Violence and Urban Chaos — Darwin’s Fault


This one is more than an ordinary vomit opportunity presented by a creationist. It’s something we haven’t experienced before — a journey into a hideous realm of deep vomit, which appears to be the natural habitat of the Discovery Institute. They just posted Darwinism Paved the Way to Our Perilous Cultural Moment.

It was written by David Klinghoffer, a Discoveroid “senior fellow” (i.e., flaming, full-blown creationist), who eagerly functions as their journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Today he’s not only flinging the stuff, he’s swimming in a vast sea of it, and he’s never seemed happier. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

The year so far has delivered a stunning lesson in the fragility of freedom and of civilization. Endless lockdowns matched with urban chaos — it’s hard to believe these two shattering phenomena overlapped entirely by accident. How exactly, though, do they relate?

Is Klinghoffer suggesting a causal connection between the virus pandemic and the urban violence plaguing American cities since May of this year, starting with the George Floyd protests? He tried to make part of that connection a couple of weeks ago — see Discoveroids: The Festering Evil of Darwinism. That post must have pleased his creationist overlords, because now he’s going further. He says:

At Mind Matters, Michael Egnor suggests Darwinism as a missing link. [Link to Egnor’s article omitted] Egnor cites Plato, as analyzed by philosopher Edward Feser. [Who?] Plato charted a devolution in forms of government, from what he regarded as the best (a sort of “philosophical aristocracy”) to oligarchy, timocracy, issuing in base democracy, followed by tyranny. Egnor understands totalitarianism — Nazism and Communism — as the special modern iteration of tyranny, which received its “scientific imprimatur” from the theory of Darwinian evolution.

That’s an old theme with the Discoveroids. Klinghoffer has previously posted a series of essays attempting to link Charles Darwin to: Hitler, and communism, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, and Dr. Josef Mengele, and the Occult, and the practice of euthanasia.

Klinghoffer then gives us a big quote from the article by Egnor. We’re going to skip it because we’ve seen enough from that guy. This is his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons: Michael Egnor. Moving along, Klinghoffer then declares:

In other words, Darwinism provides a framework and pretext for totalitarian thinking, which sees itself as fulfilling an evolutionary destiny. You can have totalitarian tyranny without Darwin, but the idea of evolution paves the way.

Do you have any idea what he’s talking about? We don’t. Anyway, he continues:

Does this sound overstated? Melodramatic? [Or just plain crazy?] It would be interesting to ask Cliff Mass. [Who?] The University of Washington climate scientist took a two-hour walking tour last week through largely abandoned and boarded up downtown Seattle. From lockdown to looting and riot, our once-lovely city has been on a mad plunge to suicide.

Is this climate scientist going to blame the riots on Darwin? Let’s find out. Klinghoffer informs us:

On his blog [link omitted], Mass compared what has happened to the city to Kristallnacht, the November 9, 1938 “Night of Broken Glass” in Hitler’s Germany. An online mob came for Professor Mass for that one, and he got cancelled from his gig commenting on the weather — the weather! — for NPR. Analogies are always risky, especially when they encompass anything to do with the Nazis. But he wasn’t entirely off-base. While Nazis rampaged against Jewish businesses, Antifa and other “protestors” have targeted all business and normal life in general. The government in both cases winked at it, while good people were afraid to speak out.

It’s quite true that what’s happening in Seattle and other cities is the work of mindless mobs, so there’s some similarity to the work of other mobs in other times, but where is Klinghoffer going with this? Let’s excerpt a bit from his final paragraph:

In 2020, our culture could well be poised on the edge of something still darker than what we’ve seen so far. … The “pandemonium of late democracy” walks hand in hand with atomization, terror, and paralysis. The contribution of evolutionary ideology in getting us here should not be neglected.

That’s it, dear reader. We’re going through some crazy times, and the Discoveroids say it’s Darwin’s fault. What do you think?

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Violence and Urban Chaos — Darwin’s Fault

  1. Because if there’s one thing that defines highly Christian urban Atlanta, it’s a total lack of chaos and disorderliness.

  2. Our dear SC asks: “by philosopher Edward Feser. [Who?]”
    An ultra-catholic apologist who thinks Thomas of Aquino was the greatest mind of all time, directly followed by Aristoteles of Stachyra. According to him neither Newton nor Einstein refuted the great Greek philosopher (let alone Thomas), because

    “Scholastic metaphysics is not in competition with physics, but approaches the phenomena at a different (and indeed deeper) level of analysis.”
    In other words, according to Feser metaphysics (which he prefers to illustrate with examples taken from our natural reality) does not have to match theories of physics at all.
    I guess it was just a matter of time that the IDiots from Seattle would incorporate Feser in their “movement”. And why not?

    The line between IDiocy and theistic evolution always has been non-existing. Once again I refer to Alvin Plantinga and WL Craig. At the other hand Feser has been at loggerheads with IDiocy (a bit of googling will confirm this).
    Oh – iIrc Feser claims to be an ex-atheist. Evidence is lacking – because who needs evidence when doing metaphysics?
    Now let me see how Kclunkcerduncker praises Feser.

  3. I belong to the same tribe as Klinghoffer, and I am appalled at him comparing the violence that has, regrettably, accompanied anti-police protest in America, with Kristallnacht In which the police themselves, and other government agents, were the perpetrators.

    Leaving that aside, I find it grotesque that he refers to Plato as an authority on good government. Plato’s Republic holds up as the ideal form of government a self-appointed militaristic dictatorship, maintaining itself in power with the help of lies, and expelling artists, non-military musicians, and other possible critics. Sparta on steroids

  4. Michael Fugate

    Authoritarians are always happy when they are the authorities, not so much when they aren’t. I took a look at the Mays blog. He is clueless and so are most of the commenters. He is a meteorologist not a historian and should probably stick with something he knows. Or better yet, as an academic, learn something before speaking.

    The authorities are often perpetrators of the violence. Why show up in riot gear for a peaceful march? Why is property more valuable than human life?

  5. Well, nothing.

    “It’s quite true that what’s happening in Seattle and other cities is the work of mindless mobs.”
    Either this is meaningless (individuals have minds, mobs haven’t) or it is silly – whatever you think of the rioteers/protesters, they do use their minds.
    Worse is that this remark misses the (more) vomit-inducing blunder Cklunkcerduncker takes over from one Cliff Mass. I just checked – Kclinkclecklapper manages to minequote that guy too plus expertedly picks the only (big) blunder in that blogpost. The Night of the Broken Glasses was Intelligently Designed. By Joseph Goebbels himself.

    “Do you have any idea what he’s talking about?”
    This time I haven’t either. I read the Mr. Egnorance quotes. He refers to Hannah Arendt (of The Origins of Totalitarianism fame). It’s the first time that I meet the claim that she referred to “Darwinism” and couldn’t get it confirmed, so I conclude that Mr. Egnorance is lying.

  6. Gone are the days of “irreducible complexity” being at the center. Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” from 1996 now looks like an academic textbook.

  7. “Evolutionary destiny”?!
    And I thought that I was supposed to believe that evolution was mere random chance.

  8. In 2020, our culture could well be poised on the edge of something still darker than what we’ve seen so far.
    Indeed, if Trump is reelected or even steals another term, we will see the end of our country’s democratic government. Authoritarianism has been around far longer than Darwin, it only takes an idiot like an anti-science Trump and his decadent swamp to fool a gullible populace. The DI is the same way.

  9. Michael Fugate

    A better analogy might be slave rebellions in the time before evolution was proposed.

  10. chris schilling

    “…Michael Egnor suggests Darwinism as a missing link.”

    Missing links? The IDiots suddenly believe in “missing links” when it comes to spurious sociological analysis, but not when it comes to Darwin proper, and the paleontological record? Egnor and Klinghoffer have taken their lead from misapplied social Darwinism, and consider themselves master diagnosticians of everything that’s going to hell with the culture. BWAHAHAHAHA!

    As TomS notes, now we get “evolutionary destiny” from them — an oxymoron Darwin himself would not have countenanced, but used here as a portent of (dire) things to come. It’s grotesquely wide of the mark, just as much as using “random chance” to describe natural selection.

    The only randomness and inevitability I see here is the IDiots’ scattershot approach to their intended targets, and their guaranteed propensity to miss.