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Nazis

Dr. Andrew Hodges discusses Alan Turing: The Enigma, the book that inspired the film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912–1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades — all before his suicide at age 41. In November a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing will be released, based on the classic biography by Dr. Andrew Hodges, who teaches mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford (he is also an active contributor to the mathematics of fundamental physics). Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936 — the concept of a universal machine — laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design.

09-06-10

In the documentary film Expelled, Ben Stein attempted to link Darwin to Hitler and thereby condemn the scientific theory of evolution by association with the political theory of National Socialism. The film failed, but was there a historical connection between the social Darwinists of the 19th century with the National Socialists of the 20th century? Yes, through the personage of the German biologist Ernst Haeckel; but a new biography claims to rehabilitate Haeckel by disconnecting him from German social Darwinism. Historian of science Daniel Gasman disputes this new Haeckel biography and in the process demonstrates how the Nazis used social Darwinism to justify their racial policies.

04-11-07

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer examines Holocaust denier tactics.

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