• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • May 2008
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Darwin’s Dystopia? By Dr. Benjamin Wiker

In response to the criticism by “Scientific American” and others of Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Dr. Benjamin Wiker replies to the charge that there is no link between Darwinism and the Holocaust.

Darwin’s Descent of Man applies the evolutionary arguments of his more famous Origin of Species to human beings. In it, Darwin argues that those characteristics we might think to be specifically human-physical strength and health, morality, and intelligence-were actually achieved by natural selection. From this, he infers two related eugenic conclusions.

First, if the desirable results of strength, health, morality, and intelligence are caused by natural selection, then we can improve them by artificial selection. We can breed better human beings, even rise above the human to the superhuman. Since human beings have been raised above the other animals by the struggle to survive, they may be raised even higher, transcending human nature to something-who knows?-as much above men as men are now above the apes. . . .

Second, if good breeding gives us better results, pushing us up the evolutionary slope, then bad or indiscriminate breeding drags us back down. “If…various checks…do not prevent the reckless, the vicious and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing at a quicker rate than the better class of men,” Darwin groaned, “the nation will retrograde, as has occurred too often in the history of the world. We must remember that progress is no invariable rule.”

Now to Hitler. The first, most important thing to understand is that the link between Darwin and Hitler was not immediate. That is, nobody is making the case that Hitler had Darwin’s eugenic masterpiece The Descent of Man in one hand while he penned Mein Kampf in the other. Darwin’s eugenic ideas were spread all over Europe and America, until they were common intellectual coin by Hitler’s time. That makes the linkage all the stronger, because we are not talking about one crazed man misreading Darwin but at least two generations of leading scientists and intellectuals drawing the same eugenic conclusions from evolutionary theory as Darwin himself drew.

A second point. We misunderstand Hitler’s evil if we reduce it to anti-Semitism. Hitler’s anti-Semitism had, of course, multiple causes, including his own warped character. That having been said, Nazism was at heart a racial, that is, a biological political program based on evolutionary theory. It was “applied biology,” in the words of deputy party leader of the Nazis, Rudolph Hess, and done for the sake of a perceived greater good, racial purity, that is, for the sake of a race purified of physical and mental defects, imperfections, and racial inferiority.

The greater good. We need to remember that, even though we rightly consider it the apogee of wickedness, the Nazi regime did not purport to do evil. In a monstrous illustration of the adage about good intentions leading to hell, it claimed to be scientific and progressive, to do what hard reason demanded for the ultimate benefit of the human race. Its superhuman acts of inhumanity were carried out for the sake of humanity. . . .

The proposed ruthlessness of his solution was in direct imitation of nature conceived according to Darwinism. “Just as Nature concentrates its greatest attention, not to the maintenance of what already exists but on the selective breeding of offspring in order to carry on the species, so in human life also it is less a matter of artificially improving the existing generation-which, owing to human characteristics, is impossible in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred-and more a matter of securing from the very start a better road for future development.”

How do we secure a better road for future development? By ensuring that only the best of the best race, the Aryan race, breed, and pruning away all the unfit and racially inferior. That isn’t just a theory; it’s eugenic Darwinism as a political program. As Hitler made clear, “the State is looked upon only as a means to an end and this end is the conservation of the racial characteristics of mankind.” Jews have to be pruned away, but also Gypsies, Slavs, the retarded, handicapped, and any one else that is biologically unfit.

That’s Darwinism in action. Does that mean that Darwin would have approved? No. Does that mean that Darwin’s theory provided the framework for Hitler’s eugenic program? Yes.

Read more of this article at tothesource.com.

Conflict At Pro-Life Display

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