Pharyngula

There’s more to a book than a title

Talk about clueless gomers—here’s a Canadian blog praising the Expelled movie, and bringing up a very tired argument against evolution.

For the trolls (and you know who you are!), I simply offer the original title Darwin gave to his book,

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

,and ask you to explain how such a social (and Holocaust-endorsing) statement can be classified as the title of a purely scientific work — until I get a direct answer to that, I will not respond to any of your inquiries as I haven’t seemed to get much of a response on mine and think I’m overdue!

First of all, the logic is deeply flawed: if evolutionary theory did have undesirable social consequences, that wouldn’t be a valid argument against the truth of evolution.

Secondly, and more conclusively, the question reveals quite a bit about the questioner. He hasn’t read the book he’s criticizing, beyond copying down the title! The Origin is using “race” in an antiquated way that refers to what we’d now call varieties — he doesn’t discuss human races at all, but does talk a great deal about domesticated breeds of pigeons and horses and vegetables. It certainly doesn’t endorse any kind of holocaust. Darwin doesn’t advocate any action, but is offering a descriptive explanation for what is.

The Origin is a purely scientific work, rich in detail and experiment and offering a useful framework for subsequent research. A man who can barely read past the title is in no position to make demands for explanations or deplore the unread contents of the book.

(via Canadian Cynic)

Comments

  1. #1 deanbcurtis
    January 13, 2008

    You mean to tell me a book written over 148 years ago would contain an anachronistic term? Balderdash!

  2. #2 zer0
    January 13, 2008

    MOAR LIEZ!

  3. #3 Moses
    January 13, 2008

    I wonder how long my post will last….

    I can explain it. You’ve never read the book and you’ve bought into the lies of people who have such shallow faith that they believe in Lying for Jesus to bolster their faith.

    Darwin’s book is talking evolution as it applies to animals such as horses and pigeons, as well as plants, mostly vegetables. The word “race” is used in it’s correct, but archaic way, to describe what we’d call “species,” “sub-species” or “varieties” today. The title, or the contents of the book, has nothing to do with the human race whatsoever.

    Also, for the record, people who engage in “Lying for Jesus” do far more harm than good. Once the lies are exposed, it does tremendous damage in ways unforeseen by the liar and, typically, seems to start a crisis in faith. Some come through this unscathed, but most seem to either become unchurched and very weak in their faith, or atheists. All because the Liars for Jesus made the recipients of these lies incapable of trusting their elders.

    And why not? If you lie about this, who is to say you’re not lying about other things? Ultimately, the wedge that destroys their faith is not because of “The Evil Darwinist/Atheist Conspiracy;” but, instead, the lies told by people upon whom they relied to tell them the truth.

  4. #4 Moses
    January 13, 2008

    Crap. Something wicked happened to my prior post, everything but the first sentence should have been blocked. Damn you Cthulu!!!

  5. #5 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    Well, if Canada is raising ‘em that stupid, too, time to look for another country to flee to in case of President Huckabee.

  6. #6 danley
    January 13, 2008

    They could have their own: The Presevation of Favored Religions in the Struggle for Bullshit.

  7. #7 raven
    January 13, 2008

    Also, for the record, people who engage in “Lying for Jesus” do far more harm than good.

    It goes far beyond just perpetually lying. Thanks to the fundies, in many circles Xian is now a synonym for “liar”, “ignorant”, “bigot”, “stupid”, and sometimes “murderous terrorist.” Their program to take over the US, set up a theocracy, and head on back to the Dark Ages isn’t too popular either.

    “By their fruits, ye shall know them.” A lot of people have and will question whether a religion that produces such ugly and defective people is really worth anything.

    There is already a backlash against this cult version. A recent poll by Barna, an evangelical polling company, showed that 49% of the US population is sick and tired of religious bigots trying to cram their beliefs down our throats.

    Ultimately the fundies will do a lot of damage to the religion. The Catholic church used to kill heretics and witches by the tens of thousands and torture people for various reasons. No one has forgotten yet.

  8. #8 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    There is already a backlash against this cult version. A recent poll by Barna, an evangelical polling company, showed that 49% of the US population is sick and tired of religious bigots trying to cram their beliefs down our throats.

    And how many of these same folks are outraged when people even mention taking “under god” out of the Pledge of Allegiance?

  9. #9 Jack
    January 13, 2008

    The desperation of these clueless idiots never ceases to astonish. Even if it were true that Darwin intended that title to carry a racist connotation (and of course, it isn’t) that would say precisely zero about the merit of the actual theory.

    Why can’t they get this? To argue against an idea, belief or theory you have to argue against IT, not irrelevant things such as the personal characteristics (real or imagined) of the arguer or unpleasant consequences (real or imagined) that might follow if the idea were true.

    When are we going to get some sort of teaching of basic critical thinking in our schools?

  10. #10 Mike Fox
    January 13, 2008

    I want PZ to do a post about things parents can do to help their offspring understand the metacognitive aspects of science.

  11. #11 Grumpy
    January 13, 2008

    …he doesn’t discuss human races at all…

    Ah, but Descent of Man is obviously all about the downward trajectory of humanity Darwin hoped to bring about. It’s right there in the title!

  12. #12 MartinM
    January 13, 2008

    The comments on that post are rather refreshing. So far, not a single one in support of the stupidity.

  13. #13 F.Caccin
    January 13, 2008

    @#4
    Crap. Something wicked happened to my prior post, everything but the first sentence should have been blocked. Damn you Cthulu!!!

    CthulHu!

  14. #14 TomS
    January 13, 2008

    By the way, if one is going to refer to “the original title that Darwin gave to his book” – the original title that Darwin gave was:

    An abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties Through natural selection

    His publisher thought that that wasn’t a good title, and it was his publisher who suggested the title which was finally used.

  15. #15 Moses
    January 13, 2008

    Well, if Canada is raising ‘em that stupid, too, time to look for another country to flee to in case of President Huckabee.

    Posted by: MAJeff | January 13, 2008 11:24 AM

    I’m thinking of Australia. Tasmania.

  16. #16 Teenage Lobotomy
    January 13, 2008

    Silly Fool,

    Even A victim of Teenage Lobotomy Know’s
    Evolution is a Fact and Natural Seection is
    The Scientific Theory.

    Signed,Teenage Lobotomyi Keeper…uh I Mean doctor
    exuse me I must commence Ivee Therapy….

  17. #17 noodlesoup
    January 13, 2008

    Wow! It’s just like the book, “To Serve Man.” The religions of Darwinism, Einsteinisn, and Newtonism are being used by the Atheists in an attempt to destroy the science of supernaturalism.

  18. #18 Stanton
    January 13, 2008

    Wow! It’s just like the book, “To Serve Man.” The religions of Darwinism, Einsteinisn, and Newtonism are being used by the Atheists in an attempt to destroy the science of supernaturalism.

    “Wait, there’s some space dust!”
    *poof*
    “To Serve For Man”

  19. #19 Jon McKenzie
    January 13, 2008

    To argue against an idea, belief or theory you have to argue against IT, not irrelevant things such as the personal characteristics (real or imagined) of the arguer or unpleasant consequences (real or imagined) that might follow if the idea were true.

    You have to remember, these are the same people who think wearing a flag on their car or lapel automatically makes them patriotic. It’s always the aesthetics of something that counts, not the content.

  20. #20 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    OK, Canadians, clarify something for me, please. The IDiot’s web site says he’s a “Conservative Party Activist.” Don’t you guys have a Tory PM, and Tory-dominated coalition government?

    Canada’s off the list.

  21. #21 Stanton
    January 13, 2008

    OK, Canadians, clarify something for me, please. The IDiot’s web site says he’s a “Conservative Party Activist.” Don’t you guys have a Tory PM, and Tory-dominated coalition government?

    Canada’s off the list.

    Well, you know how it is with most fundamentalist Christian conservatives, in that your country isn’t truly safe, or truly yours until all other opposing viewpoints, as well as the people who hold them, are totally and completely annihilated.

  22. #22 Lars
    January 13, 2008

    OK, Canadians, clarify something for me, please. The IDiot’s web site says he’s a “Conservative Party Activist.” Don’t you guys have a Tory PM, and Tory-dominated coalition government?

    A Tory PM, yes, but it isn’t a coalition government. The ReformaTories are governing in minority, which means that they have fewer seats than the other parties combined, but more than any one of them. Any major bills must be passed either by the support of one or more of the Opposition parties, and the government could fall at any time – a vote of no confidence is pretty easy to whip up under such circumstances. Can’t wait – my baboon of an MP is a Tory and it’s hugely embarrassing being represented by this git.

  23. #23 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    thanks….couldn’t remember if it was a coalition government or a minority government. The point is, you guys are governed by gits similar to ours.

  24. #24 Colugo
    January 13, 2008

    The misinterpretation of “races” (although I would argue that, given passages in The Descent of Man, Darwin would not object to “favored races” being inclusive of what we usually mean by the term) brings up another issue: the meanings of “Social Darwinism.” It usually refers to a justification for laissez-faire by reference to the “natural” struggle between individuals within a society. For example, the argument that providing charity for the poor allows them to thrive and multiply rather than naturally reduce in numbers, an argument rooted in Malthus. Another meaning is struggle between ethnicities, races, or nations. The endorsement or appreciation of this struggle as having salutary consequences, foremost among these advancing civilizational progress, long predates Darwin; for example, Hegel.

    Robert O. Paxton, in The Anatomy of Fascism (2005), uses “Darwinian” to mean inter-group struggle in his description of fascism.

    “In this Darwinian narrative, the chosen people have been weakened by political parties, social classes, inassimilable minorities, spoiled rentiers, and rationalist thinkers who lack the necessary sense of community.”

    “the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess within a Darwinian struggle.”

    And then Paxton uses “social Darwinist” to refer to intra-societal struggle:

    “… Hitler made it clear in his famous speech to the Düsseldorf Industrialists’ Club on January 26, 1932, as well as in private conversations, that he was a social Darwinist in the economic sphere, too.”

    Surely Haeckel, with his Hegel-influenced version of Darwinism, was a more direct influence, along with Madison Grant.

    Barack Obama, 2005: “In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it – Social Darwinism, every man and woman for him or herself.”

    Perhaps the term Social Darwinism is unfair and inaccurate and should be replaced with Social Malthusism (or Social Spencerism) for endorsement of intra-societal struggle and Social Hegelism (or Social Haeckelism) for endorsement of inter-societal struggle.

  25. #25 Ed Darrell
    January 13, 2008

    1. Herbert Spencer promoted a philosophy that said society need do little for the poor, since clearly their poverty was their own fault. This repugnant philosophy was made better sounding, rather sciency, by calling it after that well-known principle of science, “Darwinism.” So Spencer and his adherents adopted the name “social Darwinism.” It had nothing to do with Darwin; Darwin hated the idea, and said his work suggested the opposite. So much for accuracy in history, eh?

    2. Darwin was a leading anti-racism advocate. Read his work. Read his own account of his life, of his friendship with the taxidermist in Scotland, of his analysis of the nobility and great intelligence of black slaves in Brazil, his accounts of his time with Jeremy Button (the Fuegian who was returned to Tierra del Fuego during Darwin’s voyage), and Darwin’s lamenting of the racially-motivated slaughter of Tasmanians. Darwin was quite happy to find most in his family opposed to slavery and racism, and Darwin consented to use of the Wedgwood family fortune to lobby in favor of abolishing slavery, in large part due to its racist foundations and continuation of racism in society at large.

    So, not only is the Canadian blogger ignorant of evolution, the blogger is also ignorant of history generally, and the history of sociology specifically.

    So much ignorance, so few polo mallets.

  26. #26 Bryson Brown
    January 13, 2008

    Sheesh. What a fetid swamp of incestuously reinforced nonsense– why is that so many ‘conservatives’ today believe anything some other self-styled conservative says, while treating any source of contrary information as part of some kind of conspiracy against conservative views? Talk about an intellectual black hole…

  27. #27 tinyfrog
    January 13, 2008

    First of all, the logic is deeply flawed: if evolutionary theory did have undesirable social consequences, that wouldn’t be a valid argument against the truth of evolution.

    Silly PZ Myers – don’t you know: if something is unpleasant, then it isn’t true. The converse is also true – which is why I believe that me, my family, and my friends are going to party for eternity in the afterlife in total bliss with the all-powerful, benevolent creator of the universe. What could be any more wonderful (and therefore, true) than that?

  28. #28 Doug Rozell
    January 13, 2008

    #5: Did you look? I did. The posting site that Canadian Cynic linked to it has this background:

    About Us
    “ThePolitic is a group weblog devoted to insight and original commentary on Canadian and American politics. Our contributors are a collection of minds from across North America who believe strongly in free speech and independent thought.

    “Our intention is to provide an intellectually honest viewpoint on the topics of which we write, in order to nurture public discourse and the free flow of information which all of our contributors cherish as the foundation-stones of a free society. It is our sincere hope that readers of this weblog will leave with new ideas, new viewpoints and new avenues of thought.”

    ThePolitic does not identify itself by individual or corporate ownership or sponsor. It could, therefore, originate anywhere on the planet.

    That said, if you are that quick to jump to conclusions about Canadians, we would rather prefer that you stay the hell away from us. You are not welcome in the land of the beaver, and the home of the polite.

    Doug Rozell

  29. #29 DLC
    January 13, 2008

    Once again I ask the cdesign proponentsists : Why is it so important to you that Darwin and those who have followed after him be proven wrong, even if it means you must go to the extreme of lying about what Evolution is ?
    Is your faith so weak that it can brook no testing ?
    Are you yourselves closet non-believers ?

    I am reminded of the Anglican theologian who said that the more one studies religion the less one comes to believe in it.

  30. #30 Teenage Lobotomy
    January 13, 2008

    #18
    Space Dust?

    Now I know why I cannot put my thoughts down in a
    coherent fashion. Sometimes I dont speak right, yet
    I know what Iam talkin about.

  31. #31 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    I know what Iam talkin about.

    As do we, Kodos.

  32. #32 Glen Davidson
    January 13, 2008

    if evolutionary theory did have undesirable social consequences, that wouldn’t be a valid argument against the truth of evolution.

    That’s it, to be sure, many of them think that evolution actually is a religion, because they don’t know anything else, particularly not science. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said Jesus (so the gospels say), so they judge “Darwinism” by its supposed fruits.

    It’s interesting that the idiot tells us that Stein is “staring” in the movie. I can’t wait to see him stare.

    In the end, though, no matter how dumb the “writer” is in his misunderstanding of the term “race,” racist passages exist in Darwin’s writings. And? That’s a reason why we don’t stick to “Darwinism,” that and the fact that the science has changed a great deal since then. Will these morons never understand that Darwin is not a prophet to us, and Origins is not a Holy Book for us?

    For that is the entire problem with these unlearned buffoons, they care only about authority and whether or not it is holy and sacred enough to be followed, while we care mainly about the evidence. That’s why there is no real dialog between us, why indeed we have to ridicule their ancient belief that authority is what counts, so that a very few of them, and many more fence sitters, will attend to the only “authority” that matters, which happens to be the evidence.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  33. #33 Graachus Baubüf
    January 13, 2008

    “You have to remember, these are the same people who think wearing a flag on their car or lapel automatically makes them patriotic. It’s always the aesthetics of something that counts, not the content.”

    Before we in academia get too high and mighty in our condemnation of the focus on aesthetics, let’s just remember the Sokal affair. It is all too easy to attribute this sort of behavior to fundamentalists or the right, but the truth is, it’s a basic human flaw. Though one, it should be noted, easily corrected by even a meager understanding of critical thinking and basic logic.

  34. #34 Graachus Baubüf
    January 13, 2008

    “You have to remember, these are the same people who think wearing a flag on their car or lapel automatically makes them patriotic. It’s always the aesthetics of something that counts, not the content.”

    Before we in academia get too high and mighty in our condemnation of the focus on aesthetics, let’s just remember the Sokal affair. It is all too easy to attribute this sort of behavior to fundamentalists or the right, but the truth is, it’s a basic human flaw. Though one, it should be noted, easily corrected by even a meager understanding of critical thinking and basic logic.

  35. #35 Stanton
    January 13, 2008


    Will these morons never understand that Darwin is not a prophet to us, and Origins is not a Holy Book for us?


    Not until Hell freezes over, thaws, and becomes a tropical resort.

  36. #36 Rich Stage
    January 13, 2008

    These morons need taken to task,
    and their stupidity needs unmasked.
    If only they’d look
    at what’s inside the book.
    But that might be too much to ask.

    Race is a tough card to play.
    One wrong move and you’re out of the game.
    But what Darwin meant
    they will mis-represent
    as they keep intelligence at bay.

    If we all share the same earth and sky,
    then why’s hatred in oversupply?
    Race, religion or creed
    the last thing we need
    is to hear all these Jesus freaks lie.

    Don’t just take this on my advice.
    Think of how it could be paradise:
    if we all give and get
    just a little respect,
    the best part – it’s at such a low price.

  37. #37 Ichthyic
    January 13, 2008

    That’s it, to be sure, many of them think that evolution actually is a religion,

    I think it’s time for Rich to write a diddy about projection being the primary means of expression utilized by creobots.

  38. #38 jeh
    January 13, 2008

    With apologies to LC, what the Creo blogger means is:

    ‘When I READ a word,’ Creo said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

    `The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make that word mean a very different thing.’

  39. #39 mothra
    January 13, 2008

    In an evolutionary biology course, not a single instructor would use Darwin’s Origin of Species as a primary text. A good question for a fundie is to ask them why. There is no such thing as Darwinism, and there are no holy science books. The local fundies that I periodically deal with have great difficulty with the assertion that “You know that they’re christians by their hate”- followed by examples.

  40. #40 Caveat
    January 13, 2008

    Yes, we have our share of throwbacks up here too, unfortunately. What’s doubly unfortunate is that they refer to themselves as ‘conservatives’ when they are actually just uneducated bible-thumpers – something quite different.

    For example, I lean to conservative politics but I’m the furthest thing from being religious or intolerant you can get. I’m just into sound fiscal management, fairness and real assistance for people who need it, rather than wasteful spending resulting in nil change.

    Conservatives in Canada are like Democrats in the US, maybe slightly pinker. The Liberals are all over the map so I’m not sure where they sit these days. The NDP is very far left, you would likely think of them as communists – they don’t believe in property ownership, inheritance, etc. We have nothing as far right as the GOP, except for a few fringe parties who clutter the field but will never get anywhere.

    It’s hard to compare the two countries because they really are quite different, politically and socially.

    By the way, if nobody else has mentioned it, they still refer to ‘breeds’ as ‘races’ in most of Europe, ie, races of dogs, so it’s not really out of date used in that way.

  41. #41 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 13, 2008

    If you don’t want “nil change”, are you really conservative?

  42. #42 David Marjanovi?, OM
    January 13, 2008

    If you don’t want “nil change”, are you really conservative?

  43. #43 Ryogam
    January 13, 2008

    #26, I’m stealing your quote. It’s a perfect summation of what I’ve been seeing for years, but been unable to describe.

  44. #44 tsig
    January 13, 2008

    When I see the movie title i think Expelled: the Gas

  45. #45 Graculus
    January 13, 2008

    The NDP is very far left, you would likely think of them as communists – they don’t believe in property ownership, inheritance, etc.

    Put down the Kool-Aid, the NDP holds no position even vaguely close to that.

  46. #46 Steve_C
    January 13, 2008

    http://www.fstdt.com/fundies/top100.aspx?archive=1

    More batshit crazy stuff there… good for a laugh.

  47. #47 Brownian, OM
    January 13, 2008

    Caveat, you’re not just right-leaning, you’ve fallen over.

    Anyways, my apologies for the tête de merde blogger. He’s probably an Albertan (as am I). Too much oil, not enough brains.

  48. #48 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    January 13, 2008

    Tory, it appears, means many different things at different times and in different places. In Canada, in the recent past, it meant the Progressive Conservative party in general, or to some people, just a subset of its members. It traces back to the days of Upper and Lower Canada and derives from the British Tories.

    When the Reform Party formed in Western Canada, it drew western conservatives from the PC Party under a populist banner, and was opposed to the policies of eastern (Ontario primarily) conservatives (Tories).

    Unfortunately, the Reform Party had a lot in common with Bush’s Republicans, such as religously based prejudices against gays, immigrants, multi-culturalism, abortion, etc. I suspect there was a degree to which the Reformers were influenced and aided by the success of the American Religous Right. The flood of US media content coming across the border ensures we are as or more familiar with US concerns than our own.

    The party soon found itself in trouble with the majority of voters, who rejected the extremist views and it had to either eject or muzzle its offenders. If only Americans had been as quick to do the same.

    Since then, the party has merged back with the conservative factions and now forms a minority government. There are still vestiges of the old religious conservatism left, but it is mainly a liability for a national party. The resulting merged party achieved power not so much because voters endorsed its policies, as because of corruption scandals in the previous Liberal government.

    The American association of Tory with British Loyalists and hence traitors to the American Revolution is, not surprisingly, given much weight in Canadian politics and it would be a mistake to try to understand a Canadian conservative through such a lens.

  49. #49 Interrobang
    January 13, 2008

    they don’t believe in property ownership, inheritance, etc.

    Oh, you are so wrong. Not only do the NDP as a collective unit believe in property ownership and inheritance, they’re rather staunchly capitalist — you basically can’t have a movement made up of members of large unions and union sympathisers without being some flavour of capitalist. The NDP is almost as pro-corporate as the Liberals, who are every bit as pro-corporate as the DerrogaTories — the only difference is that in their utopia, big organised labour should get a place at the trough too.

    They may have disagreed with everyone to the right of them on some stuff (such as the capital gains tax, which is what you might be thinking of in terms of the “anti-inheritance stuff”), but aside from that the NDP actually want to guarantee workers’ legal rights (such as to organise and to have fair labour hours) and the other parties wanting to roll back labour laws to the Gilded Age, they’re really not that far apart.

    Personally, I’m all for “sound fiscal management,” assuming that means investing in social capital (that pays back in real wealth) instead of dumping every extra penny into debt reduction, which does nothing whatsoever for the health of the economy (Canada having no problems whatsoever with debt as a % of GDP) except drain money from where it’s really needed. More infrastructure and healthcare, please. (Also, a more progressive tax structure, please — nobody who makes 80 grand a year should be paying the same amount of tax as someone who makes 800 grand a year…)

    For the commenter who said “Canada has a Tory PM and a Tory-led government,” you seem to be under the impression that those two things are separate. They’re not. People vote for their party’s candidate in their riding, and the party who has the most seats (or more than any other party separately) gets to choose a Prime Minister, who is generally the party’s leader. So we don’t actually vote directly for the PM.

    We also don’t get to vote idiots off the island, so to speak, but there aren’t that many of them.

  50. #50 MAJeff
    January 13, 2008

    For the commenter who said “Canada has a Tory PM and a Tory-led government,” you seem to be under the impression that those two things are separate. They’re not.

    No I’m not…I was playing.

  51. #51 Mena
    January 13, 2008

    JohnnieCanuck, FCD: Maurice Vellacott, the wanker who represents my husband’s area in Saskatoon seems like he wants to be an American politician, even whining about activist judges. They are out there, which is why I also think that you guys need to elect your senators. There are some things that just need to have the input of the electorate and I don’t see Canadians being as tolerant of extremism as Americans are. We love our crazies here, just turn on Headline News for a dose of Glenn Beck if you don’t believe me. ;^)
    Oh, for the record, I spend a lot of time on both sides of the border. I’m a democrat in the US and a Liberal (with leanings toward the NDP) in Canada.

  52. #52 Bacopa
    January 13, 2008

    Yes. “race” is just a term that meant “variety” in Darwin’s time. Anyone who feeds their dog Eukanuba and reads the French text on the bag would understand this possibility. They have “grand race” for the large breed dogs and “race moyenne” for the medium sized dogs. This guy is a Canadian. He should be familiar enough with French to understand this.

    #15: You don’t want to move to Tasmania. It’s a depopulating backwards hellhole. I used to play online Diplomacy with a guy born in Tasmania. He counted it a sign of success that neither he nor his siblings lived there.

  53. #53 Teenage Lobotomy
    January 14, 2008

    #31 thank-you for the kind words, Somtimes I think
    maybe Iam gettin a little Far- out for some of the eggheads
    who wear their IQ on a sleeve.

    My thoughts are(if thats the proper word)much faster than my
    typin skills, you know search with 1 finger and take a stab at the keys.A wise man once said “Iam the Ward Cleaver type”
    (The Name Escapes me At the moment,But a Very Wise and INtelligent man was he I have learned a great deal from reading his Many words of wisdom) anyway, a nuff apple polishun.
    You could describe me as the dennis hopper type from”Easy Rider”with a little bit of that “sufer cat” from “Apoclypse Now” and wa-la Teenage lobotomy only difference I ride 1969 BSA 441 Victor stock and mint.

    I have no Idea why Iam gonna post this, But that is just the Way it floats, when your doin the “Zonk” Better stop reading
    all those “Beat”Writers.

  54. #54 Rob
    January 14, 2008

    Matthew at thepolitic.com said “Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life … ask you to explain how such a social (and Holocaust-endorsing) statement…”

    Wow. When Darwin started the ‘Origin’ by mentioning “the several races, for instance, of the cabbage” I thought he was referring to slight differences between cabbages. But it seems he was actually some kind of a brassica fascist?

    Seriously: the first races mentioned in the book are races of cabbage. Anyone who plays the race card against the ‘Origin’ has clearly not even read the first few pages. Race is clearly being used to describe slight variations within species instead of the way we use it today to mean human ethnicity. To claim otherwise is either ignorant or dishonest.

  55. #55 Ken MacLeod
    January 14, 2008

    Ed Darrell #25:Herbert Spencer promoted a philosophy that said society need do little for the poor, since clearly their poverty was their own fault. This repugnant philosophy was made better sounding, rather sciency, by calling it after that well-known principle of science, “Darwinism.” So Spencer and his adherents adopted the name “social Darwinism.” It had nothing to do with Darwin; Darwin hated the idea, and said his work suggested the opposite. So much for accuracy in history, eh?

    I don’t think this is quite accurate. All I’ll say is that just as the fundies have misrepresented Darwin, a remarkable range of people have misrepresented Spencer. All it takes to undo these misrepresentations is to read what Spencer actually wrote, or what yer actual philosophy perfessers, and even Wikipedia have to say about him.

  56. #56 thickslab
    January 14, 2008

    The NDP is very far left, you would likely think of them as communists – they don’t believe in property ownership, inheritance, etc.

    Liar.

  57. #57 Tulse
    January 14, 2008

    This guy is a Canadian. He should be familiar enough with French to understand this.

    If he’s from Alberta, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  58. #58 Ichthyic
    January 15, 2008

    Anyone who plays the race card against the ‘Origin’ has clearly not even read the first few pages. Race is clearly being used to describe slight variations within species instead of the way we use it today to mean human ethnicity. To claim otherwise is either ignorant or dishonest.

    i spent an hour “talking” to him.

    he’s beyond both.

    he’s so dumb it’s laughable, and he lies so often to try to cover it up I don’t think he even knows what he is saying anymore.

    I can’t really think that anybody in Canada, or anywhere for that matter, would take this guy seriously for a second.

    I rather think he was overwhelmed that anybody other than his local attack terrier Aaron paid any notice to him in the first place.

    still, it was entertaining making fun of a creobot from Canada for a change.

    I think he’s “ignoring” me now, or is going to file a lawsuit against me, one of the two.

    LOL

  59. #59 Skeptigirl
    January 15, 2008

    First of all, the logic is deeply flawed: if evolutionary theory did have undesirable social consequences, that wouldn’t be a valid argument against the truth of evolution.

    In addition to this flawed logic is the underlying false premise that slaughtering weaker members of the group is beneficial to the group’s survival. Were that true it would be unlikely we would have ever evolved the trait of caring for our weaker members.

  60. #60 Gordon
    January 17, 2008

    I am glad you mentioned his interpretation of the word “race” in its modern sense, rather than the one Darwin intended. At the very heart of the fundie world view is the notion that words have unambiguous meanings that do not change over time. Admit that the meanings of owrds may have changed since you holy book was written, and the entire rationale of fundamentalism evaporates.

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