Why the Jews?

In an illuminating irony, not one but two theatrical documentaries open today that trace the genealogy of the Holocaust back to earlier literary texts. One is Expelled, in which Ben Stein touches upon the use Hitler made of Darwinism. The other documentary is Constantine’s Sword, based on the bestselling book of the same name, by James Carroll. Carroll tells the history of the Christian churches from the perspective of their countenancing of anti-Semitism. As Carroll argues, it all goes back to “the Jews hatred we so easily detect in the New Testament, and that would flower in anti-Jewish violence.” Now which of these films do think has been savaged in the liberal press, and which has gotten raves? Clearly, to Read More ›

The Descent of Darwinism from Hitlerism

Finally, a writer known to me personally to be a smart and honest guy, no ignoramus nor a propagandist, attacks the Hitler-Darwin thesis in Expelled. Ronald Bailey, who used to write book reviews for me at National Review, comments on the movie in the libertarian magazine Reason. He complains that linking Darwinism with Nazism is the “most egregious part of the film.” He harrumphs that the Expelled filmmakers “overlook the fact that people down through the millennia have found all sorts of justifications for why they are permitted to murder each other, including plunder, tribal competition, and, yes, religion.” OK, but when Muslims today commit mass slaughter in the name of their religion, or when Christians once did so, it Read More ›

Opening up Mein Kampf

[Note: For a more comprehensive defense of Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, please see: NCSE Exposed at NCSEExposed.org] It has become the main angle of attack against Expelled to express outrage at the film’s linking of Darwinism with Hitlerism. We need to look today at what Hitler himself wrote in Mein Kampf. Thus, London’s Guardian newspaper publishes a hit piece on Expelled by Adam Rutherford of Nature magazine. He hasn’t seen the movie but believes gentlemen like P.Z. Myers who “indicate that Expelled suggests the Holocaust was a direct result of Darwinian thought.” That’s not what the film suggests, but never mind. Rutherford dismisses the “absurdity” of the “reductio ad Hitlerum” as “specious and simplistic.” What Expelled has Read More ›

Hitler’s Debt to Darwin

Time magazine and Variety have published the latest attack reviews of Expelled, in advance of opening day this Friday. As with previous hostile responses, the focus of outrage is on the film’s argument that Hitler drew inspiration from Darwin’s intellectual legacy. In Time, reviewer Jeffrey Kluger fumes: “Theories of natural selection, it’s claimed, were a necessary if not sufficient condition for Hitler’s killing machine to get started. The truth, of course, is that the only necessary and sufficient condition for human beings to murder one another is the simple fact of being human.” As more attacks come in, making either this bewilderingly inane point — or the one made by Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie that the role of Christianity Read More ›