Creationism, Darwin, & Martin Luther King

WE present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from an article (or column, or something) titled Martin Luther King and Charles Darwin. This brilliant piece of journalism appears in the Newark Star-Ledger, the most widely circulated newspaper in New Jersey. It was written by George Berkin, who seems to be a regular columnist for that venerable organ.

Mr. Berkin may not be the biggest fool in New Jersey, but surely he deserves serious consideration by anyone attempting to construct a top-ten list. And we have to give him credit for opportunistically seizing the moment. In this column he adroitly commandeers the approaching holiday honoring Martin Luther King so he can take a swipe at Darwin and promote creationism.

Okay, you know what’s coming, so let’s get to it. The bold font was added by us:

I was asked the other day what race I considered myself a member of. I replied: Adam’s race.

Wow, what a clever reply! Let’s read on:

I’m reminded of this in the aftermath of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s recent ill-considered words, in which he commented on President Obama’s speaking voice. I’m also reminded of my racial heritage (that is, Adam’s race) as we look forward to celebrating on Monday the great achievement of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Can this guy possibly tie all those threads together? We continue:

The best way to understand that there is no room for racism in American society is to understand human beings from a creationist point of view. That is, to take the biblical account of man’s origins seriously, and literally.

Aaaargh!! Here’s more:

A Darwinian explanation of man, by contrast, may be more popular in the courts, in public schools and among NPR [National Public Radio] reporters. But philosophically – it is a Darwinian worldview that allows racism to exist, while a biblical perspective does not.

We’ve seen these symptoms before. It’s the old “Darwinism is racism” canard. In case you’re new to that issue, see: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. After presenting that wildly false claim, the article rapidly descends deeper into the raw sewage of creationism. For example:

The Nazis and other groups that acted on their “theories” of racial superiority based their abhorrent philosophies on what they perceived as applied Darwinism — i.e. survival of the fittest among competing races.

Are you new to that issue? Then see: Hitler and Darwin.

Observe, dear reader, that while he’s repeating worthless creationist fabrications, Mr. Berkin indicates that he has at least some dim awareness of evidence that contradicts what he’s saying. For example, he writes:

To be fair, most modern-day evolutionists are not racists, obviously.

[…]

And to be fair, some people in the past have misused the biblical text to support their own racist views.

What does a rational person do when confronted with evidence that contradicts his opinions? Right — he immediately grasps that his underlying assumptions must be revisited. But what does a creationist do? Right again! By skillfully deploying the No True Scotsman fallacy, Mr. Berkin manages to ignore all contradictions. (The biblical text was misused, etc.) Thus Berkin can hold firmly to his foolishness. Observe the result:

But there are reasons why a Darwinian perspective has room for racism, while a biblical perspective utterly excludes any racist attitudes. It’s all in the underpinnings, the philosophical building blocks, as it were, of the two competing world views.

[…]

With everybody equally made in the image of God and everybody equally a “sinner” (to use that old-fashioned but very descriptive word), there is no room for “racial” one-upmanship.

Right. That’s why no creationists have ever been racists (except for those who were, but no true creationist counts them). And that’s why all “Darwinists” are racists (except for all of those who aren’t). But wait, there’s more. After making those nonsensical points about Darwin and racism, Mr. Berkin goes on to descend even deeper into the slime. Get this:

Contrast that to the philosophical underpinnings of Darwinism. Our first hint comes from the sub-title of Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” which reads, “On the Preservation of Favored Races.” The sub-title, surely embarrassing to modern-day evolutionists, is routinely excluded from information given to high school students. But that is how Charles Darwin thought, and it is entirely consistent with the Darwinist point of view.

We’ve already discussed that bit of absurdity in Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. There’s more to Berkin’s column, but it’s not worth excerpting here. We’ll skip several paragraphs until we get to his thrilling conclusion:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously looked forward to the time when we would consider each man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. Indeed, the biblical text stresses looking at each man’s character. God looks on the inside, it says, while man looks on outward appearance. Let’s keep a biblical perspective on race relations, especially as we celebrate this week.

So there you are. In addition to all the other balderdash and science-denial preached by creationists, now they’re appropriating the memory of Dr. King as an argument against evolution. Like all other creationist arguments, this one is also worthless — but at least it’s timely.

Permit your Curmudgeon to express his own holiday thought: To honor the memory of Dr. King and every other decent person who ever lived — try not to be stupid.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Creationism, Darwin, & Martin Luther King

  1. comradebillyboy

    I was under the impression that biblically justified racism long predated Darwin.

  2. comradebillyboy says: “I was under the impression that biblically justified racism long predated Darwin.”

    Nope! It all started with Darwin. He gave Eve the apple. It’s been downhill since then.

  3. Oh yes. The embarrassment of the subtitle “On the Preservation of the Favored Races” we evolutionists get. After all, it ignited the cabbage race riots, cabbage slavery, and cabbage apartheid for centuries after it publication. Only by accepting the biblical “cabbage kind” have we begun to heal those awful wounds.

  4. lewis thomason

    This is not one of his worse pieces of blather,but its close. read some of his other stuff on other issues.

  5. Albanaeon says: “Oh yes. The embarrassment of the subtitle …”

    Quite. After reading the book, I was immediately motivated to become a slave-trader.

  6. Of cabbages?

  7. Gabriel Hanna

    No true creationist is a racist, and no true Darwinist is not one.

    When you get to redefine words to mean whatever you want, this is sort of argument you get.

  8. Let’s see: God made the different races for his own pleasure and glory. He then gave them the ability to interbreed but then told them not to. But they did anyway and apparently that’s what brought on the Flood. Ergo, if I were a Christian and God threatened me with natural disaster for not being a racist, I’d be a racist, too. Notice that we haven’t even gotten to Darwin yet.

  9. Gabriel Hanna

    @Maitri: The Nephelim probably weren’t human at all, and the history of Christian racism is based on the aftermath of the flood (Ham and Noah).

  10. Yeah, it was real classy of him to avoid talking at all about Noah’s sons, the curse of Ham, or about the races that descended from Lot’s incest.

    Like every creationist I’ve yet met, he brazens forth with the double-standard: whenever the Bible is used to justify an atrocity, it’s an unfortunate misunderstanding, but whenever the Origins of Species is used to justify an atrocity, it’s a straightforward logical consequence.

  11. George Berkin (Responsing to a reader’s comment):

    “Thanks for your comment. What I am saying is that evolution is a 19th-century fairy tale, pretending to be science. In many cases, fairy tales are harmless, as when a child believes in Santa, but still eats his vegetables.
    But evolution, as a fairy tale, can be dangerous, because it removes many restraints on evil behavior. For example, a Darwinist denies that his neighbor is made in God’s image, somehow “sponsored” by God. That denial makes it easier to be indifferent to his neighbor.
    Second, a Darwinist, under his belief system, cannot close off the possibility that one group has “evolved” more than others. (The Nazis used this “reasoning” to do wicked things.)
    Many people who say they believe in evolution fortunately act inconsistent with their stated beliefs — they act as though everyone has the divine spark. But when they don’t, the results can be terrible.
    BTW, most of the serious racists I have met said they believed in evolution, so unconfirmed information about people you mght know doesn’t really move the argument.
    All the best to you.”

    I think that pretty much says it all; George is utterly clueless about evolutionary theory. But, what did you expect?

  12. Nice one Keelyn. And then in his next comment George says, “The Bible is quite clear: all equally made in God’s image, all equally fallen. God does not play favorites.”

    Talk about fairy tales! George’s God plays favorites all the time (Pat Robertson says the Haitian disaster is God’s will) and didn’t seem to have much problem with genocide either. Whole populations of men, women AND children were wiped out by him or his “chosen” people. The epitome was Noah’s flood. Only ONE family in the entire world was worth saving? How many thousands of newborn babies and children who hadn’t even learned to speak yet were killed then?

  13. Keelyn says: “George is utterly clueless about evolutionary theory.”

    Golly, I believe you’re right.

  14. George said: a Darwinist denies that his neighbor is made in God’s image, somehow “sponsored” by God. That denial makes it easier to be indifferent to his neighbor.

    He might have had a point if a lot of the “in God’s imagers” had actually not been indifferent to others (Pat Robertson, anyone?).

  15. So that means the KKK was actually a group of atheistic evilutionists? Boy did I have them pegged wrong. Nope, no racism there.