Sunday, September 05, 2010

How Darwinism Ruined America

 

John G. West is a senior fellow at Disco and associate director of the Center for Science and Culture. He has written a book titled Darwin Day in America: How our politics and culture have been dehumanized in the name of science.

I haven't read it yet but I intend to. I subscribe to the old-fashioned, quaint, notion of "know your enemy."1 Here's a short summary posted on the website.
Darwin Day in America tells the disturbing story of scientific expertise run amuck, exposing how an ideological interpretation of Darwinian biology and reductionist science have been used to degrade American culture over the past century through their impact on criminal justice, welfare, business, education, and bioethics.

At the dawn of the last century, leading scientists and politicians giddily predicted that science—especially Darwinian biology— would supply solutions to all the intractable problems of American society, from crime to poverty to sexual maladjustment.

Instead, politics and culture were dehumanized as scientific experts in thrall to the assumptions of philosophical materialism began treating human beings as little more than animals or machines. In criminal justice, these experts denied the existence of free will and proposed replacing punishment with invasive “cures” such as the lobotomy. In welfare, they proposed eliminating the poor by sterilizing those deemed biologically unfit. In business, they urged the selection of workers based on racist theories of human evolution and the development of advertising methods to more effectively manipulate consumer behavior. In sex education, they advocated creating a new sexual morality based on “normal mammalian behavior” without regard to longstanding ethical and religious imperatives.

Based on extensive research with primary sources and archival materials, John G. West’s captivating Darwin Day in America tells the story of how American politics and culture have been corrupted by scientistic ideology. Marshaling fascinating anecdotes and damning quotations, West’s narrative explores the far-reaching consequences for society when scientists and politicians deny the essential differences between human beings and the rest of nature. It also exposes the disastrous results that ensue when experts claiming to speak for science turn out to be wrong. West concludes with a plea for the restoration of democratic accountability in an age of experts.
This is really confusing. I've been told that America is a Christian nation and it certainly looks that way from the outside. Christianity seems to dominate American culture and all the polls indicate that Americans are among the most religious nations in the industrialized world. All the politicians promote god thinking and the Bible at every opportunity. At times it seems like half the radio stations are preaching Christian virtues.

In the face of all this religion and godliness, how did a few evil, misguided, scientists2 manage to subvert an entire country? I guess I'll have to read the book to find out.

1. So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself. Sun Tzu: The Art of War.

2. For the record, I oppose social Darwinism and all its implications. So do 99.99% of scientists.

7 comments :

  1. John G West is a double-distilled dumbo (a literal translation from my native Tamizh.

    Let's see what West and his cronies and his idols want to do instead,

    In criminal justice, these experts denied the existence of free will and proposed replacing punishment with invasive “cures” such as the lobotomy.

    -execute the innocent, people of limited mental faculties, and underage felons, implement minimum sentence laws, and incarcerate more people per-capita than any otehr country

    In welfare, they proposed eliminating the poor by sterilizing those deemed biologically unfit.

    -instead eliminate the social and economic safety net, fire women who request leave for pregnancy, abolish the minimum wage, and condemn some to long periods of unemployment

    In business, they urged the selection of workers based on racist theories of human evolution and the development of advertising methods to more effectively manipulate consumer behavior.

    -Instead discriminate against anyone who doesn't fit the stereotype of Mayflower American, and now allow corporations to buy political influence with no limits, defang all business regulation

    In sex education, they advocated creating a new sexual morality based on “normal mammalian behavior” without regard to longstanding ethical and religious imperatives.

    -instead prevent or discourage or make it all but impossible to run sex education programs in schools, criminalize abortion, make it v.difficult to buy prophylactics, and end up with the rich world's worst sexual health and teen pregnancy indicators.

    Actually conservative reactionaries like West are all for social darwinism, that's what all that worship of "the market", "morals", tradition and money is about. And also we left out the condemnable desire to deny gays their civil rights.

    Truti

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  2. I see you have a mabus infection...

    You read this book, so we don't have to. Thanks for taking the hit.

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  3. I look forward to seeing what you have to say about it...

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  4. John Wilkins says,

    I see you have a mabus infection...

    It's a little game we play. He posts his trash in the comments section and I delete it as soon as I see it. He seems to get a kick out of doing this and it's fun for me as well.

    You read this book, so we don't have to. Thanks for taking the hit.

    You're welcome. But what if the book is so convincing that I switch sides and become an anti-science Christian? Will you follow me?

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  5. The Dishonesty Institute revels in the throes of denialism. In addition to the evolution deniers, its membership includes HIV/AIDS deniers, AGW deniers, CFC/ozone depletion deniers, and, in the presence of Mr. West, a Holocaust revisionist.

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  6. what if the book is so convincing that I switch sides and become an anti-science Christian? Will you follow me?

    That depends a lot upon your reasons for doing so. If you have recently had a stroke or early onset Alzheimers I might not be so inclined to follow you. If, on the other hand, you find and report valid argument upon true or very likely to be true premises, as a rational thinker I would be obliged to follow you there. That's all I ask. I'm not unreasonable...

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  7. "Marshaling fabricated anecdotes and damned quote mines, West’s narrative explores [...]."
    Fixed that for you.

    ReplyDelete