Page 14 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • March 4, 2009 point out that Darwin produced nothing original until he had received Wallace’s letter. The notes of the speech Darwin made before the Linnean Society in London, in which Darwin briefly cited Wallace as having some similar ideas, was conveniently “lost” and no longer exists. People who think they know the facts report that Darwin and Wallace made the Linnean Society speech together in London – while, in fact, Wallace was in Malaya, and returned some months after the speech to learn that Darwin had become famous by stealing Wallace’s original idea. Darwin knew Wallace had been rooked, and pretended to be his friend while he used his influence to convince people that Wallace was crazy and worthless as a scientist. There is still a “Darwin/Wallace” prize in British scientific circles which proves, as Abraham Lincoln said about this time, that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Darwin, incidentally, was widely contradicted by scientists of his own generation, and two of the greatest – Louis Pasteur and Gregor Mendel – showed within his lifetime that his theories did not work. Darwin’s corpus of belief requires “spontaneous generation” – the origin of life through chance combinations of sterile chemicals – and this does not work. Pasteur showed there was no such thing as “spontaneous generation” in 1863, supporting earlier findings by Abbe Lazzaro Spallanzani in Italy and Rudolph Virchow in Prussia. The attempts by Stephen Bastien in the early 1900s failed and subsequent attempts by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey in the 1950s came to a dead end in the 1960s. Mendel, an Augustinian monk and abbot of a monastery, discovered a mathematical model of how inheritance works, and his model – revealed in 1868 – is so conservative that it makes Darwin’s theory of a quick adaptation to surroundings impossible. Minus “natural selection,” which does not actually work, Darwin made no new contributions to “evolution.” The concept that animals and plants were somehow adapted to their surroundings had existed since the Roman poet Lucretius and were clearly expressed by the Prussian scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt – whose works inspired Darwin to tropical adventure, not to mention topical plagiarism. Darwin was a mountebank. He dressed Humboldt’s basic concept of adaptation with some wrong-headed ideas he stole from Wallace and became a Great Man by dint of his own dishonesty. The fact that a lot of science teachers still fall for it may be one of the reasons that the United States is about 26th in the world in the teaching and learning of science. The French, Germans, Japanese, and Israelis have substantially dismissed Darwin. Portraying human beings as being of simian origin is illegal in Israel, because Darwin was the key inspiration for the Nazi racial program, known as “NeoDarwinismus.”) The science programs in these countries where Darwin is shrugged off, or forbidden outright, are all better than ours. There are, indeed, a number of parallels between Lincoln and Darwin. Both men lost their mothers as pre-teens, and both had poor relationships with their fathers. Darwin’s father, son of England’s greatest 18th century physician, Erasmus Darwin, thought Charles stupid. Lincoln’s father thought Lincoln was too smart for his own good and constantly urged him to stop reading because it was a waste of time that could better be spent rail-splitting. Both Lincoln and Darwin suffered prolonged bouts of depression. Lincoln got over his, while Darwin was not functional for the second half of his life, spent large amounts of time cringing under a shawl, and could not eat unless he was half-drunk. Both Lincoln and Darwin were essentially monogamous. Lincoln put up with a wife who was a half-crazy spendthrift, but she sincerely loved him and believed in his greatness. Darwin put up with a wife who loved him, but did not believe in his theories and said Darwin only accepted evidence that was anti-religious and ignored advice that could be pro-religious. Both men lost children – which happened all the time in the 19th century until Pasteur, who hated Darwin, slammed the nursery door in the face of death when he discovered the “germ theory” and the actual causes of infectious childhood diseases. Lincoln and Darwin both became depressed by the loss of their children. Lincoln lost two of his four sons as young boys, and Tad died when he was 18, a few years after the assassination. Robert lived to become a prominent American statesman, but the direct line ended when I was a young man. Darwin had 10 children and lost three, including Mary, whose death may have embittered him toward religion. There are, however, a number of direct and collateral Darwin relatives still living, and many of them are capable, highly intelligent, and honest. Hesketh Pearson, a Darwin grandson, wrote a wonderful biography called “Doctor Darwin” in which he described Erasmus Darwin, Charles’ grandfather, as a superb physician, a strong Theist, but a man with weaknesses that included gluttony. Frank Darwin, one of Charles’ sons, published a cleanedup version of Darwin’s autobiography which glosses over Darwin’s frantic hatred of Christianity. Lady Nora Barlow, Charles Darwin’s granddaughter, set the record straight in 1954 with the real autobiography, including Darwin’s anti-religious comments and his attempt to destroy Samuel Butler, once an admirer and later a man who dared to criticize him. Lincoln called for “malice toward none, and charity toward all.” Darwin smiled in people’s faces and stabbed them in the backs, as he did to Wallace and Butler. Lincoln said the vote should be given to blacks who were “very intelligent,” and to all who had served as federal soldiers in the Civil War – and that is why John Wilkes Booth murdered him. Darwin and his “bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley, believed blacks were so inferior they would become extinct once they lost the “protection” of slavery. The similarities between Lincoln and Darwin are voided by one glaring difference: Lincoln terminated slavery and Darwin institutionalized the sort of racism the Lincoln and the Abolitionists opposed – sometimes at the cost of their lives. Lincoln’s impact, unless you’re a hard-core racist, was good. Darwin’s impact, unless you’re a hard-core racist, was evil. Never let it be said that this column does not reach the widest possible audience. Watching a PBS documentary, I saw that a Harvard graduate had written a book on a subject that I covered in a column some years before: the fact that Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the same day in the same year. The professor posits that Lincoln and Darwin were two of the most important men of their era. Between them, they changed the world. No argument there. The argument, however, may be about how they changed it. Some years ago, I was on the “Larry King Live” show televised in Washington DC, debating John Garth Murray, Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son and heir. I had written a book called “The Atheist Syndrome,” which argued that Darwin, Huxley, Nietzsche, and Freud had all been influenced by hostile relationships with their fathers to “invent” scientific atheism as a psychological antidote to a perceived hostile father, and that they all suffered from clinical depression while they charged through science and philosophy lopping off any evidence that could have posed a challenge to their interpretations of the Universe. Murray, a leading spokesman for organized atheism, was supposed to debate me on this topic, but what he mostly did was rattle off cant about “There ain’t no God” and hope for the shock value he seems to have achieved with his mostly rural and rustic audience. King, who said he was an agnostic but not an atheist, tried to remain impartial, but he told me something I took as a compliment: “I don’t usually read the books we talk about when I’m on the air, but I’m going to read yours.” Murray felt he had won the debate because, I suppose, I didn’t convert him on the spot. A few years later, together with his niece and with his mother, the woman who got school prayer and Bible reading banned, he was kidnapped by two fellow atheists who once worked for his mother’s organization. One of them was code-named “Satan.” The two atheist renegades flew Murray around the country closing out back accounts. The two renegade atheists shot all three Murrays, stuffed them in garbage bags, and buried their bodies somewhere in Texas in a road-side ditch. “Satan” got caught when he gave his ex-wife an expensive watch he had looted. Up until then, the government theory had been that the Murrays had escaped America rather than pay the income taxes they had illegally tried to avoid. They identified O’Hair by an artificial hip. There wasn’t much else left. I mention Murray and our debate to point out, as King told me, that you don’t have to read a book to comment on its contents. Darwin’s importance is beyond denial. His benign influence, and the scientific value of his work, is non-existent. Darwin stole his ideas from Alfred Russel Wallace: Arnold Brackman proved this in a book he wrote in the 1980s, when he used his knowledge of stamps and postal systems of the 1850s to show that Darwin received a letter from Wallace in which Wallace posited “natural selection” – later known as “survival of the fittest” – before Darwin wrote those words himself. Honest scholars will Lincoln & Darwin: An imperfect parallel Donation bin regulations (continued from page 9) donations collected in the bin, their proceeds, or both, may be shared or given entirely to, an entity other than the person who owns the bin, must be conspicuously displayed. Any complaints from the public about the bin must be investigated by the appropriate municipal agency within the municipality in which a donation clothing bin has been placed within 30 days. If it appears that a person has engaged in, or is engaging in, any act or practice in violation of the state law, the person who placed the bin must be issued a warning, stating that if the violation is not rectified or a hearing with the appropriate municipal agency is not requested within 45 days, the bin will be seized or removed at the expense of the person who placed the bin, and any clothing or other donations collected via the bin will be sold at public auction or otherwise disposed of. In addition to any other means used to notify the person who placed the bin, such warning must be affixed to the exterior of the bin. If the violation is not rectified, or a request for a hearing is not made within 45 days of the posting of the warning, the appropriate municipal agency may seize the bin, remove it, or have it removed, at the expense of the person who placed the bin, and sell it at public auction or otherwise dispose of any clothing or other donations collected in the bin. Any proceeds from the sale of the donations collected in the bin must be paid to the chief financial officer of the municipality. Any violation of this state law which results in seizure of the donation clothing bin will be subject the violator to a penalty of up to $20,000 for each violation in municipal court or in Superior Court.