Category Archives: Evolution

Darwin Caused World War One, Part 2

Buffoon Award

The Discovery Institute has discovered yet another “scientific” reason to despise the theory of evolution. They’ve just posted about the latest “research” by John West (whom we affectionately call “Westie”). Westie was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo above this post.

This is their new post: A New Video Documentary Reveals the Hidden Ideological and Scientific Roots of World War I, which has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This month marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War. Between 1914 and 1918, the conflict took 16 million lives in brutal combat yet its causes remain strangely cloudy to most of us.

[...]

Now a new documentary film from Discovery Institute reveals the previously neglected ideological and scientific roots of the war that set the stage for the coming of Nazi Germany. The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War I [link omitted] debuts online today.

Exciting, isn’t it? Then they tell us:

In just 14 minutes, viewers are introduced to the powerful currents of Darwinian racial theory that helped to drive German intellectual and military leaders in the years leading up to 1914. Written and directed by Center for Science & Culture associate director John West, the video features the work of California State University historian Richard Weikart, author of the book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (Palgrave Macmillan). Dr. Weikart’s previous scholarship has revealed the role of evolutionary speculation that underlay Nazi racial theory.

Wowie — the video was not only written by Westie, he also directed it. What a talented guy! As for their “historian,” Weikart, we’ve written about him before — see Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part V. Let’s read on:

Far less familiar, to the public and even to some historians, is the role that what was then mainstream biology played in driving Germany to war. Some of that country’s leading figures regarded a war of annihilation as a necessary step in assuring the survival and thriving of the fittest race: their own.

What a discovery! Before Darwin, no nation ever fought a war that had any racist motivation. The Discoveroid post continues:

The film acknowledges that the causes of the war were complex, and it doesn’t claim that Darwinian biology was the only influence at work. It does show that Darwinism had an important impact in motivating German militarism.

Yes, it was Darwin’s fault. Hey, Weikart isn’t the first to spot this amazing fact. As we wrote in Darwin Also Caused World War One, William Jennings Bryan — the Great Populist Blowhard — made the same claim (and that earlier post explains the title of our post today). Here’s more from the Discoveroids:

As Dr. Weikart points out, Charles Darwin was a Social Darwinist, but of course had he to lived to see these events, he would have been horrified by the unintended consequences of his ideas.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Darwin probably never heard of social Darwinism, which was concocted by Herbert Spencer — see Banquet at Delmonico’s — Spencer and Social Darwinism. One final excerpt:

The film [written and directed by Westie!] reminds us of the consequences that science, including “consensus” science, can have on culture, playing out in the theater of history, in war and peace, life and death. Watch it now. [Link omitted.]

So there you are, dear reader. Are you convinced now to abandon your Darwinist ways?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Face of Creationism in Canada

You’re probably wondering about the title of this post. It was inspired by an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, a daily newspaper in Winnipeg, the biggest city in of Manitoba, Canada. They have this headline: Controversial trustee candidate calls for creationism teachings in schools.

The story is only a couple of paragraphs long and it’s not important — unless your kids go to school in the Louis Riel School Division. But what got our attention is the photo of the creationist candidate — Candace Maxymowich. It’s perfect! Candace is our ideal creationist. She could be the poster girl for creationism everywhere.

We’d love to copy the photo and put it above this post, but it belongs to the newspaper and we can’t use it without their permission. You have to click over there to see what we’re talking about. What a face! She’d be the perfect girl for Casey.

Otherwise, it’s fortunate that there isn’t any news, because almost all our blogging time has been spent in the support threads arguing about the crazy new editor that WordPress is going to force upon us.

The old editor, renamed “classic,” is still available as an option, but that’s probably only until they get a few bugs worked out of the new thing. If you haven’t seen it, trust your Curmudgeon — you don’t want to. It’s designed for 12-year-old tweeters and such. The thing is idiotic and inconvenient in every way. But while the “classic” editor is still available, this place is tolerable.

When the new thing, named Beep Beep Boop — really, that’s its name — becomes the only editor available, and that seems inevitable, we may have to shut down the blog. We could move the thing elsewhere, but we keep hearing bad things about all the other blogging platforms. Until this Beep Beep Boop thing came along, WordPress was the best. But soon it may be the worst.

We haven’t made any plans to shut down or move yet, but we’re certainly considering both options. What we do depends on what WordPress does. They might make enough changes to Beep Beep Boop that it becomes usable, but at the moment that doesn’t seem likely. We’re hoping they keep the old editor as a permanent option, but that doesn’t seem likely either. We’ll have to see what develops.

That’s the situation. Sorry to be so grouchy. Maybe we’ll take another look at Candace Maxymowich. That might cheer us up.

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Creationist Wisdom #458: Defiant Rabbi

Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) comes to us from a website we’ve never visited before — NewsWithViews. From what little we’ve seen of their garish website and their about us page, they seem to be another WorldNetDaily, but we don’t yet know enough about them to have a firm opinion.

What caused them to be snared in our global news sweep is this column, which we’ll treat as if it were a letter-to-the-editor: CHOOSE WISELY, YOUNG MAN.

We usually omit the writer’s full name and city, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures, but in this case the letter-writer is Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He seems to be the Jewish equivalent of a televangelist, with his own TV show and his own website, which has an online store where you can buy DVDs of his television series. Wikipedia has an article on him: Daniel Lapin.

We’ve only just encountered this guy, but he seems to be very much in the pattern of people like ol’ Hambo, and unless we learn differently, he’ll get the same treatment around here. Is it proper to call a rabbi a rev? Apparently so. The word “reverend” is applicable to all clergy. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

He begins by saying that it was “politically incorrect, imprudent and dangerously reckless” for a German living under the Nazi regime to announce that he had Jewish friends, or for Russian living under Stalin to declare his admiration for America, or for a Muslim living in a country under Sharia law to express enthusiasm for Christianity. From there, he leaps into the all-too familiar “persecution by the secularist conspiracy” mode:

Any American today, living under the oppression of the country’s dominant faith, secular fundamentalism, who professes belief in the God of Abraham and in the Bible is being politically incorrect.

Somehow, despite that “oppression,” the rev seems to be doing okay. It’s amazing that he can survive in such a hostile culture. He tells us how horrible things are:

If he [who professes such belief] works in entertainment, government, or education he is also being imprudent and reckless. He won’t imperil his life as in my earlier examples but he will certainly jeopardize his job.

Wow — it sounds like the days when Nero was Emperor. In America, religious folks have to meet secretly in the catacombs. Let’s read on:

Just ask Professors Mark Armitage, Richard Sternberg, and Guillermo Gonzalez.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now you know how the rev ended up in our morning news sweep. Do we have any readers who don’t recognize those names? Well, okay, we’ll give you some links for background — but just one per individual. See WorldNetDaily Supports Mark Armitage. Regarding Richard Sternberg (formerly Richard von Sternberg), he’s a Discovery Institute “senior fellow,” known for the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. As for the rev’s third martyr, whom we call “Gonzo,” he’s another Discoveroid “senior fellow” — see this from a year ago: Ball State University Hires Guillermo Gonzalez.

Bear in mind that those guys are the rev’s intellectual heroes. He continues:

Like any bully resorting to force after failing to persuade by fact and reason, secularism silences dissent with suppression, ridicule, and threat.

Science has not failed to persuade by fact and reason. That’s how it has prevailed — well, except for people like the rev. As for threats — what scientists do that? We dish out our share of well-deserved ridicule around here, but the only victims of threats and suppression we’re aware of have been people on the science side — like Galileo and John Scopes. Notwithstanding his fantasies of threats and suppression, the rev seems to enjoy a wide audience, so what kind of imaginary world is he living in? Here’s more:

The underlying belief of secularism is that we humans are nothing more than super-evolved primates. You think you’re touched by the finger of God? Don’t be ridiculous! You’re just an animal with all the healthy appetites of an animal. If it feels good, do it.

Oh, how horrible! Were it up to the rev, whatever feels good would be forbidden.

The rest of the rev’s column is about the wickedness of sex — except for the kind sanctioned by him. There’s lots of bible talk and loads of preaching about the joys of virginity. This is Sunday, so if you’re in the mood for a sermon, then click over there and read the rest of what the rev has to say. But this is where we’ll leave him — raving and ranting (in what seems to be perfect freedom) against suppression and threats.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Curmudgeon’s Creative Challenge #12

This is where we find out if you’ve got what it takes. Do you have the courage to put your thinking out there for all to see? You know what we’re getting at, don’t you?

Yes, it’s time, dear reader, for another Creative Challenge. But first, you need to be stimulated. Therefore, we remind you of all the intellectual thrills we’ve provided in the past. Our earlier contests were: #1 (Creationism is to evolution as ___ is to ____), followed by #2 (The typical Discoveroid’s next job will be _____), and then #3 (The Discoveroids are the dregs of _____), and then #4 (The creationists’ biggest lie is _____), and then #5 (Can _____ be defended using only scientific terms?, and then #6 (What shall we call a creationist toilet camera?), and then #7 (Credible evidence for the intelligent designer’s existence would be: ____), and then #8 (Devise an acronym — the individual letters of which are the initial letters of words that disparage the Discoveroids’ theory), and then #9 (The only thing less interesting than news of the Discoveroids’ Censor of the Year is ____), and then #10 (The expression that best describes the Discoveroids or their “science” or their methods is _____ ), and most recently #11 (X and Y are related phenomena. Therefore _______).

Today’s challenge is inspired by the totality of our experience documenting and ridiculing creationism in all its forms — young Earth, old Earth, total Genesis, modified Genesis, no Genesis, etc. We have often read something written by a creationist and thought to ourselves: Could anything be more obviously wrong than this? For example, consider the Discoveroids’ definition of intelligent design: Certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

That’s the setup for today’s challenge, dear reader. Let’s see if you can come up with something better (i.e., dumber) than that. We’re looking for something so contrary to reality, so lacking in evidence, and so absolutely untestable that only the brain-dead would even consider it, let alone accept it.

The form of the challenge is that in one sentence, you must tell us:

Something even more illogical and contrary to reality than creationism is _______.

A successful entry should be self-explanatory, but it’s quite all right to elaborate on your proposals. To get your creative juices flowing, we’ll offer one example of something even more illogical and contrary to reality than creationism: Experience teaches us that everyone is happiest if he isn’t allowed to think.

You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.

Your Curmudgeon will decide if there’s a winner, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!

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