November 22, 2004

SCIENCE WITHOUT LIMITS:

Mengele's diaries reveal 'Angel of Death' unrepentant to the end (ALLAN HALL, 11/22/04, The Scotsman)

Of the Jews, six million of whom perished in the Holocaust that he helped to direct, Mengele had a grudging admiration.

"The cultural production of the Jews is not to be disputed. It is possible to always perceive that their representatives are above-average intellectually and always without exception live with people who are of a high cultural level."

But he also remained true to the Führer’s ideal that Jews "should never be allowed to mix their blood with others".

And he wrote not a single word of regret about their destruction on an industrial production-line scale, yet found time to criticise Israel for its "persecution" of the Palestinians as early as 1969.

In one letter written in December 1972 to his family, Mengele parroted Hitler’s belief that the Nordic races were superior to all others.

"That the races and people are different is a proven fact that no-one can doubt," he wrote. "The quality of one people from the biological point of view can be explained by their adaptation to the environment in which they live.

"When we measure different cultures, the results of behaviour are very different. Not all races or peoples attain the same cultural level, which forces us to conclude that not all people have the same creative capacity. In the Nordic race, this can clearly be defined." [...]

During his life on the run he jotted down his opinions on numerous topics, including the apartheid regime in South Africa which he much admired.

"It is to be expected that the process of interbreeding, at least in Europe, lends itself to the neighbouring races. In other continents there are occurring important and convincing experiences. I can affirm that the results have been very agreeable. Apartheid is a very efficient way to discontinue interbreeding."


You wonder where such noxious ideas could have descended from:
If a naturalist, who had never before seen a Negro, Hottentot, Australian, or Mongolian, were to compare them, he would at once perceive that they differed in a multitude of characters, some of slight and some of considerable importance. On enquiry he would find that they were adapted to live under widely different climates, and that they differed somewhat in bodily constitution and mental disposition. If he were then told that hundreds of similar specimens could be brought from the same countries, he would assuredly declare that they were as good species as many to which he had been in the habit of affixing specific names. [...]

Even if it should hereafter be proved that all the races of men were perfectly fertile together, he who was inclined from other reasons to rank them as distinct species, might with justice argue that fertility and sterility are not safe criterions of specific distinctness. We know that these qualities are easily affected by
changed conditions of life, or by close interbreeding, and that they are governed by highly complex laws, for instance, that of the unequal fertility of converse crosses between the same two species. With forms which must be ranked as undoubted species, a perfect series exists from those which are absolutely sterile when crossed, to those which are almost or completely fertile. The degrees of sterility do not coincide strictly with the degrees of difference between the parents in external structures or habits of life. Man in many respects may be compared with those animals which have long been domesticated, and a large body of evidence can be advanced in favour of the Pallasian doctrine, that domestication tends to eliminate the sterility which is so general a result of the crossing of species in a state of nature. From these several considerations, it may be justly urged that the perfect fertility of the intercrossed races of man, if established, would not absolutely preclude us from ranking them as distinct species. [...]

When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race. [...]

The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 22, 2004 12:24 PM
Comments

You are sorely mistaken that a belief in evolution leads inexorably to Nazism. Similarly, a belief that the races differ quantitatively along physical and cognitive traits does not imply that one must treat individuals with prejudice.

I am guilty of a belief in evolution and the heritability of cognitive traits. The latter is firmly established by behavioral genetic studies, which include the evaluation of monozygotic and dizogotic twins. IQ is a good predictor of socio-economic status and IQ is also highly heritable (estimates range from .3 - .8). Genes and brain regions correlated with IQ have been identified. Thus, the cultural differences we observe between groups could be due to differential frequencies of genes involved in brain development and function which, in turn, are the result of natural selection.

If cultural traits, such as the cultural productiveness of Jews that Mengele noticed, are not the result of genes, how do cultural differences arise in first place? Environmental, "nurturist" explanations are incapable of explaining how, for example, identical twins reared apart from each other display such strong correlations on myriad cognitive & behavioral traits. Can a nurturist explain why Jews test so highly on IQ tests, are so prominently represented in the professional classes and have been such magnificent scholars, entertainers and artists when they have lived in the same environments as other Western Europeans? No, it cannot. The Blank Slate is a untenable hypothesis insofar as theories of human nature are concerned.

The Brothers Judd are seemingly erudite and intelligent fellows, yet they rail against Reason in favor of Faith throughout this weblog. I'm afraid they are becoming so anti-intellectual that they entrap themselves in illogic. It seems reasonable to me that a species geographically cut off from its conspecifics will genetically drift (do they deny the existence of genes???). It is also very well established that genes are critical for the development and function of the brain. Why then is it so hard to accept that Subsaharan blacks, Jews, Aborigines, Arabs, Italians etc. etc. might not owe some of their cultural uniqueness to genes? I don't see a logical alternative to this conclusion.

Posted by: Bradley Cooke at November 22, 2004 1:43 PM

Bradley:

That's the theory, now all you have to do is apply it.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 2:06 PM

First application would be end all affirmative action programs root, stem, and branch since ultimately AA is based on an assertion that lack of merit must because of something other than inherent abilities of a group.

Posted by: h-man at November 22, 2004 2:22 PM

Bradley, your logic and learning are appreciated by some of us around here!

OJ, it's silly to imply that evolutionary theory leads inexorably to Nazism. Any knowledge can be misused. Do you oppose diagnosis of prenatal diseases? In some cases that can lead to abortions, you know, so perhaps the whole prenatal medicine thing should be outlawed.

Posted by: PapayaSF at November 22, 2004 2:25 PM

Didn't racism precede the theory of evolution?

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at November 22, 2004 2:26 PM

I agree with O.J. that there is a logical
path to the theory.

h-man's suggestion is either a rationale
one or a cruel one depending upon what side
of the theory one supports.

Posted by: J.H. at November 22, 2004 2:30 PM

Should read "...logical path leading from the
theory"

Posted by: J.H. at November 22, 2004 2:31 PM

Papaya:

That's another example of applying the theory.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 2:35 PM

Joseph:

Not exterminationism.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 2:43 PM

Now all OJ has to do is explain the World Church of the Creator.

Or virtually all Southern Baptists prior to, say, about 20 years ago.

Not an evolutionist to be found in that lot, but accomplished racists nonetheless.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 22, 2004 2:44 PM

It's just too bad that Mengele had to die of old age. I should have wished to see him hanged.

Posted by: Mike Morley at November 22, 2004 2:46 PM

Jeff:

Everyone is racist. Few exterminationist. The World church though explicitly derives its vile ideas from Darwinism and is anti-Christian:

http://www.publiceye.org/racism/white-supremacy.html

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 2:47 PM

Based on your comment OJ, should we conclude that the World Church parishoners are innocent and that the theory of evolution is evil? Or have they twisted a neutral theory into something evil?

Posted by: Bradley Cooke at November 22, 2004 3:05 PM

Bradley:

It's an evil theory being used by evil men for evil purposes.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 3:13 PM

J.H.

In what way is my statement cruel, regardless of what theory. Cruelty is not my usual modus operandi (not always rational either)

Posted by: h-man at November 22, 2004 3:43 PM

It's an evil theory being used by evil men for evil purposes.

Mengele: opposed interbreeding, involved in attempted extermination of the Jews.

Darwin: wondered about whether civilization (which he favored) is a necessary precondition of interbreeding. Didn't support in any way shape or form the extermination of anybody.

Maybe you're confused: was the "evil theory" that of the Jews killing Christ? Because we know that was the justification for centuries of anti-semitism.

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 3:52 PM

SS:

Anti-Semitism isn't exterminationism, which is racial in nature.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 3:55 PM

h-man,


I should have left another option which is to
say getting rid of AA is BOTH rational AND
cruel (and yes I am in favor of removing AA).
Neocons typically make the breezy argument that
removing AA is the companssionate thing to do
since naturally people will all level off in
their achievements. If that belief is bunk than
removing AA is like culling the herd so to speak.

O.J.'s rhetoric can seem hysterical at times, but
I agree with his point that you can't just
stop the train any time you want.

Posted by: J.H. at November 22, 2004 3:56 PM

Anti-Semitism isn't exterminationism, which is racial in nature.

1--Antisemitism IS racial.
2--Trying to get at the scientific truths that will help us understand why we have the species we have is not exterminationism.
3--People who do evil always cite something of the good in their defense. That does not make the good evil.

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 4:01 PM

Nazi thought is only most indirectly and tenuously associated with "Darwinism." The Nazis were hopelessly confused about race and culture. Following deGobineau and Chamberlain they more or less believed that culture was genetic, and vice-versa. Remember that the Nazis considered different European national groups, such as French and Germans as belonging to different "races," and imagined that "races" were arising within recent historical time.

No one believes this sort of fantasy nowadays, although some people on the dark side, so to speak, flirt with the notion. That recent "Ebonics" flap that blew up on the West coast a while ago, grew out of an assertion that "African-American English" was genetically produced. What they were trying to do was to grab some bilingual education dollars for their own people. Hey, it never hurts to try.

Well, the scientific community pretty much went to general quarters over that "genetic language" stuff, and "Ebonics" has mostly fizzled out, although there are some residual fantasies floating around out there about "code-switching," "bi-dialectalism," and similar Shockleyite delusions.

I do not deny the possibility that the average member of one race may possess greater or less cortical efficiency than the average member of another race, but that fact, it be a fact, has no bearing on how justice requires we treat the individual who stands before us.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 22, 2004 4:02 PM

SS:

No, it doesn't matter what race someone is if your argument with them is over their refusal to acknowledge the Messiah--it's theological, not racial. And you don't need to kill unbelievers, just convert them. But accept Darwinism, the struggle between races, and the only way to safely protect your own race is to get rid of the rival races.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 4:45 PM

Chapter V - On the Development of the Intellectual and Moral Faculties (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man [1871])

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 4:48 PM

Breeding perfection: Investigative journalist Edwin Black has an explosive new book about the eugencis movement and explains how America taught Hitler and Mengele to systematically kill a nation. (Edwin Black, October 11, 2003, Jewsweek)

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called "Master Race." Mengele's madness was part of that quest.

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race was not Hitler's. The idea was created in the United States two to three decades before Hitler came to power, the product of the American eugenics movement. Eugenics was the racist American pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings except those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. The philosophy was enshrined into national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in 27 states. Ultimately, eugenics coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning.

Only after eugenics and race biology became entrenched as an American ideal was the campaign transplanted into Germany, where it came to Hitler's attention.

Hitler studied American eugenic laws and rationales and preferred to legitimize his innate race hatred and anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in a more palatable pseudoscientific fa?ade -- eugenics. Indeed, Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler's race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were strictly American.

Eugenics would have been just bizarre parlor talk had it not been for massive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. These academicians faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 4:48 PM

Death as Deliverance: Euthanatic Thinking in Germany ca. 1890-1933 (J. Daryl Charles, The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity)

While it is commonly assumed that the moral atrocities associated with the Holocaust were the exclusive domain of Adolf Hitler and his loyal henchmen Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and Albert Speer, this was only the final act, as it were, of a narrative whose beginnings are traceable to the turn of the century. Indeed it would appear, as authors as diverse as Alexander Mitscherlich, Robert Jay Lifton, Michael Burleigh, and Wesley Smith have documented, that the path to medical evil was prepared "long before Nazism was even a cloud on the German horizon." One of the tragic legacies of social Darwinism, rooted in the presupposition of biological determinism, is that it assisted in giving justification--frequently couched in the language of "compassion"--to the elimination of lebensunwertes Leben, life that is unworthy of living, or, in the language of Darwinists, life that is simply unfit.

In addition to the ascendancy of biological determinism, an important step in legitimizing the killing of the weak, the infirm, the terminally ill, and the incompetent was the shift in ethos among medical doctors and psychiatrists several decades prior to WWII. Historian Robert Proctor has argued persuasively that the Nazi experiment was rooted in pre-1933 thinking about the essence of personhood, racial hygienics and survival economics and that physicians were instrumental both in pioneering research and in carrying out this program. In fact, Proctor is adamant that scientists and physicians were pioneers and not pawns in this process. By 1933, however, when political power was consolidated by National Socialists, resistance within the medical community was too late. Proctor notes, for example, that most of the fifteen-odd journals devoted to racial hygienics were established long before the rise of National Socialism.

Few accounts of this period are more thoroughly researched than Michael Burleigh's Death and Deliverance: "Euthanasia" in Germany ca. 1900-1945. Particularly important is Burleigh's discussion of psychiatric reform and medical utilitarianism during the Weimar period. During the years of WWI, it is estimated that over 140,000 people died in German psychiatric asylums . This would suggest that about 30% of the entire pre-war asylum population died as a result of hunger, disease or neglect. Following the war, evidence indicates that a shift in the moral climate had begun. In the Spring of 1920, the chairman of the German Psychiatric Association, Karl Bonhoeffer, testified before Association members at the GPA annual meeting that "we have witnessed a change in the concept of humanity"; moreover, in emphasizing the right of the healthy to stay alive, which is an inevitable result of periods of necessity, there is also a danger of going too far: a danger that the self-sacrificing subordination of the strong to the needs of the helpless and ill, which lies at the heart of any true concern for the sick, will give ground to the demand of the healthy to live.

According to Burleigh, Bonhoeffer went on in the 1930s to offer courses that trained those who in time would be authorized with implementing sterilization policies introduced by the National Socialists.

Already in the 1890s, the traditional view of medicine that physicians are not to harm but to cure was being questioned in some corners by a "right-to-die" ethos. Voluntary euthanasia was supported by a concept of negative human worth -- i.e., the combined notion that suffering negates human worth and the incurably ill and mentally defective place an enormous burden on families and surrounding communities. It is at this time that the expression "life unworthy of being lived" seems to have emerged and was the subject of heated debate by the time WWI had ended.

One notable "early" proponent of involuntary euthanasia was influential biologist and Darwinian social theorist Ernst Haeckel. In 1899 Haeckel published The Riddle of the Universe, which became one of the most widely read science books of the era. One of several influential voices contending for the utility of euthanasia, Haeckel combined the notion of euthanasia as an act of mercy with economic concerns that considerable money might thereby be saved.

Further justification for euthanasia in the pre-WWI era was provided by people such as social theorist Adolf Jost and Nobel-Prize-winning chemist Wilhelm Ostwald. According to Ostwald, "in all circumstances suffering represents a restriction upon, and diminution of, the individual and capacity to perform in society of the person suffering." In his 1895 book Das Recht auf den Tod ("The Right to Death"), Jost set forth the argument--an argument almost forty years in advance of Nazi prescriptions--that the "right" to kill existed in the context of the higher rights possessed by the state, since all individuals belong to the social organism of the state. Furthermore, this was couched in terms of "compassion" and "relief" from one's suffering. Finally, the right to kill compassionately was predicated on biology, in accordance with the spirit of the age: the state must ensure that the social organism remains fit and healthy.

In 1933, with the accession of the National Socialists to power, two developments that had reached their critical mass were promptly codified into law. One was the long-discussed sterilization program, which had been debated but had not achieved majority support. The second was authorized euthanasia. The proposal, issued by the German Ministry of Justice, was reported on the front page of The New York Times and stated:

"It shall be made possible for physicians to end the tortures of incurable patients, upon request, in the interests of true humanity." Moreover, the Ministry ensured, "no life still valuable to the state will be wantonly destroyed."

From there on in it's easy. The State having displaced society, religion, and morality, all that's left of one's humanity is the value science places on it. And science, as we're told, is just a rational process, -INTERVIEW: with Robert Jay Lifton (Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley )
Q: In this work on the Nazi doctors your focus on historical processes and psychological processes come together as you account for the way the medical profession participated in the extermination of the Jews at the Auschwitz camp. Let's talk a little about the psycho-historical principle of the Nazi regime and how it combined with the psychological processes within the doctors which you call "doubling."

A: One reason that I embarked on a study of Nazi doctors was that in this personal journey, I had the feeling increasingly that I did want to do a Holocaust study and that increasingly I wanted it to be of perpetrators, which I thought was more needed. I was involved with ideas about survivors but a lot of work had been done on them and very little on the psychology of perpetrators.

Q: So you moved from survivors to perpetrators.

A: That's right, in studying Nazi doctors. And when somebody, in fact, who had been my editor part of the time for my study of Hiroshima survivors called me up and said he had some interesting materials on a trial of doctors, it involved mainly doctors in Frankfurt, and wanted to show them to me, I really jumped at that opportunity to make that the beginning of a study of Nazi doctors, because they were revealed to me to have been very important in the killing process. And the way that I came to see it as I studied it more was that the Nazis, especially Hitler and his inner circle, really viewed their whole movement as mainly biological. One Nazi doctor whom I interviewed put it in words like this: "I joined the Nazi party the day after I heard a speech by Rudolph Hess in which he declared National Socialism was nothing but applied biology." And the applied biology for the Nazis was finding some way to heal or cure the Nordic race. The idea was, partly in Hitler's writings, the Nordic race was the only creative race, that could create culture. The other races could sustain it but not create it. And the Jewish "race" was a culture-destroying race. But the Jewish race had infected the Nordic race and something had to be done to get rid of that infection. So this is, in a sense, a biological kind of process and I called it in my work, a "biomedical vision" at the heart of Nazism. And that was a major reason why they focused so centrally on the doctors as a group, which Hitler emphasized very early on: doctors were especially important to the whole Nazi project. And it turned out to be that way, as I found in my work.

Q: And so this Nazi ideology lifted up the doctors but internally. Tell us a little about this process of "doubling" and how healers became killers at the Auschwitz camp.

A: One dimension was the large psycho-historical dimension we just talked about, that biomedical vision. But the other dimension was what you are raising now, the nitty-gritty way in which a doctor who is trained to heal instead becomes part of the killing mechanism. A lot of things made it happen, and there's a process that can be called "socialization to evil." Nazi doctors joined the party seeking the promise of revitalization that Hitler offered. That's joining the medical profession, which is a group of its own, and then the military, and then being sent to a camp -- all those were groups they became part of and were socialized to. The socialization to evil, I discovered, is all too easy to accomplish. These doctors had not killed anybody until they got to Auschwitz, so they weren't extraordinary killers to start with. They were ordinary people who in that way were socialized to evil.

It could be the epitaph of the Third Reich: Nothing but applied biology.

MORE:
-ESSAY: The Nazi Doctors: We are in the process of redefining what it is that has inherent worth in our culture from human beings just simply because they are humans that have worth, to states of existence having worth. (Gregory Koukl, Stand to Reason)
-ESSAY: Ernst Haeckel and the Biogenetic Law
-ESSAY: "Paranoid Visions": Germ Theory, Ernst Haeckel, and the Biopolitics of Warfare" (Adam Dodd)

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 4:49 PM

But accept Darwinism, the struggle between races,

Really, that's what Darwinism is? So there must have been no struggles between races before Darwin discovered this evil. Of course, Darwin was talking about the struggles between species and between individuals (not "races") for scarce resources, so perhaps what you're implying is that the Nazis saw non-"Aryans" as members of a different species. But why would they then be worried about interbreeding? Oh, the mind reels.

and the only way to safely protect your own race is to get rid of the rival races.

Well, maybe we could enslave them. Oh, wait, that's the domain of those moral pre-Darwinian Christians and Moslems.

The State having displaced society, religion, and morality, all that's left of one's humanity is the value science places on it.

Um...wouldn't the State displace science, too? I don't see a lot of citations in Science going to Mengele and Lysenko. In fact, science under totalitarianism is just as much of a facade as society, religion, and morality: they all get the lip service (well, sometimes religion doesn't), but no one gets the real thing.

Really, if you just hate science, you ought to come to grips with that, but it's not the scientists who are doing the damage--it's the demagogoues.

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 5:18 PM

SS:

Yes, slavery was a good way to integrate others into your society. Darwinism/Racism precludes that possibility.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 5:24 PM

Yes, slavery was a good way to integrate others into your society.

Wow, a human being wrote this??????

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 5:28 PM

Just the same way we integrated Native Americans into our society without practically exterminating them.

Long before Darwin was even a blip on the American horizon.

What Darwin said about his theory has nothing to do with whether it is true, or not. Anyway, the Nazis and Communists proved that applied Darwinism is an oxymoron.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 22, 2004 7:12 PM

SS

Oh, cut the "shocked and appalled" schtick, if you please. You were given several detailed citations and invited to debate, but your only reaction is to sniff your superiority.

"but it's not the scientists who are doing the damage--it's the demagogoues." (sic

Wow, with religion it is only a limited number of saints that are sanctified. With you guys, a simple B.Sc. does it.

Posted by: Peter B at November 22, 2004 7:25 PM

Jeff:

There's no shortage of Indians. We intermarried freely with them and treated them as nations.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 7:48 PM

You were given several detailed citations and invited to debate,

Debate what? That the Social Darwinists were asses? Duh. They took Darwin's theory and read into it things that Darwin didn't put in there--things that served their particular political position and class. Stuff like saying that their having emerged on top at that particular moment proves their innate superiority. I'm not going to be tricked into trying to defend self-serving racists. If you want to say that the Nazi doctors were seduced by appeals to science--well, OK. Just as veterans of WWI were seduced by patriotism, respectable burghers by law and order, many others by anti-semitic scapegoating, etc. Would-be Hitlers don't go prancing around saying "come join me, I'm evil." They say "join me, you're great."

But none of this has to do with Darwin or his theory. It was just part of the ad campaign.

Hitler was baptized a Catholic, was an altar boy and communicant, and never renounced his religion. He cites his Christianity many times in Mein Kampf. Does that mean Catholic teachings include genocide?

Oh, cut the "shocked and appalled" schtick

I will, when the posts are less appalling.

There's no shortage of Indians. We intermarried freely with them and treated them as nations.

See what I mean?

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 8:27 PM

You were given several detailed citations and invited to debate,

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 22, 2004 8:28 PM

It's really funny how any group of Christians who frankly admit the Christian doctrine about Jews are read out of the movement by Orrin, and somehow into darwinism, not that the darwinists want them.

The problem for Christian bigots is that by no stretch of the imagination can Jew-hatred be derived from anything but Christianity.

Laying it off on the darwinists is clever, and good enough to fool the rubes, but history tells a different story.

The Nazis arose from the Freikorps morass, thanks to a spellbinder of a leader, but the German elimination of the Jews (latest edition) had begun in 1919 with Freikorps massacres of Jews.

Orrin may probably try now to pretend that the Freikorps was an organized of committed darwinists, but we know that wasn't so.

Darwinism got rid of the elimination issue, as regards humans, by defining us all as one race.

Orrin can claim we are all racists, but darwinists say different. We ought to be allowed to define what we believe.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at November 22, 2004 8:48 PM

Harry:

They say that they are darwinists, as did the Nazis, and that's where they derive their racial theories. They also say they hate Christians, as did the Nazis, for obvious reasons.

The Nazis arose from Haeckel and other darwinists and, sadly, from the eugenics that Germany imported from American darwinists.

You do well to deny the racism and exterminiationism that flow from Darwinism and modern Darwinists should indeed get to define such things out of their belief system, no matter how incoherent it renders what's left over.

Posted by: oj at November 22, 2004 11:34 PM

A search of hitler.org comes up with these nuggets:

It is for this reason that we are particularly grateful for the appreciative heartiness with which the national renaissance of Germany has been greeted in Italy....
In the same way, the Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See, and is endeavoring to develop them.
BERLIN, REICHSTAG
SPEECH OF MARCH 23, 1933

The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life....
BERLIN: PROCLAMATION TO THE GERMAN NATION
FEBRUARY 1, 1933


Concerning the moral value of Jewish religious instruction, there are today and have been at all times rather exhaustive studies (not by Jews; the drivel of the Jews themselves on the subject is, of course, adapted to its purpose) which make this kind of religion seem positively monstrous according to Aryan conceptions. The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine.
MEIN KAMPF

A search for "Darwin" and "Darwinism": nothing.
A search for evolution: 6 hits, usually in the context of the evolution of policy or of the state. Never in any scientific sense.

Haeckel (if he was alive) must have felt terribly snubbed.

Posted by: Social Scientist at November 23, 2004 12:39 AM

SS:

All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:

Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

10th October, 1941, midday:

Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

14th October, 1941, midday:

The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

19th October, 1941, night:

The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

21st October, 1941, midday:

Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)

13th December, 1941, midnight:

Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

14th December, 1941, midday:

Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

9th April, 1942, dinner:

There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

27th February, 1942, midday:

It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch Uin the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold ." (p 278)

Source: Hitler's Secret Conversations, 1941-44 (Farrar, Strauss and Young, 1953). Also published by Oxford University Press

Posted by: Peter B at November 23, 2004 5:44 AM

SS:

And, further, here is a quote from everybody's favourite evolutionist and Darwin's high priest, Richard Dawkins, in the November 15th, 2004 edition of news.nationalgeographic.com

"Most of us have had our lives saved my medical science, probably more than once, and I am all for it," he said in the interview. "As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian, in the sense that I believe Darwinian natural selection is the explanation for all life. But as a citizen I am an anti-Darwinian! I do not want to see the ruthless callousness of natural selection taking its toll of human life and happiness."

Yes, I know, the man does need therapy, but at least he understands where his beliefs lead.

Posted by: Peter B at November 23, 2004 5:54 AM

To be fair, Germany was murderously Darwinist well before Hitler, not just in the eugenics cited above but in the militarism that brought WWI, as Edward Larson writes:

Bryan's anti-evolutionism was compatible with his progressive politics because both supported reform, appealed to majoritarianism, and sprang from his Christian convictions. From this earliest point, he described Darwinism as "dangerous" for both religious and social reasons. "I object to the Darwinian theory," Bryan said in 1904 with respect to the religious implications of a purely naturalistic explanation for human development, "because I fear we shall lose the consciousness of God's presence in our daily life, if we must accept the theory that through all the ages no spiritual force has touched the life of man and shaped the destiny of nations." Turning to the social consequences of the theory, Bryan added, "But there is another objection. The Darwinian theory represents man as reaching his present perfection by the operation of the law of hate -- the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the weak." Bryan's standard stump speech on Darwin allowed for an extended geologic history, and even for limited theistic evolution in which God "stands back of" natural selection. But Bryan dug in his heels regarding the supernatural creation of humans, and described it as "one of the test questions with the Christian." Though Bryan regularly delivered this speech on the Chautauqua circuit during the early years of the century, he said little else against Darwinism until the twenties, when he began blaming "Social Darwinism" for the First World War.

As a devout believer in peace, Bryan could scarcely understand how supposedly Christian nations could engage in such a brutal war until two scholarly books attributed it to misguided Darwinian thinking. In Headquarters Nights, renowned Stanford University biologist Vernon Kellogg, who went to Europe as a peace worker, recounted his conversations with German military leaders. "Natural selection based on violent and fatal competitive struggle is the gospel of the German intellectuals," he reported, and served as their justification "why, for the good of the world, there should be this war." Whereas Kellogg used this evidence to promote his own non-Darwinian view of evolutionary development through mutual aid, Bryan saw it as a reason to suppress Darwinian teaching. Philosopher Benjamin Kidd's The Science of Power further explored the link between German militarism and Darwinian thinking by examining Darwin's influence on the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Bryan regularly referred to both books when speaking and writing against evolutionary teaching. For example, Bryan warned in one of his popular books, "Nietzsche carried Darwinism to its logical conclusion and denied the existence of Good, denounced Christianity as the doctrine of the degenerate, and democracy as the refuge of the weakling; he overthrew all standards of morality and eulogized war as necessary to man's development."

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2004 7:34 AM

Harry --

The problem for Christian bigots is that by no stretch of the imagination can Jew-hatred be derived from anything but Christianity.

First I heard that Muslims practice Christanity.

Posted by: Uncle Bill at November 23, 2004 11:37 AM

Christianityy had a problem with Judaism, Applied Darwinists with the Jews. That's why only the latter was exterminationist.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2004 11:44 AM

oj-

Yeah, but those German intellectuals weren't really intellectual and the eugenecists weren't really scientists. No one in their right mind would accept an ideology as scientific when it really was not. Obvious mis-interpretation of Darwin. Just because some need to find a rationale for materialism as their guiding philosphy doesn't mean materialism has any ramifications as an organizing principle around which civilization and culture are built. Right?

Posted by: Tom C, Stamford,Ct. at November 23, 2004 12:14 PM

I thought exterminationism is the consequence of Malthusian theories. Malthus, of course, preceded Darwin.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at November 23, 2004 2:30 PM

joseph:

Yes, Darwinism is Malthusian.

Posted by: oj at November 23, 2004 3:19 PM

Lou:

"... but that fact, it be a fact, has no bearing on how justice requires we treat the individual who stands before us." has to be the most succinctly intelligent thing in this thread.

OJ:
"There's no shortage of Indians. We intermarried freely with them and treated them as nations."

I dare you to walk up to a Native American and tell him that. Better hope you can run faster scared then he can mad.

Sentences like that could put you in the running for a Holocaust denier.

You should stop your hand waving, it is becoming embarassing. 20 Centuries of frequent murderous anti-Semitism didn't come from Darwin, and Nazism would have been every bit as murderous even if Darwin's theory had never seen the light of day.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 23, 2004 8:01 PM

Jeff-

People have a huge capacity for evil. Give them an intellectual/philosphical basis to justify it and watch the adherents go hog wild in implimenting evil. I contend that social Darwinism provided that basis. The Descent of Man was the rationalization through "science" for eugenics and state sponsored racialism much like Marx's "Capital" was the justification for class war and the "dictatorship of the proletariat". They both had in common a purely materialistic presupposition regarding the nature of man. Whether or not the evil committed in the name of such science was a misinterpretation is not the issue the actual history is.The question most materialists should be asking themselves, it seems to me, is "why?"

Posted by: at November 24, 2004 8:54 AM

Jeff:

Murder isn't exterminationism.

Posted by: oj at November 24, 2004 9:14 AM

Expulsion is, though, and very Christian.

Uncle Bill, the Muslims adopted Jew-hatred from the Christians.

Even if darwinism did imply extermination of some group, it could not possibly identify Jews as the group.

Jew-hatred is the defining belief of Christianity, the only belief that has survived all the changes in doctrine, moral teaching and ritual; and Jew-murder is the only sacrament that all Christians accept.

Hitler said anything. He was not consisent. Quoting Hitler for or against Christianity to prove a point is to prove only that the quoter does not understand Hitler.

To find what the beliefs were, we have to observe actions and ignore statements. The Jew-hatred and Jew-murder that was perfected by the Hitlerites began (in its 20th century iteration, it was just an episode of Lutheranism) with the Freikorps slaughters of Jews. Whatever the Freikorps may have been, nobody ever accused them of being darwinians.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at November 25, 2004 1:45 AM

Replace race with nation add Darwinian views from "The Descent of Man" , season with Marxian deterministic historicism and Nitzchean triumphalist materialism assume the right time and place and viola! a man like Hitler finds supporters who can muster a philosphical justification for their views.

Posted by: at November 25, 2004 10:14 AM

Anon:

Do you mean without Darwin, Hitler, Nazism and Jew-hatred would never have happened?

Perhaps you should read the history of the Oberamergau Passion Plays. Or what, say, Luther felt should happen to the Jews.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 25, 2004 1:05 PM

Jeff:

Maybe you should--no one ever killed a Jew at Oberammergau.

Posted by: oj at November 25, 2004 1:39 PM

Sorry Jeff,that was me. No,that's not what I mean. Without the particular combination of the examples of 19th century rationalism mentioned, it would have been less likely since the philosophical basis for mechanized, state sponsored mass murder/genocide would not have existed. Do I think that human cruelty can be eliminated? No.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at November 25, 2004 7:10 PM

The only differences between church-sponsored mass murder and state-sponsored mass murder that the 20th century added were bigger populations to kill and better organization to do it.

The scale achieved by the Hitlerites was larger absolutely, but smaller relatively, than what Christians achieved in the Middle Ages.

Both the English and the Spaniards managed to get rid of all their Jews, something Hitler never achieved.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at November 25, 2004 10:36 PM

Harry, don't forget the role played by technology in increasing the 'efficiency' of mass slaughters
carried out in the 20th Century. Cf the 19th Century The Economist which somewhat predicted Lenin, Hitler, etc. by worring about the possibility of a "Genghis Khan with a telegraph."

Eugenics was formulated by a cousin of Darwin, and was influenced by his writings, but was never thought of by Darwin as a natural consequence of his work. It should be noted that Darwin had some religious training, and died as a member of the Anglican church, if evolution is a Satanic theory, it was one formulated by a sincere Christian.

oj, the performances mentioned stirred up Jew-hatred through the depiction of "Christ-killers" in the play.

Oh, and no jews were killed at the 1936 Nuremburg rallies, so those were okay, right?

Actually, I think oj is stuck on the difference between what Bernard Shaw called Neo-Darwinism and Darwinism.

As Shaw pointed out, Darwin lead scientific creedence to the observation of farmers and animal breeders that selecting those organisms which have certain traits will lead to those traits becoming more common in the population of the given organism over time.

What Shaw called Neo-Darwinism postulates that because natural selction needs no underlying intelligence to work, it removes the question of God from the picture, which Shaw saw as a catastrophy in human understanding.

You can find it all in the preface to Back To Methusela.

Oh, I have to say that I can't tolerate exterminationism as an ideology, so I certainly wouldn't be caught dead worshipping a God whose exhortations and commands as recorded in the Old Testament were to kill and enslave
whole populations, or what in those days were known as 'races'.

Oh, and if Darwin was wrong, and God created all life on Earth,

what the hell did the trilobites do to piss Him off and get wiped out?

Or are fossils the creation of Satan?

America wants to know!

Posted by: The Dark Avenger at November 26, 2004 1:41 AM

"Maybe you should--no one ever killed a Jew at Oberammergau."

Perhaps you are not familiar with incitement to murder.

Tom;
As you say, rationalism didn't create human cruelty. Nor did it create the murderous ostracism and hatred already in place. The only thing that can be laid at rationalism's door is the Industrial Revolution, which gave the means for grasp of that murderous hatred to finally meet its reach.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 26, 2004 7:37 AM

Of course I am, I read Origin of Species.

Posted by: oj at November 26, 2004 8:22 AM

Dark:

Trilobytes served their purpose.

Posted by: oj at November 26, 2004 8:27 AM

"Maybe you should--no one ever killed a Jew at Oberammergau."

Then why this statement? Do we need to compare the contents of Origin of Species against Oberammergau plays?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 27, 2004 9:55 AM

Jeff-

How does oneexplain the French Revolution? The industrialage was in it's infancy. The "age of reareason" was coming into full flower. Had the French radicals had the technology they would have murdered tens of millions rather than setting the stage for Stalin. The "general will" in the hands of the revolutionary elite was the pre-cursor to Lenin's proletarian vanguard. Darwin's "descent of Man" gave an intellectual justification to Hitler's nationalistic racism. The commonality was the worship of man and his powers of reason to create the perfectly just world. They were anything but agnostic regarding their ability to do so. Dunnoists,they were not.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at November 27, 2004 10:27 AM

No, the effects.

Posted by: oj at November 27, 2004 3:41 PM

Tom C:

Just so. Dunnoists they were not. But, as history as demonstrated, they very much needed to be.

Religionists need to make sure they learn from that lesson. However, continued invocations of Absolute Truth as shown by The Word are not promising.

I do have one question, though. Do you mean to imply that, absent Darwin, Nazism and the Holocaust would never have happened?

Or, for that matter, Communism? I suspect that if you gave even a cursory glance at Das Kapital, you would find plenty of Biblical precursors there.


OJ:
I'm glad to see you are finally acknowledging the impact of 20 Centuries worth of Christian induced Jew hatred.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 27, 2004 10:49 PM

Tom C:

Just so. Dunnoists they were not. But, as history as demonstrated, they very much needed to be.

Religionists need to make sure they learn from that lesson. However, continued invocations of Absolute Truth as shown by The Word are not promising.

I do have one question, though. Do you mean to imply that, absent Darwin, Nazism and the Holocaust would never have happened?

Or, for that matter, Communism? I suspect that if you gave even a cursory glance at Das Kapital, you would find plenty of Biblical precursors there.


OJ:
I'm glad to see you are finally acknowledging the impact of 20 Centuries worth of Christian induced Jew hatred.

This excerpt from Christianity Today is illuminating:

"... much of the play focused on Jesus' hostile encounters with Jewish leaders, their animosity augmented for dramatic purposesall of which led Adolf Hitler to call the 300th anniversary performance in 1934 'a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry.'"

Indeed, since Germany is the land of Dachau, Buchenwald, Belsen, and the rest, a sensitized world has inevitably scrutinized the script of the play each decade since World War II. The play booklet for Oberammergau 2000 fully appreciates this reality: 'We must nevertheless admit that this Passion Play, too, contributed in various ways to prepare the soil which eventually yielded the terrible harvest of the extermination of the Jews.'"

No reason to take my word for it.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 27, 2004 10:54 PM

Apologies for the repeat--my browser (Safari) is acting up today...

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 27, 2004 11:03 PM

Jeff:

Yes, 300 years without violence against Jews, then the Darwinists came to power and the killing started.

Posted by: oj at November 27, 2004 11:16 PM

Jeff-

Do you see any connection between Darwin's "Descent of Man" and the eugenics movement? How about a rationale for Hitler's "race" based nationalism?

Was Marx's historicism not based on the struggle for survival theory inherent to Darwinism and justified through the scientific materialism he championed along with Nitzche? The rhetoric of the period was littered with the descriptions of struggle between nations, races, economic systems and classes. "Nature, red in tooth and claw.." without purpose or calling other than that which serves my nation, class or race.

What biblical pre-cursors, as you put it, do you see in Marx other than promises of a material paradise or a heaven-on-earth when men are free of their spiritual superstitions and false consciousness?

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at November 28, 2004 12:13 AM

Tom:

Yes, I do agree the whole concept of eugenics is meaningless without the twin concepts of heritability and variability, both essential to "Descent of Man." (That said, Evolutionary theory in this case only codified what breeders had done for centuries--this makes it very difficult for me to see how Darwin can be pilloried for eugenics because of his revolutionary theory on the one hand, whilst being dismissed for stating the long known obvious on the other. OJ needs to make up his mind on this.)

On the face of it, particularly to the concept- and math-challenged, eugenics offered a way to improve society. Unfortunately, applying the concept even simplistically would require preventing at least 90% of the population from reproducing, which even if successful would result in such a huge population crash for slow breeding animals such as humans as to redefine the whole concept of phyrric victory.

So the biggest reason you don't hear much about eugenics today, even more so than the awful history, is that it just doesn't work except in extremely limited cases. We could eliminate Tay-Sachs disease in the US in just one generation, without killing anyone, by simply identifying carriers and sterilizing them.

That is eugenics. Is it worth it?

I don't see any overlap between Marx and Darwin, and several severe contradictions. Marxism is based on one pivotal assumption: human nature is a tabla rosa upon which society writes. Therefore, perfect society, perfect human nature.

That could not possibly be more different from Evolution, which holds (much like Christianity) that human nature is essentially a fixed, and far from unalloyed, quantity.

Therefore, lumping Darwin and Marx in the same pile is a classic category mistake.

Marx may have justified his theory through scientific materialism, but was no closer to it in practice than Chomsky is to analytical rigor.

Marx championed "from each according to ability, to each according to need." Jesus considered holiest those who gave away all their material possessions. Jesus' teachings and Marx's vision of a perfect society have a great deal of overlap.

Why Marx didn't co-opt Christianity is beyond me.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 28, 2004 9:49 AM

jeff-

Jesus was a proponent of a "dictatorship of the proletariat" or the progressive income tax or class war or state terror in the name of an earthly paradise?

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at November 28, 2004 1:15 PM

Tom:

Jeff can't grasp the difference between society and the state.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2004 1:21 PM

Tom:

Didn't say he was. But given the vagaries of human nature, none of Jesus' teachings regarding economic conduct could be anything but theoretical absent coercion.

Which is precisely what we do with the progressive income tax. So far as Jesus' teachings go, the Europeans are more on the side of Angels than we.

Do you agree it is a stretch to tie Darwin to Marxism?

What about eugenics and Darwin? Was he merely stating the obvious, making him not even a handmaiden to Nazism? Or was his theory pivotal, without which the Holocaust would never have happened?

I contend that, at most, Darwinism served no other purpose than to rationalize what the Nazis were going to do anyway, and that a millenia-long tradition of Jew ostracism (in a good decade) was the true sine qua non.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 28, 2004 4:27 PM
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