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Intelligent design and popular culture: Darwin activism hits Toronto

I was out doing errands today, and what do you know? The Toronto city parking pay kiosks in my neighbourhood were plastered with signs advertising, “Intelligent Design: War on Science”, and a whole bunch of other stuff we should supposedly all rush down to see at the Brunswick Theatre.

Yeah really. Intelligent design’s war on science? How about: Creeps’ war on public property? That’s more like it!

If anyone catches these people, they should be made to remove all that stuff at their own trouble and expense. If they can’t afford regular advertising, that’s most likely because their cause isn’t popular. Unpopularity does not give them a right to deface public property.

Or am I whistling down the wind here? Is the point that Darwin’s brownshirts can do whatever they please?

Also, recently at the Mindful Hack, O’Leary’s blog on neuroscience issues:

Does quantum physics really say goodbye to reality?

The weak point of mysticism

Does advanced technology mean loss of spirituality? Not that you would notice.

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17 Responses to Intelligent design and popular culture: Darwin activism hits Toronto

  1. Make up some small stickers that read “Pseudo” (using a personal computer & printer with mailing labels would be cheap & easy) and place them in front of “Science”. No need to let slightly flawed signs go to waste when the correction is so easy! :)

  2. Then I would merely be adding to the visual pollution, and would justly be expected to help clean up the mess. I’d rather watch the action from the front windows. -d.

  3. 3
    Vladimir Krondan

    O’leary asks,

    Does quantum physics really say goodbye to reality?

    Why do scientists presuppose that elementary particles should behave like matter? Does an iron atom behave like iron? If matter is made of elementary things, one cannot say that elementary things are then made of matter. So why do scientists feign surprise when they discover that electrons do not behave like ping-pong balls?

  4. “Intelligent Design: War on Science”

    Exactly what the Hegelian dialectic requires of them as manipulators of public opinion and lame propagandists of a lost cause.

    They are poor losers who have to invent an enemy (ID) then proclaim themselves the public saviors in order to keep control.

    Personally I think Dave’s idea is a good one. The defacing is already done. Don’t let it go to waste. Get some students to correct the posters typo. ;-)

  5. Denyse,

    When slurring the darwinists in future, would it be possible to not invoke Nazi metaphors?

  6. From Denyse: Yes, come to think of it, I had lost track of the derivation of “brownshirt”.

    Would “blackshirts” be okay?

    Something like that had BETTER be okay, because that is what I DO mean.

    It is NO “slur” to refer in such terms to the sort of people who contemptuously deface public property while promoting their private worldview.

    They are making a statement: That they are entitled to appropriate and deface public assets.

    If they are tolerated, the next stage is intimidation.

  7. Denyse, I guess thats better, but not much… I will leave it to your journalistic judgement and ethics.

    I personaly think that while I don’t condone defacing public propoerty, its great that they are doing this as it simply underlines the fact evolutionism is waaay more than a mere scientific theory and it has spawned its own cadre of activists and proselytisers with their poster campaigns and all.

    However I don’t buy into the idea that they are a potential threat to society, at least no more than creationists are supposed to be. But then I am fairly far removed from the culture war, not living in North America. Perhaps I am missing something.

  8. antg,

    Everybody goes about their day in most of North America without seeing the influence of the fundamentalist Christians or the thought police as illustrated by the Darwinists. Where Darwinist coercion shows up is in the classrooms in subtle but consistent ways and occasionally in the media, especially the print media.

    But the brownshirt approach seems to be spreading slowly to the general culture beyond the school systems for certain topics such as hate laws and global warming where a uniformity of thought is being demanded. Evolution is small potatoes compared to some of the other topics but conformity there is being demanded sometimes not too subtlety.

    I notice that you didn’t object to the content of the poster that ID is a war against science. If you read this site then you know that is absurd. So why didn’t you object? It cannot be because Darwinian evolution does not need to be criticized so how would you express the conformity that is being demanded in schools to accept a bogus science. Not quite brownshirts yet but getting close.

  9. I notice that you didn’t object to the content of the poster that ID is a war against science. If you read this site then you know that is absurd. So why didn’t you object?

    Hmm, Jerry, doesn’t that sound like the people you have just described? Am I either for you or against you?

    Regarding the posters, its easy to say that ID is a war on science if you conflate darwinian evolution with science. As to whether ID or Darwinism is science or pseudo-science comes down to how you define science.

  10. Personally, considering that Darwinism spawned the scientific background and justifications of the holocaust I see no reason to change the brownshirt terminology.

    Not that all Darwinists are Nazis or even like Nazis. Nevertheless, that lame excuse for science, which is nothing but the materialist’s origins myth, was at the root of Nazi eugenics.

    Given the way Darwinists have publicly and privately persecuted and attempted to intimidate ID scientists in the last years, (using the same pathetic tactics that hate groups like Nazis used before WWII), I see no qualms for abstaining from the use of brownshirts when applied to zealots posting propaganda posters.

    A superficial visit to TPT should be enough to convince anyone of the kind of vehement hatred and vitriol that fuels so much of Darwinism today.

    antg: Perhaps you ought to upgrade your knowledge of history?

  11. I agree with Borne. The prelude to Kristallnacht was first the boycotting of businesses owned by the object of hatred, followed quickly by the posting of signs in front of the resisters’ stores, finally culminating in the infamous pogrom.

    The evangelical atheists’ hostility towards religion in general and Christians in particular, coupled with their conflation of ID with Christianity, makes the reported incident a troubling (though not exact) parallel.

  12. antg,

    Your reading comprehension skills seem to be lacking.

    How do make the judgment

    “Hmm, Jerry, doesn’t that sound like the people you have just described? Am I either for you or against you?”

    When I am proposing is open discussion and so is ID.

  13. Jerry, your question came across as if I have to confess my affirmation or not of the statement ‘ID is a war on science’. That seemed coercive to me, hence my response. If I misunderstood you, my apologies.

    The logic being defended above is that illegally putting up posters will lead to intimidation and then to coercion. If I may take it to its logical conclusions, this will then lead to these people sweeping to political power and then sending off the faithful to concentration camps and ultimately genocide. That is what the Nazis did. Do we really think the Darwin movement is like that? Given the spinechilling and appalling evil of the Nazi movement, I personally don’t think we should make the comarison lightly, even if the other side do the same. I guess that means I’m from the Neville Chaimberlain school of intelligent design!

    Denyse I apologise for taking the thread on a tangent, but I sometimes question whether the rhetoric on this blog goes a bit below the belt every now and then. Maybe its because its just a blog. I don’t know.

  14. antg: I think you misconstrued what was said.

    “The logic being defended above i…s will lead to intimidation and then to coercion. … this will then lead to these people sweeping to political power and then sending off the faithful to concentration camps and ultimately genocide.”

    You’ve got it a bit backwards.

    Darwinism was the scientific justification underlying Nazi eugenics (mass murder). It was there long before any posters were put up or any intimidation attempted.

    Illegally posting evo dogma will not lead to intimidation. Darwinism has already intimidated and persecuted IDists. Posting anti-ID propaganda is just a symptom of deeper problem.

    Intimidation of IDists is the norm already.

    It is not just a straight comparison either. It is simply what history tells us about Darwinism’s horrific record on human rights. Darwinists can deny it all they please – it is history not opinion.

    Funny one never sees anything in the pop sci-shows about that part of Darwinism’s past ‘accomplishments’.

    So when one sees Darwinian Youth out bursting with fear-mongering zeal and nonsense about ID being a war against science the ID community is justified to take notice and complain.

  15. What is the justification for claiming that “Darwinism was the scientific justification underlying Nazi eugenics (mass murder)”?

    You say this is history, not opinion, and yet I don’t think I’ve seen evidence to that effect. I’ve seen quotes about Hitler claiming to be doing God’s work, but not that he was inspired by Darwinism.

    If there are quotes… I suppose we could get into a quote war comparing the two views, but it probably wouldn’t go anywhere useful.

    Either way, can we just drop the argument? What some people choose to do with information does not speak to the truthfulness of that information. This is effectively an ad hominem attack.

  16. Eric: Suggest you check out the following:
    From Darwin to Hitler by Richard Weikart
    ;His online lecture: Does Darwinism devalue human life
    And his Roots of Hitler’s Evil

    As well as his Response to critics

    Also here on this site :
    Hitler as social Darwinist

    You say, “What some people choose to do with information does not speak to the truthfulness of that information.”

    This is true in most cases, but not in this one.

    If we were saying that Hitler covered his evil doings by using Darwinism your statement would be correct. Just as the way many Popes and various radicals in the past have used the cover of Christianity to accomplish horrific sufferings in the name of Christ.

    But that isn’t the case here. The link between Darwinism and Hitler’s acts is direct and really quite a logical one.

    Jonathan Witt comments on this thus (my emphasis),

    It’s a long review, but well worth the read. In reading the review and the book, what is striking, ultimately, isn’t that evil has been done in the name of Darwinism. Every influential paradigm in history has been co-opted for evil purposes. What is striking is how reasonably and logically many of the horrors documented in Weikart’s book follow from Darwinian principles—e.g., the survival of the fittest populations (genocide), the great good that supposedly comes from natural selection eliminating the weak and defective (eugenics and forced sterilizations), the notion that humans are merely smart animals (moral pragmatism, which in turns underwrites not only genocide and eugenics but also even the cruelest kinds of human experimentation, provided they can further medical research).

    The fact that Darwin’s theory has resulted in violence does not, of course, make that theory wrong. But it certainly provides a healthy motivation for considering with an open mind the growing body of scientific evidence against the theory.

    While Weikart documents the pervasive influence of Darwinism on the development of Nazi ideology, he also makes clear that history is often not straightforward and that Darwinism did not “inevitably” lead to the Holocaust. Nevertheless, “without Darwinism, especially in its social Darwinist and eugenics permutations, neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.” (From Darwin to Hitler, p. 233)

    The link between Nazi genocide and Darwin is a clear and logical one.

    Ideas have consequences. Claiming that an idea cannot be proven right or wrong because of it’s consequences is not correct in all cases. Some ideas have direct moral consequences. Ideas with direct moral consequences must be judged with those consequences in mind.

    Darwinism in it’s purest materialist form has devastating moral consequences.

    I once listened to a “pure” Darwinist university professor discuss morality and ethics from a Darwinist materialist view. Same view as Dawkins, Provine et al.

    An attendee stood and asked during question period at the end whether or not it was right to kill humans”. A dead silence followed. The prof refused to answer.

    Nazis killed jews with no cringe of conscience whatsoever. Why? Jews were not as evolved and thus not really “human” in their minds. So killing a jew was no different than killing an animal.

    Hitler called blacks “monstrosities”.
    This view came from his belief that blacks were an inferior race – still very close to primates on the evo scale.

    You might also want to check out Beate W. Smith’s (wife of late Dr. AE Wilder Smith) book, “The Day Nazi Germany Died”. Same conclusions from an eye witness.

    One could go on quoting page upon page.
    Hope you get the point that this is not what you claim – a mere ad hom.

  17. Borne –
    Where you lose me is when quotes like this:
    “he also makes clear that history is often not straightforward and that Darwinism did not “inevitably” lead to the Holocaust”

    and this: “The fact that Darwin’s theory has resulted in violence does not, of course, make that theory wrong”

    are near quotes like this: “Darwinism in it’s purest materialist form has devastating moral consequences.”

    Interestingly, in the response to his critics in your link, he seems to refute some of what you’re suggesting by quoting one of his reviews:

    “Darwin’s ideas are not directly responsible for the Holocaust, Weikart claims, because the principles of evolution do not necessarily lead to Hitler’s destructive philosophy.”

    I also find your anecdote about the professor unwilling to answer a question about killing humans somewhat misleading. I have many friends that are far more religious than me that have less of a problem advocating violence, death penalties and war than I do. Just as I don’t judge Christianity as a whole based on their specific views, I think it is unfair to judge a scientific theory for any views that people may read into it. (Especially when it’s not even intended to teach values as it is generally described.)

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