Saturday, December 3, 2016

Wow, You Really Dug To The Bottom of The Barrel Unfortunately It's Tripe

I am sent this decade old post from P.Z. Myers in refutation of what I said.

John Wilkins is fighting the philosophical and historical fight against the Darwin’s Deadly Legacy nonsense with an excellent summary of the course of the eugenics movement. I especially liked this quote from Dobzhansky:

The eugenical Jeremiahs keep constantly before our eyes the nightmare of human populations accumulating recessive genes that produce pathological effects when homozygous. These prophets of doom seem to be unaware of the fact that wild species in the state of nature fare in this respect no better than man does with all the artificiality of his surroundings, and yet life has not come to an end on this planet. The eschatological cries proclaiming the failure of natural selection to operate in human populations have more to do with political beliefs than with scientific findings.

If you don’t know who Theodosius Dobzhansky was, he was one of the founders of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, and was far, far more influential on evolutionary thinking than either Haeckel or Hitler. Scientific leaders were calling this stuff nonsense before Hitler tried to invoke his Final Solution.

Well, to start with,  I didn't rely on any secondary, tertiary souces to make my arguments, I didn't use anything but the primary documentation except in one post because the necessary material wasn't available in English.   I used the words of Darwin, Haeckel, Galton, Leonard Darwin, etc. to make my arguments.  So bringing up some fundamentalist propaganda is irrelevant to what I've said here.   Though I will note that some, more scholarly fundamentalists have done what no one in the St. Darwin industry would seem to have done, read what he said and read what those whose writings on the relevant topics said in the works Darwin cited.  They might be wrong about the fact of evolution, many of them are right about the role of Darwin in the history of eugenics which includes the Nazi genocides.  I have yet to meet one of Darwin's defenders who seems to have read The Descent of Man - his work most relevant to the issue, and whose knowledge of On The Origin of Species is anything but quite incomplete and opportunistic.

Of course I know who Theodosius Dobzhansky was, he was a great geneticist in his day, the teacher of one of my heroes, Richard Lewontin, who, in turn was the teacher of Jerry Coyne.  I wouldn't blame either of them for Jerry, just to make sure no one thinks I would.

I will continue by pointing out that as Dobzhansky was Ukranian, a member of one of those racial groups who, under Nazi eugenics, was slated for either extermination as certainly as Jews were or, if they were kept alive, were to be trained to be slaves to their German masters, his counter-eugenic thinking would never have been considered.  Instead of being a distinguished university graduate and professor, such slaves were to be taught no more than how to write their name and count to 500.   I am quite certain that his scientific influence in Nazi Germany exists entirely in the imagination of such ahistorical dolts as Myers.   So such scientific thinking had already been swamped by the interpretation of Natural Selection which informed Nazi science and the eugenics program in place and which would soon fulfill the dream of so many eugenicists before then of murdering the disabled and going on from that starter program to full fledged industrialized mass murder.

Dobzhansky, eminent as he was, as right in his condemnation of eugenics as he was, didn't have nearly the impact even among his scientific colleagues as Myers claims.  I think it's safe to say that more of the prominent geneticists at the time he said that, 1937, were eugenicists as so many of them would remain in the post-war period and continuing til today.  The roll call of eminent geneticist-eugenicists even during and even after the war would include R. A. Fisher, Julian Huxley, Francis Crick, James Watson, if you want to consider him a geneticist, Myers' friend, Richard Dawkins has flirted with overt promotion of eugenics.  You can add all kinds of others from related and unrelated fields of science, even such people as Linus Pauling.  There's even a quote floating around from Dobzhansky that, if accurate, is far more positive about the "core" of eugenics than that quote above, though I haven't read it in his book and I won't accept the characterization of it until I do.

But all of that is, actually, beside the point, there is no doubt that the mainstream of German biology and the central authorities it relied on to construct its racial theories, its rankings of human beings in terms of "fitness" or value, both among various ethnic and national groups and within the German population (the basis of their murder of the disabled) was solidly Darwinian.  Darwin repeatedly talked about the benefits of murdering the disabled, especially when they were children.  He spoke blithly of the great day he anticipated, when the superior would have eradicated inferior ethnic groups, some of which he named, some which he implied with a mild, would-be wise, wink and a nod.  Read The Descent of Man and read it for yourself, look up his glowing, positive citations of Haeckel, Galton, Greg and others promoting those and other ideas that were useful to the Nazis.

There is absolutely no question that thinking was promoted by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man and in his full and fully informed endorsement of Ernst Haeckel's and others' eugenics, including Haeckel's articulation of the idea that the deaths of those deemed inferior, including deaths at the hands of their "superiors" was a benefit to the entire human species.  There is no changing that, it is there in Darwin's books, in the things he endorsed and promoted.  The very generation of Nazi scientists who constructed the biological theories that were the basis of the genocides were thoroughly steeped in Darwin and Haeckel and Galton (whose eugenics Darwin also and for all time endorsed).   Alfred Ploetz, Eugen Fischer, etc. were explicit in stating where they got those ideas from.   Anyone who believes that Theodosius Dobzhansky, a young American geneticist of Ukranian ethnicity and Soviet education would have more of an influence on the Nazi scientific establishment than Ernst Haeckel, widely read even by non-scientists in Germany,  from whom their generation learned so much of their relevant thinking is either lying or they are a total idiot.

Now, I really would rather be trying to fight fascism than going over this again.  My archive is not indexed but it's not hard to do a word search of it.

17 comments:

  1. Seems to me the very idea of "natural selection" in that quote, is eugenics: i.e., the "purification" of the species by "weeding out," through intent or "natural forces," the "unfit."

    Which was the whole idea of eugenics. You can compare it to bread making. Everyone knows you have to knead bread to make it rise (kneading forms the gluten necessary to trap the gas from the yeast). But you can also simply leave the dough alone for almost 24 hours, and get the same result: risen bread.

    One is helping speed the process; the other is "natural."

    Eugenics was seen as speeding the process, especially when it was weeding out "unfit" persons like morons, imbeciles, and idiots (legal terms based on IQ tests in the early 20th century in America). "Three generations of imbeciles is enough!" was a statement based on eugenics, and made heinous by the Germans, who looked to such American laws as Holmes was writing about (favorably) and put them into practice with more deliberate effect than merely sterilizing women.

    The purpose, whether practiced in America or in Germany, couldn't be more clear. And the basis for it was clearly understood to be "scientific." And that science didn't come from physics or chemistry. Hmmm....where could it have come from?

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  2. Interestingly, the relationship between all of the above and the massacre of six million Jews due to centuries of European Christian anti-Semitism remains exactly dick.

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    1. I've gone over that over and over again, producing one primary source after another as you've done nothing but repeat that assertion, once in a while saying "Berlin Diary" which, as I showed last night, you don't seem to have really read.

      You know, Stupey, I know the history that you'd be citing if you'd ever really read anything on the topic other than that one book you misrepresent, that you don't cite those things that made the same claims you have only proves that you don't know anything about the topic. I not only know those authors, I know the refutations of what they claim, you don't even know the authors you would cite if you knew about them.

      You clearly don't care about any of the other groups that the Nazis targeted because you think the way they did, that their ethnic group was the only one which was significant, which mattered, the deaths of other people in other groups had no claim to your interest or mention. Which is Nazi style thinking. You've got more in common with Eugen Fischer and Heinrich Himmler than you'd ever want anyone to notice.

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  3. "You clearly don't care about any
    of the other groups that the Nazis targeted because you think the way
    they did, that their ethnic group was the only one which was
    significant, which mattered, the deaths of other people in other groups
    had no claim to your interest or mention."

    You know, if that sentence wasn't so ineptly written, I'd probably be offended that an obvious anti-Semite was calling me a Nazi.

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    1. You're the one who doesn't want more Jews living in his country, I'm the one who wants more of them living here because it's less dangerous for them than living in Palestine.

      Only you and the likes of Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter would call that antisemitism. Which I can live with.

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    2. Oh, and why don't you come up with those historians who would support your contention? I'll answer that, because you're unaware of who they are, though you'll probably do a quick and superficial google job to pretend you do.

      You won't admit it but the longer this goes on the more obvious it is that you're really not particularly interested in that period of history, you just want to pretend you are.

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  4. "You're the one who doesn't want more Jews living in his country"

    A complete and absurd on the face of it lie.


    "I'm the one who wants more of them living here because it's less dangerous for them than living in Palestine."

    Who gives a shit what you pretend to want? You know damn well that the chances of millions of Israeli Jews being allowed to emigrate here are between zilch and nada. Not to mention that the fact you don't give a shit about what THEY want is transparently obvious, not to mention that the historical justification for the state of Israel's existence, interests you not one whit.

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    1. A. I'd think just about any liberal Democrat would want to have more of one of the most reliable Democratic constituencies living in their country. I certainly do. While you're a total asshole most of the Jews I've known were very nice people. Maybe you figure they'd be like you but I doubt it.

      B. Anyone who thinks Jews living in the United States have been in more danger than Jews living in Israel is either lying or they're too stupid to have an important thought on the matter. Only when it's you, I figure you are probably doing both.

      C. State the "historical justification for the state of Israel's existence". Go on, tell me what it is since you claim I "don't give a shit" about it. Define your term and I'll tell you what I think of it. Only you won't because you can't because that's just a phrase to you, devoid of meaning.

      D. I think there is an increasing chance that there will be a nuclear bombing of Israel and if not an attack on Israel then one by Israel, neither of which I'm in favor of. If the alternative of that is to have a modest increase in the population of the United States, of course I'd be in favor of that as an alternative. Anyone who wouldn't is depraved. Or, well, maybe Palestinians would like to come here, instead. Only that really would never happen.

      E. I strongly suspect that the fascist government of Israel will try to get Trump to attack Iran, which has certainly been one of their goals, to provoke a war between the United States and Iran just as the fascists encouraged the war with Iraq. Which will be a true blood bath and catastrophe. I think the likelihood of Israel being wiped out as a result of such an idiotic and criminal desideratum is much higher than not. Certainly if not immediately, in the future as the far larger numbers of Muslims attack it. I think Israel has been being governed by the criminally insane of the kind Trump is for some time now.

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  5. "
    state the "historical justification for the state of Israel's existence". Go on, tell me what it is since you claim I "don't give a shit" about it. Define your term and I'll tell you what I think of it"

    Here's a clue, Sparkles -- I'm not your bitch. And if you have to ask what that historical justification is, you're either to stupid to live or you're a disingenuous dickhead proving my point.

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    1. I didn't really think you would state the "historical justification" that you claim is there because I was pretty sure that phrase, as used by you, meant nothing.

      You never read Shirer's book you've been gassing on about all year, you've never read any other on the topic and you can't state an "historical justification for the state of Israel's existence" even if such a justification has been articulated by someone.

      Consider yourself pantsed.

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  6. Incidentally, I have relatives who are Holocaust survivors. What have you got besides moronic anti-Semitic axes to grind?

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    1. I have two parents who are veterans of WWII who helped defeat the Nazis, my father was a fully disabled veteran of that war.

      And you haven't shown that you can state an "historical justification for the state of Israel's existence". It's just an empty phrase to you.

      You are a bare assed liar.

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  7. Bare assed? Can we please not talk about sex so much?

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    1. Oh, please, I've seen your picture. Your ass is emetic not erotic.

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  8. WW II.? I'll bet you're sorry we won,

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    1. So my father's life-long battle disability would have been in vain? I just knew you'd show what a total asshole you are. You seem to find new ways to do that whenever this happens.

      You know, when I bother interacting with you my hit count goes way up. I suspect people can't wait to see just how big an asshole you'll expose yourself as being.

      You want to try to deflect attention from your failure to state an "historical justification for the existence of Israel" after you introduced that phrase into the discussion because you don't really know what that means.

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