Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler

THE advocates of Intelligent Design have come to the End of Days and they know it — but it won’t work out as foretold in Revelations. Instead of experiencing the Rapture they’ll experience the humiliation of being evicted when they can no longer pay the rent on their Seattle digs.

We have never been more certain that Intelligent Design, as a movement, is in its final spasms. One reason to suspect this is an implication of Godwin’s law — that the losing side of a long and hopeless argument inevitably plays the Hitler card.

Regardless of that, knowledge of the approaching end is the only explanation for the increasing indications of decay and desperation we see in the blog articles at the website 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).

For a good example of what we’re talking about, consider Can Ruse’s View of Ethics Save Us from Hitler? It’s by Richard Weikart. At the start of this revealing Discoveroid blog entry we’re told:

Historian Richard Weikart is featured prominently in the just-released DVD, “What Hath Darwin Wrought?” exploring the painful history of Social Darwinism in Germany and America from the twentieth century to the present.

We’ve mentioned Richard Weikart before. 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.

Now that you know what we’re dealing with, let’s see a few excerpts from his Discoveroid rant. Weikart says, with bold font added by us:

Michael Ruse recently criticized my work in From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, which examines the way that evolutionary ethics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined Judeo-Christian views of ethics, especially the sanctity-of-life ethic. Ruse opposes my claim that evolutionary ethics as proposed by Darwin and other evolutionists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries exerted a powerful influence on Hitler’s ideology.

So what we have here is Discoveroid “fellow” Weikart defending his Darwin-to-Hitler dogma against some criticism by Michael Ruse. Interestingly, other Discoveroids have been critical of Michael Ruse, who is a respected philosopher of biology at Florida State University. We’ve written before about attacks on Ruse by Casey Luskin (Cornered and Panicked), and by David Klinghoffer (Creationism and Morality), and Ruse was one of the “bad guys” mentioned in Expelled, Ben Stein’s documentary slime-fest. If those aren’t sufficient credentials, your Curmudgeon mentioned Ruse favorably in one of our early posts.

We’ve spend a lot of time telling you about the players, but that’s because there’s not much substance in today’s Discoveroid article. It’s a rather vacuous defense of Weikart’s “Darwin-to-Hitler” nonsense — but that nonsense is just about all the Discoveroids have going for them these days. That is why we find this article to be so revealing of the mindset of an institution in its death throes.

Let’s read on. Weikart says:

Given his own views on the evolution of ethics, I’m wondering what Ruse has to offer us to counter Hitler’s own ethics.

Hey — wait a minute! Where is Weikart’s defense of his “Darwin-to-Hitler” claims? We’re not seeing any. As we sometimes do, dear reader, we ask you to observe what isn’t here. All we see is Weikart’s weak attack on Ruse by raising a side issue — how to counter Hitler’s ethics. That’s not a difficult problem, but aside from that, what does it have to do with Darwin’s theory of evolution? Does Weikart tell us? We continue:

Ruse has written on several occasions that ethics is “illusory” and an “illusion” that is biologically innate, helping us survive and reproduce. Ethics and morality, then, are nothing but the products of evolution, having no objective basis. (This is also Darwin’s own view). So what moral fulcrum does Ruse (or Darwin) have for pronouncing Hitler’s policies evil or wrong?

No objective basis for ethics? Really? That’s flat-out absurd. For example, even a retardate can objectively distinguish between aggressive slaughter and self-defense. We doubt that Charles Darwin had any difficulty in knowing right from wrong — even if if he thought that social cooperation has an evolutionary basis. And does anyone — even an ideologue like Weikart — claim that Darwin could be indifferent to Hitler’s depravity? How can Weikart write stuff like this? As we said at the start, this is symptomatic of a movement that knows it’s coming to the end.

Here’s more from Weikart:

Hitler claimed he was acting in harmony with his own instincts, which taught him to love his racial comrades and hate and destroy those of other races. As I explain in detail in Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, Hitler thought he was advancing human evolution by destroying “inferior” races, and for him promoting evolution was the highest good.

Rubbish! As we pointed out in Hitler and Darwin by quoting (and linking to) Mein Kampf, Hitler claimed to be acting in accordance with the will of God. And he never even mentioned Darwin. [Addendum: We posted before that Winston Churchill read Darwin, and is the only WWII leader we know of who did so.]

There’s not much else in Weikart’s article — certainly nothing that supports the alleged link between Darwin’s theory and Hitler. So we’ll take his article for what it actually signifies: the Discoveroids’ death rattle. The end is nigh!

Update: See Discovery Institute: The Shroud of Seattle.

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

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14 responses to “Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler

  1. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of idiots.

  2. It seems the whole Hitler – Atheist – Darwin myth is taking a pummeling since the Pope unwisely opened his mouth upon arrival in Britain. Dawkins, and PZ for sure, but links between Hitler and the Catholics and many quotes from his writings about his religious motivations are all over the blogosphere and even in the media.

    This is a topic Weikart would be wise to avoid for a while.

  3. Ed says:

    It seems the whole Hitler – Atheist – Darwin myth is taking a pummeling since the Pope unwisely opened his mouth upon arrival in Britain.

    The Pope needs to understand that the church no longer controls what everyone knows. These days it can be all over the blogosphere in hours — with links to authoritative sources — that Hitler mentioned his religion a zillion times and never mentioned Darwin even once.

  4. I don’t think any knows what Hitler really believed, and I don’t think he himself probably believed the same things from day to day (see the foreign policy goals set forth in Mein Kampf which embarrassed Hitler in the 30s). To me it doesn’t matter. It’s the bad things he did, not the bad things he believed, that were the problem–there have been millions of pe0ple who hated Jews, thought they belonged to the highest race, etc etc but only one of them tried to conquer Europe and set up death camps.

    It’s just propaganda what these guys are doing, it clearly never was having much effect and I am really glad to see that these guys are going to be losing their funding and having to work real jobs.

  5. Gabriel Hanna says:

    … I am really glad to see that these guys are going to be losing their funding and having to work real jobs.

    Let’s not get carried away. They’re still very much in business, but obviously at wits’ end, and I don’t know how much longer their patrons will keep this farce going.

  6. It’s always black or white thinking with ignorant people, isn’t it? If it isn’t Universal Morality (TM) then it’s the all out chaos of relativism. Hey, idiots! Have you ever heard of social construction??? Duh.

  7. He!

    helping us survive and reproduce. Ethics and morality, then, are nothing but the products of evolution, having no objective basis.

    I guess their definition of “objective” is “God-given.” Otherwise they would know that they are describing an objective basis. They said it is a product of evolution, nothing an individual can do about that. Thus, allowing myself to be as repetitive as I always am, there is nothing subjective about it.

    🙂

  8. There’s a curious contradiction in the Weikert/Klinghoffer position:

    1) Taking Darwinism seriously implies moral relativism.
    2) Hitler took Darwinism seriously.
    3) Hitler was not a moral relativist.

    They accept (1) and (2) — both of which are false, by the way — but don’t even notice that (1) and (2) are inconsistent with (3). For it seems fairly clear, based on the historical records, that Hitler was just as much of a moral absolutist as Plato or Kant — or, for that matter, Weikert and Klinghoffer themselves.

  9. I forgot to mention something I posted earlier. Winston Churchill read Darwin, and is the only WWII leader I know of who did so.

  10. SC, did you read in Churchill’s WWII memoirs about when FDR tried to convert Molotov to Christianity?

  11. No. Am I correct in assuming that the effort was unsuccessful?

  12. I understand that Molotov invited FDR over for cocktails.

  13. Hitler writes, IIRC in Mein Kampf, that animals are “kinds” in the Biblical sense, and by implication, so are human races/nations. That is to say, they don’t change but remain true to an almost “Platonic ideal” of their kind. That by itself destroys any notion that Hitler believed in, much less understood, Darwin’s theory of evolution. IDiots can’t distinguish between the scientific theory of Evolution, and Social Darwinism, which have little if anything to do with each other, apart from sharing (not entirely equivalent) theories of competition for resources.

    I wouldn’t rejoice yet; these folks have been playing the Hitler card for a long time. It isn’t a sign of their impending demise. The only thing that could do that is if their source of funding disappeared. Don’t pop the champaign corks until that happens.