Darwin Was Wrong, Part 4: Darwin’s Body Count

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[In Part 1 and Part 2, I told you how I discovered that a fundamentalist fringe group called Logos Research Associates was going to put on a “seminar” called Darwin Was Wrong.

In Part 3, I told you how the first evening of the seminar began. When I arrived at the church, I saw the tables of anti-evolution propaganda out front. Inside, the proceedings had already begun. Two musicians on stage were singing the glories of Jesus. I stepped through the door, and into…]

…a church. That’s all. Geez, some of you were acting like I was about to be torn limb from limb.

The main hall of the church sprawled out before me. “Sprawl” does seem to be the operative word. This isn’t a mega-church, but it is large. It’s hard for me to estimate the size. I’m guessing somewhere around 800 seats. Of those, about 2/3 were occupied. (By the end of the evening, this number had climbed to about 80%. That puts the evening’s toll at about 640 people right there who were lost from science.)

I managed to snag a seat near the front of the left section, just a few rows from the front. As it turns out, it was an excellent location. Large video screens were mounted on the wall on either side of the main stage. One was right in front of me. There were a lot of Power Point slides that evening, and I had prime viewing.

The Jesus singers were still at it. The first 20-minutes of the program were described as “Welcome and Introductions”. Is this their idea of a welcome? Who are they introducing me to? Jesus? Alas, that is probably exactly what they meant.

Finally, the God-wailers leave the stage! There is much applause!

John Baumgardner: So What If Darwin Was Wrong?

John Baumgardner


Our first torturer speaker of the evening: Dr. John Baumgardner.


So who is this guy? First of all, he’s one of the co-conspirators behind Logos Research Associates. If this organization ever grows into a significant source of mis-information in the public mind, you can blame this guy.


Here is what Wikipedia tells us about him:

He became a Christian at 26 and has tried to prove Noah’s Flood scientifically ever since…

It also tells us that he has a PhD in geophysics and space science from UCLA! Argh! Another one snuck through!

His topic tonight is: “So What If Darwin Was Wrong?” That’s an excellent question. The correct answer is the one I mentioned previously: It doesn’t matter! Darwin could have been a young-Earth creationist, and it wouldn’t have mattered. What matters is what is the current state of evolutionary theory?

Rock solid, that’s what. He should have quit there and saved us all a lot of trouble. But no. He chose to lie to us instead. Let’s take a look at what he had to say.

(Note that in all of the speaker summaries that follow, I was writing stuff down as fast as I could, but I missed things. In going over my notes now, I’m choosing the things that sort of stick out. I won’t necessarily give you a summary of the entire talk. It’s just what strikes me as worthy of comment.

Also, for anybody who is interested, Logos is putting videos of all of these speakers on their web site. View them at your own risk. You have been warned.)

Baumgardner tells us that Darwin was wrong! It’s time for the church to challenge Darwin!

Baumgardner also tells us that people back then knew about small changes in species over generations. Of course it was always within the same “kind”! Where Darwin screwed up, Baumgardner tells us, is that he decided that there were no limitations on the process of natural selection.

I think by “limitations”, Baumgardner is referring to the arbitrary restriction in the Bible about animals staying within their kind. I mean it’s right there in black and white! What the hell was Darwin’s problem? He completely ignored the law of the universe by saying that animals could evolve into different kinds! That dirty, stinking son of a bitch! We’ve been mopping up after his screw-up ever since!

Baumgardner didn’t phrase it quite as succinctly as I did in that last paragraph, but that’s what he means.

Baumgardner said that Darwin’s theory eliminated the need for God. This was Darwin’s agenda!

This is exactly what the atheists and materialists were waiting for! Hallelujah! Praise non-god! We have our savior!

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were also thrilled. Somehow On the Origin of Species turned into The Communist Manifesto. Baumgardner didn’t really explain how. I guess it’s so freakin’ obvious that it needs no explanation!

And don’t forget, kiddies, the estimated number of victims of communism is:

94,000,000!!


And they are ALL on Darwin’s head!

Evolution was also embraced by Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel believed that evolution justified racism and eugenics. Hitler thought that was a splendid idea. Baumgardner said “No one paved the way for Hitler more than Haeckel.”

So it seems to me that Baumgardner’s beef is with Haeckel, not Darwin. Baumgardner doesn’t see it that way. It’s Darwin’s fault! Darwin I tell you!

Next Baumgardner said a very interesting thing:

Darwin’s agenda was to eliminate the Jews from the face of the Earth.

I’m sure he meant to say “Hitler”, but he Freudian slipped. This is really what it boils down to. Fundies like Baumgardner see things not only in black and white, but in a very stripped-down minimalist way. Darwin is responsible every time his theory is misused, misunderstood, misapplied, or misattributed. You know, the same way that Jesus Christ is responsible every time an unhinged fundie assassinates an abortion doctor.

Darwin gave us eugenics, which gave us Hitler, which gave us abortion!!

41,000,000 babies murdered annually!!


Darwin is the biggest mass-murderer in history! (I don’t remember Baumgardner saying this outright, but that is what he is implying.)

Next Baumgardner gave us an example of correlation not being the same as causation. He actually had the intellectual dishonesty to show us some charts that showed that after the Supreme Court banned prayer in the schools that:

  • Morality is down!!
  • Crime is up!!
  • SAT scores are down!!
  • Breasts are sagging!!
  • Touched by an Angel got cancelled!!
  • Puppies cry themselves to sleep at night!!

He then dropped this bomb on us: Many Christian kids leave the church after going to college!

But don’t fret little fundies. There is some great news: Darwin was wrong! Double-hallelujah!

Here are the important points:

  • The materialist framework is dependent on evolution!
  • Evolution is now extremely vulnerable!!
  • Evolution has been falsified!!!
  • Carmen Electra’s breasts are real!!!!

It is up to Christians to let everyone know. And save the world from destruction (or something).

[Next: The night is still young. Just like the Earth!]

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Postscript: I was originally planning to take just one or two points from each speaker’s talk and debunk them. I decided that it’s better to give you more of what each speaker said (without debunking), so you can get a better feel for what each clown was saying. Most of their claims are so absurd that it isn’t worth taking the time to debunk them. I’ll probably make an exception for a couple of the arguments that we’ll encounter in the later talks. If you are curious about any of the other points raised, the best place to get your answers is the Talk Origins Archive.

15 Responses to “Darwin Was Wrong, Part 4: Darwin’s Body Count”

  1. Jeff Eyges Says:

    It also tells us that he has a PhD in geophysics and space science from UCLA! Argh! Another one snuck through!

    This is what I keep saying. There are more of them than we realized, and it’s starting to become a serious problem. When I’ve advocated for disallowing their admission into graduate-level science programs, the Pharyngulites have taken offense, going on about the marketplace of ideas. Meanwhile, we have public school teachers in blue states who are scared to teach evolution for fear of inciting any Christian parents who may be lurking. This is the climate of fear they’re creating. It’s a hop and a skip from there to banning the teaching of evolution altogether – which is precisely their agenda.

    “Darwin’s agenda was to eliminate the Jews from the face of the Earth.”

    I’m sure he meant to say “Hitler”, but he Freudian slipped.

    This pisses me off seriously. I’m sick to death of fundies invoking the Holocaust. Firstly, Christian theology was largely responsible for creating the climate that led to it. Secondly, it’s completely disingenuous. They’re trying desperately to get a critical number of Jews into Israel, which will supposedly trigger Armageddon, at which time a literal handful of us will be saved, and the rest of us will die horribly and be tormented for all of eternity, while they look down from heaven and giggle like schoolgirls.

    I have very mixed feelings about hate crimes legislation, but, while we have it, I’m beginning to think that fundies using the Holocaust as a proselytizing tool should be viewed as a form of hate speech. Of course, the politically and theologically conservative Jews will never push for it, because they’ve deluded themselves into believing the evangelicals are their best friends.

  2. igor Says:

    That person who “invented” fire is awfully lucky to have remained anonymous through history. Fire has killed millions upon millions in a very painful manner. That person is indirectly responsible for suffering and death of humanity for tens of thousands of years.

  3. igor Says:

    Plus what do they use at cross burnings?

  4. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m guessing somewhere around 800 seats. Of those, about 2/3 were occupied. (By the end of the evening, this number had climbed to about 80%. That puts the evening’s toll at about 640 people right there who were lost from science.)

    Of course, there are plenty of fundies to fill a worship service –er– scientific seminar like that, but I often think, wouldn’t it be funny if a good bulk of them were undercover atheists?

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    This is what I keep saying. There are more of them than we realized, and it’s starting to become a serious problem. When I’ve advocated for disallowing their admission into graduate-level science programs, the Pharyngulites have taken offense, going on about the marketplace of ideas. Meanwhile, we have public school teachers in blue states who are scared to teach evolution for fear of inciting any Christian parents who may be lurking. This is the climate of fear they’re creating. It’s a hop and a skip from there to banning the teaching of evolution altogether – which is precisely their agenda.

    One of the few times, as you know, that I agree with your militant atheist position (tongue firmly in cheek). Of course, discriminating based on religion alone violates any number of federal, state, and local laws. But the solution is probably a lot simpler than that. Have the program force them to directly confront their views and do research in contradiction with them. I can almost promise you this fucker’s “geophysics” thesis was about some obscure subtopic that only grazed against his young earth views. It’s easy to rationalize YEC when you are only studying, say, lava flow patterns or something else that doesn’t immediately require millions of years to produce.

  6. Jeff Eyges Says:

    It’s easy to rationalize YEC when you are only studying, say, lava flow patterns or something else that doesn’t immediately require millions of years to produce.

    True, but they’re finding increasingly creative ways to get around this. As I mentioned the other day, Marcus Ross “earned” a doctorate in Earth Science at URI two years ago, and is now teaching his students at Liberty about the “gaping holes” in evolutionary and cosmological theories. His thesis was on the Cretaceous era, but he claims to regard it as an “alternate paradigm”. I’m furious that his professors allowed him to squeak by on this flimsy pretext. It’s absolutely inexcusable. I only hope they did it because the administration feared a lawsuit, and not because they felt he deserved to be there.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/science/12geologist.html

    As far as religious discrimination is concerned, if we were to implement my idea of mandatory testing of intelligence, sanity and level of emotional development as a prerequisite for voting, that would take care of the problem.

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    ParrotLover:

    Of course, there are plenty of fundies to fill a worship service –er– scientific seminar like that, but I often think, wouldn’t it be funny if a good bulk of them were undercover atheists?

    At one point, one of the speakers mentioned that he knew there were a few “Darwinists” in the audience. I don’t know if he meant in person or just watching on the internet. It would have been great to have known about any who were there in person. I’m curious how they reacted.

    When I was scanning the audience, just about everybody looked like they belonged there.

  8. Thomas Says:

    I wonder if I could hold a seminar about how St. Augustine was wrong and, through that, unravel the Bush presidency.

  9. breakerslion Says:

    It seems obvious to me that “Logos Research Assmunchiates” exists solely as a target for donation money. The whole YEC movement will exist for exactly as long as there is a choir willing to pay for the preaching. Hucksterism is an ugly thing, especially when it wraps itself in the flag, or the mantle of religion. I’d rather try to get rid of cockroaches. You can debunk this crap a million times, and it will come back up again like ducks in a shooting gallery. Nothing will change until it is officially recognized as bullshit, and as bullshit, declared over the edge of First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Neither fraud nor insanity was protected last time I looked.

  10. godlizard Says:

    You have my complete respect for sitting through this. I think I’d have gone mad during the singing.

    @breakerslion, the 1st amendment protections of freedom of religion kind of cover ‘insanity and fraud’ by default, since that’s more or less the definition of religion. As long as a religion behaves religiously enough, it gets to be all the crazy it wants to be, and tax exempt status too! (sigh)

  11. Johannes9126 Says:

    Didn’t Origin of Species get out a decade AFTER the Communist Manifest?

  12. Emily Says:

    Darwin gave us eugenics, which gave us Hitler, which gave us abortion

    That’s a fallacy.

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    Emily:

    That’s a fallacy.

    But I heard John Baumgardner say that from his very own lips! If you can’t believe a creationist, who can you believe?

  14. Rick Sumner Says:

    The way I heard it, Charles Darwin killed the dinosaurs.

  15. Sirylcat Says:

    …..and I wonder how many people died, and dying in the name of the religion anyway.
    Think of the witch hunt, inquisition, crusader war, 9-11 terrorism, and that iraqi war which is still in progress.
    I can’t say it would be less than the body count of being blamed on darwin’s theory.