Creationism, evolution, and Nazis. Yes, Nazis.

By Phil Plait | March 21, 2008 12:26 pm

This post deals with religion, evolution, lies, and Nazis. Because of this, I am warning folks at the start: be very, very careful if and when you leave comments on this post. I will not tolerate flame wars or abuse here. Keep the discussion reasonable, rational, and evidence-based. Emotions are fine — you may notice some in my own post — but keep them controlled. Obviously, Godwin’s law will be temporarily suspended here, since reductio ad Hitlerum is the very topic of this discussion. So have a care.


I was laughing off the whole PZ-expelled-from-Expelled thing, but I’m now seeing a particularly evil side of this, a distortion so horrid I cannot keep quiet about it.

On the official Expelled website is a post that consists of an email from someone who was at the movie when PZ was evicted, and describes the movie itself. Remember, this was posted on the official Expelled site, giving it their tacit approval.

Sitting down? I hope so. The post on the Expelled website says this:

The film can best be described as subtly clever and occasionally funny. Emotions are stirred up especially built around the movies overall theme*, and many scenes especially later in the movie might be difficult to watch based on one’s ethnic and religious background.

and the footnote therein says this:

*SPOILER!! […]
Many scenes are centered around the Berlin Wall, and Ben Stein being Jewish actually visits many death camps and death showers. In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany.

Think on that for a moment. Nazism is what ties all this movie together, meaning it says that evolution leads to the cold and ruthless slaughter of millions of people.

Right from the start, this is an total and abhorrent lie. This false connection between the Holocaust and the teaching of evolution is a gross and profound twisting of reality. Creationist love to say that Hitler used evolution as an excuse for genocide, but actually he makes it clear that religion played a major role in his decisions. For example, in a 1922 speech Hitler said "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter." Oddly, the creationists never seem to mention that.

Despite whatever reasons Hitler gave for his reasoning — and honestly, how much can we trust him? He was Hitler — that doesn’t mean that evolution leads to atheism leads to Nazis. Evolution, like all of reality, is a fact, and how we use it is independent of that reality itself. I can just as easily point out how many people have been slaughtered in the name of Jesus. Both arguments are grossly unfair when used in this manner. I can use a hammer to build a house, or to beat someone’s brains in. In what way is either the fault of the hammer?

It’s unfair to lay the blame of human faults on religion or the lack thereof. It’s how humans use or abuse these tools that’s important.

For the producers of this movie to continue this Big Lie tying evolution and Nazis together is an irony almost too big to comprehend, given that this is precisely how Nazi propaganda worked. In a rich field of creationist ironies, this may be the elephant in the room. They are projecting onto their enemies the very thing they are guilty of.

For Ben Stein to go to concentration camps and promote creationism is beyond the pale. It’s a lie, it’s ugly, and it should spark universal condemnation from every thinking human on the planet. This movie is founded on falsehoods, the producers lied to get interviews, they’ve used decidedly shady tactics to promote it, and the movie evidently has a huge lie as its very premise –a lie to which the producers themselves have admitted.

We must continue to discuss this, to air it out, to show these people for what they are. Like any noisome and foul thing you find under a rock, exposure to sunlight is the best cure.

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Comments (340)

Links to this Post

  1. Ha ha! and, oh… « Overcoat Pocket | March 21, 2008
  2. Fra evolusjon via ateisme til: nazisme, så klart! « Ars Ethica | March 22, 2008
  3. FuzzLinks.com » Badastronomy - NAZIs and Evolution and the Expelled "movie" | March 22, 2008
  4. timbrewer.biz » Blog Archive » rumination. | March 22, 2008
  5. Brain… hurts « Pat’s Daily Grind | March 22, 2008
  6. Atheism Alliance » Reductio Ad Hitlerum | March 22, 2008
  7. Depleted Cranium » Blog Archive » Athiests, Nazis and Genocide, oh my! | March 22, 2008
  8. Godwin’s Law Never Fails « Where We Make Our Stand | March 22, 2008
  9. Car Information » Badastronomy - NAZIs and Evolution and the Expelled “movie” | March 22, 2008
  10. Creationism, evolution, and Nazis. Yes, Nazis. - Nerdcore | March 23, 2008
  11. Me han dicho que Hitler era darwinista… « Ocurrencias habituales | March 23, 2008
  12. Chat Marchet News Digest » Badastronomy - NAZIs and Evolution and the Expelled “movie” | March 23, 2008
  13. Science Etcetera Moonday, 20080324 « ideonexus | March 24, 2008
  14. Atheists, Nazis and Genocide, oh my! | The Grumpy Old Techie | March 24, 2008
  15. dancing in fire just to catch a flame » Blog Archive » The Expelled Movie and Evolution & Nazism | March 24, 2008
  16. Homo Sum » Blog Archive » Midweek Miscellany | March 26, 2008
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  1. Sespetoxri

    I’m looking forward to seeing this movie, if for no other reason than to prove that my critical thinking and atheism are both the correct way for me to live my life. Neither is a requirement of the other, of course, but to me they seem to certainly link up in a very real sense.

  2. Isaac Watts

    See from His head, His hands, His feet,
    Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
    Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

  3. SLC

    Actually, Hitler didn’t have to go to Darwin to get inspiration for his antisemitic view. He need only have gone to a fellow German, namely the father of the Protestant Reformation himself, Martin Luther to get inspiration. The following excerpt was originally posted on Ed Braytons blog. You want antisemitism, I’ll give you antisemitism.

    ‘What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

    First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

    Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

    Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

    Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more…

    Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home…If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination…

    To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden – the Jews…”

  4. Kirk

    I view this as I would a “Borat” movie: entertainment not truth or dogma. Ben Stein seems to be a pretty bright guy in Economics and I enjoy his articles in the NYT. When he moves into religion he is making the same error that Shockley made — he has left his area of expertise and risks his reputation.

  5. Kristin

    I seriously cannot comprehend why news like this isn’t on the front pages of every big newspaper.

    At least we can thank you for taking time to expose this in a well-written manner up on your much-read blog.

    Other than that, I can`t seem to muster up any other comment.

  6. when left alone and unsupervised by the representants of the true (TM) god is a basic assumption of all religion (where I strictly want to divde between belief and religion, the latter being the organzied form of the first). Any organization is self-defending, and so this sort of argumentation is only a basic consequence of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy . You an actually remove Hitler and replace him with anything that is considered evil, works the same.

  7. They are using another Nazi tactic: Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. Sometimes pointing out these lies is enough, but I agree completely with the BA. We have to make sure as many people know about this as we can! Apathy is a weapon, and the producers are counting on it.

  8. hey phil-
    i’ve run across the organization cited by the guy who wrote the letter on the expelled site. they are very active on the university of minnesota campus, and are definitely not above spreading crap if they think it will draw in attention and converts.
    funnily enough, last fall i actually wrote an op-ed for the university newspaper in response to one of this group’s campaigns which addresses pretty much the same issues that you touch on here.
    here’s a link if anyone is interested.

    http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2007/10/22/72163996

    it’s hard to know if responding is the right thing to do, because we can never be sure if we are lending undue credibility to their arguments by engaging in them. but, given the reality of the average person’s understanding of these topics, i don’t think we can afford not to respond.

    you’re right. we have to expose the b.s. for what it is, and we have to do it confidently and thoroughly. i think the expelled people are confirming the truth in this through their increasing level of panic and reaction to what we are saying.

  9. Rivi

    Oops sorry, mistook the “Website” oas “post title”: Should read:

    That Man is evil..
    ..hen left alone

  10. mocular

    This is an excellent example of the belief that if you say something loud enough and enough times, it will become true. The whole evolution-Nazi connection has been debunked repeatedly. But, here it is again.

    The apparent (I have not seen the film) behavior of Stein and the producers of this flick show how immoral the fundamentalist’s (those great preachers of morality) will go to try to maintain their religion’s control on the believers.

    They are literally terrified by the possibility that believers will realize that their religion is false. If you think that the scientific fact of evolution proves that your religion is false, then dump your unverifiable religion, not the tested and proven theory of evolution.

  11. Thomas Siefert

    I can see a repeating pattern here, a lot of people around the net already have very strong opinions about a movie they have never seen. It’s the “Life of Brian” or “The Satanic Verses” situation all over.

    I can see the dilemma though, you do not really want to support a movie by seeing it, but how do you argue intelligently (please clear the area, no puns to be seen here…) about something you haven’t seen?

  12. Michael Lonergan

    To blame religion or atheism for abhorrent acts of atrocity is simply deflecting the issue. Whether Hitler was a Christian or an evolutionist is not the issue. He was simply evil. I’ve seen both sides of the coin, having been immersed in religious faith for years before stepping back from it. I have seen atheists blame religion for evil, and I have seen Christians blame atheists for everything they find morally objectionable. Both are as bad as each other.

    Have people of ALL religious persuasions committed horribly evil acts in the name of their particular deity? Yes. It could be argued that most wars are fought with religious undertones.

    Flip that coin. Have atheistic regimes committed unspeakable acts of evil. Yes. However, there are other factors at play, and a persons belief system is just one aspect of that. Think about this for a minute: How could so many people in Germany support a man like Adolf Hitler and his atrocities? Nazism did not start with the Holocaust. If, Hitler had come to power and the next day ordered the extermination of millions of people, the population of Germany would have revolted and he would have never succeeded. My understanding of what happened is this. (This is basic, and correct me if I am wrong.) Germany was terribly humiliated and demoralized after WW1. The money was worthless, carried in wheelbarrows, the country was in shambles and the economy totally devastated. Along comes a very charismatic leader that promises to restore Germany to her former glory. The people are thinking, “We’ve heard all this before!”

    But them something happens. This leader begins to deliver his promises. He begins to promise more. Jobs are created, the economy starts to breathe. More promises are delivered. On and on it goes… Eventually, the true nature of this leader starts to show to everyone except his own people. To them he is a savior. Since he has delivered on his promises, what he is now saying will only benefit the Motherland.

    Hitler could have been an atheist, a Christian or a Pastafarian. I do understand that his religious beliefs influenced him, but the point is no matter what he believed, it would have influenced him to commit the acts he did. To say, “Hitler was a Christian, therefore…”, or, “Hitler was an atheist, therefore…” is a complete fallacy.

    On a similar vein, to say that all Christians are religious nut-jobs and fundamentalists because Pat Robertson, or John Hagee, or Benny Hinn are is similarly absurd.

    To be sure the way people behave and act is, to some degree dictated by what they believe. Most Christians I know are fine, decent, morally responsible people. So are most atheists.

  13. Phil:

    Kudos on the correct use of “noisome” — most use it as a synonym for “noisy”. 😉

  14. Michelle

    This is a low blow. Even if it were true, I’m pretty darn sure that religion led to millions of deaths too!!

    That is such a sneaky, low, blinded sentence. Whoever wrote that is a twisted person. It can’t be by accident.

  15. Thanny

    Kirk:

    Stein is grossly incompetent in economics. And history, for that matter. He seems to think that the New Deal caused the Great Depression (despite the historical fact that the former followed the latter, temporally).

    In fact, it seems right now that Stein’s only competencies lay in being extremely boring and mildly amusing on a defunct small-stakes game show.

  16. If you use their logic: I have a moral objection to gravity. Too many people are killed every year because of that terrible force. Vast sums of money are spend every year to overcome it. Therefore, I choose not to believe in the “Theory” of Gravity because it is morally objectionable and wasteful. And most importantly, Hitler used gravity defying machines to attack other countries, and therefore Gravity is bad.

    To me, it is entirely superfluous whether any scientific theory describing some part of nature leads to anything. Reality is was it is, and just because you don’t like it, it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    I’m sure this has been said a few million times already. Is this impossible for creationists to understand?

  17. Changcho

    Anybody who know anything knows that Hitler was a Christian.

  18. Mike R.

    Regarding Hitler’s Christianity, check out:

    http://www.answers.org/apologetics/hitquote.html

    The first quote attributed to Hitler:

    “National Socialism and religion cannot exist together…. The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity…. Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. ”

    Source: Hitler’s Secret Conversations 1941-1944

    Wikipedia also sheds some light on the issue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_beliefs

  19. Charles Wiggins

    You’ve gotta check out this interview with Ben Stein on Pat Robertson. Skip the first four minutes (it’s an economic discussion). Right at four minutes in, the first thing that Ben Stein says about “Darwinism” is that it enjoins its adherents to commit genocide. This is a type of slander that I’ve been noticing that the godless Atheists have NOT been using on blogs and in articles all around the intertubes. Good work guys!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1262366419219049286&q=expelled+%22ben+stein%22&total=71&start=0&num=10&so=1&type=search&plindex=3

  20. Michael Lonergan

    Michelle:
    Religion has led to millions of deaths. So what? (I’m no fan of religion.) Religious people will point right back at you and say the same about atheists. (Chairman Mao, anyone? Maybe a little Stalin with your fries?) Religion or atheism does not make a monster. It can influence one, to be sure. As I said before, Hitler could have believed anything or nothing and he would have still been Hitler.

    The question I have is what went wrong in the lives of these individuals to make them do what they did? Atheists will say that is was because of religion. Religious people will blame the devil. Neither of these assumptions is the whole truth. Most people will fall into one of two categories, those that believe in a deity or deities, and those that do not. Which are the better people?

    People on both sides like to point at individuals like Hitler, or Stalin to make their points. I believe these people (Hitler, and others) are the exception rather than the rule. We ALL need to stop pointing fingers at one another, and connecting non existent dots assuming that because someone believes in a god, it will logically lead to mass genocide. If a person does not believe in god, it will lead to mass genocide.

    There is a place for logical, reasonable discussion, but illogical conclusions need to be rejected by rational people on both sides.

  21. Ryan

    Hitlers Christian quotes can be cherry picked as can his pagan quotes and athiest quotes. He was a friggin NUTCASE! He clearly had a few mental disorders and for people on either side to assume he was acting as a rational human being is just plain idiotic.

    Like Chris Rock said, “What ever happened to CRAZY???”

  22. Above and beyond the offensiveness of the claim is that the movie is supposed to be a documentary about academic freedom, censorship, and “big science” stepping on the necks of the poor ID scientists. So just what does the whole “evolution=genocide” canard have to do with it? It’s a complete non-sequitor obviously included just to stir up emotions against scientists.

  23. Moose

    *shakes head* No, it’s not about Christianity, and it’s not about atheism. A murderer will use whatever is convenient to justify murder. A thief will use whatever is convenient to justify theft.

    It’s the same with Hitler. It’s the same with Stein.

    While I’m not clear on Hitler’s religious stances, what I am sure of is that Hitler’s religion (or lack thereof) did not cause the Holocaust. Hitler caused the Holocaust. Everything else is simply an attempt to justify it.

    Religion did not cause the Crusades. It did not cause 9/11 and other acts of terrorism. Religion was used to “justify” them. (That said, the behavior of the people depicted in their religious texts don’t make “justification” all that much of a stretch. And that’s as far as I’m going to go in terms of value judgement.)

    My point is this: Stein is a liar. This Mark Matthis also-ran is a liar. But their religion didn’t cause them to lie. They did that all by themselves. And they perverted their own religious values in a cynical attempt to justify their own unethical behavior.

  24. Phil, I am actually not too worried about this: according to the NYT article linked to in a comment on your previous post, profssional movie critic Roger Moore said the movie is rather poorly made. If this is indeed the case, and the Nazi overtones are as strong as we are led to believe, this may be a blessing in disguise. Think about it: bringing up Hitler, or the Nazis, in a discussion is generally considered the last straw of a losing debater. It is used when all other arguments have failed. Like most people posting here, I have not seen the movie, but this may very well backfire in a glorious way…

  25. KC

    Um . . . How can I put this . . . The Theory of Evolution provided an excuse for those who were already convinced they were “superior” to say they had scientific backing.

    Now, before anyone goes ballistic, let me repeat the key point: “. . . an excuse for those who were already convinced they were ‘superior.'”

    Please note that history records evidence of this prior to “On the Origin of Species.” I’m reluctant to repeat some of the things that were said in the 19th Century – even by people such as Lincoln – but a little research should uncover it for those interested. This was a case of a conviction looking for “scientific” support, and the Theory of Evolution was seized as such.

    The results was “rationalization” of bigotry and worse. Some involved in the genocide of the Tazmanians used it. It was the “rationalization” behind Eugenics – which, BTW, started long before Hitler’s rise to power and outside of Germany, to boot. And some, I’m sorry to say, thinking they were being very “progressive” and “scientific,” bought into it without thinking. Even Oliver Wendell Holmes, who certainly had the brains to know better, seems to have subscribed to it to some degree (based on a letter he penned to a friend).

    That’s generally forgotten now. What happened in WWII was so horrific that it brought support for Eugenics to a well deserved end. Some don’t realize that the U.S. had quite a few supporters of Eugenics prior to Hitler’s rise to power, just as some might be shocked to learn there was once widespread Antisemitism in the U.S.

    The history is there for anyone who cares to look. Since the concept was already floating around prior to the Theory of Evolution, then the idea that Eugenics sprang from it in full form is not quite true. However, the Theory of Evolution did provide so-called “justification” for those who already believed some races were more superior to others. And while that’s not the fault of the theory, I think we should keep in mind that it did happen – and many at the time thought this justification was “scientific.” This despite the fact had not submitted their basic premise to the scientific method.

  26. Michelle

    @Michael: Uhh, yea, that was my point. That it’s just a ping-pong game; they made a sneaky statement that can be overturned. Ô_o What’s up? What are you pointing at me for?

  27. Michael Lonergan

    Chango,
    Again, I ask, “So what?” (BTW that is debatable as he made many statements that contradict each other, which I believe was a symptom of whatever was driving his insanity.) Once again, someone is making the assumption, unspoken as it is, that since Hitler was a Christian, Christianity made him a monster. I just don’t make that connection.

    If I like to look at nude pictures, I guess I’m a rapist. Is that a logical statement? Some people who look at porn are rapists. That is more of a logical and accurate statement (It’s way more complicated than that – but I’m keeping it basic for arguments sake.)

  28. Kirk

    Thanny:

    Stein has made his mark in movies in Ferris Buehler with his HS teacher role: “Anyone, anyone?”. The small stakes game show you cite may have been the beginning of the end.

    Boys & girls — I’m outta here — preparing to bite the ears off of the chocolate easter bunnies; a family tradition.

    Best to all!!

  29. Blu-Ray-Ven

    i think Michael Lonerganon wins the Ballonga Detetion kit awards for the topic

  30. Celtic_Evolution

    As with the rest of us, I will make the caveat that all I know about this movie is what has been stated in this post, the movie’s website, and the other various links and discussion threads this topic has propogated… but since this has been stated on the movies official website without refutation, I’m going to assume it is correct.

    Having said that… if this is true, and the film does in fact attempt to directly tie the teaching of evolution to naziism… even if the film just covertly INSINUATES this… I mean, this is deplorable bevavior… for ANY group; creationists, evolutionists, buddhist monks or sub-prime lenders.

    I am appalled and a bit queezy, if this proves to be accurate. And the danger here more than anything is that this movie will speak to not only the far right wing IDers and creationists, but it will also reach the mainstream Christian… and this is when, I think, things will get really interesting, because, my friends, THAT’S the big crowd right there. Up till now this issue has been kept (mainly) in the far-right corners of the Fundamentalist movement, in places like the Disco ‘tute. But this movie is going to have a wide release with a known name behind it (Stein). And its going to get alot of attention I think.

    The movie appears to be sneaky in its tactics in making this an issue of free speech, and then (apparently) disgustingly sneaks in comparisons between the teaching of evolution and naziism. Now this SHOULD sicken and concern any rational thinking person who sees it, but the truth is, I’m not sure it will. Will the public reject that comparison as it rightfully should? Will they see the fallacy? Will they see this for what it is: a nasty propaganda ploy to push the IDist agenda?

    The hopeful human in me hopes we will… the realist in me fears we won’t. And the question is… THEN what happens? If the IDists are able to convince the general American Public (or, more pointedly, the huge number of moderate Christians) that in fact, teaching evolution will lead to a nazi state, what the heck happens then? *shudder*.

    IMHO, someone needs to do something to counter this piece of work, and QUICKLY. We need to get the word out, and NOT just here in the comfy confines of the blogosphere. Someone needs to get the facts out to the mainstream… in a widely seen forum… someone like the “Mythbusters” guys (just as an example of a medium that I think would fit within a “mainstream” framework).

    Sorry for the long ramble here… but I needed to unload my thoughts so I could focus again. Thanks.

  31. Michael Lonergan

    @Michelle, how true. I learned a saying once, “When you point at someone else, look at your own hand. How many fingers are pointing back at you?” Sadly most people don’t think that way.

    BTW ROFL at my last post. It contains 2 words, p##n and n##e. My post was snagged by a special filter warning that it may not be posted immediately!

    BA is such a prude! :)

    Actually I do understand why that filter is there and it’s a good thing.

  32. kelly

    I find this particularly interesting because I live in West TN, and there is this racist guy here named James Hart running for office with eugenics as his platform. He was at our town’s court square last week with a big sign reading” Equal Rights for Whites.” He’s not getting very far (thank goodness), but a few years back he did slip through the cracks enough to run for a seat I think in the senate on the Republican ticket, though the republicans disavowed him in the end. As a moderate Christian who does believe in both evolution and God, and seeks understanding between science and faith I find people like him to be attention seeking crackpots. Still eugenics is out there and some people are responding to this guy. Stein’s conclusions may be wrong, possibly intentionally so, but more needs to be said by people of science on why Darwinism should not lead to the idea that one race is superior to others from an evolutionary perspective. I mean, this guy is literally saying that there are “poverty genes” and “favored races.” He’s a wacko, but he can attract a following from scared working class white guys who aren’t using their brains. Deal with the root issue, eugenics first. Then Stein will have nothing left to say.

  33. RBH

    It’s worth noting in large typeface that the death camp guards, SS troops, and the general run of Hitler’s armed forces were predominantly Catholics or Lutherans. The question is not so much about Hitler as it is about those who actually carried out Hitler’s policies. They were almost all Christians. Without all those good Christians to execute his policies, Hitler would have been nothing.

  34. Michael Lonergan

    Blu_ray,
    A ballonga detection kit – should I be pleased or…. :)

  35. Blu-Ray-Ven

    i agree with Pieter Kok about not seeing the movie to know its trash, i dont need to (and wont) see the inconvieniant truth to know global warming is real and we as a species should change our ways to deal with it. i dont need to study all of newtons and einstein’s works to know gravity works. reality is waht is is, people can act all they want like the hear-no-evil, see-no-evil monkeys screaming “lala i cant hear you rational explanations of the universe, lalala”

  36. Aerimus

    @Michael Lonergan: “@Michelle, how true. I learned a saying once, “When you point at someone else, look at your own hand. How many fingers are pointing back at you?” Sadly most people don’t think that way.”

    That’s why I point in the military fashion.

  37. Blu-Ray-Ven

    Michael, the Demon Huanted world by Carl Sagan, please tell me youve read it, your first post sounds like you are a master at disection the post hoc ergo proctor hoc argument (this cuase happend therefore that effect followed it)

    “Hitler was a Christian, therefore…”, or, “Hitler was an atheist, therefore…” is a complete fallacy”

  38. Anton P. Nym

    The word “pogrom” long predates the works of Darwin; anti-semetic massacres occurred long before the Nazis came to power, and in more countries than Germany.

    Associating atheism with the Holocaust is a cheap rhetorical trick, not reasoned thinking; it would be just as cheap to say Christianity was responsible because German soldiers wore a belt buckle stamped with “God is with us” during the war.

    Ben Stein is a sloppy scholar and a wingnut, as are the others of the Discovery Institute and the backers of this appalling work of propaganda called “Expelled”.

    — Steve

  39. some might be shocked to learn there was once widespread Antisemitism in the U.S.

    I guess you haven’t seen Borat, then?

    Blu-Ray-Ven, that is not quite what I was saying in my previous comment, but you are right that we don’t have to see the movie to know it is full of nonsense. However, in order to address the specific nonsense in the movie, you definitely do need to see it.

  40. ERV

    The Anti-Defamation League nailed James D. Kennedy to the wall for pulling the same Darwin–>’HOLOCAUST OMFG!!’ crap.

    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/HolNa_52/4877_52.htm

    I suggest everyone contact them about EXPELLED.

  41. ERV, it sounds like PZ and Richard Dawkins can make a strong case that they are in the same position as Francis Collins in that James D. Kennedy movie.

  42. Michael Lonergan

    Aerimus, so did Hitler :) (At least a form of military salute, anyway!)

    Blu ray, haven’t read it yet. On my to-do list for this year.

    BTW, congrats on winning the war. HD DVD was so lame.

    Did anyone else see Stein on my favorite serious journalist’s talk show recently? (The Glenn Beck Show.) Beck was his usual jolly self, agreeing with every word Stein uttered. Blaming the liberal media for all the world’s ills – you know, the usual Beck stuff…

  43. Ian

    @Blu-Ray-Ven:

    the post hoc ergo proctor hoc argument (this cuase happend therefore that effect followed it)

    Just FYI, it’s “post hoc ergo propter hoc”, and it literally translates to “after this, therefore because of this”, which is not quite the same as what you wrote.

  44. I’m not sure whether to see this movie or not. It’s the same feeling I got when I drove past the Discovery Institute’s Creation Science Museum on the way home from a long road-trip vacation this summer. (by the way, Phil, I *love* how you call them the Disco ‘Tute. Conjures images of Donna Summer and drunken Karaoke.)

    What’s the sense in me spending money on a cause I vehemently disagree with, to view something that’s clearly going to get me all riled up?

    Unless enough critical spotlight gets on this movie, it’s going to do its job, which is to convince people that it’s a debate about academic freedom. Shouldn’t both sides be taught, people will ask. I know several people in my personal and professional lives who think this way.

  45. Tom

    Quite some die-hard Christians act as Nazis themselves. Brainwashing children to blindly believe and obey a mythical figure and a doctrine without any doubt, the pure, utter hatred of minorities that do not fit in Utopia, and there are even folks who are drooling over the idea that a big worldwide bloodshed is due. Introducing their savior.

    Blind faith in ideologies makes me sick to the stomach. This primitive group/clan behavior is responsible for organized crime on a major scale. It happened thousands of years ago, it happens now. This behavior can lead to Nazism, to Stalin-like communist dictatorships, to Khmer Rouge as well as any religious group fanaticism. And guess what, this group behavior once had evolutionary advantages. In a primitive world where hardly anything was known or understood this behavior led to strong group binding.

    Sorry, but these ID people act as if they’re addicted to some dangerous drugs which invoke brain damage, lower intelligence, delusions, blind spots, memory loss and so on.

  46. The skier

    What has taken me away from religion (Christianity in particular), is not religion itself, but those who misunderstand it and abuse it. Secondary to that is how they misinterpret or purposefully change facts or other views outside of religion (I’m thinking broadly in terms of science).

    What could be so important – what needs to be gained – that it is worth lying about?

    As far as I have seen, the flip side is that I hear of very intolerant atheists, which is unfortunate. However, it seems that they are at least not spreading horrendous lies as some “Christians” do.

  47. Carriep, you can go to a local screening in a church: You won’t have to pay, and you can discuss the movie with the congregation afterwards, thus providing an antidote.

  48. Davery

    Just so I understand, let’s pretend I’m really slow, the argument here is that since the idea of evolution caused a government to wipe out 6 million people, the idea itself is unsound and of no merit?

    I love that.

    Using that logic, since some people use guns to commit crimes, we should get rid of all guns in the world.

    Or, since some people use the computer to troll for young children, we should destroy all computers.

    Or, since some people drink and drive, we should ban all cars.

    Or, since some men beat their wives, we should ban all men.

    My response to this argument is SO FREAKIN’ WHAT if every Nazi believed in evolution? How does that matter?

  49. Corrie Bergeron

    Whoa, whoa, whoa – “They are projecting onto their enemies the very thing they are guilty of.”

    1. Be very careful tossing out verbal grenades like “enemies.” The Nazis were enemies of the Jews. The jihadists are enemies of the West. Hamas is the enemy of Israel. Enemies are out to destroy each other.

    Creationists and evolutionists are (or should be) opponents. Opponents seek to persuade their opponents, not destroy them.

    2. If Stein is saying that believing in evolution leads to Naziism (I’m taking your word for it as I haven’t seen the film), then you’re saying – quite literally – that doubting evolution leads to Nazism. That argument is beyond ludicrous, and simply proves Godwin’s Law.

    3. Don’t assume that if one has doubts about the generalizability of variation within species to variation between phyla, or that one thinks that Life is more than the result of random collisions of molecules, that one is automatically stupid, ignorant, and venal.

  50. Ian

    @Corrie:

    2. If Stein is saying that believing in evolution leads to Naziism (I’m taking your word for it as I haven’t seen the film), then you’re saying – quite literally – that doubting evolution leads to Nazism. That argument is beyond ludicrous, and simply proves Godwin’s Law.

    BA made no such claim. He said that the producers of this movie are using Nazi-like tactics and projecting the same. Where do you get “doubting evolution leads to Nazism” out of that?

  51. bigjohn

    What is ballonga?

  52. Shawn S.

    I used to buy into the Religion Kills More Than Atheism debate, but I heard some great arguments against using the argument at all. It is essentially irrelevant because it is neither religion nor atheism that causes the deaths. It is a suppression of critical inquiry. With Stalin it was State as Religion, as it was with Japan pre-WW2. What it comes down to is a state suppressing critical attacks on its activities using religion or ideology.

    Another mistake these people make is to assume that atheism is an ideology or philosophy. It is merely a clearing of the ground (to paraphrase Bob Price). Atheists are just people who dont’ believe in any gods. That’s it. Stalin was an atheist, but what he did was force people to accept the State in God’s place.

    As for the evolution leads to genocide argument others here have dealt with that perfectly. :) Reductio ad absurdum is a good way to counter that. You just take another theory (I liked the theory of gravity one) like relativity and go from there. What about heliocentrism? Now that’s a source for immorality.

  53. Chaos

    Let´s see… if, as creationists like to claim, evolution can be reduced to “survival of the fittest”, this provides an interesting twist.

    After all, Hitler did NOT survive, nor did the NSDAP or the Thousand-Year Reich. So, obviously, they were not the fittest. Shouldn´t it be, then, that “evolution leads to NO Hitler”? 😉

    Speaking of Hitler, he definitely WAS Catholic. About two years or so ago, as a reaction to some fundie bringing that old canard up, I asked an acquaintance who is a notary working for the office of the local archbishop of the Catholic church. She said that the ONLY was to stop being Catholic, once you´re baptised, is to be excommunicated. Hitler was never excommunicated, he had been baptized, so he must have been Catholic.

  54. Michael Lonergan

    Tom, while agree that some people act this way, my experience has taught me that most people of faith abhor this type of behavior. It is the charismatic leaders, whether they lead countries or churches that breed fanaticism. John Hagee, pastor of a 10,000+ church in Texas is one of the scariest individuals around. I challenge anyone to show me where Jesus taught what this guy is telling his flock. The problem is, his flock takes what he says without checking the book he is perverting. If they actually read it for once, I mean really read it critically, they would have a far different view of things. Now, think about Hitler again. He spewed all kinds of things. People just took it all in without actually thinking about what he was saying. It’s the same pattern. Cult leaders do the same thing. If you tell someone something enough they will eventually believe it.

    Eugenics has also been brought up in this thread. Eugenics is not just a Nazi concept. It was Government policy in Alberta, Canada until, I believe the 1960’s. Mentally handicapped individuals were forcefully sterilized, all with government approval.

  55. Moose

    Corrie Bergeronon: Creationists and evolutionists are (or should be) opponents. Opponents seek to persuade their opponents, not destroy them.

    Should be. “Enemies” was Mark Matthis’s word in any case. They opened that door. It’s not wrong for Phil to paraphrase them using their own word.

    2. If Stein is saying that believing in evolution leads to Naziism (I’m taking your word for it as I haven’t seen the film), then you’re saying – quite literally – that doubting evolution leads to Nazism. That argument is beyond ludicrous, and simply proves Godwin’s Law.

    You’re committing both the strawman and the false dichotomy fallacies. In any case, this assumption is solely yours. Nobody (other than you) is saying, suggesting, or otherwise implying any such thing.

    3. Don’t assume that if one has doubts about the generalizability of variation within species to variation between phyla, or that one thinks that Life is more than the result of random collisions of molecules, that one is automatically stupid, ignorant, and venal.

    Again, this is your assumption, not ours. While all three reasons are demonstrably behind some folks being factually wrong, none follow automatically by any stretch, and nobody but you seems to be suggesting that.

    None of this changes the facts, however, that Stein and Matthis are lying. And not just little lies, but big whopping lies. They’re lying to us, to PZ Myers, to Dawkins, to christians, and to you. And that should be of far more concern to you than anything said in the heat of this thread.

  56. Christian X Burnham

    It’s not unfair to criticize Christianity *or* scientists for the slaughters that have been carried out in their name.

    Christianity is at the very least a philosophical view on how life should be led, like Marxism, capitalism, socialism, atheism etc. etc. We can’t be certain of the intent of the founders of all these philosophies, but they can be fairly judged by their results.

    In fact, a responsible scientist should be prepared to admit that even science can be abused and misused. Even when the science is correct, there is sometimes a potential for the misuse of the resulting technologies. (Any science fiction fan could have told you that!)

    There *is* room for a meaningful discussion of the collusion of some German scientists with the Nazis. However, I doubt this film sheds any light on the issue. It sounds like they were more interested in using the Holocaust as a completely inappropriate metaphor for the fact that modern biology departments don’t want to hire people who are completely ignorant of their field.

  57. Michael Lonergan

    Chaos, that argument doesn’t hold water. That is the misguided view of the church. An individual can be born Catholic, Baptized Catholic, as I was, and later leave the Church and join another church, as I did, and then eventually leave church all together as I did. Am I still a Catholic? I suppose, since I have never been excommunicated, in the eyes of the Church institution I am, but as far as I am concerned, how can I be if I no longer believe it? That argument makes as much sense as the old argument that goes like this:

    John: Are you a Christian?

    Billy: Of course I am a Christian!

    John: How do you know?

    Billy: Because I was born in America (or some other Western Christianized nation.)

    That is an argument used by many.

    Maybe BA will like this better: I have a telescope so I’m an Astronomer. (It just happens to be pointed at my neighbor’s window most nights! :) )

    A Christian is a “Christ-follower”, someone dedicated to His teachings. Hitler didn’t fit that bill.

  58. Blu-Ray-Ven

    phil the responce filter isnt working right, certain words are getting through

  59. Jarrod Henry

    Goodness.

    It seems the fans of Expelled have found this website.

  60. Blu-Ray-Ven

    i cant wait till phil gets on a realizes the abuse and removes it, though posts like mine and jarrod’s above will seem odd

    for future viewers of this thread, certain dimwits were putting not so nice words on the responce thread

  61. Ed_CO

    For much of history, adherents of Abrahamic religions (and probably others as well) could point to verses in their holy book, and justify nearly anything, be it a “good” or an “evil”. And once they found their justification, their action or belief inherently has the blessing of their god, and therefore in their mind is good and true and ethical.

    Now those same people are applying their logic to those without religious belief, such that they can now say, see the evil atheist is using Darwin as their own justification for evil. Theists equate The Origin of Species as the atheist’s Bible. They say that Nazis used evolution as a justification for the atrocities committed against the human race. Unfortunately, for the theists, applying evolution in such a matter is a misinterpretation of what evolution really is. Evolution is a fact of what has already and is currently happening to all manner of animals and species. It isn’t a belief system or an ideology on how to create your perfect animal. It merely is.

    A true atheist, by definition, would never deify a human, to put that persons ideas, thoughts, and well being, as inerrant, or perfect. Theists however, put God so far above themselves and others, that it is impossible to reason or argue with them, a perfect omniscient god is difficult to argue with.

    Unfortunately, an evil person will do what they wish regardless of how they were brought up or what they believe in. They will simply shape their beliefs to fit their own ends and purposes. A theist would use the framework of their religion, and an atheist would use the framework of their science. We have to get beyond tallying death counts in columns in a spreadsheet, and declaring the one with the lower number as the more ethical winner. We need to confront issues of ethics and morality head on with reason. And it’s my belief, that theists who believe in an inerrant god, can’t be reasoned with by a secular atheist. One can only hope that they listen to their more reasoned clergy.

  62. Michael Lonergan

    Logicbit, well I don’t think that is the way to go about it. It just stoops down to their level and makes you look rather silly.

    Blu-ray, what words? It nailed me for the use of p**n and N**e earler, but allowed me to post. :)

  63. bkallee

    To Blu-Ray-Ven
    Unfortuante we have to put up with children abusing a friendly blog. I’m sure BA will remove them soon.

  64. bkallee

    Thanks BA for a thought provoking topic and getting rid of the name calling abusers.

  65. Curtis P

    I can see the dilemma though, you do not really want to support a movie by seeing it, but how do you argue intelligently (please clear the area, no puns to be seen here…) about something you haven’t seen?

    And people say that piracy is a bad thing…

  66. Michael Lonergan

    “I can see the dilemma though, you do not really want to support a movie by seeing it, but how do you argue intelligently (please clear the area, no puns to be seen here…) about something you haven’t seen?”

    Well, PZ tried to see it and look at what happened to him! Hey, lets get Phil and PZ to make a silly movie, and hire thugs to pick people out of the line up! That’ll teach ’em! :)

  67. Melusine

    Thanks, BA, for discussing this on your blog. I find the whole Ben Stein and Expelled movie tactics to be abhorrent regarding such a serious subject as evolution. Expelled has taken the issue of academic freedom and made a mockery of itself, but unfortunately people out there repeat their repugnant lies. Maybe not a lot in the whole population, but enough to be concerned and enough to realize that some people turn lies into crimes by hurting others. Making a trail from evolution to the Holocaust is repugnant in this day and age – Stein and friends should be ashamed of themselves.

  68. Kullat Nunu

    One sickening thing about discussions about Nazi crimes is that it is rare the other victims are mentioned. Peoples such as Romas, Poles, Slavs, Soviet prisoners of war, pacifists, gays, disabled people, mental patients and many others were sent to the concentration camps too. Although the exact figures may forever remain unknown, it is possible that at least half of the victims were not Jews. They don’t have memorials like the one in Berlin. To illustrate the issue, everyone knows what “Holocaust” means, but how many of you have heard of the Porajmos?

  69. Michael Lonergan

    Melusine said:
    “Making a trail from evolution to the Holocaust is repugnant in this day and age – Stein and friends should be ashamed of themselves.”

    It is similar to those that deny the holocaust ever happened, although I realize it does not evoke that level of emotion. The fact is, both ideas are objectionable on a number of grounds.

    I am curious as to how much the Nazi-Evolution theme is played out, because I thought this was a movie about Id “scientists” being discriminated against. I don’t recall Stein even mentioning the Nazi-evolution connection on the Glenn Beck show he was on. Not that that surprises me, after all, you wouldn’t want to let the cat out of the bag about that, now would you, Mr. Stein?

  70. Kullat Nunu

    It is possible that the creationists overdo themselves and become the target of ridicule. However, if they are able to strengthen and spread the “from atheism to Nazism” meme, the future may turn out to be rather nasty for an atheist. Education and popular culture play both important roles here.

  71. Pocket Nerd

    “I can use a hammer to build a house, or to beat someone’s brains in. In what way is either the fault of the hammer?”

    That is the most eloquent rebuttal I’ve ever heard to that insipid argument. Please consider it stolen.

  72. Michael Lonergan

    Kullat,
    I believe that there are some other memorials around. I read that there was a memorial for gays who were killed somewhere in Europe, I think. Isn’t this where the Pink Triangle symbol originated? I think that’s how the Nazi’s labeled gays, is it not?

  73. If God is all-powerful, why did he allow the Nazis to rise to power in the first place?

  74. Michael Lonergan

    Here’s the article, in part:

    “The design of a memorial dedicated to the thousands of gay men killed in the Holocaust was unveiled Thursday in Berlin.

    The memorial, which is set to be built in the coming weeks, was revealed on the eve of Friday’s international Holocaust Memorial Day.

    The design is the first time the German capital has an official memorial to gay victims of Nazi persecution, although memorials are already established in Amsterdam and San Francisco.”

  75. Several of the earlier posts say something along the lines of “Ben Stein is on solid ground with his economics, but this ID stuff is crazy.” Whether or not we agree with Stein’s brand of Chicago-school econ, I think there’s a real phenomenon at work here.

    For the conservative movement in the last quarter century or so, free-market economic arguments have been a major way of establishing their credentials as rationalistic, realistic, and practical, as opposed to fuzzy-headed liberal wishful thinking. Whether or not we agree with that assesment, it has had a lot of impact.

    So what, exactly, is going on with the right’s efforts to claim irrationality and pseudoscience as their moral high ground? WHY is Stein making this movie, when he could be making “Regulated: No enterprise allowed.”? Does he really believe that ID is the horse to bet on, politically speaking, and if so, why?

    I have to assume that people like Stein are sincere in their beliefs, but it is very hard for me to believe that the collective intelligence of the right–a movement that can produce people like Hayek or Friedman or Kissinger–believes that God decided to give men nipples just for wacky fun.

    So what is the real motive?

  76. tacitus

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that fundamentalists aren’t happy unless they have something to be afraid of. First it was the Commies, and now it is the Muslims, but life for them isn’t complete without a domestic enemy to quiver and quake over, and hence they constantly cry wolf about those evil lefty, secular, evolutionists wanting to take all their rights away.

    Frankly, it’s all too pathetic. They are still a powerful political bloc in this country making up a good third of the population while their brethren over in Europe are a struggling tiny minority that nobody pays any attention to. Yet who is it who does all the whining and wingeing about being persecuted and oppressed? Yeah, it’s the lily livered fundamentalists of America who never seem to realize exact how good they have it.

  77. Danniel B.

    This absolutely sickens me… It is because of religion, or difference in religion, which is pretty much the same, that the Nazis slaughtered 6 million of my kind. And now these people try to use this story, which probably better then anything else can be used to support atheism, to try and sell the very ideals that led to this atrocity in the first place.

  78. Michael Lonergan

    Lugosi, the Christian would simply answer that with a statement like this:
    “God allows man to choose. He gave us a free will. He doesn’t want robots for followers.” (Almost choked typing that last part!)

    It really misses the point though. It’s not God we should be pointing the finger at, it is the individual that perpetrated such atrocity. All those questions do is enable the blame shifting.

  79. kynefski

    Count me among those who welcome whatever publicity Expelled receives. I sincerely hope that it becomes the cultural sensation of the season.

    From the start, this movement has yearned to be part of mainstream social conservatism. You know, Protect the Unborn, Preserve Marriage, Teach the Controversy. They haven’t been very successful. Although the occasional ID piece appears in conservative opinion journals, invariably the author is a Discovery Institute fellow. Intellectually respected social conservatives (say, a Leon Kass or Dinesh D’Souza) have, to date, remained silent. Understandably. As a political liberal, I don’t have much to say about the 9/11 truth gang, either.

    But if Expelled makes ID a bigger part of the national conversation, conservative intellectuals will find it more difficult to ignore, and I am fairly confident that they will meet it with disdain. There may be some suggestion that ID can be seen as a reaction to the godless academy and blahblahblah, but I wouldn’t expect to see any real respect for their deceit.

    Not having received, over the past decade, the attention they thought they deserved (apparently, allying themselves with Ann Coulter didn’t cut it), these folks have decided to stake a gamble on total outrage. I really look forward to seeing it played out.

  80. ccpetersen

    So the “Christians” who made this movie had to lie to make it? To get their interviews? To make their spurious points about creationism?

    And this makes Christianity look good how?

  81. Melusine

    Michael Lonerganon said:
    Melusine said:
    “Making a trail from evolution to the Holocaust is repugnant in this day and age – Stein and friends should be ashamed of themselves.”

    >>>It is similar to those that deny the holocaust ever happened, although I realize it does not evoke that level of emotion. The fact is, both ideas are objectionable on a number of grounds.

    I totally agree, and I defend the right for people to say what they want no matter how repugnant and those who deny the thousands of pictures or people with numbers on their arms are every bit as awful. It’s just that these attacks on science and atheists right now, along with Creationists wanting to water down science, is the matter of concern on an astronomy site and with those who are pro-science. I think (as with other topics) these things should be pointed out so people will think before falling prey to them – whether it’s about anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-history or just plain anti-reality.

  82. Changcho

    Michael – does not matter whether Hitler was Christian or not (hey, my wife is Christian!), but some people are claiming that he was an atheist, and he was not.

    And, my, I had no idea Ben Stein was of the Chicago school of economics: one less point in his favor (imho).

  83. Melusine

    What’s with the Chicago school of economics? Just curious.

  84. Chip

    Some folks posting here want their Christianity to be nice, tidy and pure. The fact is Hitler was a Christian as were many of his followers (and enemies,) and Hitler’s regime incorporated church rituals into Nazi ideology, combining them with romanticized Pagan and Teutonic mythology to create large public ceremonies for the drama and psychological effect on the masses. He co-opted Christianity into his politics and schemes. As was pointed out, this doesn’t mean Christianity leads to Hitler and neither does any scientific theory lead to Hitler. But religious fervor can be co-opted and politicized. There are many good people who are Christians, but being a Christian does not make someone a good person.

    If the atrocities of Pol Pot were more well-known to the Western general public, the film makers of “Expelled” would likely be equating evolution theory and scientific standards with leading to the Cambodian killing fields. Their actual goal is the vilification of critical and liberal thinking. (There’s even a ridiculous new book out that has made a brief splash on the NY Times best seller list claiming that Liberals are fascists.) The far rightwing is looking around for any way to vilify critical thinking because ultimately ID and fundamentalist religion are political movements that want to foster unquestioning support, controlled and justified by superstition. Ironic isn’t it? Fortunately, there are always rational, thoughtful people around. Let’s hope they don’t become an extreme minority.

  85. Frank Oswalt

    Of course Darwin’s theory did not lead to facism, and even if it had (which it didn’t) it would be irrelevant, as current evolutionary theory has progressed way beyond Darwin’s ideas. And even if it had (which it didn’t), that would not say anything about its truth value.

    What I often do notice is that many decently educated people either believe in Social Darwinism or believe that Social Darwinism is in some way related to Darwin and/or the Theory of Evolution. This is very annoying and the implications are clear: we must spend more time teaching the Theory of Evolution.

  86. Cusp

    > He need only have gone to a fellow German

    [Hitler was born in Austria]

  87. Rosa W.

    My husband points out that the whole “Big Science” thing is reminiscent of the series “V” – which also, ironically, uses Holocaust imagery. Has anyone checked to see if creationists are lizards underneath? That would explain their objection to evolutionary theory, bein’ as the lizards got out-competed an’ all. Anyhow, he proposes that creationists should henceforward be referred to as “Visitors”, on account of the anti-science propaganda that was the hallmark of that species. :)

  88. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Still surfing the topic, but this is the best post so far, noting the irony but also the insidious (well, noisome) reactions that build on the very mockery of logic and moral the movie does.

    I have seen atheists blame religion for evil, and I have seen Christians blame atheists for everything they find morally objectionable. Both are as bad as each other.

    This situation isn’t symmetrical, as the comment implicitly shows here.

    There has never been an atheist regime, people are conflating them with communistic regimes. These have at times been repressive of religion but don’t build on an atheistic agenda. They can’t, atheism is only an absence of belief, not a full socio-political program for political control nor an absence of common morals.

    [An irony is that communism is very much a faith, as it doesn’t seem to work in practice.]

    It is arguable if one should blame a movement for its leaders, but it is an interaction. Hitler played on religion and other social movements, and whether he believed in them doesn’t matter. What matter is that both sides, politicians and movements, shared responsibility for the historical outcome.

    But the comment is correct on one thing, this isn’t the specific issue at hand.

  89. prometheus

    Research on “Deutsche Physik” is in order. Putting ideology before reason, the Nazi’s rejected what they considered Einstein’s “Jewish Physics” because it didn’t mesh with the mythologies to which they were beholden. Does this sound familiar?

  90. prometheus

    (excuse the apostrophe error)

  91. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    The Theory of Evolution provided an excuse for those who were already convinced they were “superior” to say they had scientific backing.

    Right, the other large elephant in the room is that it couldn’t provide this backing.

    As regards eugenics IIRC Darwin himself pointed out the problem with continuous artificial selection for traits. Loss of variance (“selective sweeps”) means less raw material for evolution to work on in case the environment changes, say by introduction of new diseases. His theory explains why eugenics isn’t evolution nor a good politics.

    And I notice the irony that recent research has been published showing that human culture has subjected us for intense selection since 40 ka, and especially the last 10 ky.

    The double irony is that the author starts off with noting why population growth and association by linkage disequilibrium (“[a]s a new positively selected allele increases in frequency in a population, it is initially linked to a wide region”, resulting in selective sweep), not specific selection pressures, is the main factor behind this evolution:

    Like most good stories in biology, this one begins with Darwin. Darwin was always very interested in animal breeding, which he considered the best analogy for the process of natural selection. Of course, if you’re breeding livestock and want to select for some characteristics, it is important to select from as large a herd as possible, because large populations have more variation in them. Darwin recognized this as an important condition for natural selection, which relies on sufficient variation in natural populations.

    [A]s variations manifestly useful or pleasing to man appear only occasionally, the chance of their appearance will be much increased by a large number of individuals being kept…. Hence, number is of the highest importance for success.

    These words from the Origin, “number is of the highest importance for success” were influential. [My emphasis.]

  92. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Sorry, copy and paste removed the blockquote in my previous comment:

    The Theory of Evolution provided an excuse for those who were already convinced they were “superior” to say they had scientific backing.

  93. txjak

    I think lying for Jesus must be a great temptation for the true believer. After all, when they do, they must be convinced that
    a) they’re doing it for a worthy cause, and
    b) they will be forgiven for their sins (again?).

    Why should we be surprised when they violate any of their principles? It seems an unavoidable side-effect of their faith.

    Some fight it better than others.

    The “Expelled” producers have failed. Epic Fail.

  94. KC

    In the movie version of “The Hunt for Red October,” Sean Connery has the following line: “There is room in Tupolev’s heart only for Tupolev.” Which may best describe Hitler. His declassified OSI psychological profile can be found on-line and makes for interesting – if disturbing – reading. Hitler had a pattern of latching onto someone and, when they turned out to have clay feet, thinking that he himself must do the job. At one time Hitler fancied that he would become a monk. He attended a seminary before he was kicked out. The religious convictions he had were apparently subject to change without notice. It is known that he at least once referred to “The Christian Problem,” and that he considered it something to be dealt with after his “Final Solution.”

    Which doesn’t mean Hitler was above using existing German beliefs and prejudices to achieve his goals. Antisemitism already existed in varying degrees in Germany, and it’s true that many of those who served were Lutherans and Roman Catholics. Yet it does not follow that the antisemitism was a result of Christian belief. If it was, then what are we to make of Christians who hid Jews? Moreover, what are we to make of the Lenten message of Pope Pius XI that was smuggled into German churches, the one where he condemned Nazism. Or what are we to make of his statement that no Christian can participate in Antisemitism?

    Things aren’t always pat. The Holocaust cannot be laid at the doorstep of either Evolution or Christianity. However, all Christians – and I say this as a Christian – need to recognize the price of expediency, and of putting prejudice above the love of God.

  95. Pierce R. Butler

    Melusine: What’s with the Chicago school of economics?

    That’s the name given to the followers of economist Milton Friedman, who taught at the U of C, and who backed a hardcore libertarian ideology (libertarian regarding the wealthy and powerful, anyway: the governments most friendly to “the Chicago boys” were primarily vicious dictatorships, such as Chile under Pinochet). (Pinochet’s Chile is not considered an economic success story.)

    For more on these “free market” concepts and their applications, the current go-to seems to be Naomi Klein’s 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine.

  96. I’m an Astronomer. (It just happens to be pointed at my neighbor’s window most nights!

    You ARE watching ‘heavenly bodies’ though, right?

    😉

    J/P=?

  97. Daffy

    Folks, many years ago—when I was very, very hungry—I worked in religious broadcasting. Whether you believe me or not, I know for a fact—from their own mouths—that these people want nothing less than a Christian dictatorship in this country (well, the whole world, really). They pray for it, and they work toward it as best they can. That is the goal and ANYTHING is justifiable if it helps bring that goal closer. Theirs is a higher calling (in their minds) that transcends honesty, integrity, and decency. The Inquisition was not an aberration and it wasn’t really all that long ago.

    You an laugh at them all you want…but what you should be is afraid.

  98. It’s unfair to lay the blame of human faults on religion or the lack thereof. It’s how humans use or abuse these tools that’s important.

    Well put. I am quite frustrated when fellow atheists blame all of religion for all the evils in mankind’s history. Religion is no more evil than science or atheism.

  99. Michael Lonergan

    Changcho said:
    “It doesn’t matter if Hitler was a Christian or not… some people say he was an atheist, he was not.”

    I agree. My point is, Hitler could have believed anything or nothing, and he still would have been a monster. That is one thing that both sides, Christian and Atheist sometimes miss. Religion is like anything. It can be used for great good, (think of many aid agencies helping in Third World countries, feeding programs – and no, I’m not getting into a debate on THAT, there’s no point), or religion can be used for great evil, (The Crusades, The Inquisition, Jonestown, every Tom Cruise movie ever made). I don’t think it is religion itself that causes the problem, it is the way religious people use their religion to justify their actions. I don’t really care what people believe or don’t believe, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else with their beliefs by using them to justify their actions.

    As far as the confusion over whether Hitler was a Christian or an Atheist, does it really matter? Hitler was an Atheist! Score one for the Christians! Hitler was a Christian! Score one for the Atheists! I really don’t care if he worshiped a pile of rotting trash – he was a NUT-JOB that was responsible for the slaughter of torture of millions of innocent lives. His religious beliefs, or lack of such didn’t pull the trigger, he did. There is only one man responsible for the actions of Adolf Hitler, and that man is Adolf Hitler, not Jesus Christ, not Charles Darwin.

  100. Michael Lonergan

    I can’t believe I’m defending Christians…

    Daffy, don’t lump all Christians in with the whackos like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, John Hagee, Mike Huckabee and others of that ilk. Not all Christians are raving lunatics. I agree that there is an element of extreme conservativism within American Christianity that has that aim, and yes they are very powerful. There are many other voices within Evangelical Christianity that are appalled by the actions of these kind of people. I have a great deal of respect for individuals like Tony Campolo, (yes, I know he recently made a statement, that IMO, was completely out of character for him, at least from what I have heard from him in the past), that stand opposed to these people, and have told them so.

    A book that I am in the process of researching will deal with this element.

    Daffy, those people are known as Dominionists. It is an offshoot of the Evangelical movement that has gained considerable power under the Bush Administration. Google names such as Rod Parsley, John Hagee to see what they are saying in their churches, and what their flocks are buying, lock, stock and barrel. And yes, it is scary, but trust me, not all Christians are like this.

    Another point I want to make is this:

    Just as religion can be used for good or evil, let us not forget, science can also be used to accomplish great good or evil. Nuclear power can be used to heat and light our homes and power our cities. It can also be used to obliterate those same cities. Genetically modified bacteria can be used to assist in the clean-up of toxic waste. Genetically modified can be used to lay human beings to waste. Is science bad? Of course not!

  101. Michael Lonergan

    Theo, brilliant find! That’s Paul Abramson! The Keeper of the Kent Hovind CSE Blog, where Kent gives weekly updates consisting of “Knee Mail!?!” from his new home at the Elgin Air Force Base (A Federal Penitentiary) where he’s serving ten years for, ahem, “Not rendering unto Caesar…” It doesn’t get any sweeter than this! I always say, “If ya give a person enough rope, eventually they’s gonna hang themselves!”

  102. zeb

    I don’t think Godwin’s Law really counts here, since the whole blog entry is about an outside reference to Hitler and Nazis. I did wonder, however, why there were suddenly a bunch of ads for Hitler in the Google Ad thing all of a sudden.

    That being said, I think the real problem with Christians, Nazis, and really anything else wrong in the world is people not being critical enough in their views and beliefs. It’s not that Nazis were athiest, it’s that the people of Germany bought their speeches and rallies, and voted their rights away without a second thought. They had unwavering faith that their government was doing good for them, and that’s the problem.

    Besides, given that anti-semitism has been around in Europe since the dark ages, and that anti-semitism has come from the Christian church, shouldn’t we say that Nazi Germany was really influenced by CHRISTIAN values?

  103. Michael Lonergan

    John Paradox: Re: Heavenly Bodies

    I’m sorry I didn’t get that, I was just aligning my scope… :)

  104. Dingosaurus

    Instead of Godwin we have Godloose.

    People who don’t trust the modern scientific method and modern widely accepted theories are ultra skeptic about ultra skepticism.

  105. TOny

    Most of neo nazi are hardcore christian.

    I am surprised the movie dint mention the soviet regime. Lenin was a strong Darwin supporter. He caused the death of 4 millions, by purposely instauring hunger so that only the strongest would survive. Stalline pushed the numbers even further ahead.

    But of course, this is stricly related to the thirst of power.Darwinism was merely a tool for unleashing an unavoidable tyranny.

  106. Dave Hall

    Looking at the bio of Ben Stein in Wikipedia is pretty revealing.

    This man was once a lawyer and speech writer for Richard Nixon.
    He is also married to his ex-wife.
    Sounds pretty sane to me.

    I also note, with amusement, the full title of this movie is: “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

    Well, DUH! There is the reason the smart people were kicked out of the screening!

  107. Quiet Desperation

    Religion Cat Says: IM IN UR MINDS, POIZINING YER WERLD

    http://www.bernieandjay.us/images/symie%20pope.jpg

  108. Michael Lonergan

    Quiet Desperation nails it for the win with that pic! That cat looks seriously demon possessed, and the glowing eyes don’t help!

  109. Kevin Miller

    Writer of Expelled repents! Read about it here: http://www.kevinmillerxi.com.

  110. Michael Lonergan

    Well it’s been a blast furnace of fun, but I think I’m going to bed. I think I’m going to watch the Fawlty Towers episode, “The Germans” before retiring… I just feel the need… like something has inspired me to do it.

  111. Crux Australis

    Wow, over 100 posts on evolution and religion, and no sign of Mike J.

  112. Some guy

    Hey, I’m just some guy…But it seems like alot of bickering stems from people not knowing the diffrence between “some” and “all”. Not all christians or atheists are bastards…However MOST people are selfish arrogant dicks.This filters evenly between, race, sex, religion,sexuality whatever…If you’re stupid you may subscribe to a certain stupidity your class allows. Think of it this way, if ants are stupid, they will be stupid in the way an ant will. So no. Religion/atheism does not = stupidity. Also whatever you subscribe to does not make you intelligent.

    Another thing, couldn’t alot of christians dodge a WHOLE lot of arguement of evolution by simply saying “Yes, God’s will was evolution, or evolution is how god makes stuff”. It’s just that easy.

    Finally, problems don’t stem from being religious, or atheist, or black or white, it’s just most parents (especcially these days ) Don’t teach proper values, and a whole lot of people are crazy stupid.

    Just wanted to throw that in the fray, please don’t mind little ol’ me.

  113. Michael Lonergan

    Just visited Kevin Miller’s Blog. It was a nice apology, while some may not agree with the film, at least commend him for the apology. Besides, he’s a Canadian, and just engaged in a well known Canadian ritual of saying sorry! We Canadians tend to do that alot! We are also practically neighbours! We live about 50 miles from each other.

    Kevin, I can see your house from here!

  114. Daffy

    Michael,

    I am not lumping all Christians in with the lunatics you mentioned. However, those lunatics do have the ear of our president and much of the government.

    And they do have the support of, literally, millions of followers. Ignoring them would be foolish.

  115. Michael Lonergan

    Daffy:
    Exactly! It does appear that there will be a reprieve for at least four years, (unless either Hillary or Obama go in the tank somehow, but I can’t see that happening, and I cannot imagine a scenario where McCain would ever be elected) but all that will do is cause them to fall back and regroup and come out stronger next time. They are a powerful force indeed.

  116. C Dresden

    “…it says that evolution leads to the cold and ruthless slaughter of millions of people. … Right from the start, this is an total and abhorrent lie.”

    I don’t think you really even need to address this point; it’s ludicrous. This is part of the ID strategy, to gain legitimacy through debate. Every paragraph you write defending notions that need no defense and criticizing their unsupportable crap allows them the cachet of legitimacy by association. Better to attack the funding source, and discredit the project by showing its lack of credibility.

  117. Brango

    This is nothing short of disgraceful. Truly worthy of the Sylvia Browne treatment – anyone want to start a StopBenStein web presence? He’s spawning followers who have earned the right to tattoo the word ‘Sad’ on their forehead!

    I always have to chuckle at the wholesale hypocrisy and residual stupidity that surrounds moronic human behaviour like this. They know their position is complete twaddle dressed as nonsense, so they lie, cheat, and squirm their way into a warm cuddly corner of comfortable numbness and repeat thier baseless propoganda ad-nauseum until they are almost even convinced themselves!

    Funny though, such proponents of the so-called ‘truth’ seem awfully scared of the actual truth.

  118. blf

    This is nothing short of disgraceful. Truly worthy of the Sylvia Browne treatment – anyone want to start a StopBenStein web presence?

    There is http://www.stopbenstein.com/ albeit it seems to contain mistakes (e.g., a release date of 12-Feb), and, here’s the kicker, babbles on about “Self-organization Structuralism”.

    Eh?

    That’s what Stuart Pivar, the balloon animals nutjob who tried to sue PZ, calls his silly idea.

    And in that site, there’s a claim Stephen J. Gould “championed” Pivar’s nonsense.

    Eh?

    The mystery is solved with `whois’:

    Domain Name: STOPBENSTEIN.COM

    Creation Date: 02-sep-2007

    Registrant:
    Stuart Pivar
    15 West 67th Street
    New York, New York 10023
    United States

    It seems Mr Pivar has(? had?) a plan to use the outrage at Expelled to either promote his own absurd ideas, or just to make some money by “squatting” a domain-name someone might want.

  119. Bonogamy

    It doesn’t matter if Hitler believed in god or not. The cult of personality that surrounded him was a religion in itself and if you go to any neo-nazi website you’ll see that it still lives today.

    Atheism in and of itself can’t cause anything because it’s isn’t anything, it’s the lack of something. The Theory of Evolution is a peaceful scientific theory. Even the biggest Richard Dawkins book tour is dwarfed by the average Christian ministry in the United States. Expelled is a paranoid fantasy. Christians have absolutely nothing to feel persecuted about.

    Some creationists and fundies have master’s degrees and PhD’s but as Sam Harris says they may only have them so that they can promote psuedoscience and flying spaghetti monster nonsense. When I hear someone say “you have to believe me because I have x-degrees in this or that”, the red flag goes up (this principle goes for anyone, but especially creationists.) Now we have to hear this evil Nazi nonsense from the biggest insecure creationist token a-hole of all: Ben Stein.

    I have a lot of relatives who want to see this movie because they think it’s a balanced portrayal of the plight of perceived pariah creationists in universities. But believing that Christianity is persecuted is the same as saying that the media has a liberal bias: you’re being fed your pablum by the very medium that has the unmitigated control to give you that same message every day (in other words, why is the ubiquitous “liberal media” telling you there’s a liberal bias through the mouths of men like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly?)

    Demagogues like Ben Stein and John Hagee somehow have the power to reach every home to tell you they’re being persecuted and their message isn’t getting through? Puleaze. At least Roswell is an entertaining conspiracy theory.

    And there are millions of people who wouldn’t know Richard Dawkins from a basketball player who are reached every day by dozens of Christian ministries who blame him (and give him free publicity) for all that is evil in the world.

    My guess is that my relatives will be so shocked by Stein’s hideous linking of the theory of evolution to Nazism that they’ll deny their feelings and not talk about it, which is how they react to any embarrassing extremist Christian propaganda.

  120. Those who think eugenics is an idea that came and went should be aware there are people promoting it today. Check this link out:
    http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2004/11/01/tennesse-eugenics-republicans/
    This guy may be a crackpot, but he is real, and a few people are listening to him. He was in my hometown last week passing out his racist literature to kids and anyone else who would listen. It scares me.

  121. BA posts:

    [[ Creationist love to say that Hitler used evolution as an excuse for genocide, but actually he makes it clear that religion played a major role in his decisions. For example, in a 1922 speech Hitler said “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.”]]

    So you take what he said for public consumption at face value but ignore what he said privately when he was among friends? You must think, then, that he really believed the Sudetenland was his last territorial demand in Europe?

    Hitler made it clear to Bormann and Goebbels and many others that he despised Christianity. How many more times do I have to post this? See below for DOCUMENTATION:

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Hitler.htm

    Hitler was a vague theist who believed in an undefined “divine providence.” For that last time, Hitler was not a Christian. Please stop posting that he was a Christian, because that is a damned lie.

  122. I want to thank Michael Lonergan for a very wise and even-handed piece above. And that’s not something you’ll hear from me very often.

  123. RBH, who doesn’t know his history from a hole in the ground, posts:

    [[It’s worth noting in large typeface that the death camp guards, SS troops, and the general run of Hitler’s armed forces were predominantly Catholics or Lutherans. The question is not so much about Hitler as it is about those who actually carried out Hitler’s policies. They were almost all Christians. Without all those good Christians to execute his policies, Hitler would have been nothing.]]

    “Educational instruction was designed to ensure that the Verfügungstruppe soldier was a fanatical Nazi, unquestioningly obedient and ready to carry out any order from the Dictator-Chancellor. A flood of anti-Christian propaganda was loosed on the heads of the men to compel them to renounce all the rules of bourgeois Christian morality and to sever all ties with the church…. On every parade and during every instructional period the cry was ‘One pace forward anyone who has not yet left the Church!’ Every opportunity was taken to humiliate and ridicule them…. of 300 Catholics the church-leavers totalled 4 in 1937,3 in 1938, 67 in 1940 and 129 in 1942…. The young Verfügungstruppe officers were continually called upon to prove their uncompromising opposition to the Christian message of reconciliation and tolerance, which the SS regarded as un-German. From the outset they were ordered to abjure the Christian faith as a destructive, effeminate, and ‘Jewish’ doctrine.” (Höhne 1966).

    Höhne, Heinz 1966. The Order of the Death’s Head — The Story of Hitler’s SS. NY: Penguin Books. English tr. 1969 by Richard Barry.

  124. Chaos writes:

    [[Speaking of Hitler, he definitely WAS Catholic. About two years or so ago, as a reaction to some fundie bringing that old canard up, I asked an acquaintance who is a notary working for the office of the local archbishop of the Catholic church. She said that the ONLY was to stop being Catholic, once you´re baptised, is to be excommunicated. Hitler was never excommunicated, he had been baptized, so he must have been Catholic.]]

    Your notary is wrong, which you or she could have found out by checking the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC, available in Catholic book stores or from the diocese or, probably, through amazon.com). Deliberately missing mass repeatedly gets you an automatic excommunication. Hitler was followed around by photographers for more than twelve years and there are thousands of photos of him; not one shows him attending mass.

    A Catholic is someone who believes in Catholic doctrine. Hitler obviously did not. He planned to kidnap the Pope. Priests who stood up for Jews were lynched. When the Dutch Catholic clergy tried to oppose deporting the Dutch Jews, the Nazis arrested thousands of them. Kindly stop with the anti-Catholic bigotry. Hitler was not a Catholic.

    And, BTW, I’m a Presbyterian.

  125. SLC

    Re Barton Paul Levenson

    But Hitler, although a baptized Roman Catholic, did find much inspiration in the antisemitic writings of Martin Luther, or is Mr. Levenson denying that Mr. Luther was a Christian?

  126. Chip posts:

    [[The fact is Hitler was a Christian as were many of his followers ]]

    The fact is, you don’t know what you’re talking about. See above.

  127. zeb posts:

    [[Besides, given that anti-semitism has been around in Europe since the dark ages, and that anti-semitism has come from the Christian church, shouldn’t we say that Nazi Germany was really influenced by CHRISTIAN values?]]

    No, it would be better to tell the truth.

  128. ‘Some guy’ posts:

    [[Another thing, couldn’t alot of christians dodge a WHOLE lot of arguement of evolution by simply saying “Yes, God’s will was evolution, or evolution is how god makes stuff”. It’s just that easy.]]

    EXACTLY. I have a button that reads, “God is who, evolution is how.”

  129. Bonogamy posts:

    [[Christians have absolutely nothing to feel persecuted about.]]

    Not yet, anyway, unless you count verbal persecution, though I have heard of kids being flunked or thrown out of classes for using Christian themes in their writing assignments. In many other countries, of course, Christians are routinely lynched, arrested, and/or executed. There are Christians in Saudi Arabia, but they’re not allowed to own bibles or hold services; everything they do they have to do clandestinely. Similar comments for nearly any Islamic country. In Egypt a Catholic priest was publicly whipped for using communion wine; alcohol being non-Islamic. Christians in Darfur… presumably you’ve heard about what’s happening to them. Christians in China can either belong to the state-sanctioned church which makes a mockery of Christian theology, or go to a labor camp. I suspect that some of their bodies are currently on display in my home town, since the Chinese “Bodies” exhibit is now at the Carnegie Science Center. In Iraq, the archbishop was kidnapped and his body was just found a couple of days ago. And so on.

  130. Barton, as I point out in the post, you can’t trust what Hitler said in public. He said a lot of things that turned out not to be so true. That’s part of my point; the creationists are cherry-picking what he said.

  131. David

    One important and ironic item to note (and if somebody else has already noted it, I apologize — I tried to look through all the 134 responses and didn’t see it, but I might have missed it) is that the tactics used by creationists are the very same as those used by Holocaust deniers. Indeed, if memory serves, that’s the very reason Massimo Pigliucci chose to name one of his books, “Denying Evolution.” It is meant to mirror the title of the book Michael Shermer cowrote on Holocaust deniers called “Denying History.”

    So it is particularly disturbing that Ben Stein is using the methods of those who deny the Holocaust to support his creationist beliefs.

    As to whether or not Hitler was a Christian, I would reference you to the well-written item on the Straight Dope website (OK, I wrote it): http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhitlerchristian.html . I would also like to quote something I wrote there, which goes along with some of what has already been said here:

    “my friend and source David Gehrig noted that Hitler still sets the gold standard for ‘easiest rhetorical cheap shot.’ He related a comment from Usenet that there is an empirical law: As a Usenet discussion gets longer, the probability that someone in it will compare someone else in it to Hitler asymptotically approaches 1. In other words, atheists looking for a quick cheap-shot may claim Hitler was a Christian; similarly, Christians looking for a quick shot may claim he was an atheist. Know what? Hitler was a vegetarian! Oooh, those evil vegetarians! He also recommended that parents give their children milk to drink instead of beer and started the first anti-smoking campaign. (So by the ‘reasoning’ used in these types of arguments, if you are truly anti-Hitler, you should smoke heavily and only give your baby beer!) Better watch out, though he was an oxygen-breather, too! In other words, does it really matter whether Hitler was an atheist or a Christian or whatever? Just because somebody may hold a particular worldview (along with other views) doesn’t make him a spokesman for that view, or even remotely representative of others who hold that view. No matter how his madness is painted, he was still evil incarnate.”

  132. RBH, who doesn’t know his history from a hole in the ground, posts

    Barton, is this really necessary? We were having such a civilized discussion before you turned up.

  133. Alex

    Perhaps what happened was a publicity stunt?

    It looks like the tactics of the film-maker depend on deflecting the discussion from whether evolution is right or wrong, to arguing about whether Darwinism leads to Nazism.

    This could be a smart move, because arguing against Darwinism on scientific grounds is pretty much a lost cause. Deep inside, even the the most vocal opponents of Darwinism must realise that.

    It’s true that there were various racist doctrines which developed during the late 19th-early 20th centuries, which claimed to be based on Darwinism under the title “social Darwinism”. Some of these doctrines were adopted by the Nazi’s pseudoscientific cranks, but also by advocates of the British Empire.

    However, this was a crude misuse of Darwinism.
    For instance, it didn’t have anything to say about the evolutionary advantages of better communications, altruism, social cooperation, or the benefits of widening the gene pool.

    It’s also well known that certain genetic traits can be harmful or beneficial, depending on context. For instance, the same gene that causes sickle cell anaemia, confers immunity to malaria. So trying to breed out “unwanted characteristics” from a population faces the problem that other equally undesirable ones will be created.

    In short, ‘Social Darwinism’ was an unscientific distortion of Darwin’s discovery for political reasons.

  134. Colin J

    Great thread and posts. Fun discussion to read.

    Lots to think about.

  135. From what I learned in my writing classes on “racism”, it can be seen that Hilter’s ideas were actually rooted in the racism ideas at the time, but somehow modified to suit his needs. The WWII was what finally shook the world into realizing “racism” as a bad thing.

    I agree with you, BA.

  136. Being a Dutch citizen living in the US, I’ve been surprised how much Americans like to drag in Hitler, Stalin, or Dr. Evil to prove their point.

    Pundits defending their god-given right to bare arms is a prime example. Talk to them for 5 minutes and they’ll submit that “Hitler and Stalin were for gun control” and “hey, they were bad people – therefore gun control must be”.

    It’s this ‘guilty-by-association’ reasoning that is incredibly flawed, yet seems to be so popular that it surfaces over and over again.

    I’m sure Hitler and Stalin enjoyed to occasionally sink their teeth in juicy sun-ripened tomato. Now does that make this vegetable evil?

  137. thatdude

    Mosez:

    So you see why we have the convention known as “Godwin’s Law”: We need it very badly to keep our discussions from collapsing into utter lameness. I think that Evangelical Christians really do wear their lack of sophistication on their sleeves by how eagerly and often they “Godwin” themselves.

  138. Michael Lonergan

    While no one may agree on what Hitler believed, “was he an Christian, or was he an Atheist” – there is one thing we should agree on: He was a raving lunatic that viciously murdered millions of his own countrymen, and people of many other nations, and, were it not for the brave men and women that sacrificed their lives, nearly succeeded in enslaving the entire planet. Think about this for a second, if it were not for those sacrifices, you and I would not be able to engage in this discussion today. Who knows where we would be today if he had succeeded!?

    I don’t think BA is making the argument that Hitler was a Christian, therefore Christians and Christianity will lead to ______________.

    The fact that Hitler may or may not have used Catholic rituals, mingled with other occultic/pagan rituals is a moot point. Again, neither Catholicism, nor paganism, nor evolution leads to mass genocide.

    One thing that history should teach us is to never allow this to happen again. Sadly, we have show great propensity to not learn from our mistakes…. (Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kenya…)

  139. Michael Lonergan

    Barton Said:

    “I am a Presbyterian.”

    I’m so sorry to hear that! Is there a cure? You know I used to be Pentecostal, but they were able to fix that… :)

    Happy Easter!

  140. Celtic_Evolution

    Mosez:

    I’m with you on everything you said in your post, philosophically… but I just can’t let your first sentence go without responding.

    I am really really starting to get quite sick and tired of the obligitory “I love how you AMERICANS blah blah blah, so on and so forth”, that crops up in just about every thread on this page.

    Look, I’m only going to say this once. Americans don’t have a monopoly on stupid. And crazy, underhanded, and even downright evil political agendas are NOT an inherently American trait. See South Africa and apartheid if you need more convincing of that.

    And using Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, or any other important political or religious figure to prove or DIS-prove their point is far from an American tradition. In my career I have had acquaintences from Ireland, Great Britain, France, Spain and Japan who have ALL done the same thing whenever arguments over politics or religion come up. So let’s stop associating the behavior as a strictly “American” thing. To make such an association is a fallacy of the same type as the very fallacy being discussed in this thread.

    Look, I’m by no means going to defend America on many, many things… especially recently. But I’d remind you that this very site on which you have the privelege of interacting with so many decent, intelligent and thoughtful people is a site hosted in America by an American, and frequented by intelligent persons from all over the world.

    So, I’m sorry if this phenomenon, in your experience, seems to be a strictly American thing… let me just assure you that it is not.

    Oh… and let me also say that this post wasn’t really directly aimed at you, per se, Mosez. Apologies for any perceived offense.

    ok… rant over.

  141. David Marjanović

    Don’t assume that if one has doubts about the generalizability of variation within species to variation between phyla,

    Why shouldn’t that be the default assumption? If you leave two sibling species alone for long enough, what stops them from becoming so different one might classify them as different phyla?

    Keep in mind that “phylum” is a human construct. There is no objective way to decide if anything is a phylum.

    or that one thinks that Life is more than the result of random collisions of molecules, that one is automatically stupid, ignorant, and venal.

    Stupid, no. Venal, no. Ignorant, yes — as in “not knowing what you’re talking about”.

    You see, mutation is random — but selection is not, it’s determined by the environment…

    ———————————————

    Christianity is at the very least a philosophical view on how life should be led, like Marxism,

    Yes.

    capitalism,

    Yes.

    socialism,

    Yes.

    atheism

    No.

    In fact, a responsible scientist should be prepared to admit that even science can be abused and misused.

    Certainly.

    My point is that I don’t see how atheism is about “how life should be led”. Being nothing more than the opinion that the existence of any deities is highly improbable, it is equally compatible with diametrically opposite philosophies, such as Stalinism and Randism.

    ————————–

    That would explain their objection to evolutionary theory, bein’ as the lizards got out-competed an’ all.

    What are you talking about? Count the species of lizards, and count the species of mammals…

    ————————–

    I am surprised the movie dint mention the soviet regime. Lenin was a strong Darwin supporter. He caused the death of 4 millions, by purposely instauring hunger so that only the strongest would survive. Stalline pushed the numbers even further ahead.

    Stalin was a Lysenko supporter. He sent Darwin supporters to Siberia.

    ————————–

    Christians in Darfur… presumably you’ve heard about what’s happening to them.

    The Christians are in southern Sudan, not in Darfur (western Sudan). In Darfur everyone is a Muslim.

    ————————–

    Talk to them for 5 minutes and they’ll submit that “Hitler and Stalin were for gun control” and “hey, they were bad people – therefore gun control must be”.

    Next time they bring that up, mention the fact that Saddam was not for gun control. Under his reign, every man who considered himself one had a Kalashnikov.

  142. Michael Lonergan

    David M:

    Good points!

    BTW, if one listens to some of the rhetoric being put forward by some in the Conservative Christian Right, one could be led to believe that atheism would lead to the moral collapse of society.

    Hmmm… How interesting.

    Let’s see, Oh let’s look at say, Denmark. This is one of the most liberal, permissive societies on the planet. Denmark has one of the lowest church attendance percentages in the world. They also have some of the most lax drug laws in the world. Same goes for prostitution. Ditto for po**Ogr*phy. Gay rights? Not an issue. (Had to do it that way because BA’s super spam detector doesn’t like that word!) Based on this, it is safe to say that Denmark is one of the most permissive, and liberal societies.

    Contrast that with the United States. One of the most “Christianized” nations in the world. Near the top in percentage of church attendance. Very restrictive drug laws. Ditto with prostitution. P**n? More accepted and mainstream today than in the past, but nowhere near
    the acceptance it has in Denmark.

    If one looks at these numbers, following the rhetoric of the Christian Conservatives, we should expect to see total anarchy and chaos in Denmark. People should be r*ping, killing and pillaging each other in the streets! Yet, we don’t see that! In fact it is the exact opposite. On a PER CAPITA basis, Denmark has a relatively low crime rate involving violent and sexual crime.

    Come back to the US. A “God Fearing” nation such as the US, should see relative peace and tranquility, and law and order should be more than a TV show with several spin-offs. Yet we see the exact opposite. It has one of the highest PER CAPITA rates involving violent and sexual crime, as well as the highest rate of incarceration per capita in the Western World.

    The argument could be made that atheism is far more beneficial for a society than religion.

  143. Moose

    Celtic_Evolutionon: Look, I’m only going to say this once. Americans don’t have a monopoly on stupid. And crazy, underhanded, and even downright evil political agendas are NOT an inherently American trait. See South Africa and apartheid if you need more convincing of that.

    Nope, Americans don’t have a lock on stupid by any stretch. You do, however, have one heckuva marketing engine. That’s never a happy combination.

  144. Michael, to be fair: Denmark does not have a deep-rooted christian tradition, whereas the US has. Pretty much all of Scandinavia has a strong socialist tradition. The US has a completely different history, with essentially still a frontier mentality that can be summed up with “every man for himself”. You suggest (probably inadvertently) that christianity/atheism has anything to do with a country’s culture, but I doubt that. There is too much variation in christian countries. Of course, I agree that atheism by itself will not cause the collapse of a society.

  145. FranPits

    Let’s not forget the other 14 millions of hitler victims, and that ww2 death tool is around 60 millions.
    Jews weren’t the only ones that suffered from this, you know.

  146. Hitler’s public position was as a sympathizer to Christianity; he knew he could not take over Germany without at least a modicum of tacit approval from the church community. Privately, Hitler was an occultist. Moreover, evolution dissasociates man from his morality; therefore, the 20th century deathcamps in Nazi Germany and the USSR, among other places, necessarily followed. Let’s not forget the twentieth century was the most godless and bloody century in the history of the world. You say post hoc ergo propter hoc? I dare you to suggest that random chance actually has a morality and by extension, that atheism was not the reason driving this most previous century’s horrific violence.

  147. FranPits, I don’t think anyone disputes that.

  148. Mike

    I am looking forward to the movie. So far, Ben Stein’s facts are correct. Open your mind and do some research and see why he is correct. It might not change your views on religion but you will learn the truth. You have been brain washed by lies of the main stream media and the US eugenics educational system. The end is the same, the Bilderberg Group that has the ultimate power to give it to Satan (the father of murderer and lies) for global enslavement and extermination of mankind. Google Alex Jones’s End Game (www.infowars.com)

  149. Itsamemario

    You know, I read all these comments attacking Stein and the movie, but not a single person has actually posted an argument to show that he’s wrong.

    The book Darwin’s Plantation actually shows proof that Darwin used evolution to support racism, and that Hitler used evolution to justify the Holocaust.

    At any rate, if you’re going to bash the conclusion, you have to refute the logic. Otherwise, you’re just some punk who doesn’t like what someone else is arguing, and you think you win by saying, “No, you’re just stupid is all! Shut-up, you’re wrong!”

  150. heat

    The holocaust never happened. 50 million people died during WWII, why is all the focus on a couple million jews?

  151. Joe

    I think the point was that since Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest”, why is it wrong to want to have a “master” race. Hitler’s idea of mass genocide to promote a master species should be considered a step forward in evolution and the survival of the fittest.

    How can any evolutionist condemn a man that wanted to benefit the planet with a master race. And if you do condemn him, where do you get your morals and values to label him an “evil” person. Because if you’re an atheist or evolutionist, your values are merely the collective beliefs of the majority of humans at a given point in space and time. Your values and beliefs have no bearing or true value because you are just an insignificant accident that is a mere vapor in the span of time.

  152. Itsamemario, the outcome of this discussion thread, if anything, is that the ideas you use to justify a horrible act are not by implication bad or even wrong. Regardless how Hitler misused the ideas of Darwin, it does not make those ideas wrong.

    The reason we do not present the arguments why Stein is wrong is that we already know those arguments inside out.

  153. Michael Lonergan

    Hi Pietr, I may not have been clear, I was using the arguments of certain fundamentalists, that loudly proclaim liberalism will destroy society. My point was, we can actually look at nations that are more liberal and refute that argument. The argument doesn’t hold water. My last point, stating that, “The argument could be made that atheism is far more beneficial for a society than religion” fasciscious (I know I spelled it wrong, even my spell check can’t figure out what I’m saying!)

    That is a view I do not believe, and I failed to clarify that. My bad… :(

    Itsamemario:
    The logic is, Hitler was an Atheist and/ or Christian, therefore that led to the Holocaust, if I understand you correctly. I think many people have refuted that argument.

    No one has made the statement that Darwin was perfect. He certainly had some ideas that many would disagree with. However, they may also have been a product of his times: Think slavery. Who were the slaves?

    It can be argued that St. Paul advocated slavery. (He certainly did not condemn it.) However, one needs to understand the times in which his ideas were expressed. It was a cultural norm, as morally repugnant as we find that today. Incidentally, many Christians were at the forefront of the movement to abolish slavery. They were the fore-runners of the modern evangelical movement believe it or not.

  154. Milliner

    Irrational ideas like God, communism, etc, are the authority on which all fascism rests. You can’t have fascism without some sort of irrational arbitrary authority towards which people are required to obey upon pain of punishment and death. Religion is propaganda towards instilling fearful obedience, and nothing but a tool of fascism. To say that the self-evident facts of evolution: fossils in rock strata, is the authority upon which Nazism was built is preposterous nonsense. Because it’s a fact there’s no need to force belief, no use for lies, no reason to insist on obedience. Believe in evolution or not, you won’t be punished, your life might be misdirected if you don’t understand how nature works, but I bet you can get by. I mean, you can’t be a scientist, because your work won’t make sense, unless you can refute evolution, then by all means, try.

  155. You can’t have fascism without some sort of irrational arbitrary authority towards which people are required to obey upon pain of punishment and death.

    In the case of fascism the object of glorification and the ultimate authority is the state and its leader(s). It was invented by the ancient Romans (the “fasces” was a bundle of sticks and an axe, and it was the symbol of jurisdiction and power) and has nothing whatsoever to do with any religion. In any case, I would not call it arbitrary, much less irrational.

  156. icbtdw

    When was the last time you heard a religion say that it was alright to murder an entire race of people?
    Let me guess…..never.
    If Hitler killed millions religion cannot be held responsible for what he did.
    Neither christianity nor any other religion be held accountable for deeds that people in religion’s name.

  157. RJ B

    Hitler was not a christian, he rejected christianity. Some people need to stop pulling facts out of their asses.

  158. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    As far as the confusion over whether Hitler was a Christian or an Atheist, does it really matter?

    It matters in as much as you want to put blame on religion or science for the society he worked within to gain and use leadership. Unfortunately the world isn’t as black and white as your view demands. As they say on democracy, eternal vigilance is necessary.

    For that last time, Hitler was not a Christian. Please stop posting that he was a Christian, because that is a damned lie.

    You can’t outdefine a person like that. Hitler was likely a theist based and working in an environment of christianity. For every reference that says he wasn’t a christian you can probably find one that says he was. He was a Great Lier.

    Besides, it isn’t always the individual religion the argument “from causes” revolves around.

  159. Celtic_Evolution

    icbtdw –

    Read BA’s original post… he makes it quite clear he’s not blaming religion for what Hitler did… he even makes a very appropriate comparison: “I can use a hammer to build a house, or to beat someone’s brains in. In what way is either the fault of the hammer?”. I think that pretty much makes it pretty clear that his point is that it is not the fault of religion OR atheism that the holocaust occurred. It was the fault of Hitler and the Nazi regime. Period.

    So your post is correct in what you state, but it sounds like you are making an argument that such a stand has been taken. I don’t think it has in this post.

  160. Here is my original post about the Hitler-Darwin movie produced by the Coral Ridge ministry:

    http://dysplastic-brain.blogspot.com/2006/10/evolution-of-dee-dee-dee-apologies-to.html

    Kennedy died last year, so the attacks from his personal madness have abated.

    Please don’t take me to task on my use of “artificial selection” ok?

  161. Thomas Siefert

    Joe, I hope you are being ironic, if not you have a lot to learn about humanity

    I think the point was that since Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest”, why is it wrong to want to have a “master” race. Hitler’s idea of mass genocide to promote a master species should be considered a step forward in evolution and the survival of the fittest.

    With that argument you would have to kill 99.99% of all humans, including evolutionists, no one is perfect.

    How can any evolutionist condemn a man that wanted to benefit the planet with a master race. And if you do condemn him, where do you get your morals and values to label him an “evil” person. Because if you’re an atheist or evolutionist, your values are merely the collective beliefs of the majority of humans at a given point in space and time. Your values and beliefs have no bearing or true value because you are just an insignificant accident that is a mere vapor in the span of time.

    It’s very simple, I can sympathise with my fellow human beings. I do not want to be killed because I got a funny walk and I figure other people might feel the same.
    I do not need a promise of reward or punishment after death to behave decently. If you only behave yourself because your religion tells you to, then you are very sick person indeed.

  162. Frank Oswalt

    @Joe:

    I think the point was that since Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest”, why is it wrong to want to have a “master” race. Hitler’s idea of mass genocide to promote a master species should be considered a step forward in evolution and the survival of the fittest. How can any evolutionist condemn a man that wanted to benefit the planet with a master race.

    Survival of the fittest means “survival of those genetic traits causing the organisms that have them to produce more offspring in a given environment“. Name a single one of Hitler’s insane ideas about race that bears any relation to this. Of course, you can’t, because all you’re doing is playing semantic games with the words “fit” and “master race”.

    And if you do condemn him, where do you get your morals and values to label him an “evil” person. Because if you’re an atheist or evolutionist, your values are merely the collective beliefs of the majority of humans at a given point in space and time.

    First: where do you get your morals and values? Not from the Bible, unless you believe that rape, incest, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, infanticide and many other atrocities condoned in the Bible are good things. But of course you would know that if you had actually read your Bible rather than just listening to your local preacher’s uninformed rantings.

    Second: there is good evidence that our basic moral setup is a product of our evolutionary history as a species. As we possess free will (more or less, at least), every human being has the potential to be good or evil.

    Your values and beliefs have no bearing or true value because you are just an insignificant accident that is a mere vapor in the span of time.

    There is no “true value” and yes, as individuals we are just “insignificant accidents” and “mere vapor in the span of time”. So are you. Deal with it.

  163. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    So far, Ben Stein’s facts are correct.

    not a single person has actually posted an argument to show that he’s wrong. […] Hitler used evolution to justify the Holocaust.

    Welcome, creationist damage control.

    Unfortunately for you, if you had read the post you would have seen that you are posting falsehoods which will not benefit you.

    You might also want to read my comment:

    As regards eugenics IIRC Darwin himself pointed out the problem with continuous artificial selection for traits. Loss of variance (”selective sweeps”) means less raw material for evolution to work on in case the environment changes, say by introduction of new diseases. His theory explains why eugenics isn’t evolution nor a good politics.

    Darwin used evolution to support racism

    How can any evolutionist condemn a man that wanted to benefit the planet with a master race.

    The same goes for racism, as evolution means that individual groups are selected for their local fitnesses you can’t very well compare them as racists wants to do.

    your values are merely the collective beliefs of the majority of humans at a given point in space and time

    The same goes for morals, as altruism is an observed characteristic among many populations and can be predicted from the theory. No need for utterly relative morals. (If such are bad, something not evidenced here.)

    If you knew about the science you wouldn’t try to pass such utter nonsense and empty rhetorics past a science blog. It will only serve to show others how utterly empty creationism “science” is, and how it tries to pervert the public perception of science.

    Exactly like the movie.

  164. Michael Lonergan

    Millinier said:

    “Religion is propaganda towards instilling fearful obedience, and nothing but a tool of fascism.”

    Really? So ALL people of faith are fascists? And you come to that conclusion by what mental process? That is the argument we are trying to repudiate. By your definition, Hitler was a Christian (cool your jets RJB, I’m assuming this is what this individual is saying), therefore Christianity led to the Holocaust.

    I stated before. I have seen naughty pictures. I am a rapist. Does that make any sense? It is a huge leap to state that all people of faith are fascists. Someone pointed out in an earlier post, “How then do you explain those Christians that hid Jews from the Nazi’s?” They were certainly not exhibiting fascist behavior. What about those religions and faith communities that advocate pacifism? Are they fascists?

    Religion CAN be used in the way you are describing, just as someone else also posted a comment stating that he uses a hammer to build his house, and then states that same hammer can be used to knock the stuffing out of his wife. It is not the tool, but the perversion of the tool by the one brandishing it.

  165. Michael Lonergan

    BTW, just because of the level of some of the commentators, I should clarify my statement:

    I look at naughty pictures. I am a rapist.”

    Obviously I am not, it is a statement to illustrate the absurdity of some of the reasoning I see happening.

  166. Celtic_Evolution

    Shoot… I wish you’d have clarified that BEFORE I sent the email to the FBI, Michael. Curse my inability to correctly interpret sarcasm! :)

  167. There is a nice museum of American eugenics at Cold Spring Harbor.

    We can protest all we wish, but among other things we fed retarded kids radioactive isotopes in addition to sterilizing the feeble-minded.

    I have no idea what James Watson thought of it. (The museum I mean. He isn’t THAT old.)

    At any rate, the thinking that connects eugenics to Natural Selection is really magical.

  168. Eric

    Don’t know if this is meaningful but the “In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany.” portion of the spoiler no longer appears on the website.

  169. Eric

    Disregard, I’m an idiot

  170. Damon

    I was kinda ok with evolution until this.
    I didnt realize it caused the holocaust.

  171. Jerry Winans

    It’s unfortunate that there have been so many over-reactions on both sides of this discussion. I am looking forward to seeing this movie and forming my own opinion, then expressing it in a rational, respectful way to those who have also seen the movie. I respect Ben Stein for putting his money where his beliefs are.

  172. Pedr North

    The irony and hypocrisy of your rebuttals is absolutely absurd. You call yourself atheists, denying any Absolute Moral Law, and yet you use words such as “abhorrant acts” to attack this man. Abhorrent to who, you? Your own beliefs are self-defeating. You cannot condemn anyone, you cannot have an opinion, because there is no Moral Truth on which to base it. Have you even read your own writers? Did you even comprehend Nietzsche? Because you all sound terribly religious to me. According to your own philosophies you should either live a life of cold passivity, or impose your arbitrary will with no regard for Moral Truth. Many atheists, no doubt, opt for the first. Hitler chose the latter option – and that is the point of this film.

  173. Mark Thomson

    Yes, the offending text has been removed from the website. There is no mention of what was previously there. Hmmm.

  174. Kurt

    BA, will you do a review of this movie if/when you see it. I always enjoy your reviews. Also, you should really review the movie Sunshine, it just begs for your attention.

  175. Frank Oswalt

    @Pedr North: Your stupid claims have been dealt with many times over in this very thread. So read before you post or crawl back into your hole.

  176. MJK

    Is this the only planet earth I get to live on?

  177. Thomas Siefert

    Is this the only planet earth I get to live on?

    –Shakes Magic 8-Ball–

    “Signs point to yes”

  178. Josh

    Atheism eventually leads to evolution simply because as their is no “God” the only course for existence to change and/or better its self. Darwin law, the fittest will survive, what is left out is the fittest will also shape the evolution of the next generation….

    Think of it as lions in the savana, the strongest male should breed, this guarantees that the strongest cubs will be produceded and in turn make evolution happen…

    Now the same can be said about people, think of the royal line of england, keep the “blue blood”, all this did was to make sure that the same defect that the royal line had would be past down…

    To make sure that a better offspring can be produced, their needs to be a better parent, cause win it comes down to the simple fact that you CAN NOT ARGUE WIT GENETICS…. Now a population of Blue Eye, Blond Hair , is extreme to say the least, but the idea was correct. That by culling the masses and making sure that only the select breed, he would be creating a evolutionairy change in the germans… imagine if he had been allowed to continue what way of life would their be for the germans, a whole nation of blue eyed and blond hair…

    If he truly wanted to make evolution happen he should not have done so on such a massive scale (too many would notice), he should have seculded himself and his followers to someplace and let it take course…

    Hitler’s vision was skewed but the idea and the means were correct to carry out that vision of making evolution or say guiding it…

    Right now in america it can be seen already in the groups of people and where they live… Presumptious as it may sound people from Cali tend to be more attractive, well built were as people from middle west mite be overweight but less stressed… The self created enviroments are what we are making our own evolution to be, as if we all not consiously are own gods in some little way… Hitler wanted to be a “GOD” by guiding the path of his countrys people and taking “the title”…

  179. the_beavis

    Well, I hope that the general populace knows that all movies are fake and are works of art not fact. That they will know that a lot of this is crap. Besides if people really did believe movies like this. Then there would be a lot of people believing that there were ninjas and a gaint bondage king, in the persian armies, that only americans were in ww2 during private ryan. Etc etc… I know there will be at least one retard in the world that believes that movies are factual, and for him I present a sucker, helmet and a perment need for counsling.

  180. Drew

    Evolution did not cause the Holocaust. The Holocaust was born out of the Eugenics movement which started in England (approx. 1880), developed in the US and perfected in Nazi Germany. In each country the undesirables were different. In England it was the paupers and the feeble-minded. In the US it was the paupers, blind, feeble-minded and minorities. In Germany it was all of the above, but mostly the Jews. These Eugenicists used pseudoscience to validate their racist views. Check out “War Against the Weak” by Edwin Black.

  181. Avi Meller

    I think your argument is somewhat unsubstantiated. I wouldn’t disbelieve you, but the truth is that modern Judaism (particularly Ben Stein’s unobservant Judaism, and even fairly religious Judaism) generally doesn’t have huge issues with Evolution. I don’t think I know of any precedent of observant and knowledgeable Jews condemning evolution, and I’m sure you guys will agree that unobservant Jews are only less likely to force Creationism.

    I’m a religious Jew myself, and I’m sure Ben Stein didn’t claim that the evolutionary theory compelled Nazis to kill Jews – and if that idea was proposed in the movie, I’m sure it was considered somewhat fairly, and not accepted as unequivocal truth. It would probably make a little more sense if we watched the movie.

  182. Adolf Hitler claimed to Christianity, and saw that it DID NOT HELP HIS CAUSE, and drooped it, and even considered Islam. Hitler did use evolution and “scientific” racism.

  183. Christianity did not support hitlers cause, and he knew that. He claimed to Christianity, to get people behind it, but it failed him. At one point he even considered Islam. He did use evolution and “scientific” racism to support his cause.

  184. Michael Lonergan

    Pedr
    Atheists deny any Moral Law?!?!?

    And people of faith who commit atrocities in the name of their particular deity, whether it be Yahweh, Allah, Horus, Molech, Ra, FSM…should I go on?… are in strict obedience to a higher moral law?

    Seems to me that the OT contains many instances where God Himself transgressed His own moral law, starting with “Thou Shalt not kill…”, or what do you call the slaughter of thousands of His own people during various times of Moral Cleansing, or the brutal genocide of Caananites by the invading armies of God’s chosen people, acting on some divine impulse?

    Not to mention the Crusades, the Inquisition, The Jonestown massacre, 9/11, the Rwandan genocide…. should I continue, or is that enough?

    Most atheists are as law abiding as most people of faith, wanting to live in peace with their neighbors, and obey the laws of the land. While you are pointing fingers, may I ask what Higher Moral Law the various religious institutes here in Canada were following when leaders were abusing native children, physically and sexually? What Moral Law were the “so called religious leaders” like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and most recently, Ted Haggard following when they committed their acts of unrighteousness? May I ask by what Higher Moral Authority John Hagee speaks when he calls for the wholesale destruction in a nuclear conflagration, of the enemies of Israel?

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

  185. Michael Lonergan

    Jerry Winans:

    Good point – at least Stein put his money where his mouth is in making this movie.

    True, and he has every right to make that movie in a society that values Free Speech. Those of us that know enough of the premise also have the right to express our views on this movie. The irony is this: If Hitler had succeeded, this movie would have never been made.

    @Some Guy:
    Why should we care about what Hitler was? Because if we don’t we are condemned to make the same mistake again.

  186. Eric

    I’m always stunned when anyone implies that Darwin’s theory gives any credence to the idea that one race or group of people is superior to another. It doesn’t even imply that any species is superior!

    Anyway, the movie won’t make any converts. THey’re just preaching to the choir.

  187. I hadn’t even heard about this movie until I saw all the blogs showing up about it. So, I’ve read the blogs and I checked out the preview for the website. I suspect that one of the scientists who Ben Stein is referring to as getting harassed by the scientific community is one of his friends. If I was in his position with his media connections, I would do the same thing.

  188. mobo

    Interesting. The “ADL” Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913. Isn’t that the same year the privately owned “Federal Reserve” and the IRS were made? All three at the same time? I have arrived at the conclusion that the IRS is simply a gestapo, a collection agency for the interest to be paid to the “Federal Reserve” central bank. Any questions on this? Then the ADL shows up? As far as this movie, Ben Stein appears to be exploiting some dummies and probably making money doing it. On the one hand, Brilliant, on the other, perverse, predatory, dishonest, and of course, he is of the last of a group exercising the WW2 Nazi (= National Socialism) Holocaust fetish, whilst ignoring the context that it is one of many such terrible events. But in the USA, the dumb proletariat knows of the Holocaust only. Someone should ask Mr. Stein what he thinks about the Israeli military sniper shooting children in 2008, just like in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, etc. Someone should also ask him about World Trade Center Building 7 and the Mossad agents arrested in the area.

  189. Avi Meller

    Hey Mobo,

    Can you post links to articles concerning your claims?

  190. kynefski

    I realize that there are a number of thoughtful people posting to this thread.

    But, you know, reading through it as a whole, one can’t escape the impression of a roomful of unruly children, with one adult trying to maintain some semblance of order.

    Kudos to you, Michael Lonergan. That’s been a hell of a job.

  191. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Pedr North:

    You call yourself atheists, denying any Absolute Moral Law,

    Epic lies.

    The context of the post is biology science, so it is creationists who calls science defenders atheists. The science under discussion establish observed traits that are equivalent to stable moral behavior such as altruism.

    I as much any atheist would concern himself with morals (which is a mystery since a society shows moral behavior regardless) he would be a fool to deny established science.

    @ Josh:

    Atheism eventually leads to evolution

    Not even a lie.

    This doesn’t make any sense what so ever. How can a biological process that has guided life for at least 3.8 Gy be an “eventual” result of a modern social behavior?

    Even if it would mean that atheism leads to a change in ongoing evolution, it doesn’t make sense. Where is the evidence for different reproductive success depending on a rejection of gods as descriptive?

    Darwin law, the fittest will survive,

    Epic lie.

    There is no such law. Selection, one of the most powerful mechanisms in evolution but by no means the only one, leads to reproductive success. This can be described as fitness.

    And yet again, see my previous comment on why you can’t support eugenics by evolution; evolution predicts it doesn’t work in the long run. Why do you repeat a falsehood when it has been pointed out to you?

  192. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Eric:

    I’m always stunned […] It doesn’t even imply that any species is superior!

    Good call, and you and me both.

    Actually, it is worse, evolution implies that you can’t reasonably compare different groups as their traits are contingent on their local environment. A squid may have superior fitness to a bird in deep sea, but he wouldn’t stay fit for long if he tried flying between trees. 😛

    So yeah, stunning.

  193. latincrow81

    down here in south america on easter season they always show a bunch of biblical movies, being mine a mostly catholic country you cannot help to feel antisemitic sometimes but one thing is what you think and another is going on a jew killing parade…
    anyways religion is one thing and science is another and trying to make a parallel between them is just ridiculous…
    everybody has right to believe whatever they want but imposing creationism in schools is madness…
    creationism belongs in sunday’s school at church, not in a classroom

  194. zato

    “given that this is precisely how Nazi propaganda worked. In a rich field of creationist ironies, this may be the elephant in the room. They are projecting onto their enemies the very thing they are guilty of.”

    Evangelical Christians have turned “religion” into into exclusivity and egotism. The very thing religion is supposed to be the cure for.

    My guess is this movie is about money. No group raises more money to support Israel than Evangelical Christians. Onward toward Armageddon!, and the elimination of the Muslim world (in the name of Christ, of course).

  195. ccs

    I find it interesting that you are so outraged by a false claim yet in the same breath say:

    “Evolution, like all of reality, is a fact, …”

    Pot calling the kettle black? There is no undeniable proof that evolution has, does, or will exists. Its a theory…one with more than a few unanswered holes. I’m not making a claim for creationism, and I’m not arguing against your outrage of the unsubstantiated link between evolution and Nazism. However, you seem to prove the point that its easy to let one’s ‘beliefs’ color his/her entire outlook on a given subject. When ever a topic like this is discussed, the phrase “I believe” should be sprinkle liberally throughout. That’s true for both sides of the discussion.

  196. Celtic_Evolution

    @ ccs

    Fail. Fail. Epic Fail. The words “I believe” really need not apply in any discussion of evolution. You can use the words “The evidence points to”, or “research has shown”… ‘belief’ is not pre-requisite. Can you say that with creationism?

    No pot. No kettle. The end.

  197. Swede

    Actually, they are right. Nazism was in many ways a reaction to darwinism which was quite young and heavily discussed at the time.

    The Nazis did everything they could to “clean” the gene pool, by executing disabled and sick people, making sure aryans had the most babies etc, the list goes on and on. It was very much a movement that was about “winning” the genetic war.

    I think you are making a big mistake by condemning the creationists for this, because they have A LOT of material to back these statements up. Anyone who has studied the nazis in school know about these things.

  198. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Swede

    Actually, no, they are not right.

    Did you read any of the posts above? This has been discusssed. Please read through the posts again. Nazi perversion of genetic superiority is no more a result of Darwinism or evolution than his persecution and killing of Jews was a result of Christianity. That is the whole point of the initial post.

    No-one is condemning the creationists for anything other than insinuating in the movie “expelled” that atheism leads to naziism. And for that they should be condemned if that is indeed the message.

  199. zato

    The driving motor of this world is EGOTISM.

    Muslims believe their God is the One True God-all others are infidels.

    Jews believe they are Gods chosen people, all others are not.

    Christian Evangelicals believe they are the true believers, all others will perish in the fires of Armageddon unless they accept Jesus Christ as their saviour. The muslim world, and especially Iran is seen as Satan.

    There is only one way this will end. The battle planning is already taking place. The world we know will be destroyed completely, and a new and very different world will begin.

  200. Joel

    Umm … if perhaps you took the time to examine actual history, you will see clearly that Hitler and Darwinism have a strong connection. Eugenics is the corner stone for movements such as Nazism, (Obviously) and Hitler most certainly did get his ideas from Evolutionary theories. (Also note I said ‘Theories’ that’s right, evolution is faith too … no matter how much you insist that it isn’t)

    Regardless, have fun with your Religion folks!

  201. themadlolscientist

    A squid may have superior fitness to a bird in deep sea, but he wouldn’t stay fit for long if he tried flying between trees.

    Don’t let PZ know you said that! The man just got done taking one for the team. How will he feel if he finds out someone over here is bashing on his beloved
    cephalopods?

    FYI: I don’t know about squid, but at least one species of octopus is perfectly at home in trees! 😀

  202. Pedr North

    I think this thread would benefit by replacing childish whimpers such as “epic fail” and “all lies” with well formulated arguments. Stop with the appeals to authority and general opinion, they only reveal your closed-mindedness and indoctrination. Don’t condescend to ridicule others’ egotism, it only draws attention to your own hypocrisy. Honestly this is pathetic – there is no real discussion going on here because most of what has been said is no more than an assemblage of fallacies strung up on a thread.

    And I have yet to hear a refutation to my previous post. Please read it and then explain to me, in clear detail so that my simple mind can be enlightened, how you justify condemning Hitler or anyone else for that matter.

  203. Here, Here!

    Well said Phil

  204. OK. Pedr North, I take the bait: Your claim (correct me if I’m wrong) is that atheists cannot have morals, because they do not recognize an absolute moral authority such as God. This is a logical argument, so lets treat it as such.

    The basis of “atheist morals”, if I may call it that for the time being, is:
    1. the well-established scientific theory of evolution (a scientific fact),
    2. the absence of an absolute moral authority (or “Truth”).

    Humans are social “animals”, in that we live in large groups (150 to 200 individuals in a group, according to anthropology). For these groups or societies to function properly, rules on how to behave towards others are necessary. According to “atheist morality” these rules are not handed down by a deity, but have evolved together with the social structure. In other words, morality has a strong in-born component.

    This does not mean that a complete moral structure is fully formed in any newborn baby, of course. Another important component to morality is the cultural aspect. This explains how different cultures have different moral rules, while at the same time there are many aspects they have in common (the no-killing-in-your-own-group rule is a good example). In our society there is a strong Christian component to morality, but this is due to history, rather than the existence of a God.

    Furthermore, the the theory of evolution predicts that all social animals must have behavioural rules that can be called a morality. Indeed, this is observed many times over.

    So in conclusion, there is no logical falacy in talking about atheist morals. You may not agree with the premises, but that is a completely different discussion.

  205. Alex

    Getting back to the main point again:

    “…since Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest”, why is it wrong to want to have a “master” race. Hitler’s idea of mass genocide to promote a master species should be considered a step forward in evolution and the survival of the fittest.”

    As I stated earlier, the concept of a “master race” is a peversion evolution. In evolutionary terms, “race” is a very recent and superficial phenomenon. DNA analysis, developed since Darwin’s time, shows this, as well as the fact that there is more genetic diversity in the African gene pool than anywhere else.
    Evolution works because of genetic variability, not some supposed desirable traits, which are based on cultural and ethnic prejudices.
    Restricting genetic variability renders populations more vulnerable if the “fitness landscape” changes. Therefore eugenics and the attempt to breed a “master race” are actually totally counterproductive.

    Add to this the fact that human societies have undergone economic and social evolution which insulates them from the unmediated effects of the biological landscape and the arguments against Darwinism as a *biological* theory fall apart.

    Get over it.

  206. Michael Lonergan

    @Mobo…
    I guess I just did a *facepalm* when I read your post. I can’t even respond. You bring up so many things. I thought we’fd dealt with before… :(

    On another note, I’d like to share an interesting thing that happened this evening. There was a get together in my town at a local pub. I went, and wish I hadn’t. One gentleman, and, sorry , but I use that term loosely, started railing against Muslims, stating that the US should incinerate 1.5 billion of them. WOW!

    Bringing it closer to home…. 12 years ago I had a work injury that has prevented me from working. WCB has stepped to the plate. I need to use a wheelchair at times. Fortunately not at this point. In the bar I was at, there was a young lady that was in a wheelchair since a young age due to an injury. She was having an awesome time on the dancefloor in her chair dancing with guys her age. I commented to the guy (anti-muslim) next to me, about how awesome it was to see that. His response:

    “That’s disgusting!” My response: “Well, when I’m in my chair, I wish I had what she had.” Here was a beautiful young lady that was determined to NOT allow the crap that life had dealt her stop her!

    Here’s a guy that obviously wishes that this young, disabled lady would just go away. Sound familiar? (This guy went on to say this beautiful young woman should just stay home…)

    To be honest, right now I’m in tears. People, what has happened to us? Screw A Higher Moral Authority! What happened to just being NICE to each other? Is this what we have been reduced to? Christian… your atheist neighbor?

    Atheist, your Christian neighbor?

    What if they had some urgent need? Would you discriminate against them because they were different than you?

    You know what… that’s all I’m going to say! It’s your choice! I know what I would do! Do the right thing!

  207. Michael Lonergan

    Pedr:
    i really don’t think you’ve read all of the well thought out posts here. Many people, myself included have, I believe, answered you challenge, before you issued it. In other words read the whole blog topic.

  208. Michael Lonergan

    @Mike:
    I glanced at your post. From what I scanned, it looked good, but I really have no desire to read it when the “F” bomb is dropped first sentence. On PZ’s blog, or my blog, that might be fine, but BA has stated repeatedly that this blog should be “Young person friendly”. He wants this to be able to be read in classrooms across the nation. Up til now, I found nothing objectionable. (Personally, the “F” bomb is nothing to me, but to kids that might access this blog….)

  209. Michael Lonergan

    But then, maybe you just don’t care…. Too bad, many of us that have been able to hold our emotions in check do care…

  210. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Pedr North

    “I think this thread would benefit by replacing childish whimpers such as “epic fail” and “all lies” with well formulated arguments. Stop with the appeals to authority and general opinion, they only reveal your closed-mindedness and indoctrination. Don’t condescend to ridicule others’ egotism, it only draws attention to your own hypocrisy. Honestly this is pathetic – there is no real discussion going on here because most of what has been said is no more than an assemblage of fallacies strung up on a thread.”

    Speaking of general opinions… *rolls eyes*.

    Fine… however in my post, after using the term “Epic Fail” I’m pretty sure I did follow it up with a pretty clear and well formulated argument. One which I might add, you don’t bolther to address… you just spout out the general “virtual tongue lashing”. I would pretty whole-heartedly disagree with your characterization that there is “no real discussion going on here”… As Michael Lonergan has already pointed out, it doesn’t really appear that you’ve taken the time to read the posts above.

  211. Michael Lonergan

    @ Celtic… I’m at the point where I say, What’s the point? Maybe it’s time to move on….

    And you did follow up with a reasoned argument… THX

  212. Celtic_Evolution

    Joel says:

    “Umm … if perhaps you took the time to examine actual history, you will see clearly that Hitler and Darwinism have a strong connection. Eugenics is the corner stone for movements such as Nazism, (Obviously) and Hitler most certainly did get his ideas from Evolutionary theories. (Also note I said ‘Theories’ that’s right, evolution is faith too … no matter how much you insist that it isn’t)”

    OK… and perhaps if you’d read through the posts before remarking… you’d have already reviewed the posts that deal with Eugenics and Darwinism and evolution. As Torbjorn Larsson has already stated, and then re-quoted:

    “As regards eugenics IIRC Darwin himself pointed out the problem with continuous artificial selection for traits. Loss of variance (”selective sweeps”) means less raw material for evolution to work on in case the environment changes, say by introduction of new diseases. His theory explains why eugenics isn’t evolution nor a good politics.”

    This has been covered here. Please read.

    Oh, and evolution is not faith… no matter how much you insist that it is. Luckily for me, I don’t need to simply “insist” that something like evolution is “fact” in order for it to be given merit. I’ll leave that to religion, thanks.

  213. Celtic_Evolution

    Michael…

    Perhaps you’re right… perhaps we’re wading into “wrestling with a pig” territory.

    And before anyone get offended, I’m not calling anyone a pig. If you’re a regular here, you’ll get the reference.

  214. Dee

    Happy Easter, everyone.

  215. Celtic_Evolution

    And to you, Dee…

  216. Pedr

    I understand your point that correlation is not necessary causation. Perhaps if Hitler had had a better understanding of Darwinism he would have understood the unscientific nature of his actions.

    My point is that Darwinism supplies no basis on which to condemn the atrocities of Hitler, unless you wish to establish scientific fact as moral imperative. Even that begs further questioning. In a Darwinistic context, Hitler was right to do what he did so long as he had the power. Atheist philosophers such as Nietzsche would have supported his claim to superiority of will. Atheism must conclude Hitler was only wrong because he lost, and our society arbitrarily judged his acts evil. Outside of an irrational (almost faith-like?) call to “niceness”, there exists no reason to condemn Hitler. If he had succeeded he would have been in the right, that is the outcome of natural selection.

    Even if it were to be proven that Hitler’s actions stemmed from religious beliefs, Darwinism provides no basis by which to condemn either the actions or the religious beliefs. That is why atheistic argument on matters of right and wrong is self-defeating.

    Whether or not evolutionary theory by necessity leads to eugenics, it cannot condemn it. That is why Nazism and Darwinism are logical allies.

    Please spare me the fallacious verbal derision and simply respond to my argument.

  217. TheBlackCat

    Pedr, please read the comments here. Your questions have already been dealt with at length. You don’t even seem to have read the comments that have been posted since you started commenting. For instance Cectic deals with your claims on purely scientific grounds just 4 posts above yours, and Alex does the same a bit earler. Pieter deals with the scientific basis for morality.

  218. James Reynolds

    Huh. The tagline on the ‘Expelled’ website says “Big Science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom… What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel! (Capitalization theirs).

    So. Ben Stein is a rebel. The word starts with a capital, so he must be a great rebel.

    Who is the Great Rebel?

    Satan.

    Ben Stein is Satan! Q. E. D.

  219. Quiet_Desperation

    Thomas Siefert said “–Shakes Magic 8-Ball= Signs point to yes.”

    Bah! You’re not using the new Quantum 8-Ball which takes parallel universes into account.

    Shakes -Quantum 8-Ball-

    “Answer hazy. Try again later.”

    Hmm.

    Shakes -Quantum 8-Ball-

    “Answer hazy. Try again later.”

    Um…

    Shakes -Quantum 8-Ball-

    “Answer hazy. Try again later.”

    Never mind…

  220. Quiet_Desperation

    The sad thing for me is that I learned a lot about finance and investing from Ben Stein. I’m probably going to be able to retire early at 50 thanks in no small part to his writings on those matters.

  221. BAC

    There is one theater event everyone SHOULD see, and that is the simulcast produced by First Freedom First, playing March 26 in 37 theaters nationwide. The show, “Everything you always wanted to know about Separation of Church and State … but were afraid to ask!” addresses this issue, and will feature one of the families involved in the Dover, PA, intelligent design case.

    Check http://www.firstfreedomfirst.org for a theater near you!

    BAC

  222. Michael Lonergan

    Pedr,
    Atheism does not reject morality. To say that an atheist, (BTW, which I am not), has no basis on which to condemn Hitler makes no sense. Could moral ethics not be a part of the evolutionary process? Why does one have to appeal to a higher power?

  223. Pedr,
    Sorry but it’s very hard for me not to fall into verbal derision considering the arguments you use and the fact that you don’t seem to read the responses that were provided to your objections.

    So my response is derision and serious at the same time – take it the way you can: Nouvelle cuisine cannot condemn eugenics. That is why Nazism and nouvelle cuisine are logical allies.

    As mentioned by others: serious arguments were provided by others. It’s up to you to take them seriously.

    Erik

  224. Pedr

    Clearly you misunderstand my argument. I have not claimed that an atheist cannot believe in moral constructs of human society brought about by man’s social evolution. That is precisely what an atheist must believe. But these moral constructs vary from culture to culture, as Pietr noted “different cultures have different moral rules”.

    Yet there is no absolute Moral Rule by which to judge one culture’s moral rule from another. Therefore, if a moral rule evolves in Nazi Germany that calls for fascist government and the extermination of the Jewish people, one can only call it “wrong” according to the moral rule which has evolved in one’s own culture.

    In a world where each man is a law unto himself, you cannot call anyone truly “unlawful”. You can only deem him to be in a state of opposition to yourself. After that it’s all simply a matter of power. To take a hypothetical situation: had Germany succeeded in the second world war, they would have been in the “right” because the “right” would have evolved by the imposition of their cultural moral rule over all others.

    I have read the discussions in this thread, and none have actually addressed the argument I’ve set forth here. Yes I hear your appeal that science does not support eugenics. I do not deny that an atheist can hold to a moral construct. But without an absolute Moral Law there is no reason to prefer one morality over another except according to the force of their will.

  225. Owlmirror

    But without an absolute Moral Law there is no reason to prefer one morality over another except according to the force of their will.

    Oddly enough, those who claim that there is an absolute Moral Law will, on the one hand, argue over what that absolute Moral Law is, and on the other hand, act as though they had dispensation to violate that Moral Law. That is, they are all too often hypocrites.

    Seriously, what is this “absolute Moral Law” of which you speak?

  226. Michael Lonergan

    Pedr,

    I think most cultures would find the wholesale massacre of more than 6 million people a little disturbing. As I stated previously, Hitler would never have gotten away with it had he tried it the day after coming to power. It was a process of indoctrination, as well as many other factors that led to the situation in Germany. Even in that situation, many German people were appalled at what had become of their civilized society, and hid Jews, and other minorities.

    Similarly, there were many Japanese people that were appalled at what had become of their culture. You cannot blame a particular philosophy for the tragedy of the Holocaust. It boils down to one man, Adolf Hitler, that was so twisted demented, who perverted whatever he happened to believe.

  227. Pedr,
    Did you say “an absolute Moral Law”? One problem I see is that there are different “absolute moral laws” around. And there seem to exist quite some differences between them – and a lot of room for interpretations of “absolute”, “moral” and “law”.

    Another problem is that “absolute moral laws” existed at the time of Nazi Germany – and failed to prevent the catastrophy from happening. So “absolute moral laws” were not much of a help either.

    Moreover “absolute moral laws” were used in various places and times to justify massacres that may not have had the extend of what the Nazi or Communist regimes did, but it was only a matter of technology in my eyes.

    The real problem I see is the respect/empathy (and here I remember Michael’s post about the young lady in a wheelchair) you have for other humans/beings, whether you are willing to categorize them in good (worth being loved, protected etc) and bad (not worth being loved, maybe worth being hated, and if it really gets bad, not worth being left alive…). And, as far as this is concerned, I see many religions/”absolute moral laws” preaching respect/love but letting humans nature’s tendency to its “dark side” take the upperhand when times get tough/when an “Enemy” is identified.

    So what? My two cents: Darwin/evolution/science is not The Enemy. Atheism is not The Root Of All Evil. Religion is not The Guarranty That Good Will Always Win – or will ever win. We – wherever we are, whoever we are, whatever we believe – are responsible for what we do and let others (Hitler/Stalin/…) do. We failed in the past, are probably failing today and will fail again tomorrow and the days after. But we should continue trying.

    Others already told similar things as I did above in this thread. If this doesn’t satisfy you, may I ask you what you long for? What is your “Thruth” and what makes you think that it will never fail?

  228. Owlmirror

    You cannot blame a particular philosophy for the tragedy of the Holocaust. It boils down to one man, Adolf Hitler, that was so twisted demented, who perverted whatever he happened to believe.

    I think that’s too simplified. As already noted, it was not just Hitler; it was everyone who followed him, everyone who agreed with his politics, everyone who helped him, everyone who worked for him, and even those who disagreed with him yet who nevertheless fought for him.

  229. John D

    These people are shooting themselves in the foot with this movie. That’s the best thing to leave wacky fundies to do: Discredit themselves. Just let them talk and express their thoughts.

  230. Michael Lonergan

    Owl, I agree my comment was very simplified, there are many factors involved, and I did address that earlier. I’m not a scientist, and really addressing the evolutionary aspect of morality is beyond my scope. Many others have done that here far more effectively. These are just my thoughts on this matter.

    Quiet made the comment about being able to retire early because of what he learned from Stein. The man shouldn’t be vilified for everything he represents because he has made a movie containing statements such as this. (It does deserve to be critiqued, though.)

    When BA makes a post about religion, there are those that criticize him as going beyond his scope of expertise. To my knowledge, Phil does not have a degree in Theology. Some of us do, myself included. Should BA not post comments regarding religion? Of course he should! Some would argue otherwise. If you are a regular here, you have seen comments inviting Phil to keep his religious, or political comments to himself. I have seen several people vow not to return to this Blog. That is too bad. I don’t agree with everything he posts. (BSG started to go downhill in season 3! Get a life and keep your opinion to yourself! :) ) I’m not going to stop being informed by the many people whom I have come to respect for their thought provoking insights, even though I disagree sometimes.

    So, let Stein make his movie. Let others comment on it.

  231. Michael Lonergan

    Incidentally the guy that made the comments about the young lady, also went on to rail against the Muslims… He wants to kill them all before they kill us. Oh, and he claims we can do it because we are christians… Needless to say, it provided for an interesting evening of “entertainment.” NOT

  232. Celtic_Evolution

    Jonah –

    *sigh* would people PLEASE take the time to read through these posts before, again, commenting on topics that have been discussed, ad nauseum.

    your first link – better get cracking at understanding the difference between Darwinism as it relates to the science of evolution and the perversion of that science that leads to mis-nomers like Social Darwinism… which Darwin himself had nothing to do with.

    Did you even read the whole Wiki page before linking to it to support your position? If you did, you might have thought twice, considering the following post from Wikipedia’s own page on Social Darwinism:

    “Despite the fact that social Darwinism bears Darwin’s name and his works were widely read by social Darwinists, the theory also draws on the work of many authors, including Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus, and Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics. Darwin himself gave serious consideration to Galton’s work, but thought the ideas of “hereditary improvement” impractical.”

    So let’s dispose of your first link, shall we?

    Your second link, the link to Eugenics… again, we have already discussed this… I can’t believe I have to quote this again from Torbjorn… but here it is:

    “As regards eugenics IIRC Darwin himself pointed out the problem with continuous artificial selection for traits. Loss of variance (”selective sweeps”) means less raw material for evolution to work on in case the environment changes, say by introduction of new diseases. His theory explains why eugenics isn’t evolution nor a good politics.”

    So can we please stop trying to infer that eugenics are in any way a NATURAL by-product of evolutionary theory? If the nazis decided to infer that link, then they were sadly misled about how evolution works. And that’s THEIR problem, NOT evolutionary theory’s.

    Your third link points to a segment of Wikipedia’s section on Nazi Ideology and gives references to several sources for its racist philosophies. And I’m guessing YOU pointed to it for its reference to eugenics. Read above for the eugenics answer. Again. And then again, since it doesn’t seem to be sinking in. And ALSO note that in this section that you quoted, nowhere does it mention Darwin or Darwinism.

    Your fourth link… again with the eugenics. Covered. Over and over.

    So I think it is perhaps you that needs to get cracking on removing that indoctrinated link that someone has smushed into your head that Darwinism = Eugenics. It doesn’t, except for those who choose to insist that it does for their own goals. And those people are just… well… wrong.

  233. dave

    Just to clarify things, Hitler and many of his follower inherited their racist anti Jewish ideas from their Christian culture, in Hitler’s case from his Roman Catholic upbringing, and in Germany there was a huge influence from Martin Luther’s “The Jews and their Lies”. Many Christians didn’t hold these views, and there were brave Roman Catholics who stood against Hitler’s regime, but there was a long background of Christian hatred of Jews.

    Hitler didn’t acknowledge Darwin as an influence, and in early writings set out Creationist ideas. He and the Nazis explicitly endorsed the “scientific” ideas of de Gobineau, who published ideas of racial mixing leading to degeneration BEFORE Darwin published on Evolution. Darwin took the opposite view, that hybrids tended to be sturdier, but the whole Nazi idea was based on this nonsense about pure races being “contaminated” by the blood of “inferior races”.

    A related point – Darwin was always strongly against slavery, and to support his evolutionary ideas argued that humans were all one species, with vague and indefinable boundaries between ethnic groups. His principal opponent in the US, the creationist Louis Agassiz, argued that human races were different species, with the negroes an inferior species. The argument as to whether humanity was one or several species wasn’t tidily divided on creationist / evolutionary lines, but Darwin was strongly convinced of the essential unity of humanity, with differences being largely cultural rather than innate.

  234. Mike

    “Social Darwinism” and the “Scientific Theory of Evolution” are two completely different things. Do we attack democracy when an idiot president commandeers it for his own twisted agenda? Do we give up capitalism when some fascist country uses it for gain? Do we stop drinking our favorite beverage or driving our favorite car because some tyrant liked it? Can you imagine… sorry, evil dictator created this “Peoples’ Car”, I’ll never drive one, or evil dictator drank coffee, I will never drink it again. IDIOTS.

  235. Diocletion

    The article indicate that this movie is founded on the basis of falsehoods and hoodwinks but how is this any different from what the acclaimed Michael Moore has done with his “documentaries.” At least with this film, we know that it is pushing the agenda of Creationism from the very get-go. However, Michael Moore makes his movies seem squeaky clean when in reality they are far from it and the public devours his lies and thirsts for his next “documentary.” Let Creationists have this movie, if people feel strongly for atheism then let them be but, also, leave the Creationists alone for their belief.

    For the Atheists: “Lack of evidence does not equate lack of existence.”
    For Christians/Creationists: “This country is based on religious freedom, so us practice what we will.”

    This movie isn’t about evolution or sparking the debate about the horrors of Nazi Germany, instead, it represents a fundamental divide in American views that have strayed from our initial foundation.

  236. pcarini

    @ccs:
    (http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/03/21/creationism-evolution-and-nazis-yes-nazis/#comment-164066)
    “I find it interesting that you are so outraged by a false claim yet in the same breath say:

    ‘Evolution, like all of reality, is a fact, …’

    Pot calling the kettle black? There is no undeniable proof that evolution has, does, or will exists. Its a theory…one with more than a few unanswered holes. …”

    Evolution is indeed an observed fact. A fact you will have to contend with next time you require an antibiotic. Saying evolution is real is similar to saying that humans are carbon-based lifeforms or that 2+2=4. Your issue (I assume) is with the Theory of evolution by natural selection (ToE, for brevity), which is a scientific theory that attempts to explain _why_ the observed fact of evolution happens.

    The ToE has been fantastically successful, as far as scientific theories go, in that it has mountains of reliable fact supporting it, all consistent with other branches of modern science, and most importantly NO extant facts that contradict it. Gaps in our current knowledge, “unanswered holes”, in no way invalidate any theory, that would take actual contradictory evidence. This doesn’t mean that “anything goes”, a scientific theory has to make testable predictions to be considered as such, and if the tests fail then the theory has to be revised or scrapped.

    You should read up on what a theory is, and the scientific method before you get anywhere near arguing about “proof”.. Science is the game and it has rules.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    Apologies for the long post, but I hadn’t seen anyone hammer this particular fallacy down yet (I was waiting on you actual scientists, I guess you’re sick of the endless repetition of the basics…).

    -pc

    ps, in re: Hitler + Darwinism, here are two quotes:

    “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)

    “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

    Will those of you who claim Darwinism was responsible for the atrocities of Nazi Germany please supply me with just ONE verifiable quote from Hitler (or any other high ranking Nazi) supporting your claim?

  237. pcarini

    @Diocletionon – Which American views are the ones that have “strayed from our initial foundation”? If you weren’t referencing separation of church and state you’ve got some serious explaining to do…

    My last attempt at a post didn’t make it past the spam filter; I don’t know if it was length or links but I’ll try to briefly recap:

    @ccs, who says “”I find it interesting that you are so outraged by a false claim yet in the same breath say:
    ‘Evolution, like all of reality, is a fact, …’
    Pot calling the kettle black?”

    1) Evolution is an observed fact, saying it happens is like saying the Earth’s atmosphere contains Nitrogen and Oxygen, it simply cannot be rationally and logically disputed. Consider evolution a fact next time you’re prescribed a non-penicillin antibiotic.

    2) The theory of evolution by natural selection (ToE, for brevity) is likely what your dispute is. It’s a scientific theory, which is separate from observed facts, and tries to explain them.

    3) The ToE is remarkably successful, as far as scientific theories go. It has mountains of established fact supporting it, has consilience with the other modern sciences, and has NO reliable, established facts that contradict it.

    4) Gaps in a theory don’t render it invalid, facts render a theory invalid, if they contradict it. This doesn’t mean that anything goes, a theory has to make testable predictions, which the ToE does. Better yet, the results of the tests support the ToE.

    Read up on the scientific method before you start arguing about “proof”, bubba. Wikipedia’s a great place to start, I’d add links but I’m worried about the spam filter.

    -pc

    p.s. – in re: Hitler and Darwinism, here are two quotes:

    “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)

    “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

    Will those of you who claim Darwinism was responsible for the atrocities of Nazi Germany please supply me with just ONE verifiable quote from Hitler (or a high ranking member of Nazi leadership) supporting your claim?

  238. Deir Yassin's Ghost

    # Kullat Nunuon 21 Mar 2008 at 4:45 pm
    One sickening thing about discussions about Nazi crimes is that it is rare the other victims are mentioned. Peoples such as Romas, Poles, Slavs, Soviet prisoners of war, pacifists, gays, disabled people, mental patients and many others were sent to the concentration camps too. Although the exact figures may forever remain unknown, it is possible that at least half of the victims were not Jews. They don’t have memorials like the one in Berlin.

    Very true. There have also been far worse atrocities in history than the Nazi Holocaust (or “Shoah”) esp. when taking the near-total extermination of indigenous world cultures and peoples into account. The Native Americans’, Australian Indigenous peoples, the Caribbean islanders – the one’s who actually met Columbus when he first arrived in the West Indies etc … All suffered far worse devasation through genocide than did the Ashkenazi (Western) Jews. Unlike the Jews they have few if any memorials, few if any special days or any of that jazz set aside to remember them!

    How about considering the genocide against the Armenians or on-going genocides happening with the Tibetans, Darfuri’s or the Palestineans?

    Are they any less human? Are their sufferings less “valid”, less significant than the Jewish victims? I don’t think so! Why is it always the Jewish sufferings in history that get recognised and emphasised over other equally bad or worse events???

    Yes the Shoah did happen & 5 or so million were brutally killed … but, well, the way its constantly being hammered at us all, you’d think the Jews were the only people in history to have suffered anything which is utter BS.

    Not only that you’d think the jews were themsleves flawless, saints whereas in some cases (Palestineans, Canaanites, Amalekites, Samaritans, Lebanese, Moabites, etc ..) the Jews have been or are the group inflicting the persecutions and genocides – but that hardly ever comes up does it! So much for “never again!” If that were the case the Israelis would not be murdering the women and children of Gaza or advocating a US-Israeli militrary holocaust vaporising Iran ..! (Because of course the thing the South-West Asian / Islamic World / Middle-East region really needs is yet another Amercian war – right?)

    Not that this makes the Shoah right or justifies peresecuting them in any way but still. The Jews are _not_ perfect – their very religion divides Humanity into twelve nomadic tribes (2 surviving) that are God’s Chosen Race vs everyone else on the planet! (The Goyim who by inference God rejected ..) That sounds pretty ugly and racist to me …

    Youhave towonder if it’s just because of their disproportionate wealth, control over the mainstream media and hugely disproportionate political influence that the Jews are the only ones whose suffferings deserve recognition and who are deserve a special nation-state of their own fundamentalists to never-be-criticised by anyone? (However rational and reasonable such criticism may be!)

    On the more direct part of the topic now :

    Hitler was a human being. Horrible truth. He was a charismatic, deranged human individual who believed and said a whole ton of stuff which was -for the most part – rubbish.* He mis-used some elements of Christianity which were exploited and warped, decryed others elements of it as much or even more. Equally Hitler adopted and warped elements of ancient pagan Germanic mythology plus concepts of eugenics & social Darwinism. Hitler created the ideology of Nazism, its own semi-religious mindset which is justifiably reviled as a concoction of mad, bad and dangerous nonsense.

    The Disco ‘tute and other fundamentalist Christian groups are factually wrong and misleadingly to state Hitler’s beliefs had anything to do wuth darwin’s or modern Evoliutionary theories.

    Extreme atheists also are factually wrong and misleading when they call Hitler a Christian. Oh, & for whatever its worth I’m an agnostic who sees much wrong with religious intolerance and the conduct of those who have used religion to justify evils such as the many genocides of indigneous peoples all around the globe.

    I also disagree with the Godwin’s law concept – sometimes parallels to issue / person X and the Nazis are worth pointing out and valid. Using “Godwins law” to end or limit debate or to state that one side loses is a method of fighting free and passionate speech which I find objectionable – every bit as much as the old canard that everyone who makes reasonable crittiques of Judaism must be either anti-semitic (actually an ignorant mis-use of the term ‘Semitic’ – ‘Semites’ includes Arabs too!) or a ‘self-hating Jew’. Neither is usually the case – & neither applies to me!

    As for the “expelled’ ID~oit Kreationist propaganda flick I wouldn’t waste my time or money on seeing it – from everything I’ve heard, from sources I trust (incl. here in this blog! 😉 ) its a pack of lies from a group of liars & is best countered by debunking and /or depriving of publicity.

    ———

    * Stuff Hitler said that wasn’t rubbish? : Well he was probably correct when he told Eva Baruan about his love for her, probably honest in hs vegetarianism and his non-smoking beliefs -he wasn’t wrongabout everything although everything he advocated has to bear the taint of that bad association. Whatever Hitler said or didn’t say, believed or didn’t believe in is mostly irrelevant to any argument for or against it.

  239. Michael Lonergan

    Celtic Said:
    “Shoot… I wish you’d have clarified that BEFORE I sent the email to the FBI, Michael. Curse my inability to correctly interpret sarcasm! :)”

    Would that explain those black Cadillacs sitting outside my house? Also, I get this uneast feeling that I’m being watched…. Hmm?

  240. Deir Yassin's Ghost

    {EXPLETEIVES!} typos! :-(

    Stuff Hitler said that wasn’t rubbish? : Well he was probably correct when he told Eva Baruan about his love for her,

    That’s Eva Braun of course.

    More corrections :

    The Disco ‘tute and other fundamentalist Christian groups are factually wrong and misleadingly to state Hitler’s beliefs had anything to do with Darwin’s or modern Evolutionary theories.

    You have to wonder if it’s just because of their disproportionate wealth, control over the mainstream media and hugely disproportionate political influence that the Jews are the only ones whose suffferings deserve recognition and who are deserve a special nation-state of their own fundamentalists to never-be-criticised by anyone? (However rational and reasonable such criticism may be!)

    Added note :

    You also have to wonder : why the Jews who comprise less than 2 % of the US population :

    1) get to run the US foreign policy incl. launching wars that are in Israel’s intrests and not America’s

    2) enable the funding,arming and support of Israel by the USA – a nation-state that is based on racism (or religious-ism?) as bad as Apartheid South Africa’s if not worse. (ie. A state any jew can automatically emigrate to, that excludes and oppresses the indigenous Palestinean Arab population making them second or even fifth class citizens in their own country ..)

    3) still call themsleves victims and fear being “persecuted” by others when they get to pretty much run things for their own benefit and to the detriment of all other groups in society. (Except maybe ‘Apocalyptic Christian’s for Israel” if you don’t call that their front.)

    Isn’t it time we in the Western world asked ourselves seriously whether the existence of a Jewish fundamentalist military theocracy was -_really_ worth risking destroying potentially our whole planet?

    I suggest Jews do the Western world – and themselves – a huge favour by making a noble gesture and shift Israel to New York and surrounds; bankrupting their over-funded ,over-represented group in bringing it’s people out of an area where they’re never going to be welcome into either the US or Germany where they will be out of harms way and no longer perpetuating one of history’s worst injustices and providing the world’s most dangerous flashpoints and trouble-spots.

  241. Michael Lonergan

    Deir Yassin’s Ghost

    I think those are some valid points. It does seem to be that questioning Israeli policy is a taboo of sorts, and FSM forbid if a politician ever question it.

    When one does question it, it seems to draw out the Anti-semitism card. Maybe this is because of the emotionally charged issue of the holocaust.

    Hopefully rational people from all sides of the questions this post has brought up can prevail.

  242. Deir Yassin’s Ghost,

    I hope you realize that by repeatedly talking about “the Jews” as a whole, you do invite the label of anti-semitism, just like people who write a long post about the general faults of “the blacks” sound racist. You do have some valid points, but you oversimplify. I know many Jews and Israelis, and none of them fit your description. In particular, they disagree with many policies of the Israeli government regarding the Palestinians. The reason for this is that most Israeli governments must have the backing of the ultra-conservative religious Shas party.

  243. Pieter Kok posts:

    [[Barton, is this really necessary? We were having such a civilized discussion before you turned up.]]

    Awwww, poor Pieter. He bit a wooden leg and his teeth hurt.

  244. Mike, your Danish example would be less amusing if you had realized before writing it that Denmark has a state church and state-supported religious education.

  245. Oh, and there are lots of women who don’t think the free-and-easy Danish approach to prostitution and pornography is so liberal. States like that tend to work out very well for pimps and johns; not so much for the prostitutes themselves, who are generally treated like sh*t even in Denmark.

  246. Itsamemario posts:

    [[The book Darwin’s Plantation actually shows proof that Darwin used evolution to support racism]]

    Darwin held some of the racist views that were common in his days, but as a practical matter he was one of the most non-racist individuals back then. He was a fierce Abolitionist and nearly got thrown off the Beagle for vehemently talking against slavery. And the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, in addition to being a devout Anglican all his life, was one of the very few non-racists in the 19th century European community. He publicly opposed the idea that black people were any less intelligent than whites in a time when the mental inferiority of black people was part of the scientific consensus.

  247. Joe writes:

    [[I think the point was that since Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest”, why is it wrong to want to have a “master” race. Hitler’s idea of mass genocide to promote a master species should be considered a step forward in evolution and the survival of the fittest.]]

    There are a number of misconceptions here. First, there is no intrinsic direction or drive to evolution, so talk about “a step forward in evolution” is meaningless. Second, evolution is a natural phenomenon, not something to derive a moral system from. Natural selection happens. So do volcanoes, but no one is trying to produce the next step forward in volcanoes. Cancer happens, but no one (barring possible the tobacco companies) is trying to promote cancer.

    The theory of evolution exists simply and solely to explain biological diversity and to find out how different organisms are related to one another. It’s not an ethic, a worldview, or a cause; it’s a theory in biology.

    There are people who try to make a worldview out of evolution, but they are generally not biologists — the late Henri Bergson, e.g., or Daniel Dennett.

  248. Milliner writes:

    [[Religion is propaganda towards instilling fearful obedience, and nothing but a tool of fascism.]]

    What was it before 1922?

  249. Frank Oswalt writes:

    [[First: where do you get your morals and values? Not from the Bible, unless you believe that rape, incest, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, infanticide and many other atrocities condoned in the Bible are good things.]]

    I think you have “condoned” confused with “depicted.”

  250. Michael Lonergan

    Pietr,
    That’s why I used the term Israeli, to distinguish between the 2. We simply cannot brand an entire race…

  251. Israelis are citizens of Israel. There are plenty of non-religious Jews outside of Israel.

  252. Michael Lonergan posts:

    [[Seems to me that the OT contains many instances where God Himself transgressed His own moral law, starting with “Thou Shalt not kill…”]]

    God creates life and he has the moral authority to take it away. That’s why when somebody treats people arbitrarily or is careless about life and death we say he is “playing God.”

    No one ever dies except because God does something to him, or more likely, ceases to do something to him. If you want to call that murder by God you can, but that’s defining all killing as murder, which is like defining all sex as adultery.

  253. mobo writes:

    [[Someone should also ask him about World Trade Center Building 7 and the Mossad agents arrested in the area.]]

    mobo, those Mossad agents may be trying to use radio waves to read your thoughts at this very moment. If I were you, I’d quickly fashion a hat out of aluminum foil and wear it 24/7.

  254. zato writes:

    [[Evangelical Christians have turned “religion” into into exclusivity and egotism. ]]

    All of them? Darn, they’re a scary religious minority, aren’t they? Maybe we should make them wear something distinctive so the rest of us can avoid them — a yellow star on the breast pocket would do.

  255. Pedr writes:

    [[My point is that Darwinism supplies no basis on which to condemn the atrocities of Hitler, unless you wish to establish scientific fact as moral imperative.]]

    I agree, it doesn’t. But your assumption is that “Darwinists” (evolutionary biologists?), think it does. I certainly think Darwin was right about evolution, but I don’t get my morals from evolution — I get them from the Bible, being a born-again Christian. You can’t conflate Darwinism with atheism. Two different things. Some of the greatest evolutionary biologists have been devout theists of one stripe or another — Alfred Russel Wallace (Anglican), Theodosius Dobzhansky (Eastern Orthodox), Teilhard de Chardin and Francisco Ayala (Roman Catholic), even Ken Miller (evangelical Christian). Accepting evolution doesn’t mean you derive your moral system from evolution, any more than accepting plate tectonics means you think it’s a moral imperative to aid continental drift.

  256. Deir Yassin’s Ghost writes:

    [[Are their sufferings less “valid”, less significant than the Jewish victims? I don’t think so! Why is it always the Jewish sufferings in history that get recognised and emphasised over other equally bad or worse events??? … Not only that you’d think the jews were themsleves flawless, saints whereas in some cases (Palestineans, Canaanites, Amalekites, Samaritans, Lebanese, Moabites, etc ..) the Jews have been or are the group inflicting the persecutions and genocides – but that hardly ever comes up does it!]]

    Constantly, from antisemites like yourself. And I don’t think Jews have been inflicting “genocide” on Palestinians or Lebanese. The PLO killed a lot more Lebanese civilians (about 100,000 according to most estimates), in a lot nastier ways, than the Israelis ever did. And the Israelis specifically try not to target civilians, which is more than you can say for Hamas or Fatah for most of its history.

  257. Deir Yassin rambles on with the paranoid antisemitism:

    [[You have to wonder if it’s just because of their disproportionate wealth, control over the mainstream media and hugely disproportionate political influence that the Jews are the only ones whose suffferings deserve recognition and who are deserve a special nation-state of their own fundamentalists to never-be-criticised by anyone?]]

    No, I think it’s more their ability to avoid run-on sentences.

  258. Michael Lonergan loses all respect in my eyes by responding to Deir Yassin’s antisemitic posts:

    [[I think those are some valid points.]]

    If you think that Jews run American foreign policy you’re a fool.

  259. Celtic_Evolution

    Barton says:

    “No one ever dies except because God does something to him, or more likely, ceases to do something to him.”

    Really? If the Great Flood surrounding the story of Noah’s ark is true… how many people likely perished in that event? Who dispatched of those wretched souls, exactly? Neptune?

  260. Celtic_Evolution

    Barton –

    Concerning Deir Yassin’s posts… I think I’m going to have to agree with you on this one to a large degree. I tried to read some of the content of the post(s) but came away feeling like much of what was said did, at the very least, border on anti-semetic generalism.

    Maybe I’m wrong about that, and in truth I couldn’t get past that feeling enough to read the post in full context.

    So I’ll ask you directly, Deir Yassin’s Ghost… is your post meant to indicate a leaning towards an anti-semetic point of view? If not, then I’d have to wonder where you’re coming from… I think I agree with Pieter Kok that your post seems to over-simplify some very complicated issues and that as a result you do come off sounding quite anti-semetic…

  261. Celtic_Evolution

    I said a couple of posts ago –

    “Really? If the Great Flood surrounding the story of Noahâ??s ark is trueâ?¦ how many people likely perished in that event? Who dispatched of those wretched souls, exactly? Neptune?”

    Tragically, I failed to read Barton’s comment accurately, which was: “No one ever dies EXCEPT because God does something to him, or more likely, ceases to do something to him.” (Emphasis mine).

    Your statement now makes sense to me, I retract my prior post, and admit that I need to read what I comment on a bit more carefully.

    My bad.

  262. Michael Lonergan

    BPL, no, you obviously did not actually READ my post following:

    My point was that it is a Taboo to criticize ISRAELI policy, without fearing the reprisal of anti-semitism. The point I thought was valid, is in terms of criticism. I do not agree that Jews control world banking, entertainment, nor is there a global zionist conspiracy.

    I do believe that the Israeli treatment of Palestinians is despicable, as are Palestinian terrorist acts against Israel. Before you make such rash calls to judgment, maybe take the time to actually READ what has been written.

    Yassin:

    Your comment about moving Israel to New York has been made previously in another entry, either by you or someone else. IT is simply an absurd comment. Also to put all of the blame on the Jews for the troubles in the Mid-East shows a complete lack of knowledge of the long troubled history of this region, dating back to the days of Abraham.

    My criticism is not levelled at the Jews as a race, but at a nation, whose policies I often question. Questioning those policies does NOT mean I question Israel’s right to exist. They do have that right. They, and their Arab neighbors have a responsibility to work out a way to live together in peace and security.

    Terrorist acts against Israel do not help this process. Neither does Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

  263. Michael Lonergan

    BPL, yes, Denmark has a State Church, the Dutch Reformed Church… what’s your point? Hardly anyone attends it. Again, my point,which you obviously failed to grasp was this: A liberal society has not gone down to hell in a hand basket, as many right wing fundamentalists predict will happen if we allow such things as gay marriage for one. (I fail to understand the Christian pre-occupation with gay sex. Do they think that everytime a gay couple gets married a straight couple gets divorced. There’s a joke that goes something like this: Gay people are wanting the same rights as straight couples, to get married and live their lives in misery! It was a JOKE BPL!)

    “States like that tend to work out very well for pimps and johns; not so much for the prostitutes themselves, who are generally treated like sh*t even in Denmark.”

    I guess the free health care, regular AIDS testing and relative safety of red light districts with Government sanctioned “places of, ummmm…. ok brothels) is so much more dangerous than the sleazy drags of North American cities, where prostitutes are jacked up on crack all the time…

    I did not say Denmark has a perfect society, but it is certainly not the place of anarchy one would be led to believe.

  264. Michael Lonergan

    BPL: God creates life and has the moral authority to take it away”

    By this logic, one could state, since I fathered my children, giving them life, I have the right to take it away.

    BTW, that happens to be your belief, that God has the moral authority to take life away. What is that moral authority based upon? If one reads the end of the book (Bible), what is one to make of the writhing masses of people squirming and wailing in a lake of fire, being punished for eternity, just because they peed Big Daddy off? Come on, I thought you were much more intelligent than this.

    When one reads the account of God’s dealing with humanity, especially in the OT, one is led to the conclusion of His instability, and propensity for sadistic punishment and wanton destruction.

    A show of hands from those that have read the Bible, and because of what they have read, have decided that such a “loving, compassionate Father in Heaven” displays all the attributes of, and acts like a complete psychopath?

  265. Todd

    @Michael Lonergan

    I don’t think that God, if he/she/it exists, is necessarily a psychopath…it’s just that the personality, as depicted in the Bible, has as many facets and political agendas as there are authors of said collection of stories.

  266. As I said on Digg:
    For a docufilm that has been so heavy on advertising, I’ve been a little weary about what all the fuss was about. A mediocre “celebrity” with the belief that evolution is all lies and actually creationism is what it’s all about? I think I’ll pass. Oh, I’ve blocked the film’s advertising on my Google Ads, was getting sick and tired seeing Ben Stein in shorts on http://www.astroengine.com. I hope the Google Ad bill is higher than the revenue he generates from this sad movie.

  267. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Whack-a-creo on a snowy day:

    @ ccs:

    There is no undeniable proof that evolution has, does, or will exists.

    There is no proof in any science. Proofs are for formal systems.

    Science use evidence of facts and tests. 29+ evidences for evolution is listed, the basic data and tests that convinced all of biology that evolution is a validated theory starting from 150 years back. The we have the fact that evolution is an observable process all by itself, an observation going back at least 200 years.

    And of course, there is no competing scientific theory on the basic process of life.

  268. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Pedr:

    My point is that Darwinism supplies no basis on which to condemn the atrocities of Hitler, unless you wish to establish scientific fact as moral imperative.

    What is this “darwinism” thereof you speak?

    The theory of evolution OTOH concerns itself with the basic process of all of biology, and makes no social claims. However, it is a fact that the underpinnings of morality can be understood on the basis of such behavior as altruism and others observed and explained by biologists. So the basis you asked for exist.

    However this doesn’t constrain the expression of morality within different populations. So the moral imperative you claimed does not exist.

  269. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Jonah:

    Better get cracking on editing Wikipedia articles that mention Nazism’s use of Darwinism:

    What is this “darwinism” thereof you speak?

    Besides that you forget earlier comments pointing out that the biology in question doesn’t support that use or the idea of eugenics, you throw in a purported social theory that never achieved vitality nor is biology.

  270. mad anthropologist

    I know, I’m late, but I can’t let this go.

    KC (way back up the page), are you really trying to bring up scientific racism found among the anthropological greats of the 19th century as the precursor to eugenics? I’m really going to have to disagree with you there. I know the history very well; four years of slogging through classes with a prefix of ANTH will hammer it into you. Oh, and I’ve read Francis Galton (I still want a trophy for reading that dry, horrendous junk), too. But what you’re not telling these people is that it wasn’t a case for eugenics as the Nazis used it–it was a case for slavery, and later those still bitter about slavery’s end. The true meat of scientific racism was targeted towards keeping black people down. If you tell someone they’re dumber than you and they don’t know any better, and you tell them enough times, they just might believe you. Anthropologists did all sorts of nasty things like measuring skull capacity, brain density, facial feature analysis, anything they could to keep white Western European descendants on top, black people on the bottom, and the brown and olive people somewhere in between. They used faulty definitions of evolution. About as faulty as Ben Stein’s “rationalization” (see what I did there) for equating evolution support to Nazism.

    World War II did not splinter scientific racism, either. A young German(!) named Franz Boas did. He’s the father of my discipline as it stands today. What evil people have used to turn their foul plans into “scientific” bollocks has nothing to do with scientific racism of the 19th century. It’s completely irrelevant.

    You keep saying in your comment you won’t repeat things, but it’s there if you “care to look”. Lincoln said something bad and used science to back it up? Oh, you mean this: “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality.” Yeah, his judgment’s REAL scientific, innit. Also, admitting physical difference and granting oneself superiority doesn’t automatically mean eugenics and genocide will follow. Oliver Wendell Holmes? I do believe he advocated sterilizing the mentally disabled. “Three generations of imbeciles is enough”, wasn’t it? So where did he say anyone needed to die? These people did not espouse the ideals that led to the genocide executed by the Nazis. History may tell you one thing when you’re just playing with Wikipedia (like I did to get those quotes) but when you’re actually studying it for real, you find you often don’t have the whole story.

    As for bigotry, you’re looking through a modern lens at a different world. The past is the past and all your railing against it won’t change it. Also, more people are aware of history than you might think.

    KC, it was my duty to “care” when I was chasing my pretty degree. And I still care–particularly when I see someone waving half-formed facts about. If you’re going to enlighten people, you need to do it properly and with the facts to back you up.

  271. Celtic_Evolution

    I nominate mad anthropologist for winner of the thread! :)

    Well said!

  272. Michael Lonergan

    Doing my best Basil Fawlty impression:

    “Don’t mention the war. I did once, but I think I got away with it!”

  273. Michael Lonergan posts:

    [[By this logic, one could state, since I fathered my children, giving them life, I have the right to take it away.]]

    You didn’t give them life, God did.

    [[BTW, that happens to be your belief, that God has the moral authority to take life away. What is that moral authority based upon? If one reads the end of the book (Bible), what is one to make of the writhing masses of people squirming and wailing in a lake of fire, being punished for eternity, just because they peed Big Daddy off? Come on, I thought you were much more intelligent than this.]]

    I am. That’s a caricature of the Christian doctrine of Hell, and you know it. If you want that further developed, you might try reading the chapter on Hell in Lewis’s “The Problem of Pain.”

    [[When one reads the account of God’s dealing with humanity, especially in the OT, one is led to the conclusion of His instability, and propensity for sadistic punishment and wanton destruction.]]

    Especially if one reads selectively, and from a comfortable 21st century urban agnostic point of view.

    [[A show of hands from those that have read the Bible, and because of what they have read, have decided that such a “loving, compassionate Father in Heaven” displays all the attributes of, and acts like a complete psychopath?]]

    I’m sure you’ll get a lot of hands raised here. Me, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover twice, including the genocide passages in the OT, and I manage to believe in a loving God anyway. Must be some cognitive dissonance going on, huh? I’ll bet you can’t imagine how anybody could come to that conclusion.

  274. Owlmirror

    God creates life and has the moral authority to take it away

    Pretending for the moment that God might exist, can you defend this with anything more than “Because I say so?”

    Because it looks to me like you’re completely contradicting the very concept of “moral” (or “ethical”), there.

    [[By this logic, one could state, since I fathered my children, giving them life, I have the right to take it away.]]
    You didn’t give them life, God did.

    It still looks like you’re justifying infanticide by neglect. If God made the kid, God can feed them, right?

    I’ve read the Bible cover to cover twice, including the genocide passages in the OT, and I manage to believe in a loving God anyway. Must be some cognitive dissonance going on, huh?

    Very probably.

    I’ll bet you can’t imagine how anybody could come to that conclusion.

    Oh, it most likely has something to do with you reading selectively, and from a comfortable 21st century urban apologist point of view.

    But hey, feel free to use reasoned argument.

  275. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    You didn’t give them life, God did.

    I’m not sure if this is you trying to be sarcastic, but as you confess to be religious later:

    Prove it!

    The whole point of observing the evolution process for a fact and working out the MET describing it is that life is an hereditary process. I’m fond of the definition where life is the process, i.e. it started once and haven’t stopped yet. In any case, each generation gives life to the next in every workable definition.

    Or are you suggesting a dualism? Again, where is the evidence that trumps the observation of hereditary reproduction?

  276. Michael Lonergan

    BPL, cover to cover? Only twice? Well, I’ve got at least 8-10 reads through on you then. Maybe try reading it through more. Eventually the message will get through.

    “God gave them life.”

    Then God is a total ***wipe. My youngest has Down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. My oldest died on her way to a NICU, and was resuscitated, and they were both 6 weeks pre-mature. If it were not for the doctors at the University of Alberta Hospital, both of my daughters would have joined the 2 children that were miscarried by my ex wife, so don’t tell me that your God gave them life. Based on THAT alone, why the he** would anyone be stupid enough to trust him? No, it was not “prayer” that saved them, but the science and training that the doctors used.

    I, and my ex gave them life.

    I have read the Bible’s account of hell. Wailing. Gnashing of teeth. Lake of fire. Worms. How is my description a caricature? Personally, I believe that if there is a hell, it is here on earth in the deserts of Iraq and Darfur. In the streets of Tibet, where humans are slaughtering each other, breaking families apart.

    I suppose it was ok for Yahweh to command Joshua to slaughter the people of Canaan, men women and CHILDREN, because he didn’t like the way they behaved, and they would have corrupted his chosen people. Doesn’t say much about the moral character or strength of his chosen ones does it?

    Bet you can’t figure out how I came to that conclusion.

    Very simple, really. The same way I did in my 24 years as a Christian leader. Using the Bible to justify the actions in the Bible.

    Now, when you have actually read it another 6 times through, you can come back and we’ll chat.

  277. Savage

    I am going to open this by saying that I am a reasonably pious Christian, I go to chruch at least once a month, and I’d like to go more. I am also a firm believer in evolution and the Big Bang, to my way of thinking, science deals with everything we can see and touch in the universe, how the body works, how I type on this keyboard. Religion deals with things we can’t see and touch, conciousness, the ‘soul’

    I have a very firm belief that science has not disproved religion, and religion has not disproved science, they both, when you take the heart and spirit, challenge us to work together in peace and harmony, and to go out and find out more about the universe.

    I also want to say that member of my greater family (my great grandmother on my mothers mothers side was a hungerian Jew) who were send to Auschwitz.

    Religious fanatics have finally committed the crime that has been committed by many scientific fanatics, including, I am afraid to say, Mr. Richard Dawkins, in the Nazi arguement, we see logic that is a perversion of what was originally meant. They has used purely the words, and ignored the spirit. The arguement in this film (I have not watched it) is that there is a logical path that leads to genocide, is excatly the same as one Mr. Dawkins used in his God Delusion, where he stated that Religion only leads to wars.

    As has been pointed out, the theory of evolution was not meant to cause genocide, and neither is any religious text. They are BOTH attempts to understand the world around us. The only point I’d ever take away from this film that is presented by the creationists, is that by focusing on science, and holding onto it as firmly and dogmatically as we seem to be, then we are in danger of tunnel visioning, and committing the crimes of the Dark Ages, only with Science as the excuse this time.

  278. Celtic_Evolution

    @ Savage

    I appreciate your even-handed and fairly thoughtful commentary here, but in making your point, I would have to make one major, major correction:

    You state: “As has been pointed out, the theory of evolution was not meant to cause genocide, and neither is any religious text.”

    Although I will not take it so far as to say any religious texts necessarily encourage “genocide”, I would point out that many, many religious texts, including the Bible, have depicted, supported, and encouraged the making of war for “its cause”.

    You need look no further than Exodus for the stories of Joshua entering the land of Canaan, and killing every living thing in the city of Jericho. The Bible essentially details the complete conquer of the entire region through means of warfare. And why? Cause God told Moses the land belonged to the Israelites. I guess if you were an innocent, peace loving citizen of the city of Jericho, well, tough cookies. Wrong place, wrong time. And we’re not going to just let you leave, either. We need to kill you all. I’m not sure that we’d look favorably upon Genghis Khan for bloody conquest using the same reasoning.

    So I’m afraid as much as I appreciate your willingness to be able to reconcile your religion and science, I can’t agree with you on this point.

  279. Savage

    @Celtic_Evolution

    Again, you have a fair point. Religion ha been used for many terrible things, and so has science. However, you take a quote from the Old testiment, and so you have to take it in context:

    The old testiment reads more like a history book rather than a theological text, in the discussions I’ve had, we tend to use the later books where people are talking much more about, the text you are reading is a very one sided story about how they took back their homeland, and may have even been intended as a warning “Don’t do this again.”

    Particularly for the oldest parts of the old testiment, we have little ability to confirm what is being said, its all old old stuff that we know through the bible, that may have been changed in the past, miscopied, whatever. Using your logic, its possible to say that all sceince is bad because of the Nuclear bomb, and what it did to two whole cities!!!

    @Everyone
    Here is some food for thought, the reactions I am seeing here from the scientific community are almost excatly the same as those from the religious community to Dawkin’s God Delusion, there is little evidence of research, a very biased view point, and a view point that will only appeal to extremists who already believe.

  280. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    “However, you take a quote from the Old testiment, and so you have to take it in context:”

    Well, I didn’t actually use a quote. I referenced a story. But that’s semantics. You were making a comparison between the theory of Evolution and religious text. The point was that in ANY context, religious texts have described and supported war in the name of “God” or whatever deity you choose to follow. Whereas in no scientific paper regarding evolution has there been decriptions of or overt support for using the theorie’s conclusions as a basis for war. I don’t think you can make that statement for religious texts, regardless of the context. Slaughtering an entire city and leaving no-one alive is just abhorrent, regardless of the message being sent.

    “Using your logic, its possible to say that all sceince is bad because of the Nuclear bomb, and what it did to two whole cities!!!”

    No, not true. Again, science itself did not support, nor did it encourage, the use of nuclear power for the purposes of mass destruction. Science is neutral. It perhaps supplied the tool for gaining the knowledge to carry out such atrocities, but in no more directly responsible a way than my showing a person how to hold a stick makes me responsible for that person using that knowledge to beat the crap out of someone with the stick.

    Religious text, on the other hand, is far from neutral… it directly depicts and praises, and therefor in my view, supports acts of war if that text feels it is for a righteous cause. The two are vastly different.

  281. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    “@Everyone
    Here is some food for thought, the reactions I am seeing here from the scientific community are almost excatly the same as those from the religious community to Dawkinâ??s God Delusion, there is little evidence of research, a very biased view point, and a view point that will only appeal to extremists who already believe.”

    Now here is where you’ve gone too far. If you can honestly make the statement “there is little evidence for research”, well that just shows me that you have not read very much of this site… even within this very discussion. One of the things you don’t find very often from the scientific community on this site are statements made without references to back them up. It’s quite normal for someone to make a post and include several links supporting that statement. So I’m afraid that statement is just false.

    The point of view may be biased, for sure… that I won’t argue… but I won’t accept your claim that the viewpoints aren’t well researched and heavily backed up. Just take some time to revies a few of the threads here. I hope you’ll see what I mean.

  282. Savage

    The arguement you give is excatly that same that needs to be applied to defend religion, people say “This is how you should use your life, there is a deity out there who will judge you when you die according to these rules.” The stories that wrap it up.

    And actually, the only religious texts that support war is in self defence, only when you are being invaded. As I said, we don’t know the full story, we don’t know what the occupants who were killed had done in the past. The Irsalites had been driven out of their country, and were returning to it.

    Now, I’d also like to point out that you are also making huge generalisations, committing the crime I talked about in my first post, you are using one, ONE, example and applying to to EVERY religion, can Hindu Monks who refuse to harm even an insect be said to support war? Of course they can’t, the more you look, the more we see people using religion as an excuse. It could be (remember that I have family who were Jewish) that once again Religion was used as an excuse to kill people living on the best land the travellers had found

  283. Savage

    When Dawkins was writing the God Delusion, he used the Bible, quoting Christianity and Jewdism. THAT IS ALL! Toasim, Confucianism, Hindu, Buddha, Sikhism (forgive my spelling) were all ignored, to me, writing a text that applies to every religion needs a study of EVERY religion

  284. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    “The arguement you give is excatly that same that needs to be applied to defend religion, people say “This is how you should use your life, there is a deity out there who will judge you when you die according to these rules.” The stories that wrap it up.”

    On this we totally agree. And most of the Christians I know do in fact follow that doctrine. Unfortunately, this has not always been the usage that has been applied.

    “Now, I’d also like to point out that you are also making huge generalisations, committing the crime I talked about in my first post, you are using one, ONE, example and applying to to EVERY religion, can Hindu Monks who refuse to harm even an insect be said to support war?”

    Ok, well I only GAVE one example, but I could FIND many examples from dozens of religions, both past and present, where this is displayed. I guess I thought that would make my post far too long for anyone to even consider reading. So in the interest of brevity, i used that one example. But, I will concede your point that perhaps I should qualify that my point doesn’t apply to ALL religions. However I think it applies to enough that the point in general is valid.

    As far as Dawkins is concerned, His work “The God Delusion” was only meant to deal with God, and the concept of God in the Judeo-Christian context. He deals similarly with other religions in some of his other writings… but I can’t find fault with him limiting his scope to Judeo-Christianity in a piece that is presented with “God” in the title.

  285. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    “And actually, the only religious texts that support war is in self defence, only when you are being invaded. As I said, we don’t know the full story, we don’t know what the occupants who were killed had done in the past. The Irsalites had been driven out of their country, and were returning to it.”

    I don’t understand… are you presenting that argument as a defense? That excuses it? So if a tribe of Native Americans were to decide to band together and attack a town in New Mexico and kill every last inhabitant of that town… it’d be acceptible by this logic?

  286. Savage

    The problem is we live in a western culture, so we tend to assume that all religions are similar to the ones we have been exposed to, Christanity Jewdism and Muslam.

    But as soon as we start looking into the eastern religions, the arguement falls apart completely, the only one I feel comfortable on comenting on is Hinduism, which is a very contemplative religion, talking about the emptying of self and ego as a method to cease conflicts.

    When you look a little deeper at the Bible, you can actually see this concept coming through, the problem is English doesn’t have a word for it, the Greek word is Gnosis, this concept that to best serve the community you need put aside your own needs.

    Secondly, I would also like to point out that most of the theoligical analsys that Dawkin’s did on the bible came from the extreme corners of Christanity, the mainstream and modern day stuff is very different from the ‘religion’ he describes.

    Again, you need to take my comment in context, it was not a generalisiation about scientific method in general, and I always say when I am working on little evidence, the whole goal of that is to support my line that both this film -AND- books like the God Delusion use the -SAME- methods to prove the same point. I’m not saying that religion is innocent here, the creationists who wrote this film are guilty of grossly distorting facts, making crass assumptions and generalisations. -BUT- that is not limited to creationists.

  287. Savage

    Sorry, I was typing out the longer post whilst you entered yours, No, I am not presenting it as a defense, I do not wish to defend it as it is not an act that can be defended. I have actually found myself agreeing with a Neo-Nazi group when they were upset that a silence was held for the holocaust, but none held for Danzig. I will highlight most emphatically that does not mean I am a neo nazi, just that I feel that it is not only one side who committed attrocities.

    My arguement is this, we are seeing only a one sided story from the example you have picked out, I can pick numerous examples where the bible seems to support war Luke (I can’t remember the chapter) ‘And Jesus said to his diciples ‘I come not to bring Peace but the Sword’

    My arguement is this, and it ties in with what I have just said, you can’t possibly deal with a subject like Religion or Science in small bits, you can’t deal with it in a singular way, because the subject isn’t singular. You say he deals with other religions, I can accept that. But I also believe that is completely the wrong way to approach the matter of religion, just as how Expelled is the wrong way to present its anti-evolution views.

    You have to compare Jeudo-Christian to all the others, establish the similarities and differences, and then the simlarities and differences in all the others, and then compare it further.

    The food for thought comment I made was designed to get you thinking, the comments of everyone I have read, the reactions and emotions, are EXCATLY the same as the ones I got from religious people, its simplistic, biased and a really really bad way of seeing the arguement put forward. I can even recommend books by scientists taking the God Delusion apart BECAUSE it hasn’t followed normal scientific practice, one you highlighted before as being the heart and soul of scientific method.

  288. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    “My arguement is this, and it ties in with what I have just said, you can’t possibly deal with a subject like Religion or Science in small bits, you can’t deal with it in a singular way, because the subject isn’t singular. You say he deals with other religions, I can accept that. But I also believe that is completely the wrong way to approach the matter of religion, just as how Expelled is the wrong way to present its anti-evolution views.

    You have to compare Jeudo-Christian to all the others, establish the similarities and differences, and then the simlarities and differences in all the others, and then compare it further.”

    Or you can simply take religion out of the equation and dismiss it as irrelevant (I’m not saying I do or that one SHOULD)… the point is I have never seen there to be a need to compare religion and science as if they are two flavors of the same thing. They really aren’t. The two are completely disparate.

    Either way, I would say that as long as the religious right, led by organizations such as the Discovery Institute, continue to attempt to infringe upon the constitution and insist on insinuating their beliefs into the science class, it is not only Mr. Dawkin’s right, but his responsibility to approach the matter of religion… as long as there are movies made like “Expelled”, there need to be voices on the side of science loudly vocalising the falsehoods and underhanded tactics. Please read the thread on BA’s post regarding the “tightrope of arguing anti-science here: http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/03/24/the-tightrope-of-debating-antiscience/

    There’s some good discussion on that very topic there.

  289. Savage

    You talk of it as if it is almost a war between religion and science, the first ‘scientists’ were priests.

    I do not wish to cast doubt on Mr. Dawkin’s right to argue with anti-scientists who twist logic and rational thought, turning something as key and critical to our understanding of the world as evolution theory is, and perverting it into what we see in this film. It is taking a singular, obsolete and non-mainstream viewpoint, and assuming that it applies to the whole of scientific view point.

    However, every problem you have undermined this show for, ALSO applies to Mr. Dawkin’s God Delusion, the texts, baring the bible, that he based his idea of Christianity on are mainly 19th century writers who’s views were never mainstream, he took one small, radical and dangerous view point, and applied it to the whole of the Jeudo-Christian culture. Ben Stein did EXACTLY the same here, by taking the small, radical and dangerous view point of the Nazi’s, and applying it to the WHOLE of science.

    Neither the God Delusion or Expelled should be considered viable material, when they were made, the writers, and yes, I do lump Mr. Dawkin with Mr. Stein here, made up their minds BEFORE the research was done, then they went through the material available to them, cherry picked only what they wanted to here. And, because both knew they were right, they dismissed any evidence to the contrary, they are right, so what does it matter?

    I’m also afraid that you are in danger of doing the same thing here, you have your idea of religion, you know you are ‘right’ you can pick a dozen examples of how religion seems to be endorsing war. But there are more, Oh so many more, that don’t. You also MUST look at the context, the wider picture of the section of text. My quote from Luke, about Jesus bringing not peace but the sword, when we take it in context, he is coming to bring about changes, he is not coming to bring us flowers and presents, he is coming to challenge us totry and live better lives.

    For me, there is something that both Mr. Dawkin and Mr. Stein missed. There are only two things common to every religion; one is the ‘golden rule’ “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and the other is this idea of Gnosis, sacrificing your own personal gain for the community. In producing the media they have missed these points.

    You have already commented I have an even handed approach, I am not trying to reconcile religion, I have done. Taken from the English Dictionary website we have science meaning: • noun 1 the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    From the same website we have Theology as: 2 religious beliefs and theory when systematically developed. (I used the second of two definitions for theology rather than the first, because they highlight the differences. A deeper line of thought comes when you start to merge the two together)

    Science deals with the physical world, religion deals with the non physical world. Neither has disproved the other, CERTAINLY, I would not take Genesis to a physical discussion on how the Earth was created, even though thinkers well over 2000 years ago seemed to get the right idea about the order the Earth came to be. NEITHER would I take evolution to a discussion on the story of Adam and Eve.

    To take the viewpoint of ‘God does not exist’ is just as bad as the viewpoint ‘God created the Earth.’ Particularly when no one is willing to listen to the other idea, to my understanding, only one war was ever fought without religion as an excuse, and that was the crusade. Even thought religion is often cited, it is mearly an excuse, like football holligans using pride in a team to fight each other. If this polarisation continues, then we will really have a war about religion on our hands, and if it starts, it won’t stop.

  290. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Savage:

    When Dawkins was writing the God Delusion, he used the Bible, quoting Christianity and Jewdism. THAT IS ALL! Toasim, Confucianism, Hindu, Buddha, Sikhism (forgive my spelling) were all ignored,

    Not at all. He states clearly that his usage of “The God Hypothesis” is applicable in all creationist religions (i.e. the vast majority), that he “decry supernaturalism in all its forms” and that the reason he concentrates on familiar forms is effectiveness. (pp54-57 in 2nd soft cover.)

    Btw, he briefly mentioned and quoted other religions too.

    he based his idea of Christianity on are mainly 19th century writers who’s views were never mainstream,

    You use the same argument as many reviewers without noticing that:

    1) Dawkins has explained why and how he can do that.

    2) It doesn’t engage his argument.

    Read the book, it makes a reasonable argument based on probabilities why creative agents must be late phenomena in the universe.

  291. Savage

    @ Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    By focusing on the God hypothesis, he has missed the point of nearly every major religion, he is ignoring this Gnosis, the emptying of self, that is key to so many religions, from Hinduism to the ancient Greeks.

    Using the same logic you have applied here, Mr. Stein has put forward a perfectly reasonable argument, if you only pick out a few points, then you can prove anything. If I were to take a sample of people who drank alcohol, but only took people from area’s with a tradition of drinking one drink, is it reasonable for me to say that this sample is representative?

    Both Mr. Stein and Mr. Dawkin cherry picked their evidence, selecting evidence that only supports their views. On a subject that is as vast and diverse as religion and science, this is a laughable thing to do.

  292. Savage

    @ Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    “Not at all. He states clearly that his usage of “The God Hypothesis” is applicable in all creationist religions (i.e. the vast majority), that he “decry supernaturalism in all its forms” and that the reason he concentrates on familiar forms is effectiveness. (pp54-57 in 2nd soft cover.)”

    Further to my earlier comments, it is not applicable. Mr. Dawkins’ reasoning is invalid, something he would have found out if he did more research.

    The ‘God’ he deals with in the God Hypothesis is a Transcend Monothesistic God, it is a big boss who sits up in the sky, and makes decisions, we are so insignificant compared to this God that he will never care about us.

    This is the type of God we see in the Jewish faith, as well as perhaps the Muslim faith. In Christianity, however, we have a very different faith. To quote the introduction to the Lords Prayer at my Chruch “Jesus taught us to call you Father, and so we pray.”

    In Christianity we are all the Children of God, we all have a little bit of God in us, he is not a big boss who sits up on clouds, he is in us, amoungst us, around us. Dawkins’ God Hypothesis does not apply to Christianity, because the mainstream Christian God is more like the Gaia hypothesis than the one he is discussing.

    As soon as we introduce other faiths, his arguement that it applies to the vast majority completely falls apart, Polythesic beliefs are so far away from what he seems to be considering that to apply the God Hypothesis to them is more laughable that the Nazi take on Evolution can be applied to the rest of scientific thought.

    Yes, I can say that the 19th century writers Mr. Dawkins used as his reference material can’t be taken to apply to the rest of Christianity, because main stream Christianity has always believed in this idea of a God who is in all of us, from the Gnostic sect of Early Christianity through to mainstream Christianity, God is in all of us.

    The concept of Jeudo-Christian faith is very Missleading, the phrase implies there is a common god, but there really isn’t. Christianity and Jewdism are as different as Classical Science and Relativity. In fact, all the Religions have very different ideas, except for two, I have highlighted them above, the Idea of emptying self, and of doing to others what you would have them do to you.

    These underlying concepts, which Dawkins never touched or even suggested existed, are present in every religion, from Ancient Greeks and Native Amercian Indians to Muslim and Wicca. From the Ancient Egyptian Faith to Hinduism. From Christianity to Aethesim.

    How is the best way for a human to lead a life if you ask a scientist? in a community, working together to achieve a common goal, setting aside your own personal gain so that everyone can survive. Also, when you go through psychological studies, we can also see that treating everyone equally has a positive impact on performance.

    However, I have not addressed every comment you made. Your summerisation of a Creationist being a Late Phenomena in the Universe. My answer? We only have arguements based on probabilities, we have no observational evidence, baring Religious texts, that proves or dis proves the existance of God, what we do have, is the dispelling of old fashioned views that were detrimental to the progress of scientific discovery, and that is something I am very happy about.

    Is there a God? and did he/she/it create the universe? we don’t know, and we can’t observe it. We create a closed system when we ask these questions, one that ONLY uncertainity principal can answer:

    A creator, all at the same time, exists in three states:
    1) The Creator of the Universe
    2) Created by the Universe
    3) He does not exist at all.

    Just as Schrodinger’s Cat is both dead and alive, God is all three, in one. WHich is an interesting point when you take into account the fact that 3 is an important number in Religion – The holy Trinity of Christianity, the the God of Hinduism, there are more, but I need some time I don’t have right now to research.

  293. Celtic_Evolution

    Savage –

    Further to my earlier comments, it is not applicable. Mr. Dawkins’ reasoning is invalid, something he would have found out if he did more research.

    The ‘God’ he deals with in the God Hypothesis is a Transcend Monothesistic God, it is a big boss who sits up in the sky, and makes decisions, we are so insignificant compared to this God that he will never care about us.

    This is the type of God we see in the Jewish faith, as well as perhaps the Muslim faith. In Christianity, however, we have a very different faith. To quote the introduction to the Lords Prayer at my Chruch “Jesus taught us to call you Father, and so we pray.”

    In Christianity we are all the Children of God, we all have a little bit of God in us, he is not a big boss who sits up on clouds, he is in us, amoungst us, around us. Dawkins’ God Hypothesis does not apply to Christianity, because the mainstream Christian God is more like the Gaia hypothesis than the one he is discussing.

    You speak to us as though we are all hethens who have never experienced Christianity and therefor speak from ignorance. Well this is simply not the case. I myself was a confirmed Roman Catholic, alter boy, and devout Christian right up until I was old enough to start thinking for myself and questioning things freely. And I would say that what you are doing here is PERSONALIZING Christianity to fit your specific beliefs and desires for what it should be and teach. I understand the mystery of the Trinity all too well… and that God is to be seen as God, man, and spirit all. But I can tell you unequivocally that mainstream Christianity DOES in fact view God, as well, as an all-powerful, “big-boss” who sits on high, in judgement over all humanity. And I know this because my priest drilled this into us every day for about 10 years that I served under him. You may have your personal views of what Christianity is to you, but to sit here and insist that you can define it for me, or anyone else? Nonsense. I know what I was taught from Christianity, and what is being taught to my siblings and relatives still involved with the church. There are as many interpretations of Christianity, Savage, as there are variations of Christianity. Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, on and on it goes… and can YOU define Chriatianity for all of them? I think they’d probably disagree with you. Elsewise why the need for so many different versions of the same belief?

    So, while Dawkins’ God Hypothesis may offend you personally, and may not, YOU feel, apply to your definition and interpretation of Christianity, I can state from experience that it in fact applies quite accurately to what I’ve observed from my own experience and from mainstream Christianity and Judeism in general.

    I think the one who needs to expand their horizons a bit beyond what they’ve been preached to and “do some research” here is perhaps you, Savage, respectfully. There are many, many segments of Christianity and not all would define Christianity or God the way you have. And based on your commentary on Dawkin’s work so far, I must ask you, in all honesty, did you actually read “The God Delusion” in its entirety? I’m not trying to be rude or snarky here… it just seems that what you quote in his works is more of a synopsis… or pieces of the whole. I’m just asking because I think reading the whole book lends a better context to the issues you raise, if you have not done so. If you have, then very well.

  294. Savage

    No, I haven’t read it, and you make a fair comment.

    I understand about what you are saying, and I am well aware that there are many different sects within Christianity that see God differently, even in my own family there are different views. My comments were based solely on the Bible, not applying any experience I have of the Church, Christianity or any other religions.

    However, your comments on how your Priest treated you as a child are exactly the same thing I am trying to say about the God Delusion, and you have even given evidence to what I have said, even in one religion the attitudes on God, who he is, what he means, are very different. How can any singular description of either God, Creationism, Science, Evolutionary theory be applied to the vast diversity of what they mean to different people?

    Work such as these we’ve been discussing present a single view, they leave NO room for discussion, they present the world in black and white. However, the world just isn’t like that, from the Quantum level where things can be many different things at the same time, right through science and Religion.

  295. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Sanders:

    By focusing on the God hypothesis, he has missed the point of nearly every major religion,

    What you are saying is that he has concentrated. True, he has concentrated on a general and almost universally defining aspect of religiosity and shown why it is debunked by data.

    Your drink analogy fails in that alcohol isn’t generally hazardous to society – you need to use a general aspect per above. Um, like if any amount of alcohol is too much.

    Further to my earlier comments, it is not applicable. Mr. Dawkins’ reasoning is invalid, something he would have found out if he did more research.

    You repeat arguments Dawkins himself has treated, a fact I’ve already pointed out. Why don’t you read his book or my comment? Well, maybe you take it too personally, as Celtic_Evolution points out. Reading you will probably see why those negative reviewers or your own text to this point seem so ironic, as Dawkins anticipate and preempts all of this (AFAI can see).

    And after reading, why don’t you engage his main argument instead?

    However, I have not addressed every comment you made. Your summerisation of a Creationist being a Late Phenomena in the Universe. My answer? We only have arguments based on probabilities,

    Well, finally. If you admit that creative agents must be late in the universe (by probability), as you seem to do, the idea of a creationist god creating, say, life fails. I hope you see the problem.

  296. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Uups, that was meant as a reply to Savage of course. Sorry.

  297. Michael Lonerganon wrote (24 Mar 2008 at 12:45 pm):

    > BPL, yes, Denmark has a State Church, the Dutch Reformed Church…

    Hold on, wait a minute! Now I getting confused. Or… ah, you mean the Danish Reformed Church!

    Phew, for a moment my whole perception of the Universe and its inhabitants started to crumble :-)

  298. BTW, I looked it up, it’s actually the Danish National Church:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_National_Church
    …never mind.

  299. wannabedesi

    Why is it that people are so willing to jump on the Christianity of Hitler bandwagon when it was obvious he was a two faced liar? Case in point, the Munich Agreement that Hitler signed along with leaders of France, Britain, and Italy.

    It was the Munich Agreement that basically said “You can have Czechoslovakia just leave us alone!” and what happened shortly thereafter? Hitler began blitzing England, and invaded France!

    And don’t make me bring up the Treaty of Versailles. That was broken by Hitler dozens of times. He was hardly a man of honor.

    With his honesty in question, why are people so willing to believe he actually meant what he said when he declared he was killing Jews in Christs name? I think people forget the nature of Politicians everywhere: they Lie to get the vote. Germany was a predominantly Christian nation. Hitler, being a politician used everything, every excuse, every banner to allow him to kill as many people as he possibly could. Economics, Morals, Religion, The Maser Race idealogy.

    Religion has been used by OUR politicians to get the vote! George Bush is a great example of this.

    Fact of the matter is this: No religion in and of itself is evil. Every religion has an example of the Golden Rule. It is evil men who make something meant for the betterment of the world and turn it into something that takes more lives than it does create them.

  300. Shawn

    quote:
    “I seriously cannot comprehend why news like this isn’t on the front pages of every big newspaper.”

    Does anybody still ready newspapers? It is on the front page of just about every news portal you go to…. as ad advertisement.

    I predict that as many people will see this as will go to a Michael Moore movie, with similar results, ie: polarization of opinion.

  301. Savage

    @Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    “What you are saying is that he has concentrated. True, he has concentrated on a general and almost universally defining aspect of religiosity and shown why it is debunked by data.”

    I’m sorry, isn’t this exactly opposite to what I’ve been arguing? Even within Christianity, as me and Celtic_Evolution demonstrated, there are vastly differing views on god, is he a transcendent being, this god hypothesis, is he a more Gaia type being, is he multiple gods?

    I will not apply Dawkins work in the God Delusion to any religion baring Jewidism, Muslim, and sects of Christianity, they are the three religions that the God Hypothesis can be applied to. As I have said in the past, I don’t believe the Earth was made in 7 days, I’ve written assignments based on planetary formation.

    “Your drink analogy fails in that alcohol isn’t generally hazardous to society – you need to use a general aspect per above. Um, like if any amount of alcohol is too much.”

    In response to this, I’d like to use a recent quote from wannabedesi:
    “I think people forget the nature of Politicians everywhere: they Lie to get the vote.”

    The only times when religion has caused harm to society are when politicians twist and lie, using it to get ‘the vote’ or ‘the suicide bombers’ or ‘the fanatics’ I have already tried to tell you there is only one universal ideal across every religion, this golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Until Dawkins considers this, until he considers gnosis, the emptying of ego, I will not take his religion debunking seriously.

    Your comment also kind of proves my point, and the whole reason why I brought his book up. Baring changing names around because its by different people, and its a film, the reactions I see here are ALMOST EXCATLY the same as the reactions in the religious community to the god delusion, he has taken the extreme ends of the spectrum, the ends that no one takes seriously, and attempted to apply it to the whole spectrum. He is using the most twisted darkened corners of the subject in question, and claiming that it applies to the whole. Forgive me for not taking either of these seriously

  302. Djangoman

    man. there is a lot of posts. from Digg.com i suppose. that’s where i came from.

    i just wanted to say that your sentence that started with “Evolution, like all of reality, is a fact” proves to me that reading the rest of this article and any of the posts was indeed a waste of my time. It is the theory of evolution, not the Law of Evolution. Until you can prove and repeat historical events, let’s keep it that way.

  303. daryle

    I can’t say that I like the movie because I don’t like documentaries. I do understand the academic bias that is in public schools. You can see it on the different blogs also. I am a creationist and school teacher. I understand both side of the issue. This is not an issue that will disappear soon. The internet makes the profusion of information able to everyone.

  304. Richard Dawkins claims to be an atheist as well as others who have posted comments on this Blog. Atheism is not a philosophically defensible position. Agnosticism is philosophically defensible. The reason that Atheism cannot be defended is simple: There is no way to prove God does not exist. You cannot prove a universal negative. To prove there is no God it would be necessary to be in every part of the Universe at once. To do this you would have to be God.Therefore, the statement” There is no God” cannot be proven.
    Agnosticism says,” I do not believe there is a God.” This is an opinion which needs no defense. Philosophically, it can only be countered by another opinion, “I believe there is a God.” There is an enormous difference between these two statements. If anyone thinks he has PROOF that God does not exist, let’s see it.If anyone THINKS that there is no God, that is his priviledge.

  305. GodelInYourFace

    I only wish to find someone who has already seen the movie, Expelled, and is posting an informed comment based on what is being said in the movie, and not based on what the position they take with regard to evolution.

  306. Edward

    Watch the movie. The Nazi parallel is made absolutely to counter the same argument that atheists level at religion. Any idea can be taken and twisted to fit evil purposes. The movie is simply showing that in this scenario, evolution (and science in general) is no better than religion. The core of the movie, however, was how academic freedom was being squashed. They interviewed a number of college professors who got canned because of intelligent design (ID) theory (not Creationism). What’s more, many of them were not teaching it, they simply mentioned it (one school was even open about firing someone for their ID theory musings). And to be fair about what is really happening, lets look at ID theory. Yes, it did spring out of a Creationist point of view, but ID theory itself only proposes that life was designed. It includes the possibility of alien design and the seeding of the Earth, something Richard Dawkins himself postulates at the end of the movie (at which point Ben Stein clarifies that yes, this would be in line with ID theory). The movie was obviously made for a certain crowd, and the other side isn’t going to like it. But the fact is is that there are many talented professional scientists out there who question the tenants of evolution (which is not fact, nor is it law, nor is it really a theory but rather a collection of theories, some supported, some not). That means that there is a debate in acedemia that is being suppressed by the zeitgeist movement within science. And one final point: The aim of science is to apply generalized theories. The more general the theory, the more applicable it is. If evolution is only applicable to animal biology and below, and not to human biology nor applicable to other physical and social sciences, than by any scientific standard it is not a very good theory. Natural selection (what they really mean by evolution) is either correct or it is not, and if it is correct, it is correct in every sense, not just the ones that scientists think fits the zeitgeist. This means that natural selection can be a cruel agent, whether we like it or not.

  307. Thunderclees

    “The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. ”

    Adolf Hitler
    Hitler’s Secret Conversations 1941-1944
    (p 49-52)

  308. Hammerhand

    There is just one man who pretty much throws out any notion that “evolution leads to nazis.” He was a patent clerk, a romantic, a pacifist, a Jew (in his youth), a philosopher, and oh yeah he dabbled in physics a little: he was Albert Einstein and I think he would be very insulted that a man who has a lot in common with him, at least etymologically, would suggest that the pursuits he devoted his life to, ie science, was evil and the work of the devil or what have you. If science was so evil, how did Noah know how to build a boat that floats? how did Adam and Eve know how to tan the hides they skinned to make clothes? how did Moses’ Jews know how to smelt gold into leaf form in order to coat the ark of the covenant w/ it? How did they know these things? the scientific method, which, ironically, had no higher purpose than REMOVING human thought from influence over a given sample.

  309. Hammerhand

    Furthermore I would like to add this: science and scientific thought are nothing more than taking a really good look at the world, the whole idea is to prove things to such an extent that it doesn’t matter if a human mind conceived it originally or not, the thing exists in and of itself. Now dont get me wrong hehe any paleantologist/biologist/anthropologist that says that evolution is proven fact or even well-supported theory is a liar and a braggart. Its a cookoo idea at best, the sorry inescapable fact is that it fits the facts so far. Another inescapable fact is that any way you slice it, the earth is very very old, the mountain of evidence that supports its 10-figure age is so high that if you postulate that it is false and off by 4299994000 years, as Stein and other creationists believe, then you are postulating either A: God himself has intentionally lied to and decieved his own people or B: Satan had a direct hand in the creation of the world.
    Both of these postulations I reject utterly

  310. Hammerhand

    Ok, if that one man’s name doesn’t convince you of the banality of the notion: “evolution leads to Nazis”, I’d like to present another: Stephen Hawking.

    During the Third Reich those showing symptoms of what would later be called Lou Gherig’s disease were considered impure and unfit for life. I don’t think Steve would’ve made it very far.

    The highest aspirations of the Third Reich were, of course, the good of the Reich. This was evidenced by the fact that possibly the most important invention 20th century scientific thought has produced, the electron microscope invented by Ernst Ruska in 1931, was not deemed to have value to the Reich and so the Reich wouldn’t provide Mr. Ruska with further funding once they came to power, ironic.

    The highest aspirations of science in any form are: the good of the human race. The response to this statement from the creationist camp is a worthy one: Who is going to decide that? You, Hammer? I certainly am not ready to claim that distinction, and I hesitate to say that men like Al Einstein or Steve Hawking deserve it more than Jesus of Nazereth or Mohandas Ghandi. What I mean to say is; one day, say the year 10,000 AD, we will be able to look back over all of human history and tell with mathematical precision what was good for us and what was bad. I don’t presume to know really anything concrete about that reckoning, all I’m saying is I AM capable of making a pretty good guess. I see that in its inception Christianity had that mentality at it’s core, ie the core of Christ himself’s message. Be good to others and YOUR life will be better. Whether or not he was in fact the son of God, you can’t argue that that was the core of his message; and I challenge anyone to present a public figure, who had a message of peace, who pre-dates Jesus of Nazereth.

    That right there is why I consider myself a Christian, not because I’d better do what the bible says or I’ll fail Saint Peter’s test and descend into eternal suffering, but because Jesus was the first preacher who preached the ethos I share; ie the good of all people is righteous, all else is heresy. This is why I frankly share Albert’s dejected feeling and think those who are saying that “scripture” (that being words written in one of the most slippery and tricky of all human inventions: language; 1200 years before the invention of the printing press, no less) trumps anything we actually find when we simply open our eyes and look around, are commiting the absolute worst kind of heresy. They are blaspheming God’s world directly. Can you smell the irony?

  311. rst_ack

    Let’s just get a few things straight: First of all Hitler was obviously mad. Also, many men call themselves Christians (including our [current] president), but the Bible specifically states that “…you will know them by their fruits…” and the fruits Adolf bore were not that of God (“TM”). So, in light of those obvious facts, he wasn’t a Christian, folks. No more scapegoat for you. He did, however, USE evolution, eugenics (planned parenthood), and the like to support and teach his delusions. He thought of Europe’s National Front as the “Evolutionary Front”.


    In Mein Kampf, Hitler used the German word for evolution (Entwicklung) many times, citing “lower human types.” He criticized the Jews for bringing “Negroes into the Rhineland” with the aim of “ruining the white race by the necessarily resulting ization.” He spoke of “Monstrosities halfway between man and ape” and lamented the fact of Christians going to “Central Africa” to set up “Negro missions,” resulting in the turning of “healthy . . . human beings into a rotten brood of s.” In his chapter entitled “Nation and Race,” he said, “The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he, after all, is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development (Hoherentwicklung) of organic living beings would be unthinkable.” A few pages later, he said, “Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.”
    ^—-Sited from: http://www.straight-talk.net/evolution/hit.htm

    Let’s not forget Ota Benga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ota_Benga), Evolution’s “missing link” attraction in the Bronx Zoo ;P And, when Charles Darwin visited Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America, he referred to the natives there as merely advanced animals. In fact, Darwin is quoted as writing: ‘the difference between a Tierra del Fuegian and a European is greater than between a Tierra del Fuegian and a beast.’ He also concluded that their language was so “primitive” that it had only about 100 sounds. Whereas Christian missionaries resided there with them in the ’20’s and found them to be moral, friendly, and sociable, however, their language was moot in comparison to the English language, yet the missionaries still compiled a list of words totally over 32k words!

  312. Mohammad Nur Syamsu

    There is a clear logic how Darwinism leads to social darwinism. Darwinists objectify emotions, including Darwin in his book about emotions. So then it becomes a matter of scientific fact wether or not a person is hateful, or loving. There is no room left for subjective opinion on the issue.

    What this does is 2 things.
    1 The emotions of the observer are gutted. The observer does not consult their heart to identify the emotions of other people, instead the observer measures and calculates and is forced to a conclusion. So the observer becomes coldhearted emotionless.
    2. it creates a pseudoscientific morality, because morality, what is good and bad, follows from what is identified as love or hate.

    There are many forms of social darwinism, and nazism is one of them. To avoid social darwinism coming from accepting natural selection theory one must:
    1. acknowledge that freedom in the sense of alternative results in the moment is real
    2. acknowledge that it is a matter of subjective opinion what takes care of it that one alternative is realized instead of another.

    2. basically means that one must acknowledge a spiritual domain which does the job of deciding, eventhough one may subjectively come to the conclusion that such spiritual domain is empty. So one must validate subjectivity as being completely distinct from objectivity.
    1. means that one must accept in pricinciple as valid science a hypothesis that is formulated in terms of 1 of alternative results being possible in the moment. That includes creationist theory, and intelligent design. Creationism and intelligent design are theories based on this concept of freedom. So for example, oversimplified, one may ask such a question as to how it was decided that the DNA of a particular butterfly came to be the way it is. So then we conceive of the present butterfly, or parts of the butterfly, under investigation as a chosen alternative.

    This way subjectivity and objectivity are held separate, each relevant to their own domain, while still connected to each other. And so the problem of objectivity pushing it’s way to usurp subjectivity, as is the case with social darwinist pseudoscience, is avoided.

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