Wednesday, October 24, 2007

James Watson, Charles Darwin and John Scopes

With all the uproar over James Watson's recent comments on racial matters, I thought that I would point readers again to the fact that the ACLU once defended the right of a teacher to teach American high school kids similar ideas.

For some excerpts from the celebrated textbook used to teach those ideas, read here.

I am delighted to see an article in The Guardian confirming the connections between Darwinism and eugenics and Nazi Germany, which Abraham Foxman and many Darwinian proponents denied (with insults added), as discussed here and here. The article states in part:

But the writings of literary eugenicists betray their real roots: fear. In 1915 Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary: "On the towpath we met and had to pass a long line of imbeciles. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed." HG Wells openly advocated the killing of the weak by the strong, insisting that "those swarms of blacks, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people ... will have to go".

. . .

Fear was translated into action in many European countries and US states that adopted eugenicist sterilisation policies. In liberal Sweden, more than 62,000 people (mostly women) with physical or mental disabilities or considered to be socially "undesirable", were sterilised against their will, and the policy continued well into the 1970s. The full horror of eugenics was realised in the 1934 German "racial hygiene" laws, which led to the enforced sterilisation of more than 80,000 individuals.

Hitler's enthusiastic support of its principles established eugenics as the pariah of postwar science. But many geneticists continued to investigate the genetic basis of intelligence, creativity, sexuality and criminality.


The gratuitous anti-Americanism at the end of the article seems to come out of nowhere.

4 Comments:

At October 24, 2007 11:24 PM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nazi anti-semitism targeted all Jews, not just mentally and/or physically defective Jews, and was therefore not a eugenics program. The contribution of eugenics to Nazi anti-semitism was to create the idea that it was morally acceptable to eliminate undesirables.

 
At October 25, 2007 9:38 AM, Anonymous John said...

Larry, the way the Nazis justified targeting all Jews was to classify their entire "race" as genetically defective, so it technically falls under the eugenics banner. Not that it's a "correct" eugenics doctrine, mind you, but the German scientists and doctors thought it was sound enough to go forward with their horrendous work.

As far as anti-American sentiments go, eugenics was a nasty, cancerous little idea in the minds of the elites in government here, just like everywhere else. Buck v. Bell, the Tuskegee syphilis study, and probably numerous incidents we've yet to hear about have left evil stains on our nation.

The only real good to come from the Holocaust was an awakening to the horror which results from nihilistic Darwinian dogma being applied to human beings.

 
At October 25, 2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Larry, the way the Nazis justified targeting all Jews was to classify their entire "race" as genetically defective, <<<<<<

Well, that was obviously absurd. I don't think anyone bought that. Unless we can plausibly explain how eugenics was connected to Nazi anti-semitism, we risk losing the argument to those who claim that eugenics was not connected to Nazi anti-semitism.

 
At October 25, 2007 5:19 PM, Anonymous John said...

>>>I don't think anyone bought that.<<<

Who's "anyone"? The scientists who preceded and were contemporaries of Hitler? Even the staunch Darwinians on Wikipedia must confess that.

Hitler simply took eugenics, which you seem to believe only applies to eliminating the sick, deranged, and feeble-minded, and extended it to race.

Darwin himself did the same thing in "The Descent of Man", though he wasn't as aggressive about it; he was merely providing justification of British imperialism.

Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics, certainly understood the full implications of Charles' work:

"My proposal is to make the encouragement of the Chinese settlements at one or more suitable places on the East Coast of Africa a par of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race."

If you're arguing that Jews were not considered a race by scientists at the time, may I point out that just a few years ago it was all the rage to talk about how the Ashkenazi Jews were "naturally selected" for high intelligence, among other things?

 

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