darwin: missing links on those facts

…Huxley made the famous retort, in response to Bishop Wilberforce’s gibe, that he would prefer to have an ape for a grandfather than a man “possessed of great means and influence” who used his influence to bring an important scientific discussion into ridicule.

This episode was characteristic in many ways of Wilberforce, whose nickname was “Soapy Sam”; of Huxley; of what was to the layman the central issue of Darwinism; and of the reasons why Darwin’s supporters were victorious- not only because the weight of argument was on their side, but because they were always more righteous  than the righteous. Infidelity had hitherto been equated with immorality and lower-class radicalism. Only a few years before the Oxford debate of 1860, the geologist Hugh Miller had remarked, “it invariably happens that when persons in these walks of life become materialists, they become also turbulent subjects and bad men.”

Gouache on cardboard
59,5 x 62 cm
Courtesy Jirí Svestka Gallery, Prague
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
© Photo: Martin Polak—Read More:http://www.e-flux.com/announcements/darwin-art-and-the-search-for-origins/

It was an argument that died hard; Darwin was rebuked for publishing The Descent of Man “at a moment when the sky of Paris was red with the incendiary flames of the Commune.” Hence it was of the utmost that the leading Victorian agnostics- Darwin, T.H. Huxley, Leslie Stephen, who resigned from holy orders as a result of reading the Origin, were gentlemen and family men of unimpeachable sexual and financial respectability. They turned the tables on their opponents by taking a higher moral line. It was immoral to believe without proof, to refuse, as Huxley said, borrowing the language of religion, “to sit down before the facts as a little child.”


(see link at end)…And the facts in this case are that regardless of what kind of reception Charles Darwin the man would have received in Nazi Germany, the theories building on his work that went under the name of “Dawinism” and “Social Darwinism” were part of the woof and warp of Nazi ideology. Don’t believe me? Tough! Here’s what Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism, and she knew a bit more about Darwinism that Hitch knows and more about Nazism than Hitch and PZ put together:

“Underlying the Nazis’ belief in race laws as the expression of the law of nature in man, is Darwin’s idea of man as the product of a natural development which does not necessarily stop with the present species of human being.

—In his Libro de Sogni published in 1564, Lomazzo presents this following imagined conversation between Leonardo da Vinci, representative of modern painting, and Phidias, the artist from Antiquity:
“I bring to your attention the miracles of a Cremonese woman called Sofonisba, who has astonished every prince and wise man in all of Europe by means of her paintings, which are all portraits, so like life they seem to conform to nature itself. Many valiant [professionals] have judged her to have a brush taken from the hand of the divine Titian himself; and now she is deeply appreciated by Philip King of Spain and his wife who lavish the greatest honors on the artist.”—-Read More:http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/printslooking_harddeeply_at/page/2/

I know this because I read it in this 2008 article by David Klinghoffer. After telling us about Hannah, Klinghoffer continues to expound at length:

The standard biographies of Hitler almost all point to the influence of Darwinism on their subject. In Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Alan Bullock writes: “The basis of Hitler’s political beliefs was a crude Darwinism.” What Hitler found objectionable about Christianity was its rejection of Darwin’s theory: “Its teaching, he declared, w

rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest.” Read More:http://christopherhitchenswatch.blogspot.ca/2010/09/darwins-willing-executioners.html

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