I’ve found Internet access, and, of course, I can’t resist using it to add a bit to the commentary about the special being aired by the Coral Ridge Ministries that seeks to blame the Holocaust on Darwin. Yes, I did launch a Hitler Zombie attack on Monday, right before heading out on vacation, but a couple of other thoughts came to mind. For instance, consider this quote by Hitler:

For us, this is not a problem you can turn a blind eye to-one to be solved by small concessions. For us, it is a problem of whether our nation can ever recover its health, whether the Jewish spirit can ever really be eradicated. Don’t be misled into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don’t think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This Jewish contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew, has been banished from our midst. Speech delivered by Hitler in Salzburg, 7 or 8 August 1920. (NSDAP meeting)

Let’s see. No mention of Darwin. However, I just thought of someone upon whom the Holocaust could be blamed based on this sort of rhetoric: Louis Pasteur.

Think about it. Pasteur was the originator of the germ theory of disease. He, more than anyone else, discovered the link between microorganisms and human disease. While we’re at it, we could also blame Robert Koch, as well, given that he formailzed a set of postulates that needed to be fulfilled if one is to conclude that a specific microorganism causes a specific disease.

So why aren’t the ID advocates blaming the Holocaust on Pasteur or Koch?

Or how about this quote by Hitler:

The Jews are a Cancer on the breast of Germany

Hitler often likened Jews to a “cancer.” (He couldn’t seem to make up his mind whether they were a “cancer” or an “infection.”) This makes me wonder why ID advocates like Weikart don’t blame the Holocaust on William Halstead.

Who’s Halstead? If you were a surgeon, you wouldn’t ask that question. He was one of the greatest surgeons of the 19th century, but, for purposes of my comparison, he was also the one who first advocated radical sugical extirpation of cancers, particularly breast cancer, as the only means of cure. This led him to develop the radical mastectomy, a disfiguring operation that involved removing the breast, the underlying pectoralis major muscle, and the regional axillary lymph nodes, an operation that didn’t give way to less disfiguring operations until the 1970’s. Given that at the time there was no radiation therapy or chemotherapy, he was, in fact, correct; surgery was the only cure for solid tumors at the time he lived. It’s just unfortunate that it took so many decades to figure out that lesser operations could achieve the same results.

So I ask again: Why don’t ID advocates try to link the Holocaust to Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, or William Halstead?

I think you know the answer to that one. You don’t think it’s because neither Pasteur, Koch’s, nor Halstead’s work conflict with a literal reading of Genesis, do you?


  1. #1 SLC
    August 25, 2006

    Many investigators have claimed that Hitlers’ hatred of the Jews stemed from what he perceived to be inadequate treatment given his mother (who eventually died of cancer) by a Jewish doctor. This may explain his allusions to cancer in his fulminations in later life.

  2. #2 Algerine
    August 25, 2006

    Because Darwin’s easier to spell?

  3. #3 Chris
    August 25, 2006

    Maybe Hitler thought cancer *was* an infection. It doesn’t seem like an implausible level of medical ignorance for a non-doctor, considering how many people even today don’t know the difference between a bacterium and a virus.

  4. #4 Dawn
    August 25, 2006

    SLC…don’t know where in the Insolence archives it may be exactly, but IIRC Orac actually addressed and mostly debunked this fact in a previous post.

    Yeah, but for the most part, what Pasteur, Koch and Halstead taught don’t interfere with the belief in God–oops, sorry–Intelligent Designer–that the ID advocates hang onto so desperately (to be honest, if I had ANY leanings towards ID, I’d drop them like a hot potato just due to the stupid things the proponents of it are pushing at me.)

  5. #5 Sergey Romanov
    August 26, 2006
  6. #6 Inquisitive Raven
    August 26, 2006

    What gets me is the fact that if Darwin hadn’t gotten his name associated with evolution by natural selection, the IDiots might be yowling about Alfred Russel Wallace. After all, he came up with the idea independently.

    So, two people came up with the same theory at more or less the same time and other concepts of evolution had already been proposed at that point. Do you think think there might be something to the theory?

  7. #7 Mr.Gossip
    October 21, 2006

    How can anyone be so blind to the facts of life?

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