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Charles Darwin’s Inventions : Scientific Racism

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Charles Darwin ineventions : Scientific Racism

It has been a while since this Blog got heated, but I have touch on the Charles Darwin and Racism. I want to refer you to an important source called Darwin’s legacy, as we further examine the connections between scientific racism and Social Darwinism.

Did Charles Darwin inspire Robber Barron’s like Dale Carnegie and the Rockefeller? Ian Taylor asserts that he did, and we will be doing some online reading of his book starting from tomorrow.

– People need to sleep well at night, aa slave owner needs to justify his actions to himself and the world, if you are enslaving lesser humans, you can do that. Charles Darwin made a lot of people sleep very well at night.

Sure there was racism before Charles Darwin but he really gave it a justification. If time allows us we will also examine the rise of a cancer called Britism Israelism, round about this time in history and how it perverted the world.

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Written by dawkinswatch

May 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm

92 Responses

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  1. “Sure there was racism before Charles Darwin but he really gave it a justification.”

    You really are a dishonest twit, DW. If you actually understood theories on evolution, you’d recognize that it refutes the idea of innate superiority of competing varieties. But you wouldn’t know that, since you don’t understand it, would you DW?

    Dan

    May 11, 2009 at 7:29 pm

  2. More for the twit:

    When properly understood, evolution refutes racism. Before Darwin, people used typological thinking for living things, considering different plants and animals to be their distinct “kinds.” This gave rise to a misleading conception of human races, in which different races are thought of as separate and distinct. Darwinism helps eliminate typological thinking and with it the basis for racism.
    Genetic studies show that humans are remarkably homogeneous genetically, so all humans are only one biological race. Evolution does not teach racism; it teaches the very opposite.
    Racism is thousands of years older than the theory of evolution, and its prevalence has probably decreased since Darwin’s day; certainly slavery is much less now. That is the opposite of what we would expect if evolution promotes racism.
    Darwin himself was far less racist than most of his contemporaries.
    Although creationism is not inherently racist, it is based upon and inseparable from religious bigotry, and religious bigotry is no less hateful and harmful than racism.
    Racism historically has been closely associated with creationism (Moore 2004), as is evident in the following examples:

    * George McCready Price, who is to young-earth creationism what Darwin is to evolution, was much more racist than Darwin. He wrote,

    “The poor little fellow who went to the south
    Got lost in the forests dank;
    His skin grew black, as the fierce sun beat
    And scorched his hair with its tropic heat,
    And his mind became a blank.”

    In The Phantom of Organic Evolution, he referred to Negroes and Mongolians as degenerate humans (Numbers 1992, 85).

    * During much of the long history of apartheid in South Africa, evolution was not allowed to be taught. The Christian National Education system, formalized in 1948 and accepted as national policy from 1967 to 1993, stated, among other things,

    “that white children should ‘receive a separate education from black children to prepare them for their respective superior and inferior positions in South African social and economic life, and all education should be based on Christian National principles'” (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).

    The policy excluded the concept of evolution, taught a version of history that negatively characterized non-whites, and made Bible education, including the teaching of creationism, and religious assemblies compulsory (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).

    * The Bible Belt in the southern United States fought hardest to maintain slavery.

    * Henry Morris, of the Institute for Creation Research, has in the past read racism into his interpretation of the Bible:

    “Sometimes the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have even become actual slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane, practical matters, they have often eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites (Morris 1976, 241).”

    Dan

    May 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    • Perhaps. I like evolution too but Darwin was a racist. He saw black people and natives as inferior. Citing other racists doesn’t take away from that fact.

      Ron

      May 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

  3. “I want to refer you to an important source called Darwin’s legacy”

    Dawkinswatch, just why do you call this video an important source? Just looked liked misguided Christians twisting things to fit their agenda.

    Nobody

    May 11, 2009 at 11:20 pm

  4. This video is so full of BS it makes my head spin.
    Tell you what. If you want to make arguments about Darwin’s work, why don’t you READ IT? Make your own arguments based on your own reading. Because stuff like this, and Expelled, are complete twisted tripe.
    For starters, there is a veritable mountain of evidence for evolution, so to just dismiss it is BS. Then Dude can’t even get the name of the book right, and then jumps straight to “Darwinism = Nazi”. That is just so twisted I don’t know where to begin.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 12, 2009 at 1:36 am

  5. well How come you guys are angry?

    dawkinswatch

    May 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    • We are attempting to stem the spread of ignorance by people like you who promote misinformation, and sometimes outright lies, as valid arguments.

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

  6. DW,
    I can’t speak for the others, but both profound dishonesty and ignorance rile me up quite a bit. I wish I could tell which fits you best, actually – are you dishonest or really this misguided?

    Dan

    May 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    • “are you dishonest or really this misguided?”

      That is a question which one must ask of you – given it is so easy to connect Darwin’s theory to scientific justification for racism via natural selection – (see the above post for one small example of doing so).

      Furthermore, via high school biology text books, there is today still a promotion of the ideology that there are biological differences of note between the races of mankind – an idea the books push, yet they leave out just how it is genetics has demonstrated such a thing, see :

      http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:yd9_jruZfsMJ:as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/1043/2008_Reconstructing_Race_in_AJS.pdf+Morning,+Ann.+2008.+%E2%80%9CReconstructing+Race+in+Science+and+Society:&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

      Perhaps the greatest examples of bigoted intolerance going in America today is to be found on web sites that push Darwin – they are filled to the brim with hate and intolerance to anyone and everyone who dares to question the Darwin – which is NOT how science is run, but instead how hate filled cascades of intolerance are run – an intolerance which is very deeply connected and pushed via Darwin’s theory (note one tends not to go to a “Relativity” page and find “your a creationist idiot loser without any mental capacity, and your a hypocrite piece of trash” – but boy, Darwin pushing pages are chuck full of it)

      Troy

      May 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm

      • No, sorry.
        It is easy to take a misrepresentation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection and pretend it promotes racism. This is not the same thing as it actually doing so.
        Genetics of race pushes a lot of buttons, but can be approached in multiple ways. Rushton tried to examins race from a superior/inferior angle, claiming asian peoples were more highly evolved than europeans, who were in turn more evolved than African peoples. His methodology was flawed, and his starting point biased.
        However, there has been work to identify specific genes which tend to be prevalent in populations with common geographic origin. This has significant implications for medical science, which can capitalize on, or watch out for, specific genes which may enhance or reduce the effectiveness of various treatments. This is not racism, as it makes no claims of superiority.
        As for “pushing Darwin”, by all means bring forth any legitimate, actual, scientific arguments for an alternate explanation that is testable and we will be delighted to help you further your research.
        Attacking Science with the same old falsehoods, perpetuated by those who have the sole intent of promoting a false dichotomy (Evolution vs Biblical Genesis) but no interest in science, will result in being treated like someone who is attacking science in an ignorant fashion.
        Mostly the reason relativity sites don’t say anything about creationists i sthat creationists don’t tend to say anything about relativity. You will find defensive stances against Young Earth Creationists, sometimes aggressively so, on sites promoting astronomy and geology, among others.

        Bipedal Tetrapod

        May 22, 2009 at 8:21 pm

  7. BTW, I really don’t expect an answer to that last question – I’ve been aware of you for over a year now, and DW’s mix of ignorance and fraud have never ceased to appall, no matter what incontrovertible facts are presented. So I think both – ignorant AND dishonest.

    Dan

    May 12, 2009 at 1:15 pm

  8. […] am on a quest to discover who Charles Darwin really is but we will get there slowly but most assuringly quickly. Sometimes people wonder what did Charles […]

  9. There is a very real connection between Darwin’s theory and racism – regardless of people claiming anyone is a brain dead twit for sating so.

    I see some on here acting as though Darwin’s theory is actually against racism. Lets have a look at that shall we. Ernst Haeckel was the man who all the Germans read in getting their understanding of Darwin’s theory. Haeckel’s work Darwin like very much as the following, from the introduction of Darwin’s book, “the Descent of Man” clearly shows:

    “This last naturalist (Haeckel), besides his great work, Generelle Morphologie (1866), has recently (1868, with a second edit. in 1870), published his Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine.”

    Now lets have a look at some drawings in Haeckel’s book, “ Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte”, which almost every conclusion of which Darwin so very much agrees with. Please note how black people are much closer related to the baboon than some like, say, a proper Englishman: (page down to find the Haeckel book drawings).

    Of course some might say that just because black people are closer to being apes than white people, its not a racist matter, just a simple fact of natural selection working on populations. But then of course we would like to point out what Darwin thinks will come of these baboon like humans in the future by quoting Darwin, again from “the Descent of Man”, wherein he states:

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

    I guess one could argue that is not racism, that the theory is only predicting what will happen, the more fit white guys exterminating colored folks is not racism, its just natural selection doing its job. Personally I think such thinking is full of it. I find the theory to be elevating racism and dismissing it as just a “Law of Nature” ….. and above is “one” link that rather GLARRINGLY points that out.

    Troy

    May 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    • His comment relating the “Negro or Australian” as being perhaps closer to the Gorilla is certainly what we would currently identify as politically incorrect, as well as genetically incorrect. The rest of the passage does not call for the extermination of savage races, but concedes that all current races will likely be replaced, furthering the appararent separation of man and his closest relatives.
      To put it in context, here is the first half of the paragraph you quoted:

      “The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies–between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae–between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct.”

      And this is not “Darwin’s theory”, this is observation and speculation.

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm

  10. “And this is not “Darwin’s theory”, this is observation and speculation.”

    Its right out of Darwin’s theory book on how his theory applies to man – after, I might add, Darwin had a good ten years to think about the real meaning of his own work.

    The theory was used to pretend there is scientific justification for racism for a reason. Darwin gave glowing reviews of Herbert Spencer for a reason. Darwinist are anti-Chrisitanity historically, atheistic very often even now, and display religious intolerance – FOR A REASON – and in every case, that reason is because his theory (which has no actual scientific support) is married to a philosophical doctrine which like minded people push.

    You can’t site me even one controlled experiment where it is clearly demonstrated that only natural selection and random mutation changed a dog into something clearly not being a dog – or a bacteria into being a multi-celled creature, etc., etc. – yet I can show you a million Darwinst jumping up and down yelling “your a worthless creationist because you say such thing” – which is not science, but instead an intolerance crusade on anyone not in their belief system. Anti-science – that would be the Darwinst!

    Lets give an example of anti-science Darwinism. Darwinism had it against the rules to say a catastrophe ever took place. That there was plenty of reason to think such a thing could have taken place prior to Darwin is certain – it just became against the rules to say so until 1980 because it went against the mighty atheistic philosophy contained in their pet theory – PLEASE!! You want a science theory used to promote hate and racism, Darwin’s theory is your best choice. You want a theory that is used to promote religious intolerance, Darwin’s theory is your best choice. You want a theory not actualy being supported by scientific study – Darwin;’s theory is your best choice. All the rest is just hot air.Trouy

    Troy

    May 23, 2009 at 12:06 am

    • No, when writing on man Darwin explicitly argued that Natural Selection applied far less than Sexual Selection.

      I recommend you read what Darwin wrote on human races before claiming to know what you’re talking about.

      Dan

      May 23, 2009 at 8:39 am

      • I recommend you do your own reading bfore claiming to know what YOU’RE talking about.

        Try reading some books, learning a little history, about the events of the nineteenth century in Britain and the colonies. South Africa, the Us and the slave system. Australia.

        There are multiple examples. The argument made in this video centers upon social darwinism – the use of darwin’s theory to fuel predetermined social constructs.

        You may not agree with Darwin’s elementary theory in his origins of species/descent of man, and you may not believe in evolutionary theory, but how can you argue against how that theory was used? It may be less relevant in current day scientific discourse (though rushton is notable), but during the time when Darwin’s ideas were prevalent, it had a very large impact.

        What are YOUR credentials in the comments that you make despite the fact that you disagree?

        Ali

        November 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  11. First of all, I have read Darwin’s book “on the Preservation of Favored Races”, as well as “the Descent of Man” – regardless of your unfounded claim to the contrary.

    Second, you say “the rest of the passage does not call for the extermination of savage races”. Fine, but the part that states “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world”, DOES – and that’s enough.

    Third – you can not get around it, his theory was used as scientific justification for racism AND religious intolerance, BIG TIME. This did not happen because people don’t “get it”, but instead because they do in fact get it. When it became politically incorrect to be a racist, only the do we find people claiming the theory is not racist.

    Look at the history of it and it all becomes much clearer. Malthus wrote about the Irish quite a lot, most of which is unfounded anti-Irish bigoted stuff to the max (Malthus had never been to Ireland nor did he use statistics for his claims, he simply “knew” they had way more babies than anywhere else in the same way that you apparently know what I have and have not read). A political party took power and they used economic policies against the Irish which directly lead millions into starvation. That they starved was even viewed as desirable, it being a natural cleaning based on the work of Malthus and his population book combined with his racism.

    When they had managed to physically murder between one and two million human beings via their economics and Malthus, people said enough (thanks to them having “morals”) and booted the party out of power blaming it on the work of Malthus and certain economic notions.

    Herbert Spencer, who had long defended the economic ideas which murdered the Irish in favor of a few rich folks bank accounts, then stepped up to the plate explaining how really its all just a big act of nature. He published along these lines: there is a ‘law of nature’, which we call natural selection, that was working and that’s what killed off the Irish – and all he had to do was show natural selection was an actual operating thing in nature, which was easy enough. Thus, natural selection killed the Irish, they where simply less fit. Herbert Spencer did this a few years prior to Darwin ever publishing anything about “his” theory. See The Westminster Review 57 (1852 [New Series, Vol I, No. II]): 468-501 – a copy of which you can read here: http://www.victorianweb.org/science/science_texts/spencer2.html

    When Darwin did publish his book “on the Preservation of Favored Races”, he took natural selection and boosted it primary as the causal factor which lead to the diversity of all life on earth – but applied it only to plants and animal claiming he would at a later time deal with how man fits into the matter. Ten years later he published the Descent of Man which tells us how man fits into the matter – which is where he calls Herbert Spencer our greatest philosopher and elevates Ernst Haeckel into next week (even though old Ernst has drawings showing how the black man is more ape like than the white man – again as understood via ‘the theory’ and lofty acts of observation). Darwin even named one of the chapters “Survival of the Fittest” and told how mostly that is a better name than “natural selection”.

    From then on it was easy to kick toms of people off the land, let them starve to death and say – its not me, its just natural selection. From there it was an easy step to pass laws so the less fit could not have sex with the more fit and all the rest, all while claiming it was scientifically justified (so long as everyone “knew” Darwin’s theory was correct).

    Today it is no longer OK to claim the black man is less fit (which we find scientifically via genetics, not via Darwin’s theory) – but it is OK (at least in the mind of many Darwinist) to use that same theory to promote religious intolerance, which it also very much lends itself too. As Spencer pointed out, its just those stupid Christian morals that make the less fit think that genocide was a bad thing – if they where fit enough to understand the real laws of nature, they would see its just natural selection at work (a matter that of course the people who have mental illness like “the God Delusion” will never see – yeah, right).

    Not only does Darwin’s theory directly lead to the notion of scientific justification for racism and religious intolerance, it has NEVER been demonstrated to be valid (but continues to be taught as though it is, thereby doing real science a very real disservice). Never once has natural selection and random mutation been isolated and shown to alone make a dog no longer be a dog – or a Bactria to become something with more than one cell – etc., etc., etc – not even ONCE!

    Troy

    May 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    • well said troy.
      one of the most intelligent pieces i have read in a long time.

      andrew

      October 26, 2009 at 7:12 am

  12. Second, you say “the rest of the passage does not call for the extermination of savage races”. Fine, but the part that states “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world”, DOES – and that’s enough.
    Please provide the context in which Darwin said that. I’m quite sure you’re misrepresenting it dishonestly.

    Third – you can not get around it, his theory was used as scientific justification for racism AND religious intolerance, BIG TIME.
    Please, don’t play the fool. Darwin isn’t responsible for what idiots did to misrepresent his work erroneously.

    Re:Spencer, again, please stop playing the fool. Blame Spencer for what Spencer said.

    When Darwin did publish his book “on the Preservation of Favored Races”, he took natural selection and boosted it primary as the causal factor which lead to the diversity of all life on earth – but applied it only to plants and animal claiming he would at a later time deal with how man fits into the matter. Ten years later he published the Descent of Man which tells us how man fits into the matter – which is where he calls Herbert Spencer our greatest philosopher and elevates Ernst Haeckel into next week…

    You start off good on this point, and then begin talking out your ass again. If Darwin attributed Natural Selection (among other processes) for diversity, as he did, how then would that justify the intolerance for diversity in our own species?

    Also, Darwin was very clear that Natural Selection does not apply to humans so much as Sexual Selection, or have you forgotten what he wrote about in Descent of Man, if you did indeed read it?

    And, have you forgotten Darwin was a critic of slavery and the notions of what latter became eugenics?

    Dan

    May 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

  13. Not to mention Troy, what’s with this outright lie?
    Not only does Darwin’s theory directly lead to the notion of scientific justification for racism and religious intolerance, it has NEVER been demonstrated to be valid (but continues to be taught as though it is, thereby doing real science a very real disservice).

    Dan

    May 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

  14. “Third – you can not get around it, his theory was used as scientific justification for racism AND religious intolerance, BIG TIME.
    Please, don’t play the fool. Darwin isn’t responsible for what idiots did to misrepresent his work erroneously”

    I don’t claim Darwin was responsible as is clearly indicated by me claiming many times that “Darwin’s theory” is the connecting factor and propagator – apparently in worrying I misrepresent stuff you went and did it yourself.

    I see you claim I talk out my a** and play the fool – that is not how science is run, it is how crusades are run – crusades of intolerance! Ever noticed that every time there is a public message board about Darwin’s theory wherein people can freely talk – EVERY TIME – there are a bunch of post how anyone questioning Darwin’s theory is mentally ill, an idiot, worthless, stupid, a creationist – and all sorts of other cut downs – all a matter of crusading, all out of the mouths of people elevating Darwin’s theory. What promotes their taste for hate and intolerance – and why is by and large, in science, only with Darwin’s theory this happens?

    In Darwin’s day in England mixing philosophy with science was deemed to be perfectly OK. That was the brilliants of Herbert Spencer – he was saying it was OK that a million plus Irish were murdered because it was simply a law of nature, natural selection, playing itself out. In natural selection there are the fit and the less fit – and plain and simple, the fit live and less fit get swept away. But, if this same property is that which leads directly to the better fit life forms, while tossing out the less fit – all in a ever moving diversity of life forms, it only stands to reason that the Irish murder was not Irish murder, but simply the gene pool of mankind become more fit. You see the philosophical doctrine is being elevated by allowing natural selection to be the all encompassing power – THE “law of nature”.

    Many people understood it to have exactly that property. Look at Karl Marx – he didn’t think Darwin saw any great piece of insight at all (not to mention Darwin failed to demonstrate it) – but then upon Marx reading it a second time he realized it was exactly the theory which they needed to push, as a “fact” of nature, to get communism scientific justification for coming into being. You don’t think Marx was a stupid moron creationist do you? Yet there he is, believing the theory to have exactly what was needed to promote his own political, atheistic, doctrine. (see personal letters of Karl Mark)

    If we turn to the “science” of sociology and look into “ethnic groups” (via the work of Max Weber) we find that “political” action often uses ethnic identity as a way to form groups with certain political ideologies – in fact, turns out, that in getting people to believe there is some subjective meaning to their ethnic identity, one can promote about any political cause they want. Furthermore, the ethnic group identity then can live on a very long time after the political cause is long forgotten. (see Economy and Society, 1978, volume 1, chapter 5).

    In this way we can understand that some political causes turn to ethnic identify to help form groups in favor of their cause. One could for a every long time point directly to Darwin’s theory and claim it was valid and thereby claim ethnic identity (see your in the more fit group and they are in the less fit group, etc.). When one wants to push political action which may be less than moral, such as killing off lots of people so you can make a buck or gain power, then treating Darwin’s theory as a “fact of nature” feeds support for the cause. Be it Karl Marx, who clearly understood it, or Hitler, or American Industrialist, the action lent support to their claims – all you had to do was claim Darwin’s theory is “correct” and use it for ethnic identification (be it color of skin, economic group born into, etc., etc., etc.).

    Troy

    May 23, 2009 at 5:34 pm

  15. Not only is there reason to see the treatment of Darwin’s theory as “true” from political groups, as viewed from the field of sociology, we can also see the same thing from the field of psychology.

    If one pulls out volume 10 of Carl Jung’s collected works, and read paragraphs 505 and 506, one right away gets the idea that there are psychological forms which work against mass mindedness. If a political group wants to do whatever they like, regardless of how amoral it may be, then it is good for them to do away with those psychological forms which undermine the political authority. Directly speaking, the conceptions of God are exactly those psychological forms which such political groups seek to undermine. See, if the political groups wants to do this or that which is against the ethical norms held by people who believe in a god which commands such norms, then they face the people saying “hell no” for the people are directed by an authority higher than the political group – namely by God. As a result it is to the advantage of the political group who wants to violate the norms to do away with the belief in God – or at least try to.

    If the political group chooses to elevate the understanding that only “science” is of value, and treat it as a fact that only “science” is of value, then they have what they need. Logic dictates, IF science is all there is, THEN there is only ONE correct way regardless of what any norms may say. All that is needed then is to produce some claims this or that science is correct, and so follows justification for whatever action one so chooses. As a result, in first cause it would be good for such political motivation to promote the idea that there is no God, only science rules. Again we see reason for Darwin’s theory to be elevated for it was taken so extreme as to indicate that if there is a God, he is so far removed as to be able to say he matters not – that only the laws of science matter.

    Between political action seeking ethnic identification to ultimately foster support for their cause (as demonstrated by sociology), and political action seeking to do away with any authority other than its own by killing off God (as supported by psychology), we find Darwin’s theory in a perfect place to be elevated as “True” by political groups – regardless of if it is true or not, after all, its only important for people to “believe” it is true.

    In this way we can very clearly gain an understanding as to why a theory, which actually has no scientific support at all (that is, there are no experiments showing it to do what it claims it does), has been treated as “a fact of nature” and is surrounded all the way around by racism and religious intolerance.

    Troy

    May 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

  16. In this way we can very clearly gain an understanding as to why a theory, which actually has no scientific support at all (that is, there are no experiments showing it to do what it claims it does), has been treated as “a fact of nature” and is surrounded all the way around by racism and religious intolerance.

    See, Troy, I just can’t get around the fact that you’re still lying.

    Dan

    May 24, 2009 at 7:13 am

  17. “See, Troy, I just can’t get around the fact that you’re still lying.”

    Yeah, same old thing – if one speaks against Darwin they just have to be mentally screwed up or worthless in some way, and that’s the way it is every time on every evolution page one can find where people are free to speak their minds. Lets look at the so-called “lie”.

    Dan had posted this about what I said:

    In this way we can very clearly gain an understanding as to why a theory, which actually has no scientific support at all (that is, there are no experiments showing it to do what it claims it does), has been treated as “a fact of nature” and is surrounded all the way around by racism and religious intolerance.
    See, Troy, I just can’t get around the fact that you’re still lying.

    There are three claims.

    1)The theory has never been scientifically demonstrated
    2)the theory is treated as though it is a fact of nature
    3)the theory is surrounded by racism and religious intolerance

    I am not sure which one is claimed to be a “lie” so I’ll simply address all three.

    Darwin’s theory, updated to a modern type form, combines random mutation and natural selection and these two work to have caused all life form diversity on earth. To experimentally demonstrate this one need to be able to do an experiment which others can in fact replicate wherein it controls are placed such that only natural selection and random mutation alone are the factors which make dogs no longer be dogs – but instead be a life form which no would would refer to as a “dog”. Of course turning a bacteria into something not a bacteria would do as well, or turning a lizard, say, into something that can fly – all by only natural selection and random mutation. To clear up the “lie” all one needs to do is show the replicable experiment (or better in terms of modern science, two thousand of them) which do exactly that – problem is, there are none. (in addition the theory also predicts the nature of the fossil record to be a certain way – and the record is not that way – it was a “trade secret” for many years – and please not, crusades have “secrets” not science).

    The theory is treated as though it is a “fact” of nature. This is easy enough to show – one can turn on the TV and hear how “survival of the Fittest” is the ruthless “Law” of nature – we can type into Google “darwin’s theory as fact” and in front of our eyes read “The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community ……….” under the very first listing for the Charles Darwin page (wikipedia). Of course this is often done over a word game with the term “evolution” if you really look at it. For many years “evolution” was a term associated with the bigoted writing of Herbert Spencer, which is why Darwin did not use it when he first published his book on the Preservation of Favored Races. Later, after it became well established that you would be verbally abused for saying anything against Darwin’s theory (thanks to the “X-club”), he then used the term “evolution” and as we saw, also came to side very much with Herbert Spencer including elevating the phrase “survival of the fittest”. For many years after that, in biology, the term “evolution” was defined to mean “Darwin’s theory of natural selection” (an OK sized library will have older biology books that define the term that way so you can see for yourself). Once everyone got trained that way, combined with all the hot water the Darwin’s where getting in, they changed the meaning of the term to have a large number of meanings. To be a “fact” they more of less define evolution to mean that life forms can have offspring which are not exact clones of the parent – if you observe that, then it is a “fact”. The it is implied that these small changes add up over time, like what Darwin’s theory states, and that gives rise to all life’s diversity. In this way if you call them on it they just call you stupid because obviously your not a clone of your parent – never mind they still have no demonstration of the theory.

    Also, with respect to calling “evolution” a “fact” – one of the big things Einstein’s work taught us is that “we can be wrong” regardless of how good we think our theory is (as taught directly by Cal-Techs Nobel prize winner in quantum electrodynamics, Richard Feynman). Teaching it is a “fact” is a philosophical claim, not one of science.

    Last, the theory is surrounded by religious intolerance and racism. One can get the book “the Nazi Doctors” and read all about how the S.S. Went to the medical schools with an eye upon those students who loved Darwin’s theory the most – who where really “moved” by it. They picked them to be the doctors of the Jews in the Nazi prison camps – that is, they seem to see the connection better than today’s Darwinist. The theory was used to give scientific justification to all sorts of crimes against humanity of which the history is very clear upon. With religious intolerance it is still used that way every day – a survey of public “evolution” web site will show more than enough examples coming right out the mouths of the Darwinist.

    Troy

    May 24, 2009 at 1:25 pm

  18. Random mutations and natural selection

    Natural selection and random mutation are singled out for a reason – namely it is with them that all the philosophical arguments hang. With a non random process like polyploidy, or gene drift, there is no “survival of the fittest” driving new species, and thus no way to push the wanted “philosophy”. As a result of this, when one focuses upon random mutation and natural selection, to show how we have no scientific support for the claim, the is no shortage of Darwinist who straight away start playing their crusade games. Lets look at how they can conduct such a game.

    One of the big things with Darwin’s theory is using it to promote religious intolerance, thus one would in no way be surprised to find the Darwinist equating the lack of scientific demonstration to some undesirable religious view – as in they might do this; “Creationist” often claim natural selection and random mutation do not cause evolution. See, that way everyone knows your worthless if you look much at this argument.

    The next thing they will often do is try and drive home the point that such people really are stupid and ignorant. They can head in that direction by pointing out that there are other forms of change, non-Darwinism evolution, such as polyploidy, gene drift etc. all of which are understood and in use in biology. In this way they can claim that anyone who looks at random mutation and natural selection are ignorant of science for there is more to science than just those two things – in fact, they could put it like this: Creationist and Intelligent Design people often focus upon natural selection and random mutation, apparently forgetting or not understanding that those are not the only factors in biology …

    Of course that is nothing more than trying to cut someone down (it is the substance of a crusade, not of science). The philosophical problems with Darwin’s theory – those which in turn are used to promote racism and religious intolerance (as though science shows there is no such thing as God) are attached directly to random mutation and natural selection being the big causal factor in life’s diversity. As a result it is worth looking directly at those two things singled out. What we find is that there is no actual scientific support for random mutations and natural selection ever leading to a dog to be anything other than a dog – nowhere do we have any such scientific confirmation at all. We do have scientific data to support the notion that it could NOT have taking place that way, but not the other way around.

    Once that is pointed out, we might expect them to jump up and say “see, you reject evolution” – never mind, that is not at all what was said – what was said is that there is no scientific support for the claim that random mutation and natural selection alone can lead to the jumps in species, like, for example, those we find in the fossil record.

    In this way the Darwinist pile up the claims that even looking in this direction is something only done by “creationist” and that it requires ignoring all the other things in science, and that in so looking you reject “evolution” (whatever it is they happen to mean by that term at the time) – all the while, they don’t bother to give an example of what is claimed to be completely missing from science. In short, it works directly against scientific discourse and reason while it engages in the act of deception and intolerance, all of which it blames as being the property of the other guy.

    The internet will take them down exactly where free speech is allowed to be posted – for people are not stupid, and they can see the difference, they can see the intolerance, they can see the word games, they can see the hate, hate, hate being spewed out to anyone questioning Darwin, they can see the philosophical leach so attached to the theory, and they can note that day after day, year after year, there is no actual scientific support for the theory having the power to do as it claims. Pointing to the worst of creationist and equating anyone questioning Darwin with them, its day is done.

    Troy

    May 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    • 1. Evolution, including speciation events through natural selection, have been observed in the wild and in the laboratory.
      2. Demanding that a specific example of your choosing (eg a dog turning into something else) be produced is setting up a straw man.
      3. Claiming something is not true does not make it so.
      4. The behaviour of individuals on both sides of the evolution/creation argument has, at times, risen to name-calling and mudslinging. This behaviour has nothing whatever to do with the viewpoints – evolutionary or creationist – of those slinging the mud.
      5. What “scientific data” do we have that shows macroevolution can’t happen?

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm

  19. “1. Evolution, including speciation events through natural selection, have been observed in the wild and in the laboratory.”

    If “evolution” simply means that offspring are not clones, of course your right – but I am not talking “evolution”. As is perfectly clear I am talking about natural selection and random mutation alone acting to produce obviously new species – such as cats becoming something which is no longer a cat, of a skunk turning into something not a skunk, etc., etc. When it comes to that, there are no controlled experiment which show natural selection and random mutation alone did the job – and you saying contrary does not change that. What would change it is a clear example of it – but that you do not have.

    “2. Demanding that a specific example of your choosing (eg a dog turning into something else) be produced is setting up a straw man.”

    lets first be clear what a “straw man” is: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

    With that said, I do not require that that you turn a dog into a not dog, or a cat into a non-cat or a bacteria into a multi-celled creature, even though the theory of natural selection/random mutation claims it has such power. What is required is exactly what is asked for – some scientific experiment which can be replicated wherein somewhere such a thing clearly takes place wherein it is demonstrated that natural selection/random mutation caused the change (we would not, for example, want a polyploidy case). Second, the demand is that science supports the claim of the Darwinist – if it does not, then we say “science does not have any experimental support for the claim” – that is not setting up a straw man, it simply is asking for real scientific support. Last, what you claimed of me is in fact an example of a straw man, as the definition of a straw man combined with simple reading makes perfectly clear.

    “3. Claiming something is not true does not make it so.”

    And all you have to do is show a clear experiment which can be replicated wherein one species is clearly changed into a completely different life form wherein it is shown that only natural selection and random mutation where the causal agents. But. Of course, you can not do that or else you would have long ago done so.

    “4. The behaviour of individuals on both sides of the evolution/creation argument has, at times, risen to name-calling and mudslinging. This behaviour has nothing whatever to do with the viewpoints – evolutionary or creationist – of those slinging the mud.”

    Sure there is name calling on both sides, some of which is outright ugly. However, the bulk comes from people attacking anyone who seriously questions the validity Darwin’s theory (or shows connection to the theories use for the propagation of intolerance) as is easy to show in a survey of web sites. We can even go over to the welcome page of the web site talkorigins and get a full briefing on how we are to treat “creationist” right from the start – and naturally that has everything to do with recognizing that creationist are some sort of sub-human relative the lofty Darwinist – and they claim to be advocating science – NOT!

    “5. What “scientific data” do we have that shows macroevolution can’t happen?”

    I don’t need such scientific data as I don’t take that position. The position that I take, which I have made abundantly clear, is that there is no scientific support for the claim that natural selection and random mutation is the cause of life’s diversity on earth – in fact, you can not even demonstrate one example of it.

    It should be pointed out here that the ability of life forms to change via some sort of mechanical way has been believed to be the case for thousands of years by a rather large number of people – the idea being around long long before Darwin. Darwin simply put forward a way which he claimed caused all of life’s diversity. Saying there is no scientific support for Darwin’s philosophy/theory is not the same thing as saying there are no mechanical ways in which life can change its form – it simply states that there is no scientific support for Darwin’s theory. I take that even a step farther by tossing “random mutation” into the equation. It is a common thing for Darwinist to try and say “if you don’t believe in Darwin then you don’t believe in ANY mechanical way for life forms to change”. Its just one of those many tricks they have in the effort of supporting their philosophy – and its not rocket science to see through it.

    Troy

    May 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm

  20. I would be willing to bet if people who choose to point out that Darwin’s theory has no scientific support stop using the term “evolution”, others would come to see rather fast how much distortion Darwinist place in that term. Look above for example – all this talk against Darwin’s theory and random mutation only to have someone ask for scientific data that no marcoEVOLUTION takes place – what a change of subject!!!

    The point is not that no-macroevolution ever took place (heck, if we define the word the way they do, even a God creating everything would be example of that much) – the point is that natural selection and random mutation did not cause the diversity of life on earth, period. A good way not to let them cloud the issue with their multi-meaning term “evolution”, is simply to limit the use of the term.

    Troy

    May 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

  21. I appologize if I misunderstood you statement above that “We do have scientific data to support the notion that it could NOT have taking place that way, but not the other way around” to mean that you do have scientific data to support the notion that it could not have happened that way. If that is not what you meant, please clarify.

    Now, if I read you correctly, your position is that you accept that microevolution, macroevolution, and the common ancestry of life on Earth are essentially correct, but that you don’t accept that Natural Selection is the mechanism by which this occurred. Please confirm or clarify, so that I am able to respond accordingly.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

  22. Scientific data indicating that natural selection + random mutation did NOT lead to origin of species.

    Stasis of the fossil record is the data. The fossil record, at the level of species, has species showing up fully formed (no half wings for example, or half eyeballs) and then stay in the same form as long as they are in the record. The time it takes to make these new species is thus far shorter than what is needed.

    Darwin’s theory requires the accumulation of gradual change. With random mutation the matter sis no different. The problem is statistics – the probability of one random mutation being successful is not good. To have enough successful mutations to make things like wings and eyes in a short time frame is extremely improbable. What is very probable is that random mutation combined with natural selection did not give rise to the origin of species as we find them in the fossil record.

    “Now, if I read you correctly, your position is that you accept that microevolution, macroevolution, and the common ancestry of life on Earth are essentially correct, but that you don’t accept that Natural Selection is the mechanism by which this occurred. Please confirm or clarify, so that I am able to respond accordingly.”

    Evolution is a very problematic term where many people change a meaning of a thing into a very different meaning, so I choose not to use it – I’ll explain without its use.

    Small changes in life forms are very obvious – for example, not one of my children looks exactly like me nor do I look exactly like either of my parents. These changes are changes in form. One can show changes in life forms, from one generation to the next, in all sorts of life forms. Furthermore, there is good reason to believe that life forms can have nature driven changes in them, over time, to adapt to different situations or environments. Let people have bad diets for a long time, their offspring over all become shorter – let short people have good diets for generations, the offspring start getting taller. It appears that there are built into many life forms such ability to change over time. However, it also appears that such things do have their limits, for example we would expect that bad diets lead people to get only so short, and good diets only so tall. Many examples of such limits are known in the area of breeding plants and animals – for example the the angle fish is said to have a death gene if you try to breed it to be any blacker than they already are (they simply die).

    When one looks at the fossil record it is clear that one celled life forms use to rule the earth without any other life form types around. Later most all phylum showed up which followed a diversification of life over time from there. I find it, like people have for thousands of years, reasonable to entertain the notion that something changes life forms which drives such diversity, after all, the diversification got here somehow. The question is, how? Science has not yet shown the how – sure, ideas have been thought up as driving causes, but none has enjoyed scientific confirmation, and others, like random mutation + natural selection are against things like the fossil record and mathematics.

    Are life forms alike in some ways? Yes, for one they are alive. Did they all come from exactly one life form to start with? Good question – we are not in a place to actually demonstrate such a thing. I see no reason to think that if one form of life can come into being, that it must be limited to only one, and not, for example, 437 – but that’s me. To clearly demonstrate taking completely unalive stuff and have it come to life may help in such an understanding – but so far as I know, we have not yet done such a thing.

    Troy

    May 25, 2009 at 1:28 am

    • quite brilliant Troy.

      andrew

      October 26, 2009 at 9:48 am

  23. Thank you for the clarification of your views. I would like to address your points with specific examples, but it may take me a while as work is taking up a lot of my time these days.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 25, 2009 at 2:13 am

  24. Troy,
    Yeah, same old thing – if one speaks against Darwin they just have to be mentally screwed up or worthless in some way, and that’s the way it is every time on every evolution page one can find where people are free to speak their minds. Lets look at the so-called “lie”.

    Actually, not quite. If one speaks out against modern biology, and pretends that over a hundred years of biological discovery don’t exist, they’re ignorant. That’s not to say you’re mentally screwed up, you just don’t know of or don’t care about all of the information that’s out there which you blatantly say doesn’t exist. You sound intelligent, and I assume that intelligent people know something about what they’re talking about. So to say some of the things you’ve said and I’ve pointed out must be a willful act of deceipt (self- or otherwise).

    That’s really what the point is – when you say “which actually has no scientific support at all (that is, there are no experiments showing it to do what it claims it does),”… you appear to be willfully in denial.

    Dan

    May 25, 2009 at 7:02 am

    • There are plenty of brilliant scientists who feel this way.
      They are fearful to speak out against Darwinism as the consequences for ones career can be devastating.

      andrew

      October 26, 2009 at 9:51 am

  25. Also Troy,
    If you want to avoid being either (a) ignorant or (b) a liar, you’ll recognize a couple points against your claim that “the theory is surrounded by racism and religious intolerance.”

    Among them, plenty of evidence that creationists are racists, evolutionists have been abolitionists (not the other way around);introducing teaching of evolution has been associated with the end to Apartheid; and that the most racist and intolerant portions of the US have historically been the most creationist:

    When properly understood, evolution refutes racism. Before Darwin, people used typological thinking for living things, considering different plants and animals to be their distinct “kinds.” This gave rise to a misleading conception of human races, in which different races are thought of as separate and distinct. Darwinism helps eliminate typological thinking and with it the basis for racism.
    Genetic studies show that humans are remarkably homogeneous genetically, so all humans are only one biological race. Evolution does not teach racism; it teaches the very opposite.
    Racism is thousands of years older than the theory of evolution, and its prevalence has probably decreased since Darwin’s day; certainly slavery is much less now. That is the opposite of what we would expect if evolution promotes racism.
    Darwin himself was far less racist than most of his contemporaries.
    Although creationism is not inherently racist, it is based upon and inseparable from religious bigotry, and religious bigotry is no less hateful and harmful than racism.
    Racism historically has been closely associated with creationism (Moore 2004), as is evident in the following examples:

    * George McCready Price, who is to young-earth creationism what Darwin is to evolution, was much more racist than Darwin. He wrote,

    “The poor little fellow who went to the south
    Got lost in the forests dank;
    His skin grew black, as the fierce sun beat
    And scorched his hair with its tropic heat,
    And his mind became a blank.”

    In The Phantom of Organic Evolution, he referred to Negroes and Mongolians as degenerate humans (Numbers 1992, 85).

    * During much of the long history of apartheid in South Africa, evolution was not allowed to be taught. The Christian National Education system, formalized in 1948 and accepted as national policy from 1967 to 1993, stated, among other things,

    “that white children should ‘receive a separate education from black children to prepare them for their respective superior and inferior positions in South African social and economic life, and all education should be based on Christian National principles’” (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).

    The policy excluded the concept of evolution, taught a version of history that negatively characterized non-whites, and made Bible education, including the teaching of creationism, and religious assemblies compulsory (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).

    * The Bible Belt in the southern United States fought hardest to maintain slavery.

    * Henry Morris, of the Institute for Creation Research, has in the past read racism into his interpretation of the Bible:

    “Sometimes the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have even become actual slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane, practical matters, they have often eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites (Morris 1976, 241).”

    Dan

    May 25, 2009 at 7:13 am

    • Dan that is a copy and paste straight off TalkOrigins website on how to answer creationists claims.
      Claim CA005 Evolution promotes racism.

      andrew

      October 26, 2009 at 9:55 am

  26. “If you want to avoid being either (a) ignorant or (b) a liar, you’ll recognize a couple points against your claim that “the theory is surrounded by racism and religious intolerance.”

    I am neither an idiot or a liar, so no need to “avoid” it. However, that ill not prevent me from being called both on any Darwinist web page where I can freely post.

    Max Weber placed the field of sociology on a scientific footing. Weber apparently was going to cover a sociology of Christianity, however he did before taking on such work. That left a gap in the field until recent times when the eminent sociologist Rodney Stark filled the gap. One of his books is titled “for the Glory of God: how monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts, and the end of slavery”. It is the second in a series well worth reading (the first is “Cites of God”).

    One of the things Stark does is show how badly our education has been distorted by anti-Christians, and he does a very good job at it. When it comes to showing that Christianity gave rise to science as we know it today, and that Christianity also, among other things, lead to the end of slavery. As Stark states “…some Catholic writers parrot the claim it was not until 1890 that the Roman Catholic Church repudiated slavery, and a British priest has charged it that this did not occur until 1965. Nonsense!”

    To show it is nonsense all we need is history. Saint Bathilde was famous for her efforts to stop slave-trading around the year 650. Saint Anskar started his efforts to end the Viking slave trade in 851. It was taken as proof that slaves had soles because the Church Baptized them and soon kings and bishops followed – William the Conqueror (1027-1087), Saint Wulfstan (1009-1095), and Saint Anselm (1033-1109) all forbade the enslavement of the Christians. ….. as Stark points out, except for some small settlements of Jews and Vikings, in the north, “that effectively abolished slavery in medieval Europe”. Where Christianity border Islam, both sides enslaved each other – but even that was sometimes condemned. In the thirteenth century Saint Thomas Aquinas deduced that slavery was a sin and starting in 1435 a series of Popes upheld the claim. Pope Paul 3 made three major pronouncements against slavery inclusive of slavery being the work of Satan and it being a sin to enslave all human being regardless of their skin color or their religion. (all of that comes from Stark’s excellent treatment of the subject in the above mentioned book). Seems like Christianity managed to do all that about 400 years prior to Darwin’s birth!

    Now I don’t know if you include Christians as being creationist, given that they do tend to believe that God created the universe and everything in it, but if one thing for sure – Christianity lead to the end of slavery, not “evolutionist”. You want to see what fueled the slave trade in the new world, read those books – he does a great job at pointing to the causal factors all in easy to follow English – and your not going to find that the “creationist” caused it.

    In America Samuel Sewall wrote against slavery in 1700. It was not, however, until the Quakers (once again, here are your Christians at work) got on the subject as a collected group of motivated people that anti-slavery started going big. This took place under the influence of John Woolman (1720-1772). His work got him a place in the “Harvard Classics, volume 1” – perhaps you have read it. As the Quakers started getting the moral high ground, other churches started groups to end slavery and in 1771 under the influence of the Puritans, Massachusetts outlawed the importation of slaves. Many prominent clergy took leading roles in the effort to do away with slavery including Lymann Beecher whose daughter wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Charles Finnely – the biggest evangelical preacher of his day – turned Oberlin Collage into a key station on the “underground railroad”. There where many others as well. By 1838 there where more than 1,000 Anti-Slavery Society chapters wherein clergy formed the “vital spine” of the organization – of their traveling agents, 52% where ordained ministers, and of their local agents, 75% were clergy.

    This did end up causing a split in some churches wherein those in the south did not preach against slavery. However, it should also be noted, and noted carefully, that the anti-Slavery tracts where almost always Christian based wherein the pro-slavery tracts were almost always secular based, even southern preachers justifying slavery on grounds of “state rights” and such, not on “the Bible”.

    Now all of this took place, the wheels well in motion, prior to Darwin ever publishing on “evolution”. When Darwin finally did write on man’s role in “evolution”, in the descent of man, he wrote these words:

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

    Lets be fair though – he wasn’t talking about the sins of slavery there – but just what one can expect in terms of selection doing away with links between man and ape by the “exterminating” of Negros , Australians and gorillas – and mind you here, it is the theory we are looking at, not the man!

    Troy

    May 25, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    • For the record, I would just like to point out, again, that your quote from Descent of Man is taken out of context. If you read the entire paragraph from which that is exerpted, or indeed the entire chapter, he is in no way calling for the extermination of “savage races”. He is saying, in what would now be considered a politically incorrect way, that gaps in the history of man will likely increase, as all current races will ultimately be replaced.
      I have also seen this passage interpreted as Darwin lamenting the dessimation of native peoples in the Americas, Africa, and Australia by colonial actions – an interpretation much in keeping with Darwin’s abolitionist views.

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

  27. “Troy,
    Yeah, same old thing – if one speaks against Darwin they just have to be mentally screwed up or worthless in some way, and that’s the way it is every time on every evolution page one can find where people are free to speak their minds. Lets look at the so-called “lie”.
    Actually, not quite. If one speaks out against modern biology, and pretends that over a hundred years of biological discovery don’t exist, they’re ignorant. That’s not to say you’re mentally screwed up, you just don’t know of or don’t care about all of the information that’s out there which you blatantly say doesn’t exist. You sound intelligent, and I assume that intelligent people know something about what they’re talking about. So to say some of the things you’ve said and I’ve pointed out must be a willful act of deceipt (self- or otherwise).
    That’s really what the point is – when you say “which actually has no scientific support at all (that is, there are no experiments showing it to do what it claims it does),”… you appear to be willfully in denial.”

    Again, I do not speak “ out against modern biology, and pretends that over a hundred years of biological discovery don’t exist”. I very clearly focus on Darwin’s theory and Darwin’s theory coupled with random mutation, not over one hundred years of biological discovery. You may not be grasping that point, but rest certain that others will not miss it. I do claim that there are no experiments showing it (Darwin’s theory even coupled with random mutation) to do what it claims it does for the simple reason that we lack them. You can call me stupid or ignorant of this for months and years on end – but what you can not do is show the scientific experiments which others can replicate which clearly show the causal agents of the theory doing what the theory claims – your only card IS calling me ignorant – and quite frankly, that’s simply a card of a crusade, not a card of science.

    Troy

    May 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

  28. Correction of an Error!

    I earlier posted that eminent sociologist Rodney Stark had a two volume series and I incorrectly stated that the first volume is “Cities of God”. In fact the first volume is “One True God: historical consequences of monotheism” and the second volume is “for the Glory of God: how monotheism led to reformations, science, witch-hunts, and the end of slavery”

    Sorry for the error.

    Troy

    May 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

  29. Again, I do not speak “ out against modern biology, and pretends that over a hundred years of biological discovery don’t exist”.

    You said there was “no evidence for Natural Selection occurring” (I’m paraphrasing). Yes, that’s a mountain-load of denial right there.

    Dan

    May 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

  30. And Troy…
    Lets be fair though – he wasn’t talking about the sins of slavery there – but just what one can expect in terms of selection doing away with links between man and ape by the “exterminating” of Negros , Australians and gorillas – and mind you here, it is the theory we are looking at, not the man!

    If you did indeed read anything on the theory of evolution or Natural Selection, then you’d know that it doesn’t say anything of the sort, so I call your lie.

    What you’re talking about is “Social Darwinism,” which has little to do with Darwin’s work other than the erroneous use of the same man’s name.

    Dan

    May 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm

  31. “You said there was “no evidence for Natural Selection occurring” (I’m paraphrasing). Yes, that’s a mountain-load of denial right there.”

    Well of course that is wrong – good thing I don’t make that argument. Perhaps this will help:

    Natural selection is a very real thing which has very real effects which can be used, measured and manipulated. It has been understood to be a real thing long before Darwin’s day and continues to be known as a real thing. I best give examples.

    When we have a population of fish wherein a couple of the babies turned out really blue, we can select those babies and select our breeding habits such as to generally end up making a breed of very blue fish. In a like way we can selectively breed dogs getting big dogs and small dogs and hairy dogs, etc., etc., etc. This can and has been done with all sorts of plants, animals, bacteria, etc.

    It also takes place in nature and there are many examples of it so doing. For example, there are birds that eat certain moths if they happen to see them. The moths often land on trees. England, not having pollution control laws worth having, puts up factories whose dark smoke turns all the light colored tree bark into a dark color from the soot. Suddenly the moths which tend to be light, get eaten, as they stand out while on the dark soot. However, the dark skinned moths, which had been in lower numbers, now are favored as they don’t show up on the soot covered trees so well. After awhile, most of the moths in that population tend to be dark. If England gets some pollution laws worth having, maybe they will again turn white – that’s natural selection in action. There are many examples.

    Darwin’s theory does not say that natural selection takes place. Combining natural selection with random mutation does not say that natural selection takes place. In both it is well understood in advance that natural selection is a real thing which really does effect the forms of life.

    Darwin’s theory, as well as combining it with random selection makes a much different claim. What it claims is that natural selection (with random mutation when we toss it into the mix) not only changes life forms, but in fact has the power to keep on changing the life forms until a single celled Bactria is a multi-celled creature, until a fish is a dog, or a plant becomes, in the end, a human. What it claims is that nat6ural selection has worked (with random mutation for its modern form) to create every life form on this planet. Now that’s saying something WAY different than saying that natural selection is a thing that works.

    That natural selection takes place is quite clear – that it has the power the theory claims – sorry, but no scientific experiment around demonstrates that. In fact, the idea is out of sorts with the fossil record, not to mention other little problems – like we tend not to turn dogs, from selective breeding, into non-dogs – EVER. In fact, it seems if we push the limits via selection to far, the life form simply starts not being able to live. It was an idea – but does not appear to be the way nature works.

    In fact, if one looks at Stasis in the fossil record there are non directional changes in any give species over time – natural selection probably does account for those – but the sudden appearance of fully formed features in species – no, something else is at play, random mutation + natural selection simply does not cut the mustard there. The only reason we still have it around and on the table is because of the philosophy hinged to it, not because of any scientific worth.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 12:24 am

    • wwwdotfredheerendotcom/bostondothtm

      this article supports what Troy has been saying about the inability of natural selection to create the creatures that appear. its a good read. i have posted part of it here.

      CHENGJIANG, China — The fish-like creature was hardly more than an inch long, but its discovery in the rocks of southern China was a big deal. The 530-million-year-old fossil, dubbed Haikouella, had the barest beginning of a spinal cord, making it the oldest animal ever found whose body shape resembled modern vertebrates.
      In the Nature article announcing his latest findings, Jun-Yuan Chen and his colleagues reported dryly that the ancient fish “will add to the debate on the evolutionary transition from invertebrate to vertebrate.”

      But the new fossils have become nothing less than a challenge to the theory of evolution in the hands of Chen, a professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology. Chen argues that the emergence of such a sophisticated creature at so early a date shows that modern life forms burst on the scene suddenly, rather than through any gradual process. According to Chen, the conventional forces of evolution can’t account for the speed, the breadth, and one-time nature of “the Cambrian explosion,” a geologic moment more than 500 million years ago when virtually all the major animal groups first appear in the fossil record.

      Rather than Charles Darwin’s familiar notion of “survival of the fittest,” Chen believes scientists should focus on something that better explains why life evolved beyond bacteria. “Bacteria are very successful,” Chen notes. In fact, complex life is less capable of making adaptations.

      If all we have to depend upon is chance and competition, Chen says, then “complex, highly evolved life, like the human, has no reason to appear. So why should these chance mutations plan such complex types of animals?” Chen proposed that an underlying principle of “harmony” will someday explain what competition cannot.

      The debate over Haikouella casts Western scientists in the unlikely role of defending themselves against charges of ideological blindness from scientists in communist China. Chinese officials argue that the theory of evolution is so politically charged in the West that researchers are reluctant to admit shortcomings for fear of giving comfort to those who believe in a biblical creation.
      “Evolution is facing an extremely harsh challenge,” declared the Communist Party’s Guang Ming Daily last December in describing the fossils in southern China. “In the beginning, Darwinian evolution was a scientific theory …. In fact, evolution eventually changed into a religion.”

      Taunts from the Communist Party wouldn’t carry much sting, however, if some Western scientists weren’t also concerned about weaknesses in so-called neo-Darwinism, the dominant view of evolution over the last 50 years.

      andrew

      October 26, 2009 at 10:30 am

  32. “If you did indeed read anything on the theory of evolution or Natural Selection, then you’d know that it doesn’t say anything of the sort, so I call your lie.
    What you’re talking about is “Social Darwinism,” which has little to do with Darwin’s work other than the erroneous use of the same man’s name.”

    It is a direct Darwin quote right out of his book “the Descent of Man” – Darwin wrote it not Spencer – however, in the same book Darwin does call Spencer “our greatest philosopher” and Darwin even titled a chapter “survival of the fittest” and claimed how in many ways it is a better term.
    You, like anyone else online, can Google this: “descent of man searchable” and get a return which leads you to an online copy of the descent of man where you can type in the key phrases and see for yourself that it is all in Darwin’s very own book, written by Darwin, about his theory and how it applies to man.
    Of course you can also claim its all a lie and so forth – its your right. I choose instead to stand by what I claimed, knowing full well that the claim is true and that people other than me can use those search engines too, and in doing, will find exactly what I claimed.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 12:32 am

  33. It is a quote out of context, as I have mentioned twice.
    As for “survival of the fittest”, the term “fitness” does not refer to the strongest or the toughest, but to the individuals that have the best fit with their environment, and are thus able to survive and reproduce and pass on their traits. This is not a basis for racism.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 26, 2009 at 2:32 am

  34. Troy,
    Ohh, I thought you were making it clear that you were in the ultra-denial camp with dawkinswatch – I didn’t realize you were just referring to the adaptationalists who see selection at work in just about every imaginable biological trait (an honest mistake on my part given this forum, I think). That being the case, then of course we see eye to eye.

    On the racism though, you’re still misrepresenting words at best, and lying at worst. Quote out of context and misrepresenting the usage of words, and all that.

    Dan

    May 26, 2009 at 5:35 am

  35. In fact, Bipedal is so correct in describing why “Survival of the fittest” is neutral on race, that I’m going to repeat it:

    “As for “survival of the fittest”, the term “fitness” does not refer to the strongest or the toughest, but to the individuals that have the best fit with their environment, and are thus able to survive and reproduce and pass on their traits.”

    And in the environments of American or European societies today, people of African and European descent have about the same reproductive rates. By definition, neither is more fit than the other.

    Dan

    May 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

    • But take a bunch of Europeans and plunk them in sub-Saharan Africa, and see who demonstrates greater fitness!

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  36. As far as the quote being out of context goes – it isn’t. It is one thing to run over to talkorigin and on their welcome page study all about how stupid creationist are so that you can deal with them. It is another thing to actually believe such bigoted crap. Just because there are people who do quote out of context, does not mean all people quote out of context, or even, for that matter, a majority. The way talkorigins reads, if you believe God created life (if that is what a creationist is) then you can not quote anything, without it being some rare accident, except out of context. Of course that is as bigoted as one can get when it gets right down to it. Lets look at the quote and situation one last time.

    First we will start with this notion that selection worked to slowly change monkey type beast into human type beast – and further claim that this is still going on such that there are humans today, some of which are closer to apes, and some of which are further from being apes. Furthermore, lets show this grade of monkeys and apes via drawing so you can get a visual image of the grades or progression, or change (whatever you like to call it). I would like you now to go view such a drawing at the following web site – when there, please page down until you get to the two photos of drawings from Ernst Haeckel and his books Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte (1st edition and 2nd edition).

    As you can see from the pictures we have a change from baboon looking things, going through Negro people, and moving on to the least ape like, the white Greek guy. Of course just because Ernst Heaeckel did this is no reason to think Darwin liked the idea. Lets now turn to the introduction of Darwin’s book “the Descent of Man” and see what he has to say about Ernst Haeckel and the Ernst Haeckel view of the genealogy of man in the 1st and 2nd editions of the very books from which the genealogy drawings come:

    “This last naturalist, besides his great work, Generelle Morphologie (1866), has recently (1868, with a second edit. in 1870), published his Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine.”

    It is not an act of rocket science to see, rather clearly, that Darwin pretty well had the same view in mind – the colored boy is closer to being a monkey than is the white Greek philosopher.

    With that said, we now turn to the matter of there not always being lots for transitional forms between the older creatures and the new creatures which the older ones changed into over time. This can happen because some of the less fit, or less advanced forms become extinct – for example, if they can’t compete with the more advanced forms. To show this in the drawing we had, we look at the first primitive monkey on the list, and the last most fit form, the white Greek guy, and we erase everything in between (having all it go extinct as it where). Before we do the erasing the closes link between man and monkey is between some higher ape form and the Negro – after we erase the closest link is between some very primitive monkey form and the white Greek guy. In this way, we can see, if the white Greek guy, who is more advanced, does away with the less fit black man, the separation between man and monkey is greater. Given that white man was viewed by these people as more advanced than black man, via natural selection, they predicted exactly such a thing to take place – and that is exactly what Darwin is saying when he claims this in the very same book:

    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

    These sort of ideas feed directly into the hands of anyone wishing to form political groups via the use of ethnic identity. Once Darwin laid these ideas down, combined with the wide spread pushing of his work as though it was some sort of “fact”, political groups so motivated could point to the “science” of biology to outright demonstrate that this group was far superior to that group – then, everything you need to get a political group based in racism going, is well in place. That is exactly why such intolerance was promoted, time and time again, with the use of Darwin’s theory, and not Newtons mechanics which completely are void of any such philosophical implications.
    Today it is slightly less OK to outright show such racist stuff. All the same, claiming that such matters are not in Darwin’s work by calling anyone pointing to it a “creationist” or “ignorant” or “miss quoting”, really does not cut the mustard. It was and is in his theory and was and is recognized and used as being a very real part of that theory. To claim it simply isn’t by no means changes such facts.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm

  37. “On the racism though, you’re still misrepresenting words at best, and lying at worst. Quote out of context and misrepresenting the usage of words, and all that.”

    Well, to be fair, perhaps you could start with the drawings of Ernst Haeckel and the Darwin quote about Haeckel’s genology and work through the argument all the way up to the Darwin quote about white man exterminating the colored folks, and explain to us the “real” meaning.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    • Two items:

      The way talkorigins reads, if you believe God created life (if that is what a creationist is) then you can not quote anything, without it being some rare accident, except out of context.

      Because they debunk instances where creationists quote out of context, you think it means theists ALWAYS quote out of context. Overreacting a bit, aren’t you?

      As you can see from the pictures we have a change from baboon looking things, going through Negro people, and moving on to the least ape like, the white Greek guy. Of course just because Ernst Heaeckel did this is no reason to think Darwin liked the idea. Lets now turn to the introduction of Darwin’s book “the Descent of Man” and see what he has to say about Ernst Haeckel and the Ernst Haeckel view of the genealogy of man in the 1st and 2nd editions of the very books from which the genealogy drawings come:

      “This last naturalist, besides his great work, Generelle Morphologie (1866), has recently (1868, with a second edit. in 1870), published his Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, in which he fully discusses the genealogy of man. If this work had appeared before my essay had been written, I should probably never have completed it. Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist, whose knowledge on many points is much fuller than mine.”

      I’m unfamiliar with this passage, but taking your appraisal at face value, you’re rather mixed up. In this very quote, Darwin says that Haeckel addresses the essence of his (Darwin’s) views, and not that this particular aspect of this particular figure has anything to do with Darwin’s arguments. Thus, without citing any evidence that Darwin thought that this aspect of this picture was particularly helpful or not, your claim that Darwin thought that “the colored boy is closer to being a monkey than is the white Greek philosopher” is inconsistent with any reading of the material which you DO cite.

      And when you quote Darwin with this…

      “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

      … you clearly mistake Darwin’s use of the word “exterminate” (used instead of out-compete by some unspecified path to extinction) as “genocide.” Once again, you’re jumping to conclusions that are inconsistent with a reading of Darwin.

      Dan

      May 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm

  38. “And in the environments of American or European societies today, people of African and European descent have about the same reproductive rates. By definition, neither is more fit than the other.”
    Lets take it from the narrow view of just this one example related to race. It is very clear that Darwin and others around him very much believed that Negros were closer related to gorillas than white man. In that, they were very much mistaken as modern genetics (not reproductive rates) clearly show.
    The problem does not so much reside in the fact that they were completely mistaking and wrong. The problem resides in the fact that we can not even point out his theory is wrong without having the crusade of intolerance being unleashed upon us – and that, to be sure, is a crusade not science.
    Lets look one step closer. Some claim “this is not racism”. To my knowledge, Herbert Spencer was the first to squarely connect the genocide of a people to being justified, not as racism, but as simply being and act of nature driven by natural selection (a few years prior to Darwin publishing his book on “the Preservation of Favored Races”). In the same vain, and in the same way, one can point to Darwin and his claim that white man will almost certainly exterminate the Negro and say “this is not an act of racism, but instead an act of natural selection simply doing what it does – that is, it is an act of nature, not of racist hate”.
    Now if we really look at that what we find is that they just took a philosophical belief and married it directly to a “Law of Nature”. The English, believed to be most fit among all human beings (see Spencer’s charts of brain size which then showed up again in Darwin’s book “the Descent of Man” followed by years of anthropologist making fake data claiming how whites where the best of all via measuring head size) and thus, here was a ready made “Law of Nature” which all on its own justified why it was only natural for the English to dominate the earth.

    As time passed we came to learn that science has no such power as to claim justification for any such acts. To then turn around and say “science cannot do such things, therefore such things are not in Darwin’s theory because his theory is science” is a very backwards and screwed up thing to do – your putting the cart before the horse! The correct teaching is that Darwin’s theory very much did do that and it is very much incorrect for doing so – period! To turn around and equate people with being idiot creationist for pointing such things out, not only is a disservice to historical and present facts, but in fact is itself an act of taking the very worst aspect of the work and treating it as though it is justified!! One is in no way justified in calling people a creationist idiot because they point to very real problems with Darwin’s theory – in fact, all they are doing is exploiting the very worst aspects of that theory in real time.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

  39. It is very clear that Darwin and others around him very much believed that Negros were closer related to gorillas than white man.

    I just got done pointing out that this is not clear at all, and contrary to common sense. Your entire argument starts off with a falsehood.

    Dan

    May 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm

  40. Also, re: Spencer, Broca, and other contemporary comparative anatomists of Darwin’s day…

    No one is disputing the fact that Darwin, while abolitionist and far more liberal than most of his time, was still a product of his time. In that time, virtually all Englishmen in Darwin’s time viewed blacks as culturally and intellectually inferior to Europeans. It was not until the end of the 19th century that it became clear to anyone that cranial size data was being manipulated to reinforce those racist preconceptions (even by the more liberal comparative anatomists), and not until well into the 20th century until differences in IQ test scores were found to be biased as well. You should really read Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man for a historical perspective on all of this (minus mention of Darwin), and how pervasive this bias was.

    So … yes, Darwin wasn’t a civil rights’ crusader, he was merely an abolitionist. That’s a basis for your argument that his ideas fostered racism??

    Dan

    May 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm

  41. “Because they debunk instances where creationists quote out of context, you think it means theists ALWAYS quote out of context. Overreacting a bit, aren’t you?”

    To a small extent, yes. It is easy to demonstrate that the general habit is to equate anyone having real problems with Darwin’s theory to being the very stupidest and dumbest of creationist. In general, if you go against Darwin, then you are right off the top equated with being a stupid ignorant creationist of the very worst type. The propaganda very clearly teaches not only to make such an equating, but how to treat it – your miss quoting, you don’t understand it, your religion has blinded you, your “delusional”. If you speak against Darwin then everyone knows your a dumb creationist, and places like talkorigins teach you how to treat such people right on its welcome page. All the same, there are people who do recognize that maybe sometimes a “creationist” has an argument worth looking at – however, there are no shortage of people who equate anyone who believes in God as though they are not fit, in any way, to enter any worthy argument at all – after all, they are “delusional” (mentally ill that is)!

    Next, after looking at the Haeckel link, you say:

    “I’m unfamiliar with this passage, but taking your appraisal at face value, you’re rather mixed up. In this very quote, Darwin says that Haeckel addresses the essence of his (Darwin’s) views, and not that this particular aspect of this particular figure has anything to do with Darwin’s arguments. Thus, without citing any evidence that Darwin thought that this aspect of this picture was particularly helpful or not, your claim that Darwin thought that “the colored boy is closer to being a monkey than is the white Greek philosopher” is inconsistent with any reading of the material which you DO cite.”

    The passage is in the introduction of Darwin’s book “the Descent of Man” – online copies are available where you too can go and read it directly.

    In the quote Darwin is very very clear – “… he (Haeckel) fully discusses the GENOLOGY of man …Almost all the conclusions at which I have arrived I find confirmed by this naturalist..” That is to say that Darwin agrees with, by and large, the gemology Haeckel puts forward on almost every single point – a gemology which the drawings very clearly express. Perhaps two monkeys should switch place, or this person with that – but the general idea most certainly is supported by Darwin. To not see this is the miss-reading, not the other way around. One should be careful about tripping over ones own rhetoric !

    You go on about the Darwin quote over exterminating the less fit Negors to say

    “… you clearly mistake Darwin’s use of the word “exterminate” (used instead of out-compete by some unspecified path to extinction) as “genocide.” Once again, you’re jumping to conclusions that are inconsistent with a reading of Darwin”.

    Be very careful here – your dealing with a philosophy married to a so-called theory of science. Of course they do not view it as “racist”, but instead as an “act of nature” via a “Law of Nature”. Its not that white folks will exterminate the black man because white man is racist, but because people can not do otherwise than act in accordance with the “Laws” of nature. It is quite literally justifying racism with a scientific theory – “its not racist, its just an act of nature”, yet the black dude is “exterminated” regardless of how much one pats themselves on the back saying “oh, its just an act of nature”. In the end of the dead, the dead lay there because someone deiced to kill them off, regardless of their “justification”. When we pretend it is not “racism”, but just a “law of nature”, we re most all the way to justifying anything we want, including tossing Jews in an oven.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 2:49 pm

  42. For the record, here i sthe passage in its entirety, intended to be treated as a whole. I have italicized the passage you cite repeatedly to illustrate that it is a quote taken out of context:

    ON THE BIRTHPLACE AND ANTIQUITY OF MAN.

    We are naturally led to enquire, where was the birthplace of man at that stage of descent when our progenitors diverged from the Catarrhine stock? The fact that they belonged to this stock clearly shews that they inhabited the Old World; but not Australia nor any oceanic island, as we may infer from the laws of geographical distribution. In each great region of the world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the same region. It is therefore probable that Africa was formerly inhabited by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these two species are now man’s nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere. But it is useless to speculate on this subject; for two or three anthropomorphous apes, one the Dryopithecus (17. Dr. C. Forsyth Major, ‘Sur les Singes fossiles trouves en Italie:’ ‘Soc. Ital. des Sc. Nat.’ tom. xv. 1872.) of Lartet, nearly as large as a man, and closely allied to Hylobates, existed in Europe during the Miocene age; and since so remote a period the earth has certainly undergone many great revolutions, and there has been ample time for migration on the largest scale.

    At the period and place, whenever and wherever it was, when man first lost his hairy covering, he probably inhabited a hot country; a circumstance favourable for the frugiferous diet on which, judging from analogy, he subsisted. We are far from knowing how long ago it was when man first diverged from the Catarrhine stock; but it may have occurred at an epoch as remote as the Eocene period; for that the higher apes had diverged from the lower apes as early as the Upper Miocene period is shewn by the existence of the Dryopithecus. We are also quite ignorant at how rapid a rate organisms, whether high or low in the scale, may be modified under favourable circumstances; we know, however, that some have retained the same form during an enormous lapse of time. From what we see going on under domestication, we learn that some of the co-descendants of the same species may be not at all, some a little, and some greatly changed, all within the same period. Thus it may have been with man, who has undergone a great amount of modification in certain characters in comparison with the higher apes.

    The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies–between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae–between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. ‘Anthropological Review,’ April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    With respect to the absence of fossil remains, serving to connect man with his ape-like progenitors, no one will lay much stress on this fact who reads Sir C. Lyell’s discussion (19. ‘Elements of Geology,’ 1865, pp. 583-585. ‘Antiquity of Man,’ 1863, p. 145.), where he shews that in all the vertebrate classes the discovery of fossil remains has been a very slow and fortuitous process. Nor should it be forgotten that those regions which are the most likely to afford remains connecting man with some extinct ape-like creature, have not as yet been searched by geologists.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm

  43. Its not that white folks will exterminate the black man because white man is racist, but because people can not do otherwise than act in accordance with the “Laws” of nature.

    Your whole argument appears to continue to revolve around the fact that Darwin, while far less racist than his contemporaries, was still biased in favor of Europeans. In your mind, being an evolutionist being less racist than his contemporaries makes him more racist than non-evolutionists????

    In the end of the dead, the dead lay there because someone deiced to kill them off, regardless of their “justification”. When we pretend it is not “racism”, but just a “law of nature”, we re most all the way to justifying anything we want, including tossing Jews in an oven.

    And you’re equating a bias with actively “tossing Jews in an oven”????? WTF???? Have you lost your reason?

    Dan

    May 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  44. Troy, above you state:
    Natural selection is a very real thing which has very real effects which can be used, measured and manipulated. It has been understood to be a real thing long before Darwin’s day and continues to be known as a real thing
    and:
    It also takes place in nature and there are many examples of it so doing.
    and:
    it is well understood in advance that natural selection is a real thing which really does effect the forms of life.
    But then you refer to it as “a so-called theory of science.”
    I have difficulty reconciling these.
    From your statements above, it seems to me that you accept evolution by means of natural selection “within kinds”, ie diversification of related organisms, but not as the mechanism underlying macroevolution, ie the appearance of novel “kinds”, though you recognize that these groups do appear, and you recognize that there may be other “mechanical” processes responsible.
    Furthermore, it seems to me that your objection to Macroevolution by means of Natural Selection is based on perceived moral grounds – ie that since Darwin’s work has been claimed as the basis for immoral acts, that the theory itself must be wrong. I would like to point out that the moral consequences of a scientific theory have no bearing at all on the validity of that theory.
    For example, the equation E=mc^2 is derived from Einstein’s work on electrodynamics, later rephrased as Special Relativity. It was the basis for the atomic bomb, possibly the most immoral technology ever devised, and the bombing of Japan, possibly one of the most immoral acts ever committed during wartime. This does not invalidate the theory of relativity.
    I am happy to argue the “morality” of Darwin’s work, and the scientific merit of his work, but the two are entirely unrelated. Continually muddling the two does nothing to bolster your arguments.

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  45. With respect to racism and Darwin’s theory, it is clear that some minds are shut to the notion completely regardless of what connection is brought up. That there was a complete explosion on people claiming scientific justification for it after Darwin’s theory means nothing to such people – it never has and never will. Oh well.

    “From your statements above, it seems to me that you accept evolution by means of natural selection “within kinds”, ie diversification of related organisms, but not as the mechanism underlying macroevolution, ie the appearance of novel “kinds”, though you recognize that these groups do appear, and you recognize that there may be other “mechanical” processes responsible.”

    I choose not to use the term “evolution” because what it means is just about anything and everything inside the field of biology – as a result lets be more exacting. Natural selection does take place as people have long well known. Darwin came along and said that not only does it take place, but it also has the power to change life forms into completely and totally different forms of life – furthermore, he claimed it did do so and thereby all life forms came into being via some original single form. Now those are very lofty claims and go way beyond what anyone every has seen.

    What I claim is that he is full of crap. Not only is such a claim very much not in line with the fossil record, and completely out of line with selective breeding – but it is also out of line with statistics when we combine the idea with random mutation and squeeze the time it took while trying to account for Stasis of the fossil record. As though that is not enough – we do not have one scientific experiment which people can replicate that clearly demonstrates natural selection and random mutation have such a claimed power – not one after 150 years of looking!

    “Furthermore, it seems to me that your objection to Macroevolution by means of Natural Selection is based on perceived moral grounds – ie that since Darwin’s work has been claimed as the basis for immoral acts, that the theory itself must be wrong. I would like to point out that the moral consequences of a scientific theory have no bearing at all on the validity of that theory.”

    I would like to point out that we have no scientifically ascertainable ideals – regardless of Darwin’s theory making it look like we do. However, Darwin’s theory falls on the above stated grounds regardless.

    “E=mc^2 is derived from Einstein’s work on electrodynamics, later rephrased as Special Relativity. It was the basis for the atomic bomb, possibly the most immoral technology ever devised, and the bombing of Japan, possibly one of the most immoral acts ever committed during wartime. This does not invalidate the theory of relativity.”

    You very much in error here. E=mc^2 does not imply anywhere in it that man should build an atomic bomb – or that such a thing will simply happen as an act of nature etc. Nor does special relativity or the general theory for that matter. Science can lead us to understand how to save a failing heart in a human being – what it does not do is tell us if we should.

    That science is so limited came to be understood around 1900. Prior to that time, in England at very least, they freely mixed the moral or philosophical code into the science. For example, Darwin taught directly that giving vaccinations is not good (the Descent of Man) – which is the same ask not seeing that science has no power to tell us such things. Darwin did this with his theory in mind, in his own theory book – the idea being it will keep the less fit alive and thereby screw up the gene pool upon which natural selection is so beautifully altering by letting these less fit folks die off. The same is true when it comes to letting the less fit have sex and reproduce. Lets give a direct example of Darwin spewing out a moral code as though his science supports it – he states:

    “Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian and will never be even partially realised until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known. Everyone does good service, who aids towards this end.”

    Just so there is no mistake, that is from the “general summary and conclusion” of Darwin’s book the descent of man – the general summary and conclusion! We are talking moral action based on science here, no question about it. You do not find that in Relativity or in the gas laws or in Maxwell’s equation – but it is for sure a central vain in Darwin’s theory.

    Of course that by itself is no big thing – you recognize it is in error, toss the error out, and move on. The real problem we have, and still have, is that a crusade is being run against any mention that there is even a problem, and even worst when you talk about trashing it – and for that we can not blame Darwin, for that the blame rest squarely on the shoulders of those who so act that way.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    • That there was a complete explosion on people claiming scientific justification for it after Darwin’s theory means nothing to such people – it never has and never will. Oh well.

      It means that much human behaviour is lamentable, but that has no bearing on the validity of Natural Selection. I can “claim” scientific justification for kicking puppies – that doesn’t mean such justification exists.

      Natural selection does take place as people have long well known. Darwin came along and said that not only does it take place, but it also has the power to change life forms into completely and totally different forms of life – furthermore, he claimed it did do so and thereby all life forms came into being via some original single form.

      Here you have it a bit backwards. The concepts of “organic change”, the relatedness of organisms, and common ancestry were ideas areound well before Darwin’s time, going back to Linneaus, St. Hilaire and Darwin’s own grandfather Erasmus Darwin. Lamarck proposed a mechanism, but not a workable one. Darwin was the one (or rather, one of the two – don’t forget Wallace) who worked out that Natural Selection was the mechanism by which organic change (evolution) occured.

      E=mc^2 does not imply anywhere in it that man should build an atomic bomb – or that such a thing will simply happen as an act of nature etc. Nor does special relativity or the general theory for that matter. Science can lead us to understand how to save a failing heart in a human being – what it does not do is tell us if we should.

      This is PRECISELY MY POINT. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, as laid out in On the Origin of Species does not imply anywhere that man should behave immorally, or that genocide will occur as an act of nature. Even out of context, the passage you keep citing does not say “go forth and exterminate”, it says that the disappearance of indigenous peoples is very likely. And given the way they were being treated in the 19th century, he had every reason to believe this to be the case.

      However, this is still academic. Because even if Darwin turned into an evil, twisted, malicious proponent of eugenics, genocide, and baby eating, and published a hundred books extolling the “virtues” of slavery, it would not mean the fundamental idea of Natural Selection he put forth in Origin was wrong. The idea, by the way, that you say is “a very real thing which has very real effects which can be used, measured and manipulated” and “continues to be known as a real thing”, and that it “takes place in nature and there are many examples of it so doing.” That is Natural Selection, and that is “Darwin’s Theory”.

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 27, 2009 at 12:18 am

  46. “For the record, here i sthe passage in its entirety, intended to be treated as a whole. I have italicized the passage you cite repeatedly to illustrate that it is a quote taken out of context:
    ON THE BIRTHPLACE AND ANTIQUITY OF MAN.”

    LOL – and you think that changes anything? What does that whole thing say? Lets give it a try – We came from the monkeys of some sort in some distant past, although the record is not perfect. Even so, some people object because there are breaks or gaps in the record which are not filled in with living life forms. That presents, he claims, no problem for people who “believe” in evolution. We can even reason further gaps not long in coming – such as when the fit white guys exterminate the less fit colored folks!

    It changes nothing at all. The fit white guys are still exterminating the less fit color guys and this is done via “evolution”, a simple act of nature! The matter is not taken out of context, as your extra quoting from his book more than clearly demonstrates. I know there is a large teaching out there which goes like this: If someone has problems with Darwin’s theory they are a creationist and creationist quote mine taking everything they quote out of context. One would be very well advised to set such teaching aside for a moment and actually look at the material being presented – the matter simply is not that hard to see.

    Troy

    May 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm

  47. wow I am coming back thanks Troy, I need to read these comments slowly.

    dawkinswatch

    May 26, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    • Well I hope you find the post are as helpful for you as you seem to think they might be.

      Troy

      May 27, 2009 at 2:33 am

  48. Troy,
    The fit white guys are still exterminating the less fit color guys and this is done via “evolution”, a simple act of nature! The matter is not taken out of context, as your extra quoting from his book more than clearly demonstrates.

    A closed mind sees only what it wants to see Troy. A biased claim of an “act of nature” is still far more tolerant than Darwin’s contemporaries might have left it. They disgusted Darwin, who was disgusted by the treatment of blacks in slave countries.

    Keep on ignoring the fact that basically all racists today are creationists, and ignoring the fact that Christian resurgence is happening primarily in the historically racists parts of the world over the last half century, or that Darwin was disgusted by such things. Go on, ignore all you like, you know you’re going to anyway.

    Dan

    May 27, 2009 at 6:46 am

  49. “A biased claim of an “act of nature” is still far more tolerant than Darwin’s contemporaries might have left it. They disgusted Darwin, who was disgusted by the treatment of blacks in slave countries.”

    Fair enough – but you see, that is enough! People found an attachment for claiming scientific justification in racism through Darwin’s theory – and that is the point. People did not justify such acts using Newtons mechanics or Maxwell’s equations. However, Malthus published and they used his work to justify such acts – with Spencer the matter may well have grown, and with Darwin it completely exploded. Of that, there is no question.

    It looks like you have an eye upon how such matters are taken today. I think it is important to get to that. However, when it comes to this theory we do justice to it by not only looking and recognizing how it was used to justify racism, but also how it was used to justify atheism and religious intolerance. I think that second feature deserves some attention. It is as though when one seeks scientific justification, one can use this theory to play the race card as easy as one can use it to play the religious intolerance card, and it is quite helpful to get a handle on how that card attaches to the theory. It seems to me that we need to draw that out and take a clear look at it, again with some examples of where it was put into place along such lines as well as a revisit to how some political groups would favor its use. Only then would we be in a position to really start taking some steps with respect to looking at contemporary events with any degree of hoping we are getting it right when it comes to this theory. For example, are the creationist the biggest racist in the USA today, or is that simply a claim of the atheistic aspect of the theory playing its card? If we don’t look at the atheistic card attached to the theory – we might not even know to ask that question.

    Troy

    May 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm

  50. Fair enough – but you see, that is enough! People found an attachment for claiming scientific justification in racism through Darwin’s theory – and that is the point.

    You concede that the alternative was more racist, pro-slavery, prescriptive, and thus supported horrible acts of intolerance, but the less racist, anti-slavery, descriptive, and more tolerant views of Darwin were the ones that lead to horrible acts of WWII among other things??? That makes no sense. The logical conclusion is that the more racist, pro-slavery, prescriptive attitudes to the world lead to those things.

    People found an attachment for claiming scientific justification in racism through Darwin’s theory – and that is the point.

    They found an excuse. They claimed. Erroneously. Mistakenly. Based upon their more racist, pro-slavery, prescriptive biases. You’d have to be an idiot to blame someone (Darwin, in this case) for things he not only did not espouse, but OPPOSED, and for NOT MISREPRESENTING the theory in question.

    Sheesh, when will you let go of the “less racist guy and the pro-diversity theory lead to more racism and hatred of diversity” stupidity.

    Dan

    May 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  51. Basically Troy, I’m (repeatedly) asking you to THINK.

    Societally-reinforced historical periods of intolerance have always been the result of hatreds relating to cultural groups: Christians, Jews and Muslims hating each other is right at the top of the list. Protestants and Catholics haven’t liked each other much either. National rivalries are frequently just as bad as religious rivalries, and racial and ethnic biases have as well, as we’ve been discussing. Singling out one cause (nationalism, religion, ethnocentrism, etc.) and ignoring the rest only acts as a disservice to everyone, but they can collectively be grouped as out-group hostility.

    These societal patterns have been part of humanity since at least we started building the first civilizations, and probably long before that in our tribal past. Every time people find their scapegoat, and every time people later in history (like you) believe them, without ever understanding the true causes of hate.

    Dan

    May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  52. “Basically Troy, I’m (repeatedly) asking you to THINK.”

    Yes, I know – you clearly like to paint me as something “less than”. That’s fine – I even expect it, after all we are on a page that deals with Darwin’s theory.

    “Societally-reinforced historical periods of intolerance have always been the result of hatreds relating to cultural groups: Christians, Jews and Muslims hating each other is right at the top of the list. Protestants and Catholics haven’t liked each other much either. National rivalries are frequently just as bad as religious rivalries, and racial and ethnic biases have as well, as we’ve been discussing. Singling out one cause (nationalism, religion, ethnocentrism, etc.) and ignoring the rest only acts as a disservice to everyone, but they can collectively be grouped as out-group hostility.”

    Certainly there is a long history of all sorts of hate. If, for example, we look at the sociology of it as it pertains to monotheistic religions, we can learn a great deal. A great study to read on the matter is from Rodney Stark in his two volume set “one true god” and “for the glory of god”. One of the big things he does is removes all the anti-catholic and anti-Christianity distortion rendered into our history from Ivy league schools and atheist, and thereby places the matter on a fair footing with all the modern sociological tools (he by no means is the only one pointing to the fact that out history has been grossly distorted by the anti folks).

    However, when I came to this page I did not see the theme being related to the issue of how hate and intolerance are related to this or that church, or this or that belief system. When I came here I found the theme to center around Darwin’s theory and its relation to racism – and that is exactly what I stuck with – how the matter relates to Darwin theory. There is a very real relationship, it was used by many, and continues to be used as well – that “scientific justification” for racism exploded after Darwin’s theory is simply a fact – a fact which is worthy of our attention one a page like this, and in any real expanded talk about the use of hate in human history.

    Last – what sort of authority are you in terms of what I have ignored and not ignored in my study of hate and racism? For all you know I have studied the matter with a fair width, inclusive of how monotheism works towards intolerance – how state monopoly on belief systems can ignite the fire – how the patterns show up in rhetoric work to elevate such things (which might have something to do with why I avoid terms like “evolution”) – and even lots of side things, like how the wording of the census can work to foster belief that there are biological differences in races and how high school biology text books are fostering such belief (without any scientific support I might add) right now. With the study I have done, I feel perfectly justified in drawing out the role which Darwin’s theory has played in the matter.

    “These societal patterns have been part of humanity since at least we started building the first civilizations, and probably long before that in our tribal past. Every time people find their scapegoat, and every time people later in history (like you) believe them, without ever understanding the true causes of hate.”
    But of course we are not here talking about the “true cause of hate” are we. We are talking about how it is that Darwin’s theory is used as a way to claim scientific justification for hate and intolerance. It is a weapon whose properties as a weapon are very much worth looking at.

    I get the point you think of me as an idiot. The replies to my post are filled with how I don’t understand anything, how I am pushing a god creation argument wherein one is suppose to think people who like the idea of god are somehow “delusional”, been told that I quote people wrong and try and distort the meaning into something which it does not mean, I quote straight out of Darwin’s theory book and am told it is not Darwin’s theory, I am told that I need to read books which I have already studied by people who have no idea what I have and have not studied, I am told I am dishonest, I am told that I talk out my ass, effort is spent trying to prove that I lie complete with demands that I am just a pure liar, arguments which I do not make are assigned to me as though I made them, and then are cut down, I am told that I am in denial, I am told I will be treated as ignorant and a liar unless I stop claiming that scientific justification for racism exploded after Darwin’s theory came out – as though its wrong to note that, my words are “paraphrased” to make it seem like I stances which I do not make, etc., etc., etc.

    I also understand all the above features are features of a crusade being run – not features of science – and as always, there is a reason such things show up when one deals with that theory which enjoys no scientific demonstration of its claims, Darwin’s theory. My facts are in order well enough – people can and will see it regardless of how many names are tossed into the mix.

    Troy

    May 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm

  53. “That there was a complete explosion on people claiming scientific justification for it after Darwin’s theory means nothing to such people – it never has and never will. Oh well.

    It means that much human behaviour is lamentable, but that has no bearing on the validity of Natural Selection. I can “claim” scientific justification for kicking puppies – that doesn’t mean such justification exists.”

    Oh – well of course there is no “real” justification for the hate, even through Darwin’s theory. I did not mean to claim that his theory in fact makes such acts justifiable via science. What I do claim is that the structure of his theory lends to such claims directly – which is directly why we see his theory in science being the top dog in such use. The story is no different at all with respect to atheism and anti-Christianity as such things attach themselves to Darwin’s theory. There is a long track record of Christian bashers, equating human beings who believe in God with being mentally less fit, and Darwin’s theory as though science has justified such claims. Science has done no such thing at all, but that has not stopped people from playing the illusion, via Darwin’s theory, that it has.

    You can call such behavior, be it militant atheist Christian bashing, or elevation belief of a biological foundation for race, lamentable – and I agree, it is. In fact, precisely because it is lamentable we have something of a duty to show exactly how Darwin’s theory has been and is being used for both these things such that people stop putting up with the bigots who promote this crap via Darwin’s theory as though its justified – its illumination is the salt which is poured upon such leaches.

    “Darwin was the one (or rather, one of the two – don’t forget Wallace) who worked out that Natural Selection was the mechanism by which organic change (evolution) occurred.”

    Keep in mind here that it was known that natural selection could and did change forms – so it was not that they pointed to that ability, but instead pointed to the claim that ability could have the power to change the form beyond understood limits to such change. One gets the idea of this very clearly in the Wallace letter sent to Darwin – the idea of which was published along side of Darwin prior to Origins coming out. The argument against natural selection having such power set inside of breeding animals and the limits hit there – a matter which Wallace squarely addresses in that paper.

    All the same, one should point out that Wallace and Darwin offered it as a possible explanation, but never actually demonstrated it. We still have no demonstration of it having the power claimed, but do have scientific reason to believe it did not happen the way the theory claims (the same being true when coupled with random mutation – no demonstration it does as claimed, but reason to believe it did not happen as claimed). Also, with respect to Wallace, it should be carefully noted that he did not give it the lofty power Darwin did. For example Wallace rejected the idea that selection could have ever been the causal agent in the making of the human mind (not to mention a host of other things). Darwin disagreed completely, as is seen in his (rather weak) argument against Wallace in his book “the Descent of Man”. This becomes important when one looks at the philosophy which so naturally leaches itself onto Darwin’s theory. If there is one one causation, and natural selection is it – then the philosophy has scientific justification if the theory is true. However, if natural selection is very limited in its power, the philosophy loses its scientific justification – thus the long push to act as though the theory is correct while forgetting we have no scientific confirmation of such a thing at all, but do have reason to believe it does not work in such ways. Wallace was very much correct in giving credit to Darwin for that big puppy!

    “This is PRECISELY MY POINT. Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, as laid out in On the Origin of Species does not imply anywhere that man should behave immorally, or that genocide will occur as an act of nature”

    Well of course Origins does not do such a thing, after all it is a plant and animal book which very specifically leaves man out of the picture – just like Darwin claims right inside the book! Darwin did, however, also claim he would address the matter of man in a later book – which he did in “the Descent of Man”. In the early additions of Origins Darwin did not use the word “evolution” and left out man – it appears this was to avoid people connecting the idea to the work of Herbert Spencer (Spencer liked the term “evolution”). The X-club (Google “X-club” if your not familiar with them) pushed Darwin’s theory big time – even to the point of getting people canned who would not promote it and getting people science jobs who would promote it. After a good ten years of the X-clubs workings, “the Descent of Man” came out and within it we find the term “evolution” and high praise of Herbert Spencer both – apparently it had become politically correct to side with him by then. Anyway, if you want to find the connection between man and the theory, you don’t look in the theory book which leaves man out, you look in the theory book that includes man.

    “However, this is still academic. Because even if Darwin turned into an evil, twisted, malicious proponent of eugenics, genocide, and baby eating, and published a hundred books extolling the “virtues” of slavery, it would not mean the fundamental idea of Natural Selection he put forth in Origin was wrong”

    True enough – and let it be noted carefully, one need not look at Darwin the man at all for exactly the same reason – best to look at the theory, not the man. (I know there is lots of implication that I am beating on the man – but a close read clears me of such charges)

    Troy

    May 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    • Keep in mind here that it was known that natural selection could and did change forms – so it was not that they pointed to that ability, but instead pointed to the claim that ability could have the power to change the form beyond understood limits to such change

      No. It was widely thought that forms did change, and the concept of common ancestry had certainly been proposed, but there was no known mechanism. Natural Selection as a mechanism for change was unknown until the work of Darwin and Wallace.

      Bipedal Tetrapod

      May 28, 2009 at 2:37 am

  54. Since you have agreed with virtually every point I have made, and yet persist in your stance that is contrary to those points, I see little point in continuing this particular debate.
    I will continue to address the science, including your questions regarding Macroevolution, on Bipedalia

    Bipedal Tetrapod

    May 28, 2009 at 3:10 am

  55. Troy,
    However, when I came to this page I did not see the theme being related to the issue of how hate and intolerance are related to this or that church, or this or that belief system. When I came here I found the theme to center around Darwin’s theory and its relation to racism – and that is exactly what I stuck with – how the matter relates to Darwin theory. There is a very real relationship, it was used by many, and continues to be used as well – that “scientific justification” for racism exploded after Darwin’s theory is simply a fact – a fact which is worthy of our attention one a page like this, and in any real expanded talk about the use of hate in human history.

    There’s a very real relationship between Newtonian ballistics and mass murder by firing squad. So what?

    Millennia-old anti-Semitic fervor seeking new scientific justification is still ethnocentric motivation, NOT scientific motivation. Put the blame where it lies.

    Or keep blaming Newton for figuring out how ballistics works and providing motivation for killing all those millions who’ve died by projectile weapons.

    I get the point you think of me as an idiot. The replies to my post are filled with how I don’t understand anything…

    Yes, see the above portion of this very comment on how you’re continually barking up the wrong tree.

    Oh heck, I’ll go on… towards the top of this thread you said:

    One can get the book “the Nazi Doctors” and read all about how the S.S. Went to the medical schools with an eye upon those students who loved Darwin’s theory the most – who where really “moved” by it.

    Wow. Anti-Semitic Nazi’s, who hate Jews to begin with and think they’re a scourge on the Aryan society, being “moved” by a theory that they can distort just enough to get some argumentative justification. You just conveniently ignore the fact that THEY WERE ANTI-SEMITIC NAZI’S LOOKING FOR JUSTIFICATION where ever they could find it.

    Yes, you’re an idiot.

    Dan

    May 28, 2009 at 5:43 am

  56. “Natural Selection as a mechanism for change was unknown until the work of Darwin and Wallace.”
    Perhaps. It seems to me that Herbert Spencer had a good grasp on it when he used it as his law of nature which was responsible for killing off over a million Irish – inclusive of its power to change the species. He did all that in his paper called “A Theory of Population, deduced from the General Law of Animal Fertility” which was printed in the Westminster Review 57 (1852 [New Series, Vol I, No. II]): 468-501. Six years after that the Wallace/Darwin paper was printed via the Linnean Society.
    All the same, Darwin does claim he chewed on the idea at even an earlier time than Spenser’s public printing of the idea.

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 6:23 am

  57. “Wow. Anti-Semitic Nazi’s, who hate Jews to begin with and think they’re a scourge on the Aryan society, being “moved” by a theory that they can distort just enough to get some argumentative justification. You just conveniently ignore the fact that THEY WERE ANTI-SEMITIC NAZI’S LOOKING FOR JUSTIFICATION where ever they could find it.
    Yes, you’re an idiot.”

    I don’t ignore it at all. What I point to is that they did look for people who where really moved by Newtons mechanics – but instead by Darwin’s theory. There is a reason in such cases, in the effort to claim “scientific validity” that it is always Darwin’s theory, and never never relativity or gas laws or Newton’s mechanics, but always, Darwin’s theory. It has to do with the nature of the theory itself. But, no need to go on with it – reasonable people understand it, regardless of your silly name calling.

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 6:32 am

  58. Troy,
    Now Spencer recognized natural selection first? Oh you’re just full of pulling nonsense out of your arse.

    And I’m sorry for the “silly name calling,” but how else can I describe you for arguing that Darwin is responsible for fomenting centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudice? It’s just that stupid.

    Dan

    May 28, 2009 at 7:07 am

  59. As Jacob Bronowski said:

    It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false – tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

    Dan

    May 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

  60. “Now Spencer recognized natural selection first? Oh you’re just full of pulling nonsense out of your arse.”

    Darwin claimed he thought about it before Spencer touched upon it in his published work. It don’t matter that much to me either way – but, for what its worth, here is what Spencer wrote in the Westminster review years before Darwin’s book came out:

    “And here it must be remarked, that the effect of pressure of population, in increasing the ability to maintain life, and decreasing the ability to multiply, is not a uniform effect, but an average one.  In this case, as in many others, Nature secures each step in advance by a succession of trials, which are perpetually repeated, and cannot fail to be repeated, until success is achieved.  All mankind in turn subject themselves more or less to the discipline described; they either may or may not advance under it; but, in the nature of things, only those who do advance under it eventually survive. [my emphasis, JLD]  For, necessarily, families and races   [499/500] whom this increasing difficulty of getting a living which excess of fertility entails, does not stimulate to improvements in production—that is, to greater mental activity—are on the high road to extinction; and must ultimately be supplanted by those whom the pressure does so stimulate.  This truth we have recently seen exemplified in Ireland.  And here, indeed, without further illustration, it will be seen that premature death, under all its forms, and from all its causes, cannot fail to work in the same direction.  For as those prematurely carried off must, in the average of cases, be those in whom the power of self-preservation is the least, it unavoidably follows, that those left behind to continue the race are those in whom the power of self-preservation is the greatest—are the select of their generation.  So that, whether the dangers to existence be of the kind produced by excess of fertility, or of any other kind, it is clear, that by the ceaseless exercise of the faculties needed to contend with them, and by the death of all men who fail to contend with them successfully, there is ensured a constant progress towards a higher degree of skill, intelligence, and self-regulation—a better co-ordination of actions—a more complete life.”

    He clearly points out here that natural selection is changing intelligence. Is changing intelligence a change in form? I know he thought intelligence was related to brain size after all, in the same paper he wrote this about brain size:

    “That an enlargement of the nervous centres is going on in mankind, is an ascertained fact.  Not alone from general survery of human progress—not alone from the greater power of self-preservation shown by civilized races are we left to infer such enlargement; it is proved by actual measurement.  The mean capacities of the crania in the leading divisions of the species have been found to be—
    In the Australian 75 cubic inches
    African 82
    Malayan 86
    Englishman 96”

    You might recognize the head measuring thing as Darwin sided with it and printed it in his book to (the one about how the theory effects man) and the field of anthropology for years and years and years used it to “prove” Darwin’s theory was correct – all of which of course is now recognized to be a bunch of bigoted racist stuff of no scientific value – just one of those racist things which has no relation to the theory- lol – NOT!

    The change in brain size Spencer relates directly to the change in intelligence via survival rates among the smartest and most fit via selection.

    The thing Spencer does not do is claim that here that natural selection keeps on going such that it turns fish into dogs given enough time, nor does he claim natural selection formed every life form on earth.

    All the same, Darwin claims he was thinking about the matter prior to Spencer publishing the above stuff (Spencer published the above six years prior to Darwin’s book coming out).

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm

  61. Oh – I should be kind enough to give reference to the above paper. You can read an online copy of Spencer’s paper here: http://www.victorianweb.org/science/science_texts/spencer2.html

    If you page down once that site is open, down by the bottom you will find a paragraph that is underlined which is the same paragraph that I copied (its underlined because the of its relation to Darwin’s natural selection). Just a little before that underlined paragraph you will find Spencer’s head measuring chart.

    Also, please note the paper was published in The Westminster Review 57 (1852 [New Series, Vol I, No. II]): 468-501. (Darwin’s book on the Preservation of Favored Races came out in 1859)

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  62. “And I’m sorry for the “silly name calling,” but how else can I describe you for arguing that Darwin is responsible for fomenting centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudice? It’s just that stupid.”

    Well you could start by accounting for the fact that I don’t make that argument – never have.

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

  63. “It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That’s false – tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods”

    Very good! I will be turning to this matter with respect to science dehumanizing people – it is excatly the way I intend on going into the athiestic attachment to Darwin’s theory – now that the race problem has been given fair treatment (if anything, I was too nice about it).

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  64. “And I’m sorry for the “silly name calling,” but how else can I describe you for arguing that Darwin is responsible for fomenting centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudice? It’s just that stupid.”

    Well you could start by accounting for the fact that I don’t make that argument – never have.

    Bullsh*t. Let me quote you:

    In the end of the dead, the dead lay there because someone deiced to kill them off, regardless of their “justification”. When we pretend it is not “racism”, but just a “law of nature”, we re most all the way to justifying anything we want, including tossing Jews in an oven.

    Dan

    May 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm

  65. I turn now to the issue of atheism and its relation Darwin’s theory. This aspect differs from the racist aspect in that presently it has not yet become politically incorrect enough to keep people like Richard Dawkins from being major Darwin mouthpieces, and as such, is very much worthy of our attention.

    To get into this aspect I turn matters of “society” as viewed from the field of psychology as illuminated by Carl Jung. A reading of his work “the Undiscovered Self (Present and Future)” from volume 10 of the collected works of C.G. Jung is where the following ideas come from – please read it for a more complete view.

    Jung states, “Everywhere in the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold an incendiary torches ready with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population.” (Jung lived to watch the rise and fall of Hitler, so whereas we may not be so inclined to see this aspect off the top, he certainly had reason to be aware of its reality). This stratum of society is not consistent in the effectiveness, or display of its critical reason, it becoming weaker and less effective when political movements grow larger in size. When the “emotions” of the movement grow large enough, then the rational arguments no longer work as the emotional mass-mindedness of the group takes over. In turn, when that happens, the flames which the subversive minorities carry can work to bring full fledged fire.

    Knowledge of ones self helps prevent such a phenomena at least so far as the individual is concerned. When ones self knowledge is lower, one can get swept into the emotions of the movement without even realizing they have done so. Conversely, when there is a higher degree of self knowledge, there will arise an awareness when the emotional psychological phenomena of the subversive fire starters start reaching deep into societal movements.

    Scientific theories are of little help in gaining self knowledge. Theories are statistical in nature and give us the ideal averages of things at the expense of any individual case, and in this way it can falsify truth in a most misleading way. Say you measure a huge group of stones and find on average they are 5 grams in weight. As valid as that may well be – and useful too, it does not mean we can expect to find a stone that weighed exactly 5 grams in an our group of stones – in fact, there might not even be one that has exactly that weight. The theory draws truths of the overall at the expense of the individual cases which simply cancel out via averages. For this very reason we can not expect to read a theory book on how to gain self knowledge and have it be all so useful – after all, everything interesting and useful in “self” knowledge is the individual aspects, not the “normal” average.

    Most natural sciences post the results of their findings as though they came into being without mans intervention (the most obvious exception being the field of physics wherein it is clearly recognized that the observer effects the observed). In this way science draws up a picture of the universe where the importance of the human psyche is excluded. This draws a picture of statistical reality being the only picture of worth. If the statistical reality is the only one, then there is only one condition – judgment and and decision are not only silly, but in fact imposable, then there is only one possible way.

    When we look at political movements, above all those movements which want to be able to be free of any social norm of worth, we find time and time again efforts to undermine religion. Religion claims to give one a view from outside the world – a place from which you can judge the world by. Often, people who are into such things, especially in the west, hold up God as the ultimate authority. That Gods authority not only makes the individual submit, but the State as well, that is, the State can not act amoral simply because some chump manipulating the State wants to. Because religion has such a property, anyone manipulating the State who seeks enough power to do whatever they wish, regardless of how amoral, will seek to do away with the authority of religion such that the only authority left is that of the State. For them, science is a perfect replacement for God, for by the very nature of science, the individual is reduced to almost no importance at all and it promotes the idea that there is no choice, – but only one way, as mentioned above. They understand that religion is a counterbalance to the mass-mindedness they seek. Understanding this, they will undermine religion at every turn the very best that they can. A very perfect tool for them, indeed, would be a science which itself appears to undermine the validity of God.

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

  66. Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) wrote a famous book on population. He had it that population would grow and after awhile there would not be enough food to feed everyone. Then would follow bad times with lots of death and so forth – nature would thereby balance itself out.

    He also was a preacher of the type who loved to hate Catholics, above all Irish Catholics. He wrote freely about how the Irish Catholics would sex themselves into having way more babies than anyone would ever need, their population would grow without bound, and soon there would be mass starvation and all this ugly crap killing off many people – the act of nature cleaning itself of these ugly Irish Catholic people. That he had never been to Ireland, and simply made up his “facts” did not bother him in the least – nor did it bother the political party who decided they should economically rape the piss out of Ireland while letting the masses starve to death – a thing they even celebrated as being a natural cleaning. It is an example of a political movement using a “science” to justify their own actions.

    In the height of the economic genocide being waged upon the Irish, America, via Christian groups, got together lots of food and sent it over to Ireland to help stop the starvation. The political party in England viewed this as a way to stop the natural cleaning, and thus was counter to nature, so they took the food the Christians sent and did the same thing with it that they did with all the rest of the food in Ireland – they sold it on the open market away from Ireland. In turn that caused a HUGE uproar from all sorts of Christians, for now they where, beyond any question, acting completely and totally against the moral norms set down by God. The political party then lost power.

    Herbert Spencer has written in favor of the polices of that political party. After the party fell people argued that part of the problem was the misuse of the theory of Malthus. Herbert Spencer disagreed. He wrote a tract in the Westminster review elevating the idea that there is a biological law of nature (natural selection) which resulted in the cleaning of the Irish. It was not simply that the people died via the population/food problem that Malthus spoke of, but that in fact mankind was actually advancing from this – the select of the generation was being chosen, the brain size was increasing – it was nothing short of “natural” progress. I referenced the Spencer paper earlier, for now – please see the wikipedia page for the “Westminster Review” wherein the same paper is touched upon.

    Six years after the Spencer paper Darwin’s theory came out in book form. In the Darwin take, natural selection was elevated to very lofty heights indeed. Here was avocation that selection had resulted in all life form diversity on earth, which carried with it, a particularly irreligious nature insomuch as indicating that there was no divine creation, and certainly none for man – we where simply a random product of nature following the law of selection.

    From the political side which seeks to be free of any moral obligations whatsoever, this new theory was exactly what the doctor ordered. Not only can it be worked to give scientific justification for unethical action of whatever sort one chooses, but now it even can be used as a way to undermine that ethical school which works so hard against the States supreme authority – it “scientifically” justifies undermining religion (so long as it is “correct” anyway). Stalin did not miss the point at all, nor did many others. You combine these ideas and it becomes clear exactly why scientific justification for racism exploded after the publication of Darwin’s theory – and why as well that there has been a push to treat the theory as “true” and “correct” even though no one has ever demonstrated it to have the power which the theory claims it has.

    Troy

    May 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm

  67. Troy,
    Dude, why are you changing the subject? Why don’t you go to one of DW’s posts on atheism and post this there? (Not that you say much about atheism, other than “now I’m going to talk about atheism.)

    Also, I take it that by your change of subject (and dropping the previous items), that you’re giving up on arguing that Darwin is responsible for fomenting centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudice shtick? Good for you (really).

    Dan

    May 29, 2009 at 6:14 am

  68. “Also, I take it that by your change of subject (and dropping the previous items), that you’re giving up on arguing that Darwin is responsible for fomenting centuries-old anti-Semitic prejudice shtick? Good for you (really).”

    I have made my case on how racist ideologies can attach themselves to Darwin’s theory with a claim of scientific justification(and please note, again, we are talking the theory not the man). I then dealt with how Darwin’s theory also becomes an object of elevation for those ideologies which seek benefit by claiming science has demonstrated there is no such thing as God. There is still a little more to say about the second aspect with respect to the findings of psychology, then can again turn to sociology and look at the matter from that side. When these aspects are covered, then one is in a position to move the matter forward from Darwin’s time to our own time and thereby gaining an understanding of the topological shapes centring about this theory today – to me, it is really all but one subject.

    It does not do the subject justice to say “Hitler used Darwin’s work” – for justice we need to grasp “why” he, and so many others, choose that theory for their claims of scientific validity in their efforts, be the efforts in racism or religious intolerance. Here seems like a perfectly good place to post exactly such views.

    Fear not, when finished, I’ll post the views other places as well – this has not been the first site, nor will it be the last.

    Troy

    May 29, 2009 at 1:17 pm

  69. I have made my case on how racist ideologies can attach themselves to Darwin’s theory with a claim of scientific justification

    No, you’ve made the case that they attach themselves to Spencer’s theory of Social Darwinism, which has little to do with Darwin’s theory except the name. You also fail to deal with the fact that the racist ideologues were seeking any justification that they could find, clearly seeking certainty and with no interest in testing the ideas in reality, as biologists have been interested in testing their ideas in nature.

    Which hits on a key point – you see all of the racist ideologues falling in love with Social Darwinism, while all of their biologist contemporaries were dealing with the conflicts between the taxonomists and the geneticists. As such, one thing that bothers me about you is your conflation of science (biology) and pseudoscience (in this case Social Darwinism).

    Dan

    May 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm

  70. By the way, I know that wikipedia shouldn’t be relied upon as a source (although I find that on topics in the “culture wars” its articles are very good owing to being heavily policed), but I find its entry on Social Darwinism to be very good. Particularly the bit on critics and controversies:

    Some pre-twentieth century doctrines subsequently described as social Darwinism appear to anticipate eugenics and the race doctrines of Nazism. Critics have frequently linked evolution, Charles Darwin and social Darwinism with racialism, imperialism and eugenics, to support their assertion that social Darwinism became one of the pillars of Fascism and Nazi ideology, and that the consequences of the application of policies of “survival of the fittest” by Nazi Germany eventually created a very strong backlash against the theory.[13][14]

    The argument that Nazi ideology was strongly influenced by social Darwinist ideas is often found in historical and social science literature.[15] For example, the Jewish philosopher and historian Hannah Arendt analysed the historical development from a politically indifferent scientific Darwinism via social Darwinist ethics to racist ideology.[16] However, in the last years the argument has been radicalised and increasingly been taken up by opponents of evolutionary theory. The creationist ministry Answers in Genesis is especially known for some of these claims.[17][18] Intelligent design supporters have promoted this position as well. For example, it is a theme in Richard Weikart’s work who is a historian at California State University, Stanislaus and is a senior fellow for the Center for Science and Culture of the Discovery Institute.[14] It is also a main argument in the 2008 movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. These claims are widely criticized within the academic community.[19][20][21][22][23][24] The Anti-Defamation League has rejected such attempts to link Darwin’s ideas with Nazi atrocities, and has stated that “Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.”[13] However, Weickart himself writes in his book “From Darwin to Hitler”: “The multivalence of Darwinism and eugenics ideology, especially when applied to ethical, political, and social thought, together with the multiple roots of Nazi ideology, should make us suspicious of monocausal arguments about the origins of the Nazi worldview”.

    Except I go further. Ideologues, as I think we can agree the Nazis were, will jump on anything to claim certainty regarding their agenda. It’s clear to anyone with a knowledge of history, IMO, that whatever the arguments of the Nazis, their motivations had absolutely nothing to do with even Social Darwinism (eugenics was only a means to an end for the Nazis). And that motivation appears to have been the intersection of massive anti-Semitic prejudice with populist anger arising from the hard years following WWI.

    Dan

    May 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm

  71. “It’s clear to anyone with a knowledge of history, IMO, that whatever the arguments of the Nazis, their motivations had absolutely nothing to do with even Social Darwinism (eugenics was only a means to an end for the Nazis)”

    Glad you see that point!!! There is no question to the matter being a means to an end, that is exactly what it was used for(Darwin’s theory included). The question is, why did they use Darwin’s theory time and time again – why did their so-called “scientific justification” explode with the printing of his theory? That is exactly what I looked at. The very fact that it was used so very much is indication in itself that there is some reason for this to be found within the theory itself – and sure enough, there is.

    Troy

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  72. “No, you’ve made the case that they attach themselves to Spencer’s theory of Social Darwinism, which has little to do with Darwin’s theory except the name.”

    of course that is a popular claim – but the facts don’t support such a claim.

    When one actually digs into the subject one finds that Spencer and Darwin where taught side by side, agreeing with each other and supporting each other, until after world war two (that is, for close to 100 years). As world war two ended it became very clear there Darwin’s theory was actively used by a people who ended up building factories whose only purpose was the annihilation of human life. This made it very politically incorrect to be elevating Darwin’s theory.

    However, the political aspects which find Darwin’s theory to be so useful to their cause, in the end, are driven by people who feel that the ends justify the means. They have real reason not to let Darwin’s theory take such a fall via identification, for to do so is not useful to their ends. One of the first things they did was to edit all such connections right out of his books, above all out of “the Descent of Man”. In that way they could claim there is no connection (this actually took place after world war two ended). Of course they got busted in that effort and there was a return to printing what the theory book did actuary say.

    Later it became popular to claim that the problem rest only with Herbert Spencer. The idea is to pile all the blame on Spencer and let Darwin’s theory walk free. One sees this even today – it being taught that Herbert Spencer coined the term “Survival of the Fittest” while it being largely ignored that Darwin actively pushed in favor of that phrase over and above calling it “natural selection” and did in his later additions of Origins as well as in the descent of man – why do you suppose they leave that fact out so often? There are even web pages, from collages, right now today which claim that Darwin never even used the phrase (see : http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/SocDarw.htm and please note, a connection to that page shows up when you Google “social Darwinism”). Darwin was like Wallace – he agreed that in many was it was a better name than “natural selection”. Darwin also named chapters in his theory book by that phrase. It is political factors driving such active distortion.

    Let me give another example. There are some economic policies which can benefit from from the people behind the politics elevating Darwin’s work (it even has pre-Darwin roots in Malthus and Spencer). In our modern climate of letting Spencer take the blame for anything bad the subject gets a new twist. One can see this if ultra conservatives choose to to elevate an economic stance which has its roots of support via Malthus/Spencer/Darwin. At such a time the opposite political party can work to discredit the economic police by equating it to Spencer’s work, after all we are now all being taught that Spencer was the bad guy, thus there is a ready made crowed ready to dis the policy if such equating can be made. Such a thing has actually taken place. One response to the matter is to follow the claim “its not Darwin’s theory” even further, by now claiming that really we all just misunderstood Spencer – that really he was a good guy who did not push for anything bad to our fellow human beings, not in theory or in action. Get that teaching spread with emotional support and your one step closer to having all this bad crap, which is not suppose to be in any way attached to these works, bite mankind once again! Here is a link to a web page advocating that really just the jerks view Spencer in bad light: http://www.reason.com/news/show/127794.html

    That the bad guy who distorted Spencer’s work, according to them, happens to be a Jew – that probably won’t be noticed by or move anyone with a disposition in their mental instability for hate – right!

    Troy

    May 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm


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