Friday, June 12, 2009

A Double Standard?

On Wednesday, a white supremacist named James von Brunn opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., killing a security guard. As David Klinghoffer points out, von Brunn's online manifestos used evolutionary theory to defend his racist views.

Personally, I've been reluctant to mention the link between von Brunn and evolutionary theory because...well...based on what I've read so far, it seems that evolutionary theory wasn't central to his racism and nihilism (in the way it was for, say, Adolf Hitler or the Columbine Killers). Even so, Klinghoffer makes an important point about how the media has covered the case so far which has implications for the Darwinism/I.D. debate...

"For those who objected to my post yesterday quoting Holocaust Museum shooting suspect James von Brunn on the role of evolutionary doctrine, however distorted, in his rationale for racism, let me ask you a question. Try this thought experiment. If in his crazed manifesto he had somehow found support for his thinking not in evolution but in intelligent design, do you think we would have heard nothing about it from the media as in fact we've heard nothing (except from me) about his evolutionary thoughts? What if he had based his hate explicitly on Biblical literalist creationism? Or on Roman Catholicism? Or Evangelical Protestantism? Or Orthodox Judaism? Would that similarly have been hushed up?"
The question answers itself.


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