Well, this one's going to be fun.
Patrick Buchanan has written a piece for RealClearPolitics.com called “Making a Monkey Out of Darwin”. It’s a knee-slapping rip-roaring fun ride down lame off-the-shelf creationist claims alley. In short, the claims are:
- “Darwinism” inspired Karl Marx
- “Darwinism” inspired Hitler
- “Darwinism” inspired eugenics
- “Darwinism” caused world war 1!? (That’s a new one to me)
- The neck of the Giraffe
- Nebraska Man
- Piltdown Man
- The fossil record is rubbish
- Stephen J. Gould fossil quote
- Darwinism doesn’t explain how life started
- “Darwinism” is a religion
Well, isn't that original? Let’s get dug in.
"You have no notion of the intrigue that goes on in this blessed world of science," wrote Thomas Huxley. "Science is, I fear, no purer than any other region of human activity; though it should be."
Right, science as a procedure has created innovation that has completely changed the way we live. However, the people who do the work are humans and humans are flawed, a particular scientist will cling to his or her theory despite reasonable evidence that it is wrong because of his or her personal pride and cognitive dissonance. But, in the long term the theories are gradually refined or thrown out. The scientific method is backing a theory with evidence and submitting it to peer review, it is the best method that humans have derived for finding the truth. It’s a messy process but life is not as simple as wishing making and magical thinking. I don’t believe that a sustainable farce for an extended period of time is likely in the scientific community.
As "Darwin's bulldog," Huxley would himself engage in intrigue, deceit and intellectual property theft to make his master's theory gospel truth in Great Britain.
He is quoted above for two reasons.
First is House passage of a "cap-and-trade" climate-change bill. Depending on which scientists you believe, the dire consequences of global warming are inconvenient truths -- or a fearmongering scheme to siphon off the wealth of individuals and empower bureaucrats.
I am a very light global warming skeptic, I say “light” because as I mentioned above, I don’t think that a prolonged farce is possible in science so I make criticisms very very reservedly. However, I believe that in the global warming issue, there are two groups to the left and right who have emotional reasons for embracing or denying the theory based upon their own belief systems and how much it can advance or recede their agenda. It is a sure golden goose to those who believe in greater governmental control and environmentalists (many times the same people) and people who are the opposite – who believe in smaller government and who oppose the other side consider it to be a thorn in their side.
That Darwinism has proven "disastrous theory" is indisputable.
"Karl Marx loved Darwinism," writes Windchy. "To him, survival of the fittest as the source of progress justified violence in bringing about social and political change, in other words, the revolution."
"Darwin suits my purpose," Marx wrote.
Darwin suited Adolf Hitler's purposes, too.
I should address the endless reference to “Darwinism”. Some evolutionary biologists such as Richard Dawkins use this word often, others don’t like it. I am one of the latter. What does it mean? To put “ism” on the end of something is to make it a belief system of the first word, this no always accurate (I.E. “feminism” is not a belief system of the “feminine” – they often despise traditional femininity) but Darwinism would be a belief system of Darwin, which man or woman who accepts the theory of evolution would accept it as a reasonable term that they base their views on Darwin's? You might as well call me a “Newtonist” or a “Einsteinist”. We accept the body of work of these great people but we do not center our belief systems around them. A good example of a legitimate use of the term would be “Christian” or “Christianity”, the form is different but the idea is to base one’s life on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Darwinism is not an appropriate term in our modern times.
As for the substance of the above quote, I have a certain kind of distaste for such mud-slinging. To assume the superiority of one’s own race or group is a “Darwinist” inspired meme is it? I disagree, I would content that this is a fundamental facet of human nature. Does something like evolution or “Darwinism” lend a patina of scientific credibility to such ideas? Probably. Buchanan states in his article that a theory can be true and yet inspire evil ideas, true, then what is the point of his article? Because he seems to flit between stating that "Darwinism" is false to stating that it has caused evil (even if it may be true), I think he is trying to fling enough mud to make some of it stick.
I have decided to wrap this up as a "part 1" for now.
Posted on: Thursday, July 02, 2009 5:21 PM