Charles Darwin and Evolution - RR161AE58

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Contents

Lesson

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Charles Darwin and Evolution
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 58
Length: 1:01:05
TapeCode: RR161AE58
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
From the Easy Chair.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission


Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161AE58, Charles Darwin and Evolution from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 162, January 15, 1988.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to discuss Charles Darwin and generally evolution. By way of introduction I would like to cite a recent book written by Michael Denton, D E N T O N, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. This book was published I 1986 by Adler and Adler and is quite an interesting work, because here is a man who is not a Christian whose specialty is molecular biology who says that there is clearly no evidence for Darwin and evolution. He says, in brief, we don’t know what happened.

He calls attention, for example, in his book on page 72, to professor Tyndall’s lecture in 1874 in which he says, and I quote, “The basis of the doctrine of evolution consists not in an experimental demonstration, but in its general harmony with scientific thought,” unquote.

Then he also calls attention to the fact that the issue is really ultimately a religious one. I quote from the latter portion of his book. In fact, very nearly the last words in the book. “The entire scientific ethos and philosophy of modern western man is based to a large extent upon the central claim of Darwin’s theory that humanity was not born by the creative intention of a deity, but by a completely mindless trial and error selection of random molecular patterns. The cultural importance of evolution theory is therefore immeasurable forming as it does the center piece, the crown achievement of the naturalistic view of the world, the final triumph of the secular thesis which since the end of the middle ages has displaced the old naïve cosmology of Genesis from the western mind. The 20th century would being incomprehensible without the Darwinian revolution. The social and political currents which have swept the world in the past 80 years would have been impossible without is intellectual sanction. It is ironic to recall that it was the increasingly secular outlook in the 19th century which initially eased the way for the acceptance of evolution while today it is, perhaps, the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and skeptical outlook of the 20th century. What was once a deduction from materialism has today become its foundation. Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the 20th century,” unquote. [00:04:03]

Now this is a very interesting statement by a man who

Now this is a very interesting statement by a man who does not believe in God or in Creationism, but simply says that it, like Darwinism is a myth. But the key myth, the myth that explains the 20th century more than anything else, the world was really hungry for Darwin. They were predominantly unbelievers. They wanted some excuse to junk the Bible and when Darwin’s book was published, On the Origin of Species in 1859, although it was a dull book as far as the content was concerned, it sold out in 48 hours, a remarkable fact. And it was welcomed by people in the Church and throughout England and throughout the world. Queen Victoria was among those who welcomed it, because it made it unnecessary for her to believe a great deal of the Bible.

So the world was relieved that Darwin had given them the key theory to dispose of the world of the Bible.

Since then it has remade our culture. One of the interesting things is that immediately Karl Marx and Frederic Engels congratulated each other that they had arrived, that Darwin’s theory made Marxism inevitable, because it had created the materialistic basis for culture that made their theory inescapable, because theirs claimed to be a theory explaining the evolution of economics and of human history.

Darwin politely refused Marx’ request to dedicate his book to him, because he was afraid that it would create problems for his theory, evolution, if Marx did dedicate his book to Darwin. [00:06:28]

Well, with that introduction, Otto, what would you

Well, with that introduction, Otto, what would you like to say?

[Scott] Well, that is quite an introduction. You have almost covered the subject.

[Rushdoony] No. By no means.

[Scott] Well, at any rate I think that despite the grand eloquence of that author you quoted, that Thomas S. Kohn has put his finger on it a little more precisely. Kohn pointed out in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions that there were all kinds of individuals talking about evolution before Darwin. Darwin’s real contribution was to remove a goal from evolution and say that it was a random development without purpose. And that was the great innovation, because without purpose meant without God.

Now randomness... And you wrote a... you wrote about this. And so I am ... I am preaching to the choir here to an extent.

Now to remove God was one thing, but as soon as Darwin removed God to the satisfaction of those who wanted to see God removed, it was necessary to put up another one. And so the next one that was put up very quickly, almost without a shift, without address was science. This great phantom rose up, science, which was going to take care of all of us and take care of all the problems of the world. So then evolution became married to science.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the goal of science is to improve all of us. So that you come out of it with something entirely different. Instead of Atheism you come out with this is why Marx and Engels thought their day had come, because they were sort of crackpot claimers of being scientific.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I mean, if anyone has ever had the patience to struggle through Das Kapital you know that that man’s mind was too disorganized to be scientific...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...or rational even...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... for that matter. I mean he was like a magpie. He picked up all kinds of details, some salient and some ridiculous and mingled them all together in a sort of an egg beater of his brain. [00:09:14]

But...

[Rushdoony] A beautiful description of his mind.

[Scott] So what we have come out of is Darwinian... what... Darwin... Darwinism evolved into something different than Darwin and Racism was one of the fall outs because of the idea of the advanced scientific man and the backward primitive man. And, of course, in 1860 they were encountering primitive man in central Africa and in other places, which is quite a shock.

So...

[Rushdoony] Well, Denton in his book cites that passage.

[Scott] Does he?

[Rushdoony] From Kohn.

[Scott] Oh, does he?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes. He tries...

[Scott] All right. I will take back what I said, then.

[Rushdoony] A key factor in the importance of Darwin, Darwin...

[Scott] Very much.

[Rushdoony] ...implied that.

[Scott] Right.

[Rushdoony] And Gordon Childs gave the perfect answer to what followed in a book written, oh, I guess in the early 50s and still in print.

[Scott] What Really Happened in History?

[Rushdoony] Man makes himself.

[Scott] Oh.

[Rushdoony] Because his thesis is that, of course, Darwin opened the door for man to realize what happened and now that he can take charge of his own evolution.

[Scott] Oh, isn't that {?}.

[Rushdoony] So man now replaces God.

[Scott] Manufacture himself.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, the gene splicers are trying to do this.

[Rushdoony] Exactly. And that is what all our science, so-called, is about today. They are going to take charge of evolution and direct the course of history. And we are impediments, because we hold to ideas that have no place in their kind of world.

[Scott] Well, it is very interesting. I have here something from the Times literary supplement I London in which he says that Darwin’s great problem or ... or the Darwinians and there were Darwinians before Darwin as we know, was the work of James Cowles Pritchard. And Pritchard, apparently was the great scholar of the biblical theory of history and his volumes on researches into the physical history of mankind. And the reviewer goes on to say, the reviewer is apparently also... his name is J. W. Burrough, a specialist in the Darwinian Pritchard period who says that the religious revival in Great Britain from the late 18th century to the early 19th century retarded the acceptance of evolution in Britain, which otherwise would have flown naturally out of the French Revolution. [00:12:19]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. There is reason to believe that that is right.

You mentioned racism as one of the contributions of Darwin and that is very true. It was implicit in everything he wrote.

[Scott] Very much so.

[Rushdoony] It was a part of the development of science. It did not exist previously.

[Scott] No, because Christianity is not racist. Christianity accepts all races and all people and the Darwinian theory sets up a hierarchy of progress.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...in which you are graded by the progress you have made. So then you have higher races and lower races.

[Rushdoony] Whereas in the biblical perspective it was people of higher or lower morality so that they could change their faith and their morality and be on a level with others.

[Scott] Well, there have been lots of ... lots of things which have exploded various parts of the Darwinian observations. Of course, you know, he was uneasy about it himself. He said, “We can’t explain the eye.” But I look, for instance, at the black people of South Africa. Now the... the most of them flooded into South Africa in this century. There were black people in South Africa in the 19th and the 18th centuries, too, but they were relatively few. There was no particular need of them. As the need really expanded with the mines and with the growth of industry in South Africa. And that really attracted millions of Africans and so we are talking now about people who came from central Africa, like the Zulus, who were in a very primitive condition. They didn’t use the wheel for transport. It is not to say that they were immoral. They had puritanical rules and cultures of their own. They were warlike. But they were not advanced technologically and they were not, so to speak, scientific.

Now placed under the white government of South Africa and exposed to education, exposed to medicine and so forth many of them have made the leap into the 20th century and into the very top levels. They have black physicists down there. They have engineers, lawyers and doctors and they pass the same examinations as everybody else. But according to the Darwinian theory this should have taken them 2000 years.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, there was an interesting essay written on Africa by a Canadian scientists a few years back. The man has since died. I am... his name escapes me at the moment. But in the course of it, he pointed out that the Africans have a great deal of inventive and scientific ability, but they had no cause to use it because of their contempt for the ordinary man. [00:15:34]

[Scott] Well, then they have slave system

[Scott] Well, then they have slave system.

[Rushdoony] Yes. He called attention to the, oh, chairs that were carried on the shoulders of strong men, the carriage chair for the chiefs and the kings. And how they had developed those to have a suspension principle were by whether they were going up a hill or down a hill or over rough ground. The king or chief being carried was always on the level.

And he said, “This is a suspension premise which automotive engineers have only developed in fairly recent years, but the Africans have had it all these years.”

But there was no need to develop anything as long as you had slaves and as long as the common man was undeserving of anything except what he had.

[Scott] Well, don’t forget Shoate’s argument on the equality of primitive people.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Whereas a hut is all the same size, where the possessions are equally held in common, so to speak. Only the chief... so you have the fellow {?} and the chief, the herds and the herdsmen.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Sandlin] And you have the slave idea which the Greeks, Romans had and some of the ancients that as long as you had slaves, why make their labor any lighter with inventions.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And you would have a rich continent where the game was enough to keep you going. And the women could take care of agriculture. And Child, by the way, the historian who believes that women invented agriculture. Men hunted and fought. But the women were scratching for food and they were the ones who were the first farmers.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And I think there is probably a lot of plausibility to that.

[Rushdoony] Well, one of the aspects of Darwin’s work which is too little recognized concerns women. Some scholars lately have written on it.

The Middle Ages gave a high place to women. They were important. They had power and they had vast capabilities. However, as the Aristotelian thinking revived, Aristotle’s view of women which was a very low one, began to prevail. And the Renaissance and Enlightenment furthered that. With the Enlightenment, of course, it was also held that men represent reason and women emotions so that women are comparable to children. [00:18:29]

Now Darwin came along and gave a biological basis,...

Now Darwin came along and gave a biological basis, supposedly, a biological basis to that so that anti Feminist thinking proliferated among those who succeeded Darwin and was based on a number of passages in Darwin.

So the Feminists are all together wrong in turning against Christianity. It is another scapegoat use of the faith when actually it has been the pagan, the Enlightenment and the Darwinian traditions that have consistently down graded women.

[Scott] Well, of course, science, if we want to come back to this. Science has down graded all human beings.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The scientist looks at a human being as simply a subject, an experimental subject, no different basically than a guinea pig. So we have the scientific use of medicine where part of the patients are given placebos and the other part are given the new medicine and none of the patients know which is which. Only that way, they say, can they determine whether or not a new medicine works. Well, look at the cruelty of this. Look at the inherent cruelty of placing one group of patients in an impossible position and only trying to help the other group. In order to prove what? They could just as easily prove by giving the group, all the group the medicine to see if it works or not.

But that is all very mild instance of the inhumanity of modern science. The reduction of liberty that science has brought into being has ushered in. There are some observers now, sociologists, who believe that the expansion of technology in the form of giant computers makes liberty impossible in the future.

[Rushdoony] Yes. A clipping was sent to me by John Thorson of our Chalcedon family, arrived just two, three days ago. One scientist is saying we have got to ask women who are planning to get abortions to postpone it to as late a date as possible, because it will give us more mature tissue...

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...for our use. [00:21:19]

[Scott] Yes... to sell the organs.

[Rushdoony] Yes. That it should be regular practice to postpone it until they can farm the fetuses better, harvest them better.

[Scott] Well, now would you call this cannibalism?

[Rushdoony] Certainly, the worst form of cannibalism.

[Scott] And this is in the name of science.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] We have these enormous experiments going on at the same time that we have legalized abortion both in the name of science.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So science is really more elastic than almost any religion we can think of, because it permits anything.

[Rushdoony] Back in the late 20s or early 30s Jose Ortega y Gasset in his book on... what was it? The Revolt of the Masses, declared that the new barbarians who were going to take over before long would be the scientists and he felt they would be the ultimate barbarians.

[Scott] Well, yes, because they are totally amoral. Now even the barbarians... the Greeks used the term and implied that the barbarians were totally inferior, but all the barbarians, using the Greek term, had morals. There were things that they wouldn’t do. There is no tribe you can discover that doesn’t bar certain activities. But science bars nothing.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Just an interesting side light. I throw this in for whatever it is worth. The word barbarian is an old one. And it has gone into the language in the form of one name also Barbara. Now it is interesting that it never became a man’s name.

[Scott] Barbara is that right? It does make a pun, don’t you think? Isn’t that a pun? It is.

[Rushdoony] It comes to...

[Scott] No, is it true?

[Rushdoony] Yes. It comes from Barbarian.

[Scott] Oh, goodness.

[Rushdoony] And, of course, it is Dorothy’s middle name.

[Scott] We will forget you said that.

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Scott] It is... it is... it is interesting that eugenics is one of the fall outs of Mr. Darwin’s efforts. His first cousin, was it Galton?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ... who started the idea of eugenics and of breeding people which culminated in one sense in Hitler’s efforts to create the new Aryan. And, in another sense, in the arguments of the Soviets that they were going to create a new man. [00:24:19]

[Rushdoony] You know that Darwin had a legitimate reason

[Rushdoony] You know that Darwin had a legitimate reason for being interested in eugenics and breeding because like so much of the British royalty and the European royalty, his own family had a great deal of inbreeding, close relatives marrying in order to conserve the property they had.

[Scott] Well, it was the... I have forgotten the name of the fortune, the ceramic people.

[Rushdoony] Wedgewood.

[Scott] Wedgewood. That is right. And Darwin married his own first cousin.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So which put some more of the family money together. A first cousin is a very close relationship.

[Rushdoony] Yes and the Darwin family was not free form its taint as a result of all of these intermarriages.

[Scott] That is interesting. But what is more interesting is the fact that when you bring up these matters, I spoke to the Freedom Foundation’s group. They had secondary school teachers, high school teachers at their summer camp and I was... I was one of the conservative speakers. Dwight Murphy was another. Everyone else was liberal. And when I spoke about Darwin and the name of his great work, the ... what is it? The Origin of the Species or the Survival of Favored Races in the Struggle of Life.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] One of the teachers in the front row got so excited that he jumped up and hollered, “That is not true.”

[Rushdoony] That is the actual title of the book

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is a racist title if there ever was one.

[Scott] That is right. And I had to... I had somebody send out for a catalog to show it to him at the end of the talk. And he turned his back and walked away. He was very indignant as though I had invented this.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I have encountered that sort of thing from a superintendent of schools once. When I gave a citation of something in an education report by the former president of Harvard, the one who was high commissioner in Germany, a chemist.

[Scott] Conant.

[Rushdoony] Yes. J. Bryant Conant, a report he wrote for the NEA. And he charged me in the meeting with being a liar when I produced the statements Xeroxed from the book. He refused to acknowledge it. [00:27:12]

[Scott] Well, what can you say? This was an educated

[Scott] Well, what can you say? This was an educated...

[Rushdoony] A superintendent.

[Scott] A superintendent.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the one that challenged me was... had a master’s degree and was teaching high school to kids. I don’t know what he was teaching them, but he was teaching.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Typical of the modern educational establishment.

[Scott] Well, when we are talking about science and scientists and morals and lack of morals and so forth, I really think I should say that we are talking about non Christian scientists.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But the whole field has fallen prey to a sort of hubris. The only letters of complaint I receive in any number, noticeable numbers from my essays in the Chalcedon Report have been those that contained any criticism of any scientist or science.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And then I have been called sharply to brook right away as though I have suddenly offended. You can say anything about a man’s religion, but not against science. Well, of course, science, then, is his religion.

[Rushdoony] On one occasion several years back I don’t recall what it was, but it was something that was very clearly established and obvious, but I was told it was wrong to have such a statement in a Christian publication, because we have enough battles to fight without challenging science whether they are right or wrong.

[Scott] Well, that is ridiculous.

[Rushdoony] Of course, but it is very prevalent.

[Scott] The... you recall I once wrote something called New Crimes in which I was talking about the misuse and abuse of human beings by scientists for scientific purposes.

Now you mentioned that business of selling organs and I have no doubt that these are genuine sales and that they are expensive sales, because we are talking about the extension of life. Some of these organs are the only things that will keep the patient alive and the doctors immediately say, “Well, after all, this is a worthy cause.” But we know that there is always some money involved.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And we know that it is very difficult to find what is the greater value when these matters are brought up.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Of course, your essay on Galileo pointing out how fraudulent the history books are on that point about the so-called persecution of Galileo upsets a number of people, particularly those connected with the sciences. [00:30:13]

[Scott] And yet that information was abstracted from

[Scott] And yet that information was abstracted from a book on Galileo by Santalana of MIT who was a scientific historian.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] A historian of science.

[Rushdoony] And it comes from the actual records of the time.

[Scott] Yes. Now he was a publicity hound.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

I would like to refer to a very, very important article in a journal, Language and Style. Language and Style, volume 19, number two, Spring, 1986 has a lead article by Robert Keefe, a professor who writes on literati, language and Darwinism. {?} very, very important one. He points out how the era prior to Darwin was the age of the literary man, of literacy. So much so that he said, perhaps, the motto could have been scribo ergo sum, I write, therefore I am. And some of the great works of all time were produced in that era, works of research, multi volume works, phenomenal research. But then came Darwin. And Darwin in his book The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex wrote as follows about language, and I quote Darwin.

“I cannot doubt that language owes its origin to the imitation and modification, aided by signs and gestures, of various natural sounds, the voices of other animals, and man's own instinctive cries aided by signs and gestures... primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably first used his voice in producing true musical cadences, that is in singing, as do some of the gibbon-apes at the present day; and we may conclude from a widely-spread analogy, that this power would have been especially exerted during the courtship of the sexes,--would have expressed various emotions, such as love, jealousy, triumph,--and would have served as a challenge to rivals. It is, therefore, probable that the imitation of musical cries by articulate sounds may have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions,” unquote. [00:33:14]

So he says language was just the primitive man related

So he says language was just the primitive man related to the apes raising his voice in sex stared natural song. I am using Dr. Keefe’s phrase.

Well, as Dr. Keefe goes on to say the idea that language was man’s kinship to God, that in a sense through language man had in his own being the trumpet of the Lord as some called it was dissipated so that as Keefe writes, and I quote, “In origin and in essence, then, our voice, our language, our words, are like the plumage of the peafowl, like the wing flapping dance of the ostrich. They are weapons in the struggle to breed,” unquote.

Now with is this theory the end of the age of literacy was inaugurated by Darwin. By the 1950s you had educators in this country and elsewhere as well saying that perhaps one third of the people born or as many as 50 percent are not of the verbal type so that to learn how to read and write is not natural for them. And we have seen the progressive decline in the ability to express one’s self, to write, to speak and the cultivation in schools of black English and other forms of illiteracy following as a result of this. And you have the macho behavior, the hairstyle everything replacing language.

[Scott] You are going too far, too fast, if you don’t mid. You are going much too far, much too fast.

[Rushdoony] Well, not as far as Dr. Keefe goes.

[Scott] Not as far as Dr. Keefe goes, but as far as I am concerned, because you said in one long strain a whole evolution from 1860 to 1987 and that is too quick. That is too quick, I think, for the average person to grasp. It is too quick for me to grasp.

Beginning with the idea that language is merely an expression of sex, a sex call. I would prefer to go back to Picard’s argument that when Adam was I the garden it wasn’t necessary to speak. His communication with God was total. And language appeared as a means of communication after he was expelled from the garden, because then his connection with God was severed and language as the only means of communication left. In other words, language was given Adam after the expulsion from the garden. And I think that is a marvelous thought. And I think that to reduce language to sex is to reveal the character of the writer. [00:36:55]

[Rushdoony] Exactly and it deals

[Rushdoony] Exactly and it deals...

[Scott] This is a pornographer.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Posing as a scientist.

[Rushdoony] Darwin. Yes.

[Scott] This is... this is pornography. This is the basest and the most course possible connotation to make.

[Rushdoony] Of course, but, you see, as Keefe points out, after Darwin, all thinking in terms of any classical or Christian concept of language disappeared.

[Scott] Well....

[Rushdoony] ...almost over night.

[Scott] You are giving him too much credit. I said that to you before when you brought this up. The decline of faith, to Darwin...

You know there could have been a Darwin in the 12th century and he would have gotten nowhere. Darwin didn’t create the loss of faith.

[Rushdoony] No, but the point is and I think Keefe is right. It is true that evolution has deep roots in Greek thought, then revived with the enlightenment, cultural evolution propounded by Hegel about 50 years or more before Darwin.

[Scott] All right, what you...

[Rushdoony] And then...

[Scott] What you are really talking about is the loss of faith by the intellectuals.

[Rushdoony] Yes, but then Darwin comes along and he reduces language which up to his time was regarded differently. Max Mohler overnight was turned from a great scholar into an idiot and a fool, an object of ridicule, because all his theories about language an the inner relationship were suddenly outmoded and Andrew Lang {?}

[Scott] Among... among the intellectuals. The intellectuals turned on him, because they had found a new fashion. Now the ... it is the duty of the intellectual to rationalize the civilization, to explain it, to carry the culture from generation to generation. When the intellectuals turn against a civilization, they turn against it totally and this is what they did here. You are paying it on to Mr. Darwin. Mr. Darwin was just one voice in a chorus of jackdaws. [00:39:24]

[Rushdoony] Except that he is the pivotal point

[Rushdoony] Except that he is the pivotal point...

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] The turning point, yes.

[Scott] He is... he is... he is a good symbol and... and it its true as Reeve says, but the ultimate argument here is that we are animals.

[Rushdoony] Yes. That is what Darwin insisted.

[Scott] That is... the language has no meaning, no significance, that what we say means nothing, that we are just simple animals.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] That we should be bred like animals, we should be treated like animals. No wonder Marx was jubilant, because Marx hated everybody. Everyone who met him could feel his hatred.

I mean, Marx... Marx didn’t have the nerve to kill himself, but he should have.

[Rushdoony] Yes, but you realize evolution, while it was current, was linked with some kind of pantheistic god in Hegel and in others. And Darwin’s great achievement was to eliminate that entirely, threw in the word god at the end of a... Origin of Species, but basically in his correspondence and in his private conversations he made it clear that was tacked on to...

[Scott] Satisfy the convention.

[Rushdoony] Yes, satisfy the conventions. But he eliminated God from the whole scene.

[Scott] Well, he didn’t. He did for his crowd. He did for his crowd. God is here.

[Rushdoony] But the point is culturally we are in the world of Darwin with God eliminated from education, eliminated from science, eliminated increasingly from religion.

[Scott] Well, here we have... we come back to it as sort of a conundrum, because the Soviet government with all its efforts thinks that 60 percent of its population is Christian.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] What are we talking about?

[Rushdoony] We are talking about the world of ideas, the world of the intellectuals. And what Keefe has written here describes that world.

[Scott] Well, it is only among the intellectuals...

[Rushdoony] And the world...

[Scott] And the intellectuals will...

[Rushdoony] No, no, no.

[Scott] ... will not always be there.

[Rushdoony] Except they are controlling education. They are controlling, they and their heirs, the media.

[Scott] What else.

[Rushdoony] Television, films, everything.

[Scott] Probably... probably what we are talking about here we may not say it, but the Sophists in Greece were stoned to death by the people.

[Rushdoony] I don’t think there is that much indignation in the people today.

[Scott] Well, I think it could be aroused. I think it could be aroused. [00:42:07]

You are... we are talking here... you know, they have had a long run, these people.

[Rushdoony] Yeah.

[Scott] They have had a long run. They have had... I, you know, as you know, I consider the Victorian period equivalent to the Enlightenment in the English speaking world. It was the equivalent of the French Enlightenment. And they ran pretty well up to about 15 years or so ago, really, the... the revival, the Christian revival has been relatively recent, quite recent here. It is only recently that we are getting intellectual discussions.

[Rushdoony] That is the important point, because the Sophists were stoned by the Greeks, but hey still prevailed, because the people stoning them had nothing to offer.

[Scott] Well, we do. All right.

[Rushdoony] But stoning isn’t going to do it. It is going to be changing the minds of men.

[Scott] I know. I didn’t bring up the stoning as a recommendation. I brought it up as an instance.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, we have had the grim reality that today the view of language that prevails in schools that I took...

[Scott] Well, yeah.

[Rushdoony] I took ... I studied philology at the university. It is totally Darwinian. And this comes from the top right down to the bottom to the earliest graves. It permeates our educational system. It is no wonder that the kids grow up behaving the way they do.

[Scott] Well, of course the very... just to hear those quotations made me indignant.

[Rushdoony] Oh, they don’t ... they... you can’t be...

[Scott] I tell you. This fellow here in... in a better ordered society would be exiled.

[Rushdoony] He is not happy about it. He is not a Christian, but he is to happy about what has happened to his world, because here he is a professor of English, writing in Language of Style, the name of the journal, An International Journal is the subtitle. And what has happened? The world is moving away from its specialty, literacy.

[Scott] Well, of course.

[Rushdoony] So he is not happy, but he paints a very grim picture of what has happened.

So what happens? Language now beginning with James Joyce becomes a private conversation increasingly.

[Scott] Well... Joyce... Joyce couldn’t even happen. He couldn’t continue. Joyce was a dead end, a dead end. Found there is no place to go after Joyce in that area.

[Rushdoony] Except that now the world of Joyce is the world of the young people. Their language is... [00:45:07]

[Scott] You are

[Scott] You are... you are stripping every optimistic statements I make, you are jumping up and down on it and I just will not lie...

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] Don’t...

[Scott] ... continue that way.

[Rushdoony] As a Christian I am very optimistic, but I am saying these people are going to perish. We are going to survive.

[Scott] Well, that is... that is different.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Ok. Now... now we are together.

[Rushdoony] Yes. These people have dug their own graves. It is a world without meaning.

[Scott] Well, it is a world...

[Rushdoony] It is a world without communication.

[Scott] Well, then how can they prevail?

[Rushdoony] They cannot prevail. They are going to die.

[Scott] I mean this is absolute suicide. It is suicide of reason.

[Rushdoony] Exactly, exactly.

[Scott] Now we are not... we were not animals. We never were. Darwin’s statement that we were notwithstanding.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Let me give you a quote from Water Peyter. Now, mind you, he is a Victorian.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And he, of course, dismisses as Keefe says, all religious utterances, because they are meaningless. He held that language wouldn’t stretch that far because the religious utterance insists that there is meaning. The most it will do, that language will do is to express an ultimately private vision. Quoting from Peyter.

“The writer is vindicating his liberty in the making of a vocabulary, an entire {?} composition for himself, his own true manner. The search of an instrument of the adequate expression of his peculiar sense of the world, he begets a vocabulary faithful to the coloring of his own spirit and {?} original,” unquote.

[Scott] Well, now that is {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now here we have a professor talking about writers and professors hate writers because professors are jealous of writers and always have been and always will be, because they can’t do what the writer can do. The writer can move the audience. The writer uses language as a musician uses music to move the audience up or down and into action or into inaction. And there is no way that these professors are going to eliminate writing or literature or ... or truth from the world.

The ... they have had a long run, but I would say that this particular argument, if it had been presented 25 years ago would have had a lot more... would have been a lot more current even though the educational system is falling apart. The fact of the matter is that there are groups appearing, Christian groups appearing which are playing the role of the old monastery, reviving the culture and the parallel is almost precise. We may be beleaguered and out numbered, but we have the quality. [00:48:24]

[Rushdoony] Oh, I couldn’t agree more

[Rushdoony] Oh, I couldn’t agree more.

[Scott] And this... this idiocy... how a man could write this and still teach, I don’t know, because this is an expression of utter and total despair.

[Rushdoony] And what else is there for the ungodly, for the unbelievers except that? And he is describing his world with a tremendous accuracy. And... well, let me read his concluding paragraph.

[multiple voices]

[Scott] You will sicken me. Go ahead.

[Rushdoony] I quote. “The Descent of Man made it very difficult for literati to maintain a level of linguistic pride. After 1871 or so only politicians would have dared to appropriate so large a metaphor concerning voice and speech. Darwin dislodged language from its position of ontological privilege, forced us to lower our voices and sing quieter songs now without the tone of confident proxy that sweeps over past and present predicting the future. We put our circus animals through their paces. We take inventory of our rag and bone shops. We dig potatoes with our pens and we see that as hard enough labor for a human being. We no longer possess the confidence, the energy or the ambition to command the trumpets of the Lord,” unquote.

[Scott] Speak for yourself.

[Rushdoony] Oh, of course.

[Scott] Absolutely. What a poor, pitiful bastard that was who wrote that.

[Rushdoony] Well, an honest one.

[Scott] That its rue.

[Rushdoony] An honest one.

[Scott] That is true. But a pitiful one.

[Rushdoony] Well...

[Scott] Can you imagine learning coming to that cul-de-sac?

[Rushdoony] Well, I can appreciate your horror of him, Otto, because, of course, we believe that language is a blessing of God.

[Scott] Yes it is.

[Rushdoony] To praise him and to glorify him with. And it has been debased and turned into, well, with Darwin only the gruntings of a sex starved animal.

[Scott] Well, look at the individuals who have reduced the Bible to pigeon English.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:51:00]

[Scott] Who have taken all these words, heavy with

[Scott] Who have taken all these words, heavy with the weight of centuries and reduced it, taken the music out.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

[Scott] And had the nerve...

[Rushdoony] Yes. Wolfton, about 30 years ago wrote a brilliant article in The New Yorker about 20 pages long on the idiocy of the modern translations. The translators, first he knowing the Greek and the Hebrew felt they were poor translators and, second, they destroyed the music of the original which the King James had captured so well.

[Scott] George Steiner, the philologist and writer who is a man I do not like and I am ... have head very mixed feelings, in the latest copy of The New Yorker he did a review of a long book about the Bible as literature and he exposed the writers so brilliantly I can’t... I should have brought it with me, because I will have to lend it to you.

[Rushdoony] I have that.

[Scott] Have you?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] He did a marvelous...

[Rushdoony] He did. Yes.

[Scott] ...marvelous job.

[Rushdoony] In fact, I did not know you had it and I brought it to you this evening and I will take it back, because it is worth saving.

[Scott] Yes, it is.

[Rushdoony] It is a nice one.

[Scott] Yes, it is. And a ... the ... the whole question of language and intelligence has been gone into by this various investigative, the ability to abstract, the ability to reason in the abstract. I had a discussion when I wrote the Raytheon book with the chief engineer of the company who didn’t have as much respect for my skill as he felt I should have for his. And I said, “Why should you feel that way? After all, zero is a writer’s concept.”

[Rushdoony] An interesting fact. Language, of course is disappearing as an expression of meaning with so many of the younger generation and with it any general knowledge. Today’s paper said that the National Geographic Society is appropriating some money to, I believe, the NEA, a useless appropriation, because knowledge of geography is so totally lacking among the graduates of schools today that they felt they had to do something to restore that. [00:54:08]

[Scott] Well, my daughter took a course in geography

[Scott] Well, my daughter took a course in geography in an attempt to get on top of the subject or learn a little bit because she realized she didn’t know anything. And do you know what they taught here? Geological structures.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The difference between gravel and the various strata in the earth. They didn’t talk at all about the location of the nations or the continents or the oceans or the seas or the rivers or anything else. Apparently it is a non subject.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They don’t teach it any more than they teach history.

[Rushdoony] When I was a boy we had to be able to fill on a map the location of all the nations in Europe...

[Scott] The capitals, the {?}

[multiple voices]

[Rushdoony] ...In America...

[Scott] Everywhere.

[Rushdoony] And we had to know all of the then 48 states and their capitals. Those were routine simple questions of geography.

[Scott] Now to go back, recovering somewhat from the effect of those quotes, the ... we no longer in the United States... I am verifying now what that rat said. We no longer evaluate people by their command of language, by their grammar, by their accent, by their vocabulary, by their references. What, then, do we value them by? How do we ... how do we estimate them?

[Rushdoony] In terms of how much they in tune they are with the current trends.

[Scott] Oh, yes, if they catch up with the fashion. Well, nothing fades faster than fashion.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And the intellectual fashion that Mr. Darwin launched is running now into the sand. These books that you have there, those two books attacking evolution from scientific viewpoints would not have been possible to have been published 20 years ago. And yet there are many more on the market...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...than those.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And even the professor’s article is an attack.

[Rushdoony] Yes. He is not happy about Darwin. He has no alternative.

[Scott] Now. What has Darwin done {?}.

[Rushdoony] He is very deeply distressed because language is disappearing in the English department...

[Scott] ... in England. Is this an English journal?

[Rushdoony] It is an international journal. It is...

[Scott] Is he... is he an English professor?

[Rushdoony] No. He is an American professor. I believe he is at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

[Scott] Well, our language, the American language is becoming something really bizarre. I hear people now on interview programs and want not putting words together that don’t belong together. And... and doing it apparently under the illusion that they are radiating some sort of... sort of erudition.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] I hear announcers mispronouncing place names.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Yes.

Well, the wonderful fact, as you did say, is that there are counter trends, that Christians are waking up, but we need to wake up faster.

[Scott] We do. We have to formulate more arguments on more levels.

[Rushdoony] The Christian school movement, of course, is very important in this respect in that the stress on language in the Christian schools is heavy.

[Scott] Well, that is very good. Now Reed Irvine, you know, has something called accuracy in academia.

[Rushdoony] Yes, I am familiar with it.

[Scott] And he is beginning to take a look at what the professors are doing in the classrooms in the universities and colleges and he has exposed some pretty flagrant scoundrels. Some of them remind me of Mr. Squeers in Dickens.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, our time is just about over. Is there a last word or two you want to add Otto?

[Scott] Well, I must say that Darwin was, as you says, more of a cookie monster than I had realized, possibly beaus I had never really... was a Darwinian. To me the chain of life is clear and it never occurred to me at any time that the links in the chain would move and displace each other. That just didn't seem sensible. The interrelationship of all living things, like the harmony of ... of ... the heavens, what the Greeks call the harmony of the spheres, the music of the spheres, the creation of God. The idea that it had to evolve just always seemed to me totally illogical.

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, it is illogic and it is because of the death of the idea of causality, the death of meaning that thinking such as Darwin’s could flourish.

Well, our time really is up. I want to thank you all for listening. We do appreciate it when you send us suggestions for subjects. We use some. We don’t use others. Sometimes we don’t use them because we don’t think we can talk that long on a subject. And don’t know as much about a particular subject as we do others. But we do welcome suggestions.

Thank you all and good night.

[Voice] Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized by ChristRules.com.

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