Monday, January 09, 2012

More about Nazi Darwinists

A nitwit on the Washington Post comment section wrote:

"Darwin’s theory is “godless” and that such thinking is linked to Nazi atrocities . . ."

This is ridiculed in this article.
What is the basis of the tie between Darwin and Hitler?
Darwin's cousin and devout follower was Galton.
Galton founded the science of Eugenics, that horrid 'science' that approved of steralizing or otherwise eliminating the 'undesirables' in society, thereby preventing the continuance of their 'inferior genetic material'.
Hitler adopted Galtons 'science', and carried it to it's logical conclusion.

That is all easily verifiable historic fact.

My reply:

The "easily verifiable historic fact(s)" offered by Trainor are all false with the exception that Francis Galton was Darwin's distant cousin, and he did found the Society for Eugenics.

1) Evolutionary biology, like chemistry, and geology are "godless." For that matter, plumbing, and automechanics are equally "godless."

2) There is no link between Darwin and Hilter, or the Nazis. In fact the Nazis banned the entire works of Darwin, and Ernst Haeckle, the leading German evolutionary theorist soon after taking power. Die Bucherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published these collection evaluation "guidelines" during the second round of "purifications" (saüberung).
6. Schriften weltanschaulichen und lebenskundlichen Charakters, deren Inhalt die falsche naturwissenschaftliche Aufklärung eines primitiven Darwinismus und Monismus ist (Häckel).

Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279
6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel)

3) Galton and Darwin differed strongly on the biological nature of heredibility. More significantly, Darwin tried to discourage Galton's Eugenics idea. Galton's original concept was to create a trust fund that would pay some people to have children, and others not to have children. Darwin noted that such a program would undoubtedly fail, both in print and in private letters to Galton. In his January 4th, 1873 letter to Galton, C.R. Darwin wrote, "I am not, however, so hopeful as you. Your proposed Society would have awfully laborious work, and I doubt whether you could ever get efficient workers." and, "But the greatest difficulty, I think, would be in deciding who deserved to be on the ("preferred marriage," gh) register. How few are above mediocrity in health, strength, morals and intellect; and how difficult to judge on these latter heads. Darwin concluded that discussion with, "I do not see that an orthognathous face would cost more than a prognathous face; or a good morale than a bad one." By this, that "moral" worth was not a biological feature, and that there could be no difference between a European, jutting chin (orthognathous), or an rounded (prognathous) African one.

4) The Eugenics Society never promoted the notion of forced sterilization. We should note the following opinion of Major Lenard Darwin regarding the practice of Eugenics, "It is true that both infanticide and the subjection of women have been common enough in many countries and in all ages; but they will never be reintroduced into civilized countries. A highly developed moral sense and great freedom of choice are two of the most precious attributes of man, and the necessity for preserving them rules out these stockyard methods.” “What is Eugenics” (1928 pg. 23), THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF EUGENICS New York, 1932) Major Leonard Darwin (1850 – 1943), Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911-1928. Sadly, Major Darwin was too great an optimist.

The expression "stockyard methods" is particularly significant. The Nazi program was never informed by evolutionary theory, but did impliment agricultural methods on human breeding. We can find the same idea employed in ancient Sparta, with the same lack of success.

5) It was the American Eugenics movement motivated by late 19th century racism that promoted forced sterilization, and anti-immigration laws. Of particular importance was Republican king-maker Madison Grant. A multi-millionare, he had been Teddy Rosevelt's college roommate, and life long friend. Grant wrote a book, "The Passing of the Great Race," published in 1916, that was one of only two books by nonGermans allowed on the Nazi reading list for anthropology. I highly recommend Jonathan P. Shiro's recent biography of Madison Grant, "Defending the Master Race" (2009 University of Vermont Press).

6(and last) I would like to read how Trainor squirms out from Hitler's clearly stated belief in creationism- the fixed, immutable nature of created kinds, as created by God. There are pages of citations irrefutably showing that Hitler's private, and public presentations were explicitly creationist, and Christian. Just four examples follow;

"The most marvelous proof of the superiority of Man, which puts man ahead of the animals, is the fact that he understands that there must be a Creator." - Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier)

"From where do we get the right to believe that man was not from the very beginning what he is today.

A glance in Nature shows us, that changes and developments happen in the realm of plants and animals. But nowhere do we see inside a kind, a development of the size of the leap that Man must have made, if he supposedly has advanced from an ape-like condition to what he is(now)" Tabletalk entry for 27 February 1942

"For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. x

“The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi

The Nazi Office of Racial Policy held thousands of public meetings a month promoting anti-semitism and attacking “muddle-headed humanitarianism” (Humanitätsduselei) or, what we call “liberalism” today. The theoretical models and dominant metaphors Hitler drew from did not include evolution at any event, but the Germ Theory of Disease, and Christianity. In 1938 the Nazi "Office of Racial Policy" publication "Inromationsdienst," Martin Luther’s advice on the “proper” treatment of Jews was given prominent display:

"... to put their synagogues and schools to fire, and what will not burn, to cover with earth and rubble so that no-one will ever again see anything there but cinders ... Second, one should tear down and destroy their houses, for they do also in there what they do in their schools and synagogues ... And third, one should confiscate their prayer books and Talmud, in which idolatry and lies, slander and blasphemy is taught” From Proctor 1988: 88.

The founder of Protestant Christianity was a greater inspiration to the Nazis than any scientist. Science, politicized by the same conditions that radicalized both Left, and Right in Germany, was used as justification for actions long advocated as “Christian.”

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