Pharyngula

Bergman: Still crazy

Jerry Bergman is a fairly typical creationist: he’s a loon, and he’s dishonest. I debated him once to an utterly ineffectual conclusion, and it was like having an argument with a rabid squirrel — he makes no sense, he splutters out nutty fragments of angry rhetoric, and he’s ultimately of no consequence whatsoever. But he still has an audience, and he’s still out giving invited talks at churches all over the country. Next week, Bergman will be speaking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we’ve got a preview of what he’s going to say on the — duh duh DUHHH — Dark Side of Charles Darwin.

Part 1:

• Charles Darwin’s major goal in developing his theory was religious, he wanted to “murder” god (his words).

• He was active in “converting” all he could to his theory of origins.

• Darwin plagiarized most of his major ideas.

• Darwin was a racist of the worst kind and believed the lower races (the blacks) would go extinct.

• Darwin was opposed to helping the sick, but realized this idea would not go over well.

• Charles felt a wife was better than a dog (really!).

• He was severely mentally and physically ill, likely an agoraphobic.

• As a young man he was sadistic and loved to kill animals with anything he had: guns, sticks, even hammers!

Part 2:

• It is well known and well recognized that evolution is the doorway to Atheism.

• About 98 % of leading life scientists are Atheist.

• A major reason given to become an Atheist was evolution.

• The whole point of the evolution creation account is to demolish the theistic creation account.

• It takes more faith to be an Atheist than a Creationist.

• Dr. Bergman will cover the Atheist creation story as developed by Hawking and others to document this.

• Orthodox Evolution is defined as from nothing to everything purely by chance, time, and the outworking of natural law (which also originated by chance, time and natural law).

That first part is just incredibly poorly done, ahistorical, lying character assassination, and is totally irrelevant to the science. Even if Bergman were right and Darwin had been a diseased psychotic squirrel-murderer (Bergman does take that personally) with delusions of being Hitler, we wouldn’t care — the theory of evolution stands or falls on the quality of the current evidence, not the character of its founder.

Bergman’s sleazy attack on a Victorian gentleman’s character says more about Bergman than Darwin. Take that first claim, for instance. It’s a complete lie. Here’s what Darwin actually wrote about “murder”:

At last gleams of light have come, & I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable.

I think, if you have a basic grasp of the English language, you’ll recognize that in that passage Darwin is explaining that he felt guilty about arriving at a conclusion opposed by the clergy…not that he had the intent of founding a religion to kill god.

The rest is nonsense of equivalent stupidity. But I’m sure he will be well-received by the creationists of Milwaukee, who share Bergman’s derangement. I hope there are no hunters in his audience, though, who might be a little cranky about calling their interest in guns and hunting “sadistic”.