Weikart Responds to Avalos

Iowa State atheist professor of religion Hector Avalos (yes, the same Professor Avalos who harassed Guillermo Gonzalez about astrobiology) seems to now consider himself an expert in modern European History as well. Avalos recently challenged (see: “Creationists for Geoncide“) the work of California State University, Stanislaus professor of history Richard Weikart. Weikart is author of the acclaimed From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany. Weikart recently responded to Avalos’s charges in a comment left at Panda’s Thumb. I’ve pasted it below for wider distribution:

Darwinist or Darwinian, They’re One and the Same

The Seattle Weekly is one of those free newsprint advertisers that you find in bins on street corners in most major U. S. cities. Their editorial boards usually consist of people too far to the left even for the establishment media, and as sources of news they’re probably about as reliable as Minju Choson, the official organ of the Democratic People’s Republic of [North] Korea. But homeless people make good use of them. The August 29, 2007 issue of The Seattle Weekly features an article quoting Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Despite its name, the NCSE is not about teaching science but indoctrinating students at public expense in Darwinism, the creation myth of Read More ›

A Prediction for Artificial Life

Materialists predict they will create “artificial life” in a test tube in the next 3 to 10 years. I have a counter-prediction: They will succeed only by re-defining “artificial” and “life.” For example, “artificial” will cover any human manipulation of an existing organism — so replacing a few genes or enzymes in an already-living cell will count as creating “artificial life.” And “life” will be anything that can undergo “Darwinian evolution” — such as an artificially engineered system of molecules — even though it can be sustained only in a carefully controlled laboratory environment. But a free-living cell? I don’t think so. We are still many years and many discoveries away from understanding the nature of life even in prokaryotes. Read More ›

Scientism’s Forefathers

Have you ever spent time pondering the intellectual pedigree of scientism–say, of the Dawkins variety? It would be nice if folly really were an orphan, but unfortunately he is not. And Herbert Spencer was only one link, though an important one, in a long chain of Western scientism. Consider this Spencerian quote from Steven Shapin’s recent New Yorker article “Man with a Plan: Herbert Spencer’s Theory of Everything“:

Dunford, Darwinism, and the Paranoid Style

The voices in Mike Dunford’s head have been awfully worried lately. Dunford, a zoology graduate student from Hawaii who ‘”studies evolution,” put up a bizarre post on Panda’s Thumb recently. Dunford is convinced that there are conspiracies going on. He began his post with lucidity, sensibly acknowledging the truth of Denyse O’Leary’s observation that intelligent design theory is not creationism. Intelligent design is the theory that some aspects of living things are more reasonably explained as the product of intelligent design rather than as the product of random variation. It’s a scientific inference, open to evidence, and it might be right or wrong. Creationism is the belief in the literal truth of the Bible, particularly in the Book of Genesis. Read More ›