Pharyngula

Et tu, Francis Collins?

The Raw Story reveals that D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries will be a hosting a program that blames Darwin for Hitler. Orac has going to have to resurrect an entire zombie Wehrmacht to handle this one: look at the unholy corps of creationists he has assembled to defend this outrageous claim:

The one-hour program features Ann Coulter, author of Godless; Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler; Lee Strobel, author of The Case for a Creator; Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution; Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial; Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box; Ian Taylor, author of In the Minds of Men, and Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.

FRANCIS COLLINS??!? WTF? So this is the guy we’re all supposed to be grateful to for showing us how Christianity and evolution can be reconciled, and now he’s going to be a talking head for some creationist propaganda? Thanks, Francis. I guess I’ve been too kind.

Look. Coulter is a nobody, a shrill right-wing harpy with no knowledge of science or history; Weikert, Wells, Johnson, and Behe are Discovery Institute hacks; Ian Taylor is a young earth creationist; Lee Strobel is another creationist. Weikert is the only historian in that list (there’s another in the sample video clip, but so is Ken Ham), and his thesis that you can fault Darwin from Nazism has been slammed by Nick Matzke in a two-part series at the Panda’s Thumb.

The premise has two strikes against it. One is that it is ridiculous; Darwin himself was an enlightened fellow for his time who opposed the racism endemic to his culture, and while individuals have twisted the science to support social Darwinism or eugenics, that whole line of reasoning is repudiated by the majority of biologists now. For another, it wouldn’t matter if Darwin had been a vicious anti-semite who had launched racist diatribes—the theory is not the founder. William Shockley’s racism did not mean that transistors do not work. Social Darwinism is not the same as evolutionary biology.

Weikert is pathetic; in a blizzard of ahistorical nonsense in the clip, he claims the Nazis relied on Darwinian principles because they used the word “selection” in perpetrating their atrocities, and Kennedy claims that if there had been no Darwin, there would have been no holocaust, because they wouldn’t have had the idea of killing off other races to advance their cause. How absurd can you get? Racism, anti-semitism, and ethnic cleansing long preceded Darwin, and the idea of selection was common to anyone who had domesticated and bred plants and animals. They might as well have claimed, “no farming, no Nazis” (although I think even that would be dubious—hunter-gatherers also have enemy tribes, and will kill to get rid of the competition.)

I have no idea what role Collins is going to play in this dishonest piece of trash, but I hope he is properly ashamed of being associated with it. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to watch it (it will be broadcast on the 26th and 27th of August) to find out.


IMPORTANT: Collins has repudiated any association with Kennedy’s program. He gave an interview to Coral Ridge ministries about his book, and they spliced it into their video and used his name to promote it without his permission.

Comments

  1. #1 Martin
    August 19, 2006

    Where the fuck will this shit be broadcast, and, if it’s not some low-rent fundie cable station, whom do we bombard with angry letters?

  2. #2 PZ Myers
    August 19, 2006

    In my neighborhood, it’ll be on TBN — that low-rent fundie basic cable station. There is a way to find out what station it will be shown on in your area here. I notice that in some areas it will be on one of the big three broadcast stations.

  3. #3 Nick (Matzke)
    August 19, 2006

    Interviews with Eugenie Scott and Ken Miller appear in the Icons of Evolution video, of course in black-and-white as the villians of the video. I forget how exactly the interviews happened, but it goes to show that you don’t necessarily know what the end result will be or even what the show will really be about.

    I bet they portray Collins as an ID fan and ignore his criticisms of ID, but that’s a guess.

  4. #4 matthew
    August 19, 2006

    How disgusting, Darwin was always opposed to racism and slavery, of which may be due to the fact that he was raised by parents who were opposed to racism and slavery. Now, every once in a while (during his youth at least) his “superior Englishman mentality” would rear it’s ugly head, but that was overshadowed when compared to the compassion he felt towards honest, good people — of any race or social standing. What a mockery.

  5. #5 shiva
    August 19, 2006

    Benjamin Weikart is an historian as Madonna is an intellectual. I pity the students who must take classes with this sub-par intellect.

    Darwin could be anything. It doesn’t matter.

  6. #6 Stephen Frug
    August 19, 2006

    I think this is too simple too, but it’s worth noting that lot more historians have drawn the “Christianity to Hitler” (i.e. Christian anti-semitism to the Holocaust) line than anything involving Darwin.

  7. #7 Phaedrus
    August 19, 2006

    Next they’ll be blaming the Wright brothers for Hiroshima. The bomb was delivered by plane and we know who came up with THAT idea!

  8. #8 natural cynic
    August 19, 2006

    You could hope [or pray?] for a miracle, especially if Collins is the last speaker. He might have enough balls to put up some quotes from Martin Luther on the Jews just for starters and then go to the Coulter/Hitler comparison that Brayton(?) had on ScienceBlogs recently and finally walk off with a one-fingered salute.

    Not likely, but one could hope.

  9. #9 RPM
    August 19, 2006

    The domain http://www.firecollins.com is available. Let’s start a campaign. He’s obviously more interested in evangelizing than doing science — kick the religious zealot out.

    Rushing to judgment is fun! Here’s to hoping Collins was duped.

  10. #10 goddogtired
    August 19, 2006

    I’m sure any Xian program ensures that anyone with “balls” of any sort is not allowed to address Xian audience. Eunuchs only are intrusted with the harem that is the Xian flock.

  11. #11 calipygian
    August 19, 2006

    WJLA 7 in Washington DC. That is the local ABC affiliate.

  12. #12 Zeno
    August 19, 2006

    D. James Kennedy is already hawking Darwin’s Deadly Legacy on his website and has been shaking down the faithful for weeks by asking them to pony up to defray the production costs of this “documentary.” He’ll be shipping the DVD and a companion book soon. I plan to catch the broadcast on tape, after which I’ll post highlights on my blog. I watch Kennedy pretty regularly and he reliably turns my stomach, but we do need to keep an eye on him. We know he lies (perhaps even to himself) and is a master propagandist, so we ignore him at our own peril.

    By the way, this argument that “Darwinism” is bad because it led to eugenics, forced sterilization, Naziism, the Holocaust, etc., etc., is yet another example of specious post hoc reasoning. Even worse, even if it were true it would not invalidate evolution. If you prove that something has bad consequences, you have not proven that it is therefore false. You have merely shown that it is dangerous.

    Specious arguments are rampant on the Christian right. Catholic radio is always broadcasting the argument that women who have abortions suffer increased risk of breast cancer (they call it the ABC link: Abortion = Breast Cancer). The evidence is shaky at best and the medical community is not persuaded. When religionists base their arguments on moral grounds, at least they’re consistent (or may be consistent) with the tenets of their faith. When they gin up arguments based on weak scientific evidence, they don’t seem to realize that their foundation is quicksand. Fools.

  13. #13 Scott Hatfield
    August 19, 2006

    PZ: Thanks for posting this. As you might recall, I emailed you about this on the afternoon of the 16th, right before notifying NCSE. I think you’re right: Collins should be abashed. I seem to recall that even Richard Dawkins has been “set up” on occasion in a filmed interview. One almost has to assume that film/TV types will act badly in order to finesse the situation, it seems.

    Scott

  14. #14 Rey Fox
    August 19, 2006

    Well, in my state, it’s going to be on TBN as well, except for one instance of it being on ABC, but at 11 AM on Sunday when nobody sane would be watching TV anyway, unless football were on. So it seems to me that the only folks this will reach are the kind of people who are probably out of the reach of logic anyway.

    But yeah, Collins is a douchebag by association now. Or maybe it’s just the usual phenomenon of when someone initially joins some church/subculture/whatever and they’re just so excited about it and enthusiastic and eager to please and play Us vs. Them games. Maybe he’ll mellow out eventually.

  15. #15 Rey Fox
    August 19, 2006

    “kick the religious zealot out.”

    ‘Scuse me, but, kick him out of what? Our treehouse?

  16. #16 Molly, NYC
    August 19, 2006

    This may be grasping at straws, but the description says that Collins is “featured.” It does not say, for example, that he was interviewed giving Kennedy his support. “Featured” could just be a news clip of Collins saying he’s a Christian.

    It doesn’t even mean he knows he’s on this show. Is there some way to ask him?

  17. #17 kemibe
    August 19, 2006

    Kennedy is a prevaricating turd, but has nothing on the other faecal extrusions who will be in attendance at this carnival of shitwits. I guess Tim LaHaye, Al Mohler and Hugh Hewitt are already booked that weekend?

    “Weikert is pathetic … he claims the Nazis relied on Darwinian principles because they used the word ‘selection’ in perpetrating their atrocities…”>/b>

    How do people staking out this position reconcile such tripe with the number of human slayings that people have perpetrated expressly in the name of God? Why aren’t atheists agitating for the destruction of Bibles and churches on account of the fact that people kill in the name of [insert name of airgod] every fuckin’ day?

  18. #18 Craig
    August 19, 2006

    Interesting coincidence – This was the random quote when I read this post:

    I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.

    [Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

  19. #19 Greco
    August 19, 2006

    If you prove that something has bad consequences, you have not proven that it is therefore false.

    If that were the case, we would have to conclude that trigonometry is false because some people use it to launch bombs.

  20. #20 Michael Hopkins
    August 19, 2006

    Do we yet know if Collins even knew that he was being interviewed for fundamentalist tripe? It not a good idea to start to condemn Collins until we know what his side of the story is. Heck do we even know if Collins really was interviewed by the fundies as opposed to them buying some recycled some previous interview with context edited out?

  21. #21 Ichthyic
    August 19, 2006

    michael, you can judge for yourself when Collins’ book comes out next month:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2220484,00.html

    one thing to note is that Collins has typically denounced the IDers, and comes off as typically “theistic evolutionist”.

  22. #22 Mena
    August 19, 2006

    In Chicago it’s only going to be shown on TBN and a UHF station which seems to only show old scifi, bad movies, and infomercials.

  23. #23 tacitus
    August 19, 2006

    TBN is available online – at http://tbn.org – if you can’t find a local station broadcasting the show – just click “Watch Us” and give them a (fake) email address.

  24. #24 moonbiter
    August 19, 2006

    Shorter Francis Collins: I was an atheist until I was confronted with mortality in medical school and found it easier to deal with by believing in a comfortable fantasy.

  25. #25 PZ Myers
    August 19, 2006

    I shall apologize to Francis Collins here when he angrily denounces Kennedy for using his name in their promotional materials, and demands that they cease and desist from pretending that he endorses the subject of the show.

  26. #26 Rey Fox
    August 19, 2006

    Craig, you might want to go over to the “Angry Phantasm” thread and show that quote to the fellow who is insisting that Hitler was an atheist.

  27. #27 ferfuracious
    August 19, 2006

    There are better quotes Craig, these are from a contemporary OSS psychological report on Hitler:

    “I carry out the commands that Providence has laid upon me.”

    “No power on earth can shake the German Reich now, Divine Providence has willed it that I carry through the fulfillment of the Germanic task.”

    “But if the voice speaks, then I know the time has come to act.”

    “I was eating my dinner in a trench with several comrades. Suddenly a voice seemed to be saying to me, ‘Get up and go over there.’ It was so clear and insistent that I obeyed automatically, as if it had been a military order. I rose at once to my feet and walked twenty yards along the trench carrying my dinner in its tin can with me. Then I sat down to go on eating, my mind being once more at rest. Hardly had I done so when a flash and deafening report came from the part of the trench I had just left. A stray shell had burst over the group in which I had been sitting, and every member of it was killed.”

    “When I came to Berlin a few weeks ago and looked at the traffic in the Kurfuerstendamm, the luxury, the perversion, the iniquity, the wanton display, and the Jewish materialism disgusted me so thoroughly, that I was almost beside myself. I nearly imagined myself to be Jesus Christ when He came to His Father’s temple and found it taken by the money-changers. I can well imagine how He felt when He seized a whip and scourged them out.”

    http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/h/hitler-adolf/oss-papers/text/oss-profile-01.html

  28. #28 Millimeter Wave
    August 19, 2006

    Oh no, not again…

    I just don’t understand why this ridiculous argument is still around. The counter seems really quite simple (aside from pointing out that it is an argument from consequences, which, although entirely valid, usually doesn’t sway anybody who has accepted the argument in an emotional way in the first place):

    Adolf Hitler apparently used the theory of evolution to justify some of his actions and policies. The correct conclusion is not “therefore, the theory of evolution must be wrong”, but rather “therefore, Adolf Hitler was a nutcase”. Actually, I wasn’t aware that such a conclusion was considered controversial.

  29. #29 Christopher Heard
    August 19, 2006

    FYI, Collins’s book is already out, at least in the USA. I am about 2/3 of the way through the audio version. It’s obviously written for nonspecialists, light on both genomics and theology (really light on theology, actually), but I can’t imagine that he would be friendly to the likes of Coulter, Wells, Johnson, and Behe. I haven’t quite gotten to the chapter in his book on “Intelligent Design,” but based on everything in the book so far I just can’t see any comfort in it. Obviously we have to wait and see, but can it be that Collins is either the “token theistic evolutionist” in the group, or a foil for the others? I know that I have been approached by a couple of production companies for interviews where they didn’t disclose who else was being interviewed or how the final product would be used. Surely (crosses fingers) something like that is true also for Collins.

  30. #30 Russell
    August 19, 2006

    I don’t think Christianity can be blamed for Hitler. But it does have to take credit for the anti-semitism that long preceded Hitler. Anti-semitic philophy was steeped in Christian thought, and led to pogroms and persecutions long before Hitler took up that cause.

    Religious wars are the worst. It’s too bad we seem to have started out the 21st century engaged in them.

  31. #31 Ick of the East
    August 19, 2006

    …..“I’m sure any Xian program ensures that anyone with “balls” of any sort is not allowed to address Xian audience.”

    What about Coulter?

  32. #32 AndyS
    August 19, 2006

    I sure hope Francis Collins is willing to stand up and say to this collection of “experts” something like “I’m a real scientist and you all are full of shit.” You need some towels and a good cleanser merely to appear on a stage with Ann Coulter.

  33. #33 PZ Myers
    August 19, 2006

    I doubt that he does in the show, or they wouldn’t have used him. It’s not too late, though — let’s hope he repudiates the whole misbegotten effort.

  34. #34 Bro. Bartleby
    August 19, 2006

    Just as Dr. PZ has drawn his line in the sand, so too has Dr. Kennedy, and my only advice is for the PZ doctor to hurriedly fashion some offering plates and begin to pass them around, for the Kennedy “doctor” has a Darwinian jump on you in this evolved specialty, so too his mass communication skills. But in the end Truth will survive and both the “doctors” will be but laser bits and bytes etched on some long ago forgottened and buried Google hard drive.

  35. #35 Bro. Bartleby
    August 19, 2006

    Los Angeles Times, Aug. 17, 2006:

    “We act as though there’s a battle going on,” Collins said. “An irreconcilable conflict.”

    He feels no such conflict. He believes in evolution and in the resurrection. He wears a silver ring with a raised cross and works at a dining-room table painted with the double-helix of DNA.

    Tall and trim, with gray hair; blue eyes; a relaxed, self-effacing manner; and just the barest hint of a Southern twang, Collins, 56, has set himself up as an emissary between two clashing worldviews.

    He urges his fellow scientists to give up the arrogant assumption that the only questions worth asking are those science can answer. He entreats his fellow believers to recognize it’s not blasphemous to learn about the world.

  36. #36 Caledonian
    August 19, 2006

    ‘Forgottened’?

    And hard drives don’t use lasers, Brother O Brother.

  37. #37 Bro. Bartleby
    August 19, 2006

    Oh my, oh my, oh my … you feared Collins mixing in with the IDers … yikes, he is further down the path, and way out of sight on this one, he “believes in the resurrection.”!!!! How about them apples! I guess you could just blame it on the “barest hint of a Southern twang.”

  38. #38 Bob
    August 19, 2006

    Thanks very much for posting this, PZ. This is outrageous.

  39. #39 Ed Darrell
    August 19, 2006

    It would be funny were Kennedy so earnest about it.

    I recommend that you write to the FCC. It’s a paid program — meaning Kennedy pays the television station to broadcast it — but the station is still repsonsible for making sure total idiots and total fools don’t abuse the public airwaves. This stuff should fit some local definitions of obscene, shouldn’t it?

    “Obscene. Objectionable or offensive to accepted standards of decency.” (Black’s Law Dictionary)

    I find it offensive. I would consider it attempted child abuse were he to try to teach such utterly-devoid-of-scientific-or-political-or-artistic merit stuff to my kids.

    Why should he get a chance to broadcast it? Stations have an obligation to check what is broadcast as “news” or “fact” actually has some merit. Kennedy’s claims lack such merit.

    Write and tell the FCC that you think the station is abusing its license and should be investigated. Ask that your letter be put in the file for license renewal time. Call the station and voice your protest, and ask them how you make written comment for the license renewal hearing (they’re obligated to give you that information).

    No, this won’t get immediate action. But it’s a start. Call Kennedy’s bluff. Make him accountable for what he says.

    One is free to believe almost any fool thing, under our Constitution. One is not free to put it on the public airwaves.

  40. #40 Jonathan Badger
    August 19, 2006

    Darwin himself was an enlightened fellow for his time who opposed the racism endemic to his culture

    While Darwin was opposed to slavery (he *was* the grandson on his mother’s side of noted British abolitionist Josiah Wedgewood after all) and was personal friends with John Edmonstone (a freed slave), it is not honest to say Darwin wasn’t racist. Darwin claimed in the _Descent of Man_ that blacks and Australian natives were closer to non-human primates than whites were. Of course, this was a typical 19th century opinion in no way novel to Darwin, but it isn’t honest to gloss it over. Like many other thinkers such as Lincoln, Mencken and Jefferson, Darwin had self-conflicting ideas on racial equality.

    For another, it wouldn’t matter if Darwin had been a vicious anti-semite who had launched racist diatribes–the theory is not the founder

    Yes, it wouldn’t matter. But fortunately he wasn’t. But ignoring his genius, he *was* a typical 19th century upper class Englishman, which meant many of his opinions wouldn’t be “PC” today.

  41. #41 Ed Darrell
    August 19, 2006

    Ooooh. It’s not set to air until next weekend! You have an entire week to call the station and tell them you find the program too offensive to air. It’s factual errors alone should demand it be pulled.

    Too bad we don’t have the Fairness Doctrine still. It’d be fun to demand response time on all those stations . . .

  42. #42 Ed Darrell
    August 19, 2006

    Should be, “Its factual errors . . .”

    My apologies.

  43. #43 George
    August 19, 2006

    These stupid religious fanatics will flop around on the T.V. and the Internet and in Congress for the next 10-15 years, thrashing out at their enemies, blaming liberals and gays and Darwin for everything, then it will stop. This extremist fad will be over (I hope).

    Pfffffffffffft.

    In the meantime, pass the popcorn.

    (I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do all we can to oppose these nuts, just that they are good for a lot of laughs.)

  44. #44 Bro. Bartleby
    August 19, 2006

    Call your local station??? Coral Ridge and the like programming are the local station’s bread and butter, just as DOD research is the bread and butter of the university. Life ain’t fair!

  45. #45 plunge
    August 19, 2006

    Two things are still of note though: Darwin was far more progessive on race than the vast majority of the people from his era (hated slavery, felt that people of all races shold have legal rights, etc.: pretty radical stuff back then).

    And, more importantly, we happen to be living in the first century in human history where racialism and racism are no longer taken seriously in polite society anymore (well, aside from the society Senator George Allen keeps). That’s no coincidence: it was the explosive chain of insight into the idea of humanity as demonstrably being a single species that finished off the idea of separate races for good.

  46. #46 Bro. Bartleby
    August 19, 2006

    “…pass the popcorn.”

    As a Christian, and having witnessed bone-headed fundamentalist brainwashing kids, I cannot sit and watch the “fun” … if it were only Dr. PZs and Dr. Kennedys duking it out, then I too would “pass the popcorn” … but any group that screws up the minds of children — let them be Christian fundamentalist, Muslim fundamentalist, or just good old Soviet atheists that messed the brains of millions (and murdered millions more), or the North Korean wacko hanging on to communism and making brainwashing an art — must be confronted.

  47. #47 Blake Stacey
    August 19, 2006

    The science historian and popularizer James Burke had some good phrases about the whole Darwin and Nazi-ism thing. In The Day the Universe Changed, he calls the eugenics ideas dreamt up by avid Haeckel readers “pseudoscientific garbage”, and he characterizes Hitler as “the one who misquoted Darwin so often, here at Nuremberg.”

    He also points out that “Social Darwinists” here in the United States and Communists of Lenin’s flock drew rhetoric from Darwin just as much as the Nazis did. Hmmmm. Three sides in a World War, each appropriating truths of nature to cloak itself. Makes you think, don’t it?

  48. #48 Loren Petrich
    August 20, 2006

    I will now quote Deuteronomy 7:1-5 from the Bible:

    When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations–the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire.

    Which is genocide, pure and simple; it may be called “the Final Solution of the Canaanite Question”.

    And what I find especially depressing is some Xian apologists’ willingness to defend Biblical genocide. Yes, defend it as legitimate and moral. By comparison, the favorite Nazi apologetic is that Nazi Germany had not committed mass murder — Holocaust denial.

  49. #49 Molly, NYC
    August 20, 2006

    I shall apologize to Francis Collins here when he angrily denounces Kennedy for using his name in their promotional materials, and demands that they cease and desist from pretending that he endorses the subject of the show.

    That’s reasonable, but again, does Collins even know about this? What strikes you as more likely: That a snake like Kennedy would lie about Collins being one of his “experts” in this as-yet-unaired claptrap; or that Collins would give Kennedy the time of day?

  50. #50 George
    August 20, 2006

    From the promo for the show:

    “The time has come,” he said, “to recognize that evolution is a bad idea and should be, frankly, discarded into the dustbin of history.”

    Now where did I put that dustbin?

    Ooop, there it is, chock full of… Biblical literature!

    Sorry, folks. Dustbin’s all full. Guess we’re stuck with evolution.

  51. #51 Ed Darrell
    August 20, 2006

    Darwin didn’t outright claim that blacks and Australians are closer to apes. What he said was that, at some future time, it is likely that aboriginals will either be wiped out (Darwin had seen what happened to the Tasmanians), or assimilated into “civilization.” Plus, he thought, some of the great apes would be driven to extinction. At that time, when there were no humans living a primitive existence close to what a chimp might experience, AND there were no chimps, people would find it easier to deny evolution. It’s easy to make it sound racist, but I think that’s unfair to what he was arguing, and it’s unfair to his open and notorious opposition to slavery, to his notes that enslaved Africans in rebellion against their masters were the equal of the best Roman generals (see Voyage of the Beagle), and to his defense of Tasmanians as superior humans adapted to their lifestyle than the Europeans who hunted them down with guns. Darwin’s views are not easily classed as racist when taken in context, and in full. (It’s also important to remember that when Darwin used the word “savage” he meant “not civilized and living in cities,” or “aboriginal,” and nothing more.)

    Here’s the passage from Descent of Man:

    The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies–between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae–between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked 18. ‘Anthropological Review,’ April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
  52. #52 JimC
    August 20, 2006

    Bro. Bartleby-

    As a Christian, and having witnessed bone-headed fundamentalist brainwashing kids, I cannot sit and watch the “fun”

    While sharing your sentiments I have to ask how you then arrived at your chosen religious view? Just a question.

    … but any group that screws up the minds of children — let them be Christian fundamentalist, Muslim fundamentalist,

    This is a BS selective grouping, it’s not just fundies, it’s also catholics, methodists, and all other religions in between.

    or just good old Soviet atheists that messed the brains of millions (and murdered millions more)

    Please. Millions where murdered yes, but not in the name of a supernatural belief system.

    Otherwise I appreciate your thoughts.

  53. #53 Lago
    August 20, 2006

    Of course Darwin was responsible for what Hitler did to the Jews in Germany. I mean every school kid knows that Martin Luther, right before writing, “The Jew and Their Lies” had just finished reading, “The Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1540 edition)”. It was certainly, as any Southern Baptist 3rd grade student can tell you, the inspiration for Luther’s work.

    Yours in Yahushúa Chrestos

    B.S. Sophist, Ph.D
    Department of Christian World History
    Bob Jone’s University

  54. #54 Jonathan Badger
    August 20, 2006

    It’s easy to make it sound racist, but I think that’s unfair to what he was arguing

    I think it is difficult to interpret the last sentence of the quote in any other way than an assertion of racial hierachy. If he was claiming merely a cultural similarity between tribal cultures and gorillas (not that that even makes sense as even the most primitive tribes have language) he could have written so or at least referred to “savages” rather than “negro or Australian”

    and it’s unfair to his open and notorious opposition to slavery, to his notes that enslaved Africans in rebellion against their masters were the equal of the best Roman generals

    I’ve recently just read a biography of H.L. Mencken and a there’s a similar contradiction in his views. You can find cases where Mencken is quite modern on race and others that are just plain shocking. But you have to put Mencken (and Darwin) in the context of their own times and not try to reinvent them to fit modern opinions by claiming they didn’t really mean it when they express opinions no longer acceptable to us.

  55. #55 ekzept
    August 20, 2006

    … seem to recall that even Richard Dawkins has been “set up” on occasion in a filmed interview …

    yeah, he mentioned it on a “Point of Inquiry” podcast. Dawkins was interviewing this other dude. (sorry forgot his name.) and in the middle of it the dude gets nasty and comes out with a preacher’s “You evolutionists are all the same and incredibly arrogant to think you have all the answers” kind of thing. wasn’t much Dawkins could say.

    to Dawkins credit, he left it in the clip. won’t see that happening in the tape of this show i bet. is it live?

    also, a thought: are they trying to warm up the fundaloon segment of the Republicans for November?

    another thing about that interview with Dawkins: he insists he hates the title “Root of All Evil” of his book, and claims he didn’t have control of it.

    anyway, this sounds like a “swords of Armageddon” kind of show. we may know it’s crap but i bet most of its viewers won’t. it’ll just give them more things to justify the Crichton image of scientists as a hierarchical, priestly cabal who stomp on new ideas in graduate students and then on post-docs and then on people applying for grants. and i bet they’ll eat popcorn, chips, and salsa while watching, like some basketball game.

  56. #56 Scott Hatfield
    August 20, 2006

    Hello one and all! I’ve decided to take PZ’s expressed desire that Collins ‘repudiate the whole misbegotten effort’ seriously, and thus took the liberty of e-mailing Collins directly. In part, I wrote:

    “Recently, I was troubled to observe that your name is being used to promote a religious program produced by D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, entitled “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy”, scheduled to air nationally on August 26 and 27. Their publicity can be found here:

    http://www.coralridge.org/darwin/

    The program’s essential thesis appears to be an ad hominem attack on evolutionary biology by purported linkage to various ills of the 20th Century, including fascism. A smear campaign, by any other name. I urge you to visit the above site and decide for yourself if you want your name to be associated with this broadcast. I also urge you to consider formally repudiating both the intent of the program and the tactics employed.”

    Hopefully, as PZ said, Dr. Collins will read this and do something about it. I really hope he will. Alternatively, if he does nothing to address this, the message as sent will document the fact that he was warned and discourage him or others from pleading ignorance.

    SH

  57. #57 GH
    August 20, 2006

    Scott,

    Your a good man and a credit to science.

  58. #58 CJ
    August 20, 2006

    Unfortunately, we’re going to have to watch it (it will be broadcast on the 26th and 27th of August) to find out.

    I think I’ll trust your critique of it if you don’t mind and yes, you were too kind.

    But on a much cheerier note, perhaps you might like to take a
    trip to Berkeley, matey.

  59. #59 tacitus
    August 20, 2006

    This show will simply be an updated regurgitation of empty creationist rhetoric. Kennedy has been trotting out all his old anti-evolution TV shows over the past month.

    You can sample the claptrap (e.g. Kennedy has the “evolutionist” members of the Supreme Court saying “Nein” to prayer in the classroom…) at this link:

    http://www.coralridge.org/BroadcastArchives.asp?cat=crh&daterange=7/30/2006-8/31/2006

    Broadcasts dated from 7/30 onwards are all diatribes against evolution. Be warned, it’s all really dreadful stuff.

  60. #60 justathought
    August 20, 2006

    Odd coincidence, I was browsing the blogs and came upon this post just as I was listening to a BBC radio interview with Francis Collins.

    Collins states that C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” is the book that cinched his change from atheist to believer.

    Strangely enough, it was my own reading of that very book while attending a religious school that helped cement the shifting of my beliefs in the other direction.

  61. #61 Brian
    August 20, 2006

    From looking at the clip from the program, it repeats the typical misinformation ignorant Christian religious fanatics often repeat about Hitler and evolution. Hitler was not an evolutionist and if anything was a creationist. In his book, Mein Kempf, Hitler wrote that the Aryan was divinely created in the image of his creator. The clip’s mention of “selection” in concentration camps had nothing to do with selecting who would live and who would die. EVERYONE that was sent to a concentration camp was sent there to die. When they arrived at the concentration camp, the “selection” was to select people that were able to perform slave labor and those who weren’t, such as children and old or disabled people. Those who were not able to perform slave labor were killed right away in the death camps. Those who were able to perform slave labor were worked to death in slave-camps. The life expectancy of those sent to slave-camps was often not more than a few weeks.

    There is no relation between Darwin’s writings and Hitler’s beliefs. Hitler’s beliefs about Jews were much closer to that of the Christian Church throughout its history than anything Darwin wrote. Hitler’s beliefs that all Jews are evil were very similar to what the Christian Church had been teaching for over 1,500 years before Hitler was born. There isn’t much difference between what the Nazi’s did to Jews and what Christian Crusaders did hundreds of years earlier. Were it not for the Christian Church’s persecution of the Jews and their spreading of hateful lies about them for many centuries, I doubt many people would have taken what Hitler said about Jews very seriously.

    This program is typical propaganda of the ignorant Christian religious fanatic. For anyone or anything that doesn’t go along with their backward, ignorant beliefs, they do everything they can to demonize and portray as evil.

  62. #62 tsiatko
    August 20, 2006

    One could also make the observation that eugenics was first advanced in the US as social policy by a group of Indiana pastors.

  63. #63 Christian
    August 20, 2006

    Zeno: By the way, this argument that “Darwinism” is bad because it led to eugenics, forced sterilization, Naziism, the Holocaust, etc., etc., is yet another example of specious post hoc reasoning.

    Well, that’s one reason why this is a bad argument but there are also others. One is that you don’t have to accept the complete Theory of Evolution with common descent and the whole shebang to promote or adhere to all of the above.
    It’s completely sufficient to be a YEC who accepts micro-evolution to be a “good” Nazi, eugenicist or racist and I’m willing to bet that most of them were creationists of one type or an other.

    So this argument is not only bad but it backfires on them because the “problematic” parts of the ToE are not those they reject but those they do accept.

  64. #64 Anne Nonymous
    August 20, 2006

    …..”I’m sure any Xian program ensures that anyone with “balls” of any sort is not allowed to address Xian audience.”

    What about Coulter?

    Well, you know, Michael Moore is also fat. I don’t wanna be a jerk, Ick, but I hate to see people on my side using this cruel tactic. Seems like if we’re really better than them, then making fun of people’s appearances shouldn’t be in our repertoire. And in particular, making fun of a woman for being stereotypically “masculine” (or a man for being stereotypically “feminine”) in appearance or behavior really seems like a right-wing thing. Aren’t we lefties supposed to get that gender stereotypes suck? I’m sorry, I don’t like to preach, but I just can’t let this kind of thing go unchallenged. Ann Coulter is a bad enough person in enough other ways that we shouldn’t need to stoop to her level to explain why we don’t like her.

  65. #65 Peter McGrath
    August 20, 2006

    Christians ought to be careful when talking about ideas being coopted for evil ends. People in glass houses shouldn’t get undressed, as the saying should go.

  66. #66 Steven Carr
    August 20, 2006

    Hitler explicity rejected Darwinism and the evolution of man.

    From Hitler’s Tischgespraeche for the night of the 25th to 26th 1942 ‘Woher nehmen wir das Recht zu glauben, der Mensch sei nicht von Uranfaengen das gewesen , was er heute ist? Der Blick in die Natur zeigt uns, dass im Bereich der Pflanzen und Tiere Veraenderungen und Weiterbildungen vorkommen. Aber nirgends zeigt sich innherhalb einer Gattung eine Entwicklung von der Weite des Sprungs, den der Mensch gemacht haben muesste, sollte er sich aus einem affenartigen Zustand zu dem, was er ist, fortgebildet haben.’

  67. #67 Daniel Morgan
    August 20, 2006

    Darwin to blame for Hitler?

    Try Martin Luther.

  68. #68 Ed Darrell
    August 20, 2006

    I’ve searched Hitler’s Mein Kampf in both English and German, and he doesn’t mention evolution anywhere that gets close to biological evolution. In no place I have ever found does he endorse Darwin.

    In fact, as Ashley Montagu pointed out, Hitler rejected much of Darwinian-corroborating and affirming science. For example, Hitler thought heritage is carried in blood, not genes (Bible students: Where would he have gotten such an idea?). Consequently, he banned blood banks, because he feared that “Jewish” blood could sneak in and contaminate the pool, and that German soldiers given the blood might change character. As Montagu noted (in his 1959 book, Human Genetics, the consequence was that many German soldiers who could have been saved from battlefield wounds, instead died of shock. Tens of thousands of Allied soldiers were saved, many of them sent back to the battle. (Yes, there were sad incidents of blood being separated by “race” in U.S. blood banks — separate issue).

    D. James Kennedy should be required to show his documentation. I think any honest check would find that history reveals a quite different story from that related by Kennedy. In the interests of Christian honesty, he should be challenged — and of course, one does not need to be a Christian to do it.

  69. #69 Larry Fafarman
    August 20, 2006

    I firmly believe that the subject of connections between Darwinism and Nazism should be openly and frankly studied and discussed. What I am against is what this TV program tries to do — use such connections to condemn Darwinism.

    Darwinism contributed to the eugenics movement and the eugenics movement influenced some of the Nazis’ policies. However, I think there is a limit to how far the connection between eugenics and Nazism can be carried. For example, the Nazis’ first act of persecution of the Jews was to fire all Jewish civil servants, including teachers, professors, doctors, judges, and lawyers, and it cannot be argued that these professionals were mentally defective, and presumably most of them were not physically defective either. The Nazi campaign against Jews and gypsies could not have primarily been based on the idea of genetic inferiority.

    It has also been argued that Darwinism led to disrespect for human life and human rights by teaching that we are the products of blind chance rather than creations of god. But we know that there was plenty of such disrespect before there was Darwinism.

    Darwinists have also been guilty of trying to politicize the debate by identifying Lincoln with Darwin because of their shared official birthdates, but this is likely to backfire because Lincoln is often criticized for his racial prejudices, his flagrant violations of civil liberties, and the Civil War — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/08/linking-lincoln-myth-to-darwin-myth.html

  70. #70 Ed Darrell
    August 20, 2006

    Wouldn’t it frost the creationist wackoes to snatch Ayn Rand from them? (No, I’m not sure I give her much credence, either, but . . .)

    Here’s a nice post I found through the Carnival of History. This fellows description of “looters” of history. Somehow, I suspect they’re the same people who loot science. Go see: http://kalapanapundit.blogspot.com/2006/07/sparrowhawk-observations-of-book.html

  71. #71 Caledonian
    August 20, 2006

    In fact, as Ashley Montagu pointed out, Hitler rejected much of Darwinian-corroborating and affirming science. For example, Hitler thought heritage is carried in blood, not genes (Bible students: Where would he have gotten such an idea?).

    In a lot of ways, Hitler’s beliefs were inversions of very old Jewish superstitions. The idea that Jewishness is an inherent trait that is passed down geneologically is just one of them.

  72. #72 Ick of the East
    August 20, 2006

    Dear Anne Nonymous,

    A woman who dresses in a coctail dress at seven in the morning, with a cross around her neck, while saying that 9/11 widows are happy that their husbands were crushed or burned to death; a woman who has called more than half the country traitors; a woman who wished that Tim McVeigh had blown up the NY Times building; and a woman who recently called Clinton and Gore gay, should be able to handle a reference or two to her Adam’s apple or Adam’s arsenal.

    She started it. So there.

  73. #73 ConcernedJoe
    August 20, 2006

    Money Money Money!!

    Religion is BIG business. It exists because it is PROFITABLE to some degree up and down the hierarchy, and because it still can command large enough blocks of humanity to make “kings.”

    As with any business it needs to “sell” something, and entice new customers. This is just the “crap du jour” that they are peddling to rake in the bucks and build their customer base.

    Misleading the public! No problem to them. No different then when one car company suggests their model is the best value – even if it knows better. As long that company follows some rules of presentation misleading statements are fair-game and expected.

    It makes me sick. But one has to recognize the dynamic. The buck (unlike their non-existent god) is truly almost all powerful.

    PS How do you fight this? In many states it will not be easy. It is not solely an intellectual competition. In many areas the “churches” are the people’s life. It defines them – but more importantly there is generally only a few degrees of separation between some family member and some paying “church” job. It is in many areas of the country a major source of income and/or of some social support. We pay for it! They are tax-free, we ain’t! We should start by challenging this tax-free status especially for these types of “fund drives” that have obvious political undertones

  74. #74 bob koepp
    August 20, 2006

    I’m certainly not going to try to defend ID, creationism, or any other sort of faith-based corruption of science. But I do think that sound reasoning is worth defending, and occasionally that means criticizing unsound reasoning by people who think they’re defending science.

    “Guilt by association” isn’t a sound principle of reasoning. It’s wrong to hold Darwin guilty by association with people who misappropriated and bowdlerized his ideas in the form of social darwinism. It’s equally wrong to hold Collins guilty by association with crackpot religionists.

  75. #75 sachatur
    August 20, 2006

    Yes! Let us by all means blame Darwin for nazism, eugenics, and all other crackpot racist ideas. After all, ideas have consequences.
    While we are at it, we should also blame jesus christ for paedophilia in the catholic church. After all, if there were no jesus christ, there wouldn’t be a catholic church, and there wouldn’t be any paedophilia in the catholic church!!

  76. #76 Ick of the East
    August 20, 2006

    …..It’s wrong to hold Darwin guilty by association with people who misappropriated and bowdlerized his ideas in the form of social darwinism. It’s equally wrong to hold Collins guilty by association with crackpot religionists.

    How does Collins appearing on a TV special with these insane people in any way equate with people misappropriating Darwin’s work?

    Collins can say, “No! Begone, freaks! I will not appear!”
    Darwin could not.
    ,

  77. #77 Doozer
    August 20, 2006

    “no farming, no Nazis”

    No Gregor Mendel, no Nazis. Gregor Mendel, Catholic Monk…

  78. #78 Caledonian
    August 20, 2006

    Catholicism is based on the teachings of a possibly fictious individual. If that individual had never existed, Gregor Mendel would never have existed, and the Nazis wouldn’t have existed.

    Therefore, Jesus is responsible for the Nazis.

  79. #79 oldhippie
    August 20, 2006

    A little bit off the direct topic, but while on Hitler and Darwinism, Konrad Lorenz, supported a lot of what Hitler did using Darwin’s idea. However, Darwinism does not logically lead to mass murder just as Christianity does not have to lead to the inquisition (but does lad to it more logically if you a fundamentalist).

  80. #80 bob koepp
    August 20, 2006

    IotE – … So, why couldn’t Darwin repudiate any association with Spencer? Not, of course, that his failure to do so makes him guilty by association — but that’s just the point!

  81. #81 George
    August 20, 2006

    Their dustbin rhetoric (“recognize that evolution is a bad idea and should be, frankly, discarded into the dustbin of history”) alost sounds like Pol Pot, who declared “year zero” and wanted to purify Cambodian society of western culture. Their attacks on academia are in the spirit of Pol Pot’s anti-intellectualism.

    Sounds like they’d all be happier living in the Middle Ages, with Osama bin Laden.

  82. #82 Keith Douglas
    August 20, 2006

    Zeno: That of course is the real point. They think that by secularizing society and more people becoming metaphysical materialists, etc. the more society goes to hell in a handbasket. (Wrong, of course, but that’s the idea.) What I do find incredible is that a lot of these “cultural elites” were on the side of Hitler when he came to power, and so …

  83. #83 Michael Hopkins
    August 20, 2006

    I doubt that he does [repudiate creationism] in the show, or they wouldn’t have used him. It’s not too late, though — let’s hope he repudiates the whole misbegotten effort.

    PZ, you know the dishonesty of the creationists better than that. If Dr. Collins was filmed spending five hours attacking those quacks and frauds in no uncertain terms, but also had two minutes of stuff which the creationists think they can use, you can bet that they will use the two minutes and leave the five hours on the cutting-room floor.

    But I will certainly agree with your sentiments that if he is being quoted in a misleading way or in any way to attack science, he should respond in no uncertain terms. And if the creationists did not say what the interview was really when they got the interview then he should also state that as well.

    (This might bring up an issue. Maybe scientists should demand unedited copies of any interviews they do as a
    condition of conducting an interview.)

  84. #84 Michael Hopkins
    August 20, 2006

    I should note that my last comment was posted before I noticed the update.

  85. #85 Mike
    August 20, 2006

    If the show airs here, I’ll give it a miss, as my tolerance for lying weasels is running low.

    When the Darwin-Nazis meme comes up, it would be useful to point out that what the Nazis and eugenicists were doing was the intelligent design of human beings.

  86. #86 bybelknap
    August 20, 2006

    Here is the letter I sent to our local NBC affiliate:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    It has come to my attention that you will be broadcasting a pile of tripe known as “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy” by the fundamentalist nutjob Dr. D. James Kennedy. In his anti-science diatribe, which is filled with the mindless drivel of the usual suspects from the Discovery Institute (Wells, Behe, Johnson et al), he and his loopy disciples try to blame the rise of Nazi Germany on Darwin’s theory of evolution. This creationist canard has been debunked so often, it is surprising that it can find a bunk anywhere. It is shameful that it has found a place in your program lineup.

    Don’t be shills for the discredited and moronic rantings of the lunatic fringe of society. Decline to air “Dr.” Kennedy’s swill. If you want to perform a public service show a sugarpumped kid’s program loosely based on all the wonderous plot devices found on a cereal box – it can’t be any more vapid and inane than the claims of creationists.

  87. #87 Larry Fafarman
    August 20, 2006

    It has been suggested that Collins is unhappy about being included in the program, and possibly Behe, Coulter, and others might be unhappy too if they knew (they will probably find out eventually), but they might not have any legal recourse. Thought the quoted material is oral rather than written, it might still be covered by “fair use” laws. According to Wikipedia, one of the questions for determining whether quoted material is covered by fair use laws is: “the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.” For example, I don’t think that a quotation of Collins could legally be used to endorse a product without his permission.

  88. #88 Scott Hatfield
    August 20, 2006

    GH and others:

    If you haven’t read the other thread, Collins did respond to my email and (apparently) many others, including that of Molly. Collins wrote:

    “…I had NO knowledge that Coral Ridge Ministries was planning a TV special of this sort, and I find the thesis of Dr. Kennedy’s program utterly wrongheaded and inflammatory. I am taking steps right now to have my name immediately removed from any association with the publicity blitz that Coral Ridge Ministries is putting out. I appreciate your providing me with some warning about this egregious example of irresponsible journalism.”

    It has been suggested, and I agree, that the full text and the associated email of Dr. Collins not be distributed on this forum, and that we should give him an opportunity to make a more thorough and public denunciation of Kennedy’s outfit.

    That’s good. Now, I think all of us should follow bybelknap’s example and find ways to put pressure on the local media outlets for this crap. Let’s not roll our eyes, then roll over. We need to be proactive, not reactive in our neck of the woods.

    Courage! …Scott

  89. #89 Anne Nonymous
    August 20, 2006

    A woman who dresses in a coctail dress at seven in the morning, with a cross around her neck, while saying that 9/11 widows are happy that their husbands were crushed or burned to death; a woman who has called more than half the country traitors; a woman who wished that Tim McVeigh had blown up the NY Times building; and a woman who recently called Clinton and Gore gay, should be able to handle a reference or two to her Adam’s apple or Adam’s arsenal.

    She started it. So there.

    Ick, yes, Ann Coulter is a very bad and annoying person. I hate her, and every time I see her face on television, my blood boils at the thought that those idiots are once again giving her a platform to spew her bile and lies. But tactics like yours are insulting to all woman, not just that Coulter wretch. It’s no better than arguing against homophobes by making gay jokes — it helps perpetuate the same stereotypes that are the other side’s bread and butter. Please recognize that that kind of humor, no matter how clever, is ultimately hateful and right-wing and offensive to many people who are not its direct target. Once again, if you want to fight the right wing, don’t use the tactics that are the primary symbol of everything that is wrong with them.

  90. #90 Anne Nonymous
    August 20, 2006

    debunked so often, it is surprising that it can find a bunk anywhere.

    bybelknap, I’d just like to say that this is the most awesomest turn of phrase EVAR. You rule. 🙂

  91. #91 Kagehi
    August 20, 2006

    Darwin claimed in the _Descent of Man_ that blacks and Australian natives were closer to non-human primates than whites were.

    There is a bit of a joke there. First, there is a tribe found fairly recently that is out of the way, not well known and fairly isolated, which never the less seemed to have virtually “every” trait seen in other “races”, with some looking Asian, others African, etc. It might have been faked, but if not… Second, in an odd way, Africans “are” closer, at least to the bones. lol Its not impossible that they also diverges slightly less, given that they live in the same area that we originated. None of which is racist, just what you would “expect”, given the environmental factors. “Closer” doesn’t necessarilly mean “less human”, even if some people would like it to mean that, so they can call it racism. Nor would it be accurate, it would simply mean that some traits didn’t “need” to be developed, since the environment didn’t require as drastic a set of changes.

    It would be like calling someone racist towards rabbits, on the grounds that they claimed some rabbit is “closer” to some ancestral rabbit with respect to traits than one whose hair changed to white in winter in a climate zone that is **significantly different** than where ever they started. Or vice versa, because maybe they started in the cold, but “lost” the ability in many groups. Why is this some sort of a horrible condemnation, instead of a mere statement of facts? Other than the fact that some idiots can use it to condemn the “intent” of the statement, having rejected the original meaning, what ever that might have been intended to be in the first place…

  92. #92 Anne Nonymous
    August 20, 2006

    Its not impossible that they also diverges slightly less, given that they live in the same area that we originated.

    Actually, generally populations in the “ancestral homeland” of a species tend to have the most diversity of all, because they’ve been in existence for the longest time and so have had the most opportunity to develop variation. So I’d guess that the average person of recent African ancestry diverges more from the species mean than those of us whose ancestry is a little more distant.

  93. #93 jphernandez
    August 21, 2006

    After perusing the promotional website for Kennedy’s program, i feel like i need a shower. it is a demonstration of many of the logical fallacies that creationists attribute to the theory of evolution. Gaps in reasoning. Magical thinking. Sensationalism. Having once been a part of the creationist camp years ago, i recognized all the hot buttons the website used to generate interest, concern, even panic to motivate viewers and prepare them to swallow the program’s conclusions uncritically. I find it sad that Kennedy fails to scrutinize the “social Darwinism” operative in churches whose members ostracize those of us who have seen past and forsaken creationist reasoning.

  94. #94 DouglasG
    August 21, 2006

    FYI: The Spartans had a eugenics program. I believe they predate Darwin… The Spartans were probably MORE influential in the idea of a “Master Race” than Darwin.

  95. #95 entlord
    August 21, 2006

    Kennedy has been bashing Darwin and evolution for years and years. At least once a year, he has an “Evolution Special” where he reviews Piltdown Man, proof for the Deluge, and ridicules various strawmen. What is interesting is that his criticism of evolution is still pretty much the same criticism he made of evolution more than 20 years ago.
    At one time, his ministry gave away their books disproving evolution for the asking. Each year, I would get enough copies for a class or two and use them either teaching students how not to write a term paper or how not to do academic research. There was the added advantage of having Dr Kennedy’s organization pay for its own debunking.
    (My favorite part was discussing using circular bibliographical references, which Coulter has yet to learn. “Incest in the Stacks” was the working title in those days before computerized research)

  96. #96 Chris Sergeant
    August 22, 2006

    Regarding “Darwins Deadly Legacy”, I thought it was Malthus who discussed people, not Darwin.

  97. #97 Brian Myres
    August 23, 2006

    One thing no one has mentioned is that the great (?) American and European capitalists and industrialists used Darwin also, in denying pay and perqs to their employees, child labor, no safety laws, etc. They were ‘selected for,’ while the laborers were ‘selected against.’ So to D. James Kennedy and others we might say…”No Darwin, no Capitalism.” But even better might be:
    No Jesus, no Spanish inquisition
    No Jesus, no Crusades
    No bible, no slavery (I know, slavery was around before the bible, but then again vicious assholes were around before Hitler!

    Brian Myres
    Carlisle, KY
    Prof emeritus, biology, Cypress College, Cypress, CA

  98. #98 Grady
    October 25, 2006

    Darwin was not a racist? WTF? Have you read any of the Descent of Man? This guy talks about the “savage” races, the “negroes” being a step above the apes, women being intellectually inferior, and the detrimental effects of vaccination: it weakens the race.

    He also praises the work of his cousin Francis Galton, the lunatic father of eugenics who sure as hell DID inspire the nazis.

    Wake up and smell the coffee!

    Your “hero” was a Victorain elitist prick.

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