…A New Generation Of Denial
Today – May 1 – is official Holocaust Memorial Day. Being as I am a political leftist, I got myself into a strange back-and-forth over on DailyKos that started innocently enough when someone mentioned the Godwin aspect of the Expelled movie. Given the remembrance today, and the UMC's official apology for eugenics, I innocently mentioned that I'd like to see – sometime before I die and my promise to my godparents dies with me – an official apology by science for its support of eugenics. Particularly biological and evolutionary science.
Talk about opening a can of Holocaust Denial worms! At first I got complaints that 'science' has nothing to apologize for, since science played no part in eugenics. We know that's not true, and the truth is voluminous out there for anyone to access, so I mentioned that. Quite levelly and without rancor. Yes, 'Darwinism' was indeed used to justify eugenics in this and other countries, gladly handed to Hitler as legislative models for his racial purity policies in 1934. That's history, it's well-documented.
So of course the denialists came back with the standard "there's no such thing as Darwinism" line, which absolutely doesn't apply to eugenics which Galton invented in 1883. Neodarwinism didn't come along until 1936-47. Before then it was just plain old Darwinism, 'natural selection', which was twisted into unnatural selection for eugenics purposes. Cut and dried.
So the denialists then retreated to the old "but modern scientists had nothing to do with it!" whine. Well, neither did the modern UM church. Or the modern AMA. Or the modern legislatures of Virginia, Connecticut or California. But THEY all issued official apologies for eugenics. The retort was the entirely predictable "but nobody really tried to say it was science!"
THAT is denial. It can be nothing other than denial due to the FACT that history is well-documented and easily accessible to anyone. I don't care if they're all up in arms about ID or Ben Stein or whatever, that's all irrelevant to actual history. I just had to shake my head at the newer, more intellectually important form of Holocaust Denial that our so self-important "intellectual elite" is embracing full-bore these days. Hope my children and grandchildren who will outlive me will carry on my promise – Never Again!
Holocaust denial is creepy and evil. When it comes from modern scientists and science groupies, it's not made socially acceptable. That was the very mistake made in the first half of the 20th century, and it's not something that needs forgetting.
Those who forget – or simply DENY – history are doomed to repeat it.
[Previous discussion of this subject here]