No Darwin, no Hitler

Given my pre-occupation with it, I’m trying not to wear readers out by posting too much on Darwinism, but the subject is in the air, with Ben Stein’s documentary defending intelligent design coming out this weekend. David Klinghoffer at NRO discusses one of the themes of Stein’s film: the profound roots of Hitlerism in Darwinism. The connection is seen in Darwin’s statement in The Descent of Man: “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”

Isn’t it amazing how someone could write something like that, and yet be a god of liberalism, while smaller folk who make the most innocuous comments, like the Barack Obama delegate who told the children next door to quit playing in a tree like monkeys, are deprived of their jobs, their reputations, their livelihoods? Remember the government employee who said we should not be “niggardly,” and was fired?

- end of initial entry -

Tim W. writes:

A couple of years ago I sent you an e-mail discussing how liberals differentiate between separate aspects of Darwinian evolution, namely random mutation and natural selection. Liberals like evolution via random chance because it eliminates God from the equation, fits in with their relativistic views, and can be used as an analogy to their assertions that we are progressing to some higher plane of utopian existence. They don’t care much for natural selection. They realize it’s a necessity, but they don’t like it and so they downplay it and even make ludicrous statements about it.

Thus, Stephen Jay Gould wrote an essay claiming that human equality is a contingent fact of history. How survival of the fittest, random mutations, and adaptations to different environments can produce equality is really unexplainable. His own argument seemed to be that the human race could have subdivided into two or more species which are so far apart they could no longer mate with each other, but since that didn’t happen we must all be equal and race must be irrelevant.

As for Darwin’s quotes on race, liberals simply pretend they don’t exist or excuse them as being the popular views of his time which we, in a more enlightened era, know not to be true. Just an honest mistake on Darwin’s part which doesn’t detract from the overall truthfulness of his works.

George L. writes:

While you are on the subject of Darwinism and evolution, I want to point out, despite the Left’s present support love affair with Darwinism, that the theory of evolution and racial liberalism are incompatable with each other.

Darwinism—and the sciences which revolve around Darwinian theory, such as the study of genetics—is actually deadly to radical egalitarianism because you cannot have equality of outcome without substantial equality of inherent ability.

Evolutionary theory explodes the idea that the races are equal in terms of cognitive and behavioral capabilities: If the theory of evolution is correct, then it is completely impossible for the races to have developed the same behavioral and intellectual abilities because the races have been under different selective pressures for at least 50,000 years when man first came out of Africa.

Left-liberals have constructed their entire ruling ideology and ruling authority around the idea that the races are not merely equal morally and spiritually, but also equal in terms of inherent mental capacity. Of course, this is not true, and it is only a matter of time before geneticists find the genes related to cognitive and behavioral functions and confirm that those genes are far from being race neutral (James Watson estimates that the genes which influence intelligence will be found in 10 years or so).

In spite of present liberal approval of evolutionary theory, both Darwinian science and racial liberalism cannot coexist in the rapidly approaching age of the genome; one idea must eventually nullify the other as a fundamental truth of society.

In the long term, Darwinism could become a threat to civilization if left-liberalism collapses as our ruling ideology and is replaced with a violent genetic Darwinist regime that might promote such things as non-voluntary Eugenics, and so on.

That said, since Darwinism is actually a threat to liberalism (despite the left being ignorant of evolution’s profound social policy implications) I would like to know what type of relationship, if any, you believe non-right liberal conservatives should have in regards to the race realist Darwinists?

(For the record, without going into too much detail, I consider myself something of a theistic evolutionist.)

LA replies:

George has conflated two overlapping but distinct ideas: that the Darwinian theory proves racial differences in civilizational abilities and thus destroys the basis of modern liberalism; and that the fact of racial differences in civilizational abilities destroys the basis of modern liberalism.

See the problem? The first statement is not necessary. The operative truth here, that racial differences exist, does not require Darwinism. Yes, Darwinism provides a theoretical explanation that would, if it were true, support the experimental findings regarding intelligence. But the experimental findings regarding intelligence do not require Darwinism. They stand on their own. Darwinism could be completely exploded, and it would not affect one iota the facts regarding IQ and group differences.

As for the relationship between conservative traditionalists and Darwinian race realists, the same bifurcation holds. To the extent that the Darwinian race realists advance knowledge of the factual truth of racial differences, they are helping defeat liberalism and are our allies. To the extent that they advance a reductive, materialist view of man, which we traditionalists regard as not only false but nihilistic, we will continue to disagree with them.

And I would ask the Darwinian race realists what their purpose is. To disseminate the truth of racial differences and so help defeat modern liberalism, or to hook those legitimate purposes to a highly controversial theory that has profound problems and will NEVER be accepted?

Again, I ask the Darwinian race realists, what do you want? To help people understand racial differences in civilizational abilities, or to promote a materialist amoral view of man that (as the above quote from Darwin’s The Descent of Man makes plain) has close logical and historical ties to Nazism?

* * *

Another qualification: The Darwinian theory of the origin of species does not have to be true in order for variations with a species to occur by Darwinian mutations and natural selection. If George had put his question solely in terms of this “micro-evolution” within a species, I might have answered differently. While I reject Darwinist theory of the origin of species, I regard Darwinian processes of variation within a species as possible. However, David Stove’s argument (which I’ve just encountered recently), that human history has not involved the Malthusian death rates required for natural selection to occur, puts even that less controversial aspect of Darwinism into question, at least when it comes to human beings.

As a reader said yesterday, Darwinism may end up as a complete wash-out, like those other 19th century reductionist theories, Freudianism and Marxism.

George L. replies:

I see what you are saying.

Nonetheless, even if Darwinian evolution is false, very nearly all left-liberals accept both Darwinian evolution and racial egalitarianism as fundamental truths. Yet the two ideas,—regardless of their basis in reality—are incompatible.

At some point, as more information about genetics pours in, the left are going to have to choose which idea they support because nearly all scientists will assume that genetic differences formed because of Darwinian evolution—again, regardless of whether evolution is true.

If the left stands up for radical egalitarianism, they will get steamrolled by a flood of DNA discoveries. If the left instead officially abandons race egalitarianism, well, I don’t see how modern leftism could exist at all without the concept of racial equality, so I guess they will go down fighting whatever scientific discoveries regarding race are made.

As for tradionalist-race realist Darwinist cooperation, I agree that they should support each other for now on areas where they agree (again I am sort of caught in the middle of both worlds as a theistic evolutionist).

Thanks much.

LA replies:

Yes, I see your point. Even if it’s not true, the left are caught in a dilemma because they believe it.

To put it another way, the belief in racial intellectual equality is an indispensable basis of modern liberalism. But the belief in anti-God materialism, and thus Darwinism, is also an indispensable basis of modern liberalism! Regardless of whether these two ideas are true, the liberals absolutely require both of them. But since the two ideas contradict each other, they cannot both be true. So the liberals are mucked, even without any further scientific findings. They’re mucked by their own beliefs and could be defeated solely on that basis.

George L. replies:

The left is in an impossible ideological position, and they don’t even realize the fundamental contradictions in two of the key pillars of their faith.

A philosophy this contradictory must ultimately collapse. Hopefully it will fall down sooner before the damage becomes harder to reverse.

L.J. Sprague writes:

You write: “Each mutation is tiny, so tiny, vanishingly tiny; AND the mutation is so significant that its possessor has a decisive survival advantage over all fellow members of its species!”

You’re criticizing a caricature of Darwinism. In fact, they do have equations predicting the likelihood of a mutation becoming “fixed” i.e. spreading to every individual in the population. And in these equations the smaller a population and the higher the selection advantage conferred by the mutation the more likely it is that it will “survive.” Accordingly it’s also possible a deleterious mutation could become fixed. Very unlikely but possible.

You also have to take into account the fact that a mutation can spread through a population without eliminating all the individuals and their descendants who don’t have that mutation. This is because of sexual recombination. As long as individuals with the mutation have more offspring than those without, the mutation will spread. Individuals without the advantageous mutation will plod along and eke out an existence until they have the chance to mate with someone who does have it. Nobody need die out.

There’s also the issue of dominance. What if a mutation is only deleterious when it’s present in two copies? Or vice versa.

LA replies:

Your first paragraph is only an adjustment in detail. I don’t see how it changes the basic problem I pointed to. In order to reach any coherent “result,” a change from form to another form, each generation must have a slight mutation which picks up exactly where the last selected mutation left off. Of millions of possible accidential mutations, most of them harmful, each generation just happens to have one mutation that continues in the direction started by the last mutation.

Is your second paragraph the same as the idea of genetic drift? The idea that an allele can become dominant not through being naturally selected but just by a random mathematical process?

Mark K. writes:

LA: “As a reader said yesterday, Darwinism may end up as a complete wash-out, like those other 19th century reductionist theories, Freudianism and Marxism.”

“May end up … ” Like when?

1. What absolutely conclusive proof will turn up in the future to validate Darwinism? And how would we know it?

2. Is any absolutely conclusive proof available to Darwinism since Darwinian evolution is through a series of transitional forms. Everything is intermediate. So how can there be a final, conclusive form of truth to validate a series of intermediates? There would have to be The One Final Form of Life that looking backwards knows that every intermediate stage led up to this One Conclusive Form and One Final Conclusion. Apart from that everything is moving, transitional, intermediate, without finality—so how can there ever be an absolutely conclusive proof for Darwinism? Doesn’t Darwinism hold within itself a negation of its own final proof?

3. Darwinism cannot account for the origins of life or the origins of the universe. So not knowing how life began, how one a Darwinist be ever sure that he knows what life has been doing or leading up to? If one doesn’t know the initial step taken, how do some know if the subsequent steps one enumerates have been rightly enumerated?

It seems to me that epistemologically speaking Darwinism can never prove itself and is simply a promissory note that will never be paid.

LA replies:

Obviously I meant the time when the theory is widely regarded as defunct. Not the time when YOU regard it as defunct.:-)

Mark K. replies:

So if a million fools have a high regard for this theory and a thousand men know it is bunk, the fact that it is “widely regarded” gives it life and currency and significance?

My question can Darwinism ever prove itself to be true looks at the fact that an intermediate, transitional form (us or any species) does not have at its disposal the tool for a final judgment.

Mark K. continues:

I wrote previously that Darwinism may be a promissory note that can never be paid. Then I realize that the same condition would hold true for liberalism since both of these ideologies share the same foundation. Liberalism is a promissory note that can never be paid. And if that is true, that liberalism can never deliver on its promise, then all it can become is a destructive set of intermediate stages, of self-negating transitionals. Therefore the resentments of a group can never be assuaged through liberalism.

Mark K. writes:

Got a question for you. You mentioned that you saw design in the flower and that one could infer a designer.

There is something curious going on here. Why are we inferring things?

In the Darwinian evolution debate there are three parties involved—the Darwinian, the non-Darwinian, and God. One hears the first two, where is the third?

God has a voice—he has spoken in the past, he has written things down. Yet here we are speaking on his behalf, advancing and defending him, inferring things about his activity, etc. What prevents him from opening his mouth? It’s as if we feel we must infer and infer (and infer) and present our case for him through indirect means. Why? God is a thinking, speaking being—presumably he can speak for himself. His silence in the debate is interesting if he has a stake in it.

In the meantime he’s looking at all this—watching and hearing people deny that he did what he did do. Looking at it from his perspective, it must strike him as funny—he was there, those denying it weren’t. Curious thing his silence forcing us to keep inferring when he could say something about it at anytime …

LA replies:

This reminds me of a paper I wrote when I went back to undergraduate school in my late 20s. The theme was: Assuming that God exists, what is the meaning of Nietzsche’s denial of God and of his whole philosophy?

Charles T. writes:

Several years ago at an evangelical Christian college, several of us in lab class were discussing evolution. I remarked that I could not accept it due to the lack of transitional species. One of the girls in the group stated “Well, I don’t know about that.” She turned away from me and the conversation was over. This was at a Christian school. I might as well have said a string of four letter words. I realized very quickly how offensive I was to them for disagreeing with their pet theory; however, no one refuted what I said with any hard evidence.

Mark K. writes:

The method that liberals use to distinguish between the Darwinism that they do like from the Darwinism that they don’t like is to refer to Darwin’s comments as social Darwinism, the discredited idea that Darwinism applies to the internal organization of Man. They at this with the same contempt as they do Herbert Spencer’s social statics.

Dan K. writes:

I consider you a true man of good will. I have been reading you for a few years now but really have little knowledge of your background. I suspect that you are a product of an Ivy League (or equivalent ) non-science education. [LA replies: I started out at Columbia, dropped out, then seven years later went back to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where I got a B.A. in English.]

Now back to Darwinism and its foil, Intelligent Design. Both seem linked together as yin and yang, the Taijitu, with Intelligent Design being white yin and Darwinism the black yang. The battle between the two points of view has gone on for well over a century with no end in sight. Your wrestling with it, given you appear to see it as a duality where one side is correct and the other is wrong, I submit is doomed to failure and not worth the time you are spending on it. After you tire of expending mental energy on the problem it will become a dimly remembered source of irritation of something even an IVY man could not solve.

The crux of the problem is this: it appears to be a false duality. A third solution is probably the correct one. More on this below.

The argument that I believe destroys Darwinism as a viable solution was discussed at a Conference at the Wistar Institute April 1966. At that meeting mathematical arguments demonstrated that given the chemical nature of the DNA that needed to change to permit evolution there just was not enough TIME available since life began on Earth for the changes to have progressed. The Earth is about four billion years old. The papers are well worth reading on this point and others equally poisonous. See: Paul Moorhead and Martin Kaplan (ed.), Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, Wistar Institute Monograph No. 5.

The Darwinists ignore the above and numerous other arguments of the intelligent design proponents clinging to their “scientific” arguments and the Intelligent Design proponents claim the given Darwinism is impossible it is logical that Intelligent Design is correct. Both are probably wrong. I say probably because at least one other possibility exists in reference to this Earth.

Let me introduce this third possibility which will necessitate a detour to a few points.

1) The Big Bang is b.s. The universe is unlikely to be 14 billion years old. It is probably much, much older. The distance scales proposed by astronomers are most likely overstated by their not understanding the red shift data. Actually there are more errors than truths being spouted by both the Physicists and Astronomers on the whole subject of cosmology. Start with Halton Arp’s book Seeing Red to begin to understand just how mistaken the standard view really is. ( Halton Arp was fired from Cal Tech for his views on this subject. )

2) Read ancient texts from around the world, the so called myths. In them visitors descended to earth and bred with “comely” females. Were humans bred by such space visitors. Read works of Zecharia Sitchin and others on this.

These two points are not to be laughed at. They are as serious as can be and reading on the two topics will take many weeks to scratch the surface.

Now to the third possibility which is that the Earth may have been seeded by space beings in the recent past or even the remote past. Superior ( technologically superior ) beings may have altered the genetics of earth animals to have produced man or even introduced man to the earth in some fashion. If that is the case, the argument for Darwinism may ultimately be correct since MUCH MORE TIME FOR THE DARWINIAN MECHANISM TO WORK exists; that is, there is no 14 billion year limit. If true and much, much more time is available, life may have arisen and evolved elsewhere and spread here. It also does not invalidate an active designer in that remote past. The third possibility in this case dissolves again to the Taijitu of Darwinism-Intelligent Design conundrum!

LA replies:

So, according to Dan K., Darwinism and anti-Darwinism are both equally wrong. All my arguments on the subject are a waste of time. Ok. A comment like that puts me in my place and I read eagerly to find out the real answer to which I (and everyone else) have been blind. And then I find it out: life originated on another planet!

Yes, Dan, I guess I’ve been wasting my time disproving Darwinism.

Dan, which answer seems more likely? That life originated on another planet and was transported here by intelligent beings? Or that the universe and life are expressions of God? When the need to avoid God has people hypothesizing about aliens in spaceships, the materialist game is up. The Darwinists (plus the Darwinists who believe Darwinian evolution had to start on another planet) are like the Communists in the 1970s, spreading their belief system and power everywhere, thinking the West is finished, when in reality their own demise is just 15 years away.

Josh F. writes:

I disagree that a belief in racial equality (intellectual, spiritual, emotional or otherwise) and Darwinism must contradict each other at least according to liberal logic. The premise behind Modern Evolutionary Theory is descent with modification. It is an “evolution” in evolutionary thinking. It takes random mutation and natural selection and replaces it with “modification” and then adds descent to signify an original and living remnant. What this means fundamentally is that we are essentially appendages of a larger collective entity. This is why areas such as abortion and euthanasia seems like the sluffy off of useless dead skin cells to so many liberal Darwinists. Liberal Darwinists believe that we are mere parts of a larger single living entity that begin at the OOL (origin of life) and continues today. Racial equality and the belief in it runs logically from the evolving Darwinist position. We are equal because we are one. Simple logic from a liberal point of view.

LA replies:

I’ve never heard this idea before. I can see how it comes out of certain Darwinian premises as you describe them. But I had no idea there were Darwinists who spoke about all life as one being. Can you direct me to any article or book on this?

Josh F. replies:

These ideas are more my own suppositions based on debates with self-described evolutionists than anything else. I think most liberal Darwinists aren’t too keen to articulate the exact meaning of descent with modification because it is a rather fantastic theory lacking a material chain of descent. Likewise, most liberals believe that “race” does not exist and thus allows to them to avoid the debate altogether. This belief is mainly driven by liberal evolutionists who point to the sameness of genes as disproving a material aspect for race yet they aren’t nearly as ready to display for all the material aspect that evidences descent. And we are not just talking about descent amongst humans, but descent from the OOL (origin of life).

LA replies:

That’s very interesting. But can you explain to me the idea of descent with modification and how it differs from evolution by random mutation and natural selection?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 19, 2008 10:49 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):