This is the latest in a long series of posts about a vicious campaign waged by the neo-Luddite, 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).
The Discoveroids have another article by Richard Weikart, about whom we’ve said:
He’s not only a Discoveroid “fellow” (i.e., full-blown creationist), he’s also the author of a book titled From Darwin to Hitler, which influenced James Kennedy, the now-deceased televangelist who made the influential “documentary” Darwin’s Deadly Legacy. We might consider Weikart to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.” If he’s not the originator of that foul dogma, he’s certainly one of its principal pillars.
We’ve posted several times about Weikart and the Discoveroids’ obsession with Hitler. Some examples are: Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, followed by The Shroud of Seattle, followed by Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part II, followed by Hitler & Darwin, Part II, followed by Hitler & Darwin, Part III.
We recently wrote Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part III. That was about an essay by Robert J. Richards, which was a scholarly take-down of Weikart’s claims that Darwin inspired Hitler. We wrote about Weikart’s allegations before in Hitler & Darwin, Part II, followed by Hitler & Darwin, Part III.
Most recently we wrote Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part IV, about a Discoveroid post by Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute. He too jumped on the Hitler bandwagon. The Discoveroids are all Hitler, all the time.
And now the madness continues. At the Discoveroids’ blog they’ve just posted Did Hitler Use the Term “Evolution” in Mein Kampf? It’s another effort by Weikart to defend his … ah, scholarship about Darwin and Hitler, and it refers back to the translation questions raised by Richards that we discussed in Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part III. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and his links omitted:
Some critics of my scholarship have tried to argue that Hitler did not believe in human evolution at all, despite the overwhelming evidence I present in my book, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress. Robert Richards even accuses me of playing a “sly trick” by translating the term “Entwicklung” as “evolution” in some passages of Mein Kampf. In the standard English translation of Mein Kampf (Houghton Mifflin’s edition), Ralph Manheim never translated “Entwicklung” as “evolution,” but always as “development.”
This is an utterly absurd issue. As we know so well from our daily news sweeps, the English word “evolution” pops up all over the place — in articles about the development of government programs, the design of corporate sales campaigns, and even in the improvement of sports teams. All of those processes (development, design, improvement) are referred to as “evolution.” It’s only in biology that the word is associated with Darwin. So what’s the big deal if Hitler occasionally used the equivalent German word? Hitler was a high school dropout, he never studied biology, and he never — not once — in any of his writings or the translated speeches we’ve seen — mentioned Darwin’s name. But, like sports writers, he used the word “evolution” from time to time.
Anyway, Weikart continues:
I have already refuted Richards’s accusation here, but this summer I decided to consult other translations of Mein Kampf to find out how other translators handled the passages in dispute. I examined the following translations:
Isn’t that sweet? Weikart spent his summer reading several translations of Mein Kampf. We won’t bother you with the list. Let’s read on:
Interestingly, I discovered that all these translators rendered “Entwicklung” as “evolution” in certain contexts, especially in the chapter on “Nation and Race.” The reason for this is rather obvious: In that chapter Hitler describes the struggle for existence among organisms as a natural process that improves the species. Sure sounds like evolution to me — and all these translators agree.
Whoop-de-doo! The only problem is that Hitler’s aggressive war of extermination is nothing like Darwin’s natural selection, so even if Hitler used the German word for “evolution” in that context, he wasn’t describing anything Darwinian — he was exposing his ignorance. Weikart then gives a few passages from the translations he likes, which aren’t worth copying here, and he concludes his defense by saying this:
In sum, my translation of “Entwicklung” as “evolution” agrees with the usage of most translators of Mein Kampf. Richards’s claim that I am playing a “sly trick” falls to the ground.
Richards’s claim falls to the ground? Weikart’s whole idiotic issue falls to the ground. Amazingly, Weikart still ignores the fact that — unlike Hitler — Winston Churchill actually did read Darwin. Hey, Weikart: No Darwin, no Churchill!
And we’ve got another slogan for ya, Weikart. Since it’s obvious that without the Hitler slur you Discoveroids have nothing to write about, how do you like this one — No Hitler, no Discovery Institute.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.