On August 20th, 2014 British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was asked about the “ethical dilemma” posed to a woman if she became pregnant with a baby with Down’s syndrome. Dawkins’ Twitter response was insightfully clear:
“Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.”
Dawkins’ response generated a media firestorm in response to his disgusting comment, but what is more interesting is the fact that people were surprised by Dawkins loose expression of his thoughts.
In his own “apology” in response to the fervor, “Abortion & Down Syndrome: An Apology for Letting Slip the Dogs of Twitterwar,” Dawkins simply diluted his statement in standard academic liberal style, but maintained that his views are simply a logical consequence of his “scientific” (utilitarian) definition of “morality.”
Instead of being shocked by his initial nonchalant admission of the logical consequences of his ideology, it would be more productive to examine that British school of thought of which Dawkins is both a product and proponent. Lawfully, Dawkins’ career holds some insightful parallels to another infamous British evolutionary biologist. Although Dawkins has been called “Darwin’s Rottweiler” in honor of his defense of Charles Darwin, the more important comparison isn’t the reference to Darwin, but to the person who was initially called “Darwin’s Bulldog,” Thomas H. Huxley.
Besides his promotion of Darwin, T. H. Huxley was a loyal servant to the British Empire establishment, serving as President of the Royal Society, was selected for “Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council” (during the reign of Queen Victoria), and, among other things, was the teacher of one-time Fabian and imperial strategic thinker H. G. Wells. However the truly insightful Dawkins-parallel isn’t found in Thomas, but in his grandson, Julian Huxley.
Illustrating the continuation of the Huxley family’s allegiance to the British Empire, on the day of Julian Huxley’s birth in 1887, his father was away attending the British Empire’s official diamond jubilee celebration for Queen Victoria. Seventy-one years later, Julian Huxley would himself be knighted for his service to that same British Empire. To understand Dawkins’ views on Down’s syndrome, it is helpful to know that Dawkins has followed many of Julian Huxley’s footsteps through the British establishment. Julian Huxley attended Balliol College, Oxford, as did Dawkins later. At Oxford, Huxley was an early organizer of the Oxford University Scientific Society, of which Dawkins became a senior patron. Huxley became an evolutionary biologist, and furthered the work of Darwin, as did Dawkins. Huxley was integral in the development of the “humanist” movement, as is Dawkins.
More to the point, Julian Huxley was a leading member of the British Eugenics Society, including serving as president from 1959 to 1962. Prior to that, in 1948, in the fresh aftermath of the public exposure of Hitler’s own eugenics experiment, Julian – as the first director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – included a defense of eugenics in his drafting of UNESCO’s founding document. Julian wrote that eugenics must be defended, “so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable”.1 From there Julian went on to hook up with former Nazi SS member Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Nazi associate Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) to found the modern environmentalist movement, centered around their creation of the preeminent World Wildlife Fund (and the 1001 Club), as the new avenue to carry forward their British eugenics/population reduction program.
Should it be a surprise when Dawkins has a slip of the keyboard, and lets loose the depth of his ideological adherence to this particular British school of thought?
Perhaps more important, what about the widespread and popular promotion of the basic axiomatic assumptions underlying this entire fascist ideology? For example, are you simply “made of stardust”?
The ‘Humanism’ Counter-Gang
Those offended by Dawkins’ nonchalant and utilitarian dismissal of human life (“it would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice”), should take a deeper look into the the ideology from which such statements are derived conclusions. For example, this author recently suffered through a recording of an eighty minute discussion between Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson from September, 2010 (boldly entitled “Poetry of Science,” no less). 2
While there is no evidence that the new host of the popular science show, Cosmos, (Tyson) would endorse Dawkins’ offensive August 20th statement, in their 2010 discussion Tyson and Dawkins gush over each other in full endorsement and promotion of the exact reductionist ideology from which Dawkins’ statement is a mere logical conclusion. While held up in the name of “science,” what was displayed in that 2010 discussion is a clinical expression of what is wrong with science today. As will be clear below, Tyson and Dawkins join Lawrence Krauss, Bill Nye and others as mouthpieces for the popular promotion of a narrative which is not only false, but is the axiomatic basis for Dawkins’ expressed views about the “morality” of cleansing society of those with Down’s syndrome. This is not to claim that members of this pop science gaggle are necessarily malicious, nor that they are original. They are the popular faces put forward to promulgate a much longer standing doctrine.
A certain rallying point of this has become the so-called “humanist” movement, in which Dawkins again follows the eugenicist Julian Huxley’s footsteps. Following his 1948 call for the resurgence of eugenics as director of UNESCO, but prior to his 1959 taking the presidency of the British Eugenics Society, Huxley presided over the founding congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (1952). In addition to Huxley, the work of Bertrand Russell (especially his 1927 essay “Why I Am Not a Christian”) became central to the movement. Russell was President of Cardiff Humanists (Wales) and a member of the Advisory Council of the British Humanist Association (a member organization of the International Humanist and Ethical Union).3 Upon the completion of his term as president of the British Eugenics Society in 1962, and shortly after his 1961 founding the World Wildlife Fund alongside former Nazi SS member Prince Bernhard, Julian Huxley became president of the same British Humanist Association, serving from 1963 to 1965.
This “humanist” movement operates as a counter-gang against the most extreme forms of radical religious fundamentalism – the same forms of radical religious fundamentalism which the same British Empire establishment has, and continues, to support and utilize.4 The movement, in addition to being shaped by the ideologies of Russell and Huxley, also notes its deeper roots in the “utilitarianism” of British Empire philosophers and agents Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The current mode of operation of the “humanist” movement is to pose the worst form of reductionist science as the claimed alternative (counter-gang) to the insanities of degenerate religious fundamentalist cults (the gangs supported by the same British establishment).5
As will be discussed below, this false gang-countergang narrative runs contrary to the realities of the foundations of modern science, which are actually centered upon the work of Nicolas of Cusa in the creation of the Golden Renaissance.
In the United States, a next generation of leading “humanist” leaders featured Paul Kurtz, who was a troika chairman of the same International Humanist and Ethical Union from 1986 to 1994, and received their International Humanist Award in 1999. Kurtz has been referred to as the father of “secular humanism” and has created an array of associated organizations, including the Council for Secular Humanism, the Center for Inquiry, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). CSI fellows include such pop science mouthpieces as: Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence M. Krauss, Sean B. Carroll, Stephen Jay Gould, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, etc. Perhaps as part of the maintenance of their popular mouthpiece status, many of these particular “scientists” display a radical and, ironically, religious-like devotion to the claim that mankind is causing catastrophic global warming and “climate change”.6
The late Paul Kurtz had his own interesting history. Kurtz was a prize student of Sidney Hook, who worked with the anglophile faction of the Central Intelligence Agency in the founding of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a cultural warfare operation run by the CIA. At the CCF’s founding, one of the five honorary chairmen was Bertrand Russell. In an interesting side note, one of many magazines set up by the CCF was Encounter (founded by CCF-associate and later “godfather of neo-conservatism,” Irving Kristol), which featured the works of Julian Huxley, among others.7 It is also noteworthy that Lyndon LaRouche debated and defeated a close associate of Kurtz and Hook, Abba Lerner, at Queens College in 1971, getting Lerner to admit that he and his associates were supporting and promoting Nazi economic policies. 8
Let all this stand as background to the understanding of Richard Dawkins himself. But, to get to the nub of the matter, what is this British reductionist ideology, around which all these people and organizations orbit?
“A Life Not Worthy to be Lived”
In 2012 the British Humanist Association presented its “Award for Distinguished Services to Humanism” to Richard Dawkins. Showing his colors in clear fashion, Dawkins opened his acceptance speech by quoting Bertrand Russell, and closed with a poem by eugenicist Julian Huxley (himself a prior recipient of the same award – marking another step for Dawkins in Huxley’s footsteps).9
In his speech, Dawkins said, “we are closer cousins to amoebas than amoebas are to bacteria, we are very close cousins to amoebas and this puts us in our place.” Dawkins believes that mankind is simply an animal species, and has argued for legal rights for higher apes along these “scientific” grounds. A 1997 secular humanism declaration signed by Dawkins (along with Kurtz) stated their view even more clearly,
As far as the scientific enterprise can determine, Homo sapiens is a member of the animal kingdom. Human capabilities appear to differ in degree, not in kind, from those found among the higher animals. Humankind’s rich repertoire of thoughts, feelings, aspirations, and hopes seems to arise from electrochemical brain processes, not from an immaterial soul that operates in ways no instrument can discover.10
But it is worse than that. For this entire reductionist school, life itself is nothing but a product of chemistry and physics. As was asserted in the above-cited gushfest between Dawkins and Tyson, “biology [is] a junior science to physics” because “life is just the extreme expression of complex chemistry,” and chemistry is just an expression of physics.
Again, these are not original ideas to these mouthpieces, they have simply made a career popularizing this imperial doctrine under the false name of science. They have been employed as spigots, through which some very old British sewage flows.
Operating from such fundamental premises, Dawkins has stated that aborting defective fetuses is the “moral” thing to do (a statement the eugenicist Julian Huxley would have surely applauded). When faced with public backlash, Dawkins hides behind the liberal curtain, stating we all define our own personal view of morality,11 but that doesn’t negate the fraudulent and dangerous logical-axiomatic basis of his thoughts (which he claims hold scientific truth) – the very same fraudulent and dangerous axioms promoted by the popular science mouthpieces listed above.
Who, in this utilitarian, reductionist world-view can define the boundaries for such actions? What stops the practices of eugenics and population reduction from being able to satisfy the need to “increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering” which Dawkins defines as morality? Perhaps Dawkins may claim he has a line that can’t be crossed, but that line would likely have to be defined by his fears of the reaction of society to his beliefs, not by the nature of the beliefs themselves.
Said otherwise, who has the right to say there is “such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived,” and who would determine the criterion for “worthy”? This was the warning of Dr. Leo Alexander, who had participated in the prosecution of sixteen German Nazi officials for their role in the mass extermination of those considered “useless eaters” during Hitler’s reign. Dr. Alexander said the mass extermination doctrine started small, with concepts of “rational utility,” which led to horrific logical consequences. In 1949, one year after Dawkins’ parallel, Huxley, used his position as director of UNESCO to call for the revival of eugenics, Dr. Alexander stated the principle at issue regarding the Nazi genocide:
Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they had started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, and finally all non-Aryans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedge-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude towards the non-rehabilitable sick. It is, therefore, this subtle shift in emphasis of the physicians’ attitude that one must thoroughly investigate… 12
Surely Dawkins would deny that his ideas are axiomatically consistent with the Nazis, but such a denial could only be based on his claimed rights to liberalism, not one derivable from his scientific views.
But there is no need to speculate about how Dawkins would personally have responded to a chance to pal up with Josef Mengele in the social context of protection and acceptance of such horrors. We already have clear demonstrations of the consistency between this British establishment ideology and the horrors of Nazism.
The Nazi regime was itself initially supported by the British Empire.13 In the 1930s, Bank of England Director Montagu Norman was close friends with Hitler’s top banker, Hjalmar Schacht, and maintained the financial flows of the Nazis into the war. The man who became Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was operating as a Nazi SS officer (until he resigned to marry the soon to be Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, signing his resignation “Heil Hitler”). The man who became the Royal Consort to the Queen Elizabeth II of England, Prince Philip, was raised by Nazi supporters, with his uncle and sponsor being a central figure in British-Nazi relations. After the war, Bernhard became director of Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), spanning the time period for which when KLM would later be accused of covertly flying Nazi war criminals out of Germany to avoid prosecution.14 As stated above, Philip and Bernhard teamed up with the eugenicist whom Dawkins appears to have shadowed, Julian Huxley, to found the modern environmentalist movement.
Prior to the Nazi genocide, the British had run their fair share of genocides, stretching from the Irish Potato Famine, to a century of famines in India, to horrors in Africa. By the 1930s the British already had much to teach the Nazis.
Dawkins’ Down’s syndrome morality is not surprising, nor is it original. He is simply a product of his British intellectual heritage.
What is ‘The Cosmos,’ Really?
Thus, it is disgusting to watch these self-proclaimed “humanists” gushing over the line told to otherwise depressed dupes of this reductionist doctrine: yes, we’re telling you that you’re an insignificant accumulation of particles with no real meaning, but don’t be sad, “we are all made of stardust.”
A particular false-science narrative being popularized by these pop science mouthpieces is that it is mankind’s elevated self-view which blocks the development of science: the claim that science is held back by the “arrogant” belief that mankind is something different than just a smart ape – an ape which, to them, is nothing more than a collection of bio-molecules, controlled by chemistry, and ultimately governed by a fixed set of mathematical laws of physics (governing atomic particles produced in the life-cycle of stars).
Ironically for this stardust fascism doctrine, the self-proclaimed “humanist” movement founds itself on the exact opposite principles as the humanist movement of the golden renaissance which actually launched modern science.
As an example, take a particularly popular broken-record narrative repeated by the pop science spigots, the assertion that the false belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe not only expressed mankind’s egotistical view, but, more importantly, that it could never be reconciled with a view of mankind as anything but insignificant. Their conclusion: mankind’s insignificance is both the conclusion and the basis for science. But, what is the actual history of the collapse of the geocentric view?
It was Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa who, already in the 15th century, not only shattered the claim that the Earth was in the center of the Universe, but more broadly, shattered the entire sense perceptual, geometrical framework upon which the geocentric view was based and which had constricted all scientific thought until that point. It was Cusa, in his 1440 De Docta Ignorantia, who argued that the Universe had no fixed center (any more than everywhere is its center), an understanding which Tyson repeats in the opening of his referenced dialogue with Dawkins, but which Cusa had been the first to elaborate 575 years earlier.
How did Cusa first develop this understanding? Not by self-flagellation over the arrogance of man, but through his recognition of a uniquely creative quality of the human mind, distinguishing mankind from any mere animal species. Cusa recognized the fundamental fallacies in the previous views of science, and was fully humbled by the ironies posed. But the resolution for Cusa (which was critical in the birth of modern science) was found in a higher discovery of the potential of the human mind. Geometrical conceptions of space and time took a backseat, and it was mankind’s uniquely creative capabilities which were shown to be central to mankind’s position in the universe (a universe composed of action and change, not space and time).
Following Cusa, it was Johannes Kepler who demonstrated the validity of Cusa’s conceptions. Kepler’s universal principle of gravitation was discovered by the capabilities unique to the human mind, as investigated by Cusa, not by Newton’s mathematics, nor by the observations of Galileo.15 Discovery does not come from observation, nor from the senses or synthetic extensions of senses. It comes from a capability unique to the human mind, a capability defined as human creativity.
If one wants a true “poetry of science,” read Edgar Allen Poe. Study Poe’s ironical Mellonta Tauta, for example, and see his own insights into both, the fraud of this same British reductionist school, and the contrary brilliance of Kepler.16
This “renaissance principle” is centered around the understanding of the capability of the human mind for a type of action uniquely absent from lower forms of life: the creative powers of the human mind.
For example, this was the principled conception underlying the foundation of the constitutional republic of the United States,17 which was why the father of the utilitarian doctrine at the heart of the “humanist” counter-gang operation, Jeremy Bentham, was a leading British operative intent on crushing the newly formed United States of America. 18
The above-quoted claim of the secular humanist doctrine, “human capabilities appear to differ in degree, not in kind, from those found among the higher animals,” is, in essence, a fascist doctrine. This is the axiomatic basis behind Bentham’s hatred of the United States, then, as much as of Dawkins’ utilitarian views on Down’s syndrome, now.
In contrast to the imperial narratives promulgated by the “humanist” movement, the renaissance principle has been the actual common thread underlying the development of competent science, as through Gottfried Leibniz’s continuation of Kepler’s work (in opposition to the British fraud promoted under the name of Newton), stretching all the way into the revolutionary early 20th century work of Albert Einstein, Max Plank, Vladimir Vernadsky, and, later, Lyndon LaRouche in his development of the science of physical economics premised on his scientific understanding of human creativity.
The Future of Science
Much can be said of Plank and Einstein’s views on these matters, but the theme of this writing directs us to some particular thoughts of the great Russian-Ukrainian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky. For example, the unoriginal stardust crisis was treated explicitly by Vernadsky in his 1931 paper, “The Study of Life Phenomena and the New Physics.” To quote from his opening,
“The scientific picture of a Universe encompassed by Newton’s laws left within it no place for any single one of the manifestations of life and, at the same time, it seemed that it had achieved the ultimate scientific perfection. Not only Man, not only everything living, but even our entire planet was lost in the infinity of the Cosmos. Before that time, in scientific, religious, philosophical, and artistic constructs alike, Man – and through him the phenomena of life – had occupied the central place in the Cosmos. At the end of the XVII century, such notions disappeared from the scientific conceptions of the edifice of the world. While expanding the world to extraordinary dimensions, the new scientific world view simultaneously reduced Man, with all his interests and achievements, and reduced all the phenomena of life, to the position of a negligible speck in the Cosmos… These feelings have been expressed and justified in the cosmogonies that have appeared as a consequence of these observations. Just recently, the English astronomer J. Jeans expressed them in speeches that drew particular attention. It has seemed to be ever more confirmed by the successes of precise knowledge, that life is ephemeral, negligible, and accidental in the Cosmos.
But this new growth of the scientific picture of the Universe, which is being constructed in the old framework of scientific thought, has encountered for the first time another, deeper current in the scientific understanding of the world, one which fundamentally changes the empirically obtained picture of the Cosmos. Neither philosophical analysis nor religious feeling, but scientific thought is beginning to introduce corrections, and to illuminate in a new way the long familiar, but alien to human life scientific picture of the Cosmos. Founded on astrophysical observations and theories, it is changing, unexpectedly for its contemporaries, under the influence of a profound revolution in the basic constructs of physics. A new wave of a new scientific construction of the Universe is rising. And it places the centuries-old burning contradiction in a new framework.”
Vernadsky’s revolutionary work centered around his non-reductionist studies of the capabilities of life and of the human mind. As non-reducable phenomena of the universe, Vernadsky recognized that the implications of his work posed critical new challenges, namely: physics in a cosmos which intrinsically expresses the potential for life, per se, and for human creativity, per se.
The work of Vernadsky was largely not continued in its fundamentals, as the spread of reductionism and the mathematization of science brought science under the slavery of the paradigm now spewed by the spigots Dawkins, et al. Bertrand Russell himself played a central role in this, both in the Anglo-American sphere, and in the Soviet Union.19 This includes Russell’s co-thinker in the Soviet Union, A. I. Oparin, who developed the thesis for life’s origination as a product of non-life, which was then adopted by J. B. S. Haldane in Great Britain, and promoted by the same H. G. Wells and Julian Huxley, as in their 1929 book, The Science of Life. 20
Within Russia at the time, Vernadsky fought against the ridiculous work of Oparin, laying out entire new branches of science as he did so. For Vernadsky, the assumption of life as a product of non-life could not be made a priori, and the assumption that the capabilities of mankind are a product of an animal biology, likewise, could not be made. In each of these cases, to the contrary, a qualitatively higher capability for action is expressed, and it is an unjustified, reductionist ideological assertion to claim the potentials of the higher domain can be derived from the properties of the lower. Such an assertion is not merely unproven, it runs contrary to the actual process of the creation and development of modern science.
Instead, Vernadsky rigorously studied living processes, per se, and studied human processes, per se, developing his unique conceptions of the biosphere and the noosphere, and laying the groundwork for a new era of science, waiting to take off from the implications of these conceptions.
The great American thinker and statesman Lyndon LaRouche, by an independent track, has taken this study of the unique capabilities of the creativity unique to the human mind to greater precision in his science of physical economics and its broader implications.
To go further, today, science needs a resurgence of this renaissance principle. Creativity, itself, as a capability which mankind wields, is, ultimately, the primary subject of scientific study. This, then, as now, remains the basis for the future of science: the study of the power of the human mind to fundamentally change its relationship to the universe. Time, space, and matter fall as subordinated shadows of this true subject of science.
In short, mankind is not created from stardust – with fusion, mankind is the creator of stardust. It is the human mind which will rule stars.
“Aries Tottle flourished supreme until advent of one Hog, surnamed the ‘Ettrick Shepherd,’ who preached an entirely different system, which he called the a posteriori or inductive… Now I do not complain of these ancients so much because their logic is, by their own showing, utterly baseless, worthless and fantastic altogether, as because of their pompous and imbecile proscription of all other roads of Truth, of all other means for its attainment than the two preposterous paths- the one of creeping and the one of crawling- to which they have dared to confine the Soul that loves nothing so well as to soar. By the by, my dear friend, do you not think it would have puzzled these ancient dogmaticians to have determined by which of their two roads it was that the most important and most sublime of all their truths was, in effect, attained? I mean the truth of Gravitation. Newton owed it to Kepler. Kepler admitted that his three laws were guessed at- these three laws of all laws which led the great Inglitch mathematician to his principle, the basis of all physical principle- to go behind which we must enter the Kingdom of Metaphysics. Kepler guessed- that is to say imagined.”