Wednesday, August 23, 2006


ADL Blasts Christian Supremacist TV Special and Book Blaming Darwin For Hitler

Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League blasted a television documentary produced by Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries that attempts to link Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler and the atrocities of the Holocaust.

The ADL also denounced Coral Ridge Ministries for misleading Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the NIH, and wrongfully using him as part of its twisted documentary, "Darwin's Deadly Legacy."

"This is an outrageous and shoddy attempt by D. James Kennedy to trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement. "Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people. Trivializing the Holocaust comes from either ignorance at best or, at worst, a mendacious attempt to score political points in the culture war on the backs of six million Jewish victims and others who died at the hands of the Nazis.

"It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of 'Christian Supremacists' who seek to "reclaim America for Christ" and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law."

Read more at Pharyngula which reports Francis Collins, who was originally reported to have been a participant in the program, as saying that he was "appalled," and calling the program "misguided and inflammatory."

It strikes RSR that Christian Supremacist is really the proper label for intelligent design activists such as Discovery Institute fellow Richard Weikart and others who demand that their particular interpretation of the Bible be given official status, placing it above other interpretations and varieties of religious belief by having it written into public school curriculums and the law.

Weikart, of course, remains unrepentant:

Weikart's book, From Darwin to Hitler concludes that Darwinism played a key role not only in the rise of eugenics, but also in euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, and racial extermination, all ultimately embraced by the Nazis.

"Among German historians, there's really not much debate about whether or not Hitler was a social Darwinist," said historian Richard Weikart, author of "From Darwin to Hitler" and a guest on the television special in response to the ADL statement.

However, as with all things intelligent design, the consensus that Weikart asserts isn't all it's reported to be:

In May 2005, Red State Rabble reported a speech by Robert Richards, the Morris Fishbein Professor in the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago, at the Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture, titled, "The Narrative Structure of Moral Judgments in History," which discussed Weikart's work:

"Weikart offers his book as a disinterested historical analysis. In that objective fashion that bespeaks the scientific historian, he declares ‘I will leave it the reader to decide how straight or twisted the path is from Darwinism to Hitler after reading my account.

’"Well, after reading his account, there can be little doubt not only of the direct causal path from Charles Darwin through Ernst Haeckel to Adolf Hitler but of Darwin’s and Haeckel’s complicity in the atrocities committed by Hitler and his party. They bear historical responsibility.

"It is disingenuous, I believe, for the author to pretend that most readers might come to their own conclusions despite the moral grammar of this history."

Richards concludes his speech by saying, "It can only be a tendentious and dogmatically driven assessment that would condemn Darwin for the crimes of the Nazis."

And, of course, Dr. Richards is by no mean alone among historians in his assessment of Weikart's writings.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?