|The divine comedy|
Maciej Marian Giertych is a Polish dendrologist and social conservative fundamentalist politician of the League of Polish Families (LPR). He was a member of the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament) between 2001 and 2004, and a Polish member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009. He was also a candidate in the 2005 Polish presidential elections, but withdrew due to lack of popularity. He is the father of Roman Giertych, the virulently anti-gay education minister (who was e.g. pushing for a bill allowing gay teachers to be fired and who is an honorary member of the skinhead organization All Polish Youth) in the Kaczyński government in Poland (later fired). Maciej’s father was Jędrzej Giertych, a Catholic traditionalist known for suggesting that Jews ought to be removed from Poland.
As a "scientist", Giertych is most notable for being a staunch young Earth creationist, and a signatory to the CMI list of scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation and A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, though his credentials are genuine and he does, in fact, have real publications to his name.
Giertych is staunchly (well, rabidly) opposed to homosexuality and moral relativism. The latter appears to mean anything that disagrees with a literal reading of the Bible, the way Giertych prefers to read it. Although he condemned National Socialism in an address to the European Parliament because Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler had an "atheistic and socialistic taste about them," he praised Francisco Franco, António de Salazar and Éamon de Valera as guardsmen of traditional European values. He has written against Freemasonry from a Polish nationalist-Catholic perspective for Nortom publishing, which has published several anti-Semitic authors. He is an avowed anti-Semite, and in February 2007 he sparked outrage among European Union officials and Jewish organizations by publishing a brochure called Civilisations at war in Europe
By their own will, [Jews] prefer to live a separate life, in apartheid from the surrounding communities. They form their own communes (kahals), they govern themselves by their own rules and they take care to maintain also a spatial separateness. They form the ghettos themselves, as districts in which they live together, comparable to the Chinatowns in the USA. It was only Hitler’s Germany that created the concept of forced separation, of a closed ghetto from which Jews were not allowed to leave. Jews are not pioneers. They do not go conquering the wild world or overpowering the hazards of nature. They settle among other civilisations, preferably among the rich. They tend to migrate from poorer to richer lands. They do so always as a group, immediately forming their own separate community.
One wonders what Giertych would say about the various locations called Little Poland in the United States.
Furthermore, Jews are "dishonest" and not to be trusted, and the cause of the dishonesty of this "tragic community, a people that has not recognised the time of its visitation" is that they have not recognized "Jesus Christ as the awaited Messiah."
A staunch creationist, Giertych is an honorary member of the Daylight Origins Society, a creationist UK-based organization. He has denied that he advocates teaching creationism in schools, saying that he is “a scientist – a population geneticist with a degree from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of Toronto – and I am critical of the theory of evolution as a scientist, with no religious connotation,” which would obviously explain why he signed both the Discovery Institute’s A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism as well as Creation Ministries International’s list of scientists who accept the biblical account of creation. He is also the author of Creation rediscovered.
In 2008 Giertych appeared in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Some have pointed out the irony – with regard to a movie that tried to link evolution to the Nazi genocide – in the fact that the only avowed anti-Semite interviewed was a creationist. His main point in the movie was the tired and repeatedly refuted canard that "evolution does not produce new genetic information."
Creationism in the European Parliament
As for his claims regarding creationism and public education, it is worth pointing out that on October 11, 2006, he introduced and moderated a pro-creationist seminar held in Brussels for members of the European Parliament; the title of the presentation was Teaching evolutionary theory in Europe. Is your child being indoctrinated in the classroom? At the meeting, Giertych explained his views on what he called “the falsified hypothesis of macroevolution, the emergence of new body plans as documented in the fossil record." Apparently genetics research provides no evidence of, but "only disproof" for, the concept of common ancestry of life, and he questioned the value of teaching such “wrong theories" in public schools.
The public anti-evolution seminar in question was co-organized by Dominique Tassot, director of Centre d'Etude et de Prospectives sur la Science, an association of French-speaking Catholic intellectuals (including a few active researchers) who rejects evolution because it conflicts with the Bible.
Giertych's bizarre letter to Nature was a response to Nature’s coverage of the religiously motivated lectures presented at the European Parliament seminar, and showed him to be a skilled Gish-galloper. Giertych’s alleged evidence that disproves evolution:
Such evidence includes race formation (microevolution), which is not a small step in macroevolution because it is a step towards a reduction of genetic information and not towards its increase. It also includes formation of geological strata sideways rather than vertically, archaeological and palaeontological evidence that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, a major worldwide catastrophe in historical times, and so on.
- Dicussed here
- Article in Polish
- I tak nie przemogą! Antykościół, antypolonizm, masoneria (Nortom, 2000)
- Haaretz, MEP's anti-Semitic booklet sparks outrage, Article from February 19, 2007.
- John Lynch, post from April 13, 2008
- Letter to Nature; Nature, 444, 265 (16 November 2006)
- A fine debunking at Good Math, Bad Math, of this particular claim, posted April 2008.
- Ulrich Kutschera, Devolution and Dinosaurs: The Anti-Evolution Seminar in the European Parliament, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, Volume: 26(5), 2006, pp.10–11.
- Letter to Nature; Nature, 444, 265 (16 November 2006)
- talk.origins on the macro- vs. microevolution PRATT here
- talk.origins on the strata PRATT here
- Once again, the relevant talk.origins page is here