Jews about Heidegger. I do like Nietzsche (obviously not everything he wrote), don’t like Heidegger (it’s a stupid philosophy), but unlike your ignorant dumbfuck self, I also know that Heidegger wrote a book about Nietzsche during the Nazi period that was contrary to the Nazi propaganda about Nietzsche. My Jewish prof pointed that out.

    Do you know anything, or are you simply intent on proving how stupid and ignorant you are?

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

  35. #35 Alann
    August 25, 2006

    Does anyone really think Hitler hated the Jews because of something he read?

    His philosophy had an emotional core. He chose to believe something regardless of any rationale, and then embraced any fragment of philosophy or science which bolstered his idea while denying any validity to opposing ideas.

    It sort of ironic that they would try to equate Darwin with Hitler, while the ID and creationist movement parallels (though far less dangerous) the same pattern of irrational thinking.

  36. #36 Roman Werpachowski
    August 26, 2006

    Ed Brayton:

    It’s not an accident that Luther was Germany’s most influential theologian and Lutheranism the official church of Germany at the time of Hitler’s takeover.

    I think that Luther’s anti-semitism was not the primary reason that Lutheranism was so widespread in Germany. Also, are you sure that there was *any* official church in the Weimar Republic?

    Raging Bee:
    Wow. Just wow. This stuff is even stoopider than Pope Palpadict blaming “neo-paganism” for the Holocaust.

    Given the Nazis anti-Catholicism, I can understand the Pope Benedict’s POV. This does not mean he is correct in putting *all* the blame on “neo-paganism” (whatever it is), since traditional Christian anti-semitism was also a factor, but… I don’t think that you could stick to the traditional Catholic creed and do what the Nazis did towards the Jews. Have pogroms, yes. Have a Holocaust, no. Equating pogroms with Holocaust is a stupid thing. Jews have been living in Eastern Europe for centuries among pogroms, and survived. It took just 5 years of Nazi rule to wipe out most of them. Get the difference?

  37. #37 john d'oh
    August 26, 2006

    One of the ironies of all this is that their president really fits the definition of a Social Darwinist.

  38. #38 Ed Brayton
    August 26, 2006

    Roman wrote:

    I think that Luther’s anti-semitism was not the primary reason that Lutheranism was so widespread in Germany. Also, are you sure that there was *any* official church in the Weimar Republic?

    I didn’t mean that Luther’s anti-semitism was the reason why Lutheranism was popular in Germany. I meant that the popularity of Luther, coupled with his virulently anti-Semitic views, is certainly part of the reason why Germany was so susceptible to Hitler’s anti-Semitic madness. And there was at least an official state church in Nazi Germany, the German Protestant Church, which was Lutheran in orientation.

  39. #39 gitaiba
    August 26, 2006

    Hitler’s ideas regarding the Jews have an analogous example in 14th Century Spain. After pogroms and forced conversions resulted in hundreds of thousands of New Christians, Spain passed the first “Purity of Blood” laws, which restricted public office and other rights to those without Jewish ancestry. It was no longer good enough to convert to Christianity; you now had to be Christian for several generations. Additionally, the failure to convert all Jews to Christianity led to the the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. In other words, Ferdinand and Isabella wanted Spain to be judenrein.

  40. #40 Crackbaby
    August 26, 2006

    Hitler is related to Darwinism in one way only: He was subject to the laws of evolution like all other forms of life. And we should all be very, very thankful for that fact.

    Why?

    Because Hitler didn’t have any offspring. His personal genetic lineage ended with a bullet to the mouth in 1945. Sure there are likely to be other individuals, which were somehow related to Hitler, who reproduced and some shared genes may have passed on. Yet the unique combination of Hitler’s genes have not continued on in any meaningful way.

    Natural Selection Wins Again!

  41. #41 Crackbaby
    August 26, 2006

    Oh, and one more thing: How many kids does Ann Coulter have anyway?

    CB

  42. #42 Mark Plus
    August 30, 2006

    Hitler and his political movement faced complete and total defeat in 1945. We need to update our conceptual reference system to take account things that have happened in response to beliefs about origins since then.

    For example, for some reason nobody points out that theistic creationists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

  43. #43 Fr. Philip Mullen
    March 11, 2007

    It is quite sad to see the typical vomiting of mindless Anti-Semitism & Anti-Christinism — in a pathetic attempted defense of Darwinism, Evolutionism, and other False Science.
    The Rev. Dr. D. James Kennedy, and other heroic Christian voices, are echoing St. Martin Luther’s call — the Call of God’s Word — to Repentance and Faith. But God is working His Purpose out. Before it is too late — Repent ye, and Believe the Gospel!

    The Rev. Fr. Philip Mullen,
    Orthodox Lutheran Christian Pastor,
    Columbus, Ohio

  44. #44 doctorgoo
    March 11, 2007

    There wasn’t a single anti-semitic statement made here. And pointing out that Martin Luther was anti-semitic doesn’t make anyone here anti-christian, either. It is historically accurate.

    Now you might want to pretend that Darwin led to Hitler, but this is easily refuted, and virtually all Christian and Jewish scholars find this completely absurd.

    It’s a bit upsetting that an influential person such as yourself might try to spread such obvious lies to your congregation. I encourage a reader in the Columbus area to go to this church and hand out flyers that explain how science and religion don’t have to be in conflict.

  45. #45 dogmeatib
    March 11, 2007

    Rev. Mullen I have two questions for you.

    First, should your post be taken to condone; even to advocate lying and misrepresentation? Now I know historically all of the major Christian churches were involved in some very nasty activities, colonialism both here in the United States and the rest of the world, witch hunts, etc. So, given your support for Kennedy et al, am I to take it that you advocate sin to protect “The Word?”

    Second, have you actually read any recent publications, papers, etc., dealing with evolution? There is no need to defend evolutionary theory scientifically, quite the contrary, the whole idea of science is to challenge theories and their various mechanisms. If you had read anything published related to evolution you would know that it has not only survived all of these challenges, the evidence supporting the theory has grown exponentially stronger.

    Why should those who support evolution and science repent? We aren’t the ones who are lying … perhaps there was a revision and that’s no longer against your rules?

  46. #46 DuWayne
    March 11, 2007

    Rev Mullen -

    First, some of us here are actually followers of Christ and happen to believe science. As I follower of Christ, I cannot condone the lies that come from the mouths of those who also claim to be followers of Christ. When they are found, I am all about exposing their lies and hypocrisy, that others may know them for what they are and the false teachings they produce. It is never good to follow those who are not honet and forthright.

    Second, Martin Luther was far from a saint. Anyone who calls for the murder of any people and the burning of their synagogs, deserves nothing but distain. Anyone who preaches hate, can not, at the same time, have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus never taught anyone to hate, to kill or to lie.

    I will pray that the log comes out of your own eye.

    DuWayne Brayton
    Nazerene Worship Leader
    Follower of Jesus Christ

  47. #47 Fr. Philip Mullen
    May 15, 2007

    The lies/half-truths, false science, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Christianism, ignorance and general hate-mongering of this Blog are truly an indication of human depravity (SIN) — if not mental illness. Your defamation of St. Martin Luther is pathetic: he was speaking against bankers, who were ploting with the Holy Roman Empire (Papists) to quash the Lutheran states and the Reformation — not against law-abiding Non-Christian Jews. As an Orthodox Lutheran Christian Jew, I will pray that those who are caught-up in your sickness will repent and believe the Gospel. Drool over this — “If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). + Shalom in Christ!

  48. #48 Matthew Young
    May 15, 2007

    As an Orthodox Lutheran Christian Jew

    Hedging our bets somewhat there, aren’t we sonny?

    I find your lack of faith disturbing.
    [/Darth Vader Voice]

  49. #49 J.Brizendine
    June 18, 2007

    I like the change in ideology here, the new christian man, I was a christian, penecostal nearly fifteen years back. I am no longer any part of organized religion, just for the fact there is so much hate, so much discrimination..religon is the opium of the masses…I do enjoy though seeing new beliefe systems evolve out of the aether of this life, it is the way to go, a mergence of god, faith and spirit along with science…I also amwriting to find someone, Duwayne..Ed I dont know you, but if you could tell him, my name is jason, he lived with me briefly during high school,introduced me to my wife of nearly nine years, beenwith her since highschool, shes given me two beautiful boys, and…. just tell him thank you for me,thats all, he doesnt have to write me if he doesnt want to, but feel free to give him my email…Ill check back now and again for any added comments from you or him…thank you Jason Brizendine…..”the first casualty of war, is truth.”WC

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