Discovery Institute: Reviving and recirculating Nazi propaganda

Over at Discovery Institute’s “Evolution News and Views,” Senior Propagandist Jonathan West criticizes Dawkins for—are you sitting down?—comparing a rabbi’s speaking style to Hitler’s.

Now, after denouncing Expelled as “wicked, evil” and an “outrage” for pointing out that Darwinism was one of the intellectual influences on Nazism, Dawkins has compared a popular Rabbi who dares to criticize him to Hitler! And he did it no less on World Holocaust Remembrance Day. No, I’m not joking. As I’ve said before, it’s getting really hard to parody the Darwinists. They do it so well themselves.

Who knows what West thinks the “parody” would be here. Apparently, you can accuse “Darwinists” of promoting Nazism all day long, and everything’s just peachy, but if one of THEM dares to do the same to YOU, why, gosh, that’s just so over the top, it’s, it’s…well, I mean really. Even if that’s not actually what they really said.

We could look at the Boteach video (which starts off ranting about the British monarchy being a lie), but in fact it’s not really all that important who called whom the “H” word first. That’s just bickering; if you want more of that, watch trash talk TV. The more important issue is the link West cites above, attempting to blame evolutionary science for the Holocaust. It’s a link to a summary page on Evolution News and Views, listing a number of articles by DI fellows attempting to revive the Nazi propaganda that anti-Jewish genocide is scientifically justified.

The Discovery Institute is not the first, of course, to try and re-affirm the Nazi idea that the Holocaust had a scientific justification. Various racist and neo-Nazi groups have been perpetuating this myth ever since the Nazi defeat in the mid 1940’s. It’s a surprisingly popular misconception that scientists have been fighting against for decades, if not centuries. And one would certainly be tempted to hope that, given the horrific stories that have come out of the concentration camps, one of the most fundamental lessons we would have learned was that the Nazis were wrong.

Sadly, West and other DI propagandists seem not to have learned that. They do not want to admit that the Nazi’s were wrong about the true social implications of biological findings. Instead, they are reviving and recirculating the same claims as Hitler and others were making—claims that did indeed lead directly to the Holocaust.

What’s particularly evil about this is that many DI fellows, such as Paul Nelson and Michael Behe, have conceded that Darwin was right about common descent. Darwin’s observations about the existence of natural variation and of natural selection, are observations so widely and consistently confirmed that even die-hard creationists like Nelson and Behe have to concede them.

To claim that these observations provide a scientific justification for genocide, as the Nazis did and as the DI is doing today, is not only wrong factually, but wrong morally. The common gripe most DI members have with evolution is not that we don’t see natural selection happening, but (they claim) natural selection can’t be enough to do everything on its own. Which is fine, that’s a debate for another time, but why are they reviving and recirculating Hitler’s propaganda about the implications of natural selection? They know (and have no excuse for pretending not to know) that natural selection is real; why then are they repeating Hitler’s false and wicked claim that genocide is thereby justified?

If ID supporters don’t want to be compared to Nazis, they need to cease this attempt to convince people that Hitler was right about science, and they ought to apologize profusely for the efforts they have made so far. If they’re going to pick up the baton that Hitler dropped, and attempt to carry it forward, then they deserve whatever comparisons people make. To paraphrase one of Michael Behe’s favorite sayings, if it goose-steps like a Nazi duck….

 
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