A Classic Tirade from the Discoveroids

Ten years ago, in the earliest days of this humble blog, our seventh post — and the first one about the Discoveroids — was Discovery Institute: Enemies of the Enlightenment.

That was written a little more than two years after Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District — a major setback for the Discoveroids to be sure — but they had a multi-pronged campaign to promote their version of creationism. They were were actively lobbying for their anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act, and the Louisiana Science Education Act would be passed a few months later. Also, they were promoting their “documentary,” Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed — which eventually ended up in bankruptcy.

They’ve suffered a number of setbacks since then. They’re nowhere in the academic world — except bible colleges. All their court battles have failed, and except for Tennessee, no other state has adopted their “academic freedom” bill. So they ceaselessly blame their failures on bullying, censorship, Lysenkoism, etc. But the fact is that their “theory” of intelligent design is going nowhere — and they seem to know it. So they rant about the evils of Darwinism, naturalism, and of course, the Enlightenment.

We wrote about Steven Pinker’s Book on the Enlightenment, and it didn’t take long for the Discoveroids to attack it — see Discoveroids Say Steven Pinker Is Wrong.

Now they’re at it again. Their latest is On the History of Darwinism, Scientific Racism, and Hitler, Is Steven Pinker Objective? As with their last attack on Pinker and the Enlightenment, this one was written by Discovery Institute “fellow” Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In his zeal to defend science from the onslaught of those allegedly waging a “war on science” Steven Pinker (in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education [The Intellectual War on Science] taken from his recent book, Enlightenment Now [Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress ] cries foul against anyone who dares suggest that science (including Darwinian science) has anything to do with racism. Racism, Pinker informs us — as if anyone needed to be informed — is much older than the dastardly scientific racism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Groan — not racism again! See Racism, Eugenics, and Darwin. Then he says:

To be sure, Pinker is absolutely correct that science didn’t create racism, which was influential long before scientific racism arose. However, this misses an important point. Scientists, including Charles Darwin, not only believed in racial inequality, but they imported it into their theories of human evolution and anthropology, and then claimed that science proved human inequality. In The Descent of Man Darwin used hard data to “prove” racial inequality: the cranial capacity of Europeans was larger than that of any other human race.

Weikart doesn’t give us any quote for that. We’re not surprised. And of course he doesn’t metion any of the countless creationists, like William Jennings Bryan, who were outspoken racists. Moving along, he tells us:

In order to rebut the notion that science contributed to the Holocaust, Pinker claims that Hitler rejected the idea of human evolution. Unfortunately for Pinker, in this instance the data is not on his side, because Hitler repeatedly said that he did believe in human evolution. A chapter of my recent book, Hitler’s Religion [link omitted], is entitled “Was Hitler a Creationist?” and it lays to rest the mistaken notion that Hitler rejected human evolution. I can only provide a few examples here to prove this, but anyone wanting much more evidence can refer to that chapter.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Weikart’s Hitler argument again. See Hitler and Darwin. Also, see The Ultimate Hitler-Darwin Debunking. Now we’ll skip to the end, where Weikart concludes:

In the case of the influence of Darwinism on Hitler, Pinker lays aside the empirical evidence and data. Too bad, because Pinker is right that we should formulate our ideas based on evidence, not bias and preconceptions. Quite clearly, scientists — including Pinker himself — are not always able to achieve this ideal.

So there you are. When all else fails, rant about Hitler — and the Enlightenment too. It’s just what you’d expect from the promoters of a failing, supernatural ideology.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “A Classic Tirade from the Discoveroids

  1. …because Hitler repeatedly said that he did believe in human evolution.

    Has Weikart ever read Mein Kampf? One would expect that a somebody who claims to interpret Hitler’s views would have done so.

  2. Christine Janis

    Godwin stirs in his grave —–

  3. I would like to hear an explanation of the difference between one of those vile early 20th century political/social movements and a belief claiming:
    micro-evolution within a kind, such as “mankind”
    without intelligent design, evolution must lead to deterioration
    these beliefs serve as a guide to one’s actions

  4. Michael Fugate

    I just ran across an obscure paper “Individuality and Physics” in the BBC’s journal “The Listener”. Heinz Post coins the term Explainmanship: faced with a general fact, look around for another undisputed fact that seems to accompany the first. Now dignify the statement of the second fact by the name; ‘Explanation’ of the first fact.

    This seems to fit the DI method perfectly.

  5. Michael Fugate

    One can read the Descent of Man here:
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Descent_of_Man_(Darwin)
    From Chapter VII
    Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet if their whole structure be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of these are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans are as different from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the “Beagle,” with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.

  6. Hitler. Burned. Darwin’s. Books.

  7. I don’t know whether H burned any books, whether he heard of D’s books, whether there was any systematic burning of D’s books …
    There was widespread rejection of modern, decadent art, but some nazis collected it.

  8. There is no evidence at all for H burning Darwin’s books. It’s an atheist myth.

    http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/burnedbooks/documents.htm

  9. Eric Lipps

    The DI’ers need to explain why creationists like the mercifully forty-years-dead Gerald L. K. Smith were so pro-Hitler, then.

  10. It is interesting that the various political-social movements variously grouped together as “social darwinism” were active in the early decades of the 20th century, which was known in the sciences as the “eclipse of darwinism”. The Nobel Prize in Literature for 1927 was awared to Henri Bergson, famous for his concept of “elan vital” (against natural selection) .