Joined: Sep. 2004
From Allen MacNeill, on the grounds that Barry isn't going to like it very well, so it might need a permanent home:
Darwin also wrote this about the human “races”:
“Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet if their whole organisation be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of these points are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans differ as much from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the “Beagle,” with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.” (http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F937.1&viewtype=side&pageseq=244)
“Now when naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of habits, tastes and dispositions between two or more domestic races, or between nearly-allied natural forms, they use this fact as an argument that all are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed; and consequently that all should be classed under the same species. The same argument may be applied with much force to the races of man.” (http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F937.1&viewtype=side&pageseq=244)
Most evolutionary biologists today freely admit that Darwin was a racist by today’s standards, although even by 19th century standards, his racism was very mild. But that hasn’t been acknowledged by Arrington and O’Leary. Instead, they keep on posting the same idea over and over again, without ever responding to evidence that shows unequivocally that evolutionary biologists today are not racists, nor does the modern theory of evolution contain anything that might be used to support racist ideologies.
It’s kind of like tag-team wrestling: O’Leary keeps posting until the opposition gets too tough, and then she tags Arrington, who posts the same old same old over again. So, once more into the breach, good friends, once more:
At this year’s Darwin Bicentennial Celebration at Cornell the department of ecology and evolutionary biology co-sponsored a panel discussion on “Evolution and Racism”. All four of the panelists, two of whom were African Americans (three were evolutionary biologists and one was a sociologist) agreed that by today’s standards Darwin and most of his contemporaries were racists. And they also pointed out that evolutionary biologists today – people like Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Will Provine, and Robert Trivers – are among the strongest and most vocal opponents of racism, especially “scientific racism”. You can read about it here:
Two years ago I served on a panel at the Cornell Darwin Day Celebration that dealt with “Evolution and Eugenics”. All four of the panelists (three evolutionary biologists and a Tallman Prize winner) agreed that Darwin’s ideas were used by eugenicists to justify their heinous policies. They also pointed out that prominent evolutionary biologists were among the members of the UNESCO panel that issued the United Nations’ 1950 statement on eugenics and race, which condemned both in the strongest of terms, and that virtually no evolutionary biologist has actively supported eugenics since 1945. You can read about it here:
Now admittedly, the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell is not “a world association of evolutionary biologists”. However, it is widely recognized as one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. We’ve done what O’Leary has asked for. Why hasn’t she acknowledged this?
How about this statement:
“The simple fact remains: there is no “inferior” race; the genetic differences between races are trivial.”
This statement comes from the National Center for Science Education, as part of a report on “Racism and the Public’s Perception of Evolution”, available online here:
(paragraph 31, second sentence)
Even ID supporters might be willing to admit that the NCSE is a “world-recognized organization of evolutionary biologists”. After all, they complain about the immense political power of the NCSE, and the fact that virtually all evolutionary biologists agree with their organization’s views, including the one quoted above. Seems pretty definitive to me. Apparently not so to Arrington and O’Leary. Why not?
There have also been multiple sessions at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meetings on this and related subjects, which have condemned the use of evolutionary biology to support racism.
Last, but not least, one could also read The Mismeasure of Man, perhaps the strongest indictment of “scientific racism” published in the second half of the 20th century, by Stephen Jay Gould, one of the premier evolutionary biologists of the 20th century, and a tireless opponent of racism and the perversion of evolutionary science for political means.
I made a prediction in O’Leary’s last thread on this subject: that she would not acknowledge any of the evidence I posted to support the assertion that evolutionary biologists today are no more racists than, say, physicists or chemists today.
But that’s clearly not the point, is it? The point is to assert over and over again (without supporting evidence) that evolutionary theory leads directly and inevitably toward racism, eugenics, and the Nazi holocaust. This, despite the fact that even some of the partisans on their side have pointed out that this clearly isn’t the case, and that their incessant harping on this subject isn’t advancing the science of ID one iota.
So, when responding to this kind of ad hominem “guilt by association” argument in past threads, I’ve challenged them to name ten contemporary evolutionary biologists who are racists (and I’ve even given them one to get them started). But, to be fair, I’ve also pointed out on numerous occasions that their favorite world view (i.e. Christianity) has also been perverted by evil people for evil ends.
So, in the interests of fairness, here’s just a few examples (sorry about the Godwin, but I guess it’s inevitable):
While Hitler uses the word “evolution” in Mein Kampf, it is clear that he is not referring to Darwin’s theory. Indeed, he never mentions Darwin at all. In fact, a look at his writings reveals his sentiments on the subject to be those of an orthodox creationist.
Like a creationist, Hitler asserts fixity of kinds:
“The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi.
Like a creationist, Hitler claims that God made man:
“For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. x.
Like a creationist, Hitler affirms that humans existed “from the very beginning”, and could not have evolved from apes:
“From where do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us, that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump , as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today.” - Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier).
Like a creationist, Hitler believes that man was made in God’s image, and in the expulsion from Eden:
“Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol ii, ch. i.
Like a creationist, Hitler believes that:
“God … sent [us] into this world with the commission to struggle for our daily bread.” - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol ii, ch. xiv.
Like a creationist, Hitler claims Jesus as his inspiration:
“My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them.” - Adolf Hitler, speech, April 12 1922, published in My New Order.
Like a creationist, Hitler despises secular schooling:
“Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people.” - Adolf Hitler, Speech, April 26, 1933.
Hitler even goes so far as to claim that Creationism is what sets humans apart from the animals:
“The most marvelous proof of the superiority of Man, which puts man ahead of the animals, is the fact that he understands that there must be a Creator.” - Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier).
Hitler does not mention evolution explicitly anywhere in Mein Kampf. However, after declaring the fixity of the fox, goose, and tiger, as quoted above, he goes on to talk of differences within species:
“[T]he various degrees of structural strength and active power, in the intelligence, efficiency, endurance, etc., with which the individual specimens are endowed.” Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi.
So, like a creationist and ID supporter, there is some evolution he is prepared to concede — evolution within species, or “microevolution”, to which people like Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe have no objection. It is on the basis of the one part of evolutionary theory which creationists accept that Hitler tried to find a scientific basis for his racism and his program of eugenics.
Ergo, Hitler did not base his eugenic and genocidal policies on evolutionary theory, but rather on views that are very similar to those held by most creationists and many ID supporters.