Monday, May 22, 2006

Evolution denial, Holocaust denial. Same stuff, if you ask me.

A noted anti-evolutionist moonbat Casey Luskin makes a fuss about atheist anti-creationist Larry Darby, who also happens to be a Holocaust denier.

He also complains that some "Darwinists" have compared ID creationism to Holocaust denial. Well, boo-hoo! If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Orac urges to be cautious about such analogies. I respectfully disagree.

It is true that every time evolution denial methodology is compared to Holocaust denial methodology, both denier groups tend to be offended (that is, unless someone is both an evolution denier and a Holocaust denier).

That does not detract from the validity of the comparison. Moreover, the comparison is almost perfect - moon landing denial does not come close. Here are several most important similarities - as I see them.

1) No credible alternative (scientific/historical) theory.

Evolution deniers cannot account for existing evidence for evolution. At best they don't offer any alternative, at worst they appeal to some sort of miraculous Designer and implausible ad hoc arguments.

Holocaust deniers cannot account for the missing Jews. Stupid deniers simply say that none are missing, without explaining where millions of Jews deported to specific places, and not found there after the war, went. Smart deniers are silent on the issue.

2) "We don't deny micro...!" tactic.

With some exceptions, evolution deniers love to repeat that they accept microevolution, but not macroevolution.

Not quite in the same terms, but Holocaust deniers use the same rhetoric. You can often read that such and such does not deny the [micro-]Holocaust. Sure, bad things happened to, maybe, a million or so Jews - typhus, you know. But there were no gas chambers and no systematic extermination [i.e., no macro-Holocaust].

3) "No empirical evidence" whine.

Evolution deniers often claim that there is no empirical evidence for evolution, e.g. speciation, or transitional fossils.

Holocaust deniers claim that there are no credible documents proving the Holocaust, or that there are no mass graves.

4) "What do they have to hide?/Persecution!" demagoguery.

Evolution deniers sometimes claim to be persecuted, and charge that "Darwinists" are out to stifle the "debate", as if they have something to hide.

Holocaust deniers at least have grounds for claiming that they're persecuted (in several countries), and they also argue that this persecution has something to do with stifling the "debate", and hiding something.

5) Search for irrelevant "icons".

Evolution deniers are fond of complaining about the so-called "icons of evolution" (gill slits, Haeckel's embryos, peppered moths), which complaints, even if true, would not establish the falsifty of evolution. This has nothing to do with truth-seeking, these "icons" are used for purely rhetorical purposes.

In exactly the same fashion Holocaust deniers try to "debunk" the Holocaust by bringing up minor and irrelevant details, such as human soap and lampshades, Dachau gas chamber, or Auschwitz plaque with 4,000,000 victims.

6) "Show me, step by step!"

Evolution deniers (especially ID creationists) are fond of demanding to describe, step by step, evolutionary pathways leading to the biological systems of their choice (usually, the so-called "irreducibly complex" systems). When plausible, though maybe not "step-by-step", pathways are presented, they're routinely dismissed. If no pathway is presented, evolution deniers claim victory.

Many Holocaust deniers are fond of Robert Faurisson's "Show me or draw me a gas chamber!" slogan. Of course, when the drawing is presented, this changes exactly nothing.

7) "Exception disproves the rule" rule.

A widespread tactic. E.g., evolution deniers argue [PDF] that variant genetic codes prove that the genetic code itself is not universal, and that these codes actually present a challenge to common descent.

Similarly, Holocaust deniers argue that if Anne Frank was deported to Auschwitz, but wasn't gassed there, and rather died of typhus in Bergen Belsen, then the "story" about murderous selections in Auschwitz is not true (regardless of specific circumstances which may have caused the exception).

Addendum: 8) And, of course, both Holocaust and evolution deniers claim that, respectively, the Holocaust and evolution are religions, and blame all sorts of real and alleged social ills on them. Holocaust deniers usually blame the "Holocaust industry" for persecution of Palestinians and post-war liberalism. Evolution deniers usually associate evolution with moral decay, atheism and liberalism. Holocaust deniers sometimes produce an alleged quote by Claude Lanzmann that "Auschwitz is the refutation of Christ" to prove that the "Holohoax" is an attack on Christianity. In the same vein evolution deniers like to quote Dawkins' attacks on Christianity.

There are more similarities, but that's already enough to show the almost identical modus operandi of both denial groups.

Now, on a purely rational level it is absolutely irrelevant that Holocaust denial is extremely offensive. If it were a legitimate critique, it should have been taught without any regard for "offensiveness". If it is factual, it should be taught.

Therefore the question about why we can teach evolution denial ("the controversy") but not Holocaust denial (also "the controversy") is absolutely legitimate. Those evolution deniers who would try to change the topic and complain about unfair comparison to "the Nazis" are demagogues, pure and simple.

12 comments:

Simon said...

Well said.

I hate these people. They are a real problem to our society. We need to get togetyher and think of a way of removing them. There's a lot of people to deal with, here, so we'll have to have some kind of organised "removal".

Sergey Romanov said...

Hmmm. :-/

Scott Smith said...

Sergey said:

<< In exactly the same fashion Holocaust deniers try to "debunk" the Holocaust by bringing up minor and irrelevant details, such as human soap and lampshades, Dachau gas chamber, or Auschwitz plaque with 4,000,000 victims. >>

They are just examples of fraud where Allied societies and their governments lied about the Germans for their own purposes and to showcase their own fathomless virtue.

These hoaxes had less investment in them so they persist only passively as urban legends that establishment historians are nevertheless extremely shy to refute.

Other hoaxes like homicidal gaschambers are more difficult to refute, which does not make them true.

<< Evolution deniers (especially ID creationists) are fond of demanding to describe, step by step, evolutionary pathways leading to the biological systems of their choice (usually, the so-called "irreducibly complex" systems). When plausible, though maybe not "step-by-step", pathways are presented, they're routinely dismissed. If no pathway is presented, evolution deniers claim victory. >>

Evolution isn't really a belief-system except that it discounts Divine Origins and Holy Scripture in favor of what is known and observable. In short, it is a scientific process of discovery and revision; both Evolutionists and anti-Evolutionists sometimes forget
that. The Scientific Method is an intellectual process and not a specific goal.

The truly Faithful do not need empirical proof to believe in Divine Origins in any case, so it should not conflict with observation and testable-hypotheses in the least. Therefore, I don't understand all the fuss--unless demonstrating the empirical falsity of Scripture undermines anti-intellectual values.

<< Many Holocaust deniers are fond of Robert Faurisson's "Show me or draw me a gas chamber!" slogan. Of course, when the drawing is presented, this changes exactly nothing. >>

It changes nothing because they present the bluprints of a basement and not of a gaschamber, which is obvious from an engineering point-of-view.

Fritz Berg satisfied Faurisson's challenge--although I'm not sure if he ever acknowledged that--by presenting diagrams of real gaschambers made by Degesch for fumigation, the technology of which could easily have been modified for mass-murder if the German government had really been interested in such a thing. That these real gaschambers were used for fumigating clothes only, whilst the alleged homicidal gaschambers consisted of basements concocted by Corporals with Chisels, reveals a lot.

<< Similarly, Holocaust denier[s] argue that if Anne Frank was deported to Auschwitz, but wasn't gassed there, and rather died of typhus in Bergen Belsen, then the "story" about murderous selections in Auschwitz is not true (regardless of specific circumstances which may have caused the exception). >>

Anne Frank surviving Auschwitz only to die of typhus at Belsen doesn't show that no Jews were gassed, nor even that none were ever sent there to be gassed, for sure.

But it does undermine The Greatest Story Ever Told, i.e., that Jews were necessarily sent to Nazi Death Camps to be gassed instead of sent to concentration camps as enemy aliens during the war and to exploit them as forced-labor.

<< And, of course, both Holocaust and evolution deniers claim that, respectively, the Holocaust and evolution are religions, and blame all sorts of real and alleged social ills on them. >>

Well, the Big-H is a religion; it has a core canon, an orthodoxy, a liturgy, a mythology, an apocrypha, and group affirmation. It has its Believers and Defenders, complete with its Deniers and Skeptics. It has its heretics and its clergy, and its social, finanical, professional, and legal sanctions for Doubt.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution is not a religion, although it is true that some of its adherents may not understand the Scientific Method properly. And it is not Thoughtcrime to Doubt.

And no one will be deported, extradited, imprisoned, or fined for suggesting that apes are genetic cousins to Homo Sapiens Sapiens--at least not in enlightened countries.

<< Now, on a purely rational level it is absolutely irrelevant that Holocaust denial is extremely offensive. If it were a legitimate critique, it should have been taught without any regard for "offensiveness". If it is factual, it should be taught. >>

It was once extremely offensive to doubt the Infallibility of the Pope. It was (and still is in some quarters) extremely offensive to Deny the sanctity of Man and to profess the human Progress of mankind and society, with or without Divine blessing.

Sergey Romanov said...

Thanks, Scott, for confirming my point that evolution deniers and Holocaust deniers think alike. You're a perfect example - on H-denial side.

;-)

Scott Smith said...

But I'm an example of the opposite.

;-)

Sergey Romanov said...

You'd like to think so, yes.

;-)

Anonymous said...

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/446.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4361news8-9-2000.asp

Answers in Genesis does a very good job at debunking some of your points. You may want to read over these and browse around before you try to do something that involves Creationism because it is ignorant to claim something about someone that you haven't thoroughly researched/investigated.

Sergey Romanov said...

Thank you for your input. Contrary to what you imply, I have been researching creationism for several years (and, in fact, I started before researching Holocaust denial) and I know what I'm talking about.

As for your links, I suggest you study the following materials:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB360.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#morphological_vestiges
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/vestiges/appendix.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102_1.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/spetner.html
http://www.talkreason.org/articles/spetner.cfm
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/fitness/spetner.html

Evolution deniers at AiG are very well-known for their deceptions, see http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/

So I stand by every word.

Joachim Neander said...

News from The Dark Side of the Moon.

Polish Vice Minister of Education Miroslaw Orzechowski, in an interview published by Gazeta Wyborcza on October 14-15, 2006 (my translation): "Evolution theory is a lie. An error that was legalized as the binding truth. For me, it is a story of literary character, it might serve as the plot of a science fiction film. Darwin's theory was already modified while he still was alive. It is a loose concept of an old, infidel man who saw the world in this way. Maybe because he was a vegetarian and had no guts ... Darwinism was only an intellectual motivation for infidel people, it became a pseudo-scientific argument for them. In the meantime, for 2,000 years another concept has endured: creationism. This is a truth of civilization, an outgrowth of belief, it hasn't been questioned for thousand generations." [Asked by the journalist:] Should we remove evolution theory from teaching? Orzechowski: "We won't remove it from the textbooks. But we must begin talking about this. We must not teach untruth instead of truth ..."
A few days later, in a "preemptive strike," the principal of a Lodz high school ordered not to exhibit the famous picture showing the phylogenetic tree of mankind in the biology classroom. Asked by a journalist how he thinks about the principal's decision, Orzechowski replied: "I fully agree. Because Darwinism is but one of many theories, and the picture might suggest that it is the only one." Asked further, if teachers who teach evolution must be afraid of disciplinary consequences: "Not at all. Of course, under the condition that they will present Darwinism together with other theories and not as the one and only truth. This isn't a minor case in a country where the great majority of the population declare to be religious." [Gazeta Wyborcza, Oct 19, 2006].

Doesn't it sound like the HDers demand that HD be taught on equal terms with "court history"? Remember that Orzechowski is Vice Miniter of education and that Maciej Giertych, the father of the Minister of Education himself, is the stauntest promotor of creationism in Poland.

Anonymous said...

As for the first comment left, it seems to me that you are implying a holocaust of your own. "organised 'removal'". That is completely uncalled for and extremely childish.

I would like to point out that some of the things the holocaust deniers are saying may not disprove the holocaust, but some of their proofs do show that the holocaust was not as 'large scale' as everyone thinks.

acid_claus said...

Sorry to comment on such an old thread, but in light of Israel's global pariah status in all but US Congress (because they are bought by AIPAC) and all the lies and crimes they committed being finally revealed, I think it is relevant to re-visit the holocaust. This opinion peace is a good example of an ignorant person with very little knowledge smearing groups of people asking legitimate questions without providing any proof to back up their ridiculous nonsense.

Take the 'irrelevant details' for example. Was that a joke? Those are totally relevant considering they were wartime propaganda. WHAT ELSE is wartime propaganda? How bout those gas chambers? Nobody talks about the electrocution chambers in Treblinka any more. Gee I wonder why?

The 'gas chamber' in Aushwitz is not a gas chamber. I don't care how many scholars say that it is. They can all say the sun is black but that does not make it so. Anybody with half a brain knows that isn't a gas chamber. The holocaust industry has bullet point responses to these things. When the gas chamber is exposed they say the room was destroyed and rebuilt. Really? Because it seems they only say this after you prove it isn't a gas chamber. What about those forensic tests? What about the lack of any sort of proof except confessions beaten out of Nazis and written in a language they didn't speak?

Idiots still bring up the soap/lamp shade thing as if it were true. World Almanac figures prove there are no missing Jews. What missing Jews? The few hundred thousand who died from Typhus? How come there was still a million 'survivors' getting reparations a few years ago? Israel conning Germany for nearly 70 years, that's what.

The holocaust is a big lie, the biggest lie. A billion dollar industry to justify Israel and to be used to deflect criticism for the ruling class who strangely are mostly made up of Jews. It's shoved down our throats by biased Jewish scholars and based on incestuous resources. It's illegal in some places to question it. That indicates they are hiding something. Because if it were true, who cares if somebody denies it? Why assume they are 'antisemites' when most neo-Nazis idolize Hitler for exterminating Jews. They aren't even questioning the holocaust, they are celebrating it.

Prove to me that the holocaust happened. Back up everything our history books say with valid sources dating all the way back to the war. You can't. It's complete nonsense. I don't expect a Jew to accept it or the philo-semitic sheeple. But make no mistake, you can debunk it in 15 minutes. THERE WERE NO GAS CHAMBERS. Not for extermination anyways, just little ones for delousing.

Sergey Romanov said...

acid_claus, you spout the usual talking points without thinking any of them through. For example:

"Take the 'irrelevant details' for example. Was that a joke? Those are totally relevant considering they were wartime propaganda. WHAT ELSE is wartime propaganda? How bout those gas chambers? Nobody talks about the electrocution chambers in Treblinka any more. Gee I wonder why?"

Yes, details like lampshades, soap, electrocution chambers and various other assorted garbage is irrelevant. "Therefore gas chambers were propaganda too" is an obvious non sequitur.

You continue:

"The 'gas chamber' in Aushwitz is not a gas chamber. I don't care how many scholars say that it is. They can all say the sun is black but that does not make it so. Anybody with half a brain knows that isn't a gas chamber."

That, however, is a profession of a religious dogma, not an argument. What's your evidence that it wasn't a gas chamber? And don't even think of turning this around and saying that we must prove it. You said that it is not a gas chamber and everybody intelligent knows it - so prove your assertion.

Then you dredge up a strawman:

"When the gas chamber is exposed they say the room was destroyed and rebuilt. Really?"

Actually, nobody says anything like that. What we know from *documents* (not claims, so "say" is a strawman) is that Krema I Leichhalle was converted into an air-raid shelter. After the war it was converted back, with some mistakes made along the way.

I don't see how this proves that there was no gas chamber in Krema I.

"Because it seems they only say this after you prove it isn't a gas chamber."

That, of course, is a verifiably false statement, since the claims are based on original German documents.

"What about those forensic tests?"

Forensic tests showed cyanide traces.

"What about the lack of any sort of proof except confessions beaten out of Nazis and written in a language they didn't speak?"

That's false.

"World Almanac figures prove there are no missing Jews."

World Almanac claim is an ancient chestnut that now is not used by most "smart" deniers. Keep up with the times, moron.

"What missing Jews?"

Ca. 5-6 million of them. For example, where are the 1.2 million of Jews that were deported to Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor in 1942 alone? Where are 320,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz, but who were not registered there and were not "transit Jews"? Etc., etc., etc. You can't explain - with evidence - where they went.

"The holocaust is a big lie, the biggest lie."
"THERE WERE NO GAS CHAMBERS."

Keep repeating that dogma if that makes you feel better. Won't make your groundless assertion any truer.

"Prove to me that the holocaust happened. Back up everything our history books say with valid sources dating all the way back to the war. You can't."

Actually, it has been done. See: Holocaust historiography.

Read a book sometime.