Discoveroids Adopt a Ken Ham Doctrine

This is about another example of the Great Creationist Coalescence (the GCC) of various creationist outfits. The last example was Ken Ham Adopts Another Discoveroid Doctrine. Before that we wrote Ken Ham Featured at WorldNetDaily, and before that Ken Ham Adopts the Privileged Planet Doctrine. Today you’ll see that the Discoveroids are returning the favor by adopting one of Hambo’s doctrines.

This just appeared at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Why My Critics Care So Much About the Darwin-Hitler Connection. It was written by Richard Weikart, who is 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 consider Weikart to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Howls of indignation erupted from the Darwinian community after I published my earlier historical works [links to his titles].

Maybe that’s because his “scholarship” is a wee bit, ah, dubious — see Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part VI. and also Discovery Institute: Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Part V, which links to several earlier posts on the same subject. Okay, back to the new Discoveroid article:

As I demonstrate in my newly released book [link omitted], there is a fundamental tension between many Darwinists’ claim that morality is an evolved trait — thus having no objective reality — and their moral indignation toward Hitler (and toward me for explaining how Darwinism informed Hitler’s ideology).

That’s a strange and totally artificial conflict. Morality is an intellectual concept, and concepts have no objective reality. But we’re intelligent enough to determine how we ought to live, and our moral principles are very much a part of our social existence. Let’s read on:

To be sure, I have encountered some true believers in Darwinism who have told me that their Darwinian-inspired moral relativism leads them to the conclusion that Hitler was neither right nor wrong. I once held a conversation with a philosophy graduate student who defended moral relativism on Darwinian grounds. After I pressed him to see if he was willing to be relativistic about Hitler’s atrocities, he uttered the stunning words, “Hitler was OK.”

Even if Weikart actually met such an idiot, the encounter proves nothing. He continues:

Maybe you think this student was just off his rocker. However, the leading evolutionary biologist and world famous atheist Richard Dawkins took a similar position in an interview, where he was being questioned about his moral relativism. Dawkins asked, “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.” If this is a tough moral question for Dawkins, he should stop pontificating about how religions are “the root of all evil,” especially since he doesn’t believe that evil actually exists!

Did Dawkins really say that? We hunted around to find the source. The best we could do was this blog post from December 2007: Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist by Larry Taunton, founder and Executive Director of something called Fixed Point Foundation. He says he had an interview with Dawkins, and his article begins like this:

As I made my way through the streets of Oxford [going to the interview], I speculated about the sort of man I would encounter. Was he a mad scientist bent on the destruction of the existing social order; an egomaniacal chap cleverly building the cult of his personality while laughing all the way to the bank; or a true believer, an evangelist for atheism, who believes in his message and in his mission?

Obviously, Taunton is a fair-minded, objective interviewer. Here’s one of his preliminary questions, followed by Dawkins’ answer:

“What defines your morality?” I asked with genuine curiosity.

There was an extended pause as Dawkins considered the question carefully. “Moral philosophic reasoning and a shifting zeitgeist.” He looked off and then continued. “We live in a society in which, nowadays, slavery is abominated, women are respected, children can’t be abused — all of which is different from previous centuries.”

Fair enough. Then we get to the part that Weikart quote-mined:

I asked an obvious question: “As we speak of this shifting zeitgeist, how are we to determine who’s right? If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?”

“Yes, absolutely fascinating.” His response was immediate. “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question. But whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath.”

That’s all there is on the subject. Did Dawkins say that he, personally, had difficulty deciding that Hitler was wrong? No, he obviously didn’t, but that’s what Weikart wants us to believe. Let’s return to his essay:

Most Darwinists, however, including those who believe in the evolution of morality, do not have consciences as dead as Dawkins, so they are genuinely outraged by the historical connections between Darwin and Hitler. They consider Hitler truly evil, and they don’t want their positive image of Darwin tarnished by any association with this evil man.

Especially when the “association” is totally fictitious — see Hitler and Darwin. Moving along, we finally come to why this is an example of the Great Creationist Coalescence. Weikart asks:

However, why do they care about this at all? If they believe, as many do, that morality is simply “an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes,” as evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson and philosopher Michael Ruse famously put it, then what makes the illusions of some people superior to Hitler’s illusions?

[*Groan*] It never occurred to us that morality is a genetic illusion. It’s probably true, however, that a tendency to cooperation has been bred into us. But the philosophical subject of ethics is a different matter. Anyway, Weikart wonders why evolutionists (immoral beasts that we are) care about morality. That’s the sort of question we see all the time from ol’ Hambo. A good example is this article he wrote a year ago: Why Do Atheists Care? Hambo says we shouldn’t care, because morality comes to us only from the bible. Weikart feels the same way — morality only comes from religion — his religion — so everyone else is inherently depraved.

Okay, that’s enough from Weikart. His essay clearly demonstrates that the Great Creationist Coalescence is continuing.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Discoveroids Adopt a Ken Ham Doctrine

  1. Lying liar continues to lie. Color me surprised.

  2. I had to laugh when I read this:
    is an evolved trait — thus having no objective reality
    How can anyone be taken seriously who can say that a wing has no objective reality because it is an evolved trait?

  3. docbill1351

    Nobody cares about Wankart. He’s completely unknown. The “howls of indignation” were the voices in his head flashing back to the time he dropped dog [edited out] into the punchbowl at the 8th grade dance.

  4. michaelfugate

    I am surprised it wasn’t co-written by Flannery. I wonder what the cause of genocide was before Darwin?

  5. @mfugate – God, as far as I can tell.

  6. @michaelfugate
    I remember being told that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity said that everything is relative.
    But in response to your question, remember that the Bible tells us
    (Psalm 96:10) Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
    If one says that the Earth is moving, one denies the stability of the laws of the Lord. Copernicanism is the root of all evil.

  7. michaelfugate

    I think it was Aristarchus of Samos – he beat Copernicus by almost 2000 years.

  8. Funny how so many folks think referring to Dawkins lends weight to their arugment. Seriously, just try making your point without mentioning Dawkins. Really. Just try. If you can’t make your point without using Dawkins, you really don’t have much of a point.

    PS. Anyone familiar with Dawkins easily recognizes how this (Discoveroid) article misrepresents him.

  9. Weikert is a morally bankrupt moron, and it really shows here. If there is such a beast, he is among the worst of the lot.

  10. A LIAR4jesus continuing the great tradition!!

  11. Charles Deetz ;)

    Morality lessons, the hallmark of any fine scientific institution. Words fail.

  12. Dave Luckett

    “Weikart feels the same way — morality only comes from religion — his religion — so everyone else is inherently depraved.”

    Not exactly. Weikart is a protestant Christian. He may not be a fundamentalist; he may not be an evangelical or charismatic – I can’t tell from a google – but he is surely a subscriber to the doctrine of universal depravity. Everybody, Weikart and his co-religionists as well, is depraved. Psalm 14, you know the gig.

    Well, that’s what he thinks. What he thinks about a connection between Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler is also the product of the extreme lack of empathy and charity, and the absolutism typical of his party. Weikart can’t discern the is-ought dichotomy, which Charles Darwin certainly could. Any attempt to suggest that Darwin’s theory leads to Hitler founders on that one simple fact.

  13. @Dave Luckett
    Yes, it founders on that simple fact.
    But that is not the only fact that it founders on.
    For example, it founders on the fact that the founders of naziism did not appeal to Darwin.. Either they outright rejected Darwin or just ignored him. Hitler referred to Koch, not Darwin. And remember that this was during the era known as the “eclipse of darwinism”: Even among real scientists, the ideas of Darwin were not influential.

  14. Dave Luckett

    @ TomS

    Oh, certainly. Hitler had quite certainly never read Darwin, and his only chance for contact with the theory of evolution was in the Realschule he attended until he was fifteen, while repeating one year because of unsatisfactory performance. But even that’s unlikely.

    Apart from that, while Hitler certainly claimed a wide, deep and scholarly reading, there is no evidence at all to support it. He had a phenomenal memory for detail, and he read almanacs and yearbooks to feed it. He quoted occasionally from great German writers – but the source for the latter is known to be a compendium of brief quotes that he owned. He never read any of them except possibly Fichte. The real sources for his ideas and worldview, apart from his psychological necessities, were the scabrous racist, and semi-pornographic pamphlets he read in Vienna before the First World War.

    In short, the intellectual worlds of Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler were so radically different as to be completely alien to each other. Hitler would have regarded Darwin with contempt; Darwin would have regarded Hitler with horror.

  15. Whenever a creacrapper produces the Darwin leads to Hitler lie I like to present these two quotes:

    “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.”
    “iron law of Nature–which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms when propagating and multiplying their kind.”

    Mein Kampf.

  16. Ken Phelps: “Lying liar continues to lie. Color me surprised.”

    Unfortunately most of our fellow critics of ID/creationism think that they’re not lying, but rather truly believe that stuff. No one can read minds of course, but my suspicion, for what it’s worth, is much closer to yours than to theirs. But unlike other types of snake oil salesmen, I don’t think anti-evolution activists make stuff up just for fun and profit, but out of a genuine fear that society will collapse if the “masses” accept evolution.

  17. Creationists always fall back on spurious claims about morality when their claims about scientific evidence flop. What it comes down to is that they’re tacitly admitting that they’re wrong but saying people should reject evolution anyway, for their own good.

    Somehow I can’t picture God approving.

  18. I suggest that one look at the Wikipedia article on “The Analyst”, the 1734 essay by George Berkeley, subtitled “A DISCOURSE Addressed to an Infidel MATHEMATICIAN. WHEREIN It is examined whether the Object, Principles, and Inferences of the modern Analysis are more distinctly conceived, or more evidently deduced, than Religious Mysteries and Points of Faith”.
    Berkeley was upset by the atheistic consequences of Newton’s mathematics.

  19. The GCC actually fulfills a prediction I made years ago. But first note that the convergence is not a return to the YEC “science” of the 60s-80s. The Ken Ham doctrine that the DI has adopted has nothing to do with their “evidences” for a young Earth. Ham also displayed some GCC when he debated Nye. I was surprised that he used the “historical science” vs “real science” excuse, because YE “science” has to admit that “historical science” exists to make its case. Ham was just adopting the DI’s tactic of trying to have it both ways.

    Creationist “evolution” is interesting. In ~1900 activists were mostly honest Biblical literalists, who, sometimes painfully, conceded details to science, and thus were mostly OECs. By ~1960 they were mostly replaced by another species of activist, one that was just as educated, and had even more inconvenient evidence to grapple with. Which means that they selected heliocentric YEC for strategic reasons, not because they really thought it was supported by any evidence (they didn’t). The anti-evolution movement had completed its evolution from mostly honest belief, to full-blown pseudoscience.

    Lack of evidence, and competition from OEC advocates, caused a speciation event, early in the pseudoscience phase, well before Edwards v. Aguillard turned “creationism” into ID. One lineage (Ham’s) became more overtly Biblical, while the other, convinced that YEC would never sell to more than an already-committed minority, devised a “big tent” strategy, which had a “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” policy, that accommodated everything from geocentric YEC to ~4 billion years of common descent.

    For both “lineages”, the core motivation was and is more than just religious. After all, many of their own religions long officially accepted evolution. Rather, it’s a radical, paranoid authoritarian worldview, in which they genuinely fear that society would collapse if the “masses” accepted evolution. Thus, as they converge, both lineages will still use, when convenient, pseudoscience to pretend that evolution doesn’t have enough evidence. But YEC promoters will adopt ID’s more evasive approach to “what happened when” and for both, it will be increasingly about paranoid nonsense like the Darwin-Hitler thing.

  20. I suggest that one take a look at the Wikipedia article on Houston Stewart Chamberlain. He was an influential writer in the early decades of the 20th century, he was trained in biology, he was a strong anti-Semite, and a friend of Hitler.
    Yet he had disdain for Darwin. This is only mentioned in passing in the Wikipedia article, but one can search his “Foundations of the Nineteenth Century”, which is available online, to see just how low his opinion.