The Right IDEA: Restoring Rationality in the Debate Over Darwin’s Theory

Seth Cooper

Casey Luskin, the Co-President of Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA), has posted an article entitled, “A Holiday Truce: A Holocaust Survivor Speaks Out.” This important and carefully written article contains an interview with a Holocaust survivor and discusses the abuse of human atrocities in the current controversy surrounding neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory. As Luskin points out in his commentary, some of the more extreme hyper-Darwinists have resorted to equating skepticism of some of the more far-reaching claims of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory with denial of the Holocaust.
The low-ball tactic of using genocide to score debating points was brought home to me late last month, when Washington State ACLU staff attorney Aaron Caplan responded to my presentation on the teaching of scientific critiques of evolutionary theory in schools by comparing proponents of intelligent design to Holocaust deniers. The irony of it all was that this was part of a continuing legal education seminar devoted to the topic of ethics. (Note: this blogger is the grandson of an Army Air Corps. veteran who fought against the Nazis and later went on to become an agricultural inspector and a biology teacher.)
The Holocaust was a human horror of the first magnitude. One must hope that, particularly after the moving interview Luskin provides, Darwin’s fiercest bulldogs will themselves have an attack of conscience and begin to re-think their rhetorical ploy, and that the media will likewise cease from letting such rhetoric go completely unchallenged in news accounts. Perhaps then the debate can return to the sufficiency of the scientific evidence for and against the competing scientific theories of neo-Darwinian evolution and intelligent design.