Darwinian evolution friend of master race dogmas? Watch

NJA
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Were the Nazis right or wrong to use evolution to justify their philosophy?
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by NJA)
Were the Nazis right or wrong to use evolution to justify their philosophy?
I don't really see how evolution justifies their philosophy?
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NJA
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
I don't really see how evolution justifies their philosophy?
The survival of the fittest, they showed nature films where the biggest / strongest creatures remove the weaker and take the land. If you know anything about what the Nazis did when they came to power (and how they came to power, "night of the long knives") you will be able to see the similarity.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by NJA)
The survival of the fittest, they showed nature films where the biggest / strongest creatures remove the weaker and take the land. If you know anything about what the Nazis did when they came to power you will be able to see the similarity.
Well I suppose if their eugenics program had been carried out to its full extent and they literally began a selective breeding program then certain traits would definitely be selected for. It wouldn't be any different from the selective breeding of cows to maximise milk productivity. It doesn't mean it's a good thing though - they've not really got any particularly rational basis for selecting "Aryan" traits.
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by NJA)
Were the Nazis right or wrong to use evolution to justify their philosophy?
(Original post by NJA)
The survival of the fittest, they showed nature films where the biggest / strongest creatures remove the weaker and take the land. If you know anything about what the Nazis did when they came to power you will be able to see the similarity.
The Nazi ideology of eugenics and an Aryan master race is not based on a reasonable understanding of evolution. Natural selection is not based around "the survival of the fittest", or based around working towards a "better" or "superior" set of organisms. It simply acts on genetic mutations to change populations to bias towards those who are more successfully able to reproduce. It's common sense really, isn't it? Those who are better able to reproduce and rear children are more likely to become the dominant genotype within their population. Eugenics has nothing to do with the evolution that Darwin described, and is no more than an unethical, immoral artificial selection of human beings.
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russellsteapot
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I think they bent it until it was unrecognisable from the facts.

They 'used' the science of evolution in the same way a homoepath uses physics to explain their quackery. Not at all, not very well, with a handful of misunderstanding and a sprinkle of bull****.
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jakeel1
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Science is about facts not values. The Nazis used values to distort facts, for example alturism is just as important as competition in many species. I think applying physiology to the study of social behaviour is not entirely wrong, however when it is done in accordance with science it is usually supportive of a more liberal position.
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Synapsida
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The Nazi doctrine of genetics and natural/Sexual selection is very skewed. It was an common believe that society could shape specific human traits like intelligence through 'positive' eugenics. This was often the case in the late 1800s after Francis Galton (an brilliant Statistician IMO, invented the regression line and Normal/Binomial Distribution) published an book on Human Inheritance. Some popular statesmen, business and even philanthropists in the Anglo-Germanic world (like in the USA and Germany, not so much in Britain despite being the birth place of Eugenics) believed that mental disabilities and physical handicaps could be breeded out by artificial selections. It never really started of an mainly racial topic. But as new age imperialism (boosted by the Second Industrial revelation in N.America and Germany as well as N. Europe in general) dawned, some believed that the technological distance between the coloured people being colonised and the Europeans of 'Nordic Anglo-Saxon' stock were largely due to genetic reasons and that the coloured man could never be 'civilized' because they are inherently inferior. Nevertheless modern Genetics have proven much of these foolish presumption out of mainstream science. We now know that Mental and Physical disabilities are the results of genetic mutation that is caused by damage by DNA rather than simple inheritance of traits. You cannot stop gambit sex cells from mutating. All modern Homo Sapien population are recent arrivals from E.Africa.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Well I suppose if their eugenics program had been carried out to its full extent and they literally began a selective breeding program then certain traits would definitely be selected for. It wouldn't be any different from the selective breeding of cows to maximise milk productivity. It doesn't mean it's a good thing though - they've not really got any particularly rational basis for selecting "Aryan" traits.
Did you notice the news last month that a farmer had to slaughter his herd of nazi cows?

“There was a thinking around at the time that you could selectively breed animals for Aryan characteristics, which were rooted in runes, folklore and legend. What the Germans did with their breeding programme was create something truly primeval,” said Mr Gow.

“The reason the Nazis were so supportive of the project is they wanted them to be fierce and aggressive. When the Germans were selecting them to create this animal they used Spanish fighting cattle to give them the shape and ferocity they wanted.” Fresians and Simmentals were also part of the breeding process.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environ...s-9958988.html

“We have had to cut our herd down to six because some of them were incredibly aggressive and we just couldn’t handle them,” said Farmer Gow, who said the meat made “very tasty” sausages that tasted a bit like venison.

“The ones we had to get rid of would just attack you any chance they could. They would try to kill anyone. Dealing with that was not fun at all. They are by far and away the most aggressive animals I have ever worked with,” he said.
Nazis considered homicidal viciousness to be a sort of spiritual virtue, even in farm animals where it's obviously got serious practical problems.
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Chi019
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(Original post by Synapsida)
The Nazi doctrine of genetics and natural/Sexual selection is very skewed. It was an common believe that society could shape specific human traits like intelligence through 'positive' eugenics. This was often the case in the late 1800s after Francis Galton (an brilliant Statistician IMO, invented the regression line and Normal/Binomial Distribution) published an book on Human Inheritance. Some popular statesmen, business and even philanthropists in the Anglo-Germanic world (like in the USA and Germany, not so much in Britain despite being the birth place of Eugenics) believed that mental disabilities and physical handicaps could be breeded out by artificial selections. It never really started of an mainly racial topic. But as new age imperialism (boosted by the Second Industrial revelation in N.America and Germany as well as N. Europe in general) dawned, some believed that the technological distance between the coloured people being colonised and the Europeans of 'Nordic Anglo-Saxon' stock were largely due to genetic reasons and that the coloured man could never be 'civilized' because they are inherently inferior. Nevertheless modern Genetics have proven much of these foolish presumption out of mainstream science. We now know that Mental and Physical disabilities are the results of genetic mutation that is caused by damage by DNA rather than simple inheritance of traits. You cannot stop gambit sex cells from mutating. All modern Homo Sapien population are recent arrivals from E.Africa.
Modern genetics hasn't really reached the point of identifying the underling gene alleles linked to behavioural and cognitive traits (there's some work on a few alleles by Piffer that suggests differences, but it's tentative). Certainly there has been a lot of research in terms of psychometrics which suggests their are fairly consistent average group differences and that goes back to Galton. There are even average differences in something as basic as brain size which is moderately correlated with cognitive abilities. There has been evidence that genetic changes accelerated over the past 40,000 years while groups were somewhat isolated so who knows.

MIT Professor Robert Weinberg noted a decade or so ago that genetics might not provide the answers people hope for:

Weinberg (@ 32:40): ... And what happens if one of these days people discover alleles for certain aspects of cognitive function? Chess playing ability. The ability to learn five different languages. The ability to remember strings of numbers. The ability to speak extemporaneously in front of a class, for what it's worth, for 50 minutes several times a week.

[It seems improbable to me that such abilities will be controlled or strongly impacted by specific alleles. Rather, they are likely to be subtly influenced by large numbers of different genetic loci. But this doesn't necessarily affect the following discussion. Note also that Weinberg neglects the possibility of variation in direction of selection pressure experienced by different isolated groups.]

Whatever ability you want, valued or not so valued, what if those alleles begin to come out? And here's the worse part. What if somebody begins to look for the frequency of those alleles in different ethnic groups scattered across this planet? Now, you will say to me, well, God has made all his children equal. But the fact is if you look at the details of human evolution, some of which I discussed with you a week ago, last week, you'll come to realize that most populations in humanity are the modern descendents of very small founder groups.

... So the fact is it's inescapable that different alleles are going to be present with different frequencies in different inbreeding populations of humanity or populations of humanity that traditionally have been genetically isolated from one another.

It's not as if all the genes that we carry have been mixed with everybody else's genes freely over the last 100,000 years. Different groups have bred separately and have, for reasons that I've told you, founder affects and genetic drift, acquired different sets and different constellations of alleles. So what's going to happen then, I ask you without wishing to hear an answer because nobody really knows?
(the comment in brackets is from Steve Hsu - member of the BGI Cognitive Genomics Project.
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Farm_Ecology
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Simply put, Darwinian evolution and modern genetics is very much against the idea of a master race. The idea of a perfect, unchanging master race makes absolutely no sense and is grounded in nothing but superstitious nonsense.

Darwinian evolution would suggest a well adapted genetic group for a particular time and place.
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41b
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Mother's biology is inherited by the child and in my opinion this impacts upon the child much more than genes do. A person's biology can be changed, mostly through diet, but as most people eat 'stereotypical' food, their biology does not change all that much.

An example is Indians. They incline towards vegetarianism, which has disastrous consequences on health. Not eating meat deprives the body of zinc and leads to a reduction of testosterone and an overabundance off oestrogen. The men are less manly and less capable of defending themselves. India's shameful martial history reflects this.

However, the country continues to incline towards vegetarianism, and so the population that does not eat meat exhibits the symptoms of low testosterone.

Humans are biological machines that need a specific set of inputs to really prosper. I suspect that genes are much less relevant to a race's superiority or inferiority than diet.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by NJA)
The survival of the fittest, they showed nature films where the biggest / strongest creatures remove the weaker and take the land. If you know anything about what the Nazis did when they came to power (and how they came to power, "night of the long knives") you will be able to see the similarity.
You should re-read your history book. The Night of the Long Knives was a purge that occurred in late June and early July 1934, over eighteen months after the Nazis came to power in Germany. It was directed primarily against elements of the Nazi party itself - the SA - rather than non-Nazis, though some anti-Nazis were also killed. It had nothing to do with Hitler's ascent to the Chancellorship.
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Chi019
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(Original post by 41b)
Mother's biology is inherited by the child and in my opinion this impacts upon the child much more than genes do. A person's biology can be changed, mostly through diet, but as most people eat 'stereotypical' food, their biology does not change all that much.

An example is Indians. They incline towards vegetarianism, which has disastrous consequences on health. Not eating meat deprives the body of zinc and leads to a reduction of testosterone and an overabundance off oestrogen. The men are less manly and less capable of defending themselves. India's shameful martial history reflects this.

However, the country continues to incline towards vegetarianism, and so the population that does not eat meat exhibits the symptoms of low testosterone.

Humans are biological machines that need a specific set of inputs to really prosper. I suspect that genes are much less relevant to a race's superiority or inferiority than diet.
That's interesting regarding the negative effects of vegetarianism. Iodine deficiency can also have negative effects on development.

That said, I agree with the above poster that different environments might also favour certain traits leading to average population differences. That is certainly apparent in sport, as Jon Entine points out (eg. long distance running dominance by East Africans while the majority of the top sprinters are of West African ancestry).
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41b
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(Original post by Chi019)
That's interesting regarding the negative effects of vegetarianism. Iodine deficiency can also have negative effects on development.

That said, I agree with the above poster that different environments might also favour certain traits leading to average population differences. That is certainly apparent in sport, as Jon Entine points out (eg. long distance running dominance by East Africans while the majority of the top sprinters are of West African ancestry).
On the subject of long distance running, sweating leads to an excretion of most of the body's salts, most importantly calcium and magnesium. Thus long distance running and excessive sweating are quite bad for health, and also mental acuity, dependent as it is on most of those salts. Notwithstanding the person eating enough to compensate.

Excessive sweating is also, in my view probably the biggest reason why, historically, on average, populations in colder climates have advanced at a much greater rate than those in sweltering ones (again, India and Europe are good contra-examples).
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
Natural selection is not based around "the survival of the fittest", or based around working towards a "better" or "superior" set of organisms.
It simply acts on genetic mutations to change populations to bias towards those who are more successfully able to reproduce.
They're the same. The former is a shorthand way of saying the latter.

Some Nazi ideology was based on evolution, and the more general idea of eugenics was quite widely accepted in the first part of the 20th century.

However, it is a nice example of the naturalistic fallacy.

Just because something is, does not mean it ought to be.

Biology might explain why males rape. That does not mean it is morally OK to rape.

Simples.
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Chi019
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(Original post by 41b)
On the subject of long distance running, sweating leads to an excretion of most of the body's salts, most importantly calcium and magnesium. Thus long distance running and excessive sweating are quite bad for health, and also mental acuity, dependent as it is on most of those salts. Notwithstanding the person eating enough to compensate.

Excessive sweating is also, in my view probably the biggest reason why, historically, on average, populations in colder climates have advanced at a much greater rate than those in sweltering ones (again, India and Europe are good contra-examples).
Yes, while on holiday in Samoa I found the heat quite energy sapping so that makes some sense.

There are also various theories that in a colder climate you're going to have greater selection for males who have greater levels of parental investment to provide for females and off-spring during the harsh winters. So in those environments you might get more selection for more anxious males who worry about the future (eg. nerdier types) than alpha/big man males who dominate more in a year round tropical environment where women also do more of the agriculture work (eg. female farming societies).
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NJA
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
...
Just because something is, does not mean it ought to be.

Biology might explain why males rape. That does not mean it is morally OK to rape.

Simples.
Where do morals come from?
Who decides which ones are right? What "ought" to be?
If you say your morality is right, how are you different from a Nazi?
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by NJA)
Where do morals come from?
Who decides which ones are right? What "ought" to be?
If you say your morality is right how are you different from a Nazi?

(not being offensive, just having philisophical argument / reasoning)
Well, that's a huge question. But ultimately I would say morals come from reason and particular principles. I think two foundational moral principles are not to harm others, and not to restrict others' freedoms. Most of my morailty flows from that.

Ultimately if someone doesn't agree with the foundational principles then you can't say their morality is wrong, just different. But you tend to find that most people do. They (and me) just often have a hard time following them to their logical conclusions.

Read some of the classic moral philosophers for (lots) more detail: Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Bentham, JS Mill etc.

I certainly wouldn't look to nature for my morals!
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