Saturday, March 29, 2008


The Barker

There is a message from that pseudo end of the intelligentsia represented by Ben Stein at Donald Wildmon's OneNewsNow, the house organ of the American Family Association:

Darwinism holds that life began by something like lightning striking a puddle and inorganic matter was converted into living matter. And from that, after four-and-a-half-billion years came the foundation of life as we now know it, the organic living cell. Now I had thought that a cell was just a mass of Jell-O. … I was just floored that supposedly from that [process] came the living cell, which has hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions of small tiny intricate parts that have to work together to maintain, repair, reproduce and adapt the cell. And the idea that lightning striking a mud puddle creates something as complex as a cell struck me as so far fetched that it deserved to be questioned.
As an explanation of current hypotheses about abiogenesis, to quote Wolfgang Pauli, "That's not right. It's not even wrong."

Believe it or not, there is worse:

Darwinism said, and it was very, very quickly picked up enthusiastically in Germany, that there were certain species that were superior to other species; and even within those species there were certain smaller groups that were superior to other groups; and all were competing for a scarce supply of food and resources and that if you let the inferior race have a big share of the food and other resources, there was less left for the superior race and therefore the superior race would not evolve to be as powerful as quickly as it should. You owe it to the master race to kill the inferior races. This was explicitly a part of Nazi ideology.
Darwin himself said:

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil.

- The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1st edition, Volume 1, p. 168-69

Quite apart from Darwin's own scruples, there has been considerable work since his time showing how crude versions of selection, such as those perpetrated by eugenecists, were not only morally wrong but contrary to evolutionary theory. Nonetheless, Stein goes on:

[Y]ou know what I wonder – if they're so sure that they're right, why do they have to be so angry and defensive about it? If their position is unassailably correct, if there's no doubt whatsoever that they're right, why do they have to be so angry and attack anyone who even questions [Darwinism]? … We're just asking a question, could it be [that] Darwinism doesn't have all the answers? People are acting as if we are coming in and burning down their universities. They're going crazy. … [Elipses and brackets in original]
Let's see ... Stein accuses Darwin of fomenting Nazism and, by extension, accuses all modern biologists of seeking some sort of vicious "Social Darwinism" and then pretends not to understand the anger?

Either he is the stupidest man on Earth or the sleaziest.

I vote for sleaziest. And Stein never even explains why Christians worship donkeys!
I also vote for sleaziest because at least he can remember some odd factoids as he showed on Comedy Central. If only remembering facts counted as intelligence...
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