That didn’t take long

Already, deranged Discovery Institute shill David Klinghoffer is blaming the hostage-taking nut James Lee’s actions on Darwinism.

Witness the recent examples of Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter James von Brunn, Columbine High School shooter Eric Harris, Jokela High School shooter Pekka Eric Auvinen. Historical figures who drew inspiration, if indirectly, from Darwinian theory include Charles Manson, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, Josef Mengele, and of course Adolf Hitler. I’ve written about this many times before and received much abuse for it, not least when I took up the theme on the Huffington Post. (An editor advised me they will not let me do that again.)

Yes, Lee was apparently an atheist, and he attributed the need for his actions to a badly mangled version of Darwinism (although, really, a strict Darwinian fanatic probably wouldn’t rush to commit a violent act that could only end with him dead or incarcerated, and also wouldn’t be ranting about ending reproduction for his own species. I’d expect a truly fervent Darwinian to be avoiding risks and expending a great deal of effort in courtship, or at least frantically making lots of donations to the local sperm or ovum bank.) Yes, we can make lists of atheists or people who have fulminated superficially about Darwin who have done evil crimes. So? We can also make lists of Christians who have committed evil.

But let us be clear about a few things about godless Darwinians:

  • They don’t make claims that believing in Darwin will make you a good person.

  • They don’t make claims that taking courses in Darwinism will clear up your mental health issues.

  • Certified Darwinian counselors do not have free parking privileges so they can rush to the sick and dying to soothe them with a little doctrine in population genetics.

  • There is no Darwinist creed that justifies and encourages slaughtering creationists.

  • There are no Darwinist elites laying down fatwas against Discovery Channel executives, not even for Ghost Lab or Bear Grylls.

  • They do not seek salvation in the mixed bag of pop sci programming on a cable television station. Jamie and Adam are not our prophets, even if Mythbusters is pretty good, mostly.

  • There is no grassroots collection of Darwinist supporters lurking in the remote urban wilderness who would have sheltered James Lee while he was on the lam.

  • There was no supportive mob of god-hatin’ Darwin lovers converging on the Discovery Building to chant in support of James Lee.

  • There will be no surly academic Darwinists who will grumble “no comment” at reporters while gathering with the faithful to praise their heroic martyr, James Lee, in the privacy of their communes and revival meetings.

  • They all pretty much think James Lee was a mentally ill doofus who got everything wrong — at best a subject of pity.

  • There will be no conspiracy theories that James Lee was a good man set up by the Christian majority.

  • They will not be telling each other that James Lee will receive his reward for his righteous actions in Darwinist Paradise.

  • If he’d lived, James Lee would not have been given free legal help by the Society for the Study of Evolution, nor would they have hidden his crimes and helped him relocate to another regional chapter, which would not have been told about his violent proclivities.

  • There will be no secretive James Lee Society set up to work for reduced fertility and angrier television documentaries in his name.

  • No one will be writing generous op-eds in which James Lee is praised as a misguided figure with his heart in the right place, in the bosom of scientific thinking.

  • James von Brunn, Eric Harris, Pekka Eric Auvinen, and not even Manson, Mao, Stalin, Mengele, or Hitler are praised in any biology textbooks. James Lee will not, either.

  • An occasional lone nut spouting idiosyncratic visions of Darwinism does not change the fact that we have the scientific evidence on our side.

  • James Lee does not have a constituency, nor does he have any representatives working for his goals in congress.

  • James Lee did not increase his inclusive fitness.

I’m sorry, Mr Krazypants Klinghoffer, but there’s basically no way anyone can argue that James Lee was representative of any significant subgroup of evolutionary biologists, fans of Darwin, or freethinkers; he’s a sad, lonely outlier whose weird collection of confused ideas were a product of his isolation and mental illness, not any substantial strand of evolutionary theory.

Oh, and Hitler did not derive his ideas from Darwin: his primary intellectual antecedent would have been Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who detested anything to do with that Darwin fellow’s theory. You’ve had this explained to you often enough, that Hitler was if anything nominally Catholic, bizarrely pagan, and his ideas had nothing to do with science or with atheism, but you don’t care, I know. Is it any surprise that you’re considered too obtuse even for the Huffington Post?