Friday, January 02, 2009


New Year, Old Crap

One Bruce Walker, a vanity press "author" (if this is any guide, deservedly so), is ushering in the infant year with another attempt to connect, by the feeblest of threads, eugenics and the Holocaust to ... you guessed it! ... "Darwinism." Apparently, someone forgot to diaper the baby.

A tad better than most of the peddlers of this garbage, Mr. Walker at least allows that there is a difference between "Darwinism" (that he defines as: "the sinister notion that natural selection made God superfluous – liberat[ing] man from his obligation to treat fellow men as special creatures in a divinely ordered universe") is "not the Theory of Evolution, per se."

Not so strangely, he proceeds to make his case by presenting "evidence" that sexual immorality became rampant at the same time as the rise of the eugenics movement. I say it is not surprising because much of the rhetoric of the religious right is tied up in sexuality, from their opposition to abortion to their attempt to block the vaccine for human papilloma virus. Of course, from the standpoint of a logical argument, it makes no sense at all. The way it goes is this:

The same German people who gave Hitler power, long before that fatal step, repudiated all those values associated with the sacredness of human life, all those Judeo-Christian morals connected to the idea of man as made in the image of God, all those divisions of man from beast. It was an easy step from the irreligious character of pre-Nazi Germany to The Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring.

Funny how the even less Christian Swedes haven't had a Holocaust by now and the easygoing Danes actually performed a national rescue of Jews out from under Hitler's nose.

Mr. Walker actually encompasses the refutation of his claim that the Holocaust can be laid at Darwin's door in his own screed, but is unusually dense in overlooking the fact:

The Nazis moved, quite logically, along the path of improving the stock of the human race. In his 1941 book, Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi, Gregor Ziemer describes the great care given to the right stock of boys and girls to breed and the forced sterilization of the wrong stock of boys and girls. This was more than simply Nazi policy: It was the almost inevitable consequence of a German people which had long since abandoned all faith in God.

Last I heard, stock breeding preceded Darwin by a few years and when, exactly, did the German people abandon faith, much less do so based on Darwin's theory? There is no actual connection to be found in Mr. Walker's article between Darwin and whatever loss of faith some Germans might have had, except the exceedingly vague catch-all that Germans no longer recognized the "divisions of man from beast." You might want to listen to far right rhetoric about Muslims to compare.

Which brings us to the part that caught my eye:

Where are we today? Abortion is so commonplace in the civilized world that only something like postnatal infanticide faintly stirs our conscience. Assisted suicide, human cloning, and every attainable gap which once separated us from the rest of Creation has been breached with delight. We are part of the earth, part of the Animal Kingdom, part of Mother Earth so worshipped by the Nazis.

So those Wehrmacht belt buckles didn't read Gott mit uns, they read Muttererde mit uns?

Dave S. said...

To say the German people abandoned faith shows a gross lack of knowledge of history. Not only the German people, but many in the Nazi leadership maintained faith throughout. Hitler certainly tangled with the established churches over power (as did Martin Luther), but he never lost his belief in Providence. He tried, but failed, to establish a Nazi Christian church.
I said this before but it is strange how some conservatives, particularly the religious right, who supposedly revere tradition, are so willing to make "history" up to support their ideology.
Dave S. said...

Yes John. Just look at how they revere the 'traditional' definition of marriage and yet have no problem at all in redefining 'science' to suit them. The reverence for absolutism melts away when its more convenient not to adhere to it. Then, even the most hoary post-modernist relativistic notions become acceptable.
Maybe Walker is trying to ride the wave of popularity generated by Expelled. Hope he can swim.
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