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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Darwinism and popular culture: Von Brunn, accused of murder, was influenced by evolution theory?

Wow, is this another one?

At BeliefNet, David Klinghoffer writes,

Now isn't this fascinating. James von Brunn, the white-supremacist
suspect in today's Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in which the guard who was shot has now tragically died, describes the relevance of evolution to his sick thinking. He's obsessed with "genetics." He writes in his manifesto (emphasis added):

Aw, go there if you want to know what von Brunn thinks. [If a guy's in jail for murder, on good evidence, I don't care much what he thinks. I reserve that honour for scholars.]

It's the usual sicko stuff, but how come it is so commonly associated with Darwinism?

Both the Columbine school shooter and the Finnish school shooter would understand von B, about "evolution." See links to my files on them here.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Darwinism and popular culture: Remembering Malcolm Muggeridge

Evolution Deceit, an interesting Turkish creationist book, is good at assembling and clearly explaining the arguments against Darwinism that you can be pretty sure the average lay person will not hear from conventional TV nature programs.

It does, however, get some Western intellectual history wrong. This example attracted my attention, of course:

Quoting British journalist and broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990),
I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has. - Deceit, p. 164, The End of Christendom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980, sp. 43.)
He is identified there as an atheist.

Now, I knew Muggeridge at that time, and he had slowly been making his way back to Christianity since the early 1970s (indeed, in the words of the ancient Protestant curse, he "died a Roman Catholic").

"Evolution," in the popular "hey, we just evolved, that's all," sense was one of the many ideas Muggs had begun to forswear - indeed, to abjure because he had witnessed first hand the cultural vulgarity it underwrites.

For example "evolution" supposedly explains why women kill their kids and also why they don't - making the two decisions appear of equal moral value. "Evolution" explains why men are unfaithful, and also why they are not.

Presumably, Muggs picked up the same sense I later did - that evo psycho sounds far too much like the afternoon soaps to be taken seriously as science.

But - far more perceptive than many ponderous, publicly funded pundits we are saddled with here in Canada - Muggs also saw that the form in which the public consumes the idea of "evolution" - and always will do so - is basically permission to indulge in bad behaviour because it is supposedly "natural."

After all, Mr. Ooga! Ooga! did those things, and who can argue with him? Especially if he never existed.

Gee. I'd as soon get into a row with the Red Ettin of Ireland. The Ettin had, we are told, three heads - he was a classical evolutionary psychologist, I suppose - one says yes, one says no, and one says "Give us more money."

By the way, while I am here, let me remember another Brit journalist and commentator, Gordon Rattray Taylor, who also foreswore Darwinism - in the last year of his life.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Darwinism and popular culture: Capturing traditional peoples and treating them as exhibits ...

Here I reference the zoo exhibit of an African, that was clearly in support of Darwinism.

But, for the record, Darwinists did not invent the practice of grabbing traditional people and presenting them as exotic exhibits. What they did was continue, in the name of supposed "science" what had originally been done in the name of greed and exploitation.

Here is an entry concerning the latter from Canadian history:
Against Donnacona's [the chief's] wishes, Cartier set out Sept 19 to explore the river farther, reaching HOCHELAGA [Montréal] on Oct 2. On his return to Stadacona he found that relations with the natives were strained. The effect of a severe winter was made more tragic by SCURVY, which claimed 25 lives among the French. On 6 May 1536 he left for France with some captured Iroquois, including Donnacona, arriving July 16.
Right. The chief who had befriended the European explorer ended up a prisoner, in France, of all places. No surprise, he died there; most such people did. But they intrigued the populace.

But this must be said: Darwinists need "ape men" in a way that no one else does, because no one else cares if there aren't any ape men and never have been - for the same reasons as no one cares if Puff the Magic Dragon has never existed.

I wish they would just acknowledge this and get over it, so I wouldn't have to keep shoving the wrongdoing in their faces.

It is nauseating to hear the ol' Brit toff Darwin compared to Abe Lincoln as an "emancipator."

Look, Darwinists, you are not fooling anyone except your museum docents, and a few other docile people who need the work.

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The missed link still much missed, but remembered

At African Ota Benga - the missed link, crossposted at UD, I posted a comment I thought I would enlarge on:

In my experience, in order to avoid acknowledging Darwinism's contributions to racism, typical Darwinists perform a little two-step: Darwin = good non-racist; Haeckel = bad racist.

So we blame the "bad" German [WWII losers] for what every "good" British/North American Darwinist [WWII winners] really thought.

And for all I know, what every actual living Darwinist really thinks today.
Otherwise, why can't they just acknowledge the racism, repent and apologize for it, and get past it? Why are textbooks full of explanations about how Darwin didn't really support it (which I discovered to be false when introduced to his actual writings on the subject - but how many students are?)

Darwinists are accomplished at avoiding accountability. I experienced their two-step recently when a Darwinist smarmed that he disagreed with his "friend" Richard Dawkins about the wisdom of attacking traditional Christians directly.
Like, I - as a trad Christian - was supposed to be thrilled with the prospect of being attacked indirectly.

The very fact that he was that guy's "friend" warned me off. (If it's even true - Dawkins is rich, so lots of people probably imagine themselves his friends.)

For the record, I would rather people attack directly. It makes the job of seeing them off the premises more straightforward.

I don't think we are ever going to get accountability from these people before we bury them intellectually. I don't even know what accountability would sound like in their case - it would mean acknowledging that the mind is not simply the brain, for one thing, and that one is not simply the product of one's genes. So why be a Darwinist at all?

(Note: I posted this first as a comment here, and this version is slightly edited.)

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