Klinghoffer, von Brunn, & Darwin: Part II

This is a follow-up to our earlier post: James von Brunn: “Evolutionist”?, in which we discussed the bizarre claim by David Klinghoffer that James von Brunn’s maniacal shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum was somehow inspired by the work of Charles Darwin.

Not content to let his foolish article fade away, Klinghoffer — the intellectual pride of the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) — has decided to post what he thinks is a defense of his original article.

We present to you, dear reader, David Klinghoffer’s What if James von Brunn Had Been an Intelligent Design Advocate?

For those who objected to my post yesterday quoting Holocaust Museum shooting suspect James von Brunn on the role of evolutionary doctrine, however distorted, in his rationale for racism, let me ask you a question.

Your Curmudgeon interrupts Klinghoffer’s paragraph to ask him a question of our own. David, do you have any clue how absurd your earlier article was? James von Brunn didn’t make any claims about evolution. His rants, at least the parts you quoted, were all about racism. Everything about evolution came from you. The closest von Brunn came to evolution was this nonsensical sentence:

As with ALL LIBERAL ideologies, miscegenation is totally inconsistent with Natural Law: the species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation.

Who in the world claims that “species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation”? Certainly not Darwin. It was you, David, who imagined that von Brunn was talking about Darwin’s work. As a Discoveroid “senior fellow,” this is not surprising.

All right, that was our interruption. Let’s read some more of Klinghoffer’s defense, as he presents his own question to us:

Try this thought experiment. If in his crazed manifesto he had somehow found support for his thinking not in evolution but in intelligent design, do you think we would have heard nothing about it from the media as in fact we’ve heard nothing (except from me) about his evolutionary thoughts?

David, we , must repeat ourselves: There was no support for von Brunn’s “thinking” in evolution. None. It was all in your imagination. Now, to your question — what if he had been an ID buff? No doubt it would have been a hot topic.

The “evolutionary” origin of von Brunn’s thinking wasn’t hushed up, David. You’re the only person in all of creation who thinks it exists. Your “exposure” of the Darwin connection wasn’t an act of journalistic courage on your part; it was an exposure of your own prejudice. Well, your Seattle colleagues probably agree with you, but that’s expected.

Here’s more:

What if he had based his hate explicitly on Biblical literalist creationism? Or on Roman Catholicism? Or Evangelical Protestantism? Or Orthodox Judaism? Would that similarly have been hushed up?

The question is still assuming that the imaginary Darwinian origin of von Brunn’s thinking was hushed up. There’s no point in pursuing an extension of the original error.

Let’s continue with Klinghoffer’s apologia:

Continue the thought experiment. Let’s say, in this imaginary scenario, that the media had indeed made clear his support for intelligent design, creationism, Roman Catholicism, or what have you. Would you then be condemning the media as you condemn me?

No, David. If the reporting were true, there would be nothing about it to condemn. But that’s hardly the case with what you claimed in your original article.

Here’s the rest of Klinghoffer’s piece:

Please tell me your answer. Honestly now, and without resorting to personal abuse if you can possibly manage it. For those who can’t manage it, please go ahead and answer anyway. I still want to hear your reply.

This is a sad situation. There’s nothing more to be said here — at least, not to David. For everyone else, we can salvage some good out of this shipwreck. There’s an important lesson to be learned here. Read David’s writings and be warned — This is your mind on creationism!

Update: Klinghoffer has posted at the Discoveroid blog, and this is our response: Discovery Institute Exploits James von Brunn.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Klinghoffer, von Brunn, & Darwin: Part II

  1. This is bad – even for Klinghoffer. How does it make sense on any level? I can’t tell who knows less about evolution, Klinghoffer or von Brunn.

  2. I saw his essay this morning, but hadn’t finished yet that first cup of coffee. Thanks for elucidating Klinghoffer’s pathetic attempts to exploit a tragedy to make a non-existent point.

  3. Hi, Lauri. This behavior is typical. The most enormous example, of course, is the alleged Hitler connection, but they try to tie in lesser things too. The Columbine High School massacre. The suicide of a student (Jesse Kilgore) who had allegedly been reading Dawkins’ book, etc. Everything is Darwin’s fault. It’s rather like the behavior of a tribal witch doctor who takes advantage of every thunderstorm and rumbling of the volcano.

  4. Hmmm. Frankly, I thought his “thought experiment” was more to misdirect the heat from his thoughtlessness onto an easy target. The obviously biased liberal media. It’s not David’s fault that “we’ve heard nothing (except from me) about his [von Brunn’s] evolutionary thoughts”. Sure, lets ignore the other 99.9% of von Brunn’s racist diatribe and concentrate solely on the few paragraphs that might vaguely indict evolution as the REAL culprit.

    David says, “No, he doesn’t cite Darwin by name in the part of his book that’s readable online — the first 6 of 12 chapters. But do you get the general drift? And you want to tell me that ideas don’t have consequences?”

    So, vaguely mentioned ideas by people not named means they are responsible for the actions of lunatics? I guess we should condemn all of Christianity because the Virginia Tech killer likened himself to Jesus Christ and Charles Manson was an avid bible reader and based his murder spree on Revelations?

    Yes, ideas “have consequences” like the idea of taxation without representation led to the American Revolution. I guess they must have been crazy too.

  5. Roger says:

    Frankly, I thought his “thought experiment” was more to misdirect the heat from his thoughtlessness onto an easy target. The obviously biased liberal media.

    Noooo! Darwin always gets a free pass from the media for all the evil he causes! It’s a conspiracy! (The media are corrupt, of course, but in this case there’s no cover-up.)

  6. Since when is ‘they’d be bad to me if the shoe was on the other foot’ justification for bull crap?

    Claiming that others would do the same thing in the same position does not make doing the wrong thing acceptable.

    What an adolescent argument. Klinghoffer, grow the f&^% up.