Thursday, November 16, 2006

Stunning Animations!


Do take time to have a look at these amazing animations....



48 Comments:

Anonymous PaulH said...

Well, yes, they are stunning animations. I'm not sure what chain of logic you're following over on Telic to claim that you can't use them because they're fundamental religion in the UK. It Looked pretty factual to me.

9:06 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Paul,

It was a tongue in cheek comment...
related to the attempt of the "BCSE" and the "BHA" to ban the DVD "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" from being used in UK schools.

11:04 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"It was a tongue in cheek comment...
related to the attempt of the "BCSE" and the "BHA" to ban the DVD "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" from being used in UK schools."


Andrew:

You are comparing an animation of the workings of cell put together with help from a number of scientists from Harvard University, with a Creationist Apologetics dvd put together by a bunch of religiously-motivated non-scientists (Phillip Johnson, Paul Nelson, Steve Meyer and William Dembski) and one fanatical Moonie 'scientist' (Jonathan Wells, who only did his PhD in order to "destroy Darwinism").

The former is science education, the latter is religious indoctrination. The difference is blindingly obvious.

5:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hrafn, if you want to be taken seriously, you may want to lose the attitude, and the wild hyperboles.

4:44 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

What hyperbole, Anonymous?

The religious motivations and lack of scientific expertise of Johnson, Nelson, Meyer and Dembski is well documented, and Wells has himself made his fanaticism clear by stating that he decided to "devote [his] life to destroying Darwinism"

5:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I am saying is I have been reading many of your posts, and I am giving you some friendly advice. If you want people to consider what you are saying, you may want to drop the haughty, condescending attitude that flows through all of your posts. If ID/proponents are so stupid why are you wasting a great deal of your time making lengthy posts on an ID blog?

5:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear... my fellow anonymous poster - You echo my sentiments regarding hrafn's posts to the nth degree... I had been considering posting a similar observation myself.

I do not take sides in this ID debate, but I am mildly interested in reading some of the comments. It is abundantly obvious that the majority of the ID'ers are polite and respectful to the other posters, whereas the evolutionists frequently work themselves up into what I can only describe as a seething rage, spitting torrents of abuse upon many mild-mannered posters.

As an onlooker I find this extremely interesting and noteworthy. I know who I would rather talk to in the pub... I am persuaded that the ID'ers are worthy of a hearing solely because they conduct their business in an orderly and civilised manner.

I will continue to observe this debate with interest, and to gauge the validity of the comments made by the spirit in which they are delivered.

Ranting and raving and attempting to force one's point of view down another's throat brings to mind images of a famous Austrian orator with a short clipped moustache, whose supposedly advanced ideas about evolution and genetics, etc. brought suffering to this world on a scale such as has never been seen before. I wouldn't touch such people with a bargepole.

Thank you again for highlighting your point of view. You are not alone in thinking along these lines.

5:33 pm  
Anonymous paulh said...

Well, might as well hoist my colors. I'm with hrafn. Its bad enough the Yanks have had to put up with Intellegent Design, I don't see why we should have to put up with it trying to slither into our schools.

It's an interesting theory, but intelligent Design is NOT science. So far, ID has proved to be a bunch of arguments along the lines of 'I can't see how it could have happened therefore god did it' followed by faulty logic in that 'Evolution is wrong, ergo Creationism' with no consideration that indeed Evolution may prove to be incorrect, but that doesn't exclude a third (as yet undiscovered principle) And finally, ID makes no predictions of value and has nothing to teach. It may well have a place in schools at some point in the future, but not in science class.

@Anonymous1 - Why waste time? Because there's a small chance that someone undecided who comes across this site might find that there's one (Correct side) to this argument and *gasp* go off and think for themselves and *shudders at thought* manage to decide that Intelligent Design is a vacuous hypothesis that effectively shuts down lines of enquiry totally and will cause scientific progress to stagnate, particularly in biology should it be deemed to be 'mainstream'

Its also, despite any claims to the contrary, rubbish theology and even more rubbish science.

Anonymous2? I call Godwin's Law. You manage to conflate Hitler with evolution in one of the most feeble arguments ever. Even assuming Hitler did subscribe to Darwin's theories and apply them (He Didn't, go elsewhere for research) you're now assuming that because one person did something bad because of one something, everyone else who agrees with that something is tarred with the same brush.

That's feeble logic. That's like me saying that because Richard the Lionheart was responsible for the crusades that caused all sorts of sackings of cities, and rapage and killing and he was a Christian all Christians are evil.

As this blog very decently allows you to use names, why not do so. Otherwise I may get the pair of you muddled up.

Cheers P-

7:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

paulh...

Your reply has strengthened the point I was making, which is by no means a feeble one.

A careful reading of my post will reveal that I am merely an onlooker in this debate. I do not have a foot in either camp, nor do I warm to people who order me to do research on a subject in which I am a self-professed layman.

I made the perfectly valid point that the Darwinists tactics involve ridiculing, lecturing and shouting at everyone who does not share their opinion, whereas the ID'ers appear to be infinitely more civilised in their approach.

Now, Sir, this is my prerogative, and as one of the undecided you have done your cause a disservice by emphatically proving the point I was making in the first place.

8:08 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Anonymous #1:

If you want to make specific charges of hyperbole, then make them. Then I have at least the opportunity to attempt to substantiate my claims.

Anonymous #2:

If you believe that IDers are polite, then you have never come across www.uncommondescent.com

Oh and Hitler's connection with Evolution is tenuous in the extreme. Any scientific basis for eugenics is based on pre-Darwinian artificial selection, not Darwinian natural selection (and in fact the idea of eugenics predates Darwin). Claiming a Darwin-Haeckel-Hitler connection is untenable as, although Haeckel was a racial supremacist (as were many in the 19th Century), he was not an antisemite. As Hitler was a life-long Catholic, and the Catholic Church had a long history of antisemitism, it seems more reasonable to trace Hitler's antisemitism here.

"A careful reading of my post will reveal that I am merely an onlooker in this debate."

"A careful reading" of your post reveals you to be repeating one of the worst Creationist slanders against Evolutionary Biology - the Darwin-Hitler lie!

This is not civility. This is not honesty. This is the sort of thing that gets those on the evolutionary side justifiably mad at you and considering you to be the enemy (be that knowingly or through ignorance).

2:06 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exhibit A my anonymous friend.

3:05 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Examples of ID "civility":

William Dembski accuses Kevin Padian of being a racist. Dembski-fan Davescot compounds the incivility by posting a KKK cartoon in connection to this. It later turned out that the accusation was riddled with errors, and that Padian wasn't even at the talks he was supposed to have made the racist remarks at.

William Dembski claims that Jeff Shallit did not testify in the Dover case because his deposition went badly and was an embarrassment to the plaintiffs, when in fact he knew that it was the defense that forced Shallit's withdrawal after Dembski (against whom Shallit was a rebuttal witness) withdrew.

William Dembski accuses Eric Pianka of bioterrorism.

Davescot endorsed intimidating the children of Dover plaintiffs.

Dembski, Behe & Berlinski, coach Ann Coulter ("the Queen of Mean"), to write a shrill anti-evolution polemic in Godless: The Church of Liberalism, the contents of which Dembski claims unabashed credit for. Coulter is infamous for her complete disregard for civility (or facts).

Was Paul Nelson's treatment of Keith Miller "civil"?

Was Jonathan Wells' Icons of Evolution "civil" to the evolutionary scientists he slandered?

Was the Discovery Institute's pillorying of Judge Jones "civil"?

4:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exhibit A indeed!

These people are doing a far better job of illustrating my point than I could ever do using mere words alone.

Oh, and by the way, hrafn, for the final time I reiterate that I am neither for nor against either side as of yet. If your verbal outbursts remind me of Hitler and fascism then that is my private and personal opinion which I am fully entitled to.

I have never even heard of the Darwin-Hitler lie... I am simply making simple observations based on your poor etiquette and use of public forums. Your conduct alarms me, Sir.

The day that you can converse civilly with those to whom you are in disagreement with will be the day that you begin to become a worthy ambassador for your argument. Until then I am quickly becoming ever more inclined to give the ID camp my vote.

This is what democracy and free speech are all about, my friend. Or perhaps you do not believe in such liberties?

8:24 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Anonymous:

1) Hitler had no scientific background. He thus had no "supposedly advanced ideas about evolution and genetics," neither of which fields provide any support for his views. This has not stopped numerous creationists from attempting to link Hitler to Evolution and/or Darwin (hence the "Hitler-Darwin lie").

2) Nobody who is as quick to throw around comparisons to Hitler as you are is in any position whatsoever to lecture on civility.

You may have whatever "private and personal opinion" you choose -- but I am equally entitled to hold the opinion that you have proved yourself to be an ignorant, mud-slinging hypocrite.

If my conduct alarms you then you must be very easily alarmed. I have not advocated physical violence against anybody, nor even any non-physical forms of retribution. If passionate advocacy alarms you, then I would suggest you find something more soothing to spend your time with -- the Teletubbies perhaps?

"Until then I am quickly becoming ever more inclined to give the ID camp my vote."

Given your willingness to jump on the Hitler-Evolution bandwagon, I had already assumed that you were in that camp already.

Even if this wasn't the case, your argument amounts to nothing more than "you're mean so you're wrong" -- a classic ad hominem fallacy.

"This is what democracy and free speech are all about, my friend. Or perhaps you do not believe in such liberties?"

Free speech does not imply freedom from people pointing out the flaws in your argument. You can say whatever you like, but I am likewise free to point out every logical and factual flaw, and every unsubstantiated assertion that you make.

10:47 am  
Anonymous Paulh said...

@Anonymous.

You turn up and in your opening comment, throw in a, if I may suggest, deliberately inflammatory comment equating hitler with advocates of a position that you don't appear to agree with, and then you get huffy because we point out the flaws in your logic.

Recognise that you've just wandered into an argument that's been running for approximately 150 years or so, and feelings do run high.

And yup, I'm fully in favour of free speech and democracy and all that, and respect your right to post. Equally everyone else has a right to disagree with you and point out flaws in your arguments.

Equally, I don't agree with Andrew's position on a lot of things, but I salute his decision to allow free posting here.

11:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exhibits B & C...

6:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I made the perfectly valid point that the Darwinists tactics involve ridiculing, lecturing and shouting at everyone who does not share their opinion, whereas the ID'ers appear to be infinitely more civilised in their approach."

I rest my case.

6:47 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Excuse me. May I butt in?

It's not about civility, it's about who is right (has the best argument and the facts on their side) and who is not right (has weak arguments and no, or few facts, on their side).

And the ID people have very weak arguments and no facts whatsoever on their side. They can make as many religious points as they may, and that's alright. If they persist in saying that their idea is science, then they are wrong.

Arguments about civility are a red herring. If you are serious about debate, drop them and concentrate on the facts and the logic in question.

8:27 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

P.S. there is a blogging convention that the first person to mention Hitler has lost the argument...

9:41 pm  
Anonymous sophisticato said...

allygally said...
P.S. there is a blogging convention that the first person to mention Hitler has lost the argument...


Oh yeah? And what if the blogger is actually trying to make a connection between Darwin and Hitler? Is that disallowed, too?

In any case, Darwinian scholastics like hrafn have a case here only because they stick very closely to Hitler's own life. Indeed, he was raised a Catholic and he knew little science. That makes it easy to let Darwin off the hook. But the book to which everyone here seems to be alluding, Richard Weikart's 'From Darwin to Hitler' is really about how Darwinism influenced Nazi ideology, which goes way beyond Hitler and includes many more intellectually sophisticated people. That's much harder for Darwinism to disown.

12:18 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Exhibit A:

Anonymous makes unsubstantiated comparisons between myself and Hitler.

Exhibit B:

Anonymous makes unsubstantiated link between Evolution and Hitler. (In answer to Sophisticato's question, it is only legitimate if you can actually prove the link with strong evidence. Creationists tend to make the claim on the flimsiest grounds.)

Exhibit C:

Anonymous refers to the other side as "Darwinists" (a well-established Creationist pejorative -- do you ever see the evolution side refer to IDers as "Paleyists"?).

On the basis of exhibits A, B & C, I would conclude that Anonymous is a Creationist troll, and would suggest that a "don't feed the trolls" policy should be applied to him.

4:25 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Richard Weikart is a member of the Discovery Institute, which partially funded his book, and so has a considerable Creationist axe to grind.

I have seen no evidence that his thesis is taken seriously be academia. Particularly, "Darwinism" is so vague a term that it can drag in a whole host of ideas that were neither countenanced by Darwin himself, nor played a part in the later development of Evolutionary Biology. This would be like blaming Darwin for the 'Darwin Awards'.

9:28 am  
Anonymous sophisticato said...

Hrafn said...
Richard Weikart is a member of the Discovery Institute, which partially funded his book, and so has a considerable Creationist axe to grind.

I have seen no evidence that his thesis is taken seriously be academia. Particularly, "Darwinism" is so vague a term that it can drag in a whole host of ideas that were neither countenanced by Darwin himself, nor played a part in the later development of Evolutionary Biology. This would be like blaming Darwin for the 'Darwin Awards'.


God only knows what you mean by ‘strong evidence’. Weikart’s book is not discussed more in academia only because the historical side of his thesis is relatively uncontroversial. If you’ve actually looked at the book, you’ll see that it’s published in a standard history textbook series (Palgrave Macmillan) that has nothing to do with the Discovery Institute. The idea that there is a relatively straight line from Darwin to Nazism was already present nearly 20 years ago in, say, Robert Proctor’s ‘Racial Hygiene’ (Harvard, 1988). If Weikart is unique is that he brings the story up-to-date, suggesting how this darker side of Darwinism lives on in contemporary discussions of animal rights, ecology, etc. This is where he makes common cause with the Discovery Institute. But even ‘normal’ historians back the up-to-date side of the story, too, e.g. Proctor again in ‘The Nazi War on Cancer’ (Princeton 1999).

Do you evolutionists actually read the stuff you criticise, or do you just recycle thought-bites from each other’s blogs? No doubt you’ll blame this on the ID people too, saying they do the same thing!

10:33 am  
Anonymous paulh said...

It doesn't actually matter whether hitler subscribed to darwin's theories or not. The fact that knowledge can be used to commit or justify atrocities does not invalidate that knowledge.

Evolution's no less correct even if people can use the knowlege to justify doing bad things. Nuclear physics doesn't magically stop working because someone drops a bomb, and the theory of evolution won't stop being provable, right, predictive and useful just because you think someone used it for evil purposes.

Anyways, I'm off to polish my jackboots. Have nice days y'all.

11:08 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"God only knows what you mean by ‘strong evidence’."

"Strong evidence" means something more than 'Chinese whispers' claims that Darwin influenced A who influenced B who influenced C who influenced Hitler. It means direct evidence of influence, either direct avowal and application of Darwin's theories by Hitler, or core Darwinian ideas showing up as core Nazi ideas.

For example, Antisemitism was a core Nazi idea. Can it be traced back to Darwin?

"Weikart’s book is not discussed more in academia only because the historical side of his thesis is relatively uncontroversial."

This is factually incorrect. His thesis has been disputed, e.g. by Ann Taylor Allen in The Journal of Modern History (March 2006).

"If you’ve actually looked at the book, you’ll see that it’s published in a standard history textbook series (Palgrave Macmillan) that has nothing to do with the Discovery Institute."

1) Palgrave Macmillan don't publish just textbooks, they publish "textbooks, academic and professional books, journals, reference and general non-fiction."

2) The fact that Palgrave Macmillan published it does not contradict a claim that the Discovery Institute partially financed it, a contention supported by the fact that he is a Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and is therefore likely to receive some funding of his research and scholarship from them.

"The idea that there is a relatively straight line from Darwin to Nazism was already present nearly 20 years ago in, say, Robert Proctor’s ‘Racial Hygiene’ (Harvard, 1988)."

This would be the same Robert Proctor who said "People generally found in Darwin what they wanted to find"? Can you show where Proctor drew this "relatively straight line"? It would appear from the above quote that he considered Darwin to be something of an ideological Rorschach inkblot.

Even Weikart himself makes a similar point:
"It would be foolish to blame Darwinism for the Holocaust, as though Darwinism leads logically to the Holocaust. No, Darwinism by itself did not produce Hitler's worldview, and many Darwinists drew quite different conclusions from Darwinism for ethics and social thought than did Hitler."

"Do you evolutionists actually read the stuff you criticise, or do you just recycle thought-bites from each other’s blogs?"

No, I have not read Weikart's book. But then again, I'm not the person who brought up the subject of either Hitler or Weikart. Nor am I offering a detailed critique of Weikart's work, merely disputing your claim that his thesis is widely accepted and uncontroversial. I don't need to have read the book to do that.

12:22 pm  
Anonymous sophisticato said...

Hrafn said:

"Strong evidence" means something more than 'Chinese whispers' claims that Darwin influenced A who influenced B who influenced C who influenced Hitler. It means direct evidence of influence, either direct avowal and application of Darwin's theories by Hitler, or core Darwinian ideas showing up as core Nazi ideas.

For example, Antisemitism was a core Nazi idea. Can it be traced back to Darwin?


Give me a break! You clearly haven’t read either Proctor or Weikart. Even Hitler makes reference to natural selection, and Darwinian ideas appear in the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, long before Hitler came to power. Antisemitism isn’t the key issue here. Nazism isn’t just one long campaign that brought about the Holocaust. It’s also about the imposition of a certain Darwin-inspired view about the geographical organization of human populations.

"Weikart’s book is not discussed more in academia only because the historical side of his thesis is relatively uncontroversial."

This is factually incorrect. His thesis has been disputed, e.g. by Ann Taylor Allen in The Journal of Modern History (March 2006).


Is there something in what she says that supports your case, or is this just the product of opportunistic web surfing and thought-biting? Scholars disagree about all sorts of things.


"If you’ve actually looked at the book, you’ll see that it’s published in a standard history textbook series (Palgrave Macmillan) that has nothing to do with the Discovery Institute."

1) Palgrave Macmillan don't publish just textbooks, they publish "textbooks, academic and professional books, journals, reference and general non-fiction."


Something of significance follows from this text-mining moment?

2) The fact that Palgrave Macmillan published it does not contradict a claim that the Discovery Institute partially financed it, a contention supported by the fact that he is a Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and is therefore likely to receive some funding of his research and scholarship from them.

Again, even if true -- and I guess you think Weikart’s defenders bear the burden of proof of showing that DI didn’t fund it! -- what difference would it make? If you’re so worried about funding tainting research, why not apply your standard to every scholar, especially since nowadays more and more scholars require external funding?

"The idea that there is a relatively straight line from Darwin to Nazism was already present nearly 20 years ago in, say, Robert Proctor’s ‘Racial Hygiene’ (Harvard, 1988)."

This would be the same Robert Proctor who said "People generally found in Darwin what they wanted to find"? Can you show where Proctor drew this "relatively straight line"? It would appear from the above quote that he considered Darwin to be something of an ideological Rorschach inkblot.

Even Weikart himself makes a similar point:
"It would be foolish to blame Darwinism for the Holocaust, as though Darwinism leads logically to the Holocaust. No, Darwinism by itself did not produce Hitler's worldview, and many Darwinists drew quite different conclusions from Darwinism for ethics and social thought than did Hitler."


You need a lesson in elementary logic. I explain below.

"Do you evolutionists actually read the stuff you criticise, or do you just recycle thought-bites from each other’s blogs?"

No, I have not read Weikart's book. But then again, I'm not the person who brought up the subject of either Hitler or Weikart. Nor am I offering a detailed critique of Weikart's work, merely disputing your claim that his thesis is widely accepted and uncontroversial. I don't need to have read the book to do that


OK, listen carefully. Here are two statements:

Darwinism was sufficient to bring about Nazism.
Darwinism was necessary to bring about Nazism.

Can you see a difference between the logic of these two statements? I hope you can because part of what it means to judge the evidential basis of various claims to knowledge is that you can distinguish these two things. Offering evidence is more than piling up facts and cut-and-paste jobs from the internet. The quotes you gave from Proctor and Weikart are specifically denying that Darwinism was sufficient to bring about Nazism. In other words, they are saying, quite rightly, that Nazism required other things to be in place as well. They are also claiming, again quite rightly, that Darwinism could have led to other political outcomes, even in Germany.

But that’s not really the bone of contention here. It’s captured by the second statement. Darwinism was necessary for Nazism because without Darwinism, it is unlikely that Nazism would have become such a massive political force. Why? Well, while it’s true that Germany has had a history of anti-Semitism, it’s unlikely that it would have acquired the strongly scientistic cast it did – especially in the country that at least until WWI was the world’s premier scientific power – without some serious scientific backing. And if one searches among the available scientific resources to justify a strong geographically based racism, the only viable theory to do the job was Darwinism. Moreover, this was not some radical step on the part of the Nazis that involved the massive distortion of science or the coercion of scientists. No, it was simply extending – perhaps exaggerating – tendencies already present in the German scientific community, especially the medical faculties.

Proctor and Weikart are only denying the sufficiency, not the necessity, of Darwinism to Nazism. That should have been clear to you from their quotes, even if you haven’t read their books.

2:46 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

sophisticato said: "Proctor and Weikart are only denying the sufficiency, not the necessity, of Darwinism to Nazism."


1. How are you defining "Darwnism"?

2. This blog is called "ID in the UK" - so even if "Darwinism" is in some way linked to Hitler, how does that help ID become accepted as respectable science?

Or have the creationists stopped promoting ID and decided to concentrate their energies on attacking "Darwinism" ?

3:11 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Give me a break!"

Why should I? I will keep hounding you until you provide reasonable substantiation for your assertions.

"You clearly haven’t read either Proctor or Weikart."

I have already explicitly said that I haven't read Weikart. I can hardly have read Proctor, as I hadn't even heard of him until you mentioned him. If you have read them, then you should be in a good position to demonstrate how their research supports strong a Darwin-Hitler link.

"Even Hitler makes reference to natural selection..."

What reference?

"...Darwinian ideas appear in the 1920 Nazi Party Platform..."

What "Darwinian ideas"?

"Antisemitism isn’t the key issue here."

It's not? Then how did antisemitism become a core Nazi value?

"Nazism isn’t just one long campaign that brought about the Holocaust."

No, there was also the Kristallnacht, and a long string of earlier Nazi antisemitic rhetoric tracing back to the founding of the movement. As I said, antisemitism is a core Nazi value. Any explanation of Nazism that doesn't explain it is therefore suspect.

"Scholars disagree about all sorts of things."

Yes, and can you provide any evidence that more agree with Weikart than disagree with him?

"Something of significance follows from this text-mining moment?"

Yes. Demonstration that your claiming From Darwin to Hitler to be a textbook is simply another piece of unsubstantiated assertion. Can you list any courses that utilise this book as a textbook?

"...what difference would it make? If you’re so worried about funding tainting research, why not apply your standard to every scholar, especially since nowadays more and more scholars require external funding?"

What difference would accepting financing from an anti-evolutionary lobbying group make? Quite a bit. Would you consider a Conservative Party-funded biography of Tony Blair to be untainted?

"You need a lesson in elementary logic."

Actually I studied Logic under Pvel Tichy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Tich%C3%BD).

If you really think you know more about logic than he did, then by all means demonstrate the fact.

"Darwinism was sufficient to bring about Nazism."

An absurd statement that I am well aware that Weikart never made.

"Darwinism was necessary to bring about Nazism."

A far weaker claim. All sorts of things were arguably "necessary" to bring about Nazism: WWI, the printing press, the internal combustion engine and the radio ... the list is endless.

But even this claim is currently unsubstantiated.

Firstly, in order to make this claim you must first define "Darwinism" in a meaningful way.

So define "Darwinism". Do it now. If you either fail to do so, or do so in a way that I do not consider to be meaningful, then I will consider your thesis to have died stillborn.

Do not pass "Go," do not collect $200.


"Well, while it’s true that Germany has had a history of anti-Semitism, it’s unlikely that it would have acquired the strongly scientistic cast it did – especially in the country that at least until WWI was the world’s premier scientific power – without some serious scientific backing."

'Scientific racism' predates Darwin, and had a sufficient body of work prior to, or independent of, Darwin to obviate any "necessity" of Darwin in the creation of Nazi ideology. Does Weikart explain why Darwin was necessary for Nazism, when the likes of Arthur de Gobineau, Georges Vacher de Lapouge and Johann Gottfried Herder were laying a basis for it?

In order for Darwin to be necessary for the development of Nazism, you need to prove that no other influence could have substituted for him.

"And if one searches among the available scientific resources to justify a strong geographically based racism, the only viable theory to do the job was Darwinism."

Wrong! Population migrations and interbreeding around Europe make a "strong geographically based racism" ineligible on any scientific basis. Whilst the Nazis considered the Slavs to be an inferior race, Germany itself was settled by a mix of Germanic and Western Slavic tribes. The Nazi claims of 'Scientific Racism' was merely an attempt to place a pseudo-scientific gloss on their visceral and primitive racism. If the Darwinian pot of paint hadn't been available, they'd have simply found another.

"Proctor and Weikart are only denying the sufficiency, not the necessity, of Darwinism to Nazism."

You have presented no evidence that Proctor believed this "necessity". The best explication I have seen to date of Proctors views indicates that he lays some culpability on the pre-Nazi medical and scientific establishment. However to equate that establishment with Darwin would appear to overvalue Darwin's influence on German research.

Nor have I seen any evidence that Weikart's substantiation is compelling, or that the academic community of historians finds it so.

4:56 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Or have the creationists stopped promoting ID and decided to concentrate their energies on attacking "Darwinism" ?"

Attacking "Darwinism" has always been their main objective. "ID" was merely a convenient wrapper for these attacks, which all pre-existed ID. However, since this wrapper has now been exposed, they are seeking new wrapping for these arguments in phrases like "teach the controversy" and "scientific criticisms of evolution".

5:01 pm  
Anonymous sophisticato said...

Dear hrafn: (This message is in two parts)

I can already see your temperature rising but unfortunately logic is not your strong suit. You are responding like someone who is in denial that Darwinism could have possibly led to anything bad. I understand if you take badly what I am about to tell you. But maybe once you’ve calmed down, you might be able to read it again and learn something. If it’s any consolation, I promise not to respond to anything more you say.

I have already explicitly said that I haven't read Weikart. I can hardly have read Proctor, as I hadn't even heard of him until you mentioned him.

This is already pretty damning, since you manage to mine-quote Proctor without even having bothered to read him! God forbid if anyone should try to hold you to the standards of scholarship you would hold others… I think this admission by itself shows what a paper tiger you are.

What difference would accepting financing from an anti-evolutionary lobbying group make? Quite a bit. Would you consider a Conservative Party-funded biography of Tony Blair to be untainted?

Strange as it may sound to you, I’d actually read the thing first before passing judgement – especially because people who don’t start with a positive bias are often better positioned to notice and admit shortcomings, failures, etc., all of which are instructive to know. In any case, I’d want to read it first. To do otherwise is simply to fall afoul of the genetic fallacy, something you may have run across in your study of logic.

Actually I studied Logic under Pvel Tichy. If you really think you know more about logic than he did, then by all means demonstrate the fact.

No, I just claim to know more logic than you. And as far as I know not even the great Tichy says that you necessarily have his knowledge, simply by virtue of your having been in his vicinity for a few months or years.

"Darwinism was necessary to bring about Nazism."

A far weaker claim. All sorts of things were arguably "necessary" to bring about Nazism: WWI, the printing press, the internal combustion engine and the radio ... the list is endless.


No, it’s actually a stronger claim. If Darwinism were merely sufficient for Nazism, then that does not exclude other sets of conditions also having been sufficient for Nazism. (Nazism would then be ‘overdetermined’. It would have succeeded with or without Darwinist backing.) In contrast, to say that Darwinism is necessary for Darwinism is to say that whatever else are the conditions to bring about Nazism, they must include Darwinism as an ingredient. Do you see that the latter is a logically stronger claim?

Firstly, in order to make this claim you must first define "Darwinism" in a meaningful way.

So define "Darwinism". Do it now. If you either fail to do so, or do so in a way that I do not consider to be meaningful, then I will consider your thesis to have died stillborn.


This is your easiest challenge, and it shows how little of the relevant history you know. German scientists were happily calling themselves Darwinists and appealing to selectionist explanations certainly by the 1870s, and grew steadily in numbers in the period leading up to Nazism’s triumph. Of course, they were drawing on all sorts of sources to bolster their ‘Darwinist’ views, such as Galton, Spencer, Pearson, Huxley, etc. Some of these people you may wish to discount, but these were also the people promoting Darwin’s cause in the UK. In fact, there was quite a lot of intellectual intercourse between the two countries during this period, which is heavily documented by Proctor and Weikart. Indeed, truth be told, Germany was probably the country in Europe whose scientific community was most strongly supportive of Darwin (more so than even the UK). This is not to say that Darwinism ever held a majority position, but it did gain a serious stronghold in the medical faculties that was unprecedented in Europe.

'Scientific racism' predates Darwin, and had a sufficient body of work prior to, or independent of, Darwin to obviate any "necessity" of Darwin in the creation of Nazi ideology. Does Weikart explain why Darwin was necessary for Nazism, when the likes of Arthur de Gobineau, Georges Vacher de Lapouge and Johann Gottfried Herder were laying a basis for it?

For someone who makes such a big deal about Darwin’s scientific credentials, you seem really blind to how such credentials mattered historically. All of the above guys were quite explicitly ideological in their promotion of racism (and Herder really doesn’t belong in the group), whereas Darwin was not – and even Vacher de Lapouge derived the scientific basis for his racist anthropology from Darwin. Darwin’s ability to present the emergence of new species from geographically segregated life-forms (a.k.a. races) across all of nature deepened the scientific credentials of racism, and still does today.

"And if one searches among the available scientific resources to justify a strong geographically based racism, the only viable theory to do the job was Darwinism."

Wrong! Population migrations and interbreeding around Europe make a "strong geographically based racism" ineligible on any scientific basis. Whilst the Nazis considered the Slavs to be an inferior race, Germany itself was settled by a mix of Germanic and Western Slavic tribes. The Nazi claims of 'Scientific Racism' was merely an attempt to place a pseudo-scientific gloss on their visceral and primitive racism. If the Darwinian pot of paint hadn't been available, they'd have simply found another.


Look at what I originally said more carefully. I’m saying if you already want to justify racism, Darwinism does the job because it explains the naturalness of race formation as populations segregate. The overall image of nature that Darwin gives is that of ecologically sustainable populations, with creatures adapted to their particular niches. Instability comes from too many creatures being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, Darwinism doesn’t deny the fact of immigration, interbreeding and the like. But it does caution against their advisability. Darwin himself was clear that while he didn’t believe imbeciles should be put to death, and indeed should be treated humanely, they should also be sterilised so they don’t pollute the gene pool. Of course, that’s still far from the gas chambers, but it’s one scientifically sanctioned step in that direction. In the original Nazi Party platform of 1920 (much like today’s BNP), the call wasn’t to exterminate foreigners but to repatriate them to their homelands.

3:10 pm  
Anonymous sophisticato said...

Sorry, I managed to get the message through all in one go!

3:11 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

Aaaah, Godwin's Law...

Godwin's Law highlights the tendency for an internet discussion to descend into rampant hyperbole. I believe the specific statement was that the probability of Hitler/the Nazis being mentioned would tend towards 1 the longer the thread went on for.

Since that time, the Godwin's Law definition has been altered. Instead, the term is now often used as a "trump card" to declare victory in a discussion due to someone making irrelevant Hitler comparisons. HOWEVER, it is a fallacy to invoke Godwin's Law if the person making the Hitler claims can justify them as relevant to the debate.

In this case, the pro-ID posters have not justified the Darwin-Hitler link, let alone proved it relevant to ID and/or evolution. Even if we assume that evolution did inspire Hitler (I'll get to that later), the argument is a non sequitur. It does not follow that evolution is false because Hitler believed in it.

Ok, we've got that out the way. I could stop there as that should be enough to demonstrate that the Hitler-Darwin link is a bankrupt piece of argumentation. It gets worse than that though.

Hitler was clearly no atheist. Whether he was a Christian in the common sense of the term is debateable. There are numberous quotes of Hitler referring to a "creator" when discussing his grand plans for racial purity. Of those, I've chosen this one as a good example:

"A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape." [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 2 Chapter 2]

Finally, it is ironic to note that evolution predicts that simple eugenics like that practised by the Nazis is doomed to failure as it reduces genetic diversity. Diversity is the "raw materials" of evolution, and gives the "engine" of natural selection something to work with. If there is no variation, then extinction is the likely occurrance. Hitler was paradoxically making the human race weaker, not stronger.

Regards

Andrew

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"I can already see your temperature rising but unfortunately logic is not your strong suit."

Wrong on both counts. Your sophomoric posts have elicited a mixture of amusement and irritation, not anger.

As to logic, your incompetence with the subject makes me wonder if you would recognise it if you saw it.

"This is already pretty damning, since you manage to mine-quote Proctor without even having bothered to read him!"

No. You brought him up, baldly asserting that he supports "a relatively straight line from Darwin to Nazism" without providing any substantiation. I did the reasonable thing, and attempted to check this assertion by doing a Google search for Darwin, Hitler & Proctor. The quote was one of the few things that popped up. That quote, plus the relatively sparse number of hits, led me to suspect that you might be misrepresenting Proctor. I put this to you in the form of a question:
"This would be the same Robert Proctor who said "People generally found in Darwin what they wanted to find"?"

Your rebuttal could have been:
1) No, it was a different Robert Proctor.

2) Yes, he said this, but it is taken out of context.

Instead, you dodged the question.

I am forced to ask myself the question: has Sophisticato read Proctor? Because you have given no evidence of familiarity with his work yourself.

I also note that you have not substantiated your claim that "Even Hitler makes reference to natural selection, and Darwinian ideas appear in the 1920 Nazi Party Platform..." in spite of my challenge.

"...people who don’t start with a positive bias are often better positioned to notice and admit shortcomings, failures, etc..."

The trouble is that the Discovery Institute and its members have a long and documented track record of manufacturing such "shortcomings, failures, etc" out of a whole cloth, making them highly unreliable.

"No, I just claim to know more logic than you."

Your next piece completely demolishes this claim...

"This is your easiest challenge, and it shows how little of the relevant history you know. German scientists were happily calling themselves Darwinists and appealing to selectionist explanations certainly by the 1870s, and grew steadily in numbers in the period leading up to Nazism’s triumph. Of course, they were drawing on all sorts of sources to bolster their ‘Darwinist’ views, such as Galton, Spencer, Pearson, Huxley, etc. Some of these people you may wish to discount, but these were also the people promoting Darwin’s cause in the UK. In fact, there was quite a lot of intellectual intercourse between the two countries during this period, which is heavily documented by Proctor and Weikart. Indeed, truth be told, Germany was probably the country in Europe whose scientific community was most strongly supportive of Darwin (more so than even the UK). This is not to say that Darwinism ever held a majority position, but it did gain a serious stronghold in the medical faculties that was unprecedented in Europe."

This is not a concise definition of "Darwinism," but a vague and incoherent rant about "Darwinists." If you submitted such an answer in any Philosophy paper I ever took, you would get a failing grade.

Do not pass 'Go', do not collect $200. :)

Let me offer some alternatives. Is "Darwinism":
1) Darwin's original thesis of evolution by Natural Selection?
2) The frequent Creationist caricature of "Random Mutation plus Natural Selection (RM+NS)"?
3)The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis that also included Recombination, Genetic Drift and Genetic Flow?
4) Post-MES developments, that include things like Punctuated Equilibria and Evo-Devo?
5) Something else again?

"For someone who makes such a big deal about Darwin’s scientific credentials..."

No. I don't. I would make a great deal about his scientific achievements, but his credentials were no more impressive than that of hundreds of other Divinity graduates with an amateur interest in science.

"All of the above guys were quite explicitly ideological in their promotion of racism..."

Yet they are considered part of the "Scientific Racism" movement. At the time at which many of them were writing, the split between Science and Philosophy (and thus ideology) was incomplete, so they could certainly be considered to have provided an adequate foundation for later, more explicitly 'scientific' 'Scientific Racists'.

Further, it could be argued that 'Social Darwinism' itself is far more of an ideology than a science. Given that this ideology was being developed (e.g. by Herbert Spencer) prior to the publication of Origin of Species, it is arguable that Darwin was not necessary for Social Darwinism. This in turn further weakens the link-of-necessity between Darwin and Nazism.

Further, it could easily be argued that Darwin's thesis of evolution by natural selection would have been discovered in any case. Alfred Russel Wallace was working along very similar lines in parallel to Darwin. If Darwin isn't necessary for Darwinian Evolution, how can he possibly be necessary for any claimed consequence of this theory?

"I’m saying if you already want to justify racism, Darwinism does the job because it explains the naturalness of race formation as populations segregate."

Wrong. Such "segregation" and "race formation" would only occur if there were natural barriers to interbreeding. This is clearly not the case between the Germanic tribes and the Slavs, and later the Jews. Evolution is only "useful" to Nazism when it is cherry-picked into utter meaninglessness. Ah_mini makes an excellent point in that evolutionary theory values diversity not purity. This was made glaringly obvious when a bunch of 19th Century Germans (led by a relative of Wagner, I believe) set up a "racially pure" colony in South America. The colony disintegrated within a few generations due to its small size and resultant massive inbreeding.

11:36 pm  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

hrafn said:

Ah_mini makes an excellent point in that evolutionary theory values diversity not purity.


Yo, Homer! 'Diversity' and 'purity' are just two ways of looking at the same thing: namely, that each genetic strain of human belongs in its own ecological niche, as we say with 'biodiversity'. 'Diversity' is just a polite word for 'segregation'. Am I writing too fast for you?

10:54 am  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

Yo, Homer! 'Diversity' and 'purity' are just two ways of looking at the same thing: namely, that each genetic strain of human belongs in its own ecological niche, as we say with 'biodiversity'. 'Diversity' is just a polite word for 'segregation'. Am I writing too fast for you?

Incorrect. Segregation and purification in the manner you are using them are the same thing. Segregation decreases variation in the genome of the segregated population. Check out the lions of the ngorogoro crater for an example. These lions are segregated from others in Africa by geography, and suffer from a high incidence of genetic disease as a result.

Hitler sought to segregate the Aryan race from people he perceived to be "undesirables", such as handicapped people, Jews, etc. He did this by enforced sterilisation or bumping them all off. Despite his grand ideas, the end result would have been a weakened Aryan race according to evolutionary predictions. Utter failure in other words.

"Diversity" is the amount of genetic variation in a population that can interbreed.

Andrew

11:20 am  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

ah_mini_ said

Incorrect. Segregation and purification in the manner you are using them are the same thing. Segregation decreases variation in the genome of the segregated population.



Maybe you missed the point, but I wasn’t trying to deny the connection between purity and segregation but to assert the connection between diversity and segregation. Get it? And all this talk of Hitler makes it look as though Nazism was invented when he started shipping Jews to Dachau. Your view of history is much too static. As sophisticato said, the Nazis of 1920 were much more, shall we say, sophisticated in their racism. They did Darwin proud.

Come to think of it, your view of evolution is rather static as well. Whether or not populations can interbreed is a product of long-term spatial relations between the organisms concerned. If you think that one population might pollute or otherwise dilute the wonderful qualities of another population, the answer is to segregate them now before they do any more damage. The Nazis may have been overly optimistic about the time-frame, but they were not straying from the Darwinian fold in principle. You are right, though, that Darwinism doesn’t license outright extermination, only death by attrition. Let 'nature', whatever that means, do the selecting. Of course, you can muster some cases where segregation leads to disaster, but Darwinism is the only scientific approach to the nature of life that makes segregation a virtue in the first place.

Of course, from a Darwinian standpoint, the Nazis’ big problem was that they always wanted to speed things up. Too bad they didn’t know any of today’s biotechnology – especially in light of the recent identification of the genetic basis of Ashkenazi Jews’ cleverness. They might have been then able to nip that problem in the proverbial bud!

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0009E769-5614-132F-949983414B7F0000&sc=I100322

12:47 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

Off we go about talking about genetic "pollution". There is no such thing in evolution. That alone slaughters any Nazi argument. If they believed that by preserving a set of traits they were benefitting the human race, they were simply wrong. The benefit of any particular set of genes is entirely dependent on the environment. As a result, genetic diversity is valuable because it gives the population a bit more of a chance in the face of changing conditions. A mutated gene that gives its owner sickle cell anaemeia would be bad in most cases, but in environments where malaria is rife, the immunity it confers outweights the detriments.

Of course, you still haven't dealt with the point that I raised first. Even if can be demonstrated that the Nazis copied all their ideas off Darwin, that has no bearing on the veracity of evolution. If you wish to commit the logical fallacy of the non sequitur, by all means carry on this line of argumentation.

1:28 pm  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

h_mini_ said:

Of course, you still haven't dealt with the point that I raised first. Even if can be demonstrated that the Nazis copied all their ideas off Darwin, that has no bearing on the veracity of evolution. If you wish to commit the logical fallacy of the non sequitur, by all means carry on this line of argumentation.


You're absolutely right, of course. In that case, why don't you apply the same logic to exonerate intelligent design from its connnection with the Discovery Institute? Could it be that you don't know that ID has a history independent of DI? (That's a rhetorical question: I don't expect you to admit ignorance so baldly.) Such ignorance would be like someone who thought the Nazis invented Darwinism!

1:55 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Yo, Homer! 'Diversity' and 'purity' are just two ways of looking at the same thing: namely, that each genetic strain of human belongs in its own ecological niche, as we say with 'biodiversity'. 'Diversity' is just a polite word for 'segregation'. Am I writing too fast for you?"

No, Charlie's Idiot Brother, you're writing too fast for your brain to keep up.

Genetic diversity has NOTHING to do with purity! It is about conservation of alleles not of blonde, blue-eyed Aryan beefcakes & valkyries, or of Nubian warriors and princesses. Genetic diversity is not reduced one iota if every man and women on the planet choose their mates from members of the continent furthest away from their own. In fact, genetically such out-breeding is considered to be healthy.

2:48 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

You're absolutely right, of course. In that case, why don't you apply the same logic to exonerate intelligent design from its connnection with the Discovery Institute? Could it be that you don't know that ID has a history independent of DI? (That's a rhetorical question: I don't expect you to admit ignorance so baldly.) Such ignorance would be like someone who thought the Nazis invented Darwinism!

Wow, talk about putting words in my mouth. I take it you have conceded the genetic purity/diversity argument then?

Seeing as I've never claimed that ID is false simply because the DI pushes it, I'm sure you don't want to carry on beating that strawman. I do have a question though. What unpleasantness associated with the DI do you want to "exonerate" ID from?

Andrew

3:31 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"Could it be that you don't know that ID has a history independent of DI?"

Very little independent history, as all the most prominent advocates and theorists of ID are members of the Disco Institute.

4:12 pm  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

Hrafn said...
"Yo, Homer! 'Diversity' and 'purity' are just two ways of looking at the same thing: namely, that each genetic strain of human belongs in its own ecological niche, as we say with 'biodiversity'. 'Diversity' is just a polite word for 'segregation'. Am I writing too fast for you?"

No, Charlie's Idiot Brother, you're writing too fast for your brain to keep up.

Genetic diversity has NOTHING to do with purity! It is about conservation of alleles not of blonde, blue-eyed Aryan beefcakes & valkyries, or of Nubian warriors and princesses. Genetic diversity is not reduced one iota if every man and women on the planet choose their mates from members of the continent furthest away from their own. In fact, genetically such out-breeding is considered to be healthy.



You’re way—way—way—too smart for me. Now, in light of this elementary lesson in genetics, explain what’s the point of bioprospecting.

12:08 pm  
Anonymous chales darwin's smarter brother said...

Hrafn said...
"Could it be that you don't know that ID has a history independent of DI?"

Very little independent history, as all the most prominent advocates and theorists of ID are members of the Disco Institute.


There you go and ruin it for me! I thought you were a very—very—very smart guy, but now I need to remove at least one of the’very’s, since ID was the dominant position in the history of science before Darwin.

12:12 pm  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

Ah_mini said:

Wow, talk about putting words in my mouth. I take it you have conceded the genetic purity/diversity argument then?

Seeing as I've never claimed that ID is false simply because the DI pushes it, I'm sure you don't want to carry on beating that strawman. I do have a question though. What unpleasantness associated with the DI do you want to "exonerate" ID from?


I don’t concede the genetic purity/diversity argument until I’ve seen a little more effort from your side. But I’m a patient man.

As for unpleasantness or not, I just want parity: Darwinism has attracted Nazis, and ID has attracted DI. People find these fans offensive for various reasons. I am happy to add or subtract the fans as a relevant consideration in judging the theories, as long as both get the same treatment. It’s clear from your colleague hrafn that he doesn’t realize that ID’s existence predates DI. I hope you don’t fall into the same category.

12:17 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"You’re way—way—way—too smart for me. Now, in light of this elementary lesson in genetics, explain what’s the point of bioprospecting."

I was clearly discussing genetic diversity within a species (i.e. homo sapiens), whereas bioprospecting involves seeking new species, and so is irrelevant.

"...since ID was the dominant position in the history of science before Darwin."

So we're talking about nothing more recent than a 200 year old book entitled Natural Theology -- very modern and scientific. In fact it could be argued that it doesn't belong in the "history of science" at all, but in the history of apologetics.

"...Darwinism has attracted Nazis..."

Sorry, not only hasn't this been proven, but nobody has even attempted to provide a definition of "Darwinism" so that such a proof can be attempted.

"I am happy to add or subtract the fans as a relevant consideration in judging the theories, as long as both get the same treatment."

Fine. Take ID, subtract DI and its membership, and you're left with Paley's 200 year old Natural Theology.

Very impressive scientifically.

"It’s clear from your colleague hrafn that he doesn’t realize that ID’s existence predates DI."

I'm well aware that the basic idea behind ID has a long history within Christian Apologetics. I studied Aquinas' Argument From Design in Metaphysics. I just don't see how it is relevant to a supposedly scientific discussion.

2:28 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

I don’t concede the genetic purity/diversity argument until I’ve seen a little more effort from your side. But I’m a patient man.

Well you haven't demonstrated that you understand that a reduction in diversity reduces the fitness of the population w.r.t. a changing environment. Anything that attempts to "cherry pick" genetic traits also results in a reduction in diversity. Sometimes it's advantageous to do this short term (i.e. in crop breeding). However, long term the establisment of monocultures leads to big problems. Irish potato famine anyone?

Furthermore, if I breed with a black person, my children are less likely to suffer from inherited genetic disease. Exactly the opposite of what the Nazis thought would happen.

As for unpleasantness or not, I just want parity: Darwinism has attracted Nazis, and ID has attracted DI. People find these fans offensive for various reasons. I am happy to add or subtract the fans as a relevant consideration in judging the theories, as long as both get the same treatment. It’s clear from your colleague hrafn that he doesn’t realize that ID’s existence predates DI. I hope you don’t fall into the same category.

You avoided the question. Everyone knows why the Nazis were bad. They started a world war and butchered millions. Thus creationists find the Nazis useful to bring up to poison the evolution well with. I'm interested to know what it is about the DI that poisons the ID well. Care to let me in on this secret?

As for ID starting with the DI, I'm quite happy to agree that they didn't start it. Although modern ID's most basic argument (if it looks designed, it must be designed) originated with Rev Paley, most of ID's current arguments are more recent. They can be derived from the works of the Seventh Day Adventist, George McCready Price. His material (particularly "The New Geology"), published in the early 20th century, set the tone for modern reactionary creationism. McCready-Price's work would influence Henry Morris, who used large segments of it in the seminal "creation science" text "The Genesis Flood". From there, we can link to more modern ID acolytes, like William Dembski. Demsbki admitted in an open letter to Morris that his concepts of "CSI" and the "explanatory filter" were attempts to mathematically formalise Morris' more simple (and useless) creationist probability arguments. ID proponents also lift a large number of creation science-inspired arguments in their "Teach the Controversy" nonsense. Finally, lets not forget the "Of Pandas and People" calamity in Dover, where it was conclusively demonstrated that ID proponents had simply done a search/replace on the words "creation" and "creationist", replacing them with "design" and "design proponent" to avoid a 1987 US supreme court ruling.

Andrew

3:01 pm  
Anonymous charles darwin's smarter brother said...

ah_mini said...
I don’t concede the genetic purity/diversity argument until I’ve seen a little more effort from your side. But I’m a patient man.

Well you haven't demonstrated that you understand that a reduction in diversity reduces the fitness of the population w.r.t. a changing environment. Anything that attempts to "cherry pick" genetic traits also results in a reduction in diversity. Sometimes it's advantageous to do this short term (i.e. in crop breeding). However, long term the establisment of monocultures leads to big problems. Irish potato famine anyone?

Furthermore, if I breed with a black person, my children are less likely to suffer from inherited genetic disease. Exactly the opposite of what the Nazis thought would happen.



Sorry but you’re confusing genetic purity with some sort of notion of genetic dominance. Maybe it’s because you think the Nazis were simply about exterminating Slavs, Jews, etc. That only captures the Nazis post-1942. They started by wanting to segregate the sub-races to their ‘homelands’ so that they don’t swamp the Aryan populations, either by outbreeding them or interbreeding with them. Their programme was originally one of proper genetic diversity in the sense we talk about ‘biodiversity’ today, namely, providing ecological space for the maximum number of species, or sub-species, to flourish. But the Nazis realized that this goal required restrictive measures on immigration and even ordinary interaction, again not so different from what we talk about now about saving endangered species.

The Irish Potato Famine is thus an irrelevance. The Nazis wouldn’t have made that mistake, quite the contrary. And as for your interbreeding with Blacks, well, do you really mean your offspring would be less likely to suffer from ALL inherited genetic disease, or just the ones carried in your genes?

8:07 pm  
Anonymous ah_mini said...

Aha, now I see where you are going wrong (I was wondering how you got so confused).

I am talking about genetic diversity within a species. Genetic diversity across species boundaries is irrelevant for the survival of more complex species, as they can't interbreed and exchange genetic information.

If I take a diverse population of the same species and split it into segregated groups according to race, the end result will be that each of those racial groups will lose diversity. This will be because the breeding population will be reduced and because much less genetic information will be exchanged from outside the individial populations. If the environment changes (a nasty disease comes along), the probability of an individual segregated population being wiped out is higher. Thus, the Nazis were making it more likely that the Aryan race would be wiped out due to unforseen circumstances.

Of course, the end game of segregation (assuming nothing bad happens to the individual populations) is speciation. However, speciation does not guarantee that any one species will survive. History shows us that most species become extinct. Another prediction of evolution that the Nazis wouldn't like.

As for genetic disease, look it up. Many genetic defects are recessive. That is, if only one parent has the broken gene, then the offspring will inherit the working one from the other parent. However, in constrained breeding populations, the chances of two people with the same defective gene breeding is increased. The result is that more children are born with recessive genetic issues. That's not to say that an interracial marriage would prevent all genetic disease in the offspring. Rather, it would just make it slightly less likely. Ask yourself why pedigree dogs suffer from worse health than mongrels. Same idea.

Now, are you going to tell me what's so bad about the DI that you don't want ID associated with it? ;)

Andrew

10:27 pm  

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