Farrell and Rosenau, Stating it Plain

If you are looking for some popcorn reading, have a look at this post from John Farrell, over at HuffPo. He takes John West of the Discovery Institute to task for parroting ye olde “Darwin was a big, fat racist!” canard. Here's the conclusion:

So, what is one to make of these ceaseless ideological attacks on Charles Darwin? Apparently, having failed at the Dover Trial to get their revised "intelligent design" philosophy into public school science classes, the Discovery Institute now resorts to the only strategy they have left to undermine science and science education: smear the character and the motives of the founders of evolutionary biology.

Now go read what led up to that! Nice to know that HuffPo comes through once in a while.

Meanwhile, Josh Rosenau goes to town on the Pope's statement blaming the holocaust on atheism.

Benedict XVI used the first papal state visit to Britain to launch a blistering attack on “atheist extremism” and “aggressive secularism”, and to rue the damage that “the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life” had done in the last century.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church concluded a speech, made before the Queen and assembled dignitaries at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with the argument that the Nazi desire to eradicate God had led to the Holocaust and a plea for 21st-century Britain to respect its Christian foundations.

Josh replies,

I'd like to think that if I had been in the Hitler Youth, had worn the Nazi uniform in combat, went on to head a church that - through the blood libel, pogroms, Crusades, Passion plays, and Inquisitions - has done more to sustain a culture of anti-Semitism in Europe than anything else, and if I held the same position in that Church as Pius XII, who abetted the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, not to mention the toxic nationalism that they exploited, and if Hitler had been an adherent of my religion, I might just shut the fuck up about who is to blame for Naziism, World War II, and the Holocaust.

If it were me, I wouldn't launch an effort at trivializing the Holocaust during the Jewish Days of Awe, the holy time between the beginning of the year and the day of atonement. But I'm not a wizened procurer for pedophile priests who gets regularly mistaken for Emperor Palpatine, so what do I know.

Yikes! Remind me never to get on Josh's bad side. (Hmmm, come to think of it, I have been on Josh's bad side!)

Incidentally, there is another long paragraph after this one. Go read the whole post.

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The odd thing is that those who would slur Darwin fail to understand that it doesn't matter one whit to how evolution is viewed as a scientific theory. If it were proved that Darwin faked his death, and lived another decade as a serial murderer, culminating his life with the Ripper homicides, that would change how he was viewed as a person, and would be interesting from a biographical perspective. But it would not change the teaching of biology.

I used to think it was a tad unfair to dredge up Ratzi's Hitler Youth past, but after his latest rant he deserves to have his nose rubbed in it.

"culminating his life with the Ripper homicides"

And then he stole H.G. Wells' time machine and traveled to 1979, carrying out a new series of murders until Wells stopped him by sending him endlessly through time.

And like you said, it has no bearing on the science.

Re Russell @ #1

Just so. Darwins' views on racial matters are no more relevant to the truth or falsity of evolution then the relevance of the anti-Semitic views of Stark and Lenard to their Nobel Prize winning contributions to physics.