Monday, August 28, 2006

Abraham Foxman's Allegations and Reality

Now that I have seen the show, I can evaluate Abraham Foxman's strident remarks before it aired. Let's take a look.

Foxman said:
This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust.

The show is based on the premise that Hitler was one of the most evil men who ever lived. I believe that this was stated in so many words on the show. Far from trivializing the Holocaust, the show affirmed the enormity and the horror of this great tragedy.

Foxman said:
Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people.

The show never asserted that Hitler "needed" Darwin. It suggested that Darwinian theory significantly influenced the eugenics movement, and that eugenics played an important role in Nazi ideology.

My take: It is well established that the eugenics movement was significantly influenced by Darwinian theory. It is also well established that the Nazi's were significantly influenced by ideas and concepts from the eugenics movement. How important were these influences and what other influences played a role is a matter of debate about which reasonable persons may differ. However, Foxman's suggestion that there were no such influences seems absurd and seems to deny historical realities.


At August 28, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I'm amazed tha Foxman would consider an partial explanation for Hitler's motives to be offensive. More than likely, his offense is more with the thought that Evolution is simply a religion than it is with Kennedy's group's observations about Darwin's influence on Hitler.

The theory/religion of evolution has contributed to many attrocities, from Hitler to Otto Benga to abortion.

Quote from Sir Julian Huxley, a leading evolutionist: "I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of the Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores."

At August 29, 2006 2:27 AM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Whether or not Hitler "needed" Darwin has absolutely nothing to do with the question of whether Hitler used Darwin. Perhaps if Hitler had been told that he didn't really "need" Darwin in order to plan the holocaust, Hitler might have impatiently answered like an exasperated King Lear, "O', reason not the need!"

I think that the reason for strong kneejerk Jewish support of Darwinism is that many Jews think that teaching or even mentioning criticism of Darwinism in public schools violates or threatens the separation of church and state. For example, the ADL applauded the Darwinist Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, and Judge John E. Jones III, the judge who decided the case, gave a speech to the ADL. In the Supreme Court case of Edwards v. Aguillard(1987), the ADL and the American Jewish Congress et al. filed separate amicus briefs opposing equal time for creation science and evolution in the public schools. In another equal-time case, McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education(1982), a district-court case which was not appealed, three Jewish organizations were listed among the organizational plaintiffs (Christian denominations were also represented but only by individual plaintiffs, including local bishops of some denominations). The ADL and the American Jewish Congress filed separate amicus briefs in the appeal of the Selman v. Cobb County (2005) evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case. I think that the Darwinists are afraid that exposing the Darwinism-Nazism link would erode Jewish opposition to the teaching or mention of criticisms of Darwinism in the public schools.

At August 29, 2006 11:04 AM, Anonymous John said...

About "needing" Darwin: I think you're absolutely spot on, Larry. Hitler didn't "need" Darwinism to be a homicidal dictator, just like Richard Dawkins didn't "need" Darwinism to be an atheist. Darwinism simply helps to provide enough "intellectual fulfill[ment]" to justify such things.

Foxman is simply anti-Christian, which I can understand from his viewpoint. His worldview is discolored by the horrors of the Holocaust and the anti-Semitism that long preceded it. He sees enemies of the Jewish people everywhere, not realizing (like Rabbi Lapin and Rabbi Dennis Prager do) that American Christians (as a whole) stand with the Jewish people and are their most stalwart defenders.


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