Saturday, December 21, 2013

Monkeying with the Monkey Trial



Jerry Coyne is in a tizzy about David Klinghoffer's and my posts on his bizarre photo taken while he was hugging the grave of John Scopes, the defendant in the Scopes Monkey Trial. Coyne hides behind the skirt of English historian Adam Shapiro, a self-styled expert on the trial who wrote a book about it.

Shapiro raises some issues on his blog that should be addressed. Shapiro, with my commentary:
Why Attacking John Scopes as Racist isn’t True

Two fellows of the Discovery Institute have been criticizing biologist and prominent critic of antievolutionism Jerry Coyne after he posted a picture of himself visiting the grave of John Scopes earlier this month. The substance of both Michael Egnor’s and David Klinghoffer’s response was the same: Scopes was put on trial for teaching from a horribly racist textbook that promoted eugenics. Therefore, it’s unconscionable that Coyne should embrace Scopes (or more specifically his tombstone,) or declare that he should like to shake Scopes’ hand, unless Coyne was also legitimating the horrible racism that Scopes taught to some poor innocent Tennessee school children.
Scopes was put on trial for violating the Butler Act, which prohibited teaching human evolution to schoolchildren in Tennessee. What Scopes actually taught, if anything, is unclear, because Scopes lied about what he did, and the trial was a legal ploy to spur a Supreme Court ruling. The truth was irrelevant to Scopes and to his team.

Hunter's textbook Civic Biology was racist and taught eugenics. It was vile stuff. If a teacher taught from it today, he wouldn't be prosecuted for violating the Butler Act. He would be prosecuted for federal civil rights violations.

Shapiro correctly observes that Tennessee school children were innocent, and largely poor. And their parents didn't want them taught human evolutionary swill in school.
Coyne responded to these posts which prompted an even longer response from Egnor which essentially doubled down on Scopes’s alleged racism, and demanded that Scopes ought to have “taught the controversy” rather than just teaching eugenics.
Seems an obvious point. Since Scopes lied about what he actually taught, we have to go with hypotheticals. Should Scopes have taught eugenic racism from the text, or should he have taught the kids that this was dodgy science and repellant morality? Coyne and Shapiro are still thinking about it.
Egnor’s first post links to the Wikipedia page for the textbook Scopes used in 1925, George W. Hunter’s 1914 Civic Biology. (Egnor also links to a page from the UMKC law project that shows some pages scanned from the textbook, but he quotes directly from the Wikipedia page. The UMKC link doesn’t contain all of the material that’s cited. It seems that Egnor went only by what he read on Wikipedia, even though the entire Civic Biology is available for free, at least in the US on google books.) As I’ll discuss a bit later on, the quotes from Hunter’s text in the Wikipedia entry are somewhat out of context, running together passages from different parts of the book, which give the impression that evolution and eugenics were closely related.

I quote the text. And of course evolution and eugenics were closely related. Eugenics was experimental human evolution, as defined by eugenicists. The headquarters of eugenic science in the United States at Cold Spring Harbor was founded in 1904 and was named the Station for Experimental Evolution.
I noticed that the Wikipedia page for the Civic Biology actually cites my book as a reference, but clearly Egnor didn’t bother with it. Egnor (and Klinghoffer’s) posts are rife with patently false historical assertions about Scopes and about the Civic Biology. Coyne’s has some error as well, but much less.
Why I would quote Shapiro's obscure book is unclear, when I quoted the actual text of Civic Biology. If I wanted to quote a water-carrier for eugenic historical revision, I had many other choices. Most of the other sources sharing Shapiro's apologetic eugenic historiography were written in German, but translations are available.
Did Scopes Teach the Eugenics Section of the Civic Biology? 
Egnor states that “Coyne’s hero taught the schoolchildren of Dayton from a textbook with rancid eugenic racist hate.” But (as Coyne correctly points out) Scopes wasn’t the regular biology teacher, he only filled in as a substitute briefly. It’s almost certain that Scopes, personally, did not cover the eugenics passages. For that matter, Scopes was unsure that he’d even taught evolution, relating in his memoir that he had to go back and look in the textbook to even be sure it was in there.
Would you forget whether you gave a lecture endorsing eugenic genocide?
But Egnor’s subtle and precise in never actually stating that Scopes taught racism or eugenics. In his second post he says: “Scopes’s legacy consists entirely of inviting prosecution by proudly teaching human evolution from a eugenic racist textbook.” Scopes taught the textbook. The textbook taught eugenics. Given that Scopes didn’t even remember whether he’d covered evolution, it’s probable that he didn’t even know (beforehand) that the textbook he was reviewing contained eugenics. Nonetheless, Scopes is morally appalling to Egnor and Klinghoffer because of his association with the textbook. By extension, Coyne is appalling because of his embrace of Scopes.
Scopes didn't remember if he covered evolution. Scopes didn't know if the textbook contained eugenics. The textbook he admitted using contained eugenics and racist swill. All, apparently, reasons the Coyne couldn't resist hugging his grave.

Presumably, if Scopes had remembered teaching non-racist-non-eugenic human evolution, Coyne, being an enlightened fellow, would have been even more enthusiastic, and would've dug Scopes up and kissed him.
Interestingly, William Jennings Bryan tried the same thing during the Scopes trial. In one of his speeches, he began to attack Hunter’s Civic Biology for other material that it contained rather than the part that ostensibly put Scopes afoul of the law. (Note that even then, Bryan didn’t even think the Eugenics was worth mentioning.) As I argue in my book, this backfired tremendously as it opened the door to the defense to discuss the broader relationship of evolution to religion.
Bryan detested the Darwinian peon to natural selection and survival of the fittest in human evolution as an incitement to cruelty to the weak and as a horrendous affront to human dignity. He was right, as any reading of Civic Biology, and any honest historiography of the first century of Darwinism and eugenics, will attest.
Did Scopes’s Accusers Mind the Racism or Eugenics of the Civic Biology 
In an earlier post, I argued that antievolutionists in the 1910s and 20s were not motivated by antagonism towards eugenics. In fact, the same year that the antievolution law was passed, the state legislature also passed a General Education Bill that reinforced school segregation.
Tennessee was one of the minority of states that refused to pass a eugenic sterilization law. Shapiro slanders the good people who tried to prevent the teaching of racist eugenics swill to their children, while he shills for the Darwinists who wrote and taught the swill.
If anything John Scopes indicates in his memoir that his family was quite opposed to racism.
Scopes lied about the entire context of the trial. His memoirs, Shapiro insists, are to be trusted implicitly. Did Scopes' memory improved after the trial?  He remembered that he was no racist. But he still couldn't remember if he taught that weak people should be sterilized and that Negroes are closer than Caucasians to apes.
Historian Jeffrey Moran has noted that while some African-Americans were opposed to evolution at the time of the Scopes trial, their concerns were its incompatibility with scripture not the purported eugenic applications of evolution. Moran also noted that

African-American intellectuals invoked Scopes and the respectability of science as part of their struggle against white supremacy in the South: they identified with John Scopes as a victim of southern repression and they claimed that antievolutionism derived much of its strength from racist assumptions that resonated with white southerners. 
After insulting Tennesseans for opposing eugenic racism in their schools, Shapiro claims that blacks were really on the Darwinian side. I wonder how many black kids learned their biology from the chapters in Civic Biology that Scopes taught (or didn't teach or whatever). "Mama, I didn't do so well on the bio final, but it says that we're closer to the anthropomorphous apes, so there'll be a curve."
If people though that Scopes and what he taught was deeply racist, you’d think that would show up more among the racial minorities who were close audiences to the Scopes trial. For the record, although Bryan was personally opposed to the KKK, he also opposed the Democratic Party’s consideration of a 1924 platform resolution condemning them. At least for some African-Americans, Bryan’s accommodation of the KKK a year earlier certainly shaped their distrust of his agendas at the Scopes trial.
After insulting Tennesseans for rejecting Darwinian filth about human evolution and asserting that blacks really liked being compared to apes by Darwinists, Shapiro tries to stick the KKK label on Bryan, who detested and fought the Klan all his life.

Such is Shapiro's "scholarship". Carrying water for eugenicists is no easy task, nor pretty.
How Racist was Eugenics in the 1920s? 
Eugenics was described by Hunter in the Civic Biology as the improvement of the human population, not as the basis of ensuring the superiority of those races. It’s true that eugenic sterilizations in the United States (some of which stayed on the books until the 21st century) were deeply racially skewed: both in terms of racist assumptions built into intelligence testing and in selective enforcement of the eugenic laws. However, the racial disparities became more pronounced in after the Second World War. In the 1910s and 20s, eugenics seems to have been less about race and more about class: specifically the class of people who were perceived as non-contributors to society: criminals, the “feebleminded” and the immoral.
Eugenicists attributed class degeneration to biological factors, prime of which were race. Shapiro, who pretends to scholarship on eugenics and race, should read Lothrop Stoddard's classic 1920 eugenic text The Rising Tie of Color against White World-Supremacy, published five years before the Scopes Trial, during which Shapiro claims that eugenics wasn't racist. Harvard-trained Stoddard was perhaps the early 20th century's most prominent scientific racist and a leading (and foaming) eugenicist.

In human evolutionary biology, race and class were joined at the eugenic hip, without a sliver of light between them.

Surely Dr. Shapiro doesn't believe that eugenicists were trying to breed a ruling class of eugenically superior Negroes.
Eugenics was considered an application of a biological principle of heredity moreso than evolution (inasmuch as those could be seen as distinct principles.) This included the presumption that at the cultural and developmental level, social improvements (or disimprovements) could be passed on. The eugenic theories that were outlined in Hunter in 1914 were based on a combination of hard (genetic) inheritance principles as well as “soft inheritance.” That is to say that (this era of eugenics) prescribed neither essentialist or hierarchical views of race.
Eugenics was applied human evolution-- experimental evolution as the eugenicists named it--  and the science of eugenics antedated the science of genetics by more than a generation. Galton (Darwin's cousin) introduced eugenics in 1871 and named it in 1883. The Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor-- the excrescence of eugenic science in America-- opened in 1904, a year before the word "genetics" first appeared in the scientific literature.

Human evolutionary biology and eugenic science routinely invoked the proximity of Negroes to anthropomorphous apes, although not essentially or hierarchically proximal, as Dr. Shapiro reassuringly points out.
The passages of Hunter’s textbook that talks about the hierarchy of races are part of the section that discusses human evolution. But those are in a completely different chapter than the passages on eugenics.
One chapter on human evolution, and one chapter on applied human evolution.

For some reason, Shapiro believes this makes eugenics less racist.
Egnor states without citation: “Eugenic racism in 1925 was consensus science in the field of human evolution.” This statement is wrong on several levels. It’s wrong that eugenics was primarily about race (in 1925). It’s wrong that eugenics was primarily considered an application of human evolution (as opposed to heredity.) And it’s wrong to claim that it was a consensus. But disagreeing only with the last of those three claims tacitly reinforces the first two. This is an extremely subtle – and dishonest – rhetorical strategy.
Eugenics was about hate, for which race was central.

As I observed in a previous post, eugenics in 1925 was consensus science in the field of human evolution. By the late 1920's there were 376 eugenics courses in leading universities-- Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins, to name a few-- along with enthusiastic support from media and government. Eugenic science was funded lavishly by the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Harriman Railroad foundation, and the wealthy businessman J.H. Kellogg. Many national and international conferences on eugenics and human evolution were hosted at leading research institutions, including the American Museum of Natural History, and eugenic science gained the imprimatur of leading scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council. By the 1930's, thirty-one states in the U.S. passed compulsory sterilization laws based on mainstream eugenic science and human evolution, and eugenics would receive the explicit endorsement of the Supreme Court in 1926. By the end of the first half of the 20th century, sixty thousand Americans had been sterilized involuntarily on the basis of consensus eugenic science.

Nazi eugenics was a derivative of American (and to a lesser extent British) eugenics, and German eugenicists were effusive in their praise and acknowledgment of debt to American eugenicists.

There was astonishingly little criticism of eugenics from the scientific community in the United States, and almost none of it from the evolutionary biology community. The list of pioneering unrepentant eugenicists is a subset of the list of Darwin Medal recipients. The few scientists who did dissent in the 1920's were geneticists (T.H. Morgan), although most of the genetic dissent was on the science, not on the ethics. Of prominent evolutionary biologists, J.B.S. Haldane was almost alone in consistently criticizing eugenics as an affront to human dignity.

Eugenics was mainstream consensus evolutionary biology. The complicity of the scientific community-- and the near-unanimity of support from the evolutionary biology-- was a scandal of astonishing proportions, and the complicity of modern historians in covering up the truth of eugenics remains no less a scandal.

Among historiographic apologists for eugenics, casuistry such as Shapiro's is (to borrow a phrase) an extremely subtle-- and dishonest-- rhetorical strategy.

None of this is to say that eugenic practices were morally justified or shouldn’t shock us, but they weren’t directly connected to evolution. Scopes and other readers of Hunter’s textbook wouldn’t have seen it that way.

Eugenics was directly connected to evolution. Eugenics was a sub-discipline of human evolutionary biology-- "Experimental Evolution" as eugenicists at Cold Spring Harbor named their Institute.  The evolutionary rationale for eugenics was simple: man had evolved by natural selection, but civilizations' care for the weak and dissolute threatened the degeneration of the human species. It was necessary, to preserve the human race, to take evolution in hand, and to prevent the unfit from procreating.

The only alternatives to eugenics, from the Darwinian perspective, was natural selection-- wholesale slaughter of the unfit by the fit-- or evolutionary catastrophe.

Eugenics was advanced (incredibly) as humane enlightened applied human evolution. Contra Shapiro, eugenics was directly and explicitly connected to evolution.

The fact of the Scopes Trial is simply that John Scopes lied, and advanced the credibility and the teaching of evolutionary racism and eugenics.

So why would Coyne embrace Scopes' grave?

And why would Adam Shapiro embrace Coyne?


(Cross-posted at Evolution News and Views)

71 comments:

  1. Even if the theory of evolution led to eugenics (which I dispute), the theory of evolution (common ancestry, descent with modification, natural variation within populations and mechanisms - including natural selection- to alter the frequency of the variations within the populations) is as true as any other well accepted scientific theory.

    So, tough titties.

    'Experimental evolution?' 'Evolution isn't a trademark protected word. Anyone can use 'evolution' in whatever way he wants. Including 'teleological evolution' (whatever that is) favoured by Egnor.

    Darwinian evolution doesn't have any goals. Isn't concerned with maximising fitness. Its only concern is reproductive success. If reproductive success can be increased by losing a potentially useful, albeit expensive, function, then the loss of function will occur.

    Such as the loss of flight in birds on oceanic islands without predators. Evolution has no foresight. The dodo on Mauritius couldn't regain the power of flight to escape from bored English and Dutch sailors in the 17th century.

    Eugenics is just selective breeding, employed by humans on domestic plants and animals for at least 12000 years, applied to humans.

    If any sort of evolution could be considered allied to eugenics, then it's teleological evolution - which like eugenics has a future target to be reached - unlike Darwinian evolution, which has no directed future goal.

    Scopes needed to be convicted of breaking the Butler act. The aim was to eventually appeal to the Supreme Court, and have anti-evolution laws in all the states overturned or prevented.

    In the same way that the Discovery Institute deliberately put up a weak defence on the part of the school board in Dover, in order to be able to eventually appeal to the Supreme Court and allow ID to be taught in public schools.

    It failed, because the school board was voted out by the electors, and the new school board decided it was a further waste of money to appeal.

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  2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 21, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Looks like you've stimulated an evo-evo conga line, Doc. Good work!

    Anyway, I expect a flurry of "selective breeding [...] thousands of years [...] not Darwin [...] finches etc etc." comments.

    It's the myth of a common ancestor that denies the dignity of man, the unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, and justifies managing the herd through selective breeding, culls, and general reproductive management.

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    1. Grandpa,

      'The common ancestor' isn't a myth, it doesn't deny the dignity of Man, nor 'the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator' (there are religious scientists who accept Darwinian evolution as being true), and it doesn't justify selective breeding. It's neutral on selective breeding.

      Anyway. What do you think of prenuptial screening of couples for inherited disorders? An example of general reproductive management?

      Ashkenazy Jews in America have a program of testing for carriage of coeliac disease, a very common and nasty disease. Couples before marriage have the option of having their status revealed, and if both are heterozygote carriers - with a 25% chance of their offspring being affected with the disease - voluntarily not marrying, and hence reducing the incidence of the disease in their population.

      To be allowed or not?

      Delete
    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 21, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      The Common Ancestor myth that I referred to above denies the dignity of man insofar as it denies that man was - and is - infused with the Spirit. Nothing more than an animal.

      This myth is so important to those who burn for power that there is an entire scientific "industry" geared to establish that human beings are just like - and nothing more than - animals, just a little further along on some evolutionary number line. I have a PowerPoint slide that contains two images, one like this, and one like this. People get the point immediately.

      This "industry" spends millions on experimental psychologists, lab assistants, lab space, and equipment to condition primates to press a sequence representing "Bobo want grape", and claim language capability (if not talent) that is in the same category with this:

      For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
      And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
      And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
      Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
      In the sepulchre there by the sea,
      In her tomb by the sounding sea.


      There is a common thread that runs through these absurd category claims and the macabre historical record of mass murder, eugenics, and genocide. That thread is the notion of "meat men", the truth that "You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor" replaced with the lie "they evolved a little bit higher than a monkey". Bu even that lie is insufficient. To prove the lie, to pound it into the ground, we must now give human dignity to animals via animal rights: "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy".

      I certainly subscribe to the theory that life evolved in an orderly manner. The entire Cosmos is, mirabile dictu, orderly and accessible to our comprehension! Why would I -we - expect the emergence of life to be different?

      It's not evolution, or breeding technology, or genetic testing that is the problem. It is the basic philosophical perspective that human beings are nothing more than gigantic lumbering meat robots driven by a Prime Directive issued by a molecule.

      Delete
    3. Grandpa: The Common Ancestor myth that I referred to above denies the dignity of man insofar as it denies that man was - and is - infused with the Spirit.

      THeory of evolution does not deny the "spirit infusion." s a scientific discipline, it has nothing to say on the matters of this or that religious mythology. You are welcome to believe in spirits or to practice astrology.

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 21, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Hoots Toots another non sequitur: "THeory of evolution does not deny the "spirit infusion"

      I didn't say it did. Read the first, and penultimate, sentences again.

      Delete
    5. Grandpa, your communication skills are not good. Whatever coherent thoughts there might be inside you sick skull aren't getting out. Try again.

      Hoo

      Delete
  3. Adm. Dumbass, Retardistan Navy:

    It's the myth of a common ancestor that denies the dignity of man

    You mean Adam and Eve aren't our common ancestors? Good to see you haven't swallowed that childish fairy tale.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyDecember 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      Troi: Good to see you

      Good to see you, Troi!

      Delete
  4. Egnor is no match for Adam Shapiro. Shapiro knows a bit about the subject. So Egnor has to resort to making things up. For example, Egnor writes:

    What Scopes actually taught, if anything, is unclear, because Scopes lied about what he did... Since Scopes lied about what he actually taught, we have to go with hypotheticals.

    There is no evidence that Scopes lied at the trial. He did not even testify! Here is what happened, according to Wikipedia: Scopes mentioned [to his attorneys] that while he couldn't remember whether he had actually taught evolution in class, he had, however, gone through the evolution chart and chapter with the class. Scopes added to the group: "If you can prove that I've taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I'll be willing to stand trial."

    Egnor: Eugenics was experimental human evolution, as defined by eugenicists. The headquarters of eugenic science in the United States at Cold Spring Harbor was founded in 1904 and was named the Station for Experimental Evolution.

    Bullshit. Charles Davenport, who founded the Station for Experimental Evolution defined eugenics thus: the eugenical standpoint is that of the agriculturalist who, while recognizing the value of culture, believes that permanent advance is to be made only by securing the best ''blood."

    Furthermore, even though the word genetics was not coined until 1905, Mendel's laws were rediscovered in 1900. The station was founded with the express purpose of studying genetics. Here is how the Cold Spring Harbor website describes its history:

    1904: Genetics research begins

    Soon, another mission was established: research in genetics. This grew out of two events: the appointment, in 1898, of Charles Davenport, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard, as director of the Laboratory, and the rediscovery in 1900 of Gregor Mendel’s work, carried out 35 years earlier. Mendel’s Laws provided explanations for the variability that underlies evolution, and his work opened new possibilities for experimentation in biology.

    Davenport approached the Carnegie Institute of Washington and proposed that it establish a genetics research program at the Cold Spring Harbor site. In June 1904, the Carnegie Institute's Station for Experimental Evolution, later renamed the Department of Genetics, was formally opened with a commemorative speech given by Hugo de Vries, one of the three re-discoverers of Mendel’s work.


    Egnor, your knowledge of the subject is dismal. You offer a made-up version of events that is in accord with your ideological leanings but is at odds with recorded history. What you do is entirely dishonest.

    Hoo

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    1. Egnor: Scopes lied about the entire context of the trial. His memoirs, Shapiro insists, are to be trusted implicitly.

      That's all Egnor has. He does not believe Scopes, so he accuses him of lying. He can't offer any evidence that Scopes lied, so it's Egnor's awesome mind-reading abilities that back up his allegations.

      Hoo

      Delete
    2. Egnor: Such is Shapiro's "scholarship". Carrying water for eugenicists is no easy task, nor pretty.

      Ironically, it's you who carries water for eugenicists. The father of the modern creationist movement William J. Tinkle was a proponentsist of eugenics. Here is some required reading for all the Disco 'tutes: Dr. West, meet Dr. Tinkle, Creationist eugenicist.

      Hoo

      Delete
    3. Hoo:

      Scopes forgot if he taught eugenic genocide to children?

      Delete
    4. Scopes did not remember whether he taught evolution in class. You know that. Don't change the terms.

      Hoo

      Delete
    5. And, predictably, no comment from Egnor on Tinkle. Carrying water for eugenicists must be hard work, Michael.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Hoo:

      [Scopes did not remember whether he taught evolution in class. You know that.]

      Oh. I forgot.

      [Don't change the terms.]

      In what way was "teaching human evolution from Hunter's Civic Biology in 1925" substantially different from "teaching eugenic genocide"?

      Are you asserting that the textbook contained no endorsement of eugenic genocide?

      Delete
    7. The textbook was assigned by the State of Tennessee. Not by a teacher, let alone a substitute teacher. You can lob this accusation at any teacher of biology in Tennessee at the time. Why single out Scopes?

      Next question: The next edition of the text, still approved by the "good folks of Tennessee," had evolution removed, but not eugenics. Is this also Scopes' fault?

      Hoo

      Delete
    8. And what about Tinkle? Too chicken to wade in?

      Hoo

      Delete
    9. Dr Goebbels, the eugenic genocide part of the book was apparently approved by the good Christians of Tennessee who were by and large racists, brainwashed from the pulpits by their hateful ministers.

      Scopes stood up for teaching that humans evolved and share ancestry with "monkeys". You know, teaching the truth rather than the hateful Christian rubbish about talking snakes. That's why he is a hero to Coyne.

      Delete
    10. Hoo:

      [And what about Tinkle? Too chicken to wade in?]

      There was considerable support for eugenics among some Christians. I carry no water for Tinkle (we Catholics have fought for centuries against Protestant error).

      I will post on this, after Christmas.

      On the specific question of the ideological origin of eugenics, my post today on ENV (I'm reposting it here Monday, so you can comment) addresses Shaprio's absurd claim that eugenics was motivated by the science of heredity.

      Heredity (and creationism) are millennia-old, and never produced eugenics. Darwinism was ten years old when Darwin's cousin invented the science of applied human evolution.

      Eugenics' lineage is not hard to see.

      Delete
    11. troy:

      [Scopes stood up for teaching that humans evolved and share ancestry with "monkeys". You know, teaching the truth rather than the hateful Christian rubbish about talking snakes.]

      Talking snakes, and monkeys that eventually talked.

      Both are allegory. I prefer the Christian allegory to the atheist allegory.

      Delete
    12. Two points, made several times already.

      1. William Tinkle was one of the two founding fathers of the Creation Research Society. If you wish to claim that the invention of eugenics by Darwin's cousin is relevant to Darwinism, Tinkle's involvement in eugenics is even more problematic to creationism. (I think neither is, but then I don't subscribe to a genetic fallacy; you do.)

      2. Shapiro's claim is based on his thorough studies of the subject. It is backed by historical documents. It's easy to find out the history of the Cold Spring Harbor Lab online. There is nothing absurd about them.

      Your claims are based on semantic games. Literally. You insist that the word genetics wasn't invented until 1905. That is true, but it helps me, not you. The science of genetics was reinvented in 1900. Davenport opened a lab at CSH expressly to study that. It wasn't called a genetics lab precisely because the word didn't exist, but the science did. You are wriggling like a worm in this semantic bullshit.

      So when you write at ENV,

      An odd assertion, I point out, given that genetics wasn't a science until 1905 at the earliest,

      you are lying. The name was coined in 1905. The science had existed since 1900, the year Mendel's laws were rediscovered.

      Lying for Jesus is still lying.

      Hoo

      Delete
    13. An odd assertion, I point out, given that genetics wasn't a science until 1905 at the earliest,

      This is false, and you know it.

      1904: Genetics research begins

      Department_of_Genetics
      Department of Genetics
      Soon, another mission was established: research in genetics. This grew out of two events: the appointment, in 1898, of Charles Davenport, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard, as director of the Laboratory, and the rediscovery in 1900 of Gregor Mendel’s work, carried out 35 years earlier. Mendel’s Laws provided explanations for the variability that underlies evolution, and his work opened new possibilities for experimentation in biology.

      Davenport approached the Carnegie Institute of Washington and proposed that it establish a genetics research program at the Cold Spring Harbor site. In June 1904, the Carnegie Institute's Station for Experimental Evolution, later renamed the Department of Genetics, was formally opened with a commerative speech given by Hugo de Vries, one of the three re-discoverers of Mendel’s work.


      Liar, liar, pants on fire!

      Hoo

      Delete
  5. When people in the spotlight say "I don't recall," it is always a baldfaced lie. Only those comfortable with dishonesty could believe that Scopes didn't know what he taught? He knew, He lied -- under oath I might add -- and anything else he said was untrustworthy. To defend his dishonesty only brings one's own veracity into question.

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    1. If by "in the spotlight" you mean "on the witness stand," you are not paying attention. Scopes has never testified.

      Hoo

      Delete
    2. Hoo:

      Since Scopes never testified (he did make a statement to the court after sentencing), and he seems to have a pretty bad case of early onset dementia, and the textbook at issue was (we all agree) hateful, why did Coyne hug his grave?

      Delete
    3. You are pretty stupid for a neurosurgeon, Michael. Coyne likes Scopes because Scopes agreed to participate in the trial.

      Any other questions?

      Hoo

      Delete
    4. Coyne likes Scopes-- who was awfully forgetful about teaching hate to schoolchildren-- who agreed to participating in a trial for the purpose of defending the teaching of human evolution, which was explicitly racist and eugenic in the textbook ostensibly used?

      What part of that was Coyne hugging? What part of that are you defending?

      Delete
    5. Teaching evolution isn't teaching hate. It's teaching reality. You don't like it? Tough luck.

      Hoo

      Delete
    6. Hoo:

      Teaching human evolution from Civic Biology in 1925 wasn't teaching hate?

      Do you have any moral objection to the content of Civic Biology?

      Delete
    7. I do object to teaching eugenics. I do not object to teaching human evolution. You twist like a pretzel trying to draw an equivalence between the two, but there ain't none.

      And if you insist on using a genetic fallacy, taste your own medicine: William Tinkle, a geneticist and an ardent eugenics proponent, was one of the founding fathers of the Creation Research Society. How do you like that?

      Hoo

      Delete
    8. Hoo:

      As I noted above, Tinkle was a moron and his endorsement of eugenics was a mortal sin. I hope he repented. I carry no water for anyone who endorses eugenics, and in some ways it's worse when Christians do it, because more is expected from us.

      The direct descent of eugenics from Darwinism is obvious. As with all manner of evil ideas, eugenics was able to attract people who did not necessarily share all of its original ideology.

      Delete
    9. Weak tea, Egnor. Only assertions, nothing to back them up.

      What do you make of Davenport's own definition?

      the eugenical standpoint is that of the agriculturalist who, while recognizing the value of culture, believes that permanent advance is to be made only by securing the best ''blood."

      I fail to see any evolution in this. I do see heredity. Shapiro is right and you are wrong.

      Hoo

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    10. Egnor: As I noted above, Tinkle was a moron

      LOL. One of the two founding fathers of creationism was a moron. I endorse that, although I personally think they both fathers were morons. As are their followers, who are known as cdesign proponentsists.

      Hoo

      Delete
    11. Hoo:

      [I fail to see any evolution in this. I do see heredity.]

      Heredity is a ten-thousand year old science. Eugenics, which is applied human evolution, began ten years after Origin was published.

      See a connection, Sherlock?

      Delete
    12. Moving on to another fallacy, Watson? Correlation does not equal causation.

      Next!

      Hoo

      Delete
    13. Dvenport: the eugenical standpoint is that of the agriculturalist who, while recognizing the value of culture, believes that permanent advance is to be made only by securing the best ''blood."

      There is also a whole chapter in his book entitled "Heredity in Relation to Eugenics." I didn't find one named "Evolution in Relation to Eugenics." Maybe you can help me.

      Where is evolution in this, again?

      Hoo

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    14. Egnor,

      'Heredity is a 10000 year science (actually it was the practice of artificial selection, and that was only an empirical habit). Eugenics, which is applied human evolution, began 10 years after "Origin" was published'.

      A lot of events happened in the 19th century, many of them within the period 10 to 20 years preceding the first mention of eugenics. The increasing industrialisation of Western countries. Agriculture becoming more efficient, so fewer agricultural workers were required, the excess flocking to the cities to live in slums, the Irish potato famine, the American civil war and the emancipation of the slaves, mass immigration into America and the myth of the 'ethnic melting pot', the rise of nationalism, ....

      Just because event A precedes event B, it doesn't mean that event A caused event B.

      You're just telling a story. It's a myth that 'On the Origin of Species', when published, was a runaway success, and that Darwinian evolution triumphed immediately. It created a storm, and then slowly went into decline, because its great problem was heredity - how variations within populations are passed to successive generations. Blending inheritance was the favoured mechanism, and it was thought that adaptive variations would be diluted out before they could be selected.

      Even when genetics was rediscovered in 1900, there wasn't an immediate surge of support for Darwinian evolution. Genetics was considered to be a rival theory, not a complementary one. Thomas Hunt Morgan for one initially regarded Darwinian evolution to be false.

      The triumph of Darwinian evolution happened in the 20th century.

      Delete
  6. I stand corrected on the testimony but he still lied and anybody who thinks he didn't is simply trying to justify Scopes to cover up the ugly truth. Racial purity -- the logical conclusion of Darwinism -- doesn't fit the current narrative. You don't say, "I don't recall," when asked what you taught in respect to the most public trial of the century unless you just don't want to explain what you taught. He lied -- period and it's ridiculous to claim otherwise. It reminds me of those who defended Clinton. It wasn't that Clinton lied -- it was that he never told the truth and everybody knew it. Same with Scopes. He lied.

    Now that brings up another interesting question. In the materialist Darwinist worldview, why is lying wrong if it is?

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    1. Big Rich: He lied -- period

      That's a pretty strong statement. You will have to prove that Scopes knew what he had taught and deliberately concealed it. I don't think you have any evidence of that. "It is ridiculous to claim otherwise" is a statement of opinion. However strong that opinion may be, an argument based on it falls apart.

      Hoo

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    2. Racial purity -- the logical conclusion of Darwinism -- doesn't fit the current narrative.

      Racial purity isn't the logical conclusion of Darwinism. If you think it is, please lay out the logic. And while you're at it please explain why the evolutionary biology textbooks have got it all wrong by arriving at very different conclusions.

      Delete
    3. Big Rich,

      If Scopes lied, he lied for a purpose. To test the Butler act, to lose in the initial trial, and then to appeal to the Supreme Court, in order to overturn or prevent anti-evolution laws in all the American states.

      It was a similar tactic used by the Discovery Institute in Dover - find a school board somewhere willing to teach Intelligent Design, get sued, lose, and then appeal to the Supreme Court and have Intelligent Design recognised as science, fit to be taught in public schools.

      Members of the Dover school board also lied. And in court, under oath. And they were devout Christians. Wasn't that a worse sin? And then after they lost, they were voted out of office, and the new school board decided not to appeal, so the DI's strategy collapsed.

      Now it's 'teach the controversy'.

      Delete
    4. If "Racial purity" is "the logical conclusion of Darwinism", then why were all major creationists racists up until about 1980?

      See for example, Henry Morris' creationist racism, and Jerry Bergman's promotion of racism.

      See also my quotes from creationist heroes Agassiz and Cuvier, below.

      Don't creationist believe in super-fast "degneration" or "devolution"? If all races "degenerate," isn't it the logical conclusion that some races are more "degenerate" than others?

      In fact, that's what almost all major creationists did write, up until about 1980.

      Delete
  7. Do any of you deny that Darwin thought races were not equal?

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    1. Rich:

      It's ironic that despite the denials y Darwinists of the obvious racism of Darwinism, it is the inequality of individuals/races/species that is the very basis for evolution, including evolutionary advancement.

      Without inequality (variation), there is no evolution.

      Delete
    2. Variation isn't racism as it is not limited to differences between people of different races. Variations within a race equally make some people more fit and others less so.

      You, guys, either misunderstand theory of evolution or deliberately misrepresent it. Either way, not cool.

      Hoo

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    3. Hoo,

      I vote for 'deliberately misunderstand'. The basis of evolution isn't advancement. That's a teleological argument. Evolution doesn't have future targets. Evolution is about survival now, with relative reproductive success.

      Variation within populations isn't a matter of inequality. Under specified conditions, some variations do better, some worse. And if the conditions change (and change is inherent in the Earth), the balance changes, and evolution occurs.

      Populations and species are almost always in the process of chasing - adapting to - changing conditions. And if the conditions change too quickly and too much, then the population or species goes extinct and is replaced by something else from elsewhere which is able to cope better.

      'Without inequality (variation) there is no evolution'. For once, Egnor has written something that's almost correct. Without variation, the most likely outcome is extinction.

      Delete
    4. In the Darwinian paradigm, variation is the raw material of evolution. It's hilarious to hear Darwinists denying that doctrines such as racism-- which explicitly assert biological variation-- are not Darwinian.

      Delete
    5. Big Rich,

      'Do any of you deny that Darwin thought races were not equal?'

      Yes, I do deny it. Reading 'the Descent of Man' it seems to me that much of Darwin's thoughts on human 'race' was Lamarckian, with inheritance of acquired features. Such as civilised populations acquiring greater brain capacity due to greater intellectual stimulation (which actually isn't completely wrong). Although, if you live in a hunter-gatherer society in marginal conditions, you actually need greater 'smarts' to survive than in civilised societies. And civilised individuals transplanted to fend for themselves in primitive conditions would die very quickly.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  8. Darwin said Caucasians were a more highly evolved species than Blacks who he said were closer to apes. Was he right? And, why did he think that?

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    1. Big Rich,

      Care to quote something from which Darwin actually wrote to support your assertion?

      Delete
  9. “It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro."

    “The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals–to some, as the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to others, as the Carnivora, in finding their prey; to others, again, as the wild boar, for both purposes combined. But the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races.”

    “The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races….Those who believe in the principle of gradual evolution, will not readily admit that the sense of smell in its present state was originally acquired by man, as he now exists. He inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.”

    “It appears as if the posterior molar or wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilised races of man. These teeth are rather smaller than the other molars, as is likewise the case with the corresponding teeth in the chimpanzee and orang; and they have only two separate fangs. … In the Melanian races, on the other hand, the wisdom-teeth are usually furnished with three separate fangs, and are generally sound; they also differ from the other molars in size, less than in the Caucasian races."

    “It is an interesting fact that ancient races, in this and several other cases, more frequently present structures which resemble those of the lower animals than do the modern. One chief cause seems to be that the ancient races stand somewhat nearer in the long line of descent to their remote animal-like progenitors.”

    “It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country"

    These quotes were taken from a post on Uncommon Descent. I admit up front that I have not taken the time to verify them but the poster provides a link to an online copy of "Descent of Man" for verification and there has been no dispute from Darwinists that Darwin actually made the statements, so not only do they make the point, they damnable and no amount of spin can whitewash Darwin's racism. He himself links racism to evolution.

    On the other hand, the Christian view is that all men are created equal that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable human rights...

    Now which of these positions would you prefer?

    Here is the link: http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/darwin-reader-darwins-racism/

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    Replies
    1. Big Rich,

      Your quotes don't show that Darwin regarded some races as being inferior. Whenever he specifily refers to non-Europeans, he's actually noting that Europeans have lost something useful. They've devolved. And the reference about 'man in his wild condition' not surviving when transplanted, is a reference to technology allowing humans to survive almost anywhere. Technology in this case referring to protective clothing.

      And whenever Darwin refers to 'ancient races', he means just that. Fossilised humans from past times. You can't distinguish skin colour in fossils. Let alone 'race', which biologically doesn't exist in humans.

      Delete
    2. Really? What does this quote mean?

      “It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro."

      Delete
    3. Big Rich,

      So what difference does it make having an ear lobule or not? It's hardly a sign of inferiority or superiority.

      Delete
    4. OK, but isn't Darwin saying that the "negro" is closer to gorillas due to this ear lobule, and if so, doesn't that mean that the "negro" is less evolved than other races?

      What how about this one? What does Darwin mean to say here?

      "But the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races.”

      Delete
    5. Big Rich,

      No. Some people retain atavistic traits. Jerry Coyne for one is proud of his ability to wriggle his ears, a feature lost in most humans, but present in many other mammals who are able to direct their ears in the direction of sounds of interest.

      So what if African negroes have a better olfactory sense?

      If you're reckoning that Darwin is inferring that certain races are inferior, how about a quote indicating that they're intellectually inferior?

      You haven't provided such a quote.

      Delete
    6. Where does Darwin mention "some people?" Isn't he specifically talking about the evolutionary advancement or lack thereof, between the "dark coloured races," versus the white races?

      If he is not insinuating one is superior to the other, what does, "more highly developed," mean, and which race do you think Darwin is calling the "civilised" race? And why are they civilized while the other is closer to the savage?

      Here is another one that seems to make the point.

      "These teeth are rather smaller than the other molars, as is likewise the case with the corresponding teeth in the chimpanzee and orang;. … In the Melanian races, on the other hand, the wisdom-teeth are usually furnished with three separate fangs, and are generally sound; they also differ from the other molars in size, less than in the Caucasian races."

      Does Darwin not in this quote again, put the "Melanian races" closer to the "chimpanzee and orang?" What am I missing?

      Delete
    7. Big Rich,

      You're missing that Darwin never writes that one 'race' is inferior to another. All he's doing is noting that certain physical characteristics, external physical characteristics, differ, from 'race' to 'race', which no one would disagree with.

      'Civilised race' just means anyone with the trappings of civilisation in the 19th century language. That is, anyone with the technology of the 19th century.

      His reference to the molar teeth is interesting, considering how Darwin was confused concerning heredity, considering it Lamarckian, with inheritance of acquired characteristics.

      We now know that teeth and jaw size is dependent on the hardness of food eaten during childhood. Harder food leads to larger jaws and grinding teeth. And diet is a Larmarckian inherited feature - culturally inherited.

      But still the same - Darwin is just noting that the external physical feature of the 'races' vary - you still haven't provided a quote that indicates that he thought one 'race' to be inferior.

      You might note that I keep putting 'race' into apostrophes. Because biologically, there is no human 'race'. 85% of the individual genetic difference occur within a 'race' and 15% of individual genetic differences occur between 'races'.

      Delete
    8. I have to disagree with you, Bach. When Darwin compares traits of blacks to those of apes and then says Caucasians don't have those traits, the only conclusion is that blacks are less evolved than whites. To say otherwise is simply to deny the clear meaning of his words, and to replace them with your own wishful thinking, but if there was any doubt what Darwin believes, he spells it out in this quote. My commentary in brackets:

      “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world."

      [Darwin clearly thinks the savage races of man are African and Australian blacks]

      "At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider,"

      [Once the apes are gone, man's nearest ancestor with be gone and the gap will be wider]

      "for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian,"

      [Contrary to your explanation above, Darwin considers the Caucasian race to the more civilized race]

      "...and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

      This could not be a more clear statement of Darwin's belief. The gap is narrower now because the negro and the Australian races of man is closer to the gorilla.

      Delete
    9. Big Rich,

      The 'gap' is present because there's only one species of Homo living on Earth now. 50,000 years ago, there were 5; Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo florensiensis, Homo denisova and Homo erectus.

      The gap will be much wider if and when chimpanzees (common and bonobos), gorillas (western lowland and eastern highland) and orangutans (in that order of increasing widening of gap) go extinct.

      Darwin isn't putting other 'races' into a different species. Darwin uses 'race' in a different way to the 20th century use. It means 'variety'. He used 'race' most often in 'Variation of Plants and Animals Under Domestication'.

      Even if he uses the word 'race' in the 20th century way, he's not using it in a racist way, suggesting that extermination would be a good thing.

      Anyway. Even if Darwin was a racist, Darwinian evolution is true. No quibbling will negate that one fact.

      Delete
    10. Big Rich,

      When Darwin compares traits of blacks to those of apes and then says Caucasians don't have those traits, the only conclusion is that blacks are less evolved than whites. To say otherwise is simply to deny the clear meaning of his words, and to replace them with your own wishful thinking

      Wrong-- total wishful thinking on your part. Darwin lists physical traits where Caucasians are more similar to apes than Negroes are-- unlike every creationist of his era, as all creationists of his time and for many decades thereafter, insisted Negroes were more similar to apes. Your wishful thinking does not change the plain meaning of English sentences.

      For one example of creationist racism, here's Louis Agassiz, creationist hero. In Stephen Meyer's recent book, the dragged up Agassiz and tried to sanctify the racist as a creationist hero. Young Earth creationists like Henry Morris and the Creationist Hall of Fame all anoint Agassiz and fellow racist Cuvier as creationist heroes. Let's see what Agassiz says about races:

      Louis Agassiz: "The chimpanzee and gorilla do not differ more one from the other than the Mandingo and the Guineau Negro: they together do not differ more from the orang than the Malay or white man differs from the Negro. In proof of this assertion, I need only refer the reader to the description of the anthropoid monkeys published by Prof. [Richard?] Owen and by Dr. J. Wyman... [it’s] fair to exonerate these authors from…any deduction I would draw from [their observations]; for I maintain distinctly that the differences observed among the races of men are of the same kind and even greater than those upon which the anthropoid monkeys are considered as distinct species. [Louis Agassiz in the introduction to Types of Mankind, 1854, p. lxxiv]

      Agassiz: "The chimpanzee and gorilla do not differ more one from the other than the Mandingo and the Guineau Negro: they together do not differ more from the orang than the Malay or white man differs from the Negro. In proof of this assertion, I need only refer the reader to the description of the anthropoid monkeys published by Prof. [Richard?] Owen and by Dr. J. Wyman... [it’s] fair to exonerate these authors from…any deduction I would draw from [their observations]; for I maintain distinctly that the differences observed among the races of men are of the same kind and even greater than those upon which the anthropoid monkeys are considered as distinct species.

      Types of Mankind (1854) is a racist creationist magnum opus and its arguments on black inferiority would be rehearsed by racist creationists for many decades thereafter. It has a lot of crude cartoons of different black ethnic groups comparing them directly to chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, etc. It was published 5 years before Origin of Species.

      Creationists in this era believed Negroes were much more simliar to apes because God created them that way. Creationists believed the Negro was the "missing link" between ape and man, not because humans were physically related or descended from apes, but because they were part of the Great Chain of Being-- that is, their alleged ape-like characteristics were the result of common design by a common, racist designer.

      Delete
    11. Here's another racist creationist hero, Cuvier. He's a big hero to creationists; he's in the Creationist Hall of Fame (literally) and a star of Henry Morris' Men of Science, Men of God. He did much to promote the idea of the close similarity between Negroes and apes.

      Cuvier, writing about 1800, describing Sarah Baartman, aka the Hottentot Venus, a Khoisan from South Africa, after she was dissected.

      Cuvier: "She [Baartman] had a way of pouting her lips exactly like what we have observed in the orang-utan. Her movements had something abrupt and fantastical about them, reminding one of those of the ape. Her lips were monstrously large. Her ear was like that of many apes, being small, the tragus weak, and the external border almost obliterated behind. These are animal characters. I have never seen a human more like an ape than that of this woman." [cited in Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man, p.85-86]

      This is from Foreign Bodies, a history of racism. Note the events described concern creationists 60 years before the publication of The Origin of Species:

      "Cuvier's comparative anatomy entrenched racial inequality and hierarchy as immutable products of physical organization, notably the size of the brain as indexed by the crude gauge of the cranio-facial ratio: 'the more the brain grows, the more the skull that contains it increases in capacity; the more considerable it becomes in comparison with the face'. At the time — 1800 — the racial corollaries of his theory were still implicit but already damning: the area of a vertical section of 'the European' skull was 'almost four times that of the face'; the area of the face increased 'by about a fifth' in 'the negro', by 'only a tenth' in 'the calmuck' (Mongol), but by a 'slightly lesser proportion' in 'the orang-outang'.[47]

      …By 1817 (1817b:273), he [Cuvier] was drawing an unequivocal nexus between the size of 'the skull and the brain' and a purported 'cruel law' (of nature) which had 'condemned to eternal inferiority the races with depressed and compressed skulls'.…Cuvier's adamant biologism was reinscribed in Britain by the surgeon and comparative anatomist William Lawrence (1783-1867) whose 1818 lectures to the Royal College of Surgeons on the organic nature of life and the natural history of man provoked a storm of criticism when published the following year…" -- [Foreign Bodies, Chapter 1 Part 4.]

      Delete
  10. Shapiro:
    "The passages of Hunter’s textbook that talks about the hierarchy of races are part of the section that discusses human evolution. But those are in a completely different chapter than the passages on eugenics."

    Totally different chapters and everything! So obviously the stuff about the Negro being inferior genetic stock had nothing to do with the stuff in the same book about breeding out inferior genetic stock!

    It’s wrong that eugenics was primarily considered an application of human evolution (as opposed to heredity.)

    Two things that are obviously not in any way related!

    The rank sophistry is strong with this one.

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    1. The Deuce informs us of eugenics and evolution: "Two things that are obviously not in any way related!"

      I suppose he intends this as sarcasm, but in fact, almost all major creationists from 1920-70 supported eugenics and moreover stated that they were not related, as I proved in the blog post immediately previous to this one.

      There I quoted, amongst other pro-eugenics creationists, T. T. Martin. His quote is worth repeating, because he, like all creationists, insisted that eugenics and evolution actually are ""Two things that are obviously not in any way related!" No sarcasm.

      In his creationist book Hell and the High Schools (1923), he blamed evolution for every social evil (young people in high schools are acting lasciviously and sensuously! Immorality is everywhere! Not like in the good old days.)

      T. T. Martin explains the difference between evolution and selective breeding: Evolution is not the improvement of the species, development within the species. Everybody believes in that; that is the reason we educate our children; that is the reason we line-breed our hogs and our poultry. The man who calls these things Evolution is either a hypocrite or an ignoramus." [T. T. Martin, Hell and the High Schools (1923), Chapter 2]

      Creationists today try to claim that evolution is the same as eugenics, but T. T. Martin and old-time creationists say that anyone who tries to argue that is a hypocrite who belongs in Hell-- or worse:

      "... hell is almost too good for the whining hypocrite... who will talk about Evolution and make it mean simply the development of the embryo ...or who will talk of the improvement of the species as Evolution. If that is Evolution, why all this parading of Evolutionists as being learned? Every old farmer believes in the development of a stalk of corn from a grain of corn... every one of them [farmers] believes in the improvement of the species. No, reader, that is not Evolution, AND THE LAST ONE OF THEM KNOWS IT, and they stoop to this miserable, hypocritical camouflaging in order to save their faces and continue to be supported by our taxes, or the hard-earned money of Christian people in our religious colleges; or others stoop to this miserable, hypocritical camouflaging, in order to protect these pseudo-scientists [evolutionists] from the wrath of the people and help keep them in their positions." [T. T. Martin, Hell and the High Schools (1923), Chapter 4]

      There you have it. If you try to claim that evolution is eugenics, T. T. Martin in 1923 called that "miserable, hypocritical camouflaging" and anyone who tries it is "either a hypocrite or an ignoramus."

      Here Egnor, The Deuce and the other creationists are trying to pull a "bait and switch". When you show them evidence of variation in nature, they say, "Waah! That's just variation! Variation is not at all evolution-- they're two different things!" When the topic of eugenics comes up, then Egnor and other egnoramuses say, "Eugenics is about variation, and that's the same as evolution!"

      Delete
  11. Egnor has come up with three Big Lies on this blog post, which he has not even bothered to support with any evidence, just mere repetition and insinuation. His use of insinuation to imply things for which he has no evidence reminds one of the head cheerleader in high school who insinuates that the captain of the softball team is a lesbian, without proof, while maintaining minimal deniability toward the accusation of outright lying.

    But in this blog post, Egnor is just plain lying, not just insinuating.

    1. Egnor says Scopes taught racism and eugenics, because a very large textbook had eugenics and racism in a very small part of the book. Egnor offers no evidence to support that, but wishful thinking.

    2. Egnor says that Coyne admires Scopes BECAUSE Scopes taught racism and eugenics. This is analogous to saying that the Civil War was caused by Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter. No, real events cannot be caused by fictional events. Even if Abraham Lincoln were a varmpire hunter, you still have no proof it caused the Civil War. Egnor offers no proof that Scopes taught racism or eugenics, and no proof that this fictional event, which exists in Egnor's mind, caused Jerry Coyne to do anything.

    3. Scopes asserts that the "good people of Tennessee" opposed eugenics, thus implying that conservative Christians opposed eugenics! Total fiction, considering that almost all major creationists from 1920 to 1970 promoted eugenics, as I proved in his previous blog post. None of the creationists at the Scopes Trial (many went to preach; it was a circus) blamed evolution for eugenics, although they all blamed evolution for every other "social evil" they were against. What's worse, the next edition of A Civic Biology took out the evolution but kept the eugenics, and nobody in Tennessee and no creationists complained.

    Moreover, prior to 1970 there were only two creationist textbooks, William J. Tinkle's Fundamentals of Zoology and Ernest S. Booth's Biology: The Story of Life and both of them are racist and pro-eugenics.

    Egnor is simply engaging in slander when he claims that Coyne's desire to shake Scopes' hand was caused by a fictional event-- Scopes teaching racism and eugenics.

    Egnor: "The textbook he [Scopes] admitted using contained eugenics and racist swill. All, apparently, reasons the Coyne couldn't resist hugging his grave."

    Here Egnor is claiming that a fictional event that exists only in Egnor's mind causes Coyne to do things. No proof of Scopes the racist, and no proof of causation on Coyne's behavior.

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  12. Egnor says: "Coyne likes Scopes-- who was awfully forgetful about teaching hate to schoolchildren"

    Stop right there. That's a lie. Egnor has no proof Scopes taught hate to schoolchildren, and no proof Scopes "forgot" teaching hate to schoolchildren. Egnor hasn't even tried to meet the burden of proof.

    Egnor: "[Scopes] who agreed to participating in a trial for the purpose of defending the teaching of human evolution, which was explicitly racist and eugenic in the textbook ostensibly used?"

    Another lie. Human evolution was not "explicitly racist and eugenic in the textbook ostensibly used." Eugenics is about micro-evolution, as creationist T. T. Martin made very clear in the 1923 quote above, and almost all creationists supported eugenics, as I proved. Human evolution is about macro-evolution.

    The creationists of that era explicitly decoupled evolution from eugenics and from natural selection and from variation-- they believed in the last three, but denied the first.

    Egnor insinuates: "What part of that was Coyne hugging?"

    Again, here we have Egnor insinuating that Coyne admires Scopes because of an event that never happened. Not only does Egnor invent an imaginary racist, eugenic teaching from Scopes, Egnor also announces that he knows this fictional event, which exists only in Egnor's imagination, causes Coyne's behavior.

    Pathetic.

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  13. Egnor, in Stephen Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt he portrays Agassiz as a big hero for creationists.

    Do you suppose Meyer admires Agassiz, and hugs his grave and wants to kiss him, because Agassiz was super-racist?

    Since you have claimed that Coyne admires Scopes because Scopes, in your imagination, taught racism (in fact, it didn't happen), why shouldn't we claim that Stephen Meyer admires Agassiz because Meyer supports Agassiz' super-racism (which actually did happen-- unlike the racism of Scopes)?

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  14. Egnor, ID proponents William Dembski, Phillip Johnson, Paul Nelson, and Dean Kenyon all expressed their admiration for A. E. Wilder-Smith, and they said that he "pioneered" ID's fake "information theory."

    But, as I proved in your last blog post, A. E. Wilder-Smith promoted eugenics in his book Man's Origin, Man's Destiny.

    Should we conclude that ID proponents William Dembski, Phillip Johnson, Paul Nelson, and Dean Kenyon all admired A. E. Wilder-Smith because he promoted eugenics?

    We have actual evidence that Wilder-Smith, Rushdoony, William J. Tinkle, T. T. Martin, and other creationists taught eugenics, while you have no evidence that Scopes taught eugenics-- that's just in your imagination.

    Why the double standard?

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