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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dumping Darwin from British currency

Bill Dembski has just posted this on his blog [“No thanks, I’ll take two fivers” — Dumping Darwin from British currency].

British paper currency — the 10-pound note — features Charles Darwin. (The custom is that the notes all have the Queen on one side and a famous Briton on the other. The notes are in denominations 5, 10, 20, and 50; there are no 1-pound or 2-pound paper notes, these are coins).

A couple of days ago the Bank of England issued a new 20-pound note, using new security features, and took the occasion to change the “famous person.” This is a news-worthy cause for British Darwin-doubters, who should urge that Darwin be dumped from the 10-pound note whenever there is a new security-upgrade version, on grounds that he is the chief prophet of the materialist religion, and his presence on the 10-pound note is an inappropriate endorsement of that materialist religion and its related anti-religious ferment. Now, it’s true that Britain has no 1st Amendment, but still, Britain is trying to be multi-cultural. A part of the effort could include a long list of choice inflammatory quotes from the new anti-religion books currently out in the bookstores (and in Darwin’s own writings — see the previous post here at UD); the effort could point out that the government, by honoring Darwin, implicitly lends its prestige to their venom.

A worthy replacement on the 10-pound note would be William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery crusader, particularly in light of the new movie. As it happens the Fabian Society is also in favor of dumping Darwin, and offers Wilberforce as a possible new famous person — at least, that is what one website says. Thus, this effort would also kick-off a comparison of what good has been brought to the world by these two people — Darwin vs. Wilberforce. Nazi Eugenics vs. the abolition of slavery. Is there really any contest?

Which brings up the reason I keep posting juicy bigotted and racist quotes by Darwin and his disciples here at UD. While the intellectual community may know them, the general public does not. Suppose the public decided that every time it accepted a “Darwin” (a 10-pound note) in payment or in change for a purchase, it was implicitly endorsing those terrible quotes? People would likely say, “No thanks, I’d rather have two fivers. I don’t take money that praises racists and bigots — and neither should you.”

In other words, promote a boycott of the Darwin 10-pound note because it promotes racism. It’s like putting Robert E. Lee on the ten-dollar bill because he was a great general, and ignoring the cause he served. This would work particularly well because the goal of the Fabians and other multiculturalists is to re-define Britain to be racially-inclusive. Thus there is a particular reason to highlight the racism of Darwin and get rid of him.

This would also be a good way to start a counter-reaction to the ‘Darwin Deification’ that we are going to get in 2009. Deifying Darwin is contrary to the multicultural goal of the British intelligentia, and it encourages the worst anti-religious bigotry of Dawkins et al.
Is it just me or has Dembski changed in the past few years? I don't think he used to be so anti-Darwin. I thought he was above the petty name-calling that has characterized many of his fellow travellers.


  1. Oh, for f**k’s sake! Is this the best Dembski can do?

    For the record, Linda Colley’s kite-flying Fabian interview addresses the broader issue of how to include a wider range of Britons than just ‘dead white Victorians’. That’s a completely separate argument from whether Darwin himself deserves commemoration on our notes.

    In fact, the Bank of England regularly updates and changes their note designs. I wouldn’t be surprised if in another ten years Darwin has indeed been replaced, but if so it won’t be because of IDiot demands - just the normal turnover of note designs:

    From the Daily Telegraph article:

    “A Bank of England spokesman said the historical figures featured on notes changed only when a redesign was necessary on cost grounds or as an anti-counterfeiting measure. The choice of a new face was made by an ad hoc committee chaired by the governor.”

    Dembski’s call to ”promote a boycott of the Darwin 10-pound note” and to “start a counter-reaction to the Darwin Deification” is particularly out of touch with UK opinion. About five years ago, the BBC ran a television poll here to elect the ‘Greatest Briton’. Predictably it was won by Winston Churchill. But Darwin came in at a respectable fourth place ahead of Shakespeare and Newton.

  2. I see from Wikipedia that Dembski's preferred honoree, William Wilberforce, was the father of "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce, whose butt got kicked by Huxley in the famous debate of 1860. Coincidence?

  3. Dembski has always been a crazed crank, he just hid it better for awhile in the late 1990s when some people were taking him seriously as an academic. I think he actually thought he was leading an intellectual revolution, and is now in the embittered crank category.

    Those who followed Dembski's stuff closely, and saw the holes in his logic and his math, knew that he was a pretender from the beginning.

  4. Ironically, Demsbki has chosen to try contrast Darwin and William Wilberforce at the point where they were probably least. Darwin was, like Wilberforce, a staunch abolitionist, and from a line of abolitionists...

  5. Oops - "...probably least different."

  6. I wonder if Dembski is aware that we've got Andrew Jackson on our $20s. Never seen anyone request two tens so they didn't get money with his picture on it.

  7. Heck, what are we Americans to do with our five dollar bills since Lincoln said:

    I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together on the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.

  8. The designs of British banknotes change regularly. Darwin has been on the £10 since 2000. Looking at recent trends in terms of redesigns, he only has another year or two left anyway.

  9. I was against the last change to the fiver, because Geaorge Staphenson was replaced by Elizabeth Fry.

  10. "Nazicard" = popular way to lose a debate. Hitlercard is played when you have losed the whole debate and ypu want to quit. When Hiltercard is played the card's user say that he want to stop and have no guts to tell that he is losed. He have said everything else what he have had said in debate and all he has left is shit -and "Hitlercard"(which is now played so he don't have it either.)

    Usually counterdebaters knew that, so they ignore their wictory as man(becouse they want to continue beating down the loser -and when Nazicard is played, the wictory is sure.) So they act like they are angry about the "ad hominem" and continue.

  11. I see from Wikipedia that Dembski's preferred honoree, William Wilberforce, was the father of "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce, whose butt got kicked by Huxley in the famous debate of 1860. Coincidence?

    Could you clarify the question? NO, it is not a coincidence that two men named "Wilberforce" were related to each other. If the question is about the cause of Dembski's preference, I don't know. He mentioned a recent movie, so apparently he believes banknote portraits should follow popular culture. I vote for Angelina Jolie.

    Jason Rosenhouse comments: Dembski's Decline Continues

    Ed Darrell, as quoted by PZ, makes the case that Darwin was socially progressive for his time

  12. In his condensed version of the Gospels, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," Thomas Jefferson removed all references to divinity and miracles of Jesus. No doubt, Mr. Dembski would find this appalling, and yet he fosters no outcry against Jefferson. He's aware that railing against Jefferson would be a fool's errand, and, yet, he seems quite unaware that loosing his venom on one of the most respected men who has ever lived, Charles Darwin, is no less the machinations of a fool.

  13. Mr. Dembski said: "This would also be a good way to start a counter-reaction to the ‘Darwin Deification’ that we are going to get in 2009."

    Huh, what's he talking about? Anyway, that's a very ironic thing for Mr. Dembski to say, especially considering the fact that the only people who are quite that obsessed with Mr. Darwin are the creationist people. :-)

  14. Yowza! Pat Hayes at Red State Rabble looked into the passage quoted by Dembski:

    Before we decide, let's do what Dembski and his readers didn't. Let's read the passage in context. Here's a link to the Project Gutenburg online text of Descent of Man.

    As you can see, the first sentence cited by Dembski (The reckless, degraded...) is Darwin summarizing the views of Greg and Galton. The rest of the paragraph is Darwin quoting Greg.

    Does Darwin do this because he agrees with Greg and Galton? No. He cites their arguments in order to refute them. They argue that if evolution were true, the Irish would "multiply like rabbits" and the good frugal Scots would, by their habit of marrying late, become extinct. In effect, Greg and Galton are making a powerful argument against evolution in man.

    Darwin goes on in succeeding paragraphs to offer a number of arguments against this line of thinking -- which after all, challenges the validity of his theory of evolution.

    Nothing in the paragraph, not one word, reflects what Darwin believed.

  15. How can a man with Ph.D be that stupid? Did Dembski get his degree from a "degree mill" like Hovind did?

  16. By the way, about the upcoming 200/150 anniversary of Darwin (born 1809, "Origin of Species" 1859), an enduring memorial would be to name one of the new chemical elements "Darwinium".

  17. Given that such particles last for such a short time before self destructing, maybe, just maybe, one could be named for Dembski.

    Maybe one with an atomic number out past the point where it disintegrates before it can actually exist?

    Love that Dembski publishes quote mines that make it appear that what was said was actually what was being argued against.

    How come we hear nothing from the religious about his immoral lies.

  18. You can tell the quality of a man by the company he keeps. Look at those 'allowed' to post on Dr Dembski's blog and form your own conclusions...

    I think Dembski is jealous of Darwin. How sad.

  19. Personally I don't give a monkey's (ho ho) about whether Darwin's on the notes or not... it's just money.

    I only came here because I've just seen Amazing Grace and wondered why we haven't put wilberforce on our cash yet.

    I think Wilberforce's achievement carries more weight than Darwin's.

    The Abolition marked a day when we began to treat our fellow man as equal and not animal.

    I think that's far more important and worth celebrating that arguing over a man whose factual observations merely inspired others to conclude we came from animals (whether you accept that theory as fact or not).

  20. Lol biblebasher. Darwin > You. Go die in a fire kthnxbai.