Shocking new Darwin letter discovered…I’m not sure what to think

| 60 Comments | 1 TrackBack

This news comes via PTer and historian of science John Lynch. I don’t know what to think about this, it contradicts everything I used to think about Darwin, but honesty demands that the public and the scholarly world be informed of the uncomfortable facts.

A precious historical find

Category: History and Philosophy (often of Science) Posted on: August 11, 2008 2:35 PM, by John Lynch

Amazing letter from Charles Darwin to Klara Pölzl, one that likely to change Darwin scholarship for the future. Written in 1881, a year before his death, Darwin could clearly see the vast implications of his life’s work for Twentieth century thought. I’m going to have to take some time to digest this before I comment.

1 TrackBack

Nick Matzke points to a post at Stranger Fruit:Amazing letter from Charles Darwin to Klara Plzl, one that likely to change Darwin scholarship for the future. Written in 1881, a year before his death, Darwin could clearly see the... Read More

60 Comments

LMAO!!! Cleaning the monitor now…

I’m afraid that someone will come to regret this; pretty soon the letter will be circulating within the creationists circles as genuine.

Aw, Hitler never gave him the credit he deserves.

It hardly makes being a wicked atheist worthwhile, you know what I mean?

Glen Davidson http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Intelligent Design circulates within creationist circles as genuine also, but nobody with any sense takes it seriously, either.

Bleh, it looks photoshopped to me.

A precious historical find

Yes, I think “precious” is the exact word for this.

Intelligent Design circulates within creationist circles as genuine also, but nobody with any sense takes it seriously, either.

Wow, we sure are lucky that no one believes it and there’s been no movement to have this taught in schools. Think of all the money we’ve saved by not having to file lawsuits.

The kerning is all wrong for 1883. This is closer to Microsoft Cursive Press 1.2.

I’m sure it’s a hoax. Darwin was so obsessive-compulsive about details that I’m sure a genuine letter would have included his Zip code. QED!

strange. he didn’t mention Stalin, Mao, or Columbine. i wonder why?

I might be overly skeptical here, but something leads me to doubt the provenance of this letter.

It’s the wrong time of the year for this one. Surely April 1st would have been ideal ?

Still, I can’t see any YEC’s falling for it, but you never know.

This is nothing. I have uncovered in my extensive research a letter from Charles Darwin to the young Anakim Skywalker.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel)http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

At first I thought no one would fall for this, but then again, lots of people think Edward Current is serious, so all bets are off.

We really need to focus on what’s important here: did Darwin write this letter on a Mac or a PC?

zzzzzzzzzz.….

Peter Henderson said:

Still, I can’t see any YEC’s falling for it, but you never know.

Obviously the only way that Darwin would know about Hitler is because the Devil told him about it. OMG! VenomfangX is right! Evilution iz of da Debil!

Did Darwin know H. G. Wells?

Nice idea (for a laugh)… bad execution. Right off the bat they made a mistake, she wasn’t Frau Hitler until 1885. She was still unmarried in 1881 as Klara Poelzl.

I was almost sucked in by the intro, until I saw the handwriting was readable. Darwin’s penmanship was as bad as mine.

Looks like Edward Blyth’s handwriting to me.

skyotter:

“strange. he didn’t mention Stalin, Mao” Darwin was a property owning class oppressor, duh. And Columbine? C’mon we’re being serious here. :)

When the “Onion” had a satire piece about Harry Potter stimulating a growing cult of young satanists, some fundamentalist newsletters started referring to it. Maybe the same will happen here.

I… I don’t even know what to believe anymore!

Wheels said:

I… I don’t even know what to believe anymore!

That’s the idea: the Discovery Institute’s various partners are more than happy to step in and tell you what to believe (and think) for you for the rest of your life.

Sarcasm always has a strange irony. Everything in the letter is so absurd, that after reading it a couple of times one realizes the true nature of the letter.

The letter is used to demonstrate that Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution has no connection to the reign of Adolf Hitler. To make such a connect is to suggest that Charles Darwin can predict the future, is aware of how the English language will change, and has the power to influence people. Actually, Charles Darwin does have the power to influence people, but he does not have the power to influence future events through people.

I find it interesting that Darwinists are acting so defensively about this letter. If it’s a hoax, then why bother to comment on it? Hmm? What are you afraid of?

(.….….)

(I really need to stop channeling creationist thinking on an empty stomach. I feel quite ill.)

I’m actually hoping that this suddenly turns up in some sort of creationist argument. Like if I was randomly browsing youtube and suddenly find one of the many creationists using this.

I can’t really use the fact that it’s a spoof against such a person, logic will be of no use to someone who fails to notice the searing sarcasm, but it’ll be good for a laugh or three.

Time travel history can be fun! I predict that we can find equally precious letters to Stalin, and just about any figure Ben Stein care to mention.

… wait a minute, doesn’t that imply that Ben Stein is primarily responsible for a causal loop here? We will likely find a letter from him to Darwin, detailing the movie he will appear in, and thus giving Darwin hints about the theory he will discover. That would explain why he ‘knows’ that Darwin prompted Hitler, despite the lack of evidence.

Ben Stein, the once and future designer of IDiots.

Zeno said: I’m sure it’s a hoax. Darwin was so obsessive-compulsive about details that I’m sure a genuine letter would have included his Zip code. QED!

No, there were no Zip codes in Victorian England; he would have used his Post Code instead: BR6 7JT.

See Down House for details.

rossum

Lynn David Wrote:

Nice idea (for a laugh)… bad execution. Right off the bat they made a mistake, she wasn’t Frau Hitler until 1885. She was still unmarried in 1881 as Klara Poelzl.

Also, 11 years after the letter Adolf was already 3 years old.

Now that just wasn’t very nice. I was actually a little nervous before I read it. :-)

The letter-forms look too similar to be handwritten. Where there are slight differences, they look like the standard ligature substitution of OpenType handwriting font faces. Those facts alone should raise deep suspicion.

(Sorry if I’ve double- or triple- or n-posted. Please delete copies.)

Hi all,

Had to check today’s date just to make sure that it’s not April 1st by mistake. Looks like that dastardly Gallifreyan Time Lord, The Master, is busy causing trouble again. What do you think?

Am absolutely clueless.

Regards,

John

I’m glad the satire is as subtle as a brick, while I would find it amusing to see creationists falling for (a less subtle) version, I could not be doing with decades of posting “it was a joke!!!”

That letter is fake. Darwin didn’t write that.

Vincent Tinkle said:

That letter is fake. Darwin didn’t write that.

I dunno. I’ve seen a lot of shoops in my day. I can usually tell by looking at the pixels.

That letter is fake. Darwin didn’t write that.

Gee, ya think? :p

Henry

It’s funny if you are paying attention to Ben Stein and his lame movie.

Thanks for nothing, Nick.

Well - it has been so very obvious that Darwin was a Godless, Pinko, Nazi that I am amazed something like this has not come to light before! High time, I would say, that the truth of the matter is documented!!

So, essentially, Darwin Godwin’d the evolution debate. The mind boggles.

John Kwok said:

Had to check today’s date just to make sure that it’s not April 1st by mistake. Looks like that dastardly Gallifreyan Time Lord, The Master, is busy causing trouble again. What do you think?

Is the Master just trying to provoke Prof Dawkins as a means of getting at his missus?

And why should spoofs only be put out on April 1st? The DI, AiG, Dembski, O’Leary et al are not so constrained.…

eric johnson said:

I’m glad the satire is as subtle as a brick, while I would find it amusing to see creationists falling for (a less subtle) version, I could not be doing with decades of posting “it was a joke!!!”

There is a classic spoof of the “NASA faked the Moon landings” that says moviemaker Stanley Kubrick was given the contract to make the bogus videos. It was released about a decade ago on a humor group and had such gems as saying the videos were “shot on location” but Kubrick didn’t go personally because of his “well known fear of flying.”

This item *still* gets referenced as factual …

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Well, the extensive commentaries and replies and followups prove that there is a controversy about this letter. Our school children deserve to hear ALL sides of the issue. This letter must become part of history lessons in all middle schools of America.

Anything less, we will be doing great harm to our children.

Dear Kevin B,

This astute observation of yours also occurred to me:

Kevin B said:

John Kwok said:

Had to check today’s date just to make sure that it’s not April 1st by mistake. Looks like that dastardly Gallifreyan Time Lord, The Master, is busy causing trouble again. What do you think?

Is the Master just trying to provoke Prof Dawkins as a means of getting at his missus?

And why should spoofs only be put out on April 1st? The DI, AiG, Dembski, O’Leary et al are not so constrained.…

Since Lalla Ward (Mrs. Richard Dawkins) did portray a Time Lord on “Doctor Who”, then I suppose The Master is busy fomenting trouble, not only against Darwin, but Dawkins too.

Cheers,

John

P. S. On a more serious note my “pal” Bill Dembski seems to be in “spoof mode” around the clock. Curious behavior for someone teaching at a Baptist seminary, of all places, right?

This letter is obviously fake - Darwin’s handwriting wasn’t that good!

Centuries of murderous Christian anti-Semitism in Europe, rooted in New Testament texts (primarily the Gospels of Matthew and John) can properly be cited as fostering and enabling Hitler’s Holocaust. Since I am not a regular reader or contributor to PT, I do not know whether this ugly fact is ever used here, or in other anti-anti-Darwin/evolution forums, in partial reply to the nonsense claim that Darwin can be significantly blamed for the grotesqueries of Hitler. But it seems to me potentially relevant and meritorious depending on the exact nature of the conversation.

Shelama said:

Since I am not a regular reader or contributor to PT, I do not know whether this ugly fact is ever used here, or in other anti-anti-Darwin/evolution forums, in partial reply to the nonsense claim that Darwin can be significantly blamed for the grotesqueries of Hitler.

It has been mentioned along with Martin Luther’s book The Jews and their Lies and things like slogan on the belt buckles of the German soldiers “God is with us”. But unlike our opposition, most of us don’t use these facts to demonize all Christians past and present, nor do we attribute the anti-antisemitism to Christianity or the apostles.

Somehow I don’t think Darwin in 1881 was using English such as “…take over Germany and, what the hell, send 10 million Jews to their deaths…” What the hell?

Or, “…then again, this might be tricky…”? this might be tricky?

(and 10 million Jews? 10 million? I guess the Nazis turned out to be gentler on Jews than Darwin predicted, only 6 million were murdered.)

Kevin B Wrote:

And why should spoofs only be put out on April 1st? The DI, AiG, Dembski, O’Leary et al are not so constrained.…

Given it’s “agnosticism” of the age of the Universe, Earth and its life, ID can accommodate all the results of “It’s always April 1st somewhere.”

Mark said:

This letter is obviously fake - Darwin’s handwriting wasn’t that good!

No ones handwriting is that good. Looking closely at the letter it is easy to notice that every character is identical, a suggestion they are a computer font. But remember one thing this was created in jest.

He could have been using Letra-Set…

Yeah, that must be it. Letra-Set is so old tech even I can remember it.

But I thought it was Adolf himself who changed the name because Schicklgruber didn’t roll off the tongue as elegantly? Did his Momma follow suit?

What the heck, this thread was Dogwin’d from the start!

Flint and his supporters:

If Flint did not wish to blame the victims, he surely should have expressed himself better. I assume that when someone says something he means it.

You all shouldn’t have your panties in a bundle, you should do some research and reflection. When you have a theory, consider you are wrong.

Flint, a mostrously clever fellow like you actually needs a reading list? I am amazed! You have access to a computer and the internet, are able to type and I am sure that you can use Wikipedia, Google, and Amazon. If you still need a reference, then Paul Johnson, “History of the Jews” will get you started.

Flint’s analysis is facile, shallow and just plain wrong. I would expect it from one who has not read particularly deeply in history. It neglects to note that the German Jewish community was the most assimilated in Europe and the most intermarried also. Indeed he almost asserts the opposite. After all, even in the early 10th century Marx’s parents had become Christians – would not have done Karl much good because of the rather “quaint” definition of Jew that the Nazis used. Flint, search, using Google, the phrase” Nazi definition of Jew and I’ll wager that you will find it.

Finally, Flint, dear Flint, scarcasm gets you nowhere. Proffering the fruits of ignorance gets you criticized. Insisting that you are right gets you ignored. I neither made an ad hominem attack, nor did I use sarcasm. Albeit I was curt. For this I appologize. I believe my comment stands as is.

David Galant said:

After all, even in the early 10th century Marx’s parents had become Christians – would not have done Karl much good because of the rather “quaint” definition of Jew that the Nazis used. Flint, search, using Google, the phrase” Nazi definition of Jew and I’ll wager that you will find it.

In the early 10th Century, the great-great grandparents of Karl Marx, Charles Darwin or Adolf Hitler were not born yet.

I confess I am less than dazzled by folks who declare others to be shallow, uninformed, lazy, and wrong – and then (having offered nothing of substance) pat themselves on the back for their sheer self-satisfied superiority.

Not having the slightest idea what David’s knowledge or analysis might be, I suppose I’ll just concede his general superiority and wander off. I understand that I’ve touched a “third rail” topic. I’m sorry that the facts I mentioned (certainly not intended to present the depth or balance available in a 650-page book) weren’t an affirmations of the Official Truth David seems to crave.

This kneejerk reaction of “if you’re not 100% with us, you MUST be 100% against us” seems inherent in the religious view of the world, irrespective of any particular religion. It was not my intent to prod the fanatics into such displays.

Frank J said:

Kevin B Wrote:

And why should spoofs only be put out on April 1st? The DI, AiG, Dembski, O’Leary et al are not so constrained.…

Given it’s “agnosticism” of the age of the Universe, Earth and its life, ID can accommodate all the results of “It’s always April 1st somewhere.”

ROTFLMAO!

I have some doubts about its authenticity as every thing of Darwin I have read, curls down at the right hand edge of the paper.

Michael

Ravilyn Sanders said:

Shelama said:

Centuries of murderous Christian anti-Semitism in Europe, rooted in New Testament texts (primarily the Gospels of Matthew and John) can properly be cited as fostering and enabling Hitler’s Holocaust…

It has been mentioned along with Martin Luther’s book The Jews and their Lies and things like slogan on the belt buckles of the German soldiers “God is with us”. But unlike our opposition, most of us don’t use these facts to demonize all Christians past and present, nor do we attribute the anti-antisemitism to Christianity or the apostles.

Nobody, of course, was demonizing all Christians past and present, nor did anyone attribute anything to anyone who actually knew the peasant preacher from Nazareth, (whether disciple or ‘apostle’.) The texts referenced, like all Christian gospels (both canonical and non-canonical) were of anonymous authorship by persons who never knew Jesus. Luther was an important stop in a very long arc of Christian anti-Semitism. Many Christians since the Holocaust have recognized and explored the fact that internecine Jewish polemic and propaganda in foundational NT texts, particularly the “gospels” of “Matthew” and of “John”, are among the important roots of the murderous institutional, theological and individual Christian anti-semitism that flowed following the political and cultural ascendency of Christianity. Whether or not that was the intent of the original authors. The New Testament of the Christian Bible, and derivative Christian theology, for centuries inspired anti-semitic Christian predation, degradation and murder in Europe well into the 20th century. Enabling the success of Hitler even if they did not require or predict his particular pathologies.

People, Christian and otherwise, who deal with the nonsense of blaming Hitler on Darwin would be more effective if they were more conversant with the Christian roots and origins of anti-Semitism in Europe than merely “The Jews and Their Lies” and ‘belt buckles.’ Meaning more honest and careful reading of both the “New Testament” and of history.

“Yawn…” If this was at least a well-executed hoax, it would be worth a laugh or two. What we see instead is a truly lame, dare I say even juvenile, attempt at letter forgery. As a previous post said so well: “zzzzzzzzzz.….”

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 11, 2008 2:31 PM.

Quality Education Wins Again in the California Creationist Case was the previous entry in this blog.

The evolution of Jeffrey P Schloss is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter