Home > Anti-evolution, In Their Own Words, Intelligent Design > Expelled: Now with added anti-Semitism

Expelled: Now with added anti-Semitism

April 13, 2008

expelled.jpg One of the central themes within Expelled is the equation of Darwinism with Nazism. We are treated to a somber Ben Stein visiting the death camps. Without Darwin they wouldn’t have existed goes the simplistic viewpoint. Yet, before we criticize Stein and the producers of the movie, we must acknowledge that there are scientists – biologists even – who harbor(ed) anti-Semitic views. Witness the following:

By their own will, [Jews] prefer to live a separate life, in apartheid from the surrounding communities. They form their own communes (kahals), they govern themselves by their own rules and they take care to maintain also a spatial separateness. They form the ghettos themselves, as districts in which they live together, comparable to the Chinatowns in the USA. It was only Hitler’s Germany that created the concept of forced separation, of a closed ghetto from which Jews were not allowed to leave.

Jews are not pioneers. They do not go conquering the wild world or overpowering the hazards of nature. They settle among other civilisations, preferably among the rich. They tend to migrate from poorer to richer lands.They do so always as a group, immediately forming their own separate community. (source)

So who wrote this? Hitler? Darwin? Dawkins? If I tell you that the writer was interviewed for Expelled, does that help you guess who it is?

The correct answer is Maciej Giertych – professor of dendrology, right-wing member of the (Catholic) League of Polish Families, member of the European Parliament, candidate for the presidency of Poland, signatory of the DI’s "Dissent from Darwinism" statement, and apparent young earth creationist. You can add old-school anti-Semite to that list. Jews, you see, aren’t to be trusted. They’re dishonest:

In our civilisation, a righteous person living honestly will not get in conflict with the law, even not knowing it. On the other hand, living in agreement with the letter of the law but dishonestly, derives from the pharisaic attachment to rules but not to ethics. The exploitation of rules, of imprecisely written laws, of gaps in them, of their multitude and inconsistencies, activities on the verge of legality, tax evasion techniques, all formally within the law but unethical, derive from the rabbinical casuistry, from the mentality of deriving ethics from the written law. Yet, such a swindler, acting within the law, has in fact no moral respect for any law. He cannot be compared to the Sabbath traveller sitting on a water bottle, who is also using a convenient interpretation of the Law, but he is doing this in order to fulfil the Law and therefore in full respect for it.

And all of this occurs because the Jews didn’t recognize "Jesus Christ as the awaited Messiah":

What we consider as the Jewish people today refers to a tragic community, a people that has not recognised the time of its visitation. It is those who did not recognise Jesus Christ as the awaited Messiah. Those Jews who followed Christ merged within the Christian universality. Those who rejected Him became wanderers throughout the world, among believers of other religions, jealously nurturing their chosenness, this messianic consciousness,which gives a defining mark to their civilisation.

Giertych is apparently interviewed in Expelled. This – it appears to me at least – places Stein and co in a bit of a dilemma. If Giertych is shown as an "evil anti-Semite" how do they deal with the fact that he is anti-Darwinian Christian who signed the DI’s own statement. If he is shown as an opponent of Darwinism, how do they reconcile what with his unabashed anti-Semitism. Oh, the problems of producing a documentary!

So, readers, does anyone know the role Giertych played in the movie?

Update: Here is the clip from Expelled – Giertych telling Stein that Darwinism is flawed. So he appears as an anti-Darwinian … and no mention of the anti-Semitism.

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  1. Tyler DiPietro
    April 13, 2008 at 1:25 am

    I haven’t seen the movie and I’m not aware of Giertych’s role, but I honestly don’t know how much of a difference it will make. I think “Expelled” is very much an effort to appeal to “the base” of already paranoid evangelicals who will easily swallow the notion of a conspiracy out to get them. The bits about Darwin causing the Holocaust are probably not primarily an ahistorical commentary but a subtle way of saying “this could happen to you, science is out to get you.” The alignment of the portrayal with reality is of little concern.
    It’s something we have to worry about. As the Republican Party quite aptly demonstrated, relentlessly appealing to the lowest common denominator can be quite effective in generating large amounts of political capital.

  2. Colugo
    April 13, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Tyler, I see your point, but I think this is potentially devastating for Expelled. Ben Stein, David Berlinki, and Gerald Schroeder, prominently featured in the movie are Jewish IDists. Their presence is used to highlight that ID is not just for Christian fundamentalists. In addition, in interviews Stein has been harping on the “Darwinism led to genocide of the Jews” theme. Maybe many fundamentalist evangelicals won’t care, but fence-sitters might take notice of this kind of antisemitism within Expelled’s approved IDist camp.
    Amusingly, Giertych has an evolutionist counterpart – Kevin B. MacDonald.
    From an antisemitic website:
    http://www.alor.org/Volume43/Vol43No14.htm
    “CIVILISATIONS AT WAR IN EUROPE
    by Peter Ewer
    There seems to be something of a flood of controversial books criticising the Jews and Jewish actions, past and present. In Poland, for example, a right-wing member of the Polish European Parliament, Maciej Giertych has published “Civilisation at War in Europe”.
    Giertych believes that Europe should be the basis of only one civilisation, a Christian one, which is incompatible, he believes, with a Torah-based civilisation of Jews. These ideas are based on the works of the Polish philosopher Feliks Koneczny (1862-1940) who wrote in the 1930’s on the Jewish question. Giertych, who is a professor of biology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, advances a thesis similar to that of Professor Kevin MacDonald in his books on the Jews, including “The Culture of Critique”. (Available from all League Book Services).
    Giertycch says:
    “It is a civilisation of programmed separateness, of programmed differentiation from the surrounding communities.” He also says: “The issues that differentiate civilisations are mutually exclusive. Civilisations will compete with each other and in a single society only one will eventually win.” Needless to say, that remark and others received condemnation from Jewish groups throughout Europe.”

  3. John Lynch
    April 13, 2008 at 2:34 am

    @ Colugo
    MacDonald is a jackass, imho. But yes, it only goes to show that drawing simple lines (as Expelled does) is, eh, simplistic.

  4. Colugo
    April 13, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Have you read John Hartung on Jews – and his positive evaluation of MacDonald’s work? Dawkins has cited Hartung’s analysis of Judaism.
    Back to Expelled: Giertych-Expelled needs to be publicized; it illustrates ongoing non-Darwinist antisemitism and helps neutralize the grotesquely simplistic, distorted, context-deficient – that is, crap – argument that “Darwinism leads to Auschwitz.”
    Clearly, antisemitism is independent of evolution vs creationism, theism vs atheism, left vs right.
    As I wrote on a Pharyngula thread:
    “Even if we were to humor the Expelled crew and blame eugenics solely on Darwinism (I don’t) that still would fail to explain virulent antisemitism since, as Kevles notes, American eugenicists were generally opposed to the Nuremberg Laws.”

  5. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    April 13, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Have you read John Hartung on Jews – and his positive evaluation of MacDonald’s work? Dawkins has cited Hartung’s analysis of Judaism.

    Actually, both MacDonald and Dawkins has been advising Hartung (And so has numerous others such as Chomsky, Zimmerman and Ridley). I assume that is why Dawkins knows about it.

  6. Colugo
    April 13, 2008 at 4:12 am

    Maciej Giertych’s praise for Franco
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5151504.stm
    “It’s not often you hear a paean of praise to the Spanish fascist dictator General Franco these days. And you certainly don’t expect to hear it in the European Parliament. So members were shocked when Polish MEP Maciej Giertych got to his feet. He was speaking … to mark the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish civil war …
    [Mr Giertych] was a presidential candidate and his party [Liga Polskich Rodzin] is a coalition partner in the Polish government. His son doubles as deputy prime minister and education minister.
    This is what Giertych senior said: “… The presence of such people in European politics as Franco guaranteed the maintenance of traditional values in Europe and we lack such statesmen today. Christian Europe is losing against atheistic socialists today and this has to change.””
    Dawkins on Judaism
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/09/08/do0809.xml
    “”Christians seldom realise,” Professor Dawkins declares, that “much of the moral consideration for others which is apparently promoted by both the Old and New Testament was originally intended to apply only to a narrowly defined in-group. ‘Love they neighbour’ didn’t mean what we now think it means. It meant only ‘Love another Jew’.”
    This remarkable claim is based on an article by an American writer, John Hartung, an associate professor of anaesthesiology, published in Skeptic in 1995. Professor Hartung relies on a text in Leviticus (chapter 19, verse 18): “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
    This suggests to Professor Hartung that the Jews of old were commanded only to love “the sons of your own people”. Professor Dawkins is apparently convinced that the Ten Commandments prohibit theft, adultery, murder, and so on, only when other Jews are the victims.
    The funny thing is that Professor Dawkins would not have to go very far to discover otherwise. In that same chapter 19 of the book of Leviticus (verse 33), it says: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien … You shall love the alien as yourself.””

  7. dave
    April 13, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Interesting comments on that Telegraph story, notably “a.” making the point that the Jewish assumption that “thy neighbour” meant only fellow Jews was the status quo which Jesus challenged with the story of the Good Samaritan, and;
    “Dawkins assertions have been backed up by Jewish religious scholars as well, notably in many reference made in “The Weight of 3000 Years” by Israel Shahak.”
    “The verse from Leviticus remains interesting and mostly ignored by the devout (check out how internal Israeli Palestinians are treated, let alone the ones in the occupied territories) but still the reference to it comes up a little short. In reference to the entire rule book that is Leviticus, it’s not such a lovey-dovey rule. According to that book, the devout should burn rape victims, stone blasphemers, kill people for adultery, kills homosexuals and so on. Not a fun book. And people tend to not apply most these rules, or have heavily qualified them in each of the modern day monotheistic faiths. Still the use of the term alien is very narrowly defined. It’s the alien that “resides with you” that you must treat as a neighbor, which is in the context of an assimilated population.”

  8. April 13, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Colugo, Hector Avalos pointed to the same passage in Leviticus in his book Fighting Words as well as to the Koran’s treatment and form of love to infidels, and even the passages in The Nude Testament which are purported to show tolerance and love towards non-adherents are shown to contain several caveats. Dawkins, in that passage you cite, was not referring to Jews but to Judaism. I don’t think it is splitting hairs to point out that there is a huge difference between what Dawkins wrote and what Giertych wrote.
    Dawkins is attacking the religion, Giertych is attacking the whole character of the Jews as a cultural entity.

  9. Ron Okimoto
    April 13, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Stein could have gone around the USA and interviewed the current Nazis. Groups like the Aryan Nation, Skin head, neo Nazis, spin offs like the militia might not have even been willing to talk to Stein (because he is a Jew). As far as I can figure these groups are predominantly fundamentalist Christian. The militia groups around here seem to have their own weird theology about God wanting them to eliminate all the “mud” people. These guys seem to be YEC in their other beliefs, beats me if they have a set theology in that regard.

  10. Frank J
    April 13, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I am not defending Giertych in the least, either on his hideous anti-Semitism or his gross misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of science. But the “apparent YEC” label may be undeserved. The link is to a 1995 article in which he parrots most of the generic anti-evolution canards, with only a few words of incredulity about “dating techniques.” So even if his position hasn’t changed in 13 years, he could still be an OEC, possibly even of the “man as old as coal” variety.
    A good bet is that, by now he is clued in to the “don’t ask, don’t tell what the designer did, when or how” approach. But I’d like to see his more recent babbling to be sure.

  11. Frank J
    April 13, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Ron,
    Normally I would not advocate stooping to their level, but If “Expelled” does well, it would behoove some science defenders to make a sensationalist “answer” documetary showing how today’s Nazis, Arayns, skinheads, etc. are mostly anti-evolutionists. I would downplay the “Christian” and YEC parts because most people are sympathetic to both (many see YEC as an innocent belief, much like that of fairy tales). Of course it should be made clear that, just because Nazi’s et al are anti-evolution, it does not follow that anti-evolution leads to Nazism, etc.
    Nor would I advocate stooping to the misrepresentation (misleading interviewees into thinking that “Expelled” was actually “Crossroads” that gave “equal time” to pro-science) or unconscionable editing (it probably won’t be needed anyway, given the radical views of the interviewees). But if there is an “answer” documentary that is otherwise similar in format to “Expelled,” “Expelled” advocates would have to advocate it too, or publicly admit that they really do not want “equal time” for anything that criticizes their propaganda. Indeed that they would censor any substantive criticism.

  12. keith
    April 13, 2008 at 9:15 am

    The legal threats concerning the film, the hyperbolic posts, this dishonest analysis of one man’s statements (QUOTE MINING OUT OF CONTEXT BY AN EVOLANDER…OH NO NOT POSSIBLE) and every sort of dirty little tactic On the web and in favored venues in the media……………too little too late evolanders !!!!!!!!
    How did all those so called evolander super smart people manage to give for a few bucks anough ammo to totally discredit their neo-nazi, dogmatic pseudoscience and directly into the hands of the people capable of giving it to the American public in clear uncertain terms through a medium that is cheap and availbale?
    Answer..start by reading about all your heros in “Intelligent Morons” and then it all becomes clear.
    April 18th —The New Independence Day

  13. B.B
    April 13, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Stein could have gone around the USA and interviewed the current Nazis. Groups like the Aryan Nation, Skin head, neo Nazis, spin offs like the militia might not have even been willing to talk to Stein (because he is a Jew). As far as I can figure these groups are predominantly fundamentalist Christian. The militia groups around here seem to have their own weird theology about God wanting them to eliminate all the “mud” people. These guys seem to be YEC in their other beliefs, beats me if they have a set theology in that regard.
    Although they despise the term, the most apt word for describing the religious beliefs of the modern American white racial separatist movement would be “diverse”. You have the British Israelist Christians (Christian Identity mostly), Neo-pagans (Odinists mostly), Cosmotheists (a form of panentheism created by National Alliance founder, William Luther Pierce), the World Church of the Creator (they are atheistic, but still consider themselves religious), Esoteric Hitlerists (mostly based on the works of Savitri Devi and Miguel Serrano) and yes, even a few completely non-religious individuals (such as founder of the American Nazi Party, George Lincoln Rockwell).

  14. Nick Gotts
    April 13, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Giertych is not only an anti-semite, but in his own small way a holocaust denier. To be specific, he denies that Gentile Poles carried out the Jedwabne pogrom of 1941, in which several hundred Polish Jews were murdered, many being burned alive, despite convincing historical evidence to the contrary. When Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, participated in a commemoration ceremony at Jedwanbe in July 2001, Giertych accused him of bowing to Jewish interest groups. He has denounced Nazism, but is a great admirer of Franco, making a speech on this theme in the European Parliament.

  15. windy
    April 13, 2008 at 10:00 am

    They tend to migrate from poorer to richer lands.
    Shocker!! I can’t imagine any other ethnic group doing something like that. Say, the Poles. :D

  16. Nick Gotts
    April 13, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Clearly, antisemitism is independent of evolution vs creationism, theism vs atheism, left vs right. – Colugo

    Quite so. In dealing with lying rubbish like “Expelled”, we should not attempt to paper over the faults of those on our own “side”. As a socialist, atheist (and incidentally non-Jewish) evolutionist, I admit that some holders of all these beliefs have been and are anti-semitic (and also some have been and are racist, sexist, etc.). I have a brilliant little book entitled “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Anti-Semitic”, by Steve Cohen (1984), published by Beyond the Pale Collective ISBN 0 9509636 0 7. Cohen, a Jewish, anti-Zionist and Marxist, concentrates on the British left, but goes well beyond that.

  17. Boosterz
    April 13, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I think the guy that left comment #12 needs to stop doing drugs before posting to the internet. I’m sure everything in it made perfect sense to him at the time, but if he goes back and reads it sober he’s going to see what a disjointed rambling mess it is.

  18. Dutch Delight
    April 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I think Keith is the type of person Sinclair Lewis warned about.
    “When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

  19. April 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Between Giertych saying in Creation magazine that evolution is the same as “macroevolution,” which requires the creation of new “genetic information” that artificial selection can’t produce and Dr. Egnor saying that artificial selection is “intelligent design”:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/03/mr_dunfords_knot.html
    … that means that the Nazis, who were intelligent agents pursuing a teleological program to improve the “Aryan race” by artificial selection, were actually practicing intelligent design!
    Intelligent Design is evil!

  20. April 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    If he is shown as an opponent of Darwinism, how do they reconcile what with his unabashed anti-Semitism. Oh, the problems of producing a documentary!
    I don’t think it’s that serious a problem. If Ben Stein had qualms about being linked with anti-semites before now, he wouldn’t have been Nixon’s speechwriter. ;-)

  21. Ron Okimoto
    April 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Frank and BB:
    The point is that the current Nazis are not using “Darwinism.” Not only that, but if you had to pick what they are using as an excuse it would be the same things that they used before Darwin ever wrote his book. This type of behavior is a human foible. The type of people that indulge in it will use anything available to push their agenda. Obviously Geirtych isn’t using Darwinism to fuel his anti-semitism, and neither are the majority of modern Nazis in the US.

  22. Colugo
    April 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Degrees of separation: Creationist website Access Research Network (ARN) links directly to Giertych’s home page – which features his antisemitic ‘Civilisations At War.’
    http://www.arn.org/expelled/
    Ron Okimoto: “the current Nazis are not using “Darwinism.””
    Actually, some them are. I have seen discussion of evolutionary biology, including reference to Darwin, on White Nationalist discussion boards. There is a fringe of scientific racists that neo-Nazis and other white supremacists cite and quote. Some Nazi scientists, such as Hans Gunther, became important figures in post-WWII scientific racist circles. At American Renaissance conferences, scientific racists like psychologist JP Rushton meet with neofascists like Nick Griffin of the BNP. As mentioned above, today’s neofascists and White Nationalists, like their predecessors, have a variety of religious and pseudo-scientific beliefs.
    Israel Shahak, incidentally, is repeatedly cited by neo-Nazis and other antisemites. There are considerable doubts about the quality of Shahak’s scholarship.
    Dawkins is a little naive. However, Hartung is not just interested in his interpretation of the belief system of ancient Hebrews as a purely historical phenomenon but more importantly its putative relevance for understanding the Jewish people today.

  23. Friend Fruit
    April 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    This – it appears to me at least – places Stein and co in a bit of a dilemma.

    No, that would only lead them into a dilemma if they wee intellectually honest.

  24. Bad
    April 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    From what I understand, the clip with him is not in the final cut of the film.

  25. jeh
    April 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    April 18th —The New Independence Day
    Yes, the beginning of an anti-science pogrom in America. Darwinists forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” and carted off in rail cars to concentration camps to effect an final solution. Only then will ev-fundy Christians be truly free. Is this what you have in mind, old man?

  26. Dean Wentworth
    April 13, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Even if ironclad evidence indicated that accepting evolution drove people to rape, murder, and eat their own children, how would that in any way constitute a challenge to evolution’s scientific validity? Am I missing something?

  27. Brad
    April 14, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I’m pretty sure that specific clip was not in the screening I saw, but he is definitely interviewed in the movie. Either way, there certainly was not any mention of his antisemitism or even his political career. He was simply presented as “PhD”, “Dr”, or something to that effect. I can’t remember exactly. There was no attempt to cite qualifications of any of the interviewees.

  28. April 14, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Maciej Giertych comments on the Jews of today about rejecting Christ as the Messiah is a not racist comment, but rather someone’s spiritual condition. Maciej Giertych is not really a true Christian but a “professing one”. Catholicism like Pope XII, and the concordat, played a part with Hitler politics and tactics as well. I’m surprised the fundamentalist atheists didn’t bring it up in particular instead they kinda beat around the bush about it from what I seen. Perhaps some did, the internet is huge.
    The movie “Expelled” made the connection between Nazism and Darwinism because evolution deems mankind on the same level as animals. One species evolved better than another, thus the racist concept. Hitler believed the races were unequal (just like the species in evolution). So he set out to eliminate heretics and build a race of his own. Darwinism didn’t invent “racism” as cultural rivals have always been a problem. Darwinism didn’t force anyone to kill Jews as Hitler did, a creationist position always has been the source for racism is man’s sin.

  29. April 14, 2008 at 2:36 am

    Maciej Giertych is a member of the League of Polish Families, and his son, Roman Giertych, heads the party. The LPF organises nasty anti-gay demonstrations, but in the USA is promoted by sites like WND as a “pro-family” organisation. Roman is also the honorary chair of the “All Polish Youth”, a neo-Nazi group, although when a video emerged of its Nazi-flag wearing Roman affected to be shocked. The video also showed Maciej’s assistant Leokadia Zwiazek enthusiastically taking part, and he was forced to dismss her. I have more here.

  30. John Miller
    April 14, 2008 at 11:23 am

    The flip side of whether Stein and co. knew that Giertych is a raving anti-Semite [how could they not know?] is whether Giertych realized Stein is a Member of the Tribe. Did Giertych hold his nose and count the interview as a cost of dealing with the “Jewish controlled media,” did he count it as an oppurtunity to witness to a member of “a tragic community,” or is Ben Stein on Giertych’s personal list of good Jews?

  31. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    April 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    The funny thing is that Professor Dawkins would not have to go very far to discover otherwise. In that same chapter 19 of the book of Leviticus (verse 33), it says: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien … You shall love the alien as yourself.””

    My intention was never to defend Dawkins or others theological reading which doesn’t interest me in the least, I was assuming we were discussing the evolution of in-group morality and I was pointing out the connections between the authors.
    And this is apparently an inconsequential bit in a long critique of Dawkins’ on the problem with dogmatic moral attitudes vs a changing Zeitgeist.
    But as it is obvious from a glance that Howse’s article is wrong on this point, it should be pointed out: Hartung is interpreting the dogma from the assumed background of an isolated period (in a desert). And if you don’t buy that part of the text it all falls down anyway.

  32. bmkmd
    April 14, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    John Hartung is not accidently included in this discussion of a Polish Anti-Semite, Maciej Giertych. He’s been a writer and editor of the “Palistine Times.”
    Hartung is a brilliant Anesthesiologist, with success4es in many endeavors in life, but he seems to have a special like for questioning Jewish morality, and Christianity on it’s tail. In group/out group morality is noticed and interpreted repeatedly with detailed references and discussions of biblical narrowmindedness and violent application of laws. “Strangely” he has no such complaints about Islamists nor Arabs.
    Be warned, as Richard Dawkins should be. Hartung, though brilliant, and a profound Skeptic, has very strange bedfellows. He writes for and even edited a newsletter, Palistine Times.” There is no question of his dislike for Jews and his protective denial/ignorance of Arab and Islamist tribalism.
    One only has to read a review of our trouble in Iraq out of ignorance of tribal morality by a retired Army officer, Lt. Col.(P) Craig T.Trebilcock, to capture the in group/out group quality of morality and corruption in Muslim, and especially, Arab communities and culture. But Hartung has not one word to say in Skeptic magaizne nor his web site on the pervasiveness of tribal identities and preferences as they effect morality in all people. Only the Jews and some Christians who took choseness and went with it get his scrutiny.
    See for yourself. Read Lt. Col.(P) Craig T.Trebilcock article about tribalism (in group/out group morality) in Iraq, March 12, 2007
    http://velvelonnationalaffairs.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html
    Then read Hartung’s “love Thy Neigbor as your self, the Evolution of in group morality” http://strugglesforexistence.com/?p=article_p&id=13
    For a fellow with lots of first hand knowledge of Arab culture as an editor of Palestine Times, Hartung never once mentions the universal moral problem with in group/out group morality as seen in all people, only about Jewish duplicity…not one word about Islam, not one word about Arabs. He obviously never read the Lt. Col.(P) Craig T.Trebilcock’s article about it.
    He’s a strange bedfellow for Dawkins, even if brilliant. He’s not a streange bedfellow for Maciej Giertych.

  33. Colugo
    April 15, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I still have serious issues with Hartung, but to his credit he criticized the third book in MacDonald’s trilogy on Jews – after praising the first one and defending him in Slate.
    2007 article on MacDonald by Heidi Beirich
    http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=1364
    “John Hartung, the associate editor of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and an associate professor of anesthesiology at the State University of New York, called MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique “quite disturbing, seriously misinformed about evolutionary genetics, and suffering from a huge blind spot about the nature of Christianity.””
    On the other hand, Hartung is apparently still focused on the allegedly unique malevolence of Judeo-Christianity but giving a pass to other religions.

  34. harmonic
    April 19, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Just saw the movie.
    Unsavory views on the part of the Polish fellow not withstanding, and hyper-fundamentalist “Christian” views of some USA anti-semites notwithstanding, it is pretty undeniable that Darwinism was the inspiration of the eugenics movement (read THEM, not Stein) and that Hitler was inspired by the eugenics movement.
    And, sadly, eugenics was pretty mainstream “science” in its time.
    I would be interested in hearing reasons why we should think that does not matter.
    As it happens, I think Stein misused his sources in another connection: he presents McGrath as a seeming proponent of ID (without clearly saying so, it’s just an implication), when in fact McGrath is not, though he is a very prominent theist AND darwinist. As is Francis Collins, for that matter, who was not in the movie, another very prominent scientist AND theist, who is also a darwinist.
    And you have to admit: it was just plain funny to hear Dawkins say that we have no idea how life began, and maybe we were seeded by super-advanced aliens… as if that would explain anything, ultimately, even if it were true.

  35. Colugo
    April 20, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    harmonic: Let John Derbyshire explain.
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NzkzMzk3OGJkNjJkM2YyZjJjYjlkMzM5NjBjY2FmZDQ=
    “As so often with creationist material, I’m not sure what the point is. Darwin’s great contribution to human knowledge, his theory of the origin of species, is either true, or it’s not. … It is a true fact that E = mc2, and the Iranians are right at this moment using that true fact to construct nuclear weapons. If they succeed, and use their weapons for horrible purposes, will that invalidate the Special Theory of Relativity?”
    As for Dawkins and space aliens, let’s see if I can get through to you. Let’s say for the sake of argument that life on earth was “intelligently designed” by space aliens. That cannot be a complete explanation because it doesn’t explain where the space aliens came from. Likewise with God as intelligent designer. Where did God, who must be more complex and awesome than His creation, come from? Did he evolve from a succession of lesser Gods, going all the way back to a mindless, powerless primordial proto-God? Was he created by a more powerful uber-God, who was created by an even mightier God, in a chain of gods creating gods? The point is, Intelligent Design is not a satisfactory explanation. It’s merely adding an unparsimonious step (the intelligent designer). Sure, we could just assume an intelligent designer. We could assume all kinds of fanciful things, but that’s not science.

  36. harmonicminer
    April 20, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks colugo
    What matters about Darwinism and its uses by atheists is that eugenics IS a logical outcome of it. If we detach human life from an intrinsic value that is more than the genes (splutter all you like… but at the end, any atheist’s attempt to tell me that I should not murder comes off as more mystical than the Dalai Lama), we have no reason not to improve human life by getting rid of the weak breeders.
    Derbyshire’s analogy would only make sense if there were some natural connection between believing that E=MC2 and wanting to blow up Israel. There is not.
    There IS a natural connection between being a Darwinist AND an atheist (I do not automatically conflate the two, although Darwinist atheists DO) and devaluing human life, especially the lives of the most vulnerable among us. It appears to take special effort and insight to be a thorough-going Darwinist and also to be a theist… which may be why there are so few of them making noise in public about it.
    The modern horror of the natural result of eugenic thought is not at the bad philosophy, but at the logical outcome OF the bad philosophy. If you think your consciousness is an accident of chemical reactions and electrical signals, then you don’t think it means much… and neither does anyone else’s. Eugenics is terrifying precisely because it is self-consistent from its founding principles, which include Darwinism and atheism.
    Please understand, I’m not saying that all atheists and Darwinists will believe in the eugenics, or live that way. But their choice to live and believe differently gets no support from their presuppositions about the nature of humanity and universe. It’s a bit like observing that all Muslims do not believe in religious conquest, yet will say they believe the Koren and the Hadith. They are “cultural” Muslims, and they are the majority of Muslims by far, yet cannot really find grounds for their own perspectives on how to live inside their religious tradition, about which they are “moderate”.
    We can only hope that the majority of Darwinist-atheists stay “moderate”, and in the meantime encourage the growth of the Darwinist-THEIST sector.
    Re: the super-advanced aliens. You appear not to understand that modern physics believes that TIME ITSELF began at the Big Bang (well, shortly after), and so any causative agent for the Big Bang (that would be GOD) is outside THAT timestream completely (there may be others, who knows? and they may be bidirectional, so that our sense of causation does not even exist in them), so that your amusing “uber-God/proto-God” conundrum does not apply. If God is by definition the only uncaused thing, then we need not try to figure out who/what caused God…. indeed, it is a silly question.
    And calling the only uncaused thing GOD is not a whit less scientific than referring to super advanced aliens as the giver of life. What is amusing in this: it is possible to be a fine scientist, but a really lousy philosopher. I know, some scientists sneer at philosophy, but that shows how little most of them know about the development of their own discipline and its intellectual underpinnings. I wish they would all read Popper and Kuhn, but most know the names, and that’s about it.
    Let me suggest you read these two books:
    The Dawkins Delusion by Alister McGrath
    (If you haven’t read The God Delusion by Dawkins, read it first, then the Dawkins Delusion by McGrath.)
    The Language of God by Francis Collins
    These are two heavyweight intellectuals, one a theologian with a doctorate in molecular biology, the other the director of the human genome project.
    BTW, just so you know: I sent Ben Stein an email criticizing distortions and misrepresentations in his movie, including implying that McGrath is a ID fan (he isn’t), and that Sternberger lost his job at the Smithsonian (he never had one), etc.

  37. Colugo
    April 21, 2008 at 4:20 am

    “If you think your consciousness is an accident of chemical reactions and electrical signals, then you don’t think it means much… and neither does anyone else’s.”
    Our lives are meaningless and worthless unless there is an omnipotent invisible entity behind it all? Nonsense. Isn’t the universe, the earth, the biota, people, our minds, all awe-inspiring – indeed precious – without recourse to some undetectable anthropomorphized cosmic power?
    I can anticipate your response: Where does the capacity for awe come from – God? No need to invoke that hypothetical being. There is a large literature on the evolution, both biological and cultural, of morality, ethics, aesthetics etc.
    “And calling the only uncaused thing GOD is not a whit less scientific than referring to super advanced aliens as the giver of life.”
    The difference is that Dawkins brought up the fanciful hypothetical in order to illustrate a point, while you seem to take the God hypothesis quite seriously.
    Incidentally, contemporary physicists are perfectly comfortable discussing periods before the big bang. (e.g. Cyclical cosmological theory etc.)

  38. harmonicminer
    April 21, 2008 at 10:04 am

    “Incidentally, contemporary physicists are perfectly comfortable discussing periods before the big bang. (e.g. Cyclical cosmological theory etc.)”
    Proving beyond doubt that scientists have more faith in the absolutely unknowable than theists.
    “Our lives are meaningless and worthless unless there is an omnipotent invisible entity behind it all? Nonsense. Isn’t the universe, the earth, the biota, people, our minds, all awe-inspiring – indeed precious – without recourse to some undetectable anthropomorphized cosmic power?”
    Hmm.. didn’t I mention that without God the atheists get more mystical than the Dalai Lama? IN any case: why should I value the life of a mentally defective person, obviously one of nature’s mistakes, with the IQ of, say, a semi-smart chimp? What value? Why should I care? Why should I risk my life, put up my money, anything at all that I find uncomfortable or unpleasant, to deal with such a person, or support them?
    I know the answer to this. Atheists don’t, except by doing mystical intellectual backflips and degenerating into secondary considerations. Peter Singer is intellectually consistent, at least… even if he supports the evil conclusions he reaches with considerable cheer.
    On what grounds can an atheist claim that YOUR life is worth no more than that of a mental defective?
    Theists see EACH life as worthwhile. Atheists tend to descend into discussions of “life” and “intelligence” and “beauty” in the abstract, but are quite intellectually powerless to tell me why I should not quietly arrange the disappearance of any given individual who is a nuisance to me.
    And BTW: it is not about feelings of awe, appropriate though they are. It is about specific perspectives that we believe to be true, out of which flow moral demands. You can feel awe at a rock or a solar system. Pantheism (unconsciously practiced by many supposedly atheistic scientists) is adequate for that. It takes THEISM to have a moral ground that is up to the job of providing life guidance for human beings, and individual human lives.
    BTW… there was nothing in Dawkin’s presentation to indicate he thought the super-advanced alien hypothesis was a bit fanciful. Which is good, since some serious scientists are close to giving up to, and propose panspermia… which is, of course, just another way to kick the can down the road.

  39. Dean Wenworth
    April 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    “Theists see EACH life as worthwhile.” Maybe so, but given the number of pregnancies that end in miscarriage, the god theists believe in sure doesn’t. Not much of a role model, is he?

  40. harmonicminer
    April 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Dean, the problem of pain and suffering is real. It is also not unanswerable. If you’re serious about exploring it, as opposed to zipping off one-liners, start with C.S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”, and then move on to “Mere Christianity”. Or you can reverse the order. The point will be made.
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-C-S-Lewis-Signature-Classics/dp/0061208493/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208815880&sr=8-1
    From an atheistic point of view, the problem of GOOD is far more serious, and undermines the entire enterprise, in fact.
    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/nicholas_t_wright/2006/12/reading_the_comments_on_this.html
    In the meantime: you wouldn’t really rather live in a universe where God controlled each and every detail, would you?

  41. pj
    April 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

    John,
    Had you seen Expelled when you wrote this post? The reason I ask is that there is someone over on EvolutionBlog insisting that you must not have because you use the phrase “Giertych is apparently interviewed in Expelled.”

  42. John Lynch
    April 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    @ PJ
    I hadn’t seen the movie (I was prevented from doing so) but watched the clip to the Giertych interview online (it’s linked above). It is – to the best of my knowledge – either still in the final cut or on the supplemental DVD that was being distributed at the advance screenings.

  43. April 27, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Wow, great detective from that person in the evolution blog. That’s hard to do with just a phrase unless he was aware of the interview clip as well.

  44. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    April 30, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    FWIW, catching up on old threads:

    Be warned, as Richard Dawkins should be.

    Sure, science is only as good as the latest test. But for example Dawkins isn’t particularly centering on criticism of Abrahamic religions, but for the cultural context and his personal expertice.

    I’m not saying that all atheists and Darwinists will believe in the eugenics, or live that way. But their choice to live and believe differently gets no support from their presuppositions about the nature of humanity and universe.

    First, atheists doesn’t need to have presuppositions – atheism is also a natural conclusion. Second, there is ample support for evolved morality such as altruism.

    You appear not to understand that modern physics believes that TIME ITSELF began at the Big Bang (well, shortly after), and so any causative agent for the Big Bang (that would be GOD) is outside THAT timestream

    Causality as we know it doesn’t survive singularities, as spacetime doesn’t. But worldlines may survive. In any case, there is certainly reasons behind any form of states or regularities, that we know must occur from Ramsey theory.

    Which is good, since some serious scientists are close to giving up to, and propose panspermia… which is, of course, just another way to kick the can down the road.

    Most anything is possible. But not probable. Those who suggests panspermia can’t give any better substantiated likelihoods than others.

  45. July 10, 2008 at 3:16 am

    “First, atheists doesn’t need to have presuppositions – atheism is also a natural conclusion. Second, there is ample support for evolved morality such as altruism.”

    Sorry, but this is just naive. EVERYTHING requires presuppositions, and everyone has them, including those who see themselves as paragons of intellectual objectivity. If they don’t know what those presuppositions ARE, so much the worse for their ability to think clearly, separate fact from opinion, etc.
    In any case, “evolved altruism” does not provide any reason that I should put up with YOU if I find you annoying, and can get away with your homicide, especially if you are outside my immediate “survival community”. I do not know of any non-theist ethical theory that gives a good reason not to murder humans we don’t need or want, without getting WAY more mystical and touchy-feely than any theist.

    “Those who suggests panspermia can’t give any better substantiated likelihoods than others.”

    You miss the point. No one has any useful scientific theory about how life began, merely a great certainty about how it didn’t happen.

    “But worldlines may survive. In any case, there is certainly reasons behind any form of states or regularities, that we know must occur from Ramsey theory.”

    This is surely more a statement of faith than the Nicene creed, and about as scientifically verifiable.

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