Holocaust Intelligent design/creationism

Dispatch from the road: Why single out Darwin to blame the Holocaust on?


I’ve found Internet access, and, of course, I can’t resist using it to add a bit to the commentary about the special being aired by the Coral Ridge Ministries that seeks to blame the Holocaust on Darwin. Yes, I did launch a Hitler Zombie attack on Monday, right before heading out on vacation, but a couple of other thoughts came to mind. For instance, consider this quote by Hitler:

For us, this is not a problem you can turn a blind eye to-one to be solved by small concessions. For us, it is a problem of whether our nation can ever recover its health, whether the Jewish spirit can ever really be eradicated. Don’t be misled into thinking you can fight a disease without killing the carrier, without destroying the bacillus. Don’t think you can fight racial tuberculosis without taking care to rid the nation of the carrier of that racial tuberculosis. This Jewish contamination will not subside, this poisoning of the nation will not end, until the carrier himself, the Jew, has been banished from our midst. Speech delivered by Hitler in Salzburg, 7 or 8 August 1920. (NSDAP meeting)

Let’s see. No mention of Darwin. However, I just thought of someone upon whom the Holocaust could be blamed based on this sort of rhetoric: Louis Pasteur.

Think about it. Pasteur was the originator of the germ theory of disease. He, more than anyone else, discovered the link between microorganisms and human disease. While we’re at it, we could also blame Robert Koch, as well, given that he formailzed a set of postulates that needed to be fulfilled if one is to conclude that a specific microorganism causes a specific disease.

So why aren’t the ID advocates blaming the Holocaust on Pasteur or Koch?

Or how about this quote by Hitler:

The Jews are a Cancer on the breast of Germany

Hitler often likened Jews to a “cancer.” (He couldn’t seem to make up his mind whether they were a “cancer” or an “infection.”) This makes me wonder why ID advocates like Weikart don’t blame the Holocaust on William Halstead.

Who’s Halstead? If you were a surgeon, you wouldn’t ask that question. He was one of the greatest surgeons of the 19th century, but, for purposes of my comparison, he was also the one who first advocated radical sugical extirpation of cancers, particularly breast cancer, as the only means of cure. This led him to develop the radical mastectomy, a disfiguring operation that involved removing the breast, the underlying pectoralis major muscle, and the regional axillary lymph nodes, an operation that didn’t give way to less disfiguring operations until the 1970’s. Given that at the time there was no radiation therapy or chemotherapy, he was, in fact, correct; surgery was the only cure for solid tumors at the time he lived. It’s just unfortunate that it took so many decades to figure out that lesser operations could achieve the same results.

So I ask again: Why don’t ID advocates try to link the Holocaust to Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, or William Halstead?

I think you know the answer to that one. You don’t think it’s because neither Pasteur, Koch’s, nor Halstead’s work conflict with a literal reading of Genesis, do you?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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