Skip to comments.Whitewashing Darwinism's Ongoing Moral Legacy (Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter latest example)
Posted on 06/14/2009 5:38:00 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
Whitewashing Darwinism's Ongoing Moral Legacy
Is it somehow petty, offensive, exploitative, and beyond the pale to point out how the Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter, who murdered a guard on Wednesday, writes about evolution in his sick manifesto? Should it be considered beneath one's dignity to quote the man and let his words speak for themselves?
James von Brunn, the suspect in question, is a white supremacist, a bitter anti-Semite, a Holocaust-denier, a wacked out conspiracy theorist, who served more than 6 years in a federal prison for attempted kidnapping. All this is fair game to report. Everyone agrees to that. But the fact that he writes of "Natural Law: the species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation. Only the strong survive. Cross-breeding Whites with species lower on the evolutionary scale diminishes the White gene-pool" -- that's somehow inappropriate to note in public?
That seems to be the message from the media, which has ignored the fact, and from some readers who have responded to my blog on the subject. I realize the topic is uncomfortable for all sides in the evolution debate. So let's try to step back and consider this rationally.
It's historically undeniable that Darwinian thinking forms a thread linking some of the most reprehensible social movements of the past 150 years. I and many other people, including professional historians (which I'm not), have written about this repeatedly and from many different angles. By all means check out my own most recent contributions on the theme of "Darwin's Tree of Death."
From Darwin's own musings on the logic of genocide, to his cousin Francis Galton's influential advocacy of eugenics, to the Darwin/monkey statuette on Lenin's desk, to Hitler's Mein Kampf with its evolutionary theme, to the biology textbook at the center of the Scopes trial that advocated racism and eugenics, to the modern eugenics movement right here in the U.S., to recent school shootings in which the student murderers invoked natural selection, to yesterday's tragedy at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and much more along the way -- the thread is persistent, if widely ignored.
Should it be ignored? No, it shouldn't. I will give you an analogy. Our culture is very comfortable reminding us often of atrocities committed in the name of religion -- whether it's the Crusades, the Inquisition, or 9/11. Ironically, the day of the Holocaust Museum shooting, an interesting new Jewish web magazine, Tablet, published a fascinating scholarly essay by Paula Fredriksen about how under the Nazis, some German theologians tried to fit Jesus into a Nazi mold. They drew on anti-Jewish writings widely available in Christian tradition.
Is it "beyond the pale" to point this out? No, of course not. So what's the difference? I would say it's not only appropriate to document the dark side of religion. It's necessary. The Anti-Defamation League commented on the Holocaust Museum shooting, pointing to this "reminder that words of hate matter, that we can never afford to ignore hate because words of hate can easily become acts of hate, no matter the place, no matter the age of the hatemonger."
Exactly. It's also the case that ideas have consequences and knowing those consequences can rightly prompt us to look with renewed skepticism at a given idea, whether religious or scientific. 9/11 was a good reason to go back and take a second look at Islam. Not to reject it, but to consider it critically. The Crusades are a good reason to do the same with Christianity. Not to reject it, but to think twice. That's all.
Why would the incredibly popular and influential work called Mein Kampf not be a reason to think twice about Darwinism? Not to reject it, but to get yourself properly informed and make up your own mind rather than simply go along with the prestige culture and media view.
The legacy of Mein Kampf included the murder of 6 million Jews. As Richard Weikart meticulously documents in From Darwin to Hitler, Hitler's book was part of a stream of intellectual influence that began with Darwin and continued through to Hitler. It's with us today and it played a part in the demented thinking of James von Brunn, "a peripheral but well-respected figure among American white supremacists," as the ADL notes.
If you want a good chill, Google the phrase "natural selection" as it appears on the popular neo-Nazi website Stormfront.org. Here, I've done it for you.
It doesn't negate the point to remind me that Hitler put his own wicked spin on kindly Charles Darwin's words, one that Darwin himself would absolutely repudiate. Nor that evolutionists like James von Brunn have a crude grasp of evolutionary theory. Nor that today's evolutionary scientists, unlike their fairly recent predecessors, do not truck with racism (though some certainly do truck with anti-religious agitation, reserving special venom for the God of the Hebrew Bible).
All these same things could be said about religion-based haters of today and centuries past. They too distort their tradition. Yet they emerge from it, and so, again, that's a sound reason to give a second, skeptical look to the relevant religious traditions.
What's not reasonable is to give Darwinism's social influence a special pass, forbidding any mention of it as somehow out of bounds. Very far from reasonable indeed, it's nothing less than a cover-up.
Another fool confusing Darwinism with Social Darwinism. That’s it gg&g...you’re going on the watchlist....seems you folks are capable of anything. Except maybe empiric thought.
Thanks for the ping, GGG. Unfortunately I’ve found myself having to argue yet again elsewhere on this forum with members of a religion who don’t quite see things that way.
So-called âSocial Darwinismâ actually predates Darwin. It has its roots in the thinking of British Sociologist Herbert Spencer. It’s more apt to call Darwin’s work Biological Spencer-ism.
Actually, Spencer was quite the Lamarckian. But either way, he was an evolutionist.
Are you talking about members of the Temple of Darwinistic Materialism?
There is a difference between asserting that evolution takes place, and asserting that someone knows the future, knows what traits will be more fit, and not content to let the future work it self out, begins murdering.
This jerk was a crank. He had nutty ideas, and tried to justify his ideas by asserting without evidence or proof that his ideas followed from accepted science.
It would have the same lack of validity if he had asserted the superiority of blue eyes from the blue sky. He is crazy. Don’t you be crazy.
What is it with people named Dave? Why does everybody pick on them for the stupid things they say? It’s not fair.
The 19th century saw everything in terms of evolution. Industrial, Social and otherwise. It was the spirit of the time.
The search for a missing link might be a dark PC way to “search” for a cross bred ancestor. It seems Von Brunn struck the chord of common ancestor search to actual avoidance of cross breeding with animals or lower races.
Darwinism seem to avoid that subject and muses in round about ways about survival of the fittest. What about of necessity? Germanic Wagnerian themes of incest and inbreeding seem to ring with Lot’s daughter finding it necessary, in their lack of faith, the need to inbreed with their father. What about with apes?
Similarly John the Baptist’s own father was muted from any further obsene and blasphemous mockery of God when he said he was “too old” to be able to conceive any children.
One might say that MLK talked of a dream, but Von Brunn claimed his own dream. Why this guy’s and not the other’s?
Perhaps fantasy, engineering theories and dreams of these sorts are inherently dangerous because totalitarian, viewing life from the outside, as some sort of game.
To accept that a “science” can play a game like this on us is indeed a strange way of replacing fantasy with a sort of pseudo-antifantasy, just as convenient and fantasy full for the witches of its party - not to mention horrible in and of itself and making sensible armament against it “illegal”.
Then what gives the wielders of armament for it the authority? Plenty of hypocrisy in this: “oh, I’m inferior but I support the concept, so I am kept on life support by the taxpayers” ?
Sums up the arrogance and hypocrisy of liberals in this, all for desegrating some races and forcing them together, while keeping themselves above and free from such tensions and exercises, making other pay for their experiments.
More blood libel from the Discovery Institute.
I’m not like the author. I for one reject Islam because it promotes illiteracy, superstition and sin according to my personal edification and standards. Its violent proselytist tones are also arrogant.
That said, I will not abandon study of my enemies and even Islam itself, even willingly participate in it if needed to attain a greater faith in greater things than vulgar themes of 72 virgins in a hell where once they are not so, it’s no more - and other ad nauseam revisionisms and imaginations the arab world likes to screw itself over.
Nazis would view my ideas of caring and litteracy for the poor and the oppressed as weak. Communists would view it as anti-progressist because they don’t believe in poverty but in empowerment and science in and of itself.
Ok, there you have it, same difference: Nazis are for a sort of “race shepherd” for the flock of uniformly growing sheeps, while communists are for wild animals without shepherd “except for a few opinion makers who make sure it’s kept that way”.
Either way we are dealing with fascists with feel good PC garbs, quoting Darwin, arrogantly claiming to know it better, yet completely disrespecting litteracy that the weak or volunteer poor witnesses.
They don’t care, they just want to test, to play games with the world, to choreograph scenes and wield “Hollywood scripts” as Saddam hypocriticaly accused his adversaries in deep primitive envy.
So, this shooting is blamed on evolution?
Have you no shame?
This kind of article completely discredits the source. Totally asinine.
If you want to attack evolution, do it within the scientific boundaries. Throwing dead kittens or Jew-haters into the equation just makes you look like a fool.
Well, does Darwin require Social Darwinism? Maybe so, maybe no.
The Holocauast Museum shooter was a nutcase. But he was more of a Darwinist nutcase than a Christian nutcase, as the news media portrayed him. If nothing else, Darwinism is open to that kind of “master race” distortion. Christianity is not.
I would take issue with one thing in the article. It numbers the Crusades “among atrocities committed in the name of religion.” Sorry. That’s a bad rap. Yes, the Crusades sometimes went off the rails, like many other major human undertakings. Still, the Crusades were defensive. They were an attempt to reverse the course of Islamic conquest. In the end, they failed in that purpose. But is it reasonable to say that Christendom should not have been allowed to defend itself against Muslim agression and conquest? I think not. The only thing wrong with the Crusades is that they weren’t done better.
LOL...Hitler, the creationist who wanted to wipeout Judaism and Christianity...now that’s rich!
While the political rulers of Europe had every right to defend themselves against Muslim invaders, Christianity should never be used as the justification to go to war IMHO. The political leaders were of course within their rights to want to protect the benefits of Christian civilization, but nowhere in the New Testament does it tell Christians to go to war on behalf of Jesus Christ. Indeed, Jesus Christ himself tells us the exact opposite. By the same token, the New Testament also tells us that the government does not bear the sword in vain, and in that sense, the rulers of the Christian West had every right, as the divinely appointed rulers at the time, to act in their own and their people’s interests and kick some Muslim _ss.
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