Friday, November 19, 2010

Harun Yahya Blames 9/11 on "Darwinists"

Just when you thought he couldn't get any weirder, here is the crackpot Turkish creationist Harun Yahya (pseudonym of Adnan Oktar) blaming 9/11 on the CIA, and "deviant Arab communists, Darwinists, and materialists".

Of course, anyone who has studied the incident knows that in fact the 9/11 attackers were pious Muslims who worshipped at mosques like al Quds in Hamburg and spent much of their time talking about religion. There is simply no indication at all that they knew a damn thing about evolutionary biology or Darwin.

Yahya isn't much different from the theocrats at the Discovery Institute, who want to link Darwin to both fascism and communism.

42 comments:

Miranda said...

The following is from Wiekart:

I agree with Ruse that Hitler's ideology was not built solely on Darwinism. Nonetheless, Ruse does not seem to realize that Darwinism was a central, guiding principle of Nazi ideology, especially of Hitler's own world view. Richard Evans, historian at Cambridge University, has explained, "The real core of Nazi beliefs lay in the faith Hitler proclaimed in his speech of September 1938 in science--a Nazi view of science--as the basis for action. Science demanded the furtherance of the interests not of God but of the human race, and above all the German race and its future in a world ruled by ineluctable laws of Darwinian competition between races and between individuals." This is not a controversial claim by anti-evolutionists, but it is commonly recognized by scholars who study Nazism."

Oh, and Yahya is NUTS for what he said about the Muslim terrorists.

Michael Caton said...

Thanks for tracking this guy. Old Harun is great because he puts a face on Islamic creationism. A productive approach with creationists is to ask them whether they think Yahya is right or wrong; if wrong, exactly why. Even the most ardent fundamentalist usually stammers something about evidence to this question before catching himself. Because as you observe the positions of Islamic creationists very closely track those of the DiscoTute, Christian creationists are left with some explaining to do.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

You're a raving loony.

Nazi ideology was not built on Darwinism -- which is a biological theory of how evolution occurs through mutation and natural selection -- any more than our current democracy is built on Newtonian physics because we drive cars and shoot missiles.

Wiekart is a Disco hack who is not taken seriously by real historians.

John Stockwell said...

Miranda really doesn't understand evolution. Neither
did the so-called "social darwinists" such as
the Nazi's or the Communists.

If the Nazis had truly understood evolution, they
would have been encouraging their party members
to marry the Jews and all other non "aryans" so
as to increase the fitness of the german population
through the expansion of genetic diversity.

The communists followed the already defunct Lamarckian views of Lysenko thinking that they
could create a perfect worker society by creating
the proper worker environment. They also nearly
destroyed their agricultural capacity by following
Lysenko's erroneous biology.

So, yes, Yahya is a nut and so are you.

Anonymous said...

It is true that some of those social/political movements of the early 20th century liked to seem to be supported by science. But it is not at all clear that they wanted anything to do with evolutionary biology. Especially not a darwinian view of evolutionary biology, which was somewhat out of favor at that time. Hitler did liken himself to Koch, for example. Even though no one would be so crazy as to associate Koch with Nazism. Some of the forerunners of Hitler, such as Chamberlain, disparaged Darwin. Many of those movements promoted the idea that if things were left to themselves, without - if I may be permitted to speak this way without any suggestion that I am drawing any connection here - without "intelligent design" that the "race" would deteriorate.

TomS

andlp said...

Miranda, why is it so difficult for the "Darwinism = racism" crowd to understand the difference between norms and descriptions? Scientific theories such as those on evolution are descriptive theories. They describe phenomena we observe in the natural world. They are not and never will be normative theories that dictate to us how we should behave. That it is true violent Darwinian competition occurs in nature does not mean we have to adopt that violence as our moral goal anymore than the truth that gravity causes things to fall implies that you ought to push people off cliffs. Both are transparent non-sequiturs.

Miranda said...

So, is Richard Evans a nut?

"Nazi ideology was not built on Darwinism"

I knew with certainty you'd misrepresent Wiekart's position. I can tell you never read it, but only read what others have said about it.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I can tell you never read it, but only read what others have said about it.

Ahh, that's classic Miranda.

So full of assurance about things she cannot know with certainty, and so wrong about what she thinks she knows...

Ever thought of becoming a famous conservative pundit?

Miranda said...

Silence is admission. Thanks, Jeff.

"Miranda, why is it so difficult ... to understand the difference between norms and descriptions? "

I know this and Weikart (who is so obviously not a "darwinism = racism" guy that it's laughable that you'd say it) knows this. How does it feel knowing that you struck down a straw man.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Silence is admission. Thanks, Jeff.

Miranda, I'm really, really sorry you continue to suffer from reading comprehension problems, but since you do, here it is. I will type it nice and slowly so you can understand:

I .... have .... read ... Weikart.

He ... is ... a .... Disco.... hack.

Does that help?

Anonymous said...

@andip:

You are quite correct, but the Darwin-to-Hitler argument fails in other major ways, also. Just to mention one obvious and incontrovertable one:

These various social/political movements of the early 20th century acted as they did because they thought that purely unguided nature would lead to deterioration of the "race", and that goal-directed, purposeful action was needed.

TomS

Miranda said...

John Stockwell, who knows me oh so very well, writes, "Miranda really doesn't understand evolution."
Well, John, you really don't understand needlepoint.

Yeah, both statements are equally irrelevant to my first post.

Miranda said...

"I .... have .... read ... Weikart.

He ... is ... a .... Disco.... hack."

Funny how in an earlier post, you only wrote about the Disco hack part, but you hadn't said you had read Weikart. Maybe it's not me who has a reading comprehension, but you who has poor memory.

So poor, in fact, that you wrote "Nazi ideology was not built on Darwinism" just a couple of posts after you saw Weikart write: "I agree with Ruse that Hitler's ideology was not built solely on Darwinism."

OK, so you read Weikart. I'll believe you. But you read him as poorly as you claim I read you.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Miranda:

Really, I cannot be held responsible for your inability to read and comprehend simple English sentences.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda: your postings are great. I shared them with friends here in Sweden as examples of lunacy one can find among US fundamentalists.
Please keep writing.
Thanks! ;-)

Miranda said...

I'm glad I don't post my picture. Your picture is now shared with my friends over the caption: "Swedish debil person"

Miranda said...

I wish I had only quoted Richard Evans and not Weikart. That way, you would have been forced to deal with Evans, instead of ignoring him like you did. And there are quite a few more Hitler-scholars like him (who have no connection to creationism or ID.)

On the other hand, it did demonstrate what kind of thinking you have. Heh.

andlp said...

I know this and Weikart (who is so obviously not a "darwinism = racism" guy that it's laughable that you'd say it) knows this. How does it feel knowing that you struck down a straw man.

If you know this, then why did you in your very first post, bring up Hitler bullshit as though it were relevant to anything? If you understand that evolution does not imply anything about Nazi ideology, then you understand that it is completely irrelevant to "attack" it on grounds that Nazis may have believed it. You brought it up, ergo it is not a strawman but a direct address to your spouted bullshit.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

As I had posted some time ago, the problem with fundamentalists like Harun Yahya is not what they believe but what influences they have. Yahya is a powerful person with connections in the Turkish government. He influences them (he bribes them--he has lots of money) to take undemocratic decisions.

Miranda: Feel free to distribute my photo. And please keep writing.

Miranda said...

@ andlp: "If you know this, then why did you in your very first post, bring up Hitler bullshit as though it were relevant to anything?"

Jeff, in his post, denied any linkage between Darwin to fascism and communism. Presumably, he meant Nazism as well, so what I did was refute that with a quote by that Cambridge historian. (Got that? Jeff brought it up first.) Note well, that Jeff wrote DARWIN, and not EVOLUTION.

If Jeff purposefully left out Nazism, (believing that it did indeed owe a debt to Mr. Darwin), then I guess I shouldn't have brought up Hitler. Maybe I should've brought up Stalin's known love of Darwin instead.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

The war criminal Radovan Karadžić appealed to quantum physics, in his disguise, for years, as a "quantum healer", in order to avoid arrest.

Following Miranda's "logic", we should be skeptical of quantum mechanics or even dismiss it.

Indeed, if Hitler and Stalin appealed to Darwinism, then, according to Miranda, the thory of evolution is bad. (Isn't this the conclusion she wants us to reah?)

Keep writing Miranda. Your comments are a real gem of how irrational someone can be.

Anonymous said...

In Hannah Arendt's famous Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil she points out that Eichmann appealed to Kant's "categorical imperative", and notes that Eichmann didn't have a clue as to what Kant meant.

Hitler appealed to Koch. Hitler didn't mention Darwin. Some of the Nazis and their predecessors mentioned Darwin unfavorably. It would not be surprising that they didn't like the idea that purposeful intervention was not needed.

andlp said...

Jeff, in his post, denied any linkage between Darwin to fascism and communism. Presumably, he meant Nazism as well, so what I did was refute that with a quote by that Cambridge historian. (Got that? Jeff brought it up first.) Note well, that Jeff wrote DARWIN, and not EVOLUTION.

Wow, you still don't get it. Jeffrey is right. There is no rational philosophical link between Darwinism and Naziism. You've already conceded this, so why are you playing dumb now? Darwinism is descriptive, Naziism is normative. The former does not imply the latter. Your "refutation" does no such thing. A quote (even an appeal-to-authority "it came from a Cambridge historian" quote) pointing out that the Nazis understand the is-ought fallacy about as well as you do does not establish that Naziism has as its basis the ideas of Darwin.

The Nazis can claim their ideas are based on Darwin, but that doesn't make it true that Darwin's ideas genuinely imply Nazi ideology, just like you can claim you understand the fallacy here (which you did) and yet demonstrate very clearly that you don't (which you in fact don't).

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda,I have a link for you: "Galileo Was Wrong". A conference that took place in Indiana a few weeks ago. No I haven't been to it. I was just made aware of it and thought that there should be a conference called "Darwin Was Wrong". Perhaps Miranda can help organize it? She can present arguments such as "Hitler's ideology was built on Darwinism" and "Stalin killed people because he was a Darwinist". I'm sure she can attract other lunies who find that the theory of evolution is wrong on the basis of these arguments. So, go ahead and organize a conference.

(Anxiously awaiting Miranda's comments. I need to have a laugh today because I just arrived in Redmond, WA, and have a terrible jetlag.)

Miranda said...

"(Isn't this the conclusion she wants us to reah?)"

No. Figured you'd try that, though.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's true that even if the Nazis had appealed to Darwin, that wouldn't mean that "Darwin was wrong".

But they didn't. And one can see that they would tend to be uncomfortable with an idea like the productivity of natural, undirected processes. Not that that means that "Darwin was right".

And yet there is another point. Remember that the creationists are fond of telling us that such-and-such is "only micro-evolution". They accept "evolution within kinds (baramins)". Now please note that eugenics and race policies and all that stuff is within "man-kind".

Can you imagine the reaction if Hitler gave one of his tirades based on some macro-evolutionary thing like the descent of birds from dinosaurs? "The bacterial flagellum is not irreducibly complex, so let's invade Poland!"

In other words, even if all of this nonsense about connections to Hitler were true, and even if it were relevant ... even if ... then it would be no less true about creationism.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

So, Miranda, if the conclusion is not that the theory of evolution should be criticized because, as you say, Hitler and Stalin liked it, then what is it?

What conclusion should we draw from your exquisitely irrelevant posting?

Please enlighten us.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Let me summarize a bit (in anticipation to Miranda's comments):

The original posting was about Harun Yahya and his latest idiocies.

Miranda sees the word "Darwinism" and replies by something irrelevant to the original posting.

We forget about Yahya and deal with Miranda. Of course, everybody finds Miranda `funny', but, she has nevertheless managed to shift focus from Yahya to her.

I ask her to tell us the conclusion she wants us to draw from her posting, also implicitly asking her the meaning of it. (In compliance to her usual behavior, she doesn't let us understand what she stands for exactly: irrational, to be sure, but what kind?)

I'm waiting.

Miranda said...

"Miranda sees the word "Darwinism" and replies by something irrelevant to the original posting."

Jeff, why don't you criticize Takis for poor reading skills?

I saw the the word Darwin, not Darwinism, and posted my comments based on that.

Also, I didn't mean to distract from Yahya. In fact, I ended my first post with him in mind.

"I ask her to tell us the conclusion she wants us to draw from her posting"

If you couldn't figure out from my very clear answer, I'm sorry for you.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda,

I criticize myself for my poor reading and comprehension skills. I therefore ask you to explain to me, clearly and in simple English, what your conclusion is. It is not clear to me. It may be obvious to you, but not to me. So, please explain. Simply. Thanks.

Miranda said...

My conclusion is that Jeff's charge: "the theocrats at the Discovery Institute, who want to link Darwin to both fascism and communism" is shared by reputable historians.

Also, your two ideas from the 11:19 AM, November 22, 2010 post are both examples of jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

And there you have it - the essence of Miranda's "reasoning": come to a conclusion, then do a web search to find people who agree with that conclusion.

She so desperately wants us to take her seriously, but until she corrects this fundamental deficiency in reasoning, there's no hope.

Miranda said...

Until you do a little historical research, Jeff, there's no hope for you, either.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Miranda: You write that

[your] conclusion is that Jeff's charge:
"the theocrats at the Discovery Institute, who want to link Darwin to both fascism and communism" is shared by reputable historians.

Thank you. I could not have known this conclusion without having it simply explained to me.

Let's see. Jeff says that the Discovery Institute creationists link Darwin to fascism and communism. This seems to be true. The folk at the DI are driven by [christian] religion and want to prove that god exists through pseudo-science. In their effort to do so they will villify anything that, in their opinion, contradicts their holy texts (bible, etc). The theory of evolution is not something they like. No creationist does. In order to attract similarly-minded conservative people they link it to fascism. So, there is a logic to what they are doing.

On the other hand, you observed that a historian, Richard Evans, links science and Darwinism to Hitler's ideology. I have not read his works, but I accept this is the case since you have done so.

What does this tell us about Jeff's remark about the DI? Does Evans' claims make DI more reputable? I don't think so. It still remains a collection of trash. Look at them: one of their leading guys, Dembski, is a fifth-rate mathematician who became professor of theology. There is absolutely no way for someone in theology to make any significant contribution to our understanding of the world.

Science has been used and abused. And if Hitler explicitly claimed that it was science who made him a monster, this does not make science (or evolution theory) less valid. It is just another case of abuse.

Thanks for your conclusion, but if, with it, you had any intention whatsoever to support the Discovery Institute creationists, then I don't think you were successful. Unless you had something else in your mind which I will never know because you always speak in riddles.

By the way, here is some recent creationistic garbage I talked about yesterday.

Miranda, I'll tell you this: it's so nice to live in a country (Sweden) where almost nobody--as far as my limited experience has been--cares about creationism/intelligent_design/religious crap. It's so refreshing not to have the crowds around you who want to explain science through the bible and holy texts. I feel happy I can look at these idiocies from a distance and have a laugh at them. But I do care about people who live on the other side of the Atlantic and have to constantly put up with all this nonsense, sometimes on a daily basis.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Takis:

I feel reasonably confident that (a) Miranda has not read Evans and (b) Weikart almost certainly misrepresented Evans. When I get time I am going to chase down the original source of Evans' remarks, since we cannot trust creationists to quote fairly.

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

I gave Miranda the benefit of the doubt. Even if a historian has claimed that Hitler's ideology was "based on the theory of evolution", how does this refute your original comment that Yahya isn't much different from the theocrats at the Discovery Institute, who want to link Darwin to both fascism and communism?

In what way does Miranda's replies support the stupidities of the DI folk?

Anonymous said...

I just took a brief look at Richard Evan's "The Coming of the Third Reich" (Penguin, 2004). On page 34, after quite a bit about Stewart Houston Chamberlain, Evans goes on to say:

"Chamberlain's work impressed many of his readers with its appeal to science in support of its arguments; his most important contribution in this respect was to fuse antisemitism and racism with Social Darwinism. The English scientist Charles Darwin had maintained that the animal and plant kingdoms were subject to a law of natural selection in which the fittest survived and the weakest or least well adapted went to the wall, thus guaranteeing the improvement of the species. Social Darwinists applied this model to the human race as well."

Given Chamberlain's disdain for Darwin, I don't know what to make of this. Does Evans recognize a distance between evolutionary biology and so-called "Social Darwinism" (whatever that might be)?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Pretty much what I expected - not Darwin, but social Darwinism.

If a cult developed around pushing people off tall buildings, would Newton be to blame?

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

In the light of the last couple of postings, I take back what I said about Miranda:

On the other hand, you observed that a historian, Richard Evans, links science and Darwinism to Hitler's ideology. I have not read his works, but I accept this is the case since you have done so.

and that

I gave Miranda the benefit of the doubt.

I'm sorry to say that I shouldn't have trusted Miranda's claim. She doesn't appear to be motivated by reason. As Jeff wrote,

we cannot trust creationists to quote fairly.

It remains for Miranda to prove her claim and also reply to the latest postings. But even if Evans or somebody else claimed that Hitler linked his "ideology" to (biological) Darwinism, this, still, says nothing about the Discovery Institute Creationists.

andlp said...

My conclusion is that Jeff's charge: "the theocrats at the Discovery Institute, who want to link Darwin to both fascism and communism" is shared by reputable historians.

Reputable historians share Jeff's charge? Of course that's not what you meant to say, but for someone who falsely accused me in the other thread of saying something I did not (due entirely to your own sloppy reading), you might want to avoid sloppy proofreading of your own posts before you hit publish.

Anonymous said...

A couple of recent books that make points which may be relevant:

1. David Wootton, "Galileo: Watcher of the Skies", Yale, 2010. From a review of this book, I get the impression that that "the end of geocentrism signals the end of Christian faith". (I haven't yet seen a copy of the book.)

2. Harvey Sachs,"The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824", Random House, 2010. In this book we find out "the fascination that the Ninth Symphony exerted on Wagner through all the decades of his creative life", and that "Wagner's racist writings had influenced Hitler". (pages 185, 189)

Miranda said...

"you might want to avoid sloppy proofreading of your own posts before you hit publish."

Yeah, I forgot the word "which". Good catch. A waste of your time, though.