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Re: Dr. David Berlinski on Evolution

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  • JamesG
    Truman: ...does that mean you don t suggest that Darwin s ideas didn t smooth the path for him to be anti-Semite? I ve never suggested that Darwin s
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 23, 2013
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      Truman: "...does that mean you don't suggest that 'Darwin's ideas' didn't 'smooth the path' for him to be anti-Semite?"

      I've never suggested that Darwin's ideas had anything at all to do with making Hitler anti-Semitic. Neither does Weikart suggest such a thing in either of his books dealing with the intellectual connection between Darwin and Hitler. (I know this because - unlike you - I've actually read those books.)

      Truman: "When it is the claims of Richard Weikart that are suspect, using him as an authority, to support his own claims really donesnt' prove anything. I believe it is called circular reasoning."

      Evidently you didn't read the Weikart quote, which quite clearly did NOT attribute Hitler's anti-Semitism to Darwin's ideas.

      Truman: "I wonder if Wiekart, being a historian had ever heard of Luther?"

      What a silly question. Of course Weikart has heard of Luther. Why would any reasonable person think that a European historian has never heard of Luther? I'm confident that every historian (and many non-historians) knows quite well that Luther's attitude towards Jews was initially one of kindliness (in keeping with the teachings of the New Testament), but that he grew more and more anti-Semitic as he aged, ultimately becoming virulently anti-Semitic. Luther was instrumental in fomenting Christian anti-Semitism, which has always been confined to the minority of Christians. (The vast majority of Christians have always adhered to the New Testament teaching that all people - Jews and Gentiles - are equal in the eyes of God. That's why Christians, among other things, were leaders in the abolitionist movement to end slavery.) In "Hitler's Ethic," Weikart made it clear (just as he did in "From Darwin to Hitler") that Darwin's ideas were not the only source from which Hitler derived his racialist ideology. He wrote:

      "Hitler's ideology was drawn from many different sources, and by no means do I think that evolutionary ethics or social Darwinism were the only culprits responsible for Nazi ideology or practice. Neither do I claim...to provide a complete explanation for Nazi ideology. Many other influences shaped Hitler's worldview, including Prussian militarism, German nationalism, CHRISTIAN ANTI-SEMITISM (emphasis added), Gobineau's racism, anti-parliamentarian attitudes, the experience of World War I, and Schopenhauer's philosophy, just to name a few. His thinking was also shaped by many nonrational and noncognitive factors, such as fear, anger, wounded pride, and resentment. However, many of these currents of thought (and feeling) - some predating Darwinism by centuries - were often retooled by social Darwinists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

      "Social Darwinism and evolutionary ethics were so widespread in German and Austrian society and culture by the early twentieth century that it is difficult to identify the precise sources of Hitler's evolutionary ethic. Hitler hardly ever mentioned what books he read or who influenced his thought. This was likely a conscious ploy by him to pose as an original thinker. Hitler's thought, however, was not original at all, and it reflected ideas widespread among radical Pan-German nationalists in Vienna and Munich in the early twentieth century." [End quote}

      Among the ideas that were widespread "in Vienna and Munich" at that time were Darwin's ideas.

      Truman: "Gosh, when you read about 'Luther's ideas' when it came to dealing with Jews in his book, 'The Jews and their lies', and how Hitler mentions Luther by name, and how the almost match step by step Hitlers methodology, it is funny that Weikart did not include him amoug those where Hitler imbibed his anti-Semitism."

      When will you ever get it through your head that Weikart was not trying in his books to explain what influences turned Hitler into an anti-Semite? He was instead arguing that Hitler found scientific "justification" for his racialist ideology and his genocidal project in Darwin's ideas, a project that was not aimed at exterminating just the Jews (although they suffered in the greatest numbers from Hitler's project), but at exterminating all races and categories of "inferior" (as judged by Hitler) people (such as Slavs, Poles, Gypsies, the mentally retarded, the insane, the physically handicapped, opponents of his regime, and so on) so as to bring about (in his words) a "more noble evolution" of mankind.

      By the way, Hitler referred to Luther "by name" precisely one time in "Mein Kampf," and that was to merely refer to Luther as one of history's "great reformers." He said absolutely nothing in the book about Luther's anti-Semitic attitude.

      Jim in Missouri
    • Kamran
      From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of D R Lindberg Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 3:17 PM To:
      Message 40 of 40 , Mar 2, 2013
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        From: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of D R Lindberg
        Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 3:17 PM
        To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [OriginsTalk] Re: Dr. David Berlinski on Evolution (The flagellum)

        > Kamran: If the science of life were rediscovered by physicists and
        engineers, many terms in the biological science would be remade to better
        represent the structure and function of the components in question. The
        flagellum is a good example and the proper name for it would be a
        "nano-propulsion engine." A proper engineering name would leave no room for
        hopelessly vague generalities regarding genetic changes or conjectures
        linked to modern molecular science. According to the evolutionary
        explanation, incremental change in the genetic make-up would over
        generations accumulate to produce a complete and functionally operational
        flagellum (propulsion engine), while in the interim process elements or
        components of the system would supposedly be formed and retained and
        reproduced with no function at all, and be "hopelessly(!)" waiting for other
        components to come and miraculously match and complement earlier
        components in such a way that none of the previous changes will go to
        > If an engineer with a general understanding of the software and hardware
        architecture of life looks at the flagellum system and function, he/she
        would see in a matter of seconds how an evolutionary explanation is a
        non-starter. Evolutionary biologists, who are wrongly considered by the
        general population to be the scientific authority on the subject, seem to
        want to take a few hundred years before they understand that their current
        explanations are outright senseless.
        > You see, it not a matter of questioning for not understanding. You need to
        understand that evolutionary explanations are not acceptable because people
        do understand how to weigh those explanations against the actual phenomenon
        being studied. Perhaps if you carefully review the following diagrams and
        schematics about a flagellum's structure and the role and function of
        all of its individual components, you would see how such a system must first
        have an overall design for a defined purpose before the process of its
        implementation even begins:

        DRL: I have a friend who is in charge of a university hospital medical
        research laboratory, who I ran into the other day. I hadn't seen him for a
        long time, so I asked him what he was doing. He told me he is studying a
        protein in the liver that causes high blood pressure. When it is treated,
        the protein dies, but first passes on its characteristics that cause
        hypertension to surrounding cells.

        Shall I tell him that he is wrong, because these things are all machines,
        and machines do not die, or pass on their functioning to other machines in
        their neighbourhood?

        Kamran: Yes if he doesn't recognize that, you can tell him that proteins
        either have a structural function or are machines. As for the proteins that
        are machines, like every other machine, they have a certain life cycle and
        they in fact do die, or become scrapped. This is why new proteins are
        constantly made in ribosome. And for what a protein may do just prior to
        becoming scrapped, well they may do a lot of things and delivering an effect
        to surrounding cells may be among them. This does not change the fact that
        they are energy consuming machines with all sorts of machine functions.


        DRL: Or is it possible that he may know more about what he and his
        colleagues have doing for decades than you do?


        Kamran: Based on what you have posted so far, right now I can only say that
        it looks like you neither understand what they say nor what I say and have
        no reason to assume that what either of us says contradicts the other.


        (quote offered by DRL:)
        "In our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political,
        economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all
        thought is divinely classified into two kinds - that which is their own and
        that which is false and dangerous." - Robert Jackson

        Kamran: Sounds like a statement from Richard Dawkins when he considers those
        opposed to the idea of evolution to be stupid and possibly wicked.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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