The stupidity, it doesn’t stop

This is currently on Conservapedia’s front page:

The killer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, James von Brunn, was a white supremacist and also an evolutionary racist. James von Brunn wrote that “Only the strong survive. Cross breeding whites with species on the evolutionary scale diminishes the white gene-pool while increasing the number of physiologically, psychologically, and behaviorally deprived mongrels.” The evolutionist Charles Darwin was also an evolutionary racist. The shooter, James von Brunn, also appears to have had close ties to neo-Nazis and his ex-wife said his anti-semitism and racist hate “ate him alive like a cancer”. Adolf Hitler was also a rabid evolutionary racist.

Aside from reading like a child wrote it, this is just the same old creationist appeal to emotion. These people have no evidence to back up their horribly stupid views, so they resort to dumb things like this; evolution means racism!!! It’s therefore wrong!!1!!

But here’s the kicker. Even if one were to ignore the glaring logical fallacy in the wee little minds of Conservapedians, the argument still fails. Being wrong is also a major no-no when making any argument.

James von Brunn’s beliefs are not based upon any real understanding of evolution or genetics. If they were, then he’d know that two white people can be more genetically diverse between each other than a white person and a black person. In other words, race doesn’t have any biological grounding. So if Conservapedians actually think it is a valid tactic to judge the merits of scientific evidence based upon inconveniences that it may give, then the real argument here is that evolution informs us that racism has no good basis and is therefore stupid.

von Brunn’s idea of evolution is very close to the creationist idea of the theory. Neither one is anywhere near correct. They both use their particular versions of this revolutionary concept to suit themselves. von Brunn thought there was a significant genetic basis for races. Creationists think evolution actually says that. The only difference between these abuses is scale. von Brunn is one guy with wrong ideas and the crazy to back them up. Creationists are a huge group of poorly educated, unfortunately ignorant individuals* who harm the progress of science by rejecting the most fundamental concept to an entire field.

The Conservapedia piece mentions that Charles Darwin was an “evolutionary racist”. This is more conservative screaming and kicking. Reasonable people keep pointing out just why they are wrong, but the conservatives just switch to more convinced language. That’ll do it.

Darwin held many of the racist beliefs of his day, but he didn’t need evolution to get him there. His science stands firm, regardless of what he may have believed. But for what it’s worth, he was ahead of his time with his race views. He also was a big abolitionist.

As for Hitler, he suffered from the issues as von Brunn. In addition, however, the man may have just been abusing any old idea for his purposes. He invoked all sorts of beliefs, including the words of Jesus, to rally support for his plans, actions, and goals. This says nothing of whether or not he was right.

*Ignorance is no crime. We’re all guilty of it. Fortunately, there are remedies.


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