Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pulling the Weikart Card Out Of Your Sleeve, Are You?

Well, finally, someone who knows even enough to accuse me of copying Richard Weikart has come in, I doubt most of the people who have been sending the hate my way are aware enough of these controversies to even know the name, unless they read the hate heaped on him on atheist websites.

Well, the fact is I haven't relied on anything any secondary source has said without checking it against the primary documentation in any of this, with the possible exception of what Charles Darwin's children said about what he thought and I wouldn't have used any of that if they hadn't, in every case I found where they wrote or spoke on that, agreed as to the support of their father for eugenics.   When four of a man's children agree that their father was a supporter of eugenics and there is massive evidence he supported the eugenic writing of one of them, that is as good as you can get, especially as it is consonant with both what the man wrote and endorsed in his scientific writing and is in accord with what his closest scientific associates have said.

Obviously, I don't agree with much of Richard Weikart's conclusions.  I believe completely in evolution and that people evolved from a previous line of ancestors who would not be classified as human.  I do agree that there are enormous problems with natural selection as the supreme explanation of that and, as I've looked into this farther, I've become ever more skeptical that natural selection is either a good theory or more than a required conventional framing adopted largely for non-scientific reasons.  That's way far from being anything like a creationist who makes the mistake of believing the Bible is either a literal history of creation or a scientific description of that creation. I think the texts are robbed of their value as moral documents when treated that way.

That said, in every case, when I've checked into what Richard Weikart has said about any document or issues of translation, he hasn't lied about it.   In the various squabbles over translations of words or what the texts say with those promoting the post-war mythical Darwin, he has proven to be both a superior scholar of languages and a more honest historian.   That last word is important, he is an historian, he is not a scientist and he's a far better historian than his critics generally are.  As with what I said above, the proof of that is in the consultation of the original documents.   In exactly the same way that David Irving was undone by looking at those original texts, in their original language, anyone who looks into this will be liable to having their claims matched against those texts.  In every case I can think of, what I've used of secondary material has always been checked against the original texts in so far as I've been able to read them.

I can't claim to be as good a German scholar as Weikart, though I can, slowly and with a couple of good German-English dictionaries, make my way through the relevant passages.   Though, having seen the venue of dishonest refutation that quibbling over a single word has been for Darwin's defenders, I have not attempted any translation.  I have tried to work around that stalling and obfuscation in the case of Haeckel's writing by only citing the translation by Ray Lankester one of Darwin's closest associates which Darwin both knew was being translated during his lifetime and expressed approval of.  I have every confidence that on any point which might have mattered to Darwin, Lankester would have been both very careful and, if not certain, he would have checked with Darwin.   That passage about the final triumph of Haeckel's monism being the highest achievement of Charles Darwin was certainly known to Darwin in the German original as his citations of the book in which it was made, before it was translated, are extensive, gushingly complementary and in entire agreement.  The confirmation of that being Darwin's opinion of Haeckel's work is also found in Darwin's letters to Haeckel and it is confirmed by his closest British associate, Thomas Huxley and Darwin's son, Francis Darwin who was also privy to private discussions between his father and Haeckl on some of the several visits that Haeckel made to Darwin at his home.

I do think that the campaign of character assassination waged against Richard Weikart in lieu of refuting his historical publication is evidence that his enemies can't really do much in refutation of his historical writing.   Which is odd because while his scientific ideas are quite vulnerable to attack his conduct as an historian has been far better than that of his enemies.   I don't think that's very wise and wonder if they do it because they are afraid of violating the requisite neo-Darwinian orthodoxy as they are afraid to admit the role that natural selection played and still plays in eugenics and other campaigns to devalue human life.   There is obviously something wrong with an academic side when they have to stoop to the level of dishonesty that the champions of the post-war Darwin regularly do. And the lies and cover ups of the primary record have been going on since about 1945.  Though not all of the academic establishment has been willing to go along with that.   Weikart's historical writings aren't generally taken as bad history among historians that I've been able to see.  He has been published by reputable academic presses and reviews and included in anthologies by other reputable historians.  I assume there is professional review of his claims at least to the extent that I've checked claims in the secondary literature against its citations.

There is absolutely nothing unfair about a person who is wrong about science doing good and honest history.

When I began this it was with the full expectation that those people who claimed that Charles Darwin had nothing to do with social Darwinism and eugenics had told the truth about that, it began with me reading the most relevant of his books on the topic, The Descent of Man, only to find him citing the inventor of eugenics, Francis Galton and in the first articles and book in which Galton developed his eugenics, Hereditary Genius as not only scientifically valid but important milestones in the development of his theory of natural selection.  The next citations that were unmistakable support of eugenics and scientific racism were those of Ernst Haeckel, which caused me to read the books which Darwin cited.  That led me to look at his other citations and into the confirmation of his support for eugenics by those who knew him best, his family and his scientific associates and in every single case they revealed that the people who proclaimed Darwin's innocence in all matters of eugenics and social Darwinism (see the fifth and sixth editions of Origin of Species), academic and popular, were selling one of the most blatant of lies ever bought by people who were alleged intellectuals and competent college graduates.   I have to say that the extent to which the lie was so simply disproved by doing that most pedestrian of intellectual responsibilities READING WHAT THE MAN SAID was staggering.  It led me to be far, far more skeptical of the people who were telling that lie and the people who so willingly bought that lie.   If they were prepared to sell and tell a lie that was so obviously and blatantly false, they weren't credible without fact checking on anything.

This has all been a great revelation to me and, as a liberal in the traditional American meaning of that word, it has given me an important insight into why the left lost the confidence of the American people and why the left so badly failed to maintain the tradition of American liberalism.   I am, if anything, far, far more liberal than I was before I looked into this and far more liberal than the poeple who maintain the lyin' curtain that prevents things like the real history of eugenics, the real history of the Communists and other famous reds being looked at honestly, critically and based on the primary evidence.   It has also been a revelation of the generally bad effect that can come with the lazy reading and casual acceptance of people on the basis of their academic reputation and their creation of narratives and lines of thinking on the basis of preference instead of intellectual rigor.

So, no, I have read things by Richard Weikart* but my case here is made on the primary documents. That is why of all the things Edwin Black said in his article which I linked to, yesterday,  I used two of those things in which I looked at what the people he was talking about said, in their own words. It's how I've done all of this.  Edwin Black has also, every time I've checked his citations, characterized those honestly.  If anything the originals, read more fully than can be cited, generally show more depraved thinking than can be fit into a citation.

*  I will say that having read Weikart  I get the distinct feeling you haven't read him but have relied on what the people who are bashing him have said about him.   Don't be such a lazy-assed jerk, read what the man says and check his claims against the original, you slacker.


  1. "I do think that the campaign of character assassination waged against Richard Weikart in lieu of refuting his historical publication is evidence that his enemies can't really do much in refutation of his historical writing."
    Except for real historians who have refuted his creationist rewrite of history. It's curious that you deliberately avoided addressing people who actually know what they are talking about.

  2. I, as I fully suspect you have not, have read both Weikart and Robert Richards. I have also read Weikart's answers to some of Richard's claims and looked at the primary documentation which support Weikart's characterization of them. Richards is a historian of science, not of the Nazi era, but that's not to say that he couldn't say something valuable about this.

    In any case, the connection of Haeckel and Darwin's writing to both the entire history of eugenics in English language and in German is irrefutable. All of the relevant and most authoritative sources on that, the eugenicists, starting with Galton and Haeckel, up through the American eugenicists whose work was cited by Hitler's experts in the topic, Baur, Fischer and Lenz, and others such as Alfred Ploetz repeatedly and obviously based their thinking on Darwin's natural selection. Nothing, whatsoever, in eugenics makes even a semblance of sense without natural selection and there was no figure in German science with more authority on that matter up till his death, the same year the Nazis took over, than Ernst Haeckel. Ploetz was one of his students and he was one of the foremost Nazi authorities on such matters which, if you bothered to read Haeckel, will find are consistent with what he said in the very book which Darwin cited as the highest of scientific work, the Naturlische Shopfungsgeschichte. The alleged socially hygenic effects on succeeding generations of killing those deemed "unfit" the general ranking of racial and ethnic groups on the basis of their "fitness" and the distance between the group he put at the highest, the whitest Europeans and those various groups he put on descending rungs of a ladder down to those closest to the apes, the beneficial expectation he derived from the anticipation of the extinction of those lower on that ladder. It's all there in the book Darwin endorsed as great science even as he copied some of those ideas in less detail and with a bit of obfuscation in The Descent of Man.

    I don't recall if it was in one of your hate missives or one from someone else but it suggests to me that I should look into the various editions of Baur, Fischer and Lenz and other sources of Nazi science to see what they could tell about the original which Hitler is known to have been reading in Landesberg prison and later editions which may have been edited in ways which show how the nature of what they were claiming were made more of a credit to German science as opposed to the science of a Brit in the period when Hitler would have known they were going to be at war with Britain. And, since you can't read Haeckel without his almost ubiquitous and glowing citations of his British master and friend, Charles Darwin, how that might have had an effect on citations of Haeckel in various editions over the decade between the 20s and the 40s. I can tell you that citations of such ardent Darwinist-eugenicists as Paul Popenoe survived, intact in the two editions I can look at. But that's for next summer when I have more time.

    Every single time I've gone to look into this the ties between Darwin and eugenics and eugenics and the Nazi mass murders grows stronger and, as I pointed out, I began this falling for the phony post-war St. Darwin fully. It didn't occur to me that an entire industry devoted to covering up what he said had been constructed and presented as reliable history for most of the past seventy years. But that's what I found.

    1. That should read "his death the year the Nazi party was formed" which was 1919. There was no more eminent and influential German biologist than Ernst Haeckel and his chief claim to fame was his promotion of and association with Charles Darwin. He was named by both Thomas Huxley and Francis Darwin as the "head of the chorus" for Darwinism on the European continent. And Darwin endorsed his ideas, repeatedly, not only in his History of Creation but in later books such as Freedom in Science and Teaching and articles. Darwin said he totally agreed with that latter book, which, among other things, says that Darwinism supports aristocracy, not democracy and, certainly, not socialism. Every time I look into it, the farther Darwinism is from producing a decent society and more in line with total depravity. You have to lie about what Darwin and his closest associates presented as hard science to be surprised about that as could be expected from a theory which Darwin, himself, said was exactly the same thing as "survival of the fittest" the defining slogan of social Darwinism.

    2. I guess you will always see what you want to see and your misinterpretation of all evidence will confirm your creationist views. I notice that you didn't actually address the essay of a real historian. One of the most eminent historians of science, particularly of Darwin and evolution. Instead you appeal to a charlatan who rewrites history to buttress his idiotic religious views. I can see why you love Weikert so much. You have a whole lot in common.

    3. "you will always see what you want to see"

      What a dishonest dodge that is, something that anyone could be accused of, especially those, such as yourself, who haven't even bothered to look at the primary source material to see what it says.

      What's re-written is the misrepresentation of Darwin's statements in The Descent of Man, supporting the most brutal of eugenics as having the capacity to improve the "stock" of the human species endorsing Haeckel's book in which he went even farther than that, endorsing the murder of those he deemed "unfit" as practiced in Sparta and eagerly anticipating the extinction of the natives of the Americas and other named ethnic groups as a general improvement on the stock of humanity. But, you know, you have to READ WHAT THEY WROTE to know that's what they said.

      "why you love Weikert"

      Oh, I "love" Weikert as I say he's wrong about evolution and as I disagree with the use of the Bible as history and science. I don't "love" him and that's hardly the extent of our disagreement. You see, in grades above about the 8th one, we find out that even people we have serious disagreements with aren't necessarily totally depraved and have cooties and can, sometimes, when you can fact check them - as you haven't - say things that are true.

      If I get around to it, I'll take apart a bit of Richards, who is quite selective about what he talks about in much the same way I've been talking about here the past couple of weeks. It's a tactic to cover up the obvious connection between Charles Darwin and the Nazis. It's a connection that someone more qualified than you or Richards or Weikart or I or anyone in the post-war St. Darwin industry made, someone entirely more qualified to do that, his son Leonard Darwin in April of 1939 in an article he wrote on Wilhelm Schallmeyer in which he claimed the credit of German eugenics on Schallmeyer's reading of Origin of Species BEFORE SCHALLMEYER HAD READ GALTON. You think you or Richards knows the mind of Charles Darwin better than his son did? What a stupid thing to think.

    4. Oh, and reading down through this brawl, I'll point out that the idea of looking at the various editions of Baur, Fischer and Lenz didn't come from the jerk who wrote to me, it was what I saw was a possible means of learning something more on the question of shifting emphasis with changing political and military interests of the Nazi state. None of the devotees of St. Darwin has ever come up with something like that in the past eight or so years of getting this stuff sent to me.

  3. Read the damn article. You acknowledge that Weikart is a proponent of a factually incorrect crackpot religious hoax. Yet, it never dawned on you that his historical theories are written precisely to bolster his religious delusions. He is an anti-evolution kook. He misrepresents science to bolster his lunacy. And he misrepresents history for the same purpose. But you look to him as an authority because it confirms you own crackpot ideas.
    You go on and on about these primary sources, but they only say what you think they say. You have no training in either science or history, but you interpret it according to your preconceived superstitions. You hate science so you interpret everything in science to slander it. Nothing but confirmation bias and guilt by association.
    Read the article by a real historian of science. Not the works of a known liar. And not your dishonest, uneducated, and ignorant interpretations.
    Why is it that you insist on arguing about things you have never studied and know nothing about? Your total lack of education is appalling. It is hilarious to hear a failed ignorant musician who is so insecure in his faith that he has to deny the entirety of human knowledge. Stick to Twinkle Twinkle.

    1. You argue like a 12-year-old. I did read it and I read what it talks about, which you obviously have not. Your characterization of the Richards article is an insult to him - no one would have written what you said as scholarly refutation, that's Eschaton level blog blather.

      "You go on and on about these primary sources, but they only say what you think they say. "

      Remind me, you're someone who works in some kind of sci-stuff, aren't you? What you said, if taken as a rule of academic discourse, would be sufficient to discredit everything about it, including science. Science would have no meaning if that were the rule, it could mean whatever anyone wanted it to mean. And, though I doubt it occurred to you, it could be used to come up with a phony discrediting of what you want things to say.

      Let me clue you in, sci-guy, the first step in the process of discerning what something says is READING IT. Then, especially if, like what Darwin said, it was based on citations of other works, like his citations endorsing the eugenics of such folk as Galton and Gregg and the proto-Nazism of Haeckel, you READ WHAT THOSE THINGS HE CITED SAID. Then you can read other things Darwin wrote, like letters to see if there is anything confirming your understanding of those things and what his known associates and his children or other family members said relevant to that.

      Which I've done and which you so obviously have not done.

    2. OK. The sage of Lobster Claw, Maine knows more about the subject that an eminent scholar who has been studying the topic his whole career. You have absolutely no education or training except teaching hick kids how to play Twinkle Twinkle. But I guess among biblebillys that makes you a scholar.
      PS get the Seminarian™ To teach you how to write. Or maybe he is as incompetent as an English teacher as he was as a lawyer and as a preacher.

    3. I take it back, you argue like the biggest asshole on the 2nd grade playground.

      You have nothing but the purported reputation of the author of a paper you have yet to give any evidence of having read. You have presented nothing else. If I'd written that thing and you described it in the way you did earlier, I wouldn't be grateful for your support. Who needs opponents when your supporters turn what you said into the most juvenile of diatribes.

      What branch of science do you work in? I'd really like to know how far the standards of intellectual activity in that branch is before I rely on any of it. Let me guess, you're a geek. I think the reputation of immaturity that goes with the geek stereotype might have something to do with the consequences of excessive specialization with an exemption from the general expectations of basic scholarship and reasoning.

      Please tell me it's nothing anyone's life depends on.

      No wonder you're a member in good standing at Duncan's Brain Trust. To paraphrase Max Planck, regress at Eschaton doesn't come with new thinking, it comes as the adults leave it.

    4. Oh, and, I don't live on the coast, I'm even more of a hick than that. I can still kick your ass.