January 1, 2010

"The Darwin Show"

Harvard historian Steven Shapin has a long article in the London Review of Books, The Darwin Show, about the apotheosization of Charles Darwin over the last year in service of various contemporary causes, including global warming.

One thing I would add is that the modern cult of beatifying Charles Darwin is dependent upon demonizing his younger half-cousin Francis Galton. Everything politically correct is attributed to Darwin, while everything politically incorrect is attributed to Galton. In reality, Galton was hugely influenced by Darwin, and Darwin, in turn, was influenced by Galton (here's the lengthy index entry for "Galton, Mr." from Darwin's The Descent of Man). Galtonism was seen by both men as the natural evolution of Darwinism.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

54 comments:

OneSTDV said...

I covered a similar phenomenon (deification vs. demonization) for William Shockley and Ghandi:

Divergent Legacies of Shockley and Ghandi

Vernunft said...

Oh, just so. When Cambridge published its Cambridge Companion to the 'Origin of Species', I briefly thought about buying it - I don't know enough about it and the Companions are generally good for that. Then I realized it would be too much to expect any sensible discussion of the HBD implications of Darwin's work, and, indeed, the index shows it - "race" has two page references, "racial psychology" one. And that's it.

Richard Hoste said...

Galtonism was seen by both men as the natural evolution of Darwinism.

And does Sailer share that opinion?

Anonymous said...

Good post, Mr Sailer.

Anon.

Blue Tick Nose said...

And does Sailer share that opinion?

Yeah, I think so.

RobertHume said...

Darwin believed in group evolution, a hypothesis also of Kevin McDonald, which accounts for its dubious reputation currently.

Tamiko said...

Francis Galton was a brilliant man - not only for his thoughts on evolutionary biology, but also in the field of statistics and statistical analysis.

SF said...

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005.html

Sentence No. 2 from this generally good evolutionary website could be be described as Gouldian nonsense. But the link to what Darwin actually said is sensible.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm not with it but it seemed to me that Darwin has been demonized to large sectors of the public. He's blamed for genocide, religion bashing, communism, naziism, moral turpitude,secular humanism, the breakup of the family, anything bad, he's the evil genie. Strange, but large sectors of the American public seem to be hermetically sealed off from one another in their thinking (if you can call it that).

Stir the Pot said...

I think most Lefties view Darwinism as a more conservative idea, while they laud the idea of evolution trumping creationism.

'Darwinism' has often been referred to as a cruel struggle in society be tween the few winners and the many losers.

Most Lefties I've heard seem to buy this, along with the idea that some people are more competitive due to environment, genetics or collusion, and their response is to use the gov't to try to level the playing field thru policies like affimative action, food stamps, subsidized housing.

cedarview ln said...

Maybe the same happened with Jesus and Judas. Could be they worked together to bring about the necessary events but Jesus got all the credit and Judas got all the blame.

cedarview ln said...

For a long time, there was a similar moral dynamic concerning Stalin and Trotsky. Stalin came to represent everything bad about communism, Trotsky came to represent everything good. In reality, their views had much in common.

I think evolution made us see the world in Manichean terms of good vs evil though reality is far more complex. B/W view of the world makes it easier for us to assess our allies and our enemies; and prepares us for more decisive action. Since the environment in which mankind lived for most his existence was harsh and unforgiving, complexity and subtlety were not necessarily evolutionarily advantages but more like luxuries that could only be utilized in safe and secure civilizations protected from the ruthless ravages of evolutionary processes. Even so, it colors how we see much of reality. Thus, Martin Luther King is deified though he was a personal monster while J. Edgar Hoover is vilified even for the good things he'd done. It's less about reality than our need for myths. These men--Darwin, Galton, King, Hoover, etc--are not only regarded as individuals but as great historical and spiritual symbols representing GOODNESS vs EVIL for all of mankind. Thus, it could be said even secular people think religiously.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

As I've observed them, Darwin's a hero to secular SWPLs, but only as a totem to reinforce their feelings of superiority over evangelical types. Let them encounter someone who believes that all those millenia of adaptability and variation is actually a factor in human events (i.e., HBD), and watch them sputter.

If you really want to make their heads explode, tell them that their cherished "human rights" and "social justice" are just as fictional and arbitrary as snake-handler theology.

headache said...

Richard Hoste sez:
And does Sailer share that opinion?


are you on a PC-cop beat?

Anonymous said...

Don't the No Darwin, no Hitler crowd demonize both?

Baloo said...

"Thus, it could be said even secular people think religiously."

Actually, Cedarview, I'd say _especially_ secular people think religiously, about nonreligious things, because they don't have a regular religion to think about. Whoever started the meme of calling racial egalitarians 'creationists' was dead on. Only faith can justify a belief in such equality.

Svigor said...

OneSTDV, there's a piece online by a RR or HBD type about Gandhi, but I forget who wrote it or where to find it. It's pretty extensive and goes into Gandhi's blatantly heretical beliefs and behaviors. It's hilarious how far off the mythology surrounding Gandhi really is. Maybe someone reading this can link to it.

ben tillman said...

'Darwinism' has often been referred to as a cruel struggle in society be tween the few winners and the many losers.

Most Lefties I've heard seem to buy this, along with the idea that some people are more competitive due to environment, genetics or collusion, and their response is to use the gov't to try to level the playing field thru policies like affimative action, food stamps, subsidized housing.


Which is about the stupidest thing imaginable, as the people who are able to "use the gov't" are the winners, and policies like affimative action, food stamps, subsidized housing are designed to punish the losers.

Harkleroader said...

The great irony is that religious consciousness grew out of or was favored by evolution, YET people who claim to believe in evolution have no respect for religion though it is a product of evolution. On the other hand, people who claim to be hardcore-religious have no respect for evolution though their religious mindset is a product of evolutionary consciousness.

Throughout most of human existence, life was harsh and cruel. An intelligent and emotionally complex creature like a human was likely to be more sensitive and despairing of all the bad things happening around him/her. Non-humans have limited memories and a lower awareness of reality. Humans, on the other hand, remember more sorrow, feel greater pain, and are filled with more anxiety/fear. A human will suffer more upon losing a loved one--parent, child, spouse, friend--than animals. For that reason, people who developed a religious mindset were likely to be emotionally better equipped to survive and carry on than those without during hard times. Even when things were godawful, the devout could cling to hope and have a reason to carry on. The Hebrew morale during the Exodus would have vanished if not for their faith in Yahweh and the Promised Land.

Also, those with religious mindset tended to share the same values and beliefs, same hopes and taboos. As such, they formed a tighter group bond which gave them an advantage over people without such spiritual bonds. What is spirituality? It is a form of emotions that goes beyond the private, personal, and momentary and strives for an eternal & unified state of mind.
Of course, not all religions are the same. Jewish-based religions lasted longer and spread more far-and-wide than most other kinds.

It may be that modern people need to dispense with the dogma of old-time religion, but religious mindset is so obviously a product of evolution that I find it amusing that the very people who are ardently pro-evolutionist just can't seem to acknowledge that spirituality is the bastard child of evolution.

And, given the nature of the Darwinian process, it's equally amusing that egalitarians adore Darwin. I suppose they may argue thus: unlike animals which only survive/evolve through ruthless competition, mankind has evolutionarily advanced through mutual cooperation and aid--and in the process became the most powerful of all species. Thus, we are the highest form of evolution; therefore, we must not act like OTHER animals. Evolution made us, but we need no longer be the mindless products of its ruthless processes. Even so, the concept of hierarchy and superiority is rife in progressive Darwinianism. After all, the concept of 'progress' assumes that certain ideas and systems are BETTER than others and furthermore implies that some people--intellectual educated classes--are more fit to lead all of humanity.

Finally, it may well be true that Darwinian theory is beautiful in its brilliance and simplicity. But, the practice of evolution has never been pretty. Indeed, it's been many times crueler than what we read in the Bible. Same goes for atomic theory. Beautiful theory but look at its practice in Hiroshima.

ben tillman said...

I think evolution made us see the world in Manichean terms of good vs evil though reality is far more complex.

It's exactly the opposite. Evolution means there is no objective good or evil. There is just self and non-self.

Anonymous said...

are you on a PC-cop beat?

I'm guessing you're not familiar with Hoste's work.

DYork said...

Intellectuals in America are disproportionately Jewish and betray their ethic bias in giving greater respect to the ideas of Freud, Marx or Chomsky over Darwin simply because Darwin wasn't a Jew.

The French intellectuals have also dismissed Darwin because he was a hated Englishman and their boy Lamarck was good enough for them.

Dawkins also over valorizes Darwin because he's a home town boy. Plenty of nationalist ego extension in the varying degrees of respect for Darwin among various people.

And of course the White American Evangelicals, or Evangelical Hebrews as I call them, are mainly of British decent yet their contempt for Darwin is tied to their Hebrew identification. Their prophets are really, really, really old Hebrews not 19th century Englishmen.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

As I've observed them, Darwin's a hero to secular SWPLs, but only as a totem to reinforce their feelings of superiority over evangelical types.


Very true. Look at the career of writer Bob Wright over at blogginheadstv. He is pro-evolution, even applied to human affairs. Yet he is a rabid SWPL liberal from a Army brat Texas Christian background.

He has spoken about his view that having a black President is something this country needs, is in favor of the Hispanization of America, thinks the Willie Horton political ad was terrible and racist but is less offended by Willie Horton's crimes, thinks the mostly black jury was right to vote not guilty in the OJ Simpson case and on and on.

He is almost a pathological example of SWPLism. His embrace of evolution is in no small part an expression of his need for moral and intellectual one upsmanship over his fellow White people. The Other White people.

Glossy said...

"OneSTDV, there's a piece online by a RR or HBD type about Gandhi, but I forget who wrote it or where to find it. It's pretty extensive and goes into Gandhi's blatantly heretical beliefs and behaviors. It's hilarious how far off the mythology surrounding Gandhi really is. Maybe someone reading this can link to it."

For a while Gandhi worked as a lawyer and ethnic activist in South Africa. The quotes on this page are pulled from his writings of that time.

Sept. 26, 1896
“Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

He used the word Kaffir to refer to South African blacks.

“There is a bye-law in Durban which requires registration of coloured servants. This rule may be, and perhaps is, necessary for the Kaffirs who would not work, but absolutely useless with regard to the Indians. But the policy is to class the Indian with the Kaffir whenever possible.”

It's clear that, far from being an advocate of universalist human rights, Gandhi was simply pissed off that his own group was sometimes mistaken for something that it wasn't.

Before May 27, 1899
“Your Petitioner has seen the Location intended to be used by the Indians. It would place them, who are undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs, in close proximity to the latter.”

In other words, if Gandhi was a commenter on iSteve, Steve would have probably censored a lot of his comments. (Steve, please
don't take that as a criticism. You've written a lot of politically incorrect stuff under your real name, which is more than I've ever done, so who am I to criticize?)

May 24, 1903
“The £3 tax is merely a penalty for wearing the brown skin and it would appear that, whereas Kaffirs are taxed because they do not work at all or sufficiently, we are to be taxed evidently because we work too much, the only thing in common between the two being the absence of the white skin.”

From a complaint to a British official:

Feb. 15, 1904
"...Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian Location should be chosen for dumping down all the kaffirs of the town passes my comprehension.”

Feb. 15, 1904
“Of course, under my suggestion, the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians, I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen.”

Ans so on.

Glaivester said...

I like the way I summed it up four years ago:

Whenever someone denigrates evolutionary psychology, what they really mean is: "I thought the whole point of evolution was just to deny God. I didn't think it was actually supposed to tell us anything."

Or the way I summed it up three and a half years ago:

[Evolutionary psychology] very neatly divides those who truly believe in evolution as a scientific theory from those who simply want an alternate belief system to believing in God.

Steve Sailer said...

Most of the big names of the 1960s generation of evolutionary thinkers sound like names guys made up while signing into shady motels:

John Smith
Ed Wilson
George Williams
Bill Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Good Anglo-Saxon names, those.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Intellectuals in America are disproportionately Jewish and betray their ethic bias in giving greater respect to the ideas of Freud, Marx or Chomsky over Darwin simply because Darwin wasn't a Jew.

Actually, many jewish writers will deliberately try to sever the connection between jews and the last (and possibly this) century's greatest crime - Communism. One attempt is to replace the term "Marxist-Leninism" with "Maoist-Leninism."

And of course the White American Evangelicals, or Evangelical Hebrews as I call them, are mainly of British decent...

They are? I've seen no data to suggest that creationists (or even evangelicals) are disproportionately British (like myself). Even so, I'm not sure I'd try to correct them - Evangelicals tend to actually breed, and they tend to be conservative. If so WASPs may yet take back America - the white portion of it, in any case.

Anonymous said...

Most public intellectuals in the U.S. and Europe, Jewish or non-Jewish, are liberal arts types who possess only the most minimal scientific background. They barely know what they are discussing when they write about evolution or Darwin's role in formulating the theory. Perhaps that's why they avoid the subject except when it is a convenient blunt object with which to bash evangelicals.

Melykin said...

My son has a Darwin fish on the back of his car. It is like a Jesus fish, only it says "Darwin" instead of "Jesus", and it has little feet.

Darwin worship truly is a secular religion.

Anonymous said...

As I've observed them, Darwin's a hero to secular SWPLs, but only as a totem to reinforce their feelings of superiority over evangelical types. Let them encounter someone who believes that all those millenia of adaptability and variation is actually a factor in human events (i.e., HBD), and watch them sputter.

Exactly! SWPLs fancy themselves as a gang strutting down the street, evolution/Darwin is their flick knife, used to threaten Christians. But thats all it is. Introducing HBD is like Crocodile Dundee coming out with "Thats not a knife, this is a knife!" Suddenly they dont want to know at all.

Anonymous said...

He also once helped recruit Indian troops for the British army.

Based on Gandhi's autobiography, it seems like his time in South Africa changed him. The son of a prominent administrator in British India. He comes off as a bit of an anglophile prior to his experiences in South Africa.

It was when he returned to India in the 1915 that he became progressively ascetic. And fully developed his now famous stance on non-violent resistance.

OhioStater said...

Nah, I think they also want to appropriate bad aspects of Darwinism. Population planning is "you aren't worth of reproduction but I am". Global warming means "I can use carbon, but you can't". Those are similar arguments.

Anonymous said...

Liberals claim to believe in Darwin, but they really don't. They claim everyone is "the same" except for skin color. I don't think Darwinism could create such an outcome. Only a God could do that.
Consider the little island of Taiwan, with 22 million Chinese. Last time I checked on Wikipedia, they had half the GDP of black Africa, but only 1/30th the population (excluding S.A.). You don't even have to consider whites. Just looking at blacks vs. asians should convince anyone that there's more to it than just "skin color".
How are liberals able to hide from this truth ? What strange personal alchemy allows them to do it ? Are they 'bots in some sort of Matrix ? That's the issue that concerns me lately. What exactly is the reality that I live in ? How can it contain such irrationality ?

ben tillman said...

Lots of censorship in the new year.

Hot Magma said...

SWPL's eat up those dogs ranked by IQ lists that get emailed around. They just eat that stuff up: the list reveals the amusing and brutal truths of the canine pet owner existence i.e. "...you can't fix stupid."

But don't you dare extrapolate and take those observed gene pool dynamics, and compare them to the situation which can be observed in the human race. Don't you dare.

My favorite type of SWPL is the affluent professional breeder of dogs or horses. These conflicted liberals are as gene pool obsessed as the hardest of the hardcore, blood tribe, race fanatics in India, the Middle East or Europe.

Whiskey said...

Short version of Dyork: "Its all the Jews fault!"

In reality, there are (and were) plenty of Jewish Darwinists, and plenty of French enthusiasts for his work as well. Heck Anatole France was a Darwinist and hated the Church to boot. Evangelicals care most about a certain Jewish prophet who embodied Greek humanism. Heck the entire New Testament is rehashed Socratic humanism, with a bit of Aristotle and Plato thrown in.

Moreover, I have a Catholic friend, who shares pretty much most of Wright's social attitudes, even though he is a great deal older and could be accurately described as a Country Club Republican (because in fact he belonged to one for decades). Why? Because that is what "respectable opinion" on CNN, Newsweek, the LA Times, the NYT, and the Washington Post thinks. I have met plenty of other older, Catholic men, mostly Irish, Italian, or Polish who share these views and for the same reason: "if it's in the NYT it must be true."

SWPL *IS* the establishment. It is as firmly WASP-elite as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, both of whom also believe in the redemptive power of a Black President, that all ordinary Whites are racist, that OJ should not have been convicted, and the like. Oh sure, Rick Warren (another establishment guy) thinks the same things, and so does the loathsome Huckabee (or Mitt Romney), but your ordinary evangelical does not.

I do however believe DYork is substantially correct on SWPL racial attitudes and views of the "Other White People" and embrace of evolution. While shying away from HBD.

Glaivester is spot-on.

Doktor David Duck said...

SWPL *IS* the establishment. It is as firmly WASP-elite as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates,

umm...dontcha mean "Harvard-Tel-Aviv-Scotch-Irish" WASP-elite?

Reed said...

SWPL *IS* the establishment. It is as firmly WASP-elite as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, both of whom also believe in the redemptive power of a Black President, that all ordinary Whites are racist, that OJ should not have been convicted, and the like.

It's funny how Whiskey always makes a big fuss when someone brings up a Jewish name or two, while always bringing up "Gates & Buffet" whenever he makes a point.

l said...

Darwinism good. Social Darwinism bad.

Diversity good. Inequality bad.

Socialism good. Capitalism bad. The credit crisis exposes the inherent flaws of capitalism. The collapse of the Soviet Union is a curious event, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything -- except maybe that the Russians shouldn't have invaded Afghanistan. (It's too early to pass judgement on Obama's escalation of the war in AfPak -- on the one hand, Afghanistan is the 'Graveyard of Empires', on the other hand, the Taliban are horrible sexists, homophobes and anti-art.)

Dissent, free thinking and free speech good. Racism, sexism, homophobia and climate change denial are hate speech and need to be stamped out.

Humanism smart. Religion (except for Buddhism, Bah'aism, Gaia worship, Unitarianism and whatever Jewish and Christian sects ordain women and gays) stupid.

Science always good, if it pisses off fundamentalist Christians. Science good, if it thwarts capitalists (climate change science). Science bad if it makes capitalists rich (Monsanto). Science sometimes good (AIDS research, green technology, human genome project). Science sometimes bad (internal combustion engine, electricity, air travel, nuclear energy, genetically modified crops). Science not valid if it challenges 'Progressive' thought (attn: Dr. Watson!).

Nazis evil because they killed people based on their race and religion. Communists misunderstood. They only killed selfish people and people who resisted Marxist theory. Who knows how many people were murdered by the state in the Soviet Union? You know how our reactionary government and press exaggerate. Anyway, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren't real communists.

Orwell's 1984 foresaw the Bush-Cheney years. Orwell's Animal Farm is of no particular relevance now.

Anonymous said...

Much of what Galton is infamous for now, was just simple observation. It has taken 150 years for us to become blinded by the truth.

Dutch Boy said...

The races and subraces of man came about by geographical isolation, genetic drift and natural selection. The result has been that the human race is still human but diverse in ways that are non-trivial. You don't have to be a Darwinist to believe this.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Exactly! SWPLs fancy themselves as a gang strutting down the street, evolution/Darwin is their flick knife, used to threaten Christians. But thats all it is. Introducing HBD is like Crocodile Dundee coming out with "Thats not a knife, this is a knife!" Suddenly they dont want to know at all.

Hilarious - and true. Thanks for the laugh.

cedarview ln said...

I think evolution made us see the world in Manichean terms of good vs evil though reality is far more complex.

It's exactly the opposite. Evolution means there is no objective good or evil. There is just self and non-self.

MANICHEAN concept of good vs evil(or bad) boils down to self and non-self or us vs them. It is less conceptual/abstract/transcendental and more basic and fundamental. It is 'if you're not with us, you're against us' with no middle ground.

Mr. Anon said...

"Glaivester said...

I like the way I summed it up four years ago:

Whenever someone denigrates evolutionary psychology, what they really mean is: "I thought the whole point of evolution was just to deny God. I didn't think it was actually supposed to tell us anything."

Witty and well said. For liberals, Darwinism is really nothing more than a stick with which to beat the religious.

Mr. Anon said...

OneSTDV, Svigor, and Glossy:

Incidentally, speaking of Gandhi: I lost all respect for Richard Attenborough when I learned that he only agreed to direct "A Bridge Too Far" as a condition of being allowed to make his falsely hagiographic "Gandhi".

Anonymous said...

These nihilism threads are so depressing that I don't ever read them.

Except that I was bored today and I made the mistake of clicking on this one and I only ended up reminding myself of why I don't click on them.

Svigor said...

Anonymous l said...

[long series of juxtapositions snipped]

Yep. Who/whom.

Harkleroader said...

I think liberals confuse Darwin with Dharma.

Btw, I don't think liberals are necessarily opposed to the idea of social darwinism. As long they get to rise to the top and change society as they wish, they are practicing a form of social darwinism. All those liberals at Harvard and Yale believe that they are indeed the best and the brighest and should have the most power and money to lead humanity to a Promised Land of sorts. Indeed, why are they so hostile to Sarah Palin or Joe the plumber? She's not 'one of them'--one of the best and the brighest. Despite the egalitarianism at the core leftism, there is also the idea that the best and the brighest must lead society toward a new utopia. In other words, true equality must wait til the day when all men are turned into New Man by the progressive elite--which is forever, which means the new elite remains in power forever. Similarly, the Catholic Church elite has based its power on the idea of spreading the word of Jesus so that the Messiah shall return. When shall He return? I have no idea; meanwhile, the Church still remains in power.

Thus, many aristocratic types threatened by the bourgeoisie often gravitated toward leftism. With the old order gone forever and the new order--raw capitalism-- marginalizing them, they could only retain power and moral authority through something like academic institutional power and Marxism. A neo-form of noblesse oblige.

In America, quasi-aristorcratic Old Money types--or their children--often turn to bigger government since they cannot compete with the new capitalists and innovations. So, the children of the Old Rich often go into government or run for office--or run Foundations with various agendas.

togo said...

Non-humans have limited memories and a lower awareness of reality. Humans, on the other hand, remember more sorrow, feel greater pain, and are filled with more anxiety/fear. A human will suffer more upon losing a loved one--parent, child, spouse, friend--than animals.-Harkel

Is this all in some holy book? It's very, very obviously not science.

Harkleroader said...

Non-humans have limited memories and a lower awareness of reality. Humans, on the other hand, remember more sorrow, feel greater pain, and are filled with more anxiety/fear. A human will suffer more upon losing a loved one--parent, child, spouse, friend--than animals.

Is this all in some holy book? It's very, very obviously not science.

I think it's called LIFE. You don't have to read a book to know about it.

Hans said...

"Anyway, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot weren't real communists."

Yes, not only that, but they were actually "state capitalists", comrade! Isn't that a nifty trick? Not only were these dumbos too stupid too know what "real" communism was (curious, considering they dedicated their entire lives to it) - they were actually the complete opposite, capitalists! Thus, "real communism has never been tried". What's there to lose, anyways, right? The Holodomor was a capitalist hoax, and the people who died under Mao were just subject to a natural famine. Bread lines, shortages, purges and Gulags were all overstated or outright invented by the capitalist West. But I forgot, none of that matters anyways because it was all just "state capitalism". Viva le revolution forever!

Geoff said...

[T]hose with religious mindset tended to share the same values and beliefs, same hopes and taboos.

Of course. Consider Christianity and Islam. "Two peas in a pod."

This would be a good time to review the sagely wisdom of Emo Phillips:

I was walking across a bridge one day and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, "Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he said.
"Well, there is so much to live for."
"Like what?"
"Well, are you religious?"
He said yes.
I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?"
"Christian."
"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
"Protestant."
"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
"Baptist."
"Wow, me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
"Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"
"Reformed Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?"
He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915."
I said, "Die, heretic," and pushed him off!

[R]eligious mindset is so obviously a product of evolution that I find it amusing that the very people who are ardently pro-evolutionist just can't seem to acknowledge that spirituality is the bastard child of evolution.

This is exactly the sort of blindly adaptationist thinking I would expect from Nicholas Wade and his ilk. You've been reading The Faith Instinct (Review), and swallowing far too much of it?

The spandrel view of the evolution of religion--of it being an accidental by-product of other adaptations (e.g., agency-detection)--accounts for much more. Wade's perspective can't even account for the ubiquitous nature of sympathetic-magical (i.e., voodoo-like) thinking. And without that, you've got nothing to speak of in explaining where religion (and esoteric spirituality) comes from.

Regarding Gandhi, this is close to what's been requested: Gandhi's Love Letters to Hitler, and The Gandhi Nobody Knows.

Peter A said...

"that OJ should not have been convicted,"

I live in Massachusetts - SWPL central - and I have never met a white person of any political persuasion who didn't think OJ was guilty. Even radical leftists.

Anonymous said...

The Ghandi Nobody Knows. Awesome. I hadnt read that for a while. Its not just a demolition of the man, the myth and the movie its a nuclear assualt. Outstanding, every brain dead liberal - and everyone else - should read it!