One of our far-flung network of clandestine operatives (code name “Bayou Boy”) tipped us off to a letter in the Advocate, the major newspaper in Louisiana’s capitol city of Baton Rouge.
It’s written by Darrell White, founder of the Louisiana Family Forum (the “LFF”). That’s the creationist activist group largely responsible for the Louisiana Science Education Act (the “LSEA”) which was passed in 2008. The law encourages the use of unspecified “supplemental materials” — wink, wink — in science classes. The LSEA is one of those anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism “Academic Freedom” laws — the only one enacted so far — modeled after the Academic Freedom Act promoted by 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).
Darrell’s letter is titled Racial issues, political courage. He’s writing about an event reported earlier in the Advocate: Program aims to get people talking about race. That earlier article was about the:
“Race and Gravy” meeting held at the First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. [It was] designed to get people involved in small dinner meetings where discussions about race could take place … .
It sounds like a worthy event. In the article about it, there was no mention of evolution, or Darwin, or any of the other subjects that frequently pop up in The Controversy between evolution and creationism. But Darrell seems to be on a mission, and he sees “Darwinism” everywhere. Here are some excerpts from his letter, with bold font added by us:
A decade ago, state Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge, filed House Concurrent Resolution 74, in which she spotlighted the unmistakably Darwinian assumptions that underlie much of today’s racist thinking. (See http://retiredjudges.org/hcr74.)
Broome’s sensible resolution presented irrefutable evidence that biological racism (i.e., “inferior” and “superior” race characterizations) was used as a scientific justification for Nazi atrocities. Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) even sounds ominously like the subtitle of Charles Darwin’s 1859 book, “… The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”
Some moronic resolution in the moronic Louisiana legislature presented “irrefutable evidence” that “Darwinian assumptions” about “biological racism” justified Nazi atrocities? Okay, sure. And of course, Darrell mentions the subtitle of Darwin’s book — because it uses the word “race.” We assume he never read Darwin’s book with that subtitle, because it says nothing about human evolution or human races. We’ve discussed — and debunked — that nonsensical blather about Darwin’s subtitle here: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. We said:
In the on-line text of that book, we see that Darwin, like his contemporaries, uses the terms “race,” “sub-species,” “variety,” and similar expressions interchangeably in connection with a great number of animals (dogs, horses, etc.) and also plants (flowers, cabbages, etc.), sometimes intermixing them in the same context.
In other words, Darrell doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (Because it’s unlikely that Darrell knows anything about Darwin or his work, we don’t have to consider the possibility that he may have read the book and is deliberately lying about it.) Let’s read on in his letter:
The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., includes in its displays a Nazi-utilized volume — complete with earmarks and underlining — penned by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, describing the “science” of eugenics and used as a support for their plan of “perfecting the human race” by, as he put it, getting rid of its “undesirables” while multiplying its “desirables.”
Darwin’s cousin? So what? Charles Darwin disagreed with his cousin about the value of eugenics — he thought it was harmful to the evolution of our species — and we quoted him on that in our post to which we just linked. (Here it is again: Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin.) Note, by the way, that Darrell has nothing to say about anything actually written by Charles Darwin in the Holocaust Museum. That’s because Hitler never wrote a single word about Darwin, and was most likely clueless about evolution. It was Winston Churchill who actually did read Darwin, as we pointed out here. But Darrell wouldn’t know about such things — he’s obsessed with his own version of history.
One last excerpt from Darrell’s letter:
History may show that courageous Americans such as Sen. Sharon Broome and those involved in “Race and Gravy” discussions are best remembered because they brought needed critical thinking skills to bear on the issue of racism.
If that’s an example of what creationists mean when they call for “critical thinking,” then it’s yet another reason why all their “Academic Freedom” bills should be defeated.
Addendum: We checked out Darrell’s link to the Broome resolution. Her original draft is an insane rant that blames everything on Darwin. The final version, presumably passed by the legislature, omits all references to Darwin.
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