Rhetorical Excess of the Day [II] - Evolution News & Views

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Rhetorical Excess of the Day [II]

The tasteless, over-the-top effort by some Darwinists (especially those at the ACLU) to castigate anyone who disagrees with them on evolution as Nazis or Holocaust deniers continues unabated. In a recent article in the Cleveland Jewish News, Jeffrey Selman, whom the ACLU represented in the Cobb County case, implies that if we allow students to hear about scientific criticisms of evolutionary theory we are one step away from putting Jews in the ovens:

When a federal judge in Georgia ruled last week that a local school board's decision to put a small sticker on its science textbooks labeling evolution "a theory, not a fact" was unconstitutional, Jeffrey Selman said it was primarily an American issue.

Still, he said, he could not help but view it through the lens of his Jewishness.

"Look what happened in Germany," said Selman..."The German Jews said, 'We're Germans. We'll be fine.' The next thing you know, they were opening the oven doors for us."

The biting irony of this sort of rhetoric is that Selman is apparently oblivious to the significant role Darwinian theory played in providing a supposedly scientific justification for Nazi ideology. As historian Richard Weikart explains in his meticulously documented recent book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, Darwin's theory was an important formative influence on the development of the ideology of National Socialism. Of course, this does not mean that evolutionary theory produced Hitler, or that Nazi ideology was somehow a necessary conclusion from Darwinian theory. Still less does it mean that current defenders of Darwin's theory are responsible for the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis. But it is simply Orwellian for defenders of Darwin to try to suggest that criticism of Darwin's theory can in any way be tied to the Holocaust--especially when critics of Darwin were some of the most vocal opponents of the sort of eugenics policies championed by the Nazis and leading American defenders of Darwin's theory! It is also contemptible that the ACLU, which claims to believe in free speech, would use this tasteless tactic in an effort to shut down and censor legitimate scientific debate over the validity of Darwin's theory.

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