Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Darwinists Are Racists?

Intelligent Design Creationists are upset when I call them IDiots. They don't realize that the easiest way to make me stop is for them to stop acting like ... well, idiots.

The IDiots are fond of pointing out that they are all good Christians who would never stoop so low. They are all kind and gentle people who treat their opponents with respect and dignity. That's why they get so upset when we insult them.

Denyse O'Leary and the people who comment on Uncommon Descent have made these points repeatedly. They are the good guys and we are the bad guys when it comes to describing your opponents.

Let's look an example of how Christian IDiots behave. Denyse O'Leary recently wrote a post about The racist implications of Darwin’s theory.

She quotes a passage from Dawrin's The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.
The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
The quote is from page 201.

Denyse then says,
Darwin’s racism was not adopted out of bad will but simply as the logic of Darwinism. That is the point that every Darwinist wants to miss or downplay.

They have demanded that we all understand that the greatest man who ever lived wasn’t a racist and we are all misquoting or misunderstanding him or are bad, bad people or whatever for even bringing this stuff up.

Okay so we’re really awful here at Uncommon Descent. As our name implies, we don’t espouse any theory that says that humans are merely evolved animals or that we must inevitably form separate species as a result of isolation. Heck, we don’t even espouse a theory that says that separate species usually form that way. The evidence is mixed.

His believers are therefore stuck in the awkward position of having to pretend that what is obviously racist isn’t, and denouncing any of us who read the plain sense of it correctly.
Do you see the problem. Those poor IDiots are being criticized unjustly for seeing the obvious; namely, that all Darwinists are racists.

Doesn't your heart go out to them? Poor, poor IDiots.


45 comments :

  1. There are a number of ways to approach this, but the first would be to take the brutally honest approach: even if evolution DID show noticeable differences between intelligence and overall abilities between races, it would mean absolutely nothing as regards the veracity of the theory. Scientific facts don't disappear because someone doesn't like them. And as far as I know evolution has in fact done the opposite, it has shown that any differences, while scientifically (principally medically) important, are socially trivial to the point of being meaningless. And, Darwin a racist? He was head and shoulders above his contemporaries (better than your average Republican teabagger of today), and his references to other races being displaced by others was, if I recall, stated in a way that showed he was sad that it seemed inevitable.

    Dave Bailey

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    1. That's precisely how it is.

      It should also be added that we all know what racism in the US correlates with (the strength of belief in the Christian God) and what it does not correlate with (atheism and a good understanding of evolution)

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  2. IDiots may claim that they're gentle god-fearing souls - I proclaim that they're lambs-to-slaughter gullible lazy and not very bright

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  3. OMG!!! Tell me Portugalo did't make it? Din't they?m That would explain your hostilities....

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  4. The logic of the DNA evidence is that we are all descended from a common African ancestor. What Darwin believed is irrelevant.

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  5. The latest brilliant post at UD seems to be saying that the concept of race did not exist before Darwin.

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    1. "The latest brilliant post at UD seems to be saying that the concept of race did not exist before Darwin."

      Well yeah, before Darwin and his evil theory there were no racists and the entire universe was perfect and harmless in every way! There was no hatred, poverty, abuse, slavery, malice, competition, jealousy, greed, murder, mayhem, or any other bad things. In fact, the first occurrence of a person stubbing their toe or getting hemorrhoids occurred only AFTER Darwin conjured up his evil evolutionary theory while having lunch with Satan and his cadre of racist cohorts in devilry! And if any of you think that that's bad, it gets much worse because Darwin is totally responsible for 'the Fall', retroactively! You see, Darwin was actually the talking serpent in the 'Garden of Eden' and he was also 'Adam and Eve' and the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil'. 'Sin', and everything bad that has ever happened anywhere is Darwin's fault!

      Some more facts about Darwin: He was Hitler, he created the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang, he is Denyse O'Leary AND Sarah Palin AND Ted Cruz AND Gordon E. Mullings (kairosfocus), he hates Girl Scout cookies, he also hates little old ladies, and he pulls wings off of flies just for kicks! And maybe the worst thing that he ever did was voting for George W. Bush! AARRGGHH!

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    2. That thread also contains Robert Byers's brilliant apology of Hitler and "Mein Kamph" [sic], which Byers "read ... and didn’t find it disgusting but very intelligent and reasonable SAVE the fact he advocated invading eastern nations for more land." Yeah, pity about Poland, but Hitler can't have been so evil despite his Darwinism (as all the world knows, Darwinism is all about "struggle for space").

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  6. This YEC , after reading darwins stuff and commentators, is confident he believed all men were from the same stock. The same race if you will.
    He stressed there was no intellectual difference between mankind.
    yes he insisted women were intellectually biological inferior to men but even them could change this by controlling reproduction. ( i'm not saying it he is)
    he argues against other evolutionists in saying all men were the same tribe.
    Many early evolutionists did say the races were unrelated and superior/inferior to each other. Darwin said they were wrong but he was a minority as i understand it.

    Evolution and evolutionists, despite Darwin, did teach the educated classes that results in intelligence and moral qualities of races was from selection on segregated reproductive bodies of mankind. Then they opined on winners and losers as they saw it.
    Evolution does have a problem with human intelligence issues.
    Indeed I , to my surprise, read all the time about genetics and race and smarts.
    Nothings changed since the old days. Save different conclusions .
    Science fiction teaches brains get smarter in the future or on other planets by evolution Suggesting uts present today with our brains. Race or sex.
    Forever they talk about dino brains being small and apr brains being small with the presumption that evolution is making intelligence in creatures.
    So rightly iD or YEC folks can pin evolutionism down on this stuff.
    Making biology get smarter makes stages in any spectrum.

    Creationists, YEC, can always do well in our demand all people are made in gods image/smarts and unaffected by the material world. so all humans are intellectually the same at birth including retarded people etc. Another subject.
    Evolutionists have got a problem on this and can't cry foul.

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  7. If that passage from Descent is evidence of Darwin's- and, by implication, evolution's - intrinsic racism, what does the following defense of slavery based on Scripture say about Christianity?

    Circumstances exist among the inhabitants of these United States, which make it proper that the Scriptures should be carefully examined by Christians in reference to the institution of Slavery, which exists in several of the States, with the approbation of those who profess unlimited subjection to God's revealed will.

    [...]

    If slavery be thus sinful, it behooves all Christians who are involved in the sin, to repent in dust and ashes, and wash their hands of it, without consulting with flesh and blood. Sin in the sight of God is something which God in his Word makes known to be wrong, either by preceptive prohibition, by principles of moral fitness, or examples of inspired men, contained in the sacred volume. When these furnish no law to condemn human conduct, there is no transgression. Christians should produce a "thus saith the Lord," both for what they condemn as sinful, and for what they approve as lawful, in the sight of Heaven.

    It is to be hoped, that on a question of such vital importance as this to the peace and safety of our common country, as well as to the welfare of the church, we shall be seen cleaving to the Bible, and taking all our decisions about this matter, from its inspired pages. With men from the North, I have observed for many years a palpable ignorance of the divine will, in reference to the institution of slavery. I have seen but a few, who made the Bible their study, that had obtained a knowledge of what it did reveal on this subject. Of late, their denunciation of slavery as a sin, is loud and long.

    I propose, therefore, to examine the sacred volume briefly, and if I am not greatly mistaken, I shall be able to make it appear that the institution of slavery has received, in the first place,

    1st. The sanction of the Almighty in the Patriarchal age.

    2d. That it was incorporated into the only National Constitution which ever emanated from God.

    3d. That its legality was recognized, and its relative duties regulated, by Jesus Christ in his kingdom; and

    4th. That it is full of mercy.


    Excerpted from A Brief Examination Of Scripture Testimony On The Institution Of Slavery by the Reverend Thornton Stringfellow of Virginia published in 1841.

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    1. I've quoted this before, from the Autobiography of Mark Twain and in talking about his childhood he says (page 212):

      In my schoolboy days I had no aversion to slavery. I was not aware that there was anything wrong about it. No one arraigned it in my hearing; the local papers said nothing against it; the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing, and that the doubter need only look in the Bible if he wished to settle his mind – and then the texts were read aloud to us to make the matter sure; if the slaves themselves had an aversion to slavery they were wise and said nothing.

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    2. Ian has quoted Reverend Stringfellow defending slavery and racial inferiority on the grounds of Christian values. Stringfellow was the rule, not the exception-- virtually every Southern Evangelical US theologian before the Civil War defended slavery and racial inferiority on Biblical grounds. Those southern (and some northern) pro-slavery Evangelical Christians produced a vast, vast literature, much of it now readable online.

      Daly's When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Slavery and the Causes of the Civil War is a historical analysis of the vast pro-slavery Evangelical literature of the 19th century, and he gives more info on Rev. Stringfellow, and many others.

      Historian John Patrick Daly:

      [p. 84]: Evangelicals always pledged their allegiance to belief in the unity of races. ‘There is no such thing as gradations from brute natures to that of human: for man stands alone being the image of God,’ pronounced Josiah Priest in his Bible Defense of Slavery. Priest’s typical statement was an aside in his popular collection of an unbroken litany of biblical and psycho-sexual attacks on blacks… Priest, a former harness maker from New York, was sadly representative of the evangelical’s tendency to depart from many of the racist arguments from creation or permanent curses, but to recast brutal white supremacy in the framework of a competitive struggle to build moral character.

      [p. 85]: Although some proslavery spokesmen used this ancient biblical tradition [Curse of Ham] to argue that all blacks were forever relegated by God to the status of slaves, most evangelical spokesmen stressed that Ham (and his current descendants) ‘brought himself into his sad dilemma.’ Sweeping racial dichotomies no longer stressed the ascendance of civilized human over heathen beast, but of moral victors over vanquished—-not in competition with each other but, as ministers were forever sermonizing, “with themselves.”

      [Virginia Reverend] Thornton Stringfellow provided the standard formulation of character-based racism and competitive proslavery: ‘The slave race is placed upon a common level with all other competitors for the rewards of merit; but as the slaves are inferior in the qualities which give success among competitors…[they find] poverty or die out by inches degraded by vice and crime, unpitied by honest and virtuous men…’

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    3. Continuing with Evangelical theologians for slavery and racial inferiority:

      [p. 86]: …Proslavery Presbyterian Nathan Rice defined Christ’s mission as ‘declaring a war of extermination against all the guilty passions of this earth.’ ‘Extermination’ was a word that invariably appeared in moral defenses of slavery, especially in reference to free blacks, ‘prematurely’ emancipated slaves, and Indians. As in other aspects of southern proslavery, Thomas R. Dew led the way in citing the travels of “Mungo Park” and describing how the ‘decree of Providence had gone forth,’ promising ‘total extermination’ of those with weak character. Dew, like evangelical ministers, concluded that slavery was ‘humane’ because ‘there is nothing but slavery [to] eradicate the character of improvidence’ that would otherwise bring extermination.

      The vision of extermination offered by evangelicals was inevitably providential—- never a plan or action executed by the righteous but a natural self-operating outcome of God’s law and an individual’s own failings. The development of force of character produced material benefits; ‘inferiority of character’ issued in punishment. Dr. Matthew Estes, and admirer of Dew, described how ‘ultimate extinction’ of those who did not make themselves ‘fit for freedom’ was a result of the progressive and utilitarian nature of Providence: ‘Ultimate extinction… why should we lament such an event? …The extinction of a tribe, or even a whole people, is not more to be lamented than the extinction of one generation to make room for another. God cares nothing for the pride of man: he executes his purposes regardless of the whims and caprices of men… [and] does that which promotes the highest good of universal humanity.’ Much of this language in southern proslavery applied to free blacks and Africans; slavery was not considered an instrument of extinction. Estes, for example, qualified his prediction about racial extermination by noting that ‘the same race in the United States has made some advance in civilization’: ‘Protestant Christians constitute the only portion of the globe in a progressive state… The destiny of all the inferior grades of mankind with the exception probably of the negroes is extinction—- and extinction, too, much earlier than most people imagine.’…”


      [John Patrick Daly. When Slavery Was Called Freedom: Evangelicalism, Slavery and the Causes of the Civil War (2004)]

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  8. IDiots, always proving that we didn't evolve to know objective truth, but rather to cling to social "truths," often against considerable evidence.

    To be sure, one may be educated and acculturated to do better, at least in matters that really are properly answered by empiricism, like evolutionary theory. But opposing this is one of their primary goals.

    Glen Davidson

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  9. William Shockley, one of the inventors of the transistor, was a rather nasty racist. Thus if you believe that computers, with their millions of transistors, actually work, you are a Shockleyist and inevitably a racist. Denyse O'Leary posts on Web sites and clearly believes in Shockleyist theory. Thus Denyse O'Leary, using the same "reasoning" as she does with respect to those who understand the scientific fact and theory of evolution as first clearly propounded by Darwin, is a racist.

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    1. It's worse than that! Denyse O'Leary is a devout Roman Catholic. Therefore, she must be a misogynist and a child molester. She also worships a racist god who has committed genocide on more than one occasion.

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    2. I didn't know O'Leary was Catholic. What's with Catholic creationists? The Church has officially accepted evolution (at least under the last two Popes; I don't think Francis has yet said anything on the topic) . Isn't it supposed to be heresy or something to go against the pronouncements of the Pope?

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    3. I don't know why this tired old canard keeps resurfacing, the catholic church does not accept evolution. They specifically say that evolution is guided, it has a purpose, it's purpose is us and their god injected souls into a pair of our ancestors.

      As soon as you shoehorn a supernatural component into any process then you no longer accept an evidence based rational explanation for that process. You don't get to pick and choose which parts are natural and which aren't.

      What the catholic church does have is a very good marketing and propaganda arm, as can be seen by the frequency in which their lies are repeated as an unexamined truth by those who should certainly know better.

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    4. That's the same position that "theistic evolutionists" (AKA "evolutionary creationists") like Kenneth Miller take. While I think his position is silly and indefensible, I do not think it would be accurate to say he does not accept evolution.

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    5. He accepts the fact of common descent.

      The fact of common descent is not necessarily the same thing as the theory of evolution (and I know that it is overtly simplistic to talk about the "theory of evolution" but I am using it here for lack of a better term to describe what I mean)

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    6. Would you agree that the theory of common descent is one part of the bundle we call the theory of evolution? (My favorite part, in fact.)

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    7. Common descent is not a theory, it's an observation. We could have observed that there are four separate forms of life each with a single common ancestor. That would tell us that life arose spontaneously at least four times on Earth.

      Many people expert to find life on other planets. This will demonstrate that not all life comes from a single common ancestor.

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    8. This gets into a tedious argument about the difference between theory and observation. But of course common descent is a theory. It's one of Darwin's two main theories in the Origin. We certainly don't observe it in any obvious sense; it's an inference from the data, one that fits the data better than others.

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    9. This actually has to be looked at in a broader context.

      That evolution is undirected because the underlying processes are driven by the laws of physics as we currently understand them is a core feature not only of evolutionary theory but really of all of science.

      Evolution can be directed by a deity in several different ways (feel free to add more if you can think of something substantially different than these):

      1) Direct intervention to insert mutations, and fix alleles in populations. I challenge anyone to find any substantial difference between this proposition and the versions of ID that accept common descent. You can argue ID claims that the "information" contained in the sequence of proteins, etc. was specified by the creator, while it need not be all specified in the case of an interventionist deity, i.e. this is a weaker version of ID. But that's a difference of degree, not one of a kind, and if one starts to think seriously about constructive neutral evolution, even this distinction is largely lost

      2) God somehow specified it all in the initial conditions of the universe. This is also pure creationism if you really think about it, but it is also something that pretty much absolutely necessitates the existence of souls (otherwise there would be no free will and the religious themselves would not be happy with such a proposition either) - you can claim that God had it all specified up to the point human appeared, then he put souls into them, and from that point on there was free will and things aren't deterministic anymore. But for souls to exist, all of modern physics has to be wrong, i.e. we're entering a territory of an even more serious conflict with science than just evolution

      3) God is some sort of force permeating the universe guiding things towards certain outcomes. This again involves souls with all that follows, but it is also something that is extremely hard to reconcile with the Standard Model. And it's no wonder that while I have seen people advance that argument, none of them has ever bothered to explain how it fits with modern physics - partly because the subject is extremely complicated, and of course none of them understand it not that I do, it's not my field, but I know enough to see the problem), partly because there really is no way to make things fit.

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    10. @George Marinov

      He accepts the fact of common descent.

      The fact of common descent is not necessarily the same thing as the theory of evolution (and I know that it is overtly simplistic to talk about the "theory of evolution" but I am using it here for lack of a better term to describe what I mean)


      Are you sure you're not confusing Ken Miller with Michael Behe? I'm pretty certain Miller accepts all of the principles of evolution (He wrote my daughters' high school biology textbook, so I certainly hope he does!)

      As I see it, one can be a creationist and still not be an evolution denier, and Miller is an example of this. He believes that God created the universe thru some supernatural process, so on that basis could be called a "creationist." But he also understands and accepts evolution as a fully naturalistic process that operates without the need for supernatural intervention. He then tries to perform some intellectual jiggery-pokery to reconcile those two beliefs, but that does not compromise his authority on purely scientific issues.

      Whereas an ID creationist like Behe may accept common ancestry, but does not believe naturalistic processes can fully explain how extant species arose. Rather, he claims that this could only have occurred thru the supernatural intervention of the god of Christianity, whom he euphemizes as the "Intelligent Designer."

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    11. I don't personally know how Miller labels his religious beliefs (apparently he calls himself a christian) but if he claims to be a christian, then he cannot honestly accept the ToE or any other 'natural' scientific theory. When someone adopts the name of a particular religion they must adopt all of its doctrine/dogma, if they're honest, and since the christian bible is THE foundation of christian doctrine/dogma they must believe in everything in the bible. Picking and choosing the parts they like and ignoring the parts they don't means that they are not actually christians. It's kind of like someone claiming to be a vegetarian but eating bacon sometimes and finding a lame excuse for doing it.

      There's really no such thing as a 'true' christian. Everyone who calls themselves a christian cooks up their own interpretation/version of what they call christianity. If Miller calls himself a christian he's just doing what all of the others do, which is making up his own religion with cherry picked bits and pieces of biblical stories/doctrine/dogma and who knows what else.

      Another thing is that he cannot honestly accept that anything is or ever was 'natural' if he believes in a supernatural creator such as the christian 'God' yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost. If Miller calls himself a christian, then he must believe that the description of yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost in the bible is true, otherwise he's not a christian, and according to the bible there is nothing 'natural' about that so-called 'God'. Therefore, everything that 'God' designed, created, or otherwise did and does is supernatural since 'God' IS supernatural, and that means that anyone who believes in a supernatural 'God' must believe that all of the results of that 'God's' actions are derived from, designed by, created by, and ultimately, thoroughly entrenched in supernatural actions, for all time, and that includes evolution. Whether 'God-did-it' by front loading, occasional intervention, constant intervention, or however, really doesn't matter except when it comes to arguing about the degree of craziness in religionists/creationists/dominionists.

      Any belief in any of the so-called 'Gods' that anyone has ever conjured up is crazy, and many people really like to show off their craziness by absorbing and spewing gobs and gobs of religious mumbo jumbo. None of the so-called 'Gods' that people have ever conjured up can possibly exist because all of those so-called 'Gods' are only supported by the stories that are associated with them, and those stories are largely if not completely filled with impossible bullshit. And of course there are also the contradictions, inconsistencies, thoroughly refuted claims and predictions, and a lot of other crap in religious stories/doctrine/dogma.

      See part two.

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    12. Part two.

      Even if someone of a particular religion makes an accurate claim about something, it's not because of their appeal/inference to a supernatural 'God'. No claim can be substantiated by positive evidence of supernatural actions by a 'God', because there is none, and even IF there was/is some sort of entity(s) that created the universe, claiming that that is true is an empty appeal/inference with no evidence to back it up, and that is especially the case with appeals/inferences to a particular, so-called 'God' or 'Gods'. For instance, the christian 'God' is one of the most absurd ones ever thought up and there's no evidence that yhwh-jesus-holy-ghost is any more likely to be 'God' and the creator of the universe than Zeus or the FSM is likely to be 'God' and the creator of the universe.

      If Miller believes in 'God' and he's actually doing some scientific things he has to be compartmentalizing his religious beliefs and his scientific thoughts and endeavors. In my opinion, a person cannot be truly scientific if they believe in the supernatural and especially a particular 'God' that is supported by impossible fairy tales. When a person believes in a supernatural 'God' that can perform supernatural actions like creation, intervention, guidance, front loading, miracles, etc., then that person cannot really accept scientific methodology and the results that are obtained from it. In a religious person's mind there is always room, in some way, for their 'God', or spirit, angel, demon, devil, saint, pope, shaman, savior, priest, pastor, cleric, ayatollah, or whatever, to miraculously design, create, guide, intervene, front load, or otherwise screw with anything and everything, and that ain't scientific.

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    13. Compartmentalization is exactly the term for what scientists like Miller (who is Catholic) attempt to do. And whether that position can be defended on theological or other philosophical grounds is, I agree, likely dubious. My only point is that, be that as it may, it still does not necessarily compromise the competence and integrity of the person's scientific work and views.

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    14. Prof. Miller explained his position in a comment on this very blog several years ago. His position is, as I recall, that he accepts methodological naturalism but is a philosophical theist. He sees no contradiction between the two viewpoints.

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    15. If Miller sees no contradiction, he's deluding himself.

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  10. I wonder how they treat YEC Henry Morris' Scripture-based racism:



    From Morris's The Beginning Of the World, Second Edition (1991), pp. 147-148:


    The descendants of Ham were marked especially for secular service to mankind. Indeed they were to be 'servants of servants,' that is 'servants extraordinary!' Although only Canaan is mentioned specifically (possibly because the branch of Ham's family through Canaan would later come into most direct contact with Israel), the whole family of Ham is in view. The prophecy is worldwide in scope and, since Shem and Japheth are covered, all Ham's descendants must be also. These include all nations which are neither Semitic nor Japhetic. Thus, all of the earth's 'colored' races,--yellow, red, brown, and black--essentially the Afro-Asian group of peoples, including the American Indians--are possibly Hamitic in origin and included within the scope of the Canaanitic prophecy, as well as the Egyptians, Sumerians, Hittites, and Phoenicians of antiquity. ...
    Somehow they have only gone so far and no farther. The Japhethites and Semites have, sooner or later, taken over their territories, and their inventions, and then developed them and utilized them for their own enlargement. Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they have eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites.

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    1. No racism here. Its pretty good.
      He is wrong. It was just canaan that was cursed and not the Ham kids.
      he mentions great civilizations as coming from Ham. Just later overtaken by the rest.
      Its not true about a genetic character and very uncreationist since its hinting mans thinking is part of the physical world when its clearly said to be non material or spiritual.
      In his day Blacks were low class and so it seemed that way.
      Sincere opinions about other peoples are never racist if there is no malice.
      people everywhere always have drawn conclusions about other people groups.
      He would think that minor detail today.
      It is evolutionism that introduced racial concepts to the educated classes.
      Even if some denied such things like Darwin.
      Creationism has always been a world moral and intellectual leader in seeing mankind as from one pair and no brain differences, innate, are even possible.

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    2. As much as I hate to defend the Catholic Church, sure, Catholics insist on some Divine Intervention in the process of evolution. But the Church does accept common ancestry of all life, and it does accept that the presence of adaptations in organisms is a result of natural selection in the presence of mutation (and other evolutionary forces).

      Sure, if you start talking about the soul (whatever that is) things get weird. But in general students in biology classes in Catholic schools get a straightforward introduction to evolutionary biology.

      You and I may not like their statements about the soul and about human moral behavior or human intelligence. But what the students in Catholic school systems are being taught about evolutionary biology is a whole heck of a lot better than what students in fundamentalist private schools are taught.

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    3. My preceding reply is misplaced in the thread -- it is a response not to the Byers subthread but to Steve Oberski's comment (back upthread a ways) that the Catholic Church does not accept evolution.

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    4. Well, my experience with the Catholic school system (Ontario) goes back almost 50 years ago but they did not teach evolution in high school level biology back then.

      By way of analogy, the current pope is coming across as more accepting of homosexuals but this is strictly for public consumption, official church doctrine in this area has not changed one whit, homosexuals are still considered to be "disordered".

      An interesting anecdote:

      I saw Father George Coyne (Jesuit Catholic priest, former head honcho asrtonomer at the Vatican observatory) on Bill Mahers film 'Religulous' and I thought he came across as one of the more rational of the religious interviewed by Bill Maher.

      This prompted me to see him in person at a lecture he gave in Toronto at the Newman Centre Chapel, Univerity of Toronto:

      Naming the Holy Lecture Series - The Dance of the Fertile Universe: Searching for God in a Scientific Culture, Prof. George V. Coyne, SJ, Astronomer, the Vatican Observatory, President, the Vatican Observatory Foundation, Adjunct Professor, University of Arizona, Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008, 7:30pm

      This was presented in the Catholic church to a (strangely enough) predominantly Catholic audience, and we got to see the real Fr. Coyne hidden under a (thin) veneer of rationality.

      After an hour or so of a very good review of why science is the best tool we have for understanding the universe, and a number of pot shots at creationists and intelligent designoids, we got to hear what he really thinks:

      Basically, living beings are organized as a tree, the tree appears to have a direction, and only god could have given it this direction. Really, he presented one of those tree of life diagrams, noted how it appeared to have a direction with humans near the apex, and that was his "proof". I shit you not.

      This is how the Catholic church "accepts" evolution.

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  11. Larry, in your future posts on O'Leary, please find a more flattering photo of her.

    This picture creeps me out a little.

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    1. There may be something to the belief that the taking of a photograph somehow captures the soul of the subject.

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    2. But we all take a bad picture sometimes.

      (OTOH, I'd defend Newsweek's cover of Bug Eyes Bachmann. That really is as attractive as she ever looks.)

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  12. Creationists were always more racist than evolutionists at every point in history. Even Darwin, in his own time, had to deal with opposition from

    1. racist pro-slavery anti-Darwinist Charles Hodge, the highly influential president of Princeton Theological Seminary and author of What is Darwinism? (1874) (Answer: atheism.)

    2. racist Archbishop Whately who objected that Darwin said "savages" could improve themselves, while Christians knew no improvement of "savages" had happened or was possible.

    3. The very racist and anti-Darwinist London Anthropological Society. [See Foreign Bodies, Chapter 4 Part 1.]

    All the founders of modern Young Earth creationism were racist. The founder of Flood Geology, George McCready Price, sometimes believed that blacks and apes were the result of humans (whites) interbreeding with animals (the "beasts of the field" in the Bible) based on the assertions of Ellen G. White, the prophet of Seventh Day Adventists. At other times he insisted blacks were the result of rapid "devolution" or degeneration after the Flood. Price pioneered most of the Young Earth dating arguments, such as "They date the fossils from the strata and the strata from the fossils", "The geological column does not exist anywhere in the world", the Lewis overthrust/"upside down fossils" argument, etc. etc.

    Price's student, Harold W. Clark, explicitly defended the belief that blacks and apes were the result of humans interbreeding with animals in accordance with Ellen G. White's prophecies. Clark continued to defend this before a tribunal of the Seventh Day Advenists in the 1950's and, SFAIK, never renounced it until his death. Clark pioneered the Flood geology argument of "ecological zonation", in which the order of the fossils is explained by their "eco-zones" before the Flood.

    Price's other student, Frank Lewis Marsh, concocted the creationist idea of "baraminology" or "Variation within a Kind", which said Noah only took a few "kinds" on the Ark, and after the Flood they diversified by super-evolution (but don't call it evolution.) Marsh rejected Clark's belief that blacks were created by humans mating with animals, but he did argue that blacks were the result of degenerative mutations caused by Satan, deleterious mutations that made their skin black and hair kinky, and that Satan the "master genetic engineer" could mutate blacks to a greater degree because blacks, as Hamites, had inherited the Curse of Ham put on them by God. See Marsh's Fundamental Biology (1941).

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  13. On the topic of racism in more recent creationists, historically, here's creationist Jerry Bergman writing to a KKK newsletter to promote racism and portray himself as having been fired from Bowling Green University just because he was white. Actually when he sued Bowling Green he claimed he'd been fired just because he was Christian, so both his stories can't be true. (He lost the suit very badly-- the court ruling says that Bergman was denied tenure because faculty members believed he was unethical because he had faked his credentials, as so many creationists do.

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    1. He's so proud of his credentials that even his Facebook profile is "jerrybergmanphd". What he puts there shows him to be a complete kook, but that's hardly surprising, given the rest of his record.

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  14. And in other "Creationism and Racism" news, Ken Ham's Creation Museum has accepted the donation of an Allosaurus fossil, donated by one of the leaders of a racist organization, Michael Peroutka of the League of the South.

    Creationists are so surrounded by racists they can't even obtain specimens without the help of racist organizations or their leaders.

    The League of the South, and its leader Michael Hill, are hard-core racist, Christian Reconstructionist/Dominionist, Confederates. They want the South to secede from the USA and create a white-dominated Confederacy under the laws of the Book of Leviticus. Many are Reconstructionists, followers of the fascist, racist, pro-eugenics, pro-slavery, Holocaust-denying creationist Rousas Rushdoony, who brokered the publication of Henry Morris' creationist magnum opus The Genesis Flood, and who was the spiritual guru to Howard Ahmanson, billionaire funding source of the Discovery Institute.

    The (Anti-racist) SPLC writes: The [League of the South]’s veneer of professorial respectability has been pierced numerous times, but perhaps never so dramatically as in the case of Michael Tubbs, who in the early 2000s was a leading league activist in Florida. In 2004, the [Southern Poverty Law Center] Report revealed that Tubbs was actually a convicted “Aryan” terrorist, a man who while in the military had robbed fellow soldiers at gunpoint of their weapons. (During one such theft, he and an accomplice had reportedly shouted, “This is for the KKK!”) When he was arrested, officials found several arms and explosives caches along with lists of targets that included newspapers, television stations and businesses owned by Jews and blacks. When these embarrassing facts were revealed, Hill and other league leaders allowed Tubbs to stay on, saying he’d paid his debt to society. [Southern Poverty Law Center on the League of the South]

    The LOS has many ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, previously called the Council of White Citizens. There are several articles at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website on the racism of the League of the South.

    Michael Hill and the LOS sometimes deny being racist– oh yeah? Here’s a long racist creationist rant from Michael Hill cited at the racist creationist “Kinist” blog "Spirit, Water, Blood." “Kinism” is their BC (Biblically Correct) term for racism– they say “racism” is a pejorative, so they call themselves “Kinists” instead (you know, like the way ID proponents say “creationism” is a pejorative, so let's change the name.) Kinists are all Reconstructionists and thus followers of the fascist, racist, pro-eugenics, Holocaust-denying Rushdoony.

    Continued below:...

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    1. And Peroutka, the donor of the fossil to the Creation Museum, is clearly a leader of the racist LOS, Mr. Deep Pockets, who is proud to stand beside Aryan terrorist Tubbs:

      Human Rights Campaign: Peroutka was a featured speaker at the League of the South’s national conference this past July [of 2012], as he was in 2004, 2008, and 2010....

      League of the South President Michael Hill has written that white people possess a “God-ordained superiority” and that African Americans “have never created anything approximating a civilization.” Its Florida chapter chairman, Michael Tubbs, is, according to the SPLC, a convicted “Aryan” terrorist who amassed a stockpile of weapons and explosives along with a list of targets including businesses owned by Jews and blacks.

      Peroutka appeared along with Hill and Tubbs in front of Confederate flags at the League of the South conference, said that he was grateful for the organization’s endorsement of his fringe 2004 presidential campaign and remarked that “If this be hate, let's make the most of it.” In 2004, he wrote on his blog that “I am proud to be a member of the League of the South. I look forward to receiving the support … from guys with Confederate flags in their trucks.”

      He has also appeared on a white supremacist radio show called The Political Cesspool. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that one of the bedrock principles of the show Peroutka appeared on is the need to “grow the percentages of Whites in the world relative to other races.”
      [Top Anti-Marriage Donor in Maryland is Active in White Supremacist, Secessionist Causes. Dan Rafter. Human Rights Campaign, December 6, 2012.]

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    2. More on how the donor of Ken Ham's Allosaurus fossil is a leader of the racist League of the South...

      Michael Peroutka is a board member of the LOS and the founder of the Reconstructionist Institute on the Constitution, which seeks to apply Rushdoony's Reconstructionism, while calling it Constitutional "Originalism."

      Prof. Warren Throckmorton has been following the LOS and the IOTC. Here is just today's post, a back-and-forth on Twitter between two LOS members, "Jimbo" and President Michael Hill, in which "Jimbo" uses the N-word and Hill makes clear what the word "Southerner" really means in LOS-speak.

      Jimbo @LoneProwler

      @MichaelHill51 @KraftyWurker Do you consider niggers "Southerners"?If so, how are you going to get them to go along with secession?


      Michael Hill @MichaelHill51


      @LoneProwler @KraftyWurker To us, "Southerners" are of European descent. They can either go along with it, fight against it, or get out.


      [Throckmorton's blog, Oct. 21, 2013]

      I'm sure Byers will say "No racism there", as he responded to the evidence that his hero Henry Morris promoted creationist racism.

      Byers, will you say there is "No racism here" as well? I've got more, you know. Much more.

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  15. "Darwin’s racism was not adopted out of bad will but simply as the logic of Darwinism."

    I wonder if this person is actually familiar with the manner in which her book of virtues deals with slavery and how followers of said book have used it to justify their racism? It seems not. These people tend to have a hard time realizing that they are both the kettle AND the pot.

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