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While we're on the subject, here's another good Daily Grail article on Randi, this one zeroing in on his apparently inflated claims about the Carlos hoax:

http://dailygrail.com/Skepticism/2012/2/The-Carlos-HoaxHoax

BTW, one reason I rarely post anything about Randi is that some people see such posts as an invitation to make scurrilous comments about his personal life. I will delete any such comments as soon as I see them. I'm only concerned with Randi's public statements. His private life is totally off limits, as far as I'm concerned.

"For a detailed discussion, see the book "From Darwin to Hitler," by Richard Weikart.
-----------------

I bet I'm related to the guy who wrote that book. When I was in the first grade my teacher sent me to a speech therapist because I said my R's like W's, as in "wabbit" instead of "rabbit." I'm thinking some time in history before speech therapists and before most people were literate some common ancestor of ours had the same problem and so even though the spelling is a bit different, basically our names are the same. Probably not too far back in the distant past either.

Oh yeah, Randi strikes me as a very negative unhappy person. Me thinks he's in for a big surprise! Maybe he'll be happy he was wrong? It would be fun to be a fly on the wall and watch wouldn't it? {grin!}

Am I mistaken or does Mr. Randi have little formal education? I wouldn't be surprised. Most skeptical materialists seem to be stuck in a rather mechanical 19th Century Newtonian way of thinking about reality. They need to become enlightened to the reality of 21st Century Physics!

"If we did not respect the law of nature,
imposing our will by the right of the stronger, a day would come when the wild animals would again devour us-then the insects would eat the wild animals, and finally nothing would exist except the microbes…. By means of the struggle the elites are continually renewed. The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature." Adolf Hitler dictated to Martin Boherman
hitlers Table talks(not available in English) the ther is Dawkins
They feel uneducated, which they are;
often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-
headed headed intellectuals from the east
coast looking down on them, with some
justification they do.’ (Hooks, 2009).
Dawkins gave an interview to an Austrian
newspaper, Die Presse (July 30, 2005), in
which he said: “No decent person wants to
live in a society that works according to
Darwinian laws. … A Darwinian society would
be a fascist state.” (Dawkins, interview with Richard Dawkins, 2005)"
New Atheism as a Cult of Intellect [Kindle
Stephen Echard Musgrave

These intellectual/social Darwinist types always make me chuckle....they always place so much value on their "superior intellects".

In a real darwinist environment they would get their big brains bashed out by less intelligent, but physically superior specimens with warrior attitudes.

I know, I know, in their [the intellectual's] scheme of things they would use their superior intellects to manipulate the physically superior warriors to be their tools.

This is an easily disproven hypothesis. Put a Randi type in prison for a year and see if he emerges a) dead b) someone's bitch c) running the joint.

My money is on a or b.

Let's try it. We could call it the Randi challenge.

It is quite mind-boggling that Richard Weikart is so fulsomely celebrated for his condemnation of Darwin through Hitler. Weikart is not only badly stuck for material that would indicate some sort of causality between Darwin and the Third Reich's social policy, but he seems entirely to forget that eugenics was practised in the US since the turn of the 19th century, right up to WWII, and was the inspiration of the Third Reich's programme. (There is an excellent account of eugenics in the US and its financiers on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States .)

A half truth is not half of the truth; it is a lie. The Greats, inter alia Mark Twain and Tennyson, have said things to this exact effect. I add: Among contemporary historians, a half-truth is a noble truth if its objective is Nazi-bashing. So Weikart is a historian of standing, not a liar.

I thought Weikart's book was excellent, but it probably should have been called "From Haeckel to Hitler," because its main focus is German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel. Weikart makes it clear that Darwin was (mostly) opposed to eugenics practiced on humans, but Haeckel and others inspired by Darwin's theory had no such reservations. Haeckel, by the way, promoted the idea that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" by deliberately misrepresenting the stages of embryonic development.

Eugenics was popular among intellectuals in other countries, including the US ("Tender Is the Night" includes a dinner conversation among the ex-patriots about the desirability of eugenics), but in Germany its appeal trickled down to the less educated part of the population, thanks to tabloid broadsheets that popularized the idea of racial inferiority, the dangers of "mongrelization," and the superiority of Aryans. There was nothing quite this bad, or this pervasive, in the UK or the US.

Michael,

'... but it probably should have been called "From Haeckel to Hitler,"

Oh? That would only hide the fact that eugenics was promoted in US schools and to the US public long before anyone had even heard of Hitler.

'There was nothing quite this bad, or this pervasive, in the UK or the US.'

This is simply not true, at least not of the US. Most States in the US had legalised compulsory eugenics-based sterilisation by 1927. The informing of the general public, and particularly of school children, on the virtues of eugenics was particularly virulent during and after 1930. (You might be interested in reading the article by Susan Currell: note 3 in the Wiki link in my previous post.)

And I should add that there was no legal infrastructure in the Third Reich that enabled enforced eugenics sterilisations, nor was sterilisation ever practised on the German public. Third Reich eugenics was confined to the spreading of the view of Jewish genetic inferiority, which was the lurid 'justification' for the forbidding of marriage between Jews and Germans. This was far from nice, but nothing nearly as brutal as the court-ordered sterilisations in the US.

To try to keep hidden that US interest in eugenics reaches back to 1880, and that it became a policy of social practice, is a downright dishonest approach to history of eugenics.

This Book will shiver your timbers Murderous Science,by Benno Müller-Hill documents the willing involvement of German geneticists, psychiatrists and medical anthropologists in the selection of mental patients, Jews, gypsies and sick children for extermination and life-threatening experiments during the Hitler era. Eugenics experts from California made many War.

"And I should add that there was no legal infrastructure in the Third Reich that enabled enforced eugenics sterilisations, nor was sterilisation ever practised on the German public. Third Reich eugenics was confined to the spreading of the view of Jewish genetic inferiority ..."

Sophie, the Third Reich's official policy was to exterminate the Jewish population. It's not necessary to sterilize people you've already murdered. That would be a tad redundant.

However, you're mistaken anyway. Before the Holocaust, the Nazis did undertake a program of compulsory sterilization, starting in 1933:

http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/sterilization.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_human_experimentation#Sterilization_experiments

The law was extended six years later:

'In 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a "euthanasia decree" (later known as Action T4), which instituted a forced eugenics program extending the existing laws enabling sterilisation for those deemed genetically or socially unfit. Under this new policy doctors were allowed, and in some cases required, to take the lives of those deemed unfit rather than to sterilize them, as had been the law before.'

At the Wannsee Conference in 1942, the laws were further extended:

'Heydrich announced that "Mischlings" (a Nazi pejorative for mixed-"race" persons) of the first degree (persons with two Jewish grandparents) would be treated as Jews. This would not apply if they were married to a non-Jew and had children by that marriage. It would also not apply if they had been granted written exemption by "the highest offices of the Party and State." Such persons would instead be sterilized.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wannsee_Conference

You wrote, "...eugenics was promoted in US schools and to the US public long before anyone had even heard of Hitler."

No doubt, but it was also promoted in Germany long before anyone had heard of Hitler. Have you actually read Weikart's book? He gives roughly two hundred pages of concrete examples of the spread of eugenics theory from the Ivory Tower down to the level of the common man in Germany. He also discusses the specific tabloid newspapers and sensationalistic books that influenced Hitler as he developed his ideology.

Randi and many others don't understand evolution. They think that evolutionary forces favor the strong individual exclusively, when in fact such forces favor those species that successfully reproduce, regardless of the strength of individual members. It is our ability to cooperate and take care of each other that makes us viable as a species; alone, we are smart but weak naked apes in the woods. Thus, compassion toward weaker members of the species is not a fault but instead a strength.

steve em,

'... the willing involvement of German geneticists, psychiatrists and medical anthropologists ...'. How would you say that compares with the eugenic sterilisation of the US citizens as a matter of public policy enforced by law, and the systematic pushing of the eugenics philosophy in the US education system? I hope the latter two facts shiver your timbers too.

Darwinism, however, is the natural selection process of less advanced lifeforms. It's a completely unintelligent process that does not lead toward some type of social perfection. Darwinism has nothing to do with morality and is totally irrelevant to humans who make conscious decisions. To make Darwinism a social philosophy is really bad news.

I am well aware of the history of ther eugenics movement in the US.It was Eugenics experts from California that advised the Third Rich up until the war started.

What is chilling about Benno Hills book is that it exits the ultimate consequence in gruesom detail of the Neo Darwin mind set.

i am also aware of the United States War Crimes(my wife is half Mankato Sioux but she doe snot embrace victimhood just cynicism)) in fact Lincoln would have been hung at Nuremberg for targeting civilans and for ordering the abuse and starvation of Confederate priosners of war.
National guilt is not the issue its neo Darwinism.

The previous post was meant for Sophie. It was not meant to be a tirade aginst old Abe they would have hung Jeff Davis as well.
The point is that while war can make people do terrible things,but there is still an alleged moality involved(patriotism). Neo Darwinism has no place for morality,a point Dawkisn amde claer,it would be a facist state.

Michael,

'Have you actually read Weikart's book?' Yes. Obviously, you have too, for he does as you say, but only as you say, a fact you seem determined to ignore. So you do not address my point that worse was done with eugenics in the US. Any historian who pretends that the Germans were the uniquely culpable in the eugenics affair is a liar. Why does Weikart not even nod in the direction of eugenics as social policy backed by statute in the US from the 1920s right up to the US entry into WWII? Do you not mind that he does not?

"you do not address my point that worse was done with eugenics in the US."

I believe I addressed that point quite adequately. The Nazis passed compulsory eugenics laws in 1933 (sterilization) and 1939 (euthanasia), and expanded the reach of those laws in 1942 (euthanasia of most "mixed race" Germans, sterilization for the rest), then engaged in the Holocaust - the ultimate experiment in compulsory eugenics. See the links in my earlier comment for details.

Remember, you originally asserted, "... there was no legal infrastructure in the Third Reich that enabled enforced eugenics sterilisations, nor was sterilisation ever practised on the German public." This was incorrect.

I'm not saying the US is blame-free, but the Nazis were far more committed to eugenics, as the Holocaust alone should prove. And Weikart's point is not that Social Darwinism influenced only the Germans and no one else. Of course it had a wider influence, but in Germany its real-world implications were most starkly visible.

Michael, PS:

Did you notice this remark on your first link: 'The Germans were not the creators nor the first to implement governmentally sanctioned forced sterilization. The United States, for instance, had already enacted sterilization laws in half its states by the 1920's which included forced sterilization of the criminally insane as well as others'?

You said, gratuitously, and, I'm sorry, but not in the best of taste: 'Sophie, the Third Reich's official policy was to exterminate the Jewish population. It's not necessary to sterilize people you've already murdered. That would be a tad redundant.' Err ... this has what to do with the eugenics situation in Germany?

The links you offer, by which you would have it that eugenics was practised on the German public, actually do not carry your point. The odd thing is that claims are made about laws in Germany re eugenics, yet no law is ever referenced. And what Heydrich was supposed to have said at the Wannsee Conference (your wiki link) is fantasy, as is pretty much everything claimed about that Conference. But even if Heydrich did say those things, that does nothing to show that eugenics was practised on the German public. Even Nuremburg, where anything went, did not produce members of the German public who claimed to have been sterilised on any eugenics programme.

'Of course it had a wider influence, but in Germany its real-world implications were most starkly visible.'

Absolutely not true! I cannot even see how you can come at saying this.

Let Professor Weikert speak for himself
http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=8987
. Between January 1940 and September 1941, more than 70,000 mental patients were killed by carbon monoxide gas in six extermination centres.
They did not let the brains go to waste either.

'Nazis? A department head at the Karl-Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research had some ideas. In the transcript of an interview with American officers after his arrest, Professor J. Hallervorden describes how he took the initiative: I went up to them: 'Look here now, boys, if you are going to kill all these people at least take the brains out, so that the material could be utilized.' They asked me, 'How many can you examine?' And so I told them an unlimited number—'the more the better'. I gave them fixatives, jars and boxes, and instructions for removing and fixing the brains and they came bringing them like the delivery van from the furniture company…. There was wonderful material among those brains, beautiful mental defectives, malformations and early infantile diseases."

Sophie, you appear to think that the Holocaust has nothing to do with eugenics. But eugenics involves more than sterilization. It can involve euthanasia. In either case, the intent is the same: to prevent "inferior" persons from contaminating the gene pool. This was the rationale behind the Holocaust. Non-Aryans, the handicapped, homosexuals, and others deemed a threat to racial purity were targeted for extinction so as to ensure the continued progress of the Aryan race.

The Holocaust was the largest program in compulsory eugenics (euthanasia) in history. Nothing done in name of eugenics in the US, however deplorable, is as bad as the assembly-line destruction of more than six million people.

Your insistence on questioning mainstream sources gives me the impression that you may be a Holocaust denier. Am I wrong?

Michael,

'Your insistence on questioning mainstream sources gives me the impression that you may be a Holocaust denier. Am I wrong?'

The sources I questioned are not even remotely like mainstream sources. And no, I am not a Holocaust denier. But are you?

When you say 'The Holocaust was the largest program in compulsory eugenics (euthanasia) in history', you drastically reduce the historical profile of the Holocaust.

Why are you calling that mass murder 'compulsory eugenics (euthanasia)'? Mass murder of a category of people is normally called 'genocide'. And why are you calling eugenics 'euthanasia'? Euthanasia ends a person's life to relieve that person's suffering. That has nothing to do with eugenics.

You will just face to face it: the procedure of eugenics is sterilisation. That is why it is called eugenics, and not 'genocide' or 'euthanasia'. There is no sense at all in confusing these terms.

Sophie those 70,000 people were euthanized for sterilzation purposes.
"In 1920 the writings of racial theorists like Fischer began to converge with those of psychiatrists and lawyers who argued that genetically inferior individuals, including the incurably mentally ill, could legitimately be subjected to euthanasia. Textbooks on genetics began to put forward principles of racial hygiene. The second (1923) edition of the textbook by Fischer, E.Bauer and F. Lenz, came into Hitler's possession while he was imprisoned in Landsberg, and influenced the opinions about race in Mein Kampf. In 1929 Fischer became head of a new Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics at Berlin-Dahlem."

Tom Sorell (2007-03-14). Scientism (International Library of Philosophy)

Face reality euthansia was based on Race Purification in the Third Reich.

Thanks for clarifying your position on Holocaust denial, Sophie. I was just checking. I really wasn't sure.

The Holocaust indeed was an example of compulsory eugenics. It was also genocide. The two terms overlap in this case.

Euthanasia doesn't always mean putting someone out of his misery. It can mean simply "painless death." See definition 2:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/euthanasia

Euthanasia in the Nazi context refers to state-sanctioned medical murder. It was the term the Nazis themselves used.

I'm not at all minimizing the evil of the Third Reich. I just don't understand your insistence that the Nazis never implemented sterilization (and euthanasia) laws, even after I cited sources showing that they did. Just Google "Nazi" + "sterilization" and see what comes up. I got more than 700,000 hits.

Steve Em's comments are very much to the point also.

Anyway, this "controversy" isn't worth pursuing further.

Of all the directions I thought this thread might take, I never imagined it would go this way! Live and learn.

Michael,

You are prevaricating and making up nonsensical definitions, and steve em is writing absurdities that do not even begin to make sense. This is very disappointing. I'm afraid I have lost all faith in the probity of your blog.

@Sophie, Michael can stand up for himself, but after reading all of this, why so hostile? You don't have to agree with what Michael is saying and you may even think he is misguided, but to "lose face in the probity of his blog", seems extreme, no? I think most would agree that Michael goes out of his way to try to be fair and factual.

"and steve em is writing absurdities that do not even begin to make sense"

Der Blinde erklärt dem Einäugigen die Farben

J9, Sophie's response makes perfect sense to me.

After all, a regime founded on preserving the racial purity of the Aryan people and breeding Nietzschean supermen couldn't possibly have any interest in eugenics. That's just crazy talk.

Sterilization laws, euthanasia laws, and the Holocaust either didn't happen or are irrelevant. Anybody can see that, except a bunch of lying historians with a grudge against Hitler, who was an artist and loved animals and children. Like all artists, poor Adolf was simply misunderstood.

Happily, it all ended well for Hitler, who faked his own death in the bunker and is currently enjoying a ripe old age in a secret Fourth Reich colony on the dark side of the moon.

I have this on good authority from a highly reliable source:

http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67829

;-)

With all due repect to old Freddy Nietzche he hated anti semites and it was his sister who twisted his philosophy to fit the third reich.His sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche acted as curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts during his illness. She was married to a prominent German nationalist and antisemite, Bernhard Förster, and she reworked some of Nietzsche's unpublished writings to fit her husband's ideology, often in ways contrary to Nietzsche's opinions, which were strongly and explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism
His ubermenschen and unter menschen had notheing to do with either race or intellect,but worldview.
I think that is Hitler face is on Mars Micheal, Judge Crater is on the moon.

"After all, a regime founded on preserving the racial purity of the Aryan people and breeding Nietzschean supermen couldn't possibly have any interest in eugenics. That's just crazy talk."
----------------

I am of 100% German ancestry on both sides of my family and we are a genetic mess. Our family has schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, Asperger's, chronic rage syndrome, obesity... nothing to brag about! I am obese and have arthritis and a bad back. I have worked for several Germans and they were all pretty nutty. The only thing we're the Master Race at is when it comes to eating!

ugghhh...David Icke.

I am a proponent of smaller human population because I think that it could lead to a higher standard of living for ALL humans and I think it is better for the earth/environment and, ultimately, makes for a sustainable balance in the eco and economic systems. I am thinking population of earth = 1 billion +/- max.

The problem is how to get there. I am absolutely NOT for killing off anyone. So I think about birth control.

The problem is, then you get into discussion about whose births will be controlled and sure enough someone wants to go targeting certain populations; populations that they feel are inferior and, before long the whole discussion has spiraled into a demented conversation about eugenics.

Bleh. Best to leave it be and let nature take its course.

OTH, and I feel like I'm tip toeing through a mine field here, is there not point where most people agree that eugenics makes some sense?

Take the case of people that carry some gene that causes some terrible mental or physical condition. There's min. 50% probability that there offspring will have the condition.

One would hope they would personally make the decision to not reproduce, but people don't always make safe decisions.

Do we surgically or chemically sterlize them?

I know for a fact that people living in residential group home settings that have Downs Syndrome and similar conditions are given long term birth control implants without their consent or understanding. I don't have a problem with this.

A lot of grey areas and slippery slopes. A touchy subject indeed.

Michael Prescott:
“In the absence of any spiritual beliefs, it can be all too easy to start looking at human life as something that is ultimately disposable...”

I think that this has more to do with overreliance on intellect and the consequent atrophying of one’s emotional capacities than with the absence of spiritual beliefs.

"The problem is how to get there. I am absolutely NOT for killing off anyone. So I think about birth control." no one
--------------------

Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb was required reading in Biology 101 my freshman year in college. I had never been exposed to that kind of thinking before. After my wife and I had been married for 6 years we talked about it and decided we were happy not having kids so I ran out and got a vasectomy from a urologist. I was 27 years old. Choosing not to have children has been called evolutionary suicide but that decision was what allowed me to be able to retire early. I was able to put money in an IRA and didn't have to worry about sending a kid to college. So when most parents were trying to help their kids through college I was fixing to retire.

I'm married to a German. Thankfully, he was raised in Australia. However, I did not escape the German mother-in-law, who is simply put, out of her gourd, and father-in-law who resents america. Funny coming from a man who fled from Koenigsburg with his mother from the Russians.

The NSDAP (Nazi Party) Government secretly initiated a state-wide eugenics sterilisation programme prior to the war.

The program was classified and given the name 'T4', named after the government department addressed at 4 Tea Garden Street, where the program was authorised.

The T4 program sterilised many individuals who were deemed to fail certain genetic benchmarks, and included those with hereditary mental and physical ailments.

You know we are wandering a field here the thread started because of the Neo- Darwinist statements of James Randi then went off into the semantics of the word Eugenics. Now we are German bashing.Between 500 thousand and 2.5 million Germans in east Europe dies during the Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950). The allies agreed to this at Potsdam.

German people like any other group have their saints and sinners,jolly folk and jerks,geniuses and Jack asses..Part of my family is Gotland and Schleswig- Holstein.they speak several languages a mix of Gutnish, Swedish, Danish and some pretty strange sounding German. Almost all speak English as well and the young ones impeccable English.
Germans are no more resentful or jealous of America as any other western Europeans,the worst being the French of course and left wing Irish. Lets get back on task as it were. Since mother in laws were brought up (do not have to be German to be pain in the rear) I will tell you a personnel ADC from my late Mother in law.

It goes without saying my mother in law was not fond of me though she hardly knew me.she had been trapped in a terrible abusive marriage since she was 17 and was afraid to leave it. soon after my wife and I got married me awe had our first son. this to my mother in law was a horrible trap given her experience.

One night I am giving a lecture at UC San Diego which is in La Jolla by the Ocean. class gets out at 10.00 I get to my car and start to drive home. A few minutes down the road and what sounds like a bomb hits my car. The windshield and the front of the car are coverd with Seagull droppings Vogel shiess as they would say in German. It is so bad I have to pull over and get a gallon of water from my trunk to pour it over the windscreen to clear it. It is now about eight after 10.00.I get home my wife is crying why? She had just got a phone call her Mother had suddenly passed away of a heart atack ,she was pronounced dead at 10:08 our time(she was in Michigan)

Wow Steve em! How odd. I will add though,I lived in Germany for 3 years. I did find many Germans did dislike Americans very much. Ignorant Americans my mother in law would say. However, people from the South of Germany often don't like the northern Germans either, so it's easy to stereotype, but who knows.

Yes he Bavarians hate Prussians, call them Sau Preuss, Pig Prussians.

Germany is made up of 16 different states, some of which used to be seperate countries, Germany was only unified in 1871.

I sometimes think we have enough trouble here in the 'United' Kingdom, which is made up of four states/nations.

Imagine balancing out 16 though!

Mind you, America manages it!

"Mind you, America manages it!"

Well, there was that little Civil War a while back. And all the modern red states versus blue state (which maps fairly well onto the the dividing lines of the civil war)

Glad your decision not to procreate worked out well for you, Art. But it's worth pointing out that nearly every prediction made in "The Population Bomb" (1968) turned out to be wildly inaccurate. For instance, Ehrlich predicted that during the 1980s 65 million Americans would starve to death, and that by 1999 the country's population would be only 22.6 million.

Steve em, you take the award for funniest ADC in the history of the world.

When my German grandfather died, I was just a kid, but I did have an experience of him just sitting by my bed in the middle of the night looking at me in his usual sort of cold way. He was not one of those grandkid-happy kind of grandfathers, needless to say.

OK. Douglas, I am a Ricardian when does the last of the Planatgenets get his day in Westminster abbey.

"Steve em, you take the award for funniest ADC in the history of the world."

Agreed!

Steve Em, I'm from Scotland, which is one of the other nations of the UK, so the Planatgenet kings of England and their dispute is of no concern to me. During the War of the Roses in England, Scotland was still a seperate kingdom with its own King, James III.

Saying that, Richard was a better king of England than Henry, and did more for the poor.

MY son was at the University of Edinburgh,reading Sanskrit for a year, and I was there in 2010. My grandmother was from Gotland the rest of my people are either Borderers (Scots and English.)

My great grandfather graduated with his MD from University of Edinburgh. You threw me off a bit with UK,the Scots in my family (nationalists)always refer to Scotland not the not the UK. The same great grandfather Angus( was also a spiritualist. I still have many of his books such as phantasms of the living and so on.

Hi Steve, ah great, I live in Edinburgh and also graduated from Edinburgh, studying Ancient History.

The UK thing confuses people no end and I'm sure outsiders are completely bemused about the UK's esoteric makeup!

It seems simple enough to me as I live here, in that the UK is basically a quasi-federal state, made up of four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and (Northern) Ireland. Each has its own parliament, but they are also represented by the UK parliament in London, which also serves as the English capital.

I think the confusion stems from the fact that most foreigners refer to the whole UK landmass as 'England', when really 'England' in only one of four nations that make up the UK - much to the irritation of the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish!

There is a good reason for this of course, seeing how England is the dominant nation in the Union.

Just to make it even more confusing, the term 'Britain' and 'British' is also used. Strictly, 'British' and 'Britain' were originally geographical terms, to refer to all nations on these these islands, although it became a nation-state definition too after the 1707 Act of Union.

For me, while I am primarily Scottish, I would agree that we are all 'British' in one sense, in the same way that Norwegians, Swedes and Danes are all Scandinavians: we share a common cultural and linguistic background, but we are each proud of our own distinctive identities and histories as well.

So cultural and geograpgical 'britishness' will probaly always exist, whether or not political 'britishness' does. It may be that the later, i.e. the Act of Union, is on its last legs and the four nations may ultimately decide to reclaim full sovereignty at some point in the future - Southern Ireland, as we all know, already made that choice many years ago.

Regarding Germany, it's amazing to think that the German state is so young - 1871 isnt very long ago historically. Maybe Bavaria and a new Prussia may re-emerge and decide to do their own thing in the future - it's always fun trying to predict the future!

A lot will depend on where the EU ends up - it's not looking to hopeful at the moment.

The ancient history of the British isles is one of my main interests since retirement. My daughter is a genetic anthropologist and inherited my interests in British pre History and late antiquity.
People always conflate langage and culture with genetics,the "Irish Race"etc.

I don't think evolutionist even understand evolution anymore. Last i checked, evolution was about genetic drift and not about people dying.

Hell if evolution was about people dying, we might as well have a 2nd holocaust and kill all those disable people

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