April 24th, 2006

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Evolution and Godwin's Law

When creationists rear up and take arms against evolution, sooner or later, someone will offer the claim that evolution is racist, and Hitler's "final solution" was inspired by Darwin.

In this article, Lenny Flank, aka. "Darwin's Pit-Bull", takes a look at the claim and actually looks up what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf.
The creationists are apparently unaware of the fact that Stalinist Russia rejected Darwinian evolution as "bourgeois" and instead embraced the non-Darwinian "proletarian biology" of Lysenko and Michurin (a disaster from which Russian genetics and biological sciences has still not completely recovered). As for Hitler, even a cursory reading of his book Mein Kampf reveals that the true source of Hitler's inspiration and exhortations came from a source that creationists, understandably, would rather not talk about.
Hitler's goal was the "purification" of the "Aryan race" through the elimination of "subhumans", which included Jews, gypsies, Asians, black Africans, and everyone else who was not a white Aryan.
Rather than basing his racism on any evolutionary theory, Hitler based it squarely on his view of white Aryans as the favored people of God. In fact, Hitler solemnly declares that his program of removing Jews and other "subhumans" from the earth is a divine task forced upon him by the Lord Almighty: "What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproductionof our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purityof our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the Creator of the universe."
Hitler concludes: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord,"...

Well, OK. Maybe Hitler didn't mention evolution. What about other hate groups?
The invocation of God and the Bible in support of racism continues with modern hate groups in the US. Aryan Nations, which also calls itself the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, begins its web site by proclaiming "Praise Yahweh" and its intention to "serve the Lord of Glory and His Holy Race". The American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan note that only those of "Christian faith" can be members, and asks every new recruit "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" The White Camelia Knights of the Ku Klux Klan declare that "at some point God's people must take action in the defense of our Christian, racial and political beliefs".
None of these racist websites mentions "Darwin" or "evolution" as a justification for any of their beliefs. All of them talk about "God" and "The Creator" instead.
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Pure Gold

John J. Miller, at The Corner (NRO) takes note of a book review.
A photographer and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Vogue and Playgirl, Jong likes to pee in public places. At first glance, this book of photos documenting her urinary exploits seems like a one-trick pony, but Jong’s humor, charm and sense of beauty cumulatively create a rich experience…..Jong writes of “peeing as a means to reevaluate the spaces I find myself in—to make them my own,”…

I wonder if any of the photos are of a fire hydrant.
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Mezze, but not messy

From The Scotsman:
LIKE tapas, a spread of mezze is one of the most convivial ways to start a meal. Instead of everyone being served a starter, several little dishes are put on the table to be passed around and shared. Whether you are in Egypt, Turkey or Bahrain, you will see a similar choice of dishes, each cooked according to a region's own recipes.

In both eastern Turkey and Iran I have been served one of the most simple salads: a bowl of freshly picked herbs (flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill, rocket), ready to be added at will to other dishes or to be eaten with soft cheese on flatbread.
In Lebanon a salad is often a self-assembly job, and you are presented with a plate of ingredients that everyone must cut and chop - including whole cucumber, tomatoes or peppers - before drizzling dressing mixed from the oil and vinegar laid out on the table.
Pomegranate is popular in many countries where eating mezze is part of daily life - the seeds are often scattered over dishes like jewels, while pomegranate molasses is used in dressings and sauces. When I was in Dubai recently, enjoying a wonderful Persian meal, pomegranate juice was served throughout. Its sweet-and-sour taste complemented the exotic flavours perfectly.
There are always salads, flatbread and purées to dip and dunk. A favourite purée is, of course, hummus, classically made with chickpeas. But there are also those made of fava beans or cod's roe, and you will almost always find tabbouleh salad and some grilled white cheese.
There are myriad ways of preparing aubergines - they are often served grilled and topped with thick yoghurt and mint or dill; or you can roast them, then scoop out the flesh and purée it with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
Kibbeh, a mixture of cracked (bulgar) wheat and minced lamb (or beef) is good, but it is worth remembering that this is a dish, like steak tartare, of raw meat. In some places hummus is topped with cooked lamb mince, which is utterly delicious - though mutton is often used instead, and to the uninitiated this can be a rather strong flavour. But the combination of creamy hummus, tasty mince and crunchy pinenuts on top is exquisite.

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