Sunday, December 23, 2012

"When your children grow up, they will be loathe to admit that their father is ..."


Commentor Hoo:

"When your children grow up, they will be loathe to admit that their father is a silly crank who rails against science. That is too bad."

I've actually thought about that a lot.

My activism began about a decade ago when I read Edwin Black's "War Against the Weak", a history of eugenics. I was shocked and angered, and felt a deep shame that the medical profession played a role in something like eugenics.

I wondered: what would I have done? Eugenics was mainstream from 1900 through the 1930's. All of the best medical schools endorsed it, and many taught courses in it. It was "scientific". People in the profession who opposed it (and there weren't many) were labeled with the equivalent of "deniers" that we have today.

I hoped that I would have had the insight and courage to oppose eugenics, and to protect my patients from it. My patients after all are prime eugenic targets-- neurologically handicapped kids.

I have come to understand that eugenics is not over. If anything, it is more pervasive, albeit insidious, than it was in the early 20th century. Now-a-days eugenics is 'cleaner'. We search out and abort handicapped babies. Now some countries are killing handicapped children at birth.

And I've come to see that this horrendously anti-human crusade has other forms-- overpopulation fanaticism, anti-pesticide lunacy, global warming hysteria. It's the same people really-- quite literally, the membership of the eugenic organizations of the 1950's simply shifted over to the population control organizations of the 1960's. The same malevolent loons wage war on DDT and demand control of the world's energy. Same junk science. Same inhumanity. Same arrogance. Same malevolence.

So when my kids grow up (three of our four are already in college, grad school and working), I want them to know exactly what I did. I rail against eugenics, population control, anti-pesticide fanaticism, and global warming hysteria.

I want my kids to know that I stood against it.

16 comments:

  1. I know you're not anti-science, Dr. Egnor. Neither am I. That's a charge that's been consistently leveled against those who oppose a very evil agenda.

    Science is a wonderful thing but it's a method of determining the truth, not an unquestionable truth in and of itself. It actual REQUIRES doubt and questioning, which is why we should never be afraid to doubt and question its conclusions, even if means being labelled "anti-science."

    The science of yesteryear is something of an embarrassment to science enthusiasts today. You mentioned eugenics. One hundred years ago, science had proven that blacks were lower forms of life. Phrenology was cutting edge science.

    If you think that the scientists of the future won't laugh at some of the things we hold true today, you're wrong. They'll think we were cookoo. That's why it's important to keep refining our understanding by asking questions and raising doubts. All of the screaming and wailing about the science being "settled" really doesn't help. Science is never settled, it's always a work in progress.

    TRISH

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    1. I agree, TRISH.

      When I was a kid, I would go to a local used book store and browse, sometimes all day. They had a lot of old science books-- 1900 vintage. It was fun to read them, because 90% of the science was wrong. Surprisingly little science even from a century ago is still taken as truth. Much of it is outlandish.

      The same will be true in 2100. The arrogant scientists today who try to shut down debate are historically ignorant. Much of what we believe now is either absurd or woefully incomplete.

      The science-deniers are the scientists who censor.

      By the way, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    2. I know you're not anti-science, Dr. Egnor.

      Are you kidding? He's an intelligent design creationist.

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    3. No, they’re not going to think scientists were cookoo. Our understanding in virtually every field is such that we have very good observational and experimental reasons for believing the correctness of the most important theories. Scientists understand that our current theories will remain useful in the domains they describe, just as Newtonian gravity remains useful despite general relativity.

      The history of science is all laid out to see. There has been fairly steady progress in science as theories become ever more accurate. Sure there have been plenty of wrong directions and dead-ends, but we usually know the reasoning that went into them. Nobody will dismiss quantum gravity physicists as cookoo even if they are proven totally wrong by some version of M-theory.

      It’s the religious people that will continue to be pointed to as cookoo.

      -KW

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    4. Science is a mixture of genius, honest error, stupidity, and criminality.

      Darwinism is manifest stupidity. RM+NS is bad philosophy, and not science at all.

      Eugenics, Malthusian overpopulation hysteria, anti-pesticide lunacy, and AGW are already, or will be soon, dismissed as not merely stupidity, but criminality.

      My intent is to do everything I can to make sure people know it.

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    5. Darwinism is manifest stupidity.

      This sentence his hilarious, especially coming from a creationist.

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    6. Darwinism is manifest stupidity.

      Exactly! Darwinism cannot explain the software of life because the only tool it can use is dumb luck.

      Software is analogous to intelligence.

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  2. As I've mentioned before, my own mother was used as a human guinea pig by "medical science" here in the US in the 1930s as a consequence of that whole Darwinistic eugenics mindset that "all the right people" at the time were so into.

    She was born crippled in the legs. They made it far worse ... among other things, they played (sliced-and-diced) with some of the nerves and removed some of the tendons in her lower back and the entire lengths of her legs.

    THAT is what these fools mean by being "pro-science"; that we oppose such things is why they call us "anti-science".

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    1. that whole Darwinistic eugenics mindset
      doesn't exist.

      THAT is what these fools mean by being "pro-science"
      No.

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  3. Engor: "Darwinism is manifest stupidity. RM+NS is bad philosophy, and not science at all. "

    damned-fool intellectually dishonest DarwinDefender: "This sentence his hilarious, especially coming from a creationist."

    There, in a nutshell, is the "debate" between anti-Darinists (not all of whor are even 'theists', much less 'creationists') and pathological DarwinDefenders --
    1) the anti-Darwinist presents logical reasoning to reject Darwinism:
    2) the damned-fool DarwinDefender "rebuts" the anti-Darwinist by "arguing" that the anti-Darwinist is a stupid doody-head.

    1) logical arguments
    2) anti-logical ad hominem "arguments"

    It's really all they have, isn't it?

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    1. 1) the anti-Darwinist presents logical reasoning to reject Darwinism:

      Here's where you go wrong. Egnor's railing about "RM+NS" isn't even close to a logical argument. It isn't much of an argument of any kind. It just demonstrates that he doesn't understand what he's railing against, and apparently neither do you.

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    2. 2) the damned-fool DarwinDefender "rebuts" the anti-Darwinist by "arguing" that the anti-Darwinist is a stupid doody-head.
      Creationists are totally immune to rational arguments, so calling them idiots avoids wasting time.

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  4. One hundred years ago, science had proven that blacks were lower forms of life. Phrenology was cutting edge science.

    Except it hadn't, and almost no reputable scientist believed in either. Your grasp of history seems to be as weak as your grasp of science.

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  6. Are there crazy anti-human environmentalists? Yes.

    Does this then mean that there is no environmental crisis? No.

    That is basically what you assert, however, which is the same tactic, I will note, that many atheists use to criticize Christians; i.e. they point out all the bad examples and then say "see, Christianity is evil."

    The enviromental crisis is very real. As you are a self-labelled conservative Catholic you could look at the distributist literature and men like E.F. Schumacher, G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc, who have much pro-environment literature. Hard to believe a "conservative" Catholic would not be anti-capitalist and pro-environment, unless by conservative Catholic you mean you are simply a run of the mill American Catholic who follows what passes for conservatism in America.

    -Frank

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    1. What "environmental crisis"?

      Deterioration of the human gene pool (eugenic hysteria)?

      Overpopulation?

      Pesticides?

      We've had a century of green hoaxes. Show me evidence of an environmental "crisis".

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