The ACLU has embarrassed itself (again) concerning the scientific controversy over chemical and biological evolutionary theories, as Pennsylvania ACLU lawyer Witold Walczak has now compared skeptics of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory to Holocuast deniers. (See my earlier blog on this here.)
In an Associated Press story from January 5 (found here), Walczak stated:
The parallel I would draw would be, if a social-studies teacher teaching World War II would talk about the Holocaust and make a statement – just a couple paragraphs – that there are gaps in the historical records of the Holocaust, and you should know an alternative theory that the Holocaust never happened.
That the ACLU now finds itself trivializing the horrors of the Holocaust for some sort of rhetorical advantage or cheap public debating points is not only sad, but a sign of desperation. Clearly, the Walczak puts very little stock in his own outlandish claim, or else he might have bothered to insert that claim in the complaint he filed with the federal court in Pennsylvania. Nowhere does his laughable charge appear in his complaint to the court.
It now appears to be ACLU policy to compare people who disagree with them to Holocaust deniers. Apparently, academic freedom is something they support, so long as academics agree with them.
Unfortunately, AP education reporter Martha Raffaele didn’t bother to report on any follow up questions concerning Walczak’s wild claim. Perhaps she figured that Walczak’s wacky comment spoke for itself. Then again, Raffaele could easily have discussed an opposing viewpoint in the ongoing scientific debate over evolutionary theory that Walczak somehow insists doesn’t exist. Raffaele might have mentioned, for instance, the fact that peer-reviewed science literature and mainstream science publications contain scientific criticisms of aspects of chemical and neo-Darwinian theory (some of which are discussed here). Or, she could have mentioned the publication of peer-reviewed books debating the scientific theory of intelligent design in academic presses, such as Cambridge University Press and Michigan State University Press. Or, she could have mentioned the fact that well over 300 scientists have voiced their skepticism of the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life (further discussed here). Or, she could have cited the April, 2002 “Evolution or Intelligent Design” debate between intelligent design and neo-Darwinian proponents at the Museum of Natural History.
For some perspective on this issue one would do well to note the words of European scientist Bjorn Lomborg. After voicing his skepticism of the scientific evidence supporting global warming Lomborg was lambasted by radical environmentalists for his views, which included claims that he was (guess what?) a Holocaust denier! Heh. Now read Lomborg’s response to the same sort of argumentum ad Hitlerum now propounded by the hyper-Darwinists:
I actually feel kind of good, because it shows the desperateness of their argument. A good saying among lawyers is: if you have a good case, pound the case; if you have a bad case, pound the table. And this is definitely a case of table pounding, which is kind of revealing about their arguments.
Quite so. Will the ACLU start to change course, or have they found themselves trapped in their own ideological bent on this issue? And will Old Media continue to give them a pass on their laughable claims? That much remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the ACLU should consider a recent letter by the Anti-Defamation League concerning Holocaust denial, discussed by Casey Luskin of Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) in his January 6 Addendum to his interview of a Holocaust survivor.
Luskin links to apt comments at Dean’s World. Likewise, readers should check out some good observations from The Smoking Room.