Coral Ridge Hour Exposes Alien Philosophy

Alien

The Coral Ridge Hour is the TV show of the late D. James Kennedy. The episode they aired last Sunday was devoted to Expelled. Apparently they were expelled from math class as well. This “hour” was only 30 minutes long. Maybe they call it that, because when you watch it, it feels like an hour.

I decided to watch this program to see what they’re telling people. It isn’t pretty. Remember that DJK was one of the first people to try to link Hitler’s atrocities to Darwin. He produced a film called Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, which made that claim.

The second half of the program was various promotional segments for Expelled. There’s nothing new there, so instead I want to comment on the first half of the program, which consisted of a rerun of a sermon by DJK. The sermon was called “The Christian View of Science”.

My first reaction is to object to his claim that what he is presenting is “The Christian View of Science”. Not all Christians reject science. He is unfairly tarring all Christians with his science-hating brush.

He started off by reading from Genesis 1:1, as if that proves anything. He also read Genesis 1:26, which has always disturbed me:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….

“We”? “Our”? So God has MPD?

DJK then said this:

There has been the introduction of an alien philosophy into science. This has been done surreptitiously and unnoticed by many, but the mask has been ripped off by Dr. Phillip Johnson, professor of law at U.C. Berkeley.

Phillip Johnson is one of the early creators of Intelligent Design creationism, so you can tell already where this is going. But what is this “alien philosophy”?

DJK says that the philosophy of Naturalism was never a part of science, but now it dominates. He claims that naturalism is totally different from science. Naturalism refers to nature, and it rules out the supernatural. By definition, it rules out God.

My reply is that it’s more accurate to say that naturalism is only concerned with what is natural and measurable, and it is not concerned with (nor can it measure) the supernatural. Yes, it rules out God, but only as an actor in the drama. It says nothing about whether God is backstage or in the audience.

DJK then went on to say that the greatest damage Darwin has done was to separate science from God. And:

…not only has it done that, but it has separated innumerable millions of young people from God. It’s probably the most devastating broadside against religion and Christianity and theism that has ever come down the pike.

This is probably one reason the Christians always think they’re being persecuted, even though they’re in the majority. They invent themselves out of the majority. They convince themselves that science is anti-Christian. Because we are living in a scientific age, then ipso facto, we are living in an anti-Christian age.

He continues:

Virtually every kind of anti-Christian “-ism” that’s come down the pike in the past 100 or more years finds at least a pseudo-scientific foundation in evolution.

This is why they hate evolution so much. It isn’t merely because it contradicts their Bible. It’s because evolution somehow is responsible for everything (real or imagined) that now opposes Christianity.

Evolution, therefore, has given rise to things like Nazi-ism.

Notice he’s not even blaming Darwin here. I thought maybe the reason the fundies keep talking about “Darwinism” is because they’re trying to give the impression that Darwin is some sort of secular cult leader. DJK isn’t doing that here. He’s somehow linking the fact that species evolve to Hitler’s policies. So in the beginning, there was a primitive cell. It reproduced. Its descendants evolved into multi-cellular organisms, which became fish, which eventually crawled out of the ocean, which evolved into primates, which became the Third Reich. This sounds like I’m creating a straw man here, but that is the only way I can interpret what DJK is saying. Look at that quote again: “Evolution, therefore, has given rise to things like Nazi-ism.” That’s crazy talk.

The only real connection between evolution and Nazi-ism is that a few people misunderstood evolution, and they misapplied their distorted knowledge to the social sciences. Darwin is not responsible for the misunderstanding and misuse of his theory, but that’s not even what DJK is claiming. He’s claiming that the evolution itself is responsible for Nazi-ism.

Let’s just say that’s the case. That means that all societies would ultimately end up as something similar to the Third Reich. It would have to be the natural end-point of evolution. Since that hasn’t happened, and it’s showing no signs of happening, then that supposition must be false. The fundie claim that evolution = Nazi-ism is false.

The only way I can make sense of this is there must be the built-in assumption that evolution isn’t real. So that means what they’re really saying is that Darwin came up with this crazy unfounded idea. Other people took the idea and used it to justify killing. Darwin shouldn’t have been so irresponsible as to publish the idea.

An analogy would be that sometime before WWI, some German guy probably said “Hey, you know what would be a good weapon? Poison gas!” That guy would have to bear some responsibility for the devastating poison gas attacks during the war. If you’re coming from the perspective that evolution is fake, then maybe the argument that the guy who invented this fake idea is responsible for how it was used makes a bit of sense.

The reality is that evolution is real. Therefore, Darwin isn’t responsible for how a misunderstanding of evolution was misused (by Hitler or eugenicists or anybody else) any more than Henry Ford is responsible for cars being used as getaway vehicles by bank robbers.

DJK then went on to claim that communism and Marxism were the direct result of evolution. He must have gone to one of those unaccredited Bible colleges. That’s the only way I can explain his colossal ignorance. Communism and Marxism are the opposites of evolution. Unbridled capitalism is the closest equivalent to evolution in the social sciences. In fact, that is why Social Darwinism was embraced so heartily by many rich Americans. It allieviated any guilty feelings they might have had about all of the people they were exploiting.

DJK’s next pearl of wisdom was:

Science is a wonderful thing. Naturalistic science is a perversion of science, but it has succeeded in convincing many people that science and religion are enemies.

No, it is fundies who have convinced many people that science and religion are enemies. Why is it that non-fundies (i.e., Catholics and mainline Protestants) don’t have that belief?

DJK’s next whopper was:

Science is a contribution to this world by Jesus Christ.

Really? So nobody learned anything about the natural world prior to about 30 A.D.? The Egyptians, Greeks, and early Romans just lived in caves and ate the moss growing on the sides of trees? Nobody invented agriculture or irrigation or architecture or selective breeding or astronomy?

He then went on to claim that there was “proto-science” in Greece, but it didn’t lead to much. He claimed that science arose only in Christian Europe in the 16th century. Oh, you mean after the Dark Ages, when your Church oppressed all curiosity? And even once the Renaissance started, the Church opposed Copernicus, Kepler, Gallileo, and every other scientist who dared to find out how the world worked. Yes. That’s the religion that gave us science.

Finally, DJK added this to his pearl necklace of wisdom:

The most scientific statement ever made on the subject is this: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”

My irony meter just imploded.

16 Responses to “Coral Ridge Hour Exposes Alien Philosophy”

  1. blue collar scientist Says:

    The only real connection between evolution and Nazi-ism is that a few people misunderstood evolution, and they misapplied their distorted knowledge to the social sciences. Darwin is not responsible for the misunderstanding and misuse of his theory….

    I don’t mean to be contentious, but even though it is technically correct, this is too generous to the evolution-denying religious whackos who want to link Darwin and/or evolution to Hitler and Nazism. Let me explain….

    By Darwin’s time, it was already understood that species could change with time. This knowledge was put into practice in selective breeding of crops, flowers, livestock, puppy dogs, and so on, which had been done for centuries by Darwin’s time.

    Darwin’s great insight, his big innovation and contribution to biology, was showing that nature itself served as a selective breeding engine – that instead of a human breeder making the choices about which organisms got to reproduce, in the wild it was nature that made such “decisions,” whether this was a result of the size and hardness of seeds that birds were eating, or the influence of storms, or what have you.

    So yes, these people misunderstood evolution, and applied their misunderstanding in an evil way. But they didn’t misunderstand Darwin – they were, and are today, too ignorant to even know what Darwin was talking about, and what his contribution to science entailed. The Nazis applied the principles of deliberate, human-controlled selective breeding programs to what they thought were the problems of their society. Stupid people who know less than nothing about evolution somehow decided this was related to Charles Darwin.

    The point I’m trying to make is that the evolutionary denialists – who are demonstrably (and sickeningly) gleefully happy about Nazism and the killing of six million people because it shows evolution is evil – are actually ignorant at a profoundly more fundamental level than they are usually called out for.

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I was trying to be fair, because I don’t want to be seen as denying a connection just because I have a vested interest in there not being one.

  3. Brett Says:

    An analogy would be that sometime before WWI, some German guy probably said “Hey, you know what would be a good weapon? Poison gas!” That guy would have to bear some responsibility for the devastating poison gas attacks during the war.

    I’m not sure you’re absolving him, but that guy DOES bear some responsibility for the men and women who have died by his weapon.

    Other than that, thanks for putting up with their bullshit so I don’t have to.

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    Brett:

    Yes, that was the point. It’s also important to make a distinction between the guy who invents the weapon (who has a lot of responsibility) and the guy who merely conceives the idea (who still bears some responsibility for coming up with such a horrible idea, even though he didn’t implement it himself).

    If everything the fundies say is true (and when is that ever remotely the case?), then Darwin is the guy who came up with the idea. Except, of course, he wasn’t. As BCS pointed out, the Nazis were using millennia-old selective breeding techniques. The fact that they borrowed a phrase or two from Darwin is irrelevant. They had all of the ideas they needed before Darwin ever came along.

  5. Arkonbey Says:

    Your ‘Henry Ford/getaway car’ is a better analogy.

  6. Jeremy White Says:

    Is there anyway of reaching them with the truth? I’m just shocked at how people can reject science. If somebody had told me there are people who didn’t believe in science as a kid, I would have thought they were liars. Now I know the truth and it just amazes me.

    A bit off topic, but I like the title/alt text of the MPD link! Nice job.

  7. Zach Miller Says:

    *shudder*

    Just awful. I don’t know how you can listen to that crap!

  8. Daniel Says:

    Did DJK at any time give his definition of ‘science’ or ‘proto-science’?

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    Daniel:

    He said God was science. “Science” comes from the Latin “scientia”, which means knowledge. God is omniscient; therefore, God is science!

  10. Tom Says:

    It’s hard to say what Hitler was basing his ideas on. On the one hand, he was using non-Darwinian techniques to create his ‘master-race.’ Darwinism would be simply killing the physically/mentally disabled, the moderately weak and allowing only the strongest to survive (regardless of race, ethnicity, etc). However, in Mein Kampf, he did write a lot about how life and nature was all about struggle and survival of the fittest (which is quite Darwinian). My conclusion: he was a f*cking lunatic.

  11. matt Says:

    Man, I heard this guy yesterday on the radio and my jaw dropped. I doubt the man has ever picked up a history book in his life.

    “Doctor” my ass. I sent him an email, called him “rev.”

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Darwinism would be simply killing the physically/mentally disabled, the moderately weak and allowing only the strongest to survive (regardless of race, ethnicity, etc).

    Incorrect. So-called “Darwinism” is simply another way of saying “natural selection.” There is nothing natural about killing the weak or retarded simply because they are weak or retarded. Left to nature, this hypothetical sample group may very well procreate before dying.

  13. The Watcher Says:

    Just so we’re all clear–I think what I’m hearing is what I’ve been saying for a long time. Hitler or not Hitler, it doesn’t matter. If Darwin had never conceived the theory, if Hitler had never read it and gone on a rampage (and I’m not saying he did), is entirely irrelevant. Evolution would still be taking place, even if we couldn’t see it.

    So maybe Hitler did read some Darwin, and come up with the idea that he could enact a little “natural selection” himself. Well, that’s terrible, but so what? Doesn’t make it any less true. Not one tiny iota.

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Watcher – Correct that it doesn’t make it any less true, but it’s very important to point out that eugenics and genocide is not in any way NATURAL selection (even in quotes – I don’t want an on-the-fencer to get the wrong idea). It is ARTIFICIAL selection, which predates Charles Darwin by centuries. It was based entirely on farming principles.

  15. Chuck Says:

    Ron, wrt to your statement about Genesis 1:26, I think you might find the following interesting.

    If you look at the Hebrew, the reason ‘God’ refers to ‘himself’ in the second person inclusive is that the Hebrew “elohim” is actually a plural word. You see, /-im/ is the plural suffix in many Semitic languages.

    Fun, isn’t it?

    I’m actually currently writing a paper for one of my courses about the linguistic evidence for the polytheistic roots of monotheism, specifically the link between the ancient Sumerian pantheon and the Jewish god.

    Basically the punch line is that the Jewish religion evolved out of a religion which recognized many gods but thought one superior (yahweh, who evolved from the Sumerian Enki), and the other gods (the elohim -sons of El, the Sumerian equivalent of Zeus) were later conflated as a single god by the Jewish priests.

    It’s really quite clever what they did.

    That’s where the Christian/Jewish tradition of reading Hebrew scriptures as having “many names” for “God” came from – multiple gods!

  16. Ron Britton Says:

    Chuck:

    What you are saying is consistent with something I read recently (can’t remember where!). The writer said that of course the Jews were polytheistic. That’s why you have that one commandment that says “Thou shalt have no other god before me.” It’s interpreted today to mean that there were many different (false) religions, and the Jews had the one true religion with the one true god. This guy was saying that no, there were a bunch of supernatural god-like beings, and everybody accepted that as fact. It’s just that this one temperamental crybaby god was the one that was superior to the others.