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Klinghoffer: Von Brunn the Evolutionist

Science • Views: 3,244

I wondered how long it would be before a creationist tried to link the theory of evolution to the James W. Von Brunn case — I should have remembered that the Discovery Institute’s David Klinghoffer is always first with the Darwin-Hitler connection.

In his blog post yesterday at Beliefnet, Klinghoffer argues that Von Brunn’s garbled Third Reich-style musings about eugenics were derived from the theory of evolution: James von Brunn, Evolutionist.

As Klinghoffer clumsily tries to link Darwin’s theory with Hitler and James Von Brunn by citing one paragraph from Von Brunn’s book (in which he rants about the evil of “miscegenation”), he notes that Von Brunn doesn’t even mention Charles Darwin by name — and neither did Hitler in Mein Kampf, by the way. But that doesn’t stop Klinghoffer from making the connection anyway, and solemnly intoning:

No, he doesn’t cite Darwin by name in the part of his book that’s readable online — the first 6 of 12 chapters. But do you get the general drift? And you want to tell me that ideas don’t have consequences?

But even if some distorted version of evolutionary theory was part of Von Brunn’s world view, does that discredit the theory of evolution itself? Does evolution become any less of a fact because madmen use a twisted version of it — eugenics — as an ideology that justifies crimes?

Of course not; there’s no “guilt by association” here because the association is remote to the point of nonexistence.

Also see

UPDATE at 6/11/09 12:46:28 pm:

Here’s the PDF version of Von Brunn’s “manifesto.”

It reads like a neo-Nazi version of a Dr. Bronner’s soap bottle.

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