Discovery Institute: The Shroud of Seattle

This Hitler stuff is starting to look like far more than a foolish debate tactic of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).

It’s even more than we thought when we wrote Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. In that post we said their emphasis on Hitler showed that the Intelligent Design movement is in its final spasms.

Now their passion for the topic is looking like a combination of those two things, both a loser’s debate tactic and a cultish death rattle, but it’s also much more — it reveals a deep obsession, a fetish, an actual passion for Hitler himself. That is why the Discoveroids’ “All Hitler, All the Time” theme will be their shroud.

That’s the meaning of our title and we think it best describes the latest Discoveroid blog article: New in Paperback: “Hitler’s Ethic” by Richard Weikart.

As before, the Discoveroids are again touting another Darwin-Hitler book by Richard Weikart. He’s not only a Discoveroid “fellow” (i.e., full-blown creationist), he’s also the author of an earlier book titled From Darwin to Hitler, which influenced James Kennedy, the now-deceased televangelist who made the influential “documentary” Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. We consider Weikart to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.”

Apparently encouraged by the academic indifference that was heaped upon his earlier work, Weikart has produced another book that only a creationist could love. Here are some excerpts from the Discoveroid post, with bold font added by us:

One of the most controversial parts of the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was the segment where Ben Stein interviewed the history professor Richard Weikart about his book, From Darwin to Hitler

Speaking of that “documentary,” which is now Available in Bankruptcy Court, the “Bankruptcy Beat” blog of the Wall Street Journal has picked up the story: Rights to Ben Stein’s Controversial Documentary for Sale.

But let’s return to the Discoveroid blog article. It had just mentioned Stein’s interview with Weikart. Everyone with us? Okay, let’s read on:

Darwinists went apoplectic, deriding Stein and Weikart for daring to sully the good name of Darwin by showing the way that Hitler and German scientists and physicians used evolutionary theory to justify some of their atrocities, such as their campaign to kill the disabled. Some critics even denied that the Nazis believed in Darwinism at all.

We were one of those whom the Discoveroids might have seen as “apoplectic,” but we think “revulsion” better describes our reaction. See Hitler and Darwin, in which we not only quote from but also link to an online copy of Mein Kampf. Hitler claimed to be acting in accordance with the will of God, and he never even mentioned Darwin.

We later posted the previously unmentioned fact that Winston Churchill read Darwin, and we quoted Churchill’s own written words to that effect. It was the good guys in WWII, not the Nazis, who were familiar with Darwin’s ideas. So yes, the Discoveroids might have thought us “apoplectic” over their “documentary.”

One last excerpt from the Discoveroid blog article:

Weikart challenges his critics to examine the evidence in his fascinating sequel, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress

If you want more information about Weikart’s latest disgorgement you’ll have to visit the Discoveroid blog. They’ve got all the links you might want — except the one that connects them to reality. They cut that long ago.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Discovery Institute: The Shroud of Seattle

  1. comradebillyboy

    As I recall Der Fuhrer was a professing Roman Catholic who had excellent relations with both the Vatican and with the German Lutheran establishment for the tenure of his chancellorship. German science under the Nazis resembled Lysenko-ism more than Darwinism.

  2. The Institute for Lying in Seattle claims:

    Hitler’s evolutionary ethic underlay or influenced almost every major feature of Nazi policy: eugenics (i.e., measures to improve human heredity, including compulsory sterilization), euthanasia, racism, population expansion, offensive warfare, and racial extermination.

    What do they believe influenced that sort of behavior, which has occurred throughout history, before Darwin was around to blame it on? Were the mongol hoards influenced by early philosophers who adopted a naturalistic worldview?

    Hitler was a madman, and believed many strange things. (not unlike the fellows at the Seattle institute). It’s not surprising that some of his crazy ideas could be linked to evolutionary theory, but misunderstanding evolution does not explain mass murder.

  3. In “The End of Faith” Sam Harris discusses how the persecution of the Jews in WW2 followed directly from the persecution of the Jews by the Christian church in the preceding centuries. The church was complicit in the Nazi affairs, helping through the release of birth records, and the smuggling SS members to safety after the war.

    The roots of antisemitism are not in science but in religion. Somebody should send Weikart a nice little gift package of the writings of Martin Luther and Charles Darwin. I don’t think the distinction could possibly be any clearer.

  4. Let it be noted that the idea that random mutations and natural selection need purposeful intervention to give the proper direction to changes is not modern evolutionary biology, but is more like “intelligent design”.

  5. From the Jewish Virtual Library:

    Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was the master of the “big lie” tactic in which a lie, no matter how outrageous, is repeated often enough that it will eventually be accepted as truth. Goebbels explained: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it…”

    I’d say Mr. Weikart has not only read Mein Kampf, but has studied its underhanded techniques. Ironic that he would use Hitler’s own tactics to manufacture a false link to nazism. Too bad there isn’t a moral bankruptcy court. That’s where everyone connected to Expelled should have wound up, long before it tanked financially.

  6. DI propaganda: “Darwinists went apoplectic, deriding Stein and Weikart for daring to sully the good name of Darwin by showing the way that Hitler and German scientists and physicians used evolutionary theory to justify some of their atrocities, such as their campaign to kill the disabled.”

    Never mind that any sentence that uses the word “Darwinists” is at best a paranoid rant, what I notice in particular is that the atrocities are always confined within a “kind.” Which means that the “microevolution” that these propagandists concede is all the “justification” they need.

    The reason I say “at best” is because, however paranoid these people may be, they usually know that they’re pulling one big bait-and-switch, on top of an “is ought” fallacy.

  7. Yeah, because trying to make the Darwin-Hitler linkage has worked so well to reduce mainstream belief in evolution.

    What’s that phrase about insanity? Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

  8. eric: “Yeah, because trying to make the Darwin-Hitler linkage has worked so well to reduce mainstream belief in evolution.”

    It’s impossible to do a control study, and I would not trust any answers from people who are asked if that strategy increased their doubt of evolution. But I would not be surprised if that strategy converted a small % of fence-sitters, and increased the paranoia of a small % that were already somewhat wary of evolution. If so, the scam artists accomplished everything they wanted, and to them, that more than compensates for any fincncial loss from “Expelled.”

  9. Darwin’s (and Haeckel’s) books were evidently banned in Nazi Germany – burned even, according to some historians. I haven’t found a definitive list of verboten titles and authors yet. However, the 1935 Die Bucherei (“the official Nazi journal for lending libraries”) includes the following among its guidelines: “Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism.” There’s an article archived at The Panda’s Thumb on this very subject.

    Hitler wasn’t exactly scientifically savvy, luckily for the Allies. “Jewish science” is how he famously dismissed Einstein. Spinning that history into a so-called “Darwinian” policy on Nazi eugenics is morally and intellectually reprehensible.