Klinghoffer: The Evil of Evolution

This is a classic. It’s by David Klinghoffer, and it appears at the blog of the Discoveroids — both described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

The title of Klinghoffer’s article is Darwin the Dog Offers 7 Ethical Principles for Kids, Courtesy of American Humanist Association. Darwin the dog? Yeah, that’s what he’s writing about.

Klinghoffer is outraged about an ad campaign by the American Humanist Association that features a dog named Darwin who tells kids that they can be good without God. We’re not involved with the humanists and we haven’t seen any of their material, so we’ll have to go with Klinghoffer’s description. He says that Darwin the dog encourages the kids to:

Be nice! Care for the world around us! Think for myself! Think about how other people feel! Tell the truth! Help others! Take good care of myself!

Nothing wrong with that, but Klinghoffer is furious. He says, with bold font added by us:

Actually, that last one — which goes on to say, “I promise to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and practice good personal hygiene” — does resonate with a Darwinian system of values. If you don’t have physical life and health, the abilty [sic] to reproduce and compete, you’ve got nothing. But the others? From a perusal of the real Darwin’s books, with the picture of the ways of the world they offer, what morals would you draw?

Huh? Darwin was a naturalist; he didn’t write a treatise on morals. Let’s keep reading, to see what moral principles Klinghoffer derives from Darwin’s work. Here’s Klinghoffer’s imaginary advice to children from Charles Darwin:

More accurately they should be things like:

• Mate early and often! Note to boys: maximize the number of your partners if at all possible.

• Encourage members of inferior races to abstain from reproducing!

• When you observe the suffering of the weak, don’t let it get you down! It’s all for the betterment of the race.

• Lie or tell the truth as seems most expedient! Truth-telling carries no adaptive advantage.

Klinghoffer is an astute observer. We all behave like that! He continues:

Latter-day exponents of Darwinism might add:

• Persecute, intimidate and silence those who disagree with you!

• Shield yourself from evidence that runs counter to your conception of reality!

A creationist claims that “Darwinists” are shielding themselves from evidence? Amazing. As for the persecution thing, to our knowledge, besides well-known instances of theocratic insanity like the Galileo affair, the only person authorities literally tried to “persecute, intimidate, and silence” was John Scopes. But it wasn’t the “Darwinists” who committed those atrocities.

Klinghoffer is probably thinking of Discoveroid martyrs like David Coppedge, who lost his job for what a judge thought were good and sufficient non-religious reasons, but even so, Coppedge wasn’t “persecuted and silenced.” His creationist website is still out there, and he’s going around giving speeches to anyone who wants to hear him. It’s the same with the Discoveroids. Here’s the end of Klinghoffer’s little essay:

Isn’t it funny how humanism, materialism, Darwinism — whatever you want to call it — has to plagiarize its sense of right and wrong from the ethical tenets of the “gods from the stories” in whom Darwin the dog assures kids it’s just dandy to disbelieve.

Uh … David, we don’t know how to break this news to you, but there were moral people in this world who never heard of your religion. Socrates, for example. And although everyone’s heard of your religion by now, there are still moral people — lots of them — who accept Darwin’s theory, whether or not they ignore your religion.

Oh, we should add that there are plenty of preachers who know all there is to know about religion, yet they’ve done the most abominable deeds. And while we’re discussing Darwin, please name one immoral act on your list that he committed. Just one will do.

Can’t name any, David? We didn’t think so. Anyway, quit kicking Darwin the dog. He’s not bothering anyone.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer: The Evil of Evolution

  1. the only person authorities literally tried to “persecute, intimidate, and silence” was John Scopes

    Your point’s taken, but in fact the authorities didn’t try to “persecute, intimidate, and silence” John Scopes. As most of the relevant histories now make clear, the Monkey Trial was a bit of publicity stunt mounted by the good folk of Dayton, with Scopes a volunteer. (Bryan offered to pay his fine.) The Inherit the Wind version is a bit of mythopoeia.

  2. Kling-“project much?”-dumper just can’t resist being deliberately, willfully stupid and, at least, he always delivers the goods. Rather than comment on the actual article, he makes up an article, a la Luskin, based on a fantasy he would have liked to experience and probably did at a party hosted inside his head by all those voices.

    I liked the ones about persecuting and silencing those who don’t agree with you like his very own article thrown out from behind his commentary-proof firewall, safe from objection thus silencing those who don’t agree with him. And hiding from the evidence! Oh, Klinkleklankle, you are soooo cute!

    As the Disco Tute continues its downward spiral into obscurity, having already pass the milestone of irrelevancy, we can only hope that Kooperpooper keeps us entertained with les oeufs de merde like this.

    Carry on.

  3. SC “Anyway, quit kicking Darwin the dog. He’s not bothering anyone.”
    In the fossil records of double entendre,The Humane Society and science SC, that last sentence is a classic. Too funny.
    🙂

  4. “Mate early and often!” is actually quite a good strategy in the environments of many species. Not so successful in the circumstances of many other species though, for instance many primates and other mammals. But in humans, if by “mate” you mean “f***”, and since plenty of f*****g helps to form and maintain stable long-term relationships, “F*** early and often!” is good advice.

  5. Oops! My (previous) comment seems to have run foul of some sort of filter. Sorry, SC, but I hope you will see that it has merit. I suppose I can reword somewhat if you’d rather.

  6. Perhaps a children’s book should be written featuring a character named “Klingie the Meanie”, in which kids are taught not to publish mean-spirited, cruel, and completely unprovoked dishonest snarks about other people.

    Klingie appears to think that people are only ethical because they are told to be, upon penalty of eternal hellfire by one God or another. People who are ethical because they wish to be, because they’ve been raised to feel that it’s the right thing to do, or maybe just because it promotes a better society for all, are incomprehensible to Kling. Evidently Kling would need to be locked up in a hurry if he ever lost his belief in god, because per his online scribblings, he has demonstrated that he has no ethical core.

  7. Y’know, “survival of the fittest” doesn’t always translate to “stomp on every other individual to survive”. Some of the most successful species alive cooperate, communicate, and share with one another to prolong the betterment of their species.

  8. He and the other dishonesty institute fellows actually get paid money for this sort of tripe? Then again, like we just saw from the last campaign, there is a lower intelligence of an audience that gobbles this stuff up.

  9. jimroberts says: “Oops! My (previous) comment seems to have run foul of some sort of filter.”

    Yeah, big time. Don’t stress the software like that.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Grum … good point that Kaddidlhopper missed … behavior of species is not directly controlled by the rules of evolution. That my dog and cat can sleep in the same room is a simple proof that he has no idea what he is talking about. (Or two athiests sleeping in the same room, for that matter.)

  11. Oh, we should add that there are plenty of preachers who know all there is to know about religion, yet they’ve done the most abominable deeds.

    That’s right SC and our government underside has just established a “Royal Commission”, that is, an independent body, to investigate these crimes.

    And KlingyThingy should just buy himself a pooper-scooper; they’re cheap.

  12. I went to a humanist meeting once, it actually was to see a lecture about Nietzsche, which ended up getting canceled. I was in my late 20s at the time and it struck me how old they all were. One was a pacifist, another was a transexual, and all were extremely liberal (nothing objectionable just observations and I felt didn’t quite fit in). Overall though I was astonished how incredibly nice everyone was, really very nice people. A message to Klinghopper, as social animals our relationships often exhibit altruistic behavior.

  13. “Lie or tell the truth as seems most expedient! Truth-telling carries no adaptive advantage.”, Is Col.Kling having a little bit of a transference episode?

  14. “Shield yourself from evidence that runs counter to your conception of reality”! Spewed coffee when I got to that.

  15. But…but…how is “Darwinism” responsible for sins such as David McConaghie arrested over David Simpson office ‘toilet camera’

    I mean, Mr McConaghie “… had previously been a minister in the Elim Pentecostal Church”.

  16. Charley Horse

    I think Darwin would growl at Klinghopper.
    I know my beagle would have nothing to do with him.

    You just know Darwin is a beagle…

  17. Ed, your entire post above is a brilliant statement differentiating ethics from religion.

    The DI, and Klinghoofer in particular, like to dwell on what they consider to be “the evils of evolution”. For instance, they try to link Darwin with Hitler, Stalin, etc. in their attempts to discredit evolution.

    But when we analyze their “arguments”, we realize that it doesn’t matter a whit if evolution were the most vile, evil, despicable, unethical concept to ever be thought — evolution is still true. Life on Earth has changed dramatically over time. ALL the evidence — the entire fossil record, the relatedness of species, DNA — everything — indicates that evolution is fact. So what if Hitler “believed in” evolution? (He didn’t, but Klingy likes to say so.) No matter what anyone believes, it doesn’t negate the evidence.

    Evolution is fact. Darwin proposed his theory of natural selection as an explanation of how evolution has occurred. So far, no one has proposed any idea that better fits the evidence.

  18. Umm, I thought the DI did not subscribe to the notion of a Christian God. (Pardon the capitalized G). I thought the designer could be anything, Christian God, Zeus, Thor, Brahma, any number of potential supernatural supreme beings. Seems he is giving away the cover in public.