ID Apologists as Cheating Husbands

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Psychologists tell us that one of the primary manifestations of guilt is to accuse others of doing what one is guilty of themselves. This is why, for instance, a cheating husband will often exhibit jealous paranoia about his wife cheating on him, and vice versa. They know the lies that they've been telling, so they continually presume that they are being lied to as well. For a perfect illustration of this phenomenon, look no further than the recent obsession of ID apologists like Casey Luskin with Nazi comparisons in the ID/evolution dispute. While howling in feigned outrage at the terrible unfairness of such comparisons, they ignore the fact that such comparisons have been used by them and their colleagues for constantly for years. The latest example is John West's post on the DI blog, complaining about a comment made by Jeffrey Selman, the plaintiff in the Cobb County case. He writes:

The tasteless, over-the-top effort by some Darwinists (especially those at the ACLU) to castigate anyone who disagrees with them on evolution as Nazis or Holocaust deniers continues unabated.

And so does the hypocritical nonsense from the ID apologists in pointing the finger at others that is more justifiably pointed at themselves. For a brief list of the literally dozens of instances where ID apologists have compared us to Nazis or Stalinists, go here. For a longer list, go here.

In a recent article in the Cleveland Jewish News, ACLU attorney Jeffrey Selman, who brought the Cobb County case, implies that if we allow students to hear about scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory we are one step away from putting Jews in the ovens

This is wrong. Selman is not an attorney and he is not with the ACLU. He is a computer programmer who was represented by the ACLU in that case, specifically by Georgia attorney Michael Manely. It's certainly true that the comment Selman made, as reported in the Cleveland Jewish News, is rather baffling. It doesn't really say anything, so it can hardly be evaluated as accurate or not. He said:

When a federal judge in Georgia ruled last week that a local school board's decision to put a small sticker on its science textbooks labeling evolution "a theory, not a fact" was unconstitutional, Jeffrey Selman said it was primarily an American issue.

Still, he said, he could not help but view it through the lens of his Jewishness.

"Look what happened in Germany," said Selman..."The German Jews said, 'We're Germans. We'll be fine.' The next thing you know, they were opening the oven doors for us."

It's a very odd statement, and it's edited so I have no idea what he was actually referring to. If he has some sort of argument to make for a connection between the Cobb County case and Nazi Germany, it isn't made in that quote and I can't conceive of what it might be. It just looks like a superfluous and pointless comment to me, and deserves to be criticized as such. But it takes extraordinary chutzpah for a guy like John West, the associate director of the DI's Center for Science and Culture, to criticize that statement as "tasteless" and "Orwellian" when so many of the people under his charge at the CSC have said far worse things and made far more specific comparisons between evolutionary scientists and Nazis, or Stalinists, or any other bad guys they can think of. His boss, Stephen Meyer, has even gotten into the act, doing an impression of Ken Miller as Hitler's propaganda chief, much to the delight of Jonathan Wells (who mistakenly thought that said chief was Himmler when it was in fact Goebbels).

I would submit, Mr. West, that the only thing "Orwellian" about this situation is the continual demagoguery that you and your friends have engaged in on this issue for the past several weeks. It is obvious that your frantic fingerpointing on this issue is intelligently but hypocritically designed to distract attention from the undeniable fact that the bulk of the Nazi comparisons have come from your side of the dispute and that has been true for years. Sadly, most of those who lap up the nonsense you shovel out will accept it uncritically. But in the end, all you have really shown is your commitment to the Big Lie strategy of marketing. But the more you repeat this lie, the more those of us on the other side will shine the light on your own actions and expose you for what you are.

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Geez, who could have seen this one coming? Straight from the Discovery Institute's blog regarding atheist and Holocaust denier Larry Darby in reference to his activities against ID in Alabama, Casey Luskin bloviates: An outspoken opponent of the bill h... Read More

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Well, I went to a talk by Mary Poplin, concerning “the role of Christianity in the life of an academic.” I’ll say first that she was a very nice lady, and she’s had a very interesting life, going from teaching radical feminism with a dash of pagan and far-eastern mysticism to teaching Chrstianity with a similar amount of mysticism. The part about God communicating with two Christian physicists via their wives’ imaginations was a real hoot. She has done a lot of work helping disadvantaged students and closely follows education curricula requirements such as No Child Left Behind. She’s a staunch advocate of a national curriculum with a national set of standards; she also suggests that this be broken down by race (I’m not sure what she thought about economic background).

But, alas, when given the opportunity, she will decry the negative influence of “naturalism in the hard sciences.” What exactly the bad effects were, she never really told us, but she did allude to Hitler’s use of evolution in justifying the holocaust and that Darwin’s philosophy was fundamentally racist. In person, she did acknowledge the contributions of Stephen J. Gould in dispelling the myths of “social Darwinism,” but that’s not what she provided for the audience. My thinking is that these people really can’t help themselves–they want to be nice people, and they want to be open-minded and often moderates on these political or divisive issues, but deep down they believe that Christianity is right and it must be purified from the corruption of naturalism, government social programs, all other religions, and contemporary cultural modes. Is there any common ground within this?

West apparently read your bit about Selman, Ed, and changed it in the DI “blog”. Nice they pay attemtion to some of their screwups. Pity they don’t catch all of them, like using the term “theory” for an unsupported conjecture that has no specifics at all.

RBH

For a detailed description of IDists’ habit of comparing their opponents to the Nazis, Soviet communists, Salem judges, Lysenko, Himmler (or Goebbels) etc. etc. etc. see for example http://www.talkreason.org/articles/eandp.cfm

When asked about possible conflicts between loyalty to the boss and an extremely important qualification for the job in question, commitment to reality, Dr. Rice changes the subject by protesting Sen. Boxer’s impugning her integrity.

Hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar.

My thinking is that these people really can’t help themselves—they want to be nice people, and they want to be open-minded and often moderates on these political or divisive issues, but deep down they believe that Christianity is right and it must be purified from the corruption of naturalism, government social programs, all other religions, and contemporary cultural modes. Is there any common ground within this?

Two thoughts.

First, although creationism apologists like this misguided soul do have a habit of reciting their script about “naturalism,” the fact of the matter is that evangelical Christians in this country live lives that are indistinguishably “naturalistic” and “materialistic” when compared to yours and mine. Every human on the planet uses empirical observations about reality and natural laws for conducting their real world affairs (eating, drinking, seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, etc.).

Second, there are many more thoughtful Christians, including evangelicals (e.g., Jim Wallis), who realize that the Johnsonite script is an anti-thinking anti-education pile of garbage that serves only to warp and discredit the Christian religion (see James Dobson and Pat Robertson for more on that subject).

Here’s today’s example of the Discovery Institute playing the Hitler card against “Darwinists”:

From Darwin To Hitler: Does Darwinism Devalue Human Life?”

April 7, 2005 From Darwin To Hitler: Does Darwinism Devalue Human Life?” A Lecture with CSC Fellow Dr. Richard Weikart

CSC Fellow Dr. Richard Weikart will deliver the lecture “From Darwin to Hitler: Does Darwinism Devalue Human Life” based on his book “From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004).

The lecture is Thursday, April 7 at Seattle Pacific University, Demaray Hall 150 at 7:30 pm. Attendance is free.

“From Darwin to Hitler” is a compelling and painstakingly researched work of intellectual history, in which Weikart explains the revolutionary impact Darwinism had on ethics and morality. He demonstrates that many leading Darwinian biologists and social thinkers in Germany believed that Darwinism overturned traditional Judeo-Christian and Enlightenment ethics, especially those pertaining to the sacredness of human life. Many of these thinkers supported moral relativism …

Cheers, Dave

Concerns about troubling similarities between America’s religious right and European facists have been voiced by Nazi refugees themselves.

Here’s a recent Chris Hedges NYT article about a Nazi refugee’s concerns about the religious right in America:

FRITZ STERN, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany and a leading scholar of European history, startled several of his listeners when he warned in a speech about the danger posed in this country by the rise of the Christian right.

“When I saw the speech my eyes lit up,” said John R. MacArthur, whose book “Second Front” examines wartime propaganda. “The comparison between the propagandistic manipulation and uses of Christianity, then and now, is hidden in plain sight. No one will talk about it. No one wants to look at it.”

From the article “Warning From a Student of Democracy’s Collapse.”

Darwinists need to take a page from Prof. Gould and face up to the fact that Nazi, communist, and other varieties of wackos DID use (mis-use) Darwin in support of their totalitarian agendas. (I have a vauge recollection that one of Gould’s apologias for William Jennings Bryan even included quotes from a dinner conversation at the Kaiser’s table.) To my mind, we should be candid about such historical misuses and use them as additional compelling reasons for doing a better job of teaching science, generally, and evolution in particular.

To my mind, we should be candid about such historical misuses and use them as additional compelling reasons for doing a better job of teaching science, generally, and evolution in particular.

I agree. That’s good stuff, EoRaptor.

No doubt Hitler belived in good personal hygiene, refreshing walks in the forest and a fine bottle of red wine. These things are therefore EEEEEVIL and alternatives to must be taught in our public schools.

Except, EoRaptor, Stalin was rabidly anti-Darwin, and there is not an iota of evidence that Darwinian evolution, or an understanding of it, ever crossed Hitler’s mind, nor was manifested by his advisors.

There is of course the fact that creationist wackoes consistently misuse and mis-state history, to claim that the Soviet Union and Stalin were pro-Darwin, when the facts run exactly the opposite.

To my mind, we should be candid about such historical misuses, especially when perpetrated by people who DO know better, or who have Ph.D’s and SHOULD know better.

Your conclusion, however, is right – as GWW points out.

BTW, has anybody Fisked Weikart’s book yet?

A short article about such Fisking should appear in a Seattle newspaper on April 6 or so.

I am still waiting for a used copy for sale- I refuse to make any transaction that will so much as give a nickel to creationists in royalties.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ed Brayton published on January 23, 2005 5:36 PM.

More on Antony Flew’s “Conversion” was the previous entry in this blog.

Time: Stealth Attack On Evolution is the next entry in this blog.

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