Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Darwin and Hitler: Blame where blame is due but don't overdo it

No good deed goes unpunished, said some wag.  Oh well.

Chris Pinto's radio shows have been a very inspiring resource for me for months now, mostly on the historical role of Rome and the Jesuits in plots to undermine the Protestant Reformation. 

A couple days ago on his show he addressed the racism promoted by the theory of evolution, something I've written on myself at times, but in this case he quoted the subtitle of Darwin's Origin of Species as if it actively promotes racism, which it doesn't.  The original complete title of his book was

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

Because "race" in common language today, and even in Darwin's day, usually refers only to human beings, and often implies racist attitudes, Chris read this title to be racist as if Darwin himself had promoted the racist doctrines that used the theory of evolution to justify them.

Make no mistake, evolutionism WAS used for that purpose, but this was based on a misrepresentation of the theory, a straw man version of the theory which had nothing to do with Darwin's strictly naturalistic or biological thinking in the Origin

Perhaps Sanger misread that same subtitle, and Hitler too and others, and took off on their own projects to rid the world of the "unfit" on the basis of their absurd misreading of Darwin's work.  Darwin's notion of "fitness" was not their idea of "fitness" and his use of "race" had nothing to do with their racist notions. 

As he used those terms, "race" was simply another word for "breed" or "species" or "variety," as in a "race of penguins" or a "race of sweet peas," and the idea that a "race" could be "favored" referred only to the circumstances of inherent qualities and environmental conditions that made it possible for a living creature to thrive and reproduce.  This was the basis for his observation of natural selection, the fact that life conditions may favor one kind of creature over another.  Those "races" that thrive and reproduce in healthy numbers are the "favored races" and are the "fittest" in the "struggle for life."

This has NOTHING to do with racism.  Obviously.  Mice and cockroaches thrive and reproduce quite well in their environmental niches, better than the nobler tiger no doubt.  Another confusion that has lions as more "fit" than zebras because lions prey on zebras also misses the same point:  Zebras survive and reproduce quite well in spite of the lions.  Which creature does better at these standards of "fitness" I have no idea but it COULD be the zebras.

Again, the Darwinian use of these terms has NOTHING to do with racism.

Certainly the theory of evolution itself does unfortunately lend itself to the brutal racist thinking of Hitler and Sanger, by two of its tenets:  1) by reducing human beings to mere animals, and 2) by the implication that if all life is evolving from lower to higher (which is also a misreading of Darwin although it's not necessarily an irrational conclusion) then all living things including human beings are in different stages of evolving, and Hitler and friends felt quite free to decide who is more evolved than whom and seek to eliminate the less "fit" --SO much less "fit" by their absurd definition that they could call them "vermin" and dispose of them as vermin are disposed of.  All for the sake of improving the human race and life on this planet.  Yes, this kind of thinking DID have quite a bit of influence at one time, and it WAS attributed to Darwinism.  Apparently even Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle" took off from Darwin's title about the "struggle for life." 

Pinto is quite right about all those historical derivations from the idea of evolution, but he misread Darwin's title apparently in the same way Hitler and Sanger did, and what bothered me most about that was that it makes Christians look foolish.

So I wrote a comment at Chris Pinto's site hoping to correct his misunderstanding.  What happened is that I got preached at by others there for supposedly defending the infidel Darwin against the truths of Christ, and didn't succeed in persuading Pinto either, who actually referred to my comment on his next radio show, Darwin and Hitler, as most likely the result of my having been influenced by godless evolutionists to defend Darwin from the charge of racism. 

I wasn't going to bring it up here until it seemed to me that his description of the show needed to be answered:
Chris discusses the controversy over the influence of evolutionary teaching in the Nazi movement of the 1930's and 40's. Today, many evolutionists have tried to deny the connection, and insist that Darwin's theory is not "the science of racism" as many have said. But what does the record of history tell us?
Well, the record of history tells us that evolutionism was certainly made the excuse for horrific mass murder in the early part of the 20th century, and as I say above, not without justification as it reduced human beings to mere animals rather than creatures made in the image of God, and contributed to the rejection of biblical standards so that they could do this without feeling the bite of God's Law on their conscience. 

And by the way, the idea that we're all evolving from lower to higher is still alive and well in the New Age movement, where even there they are willing to propose the elimination of those they consider to be less "evolved" than themselves.  Often Christians are regarded as the inferiors in their system.  We hold to this ancient tradition you see, while they have transcended all such inferior views and have been enlightened by the channeled teachings of "higher" beings in this universe.  Which Christians know as demons and their doctrines, but try telling them that. 

Anyway, all this racist stupidity is WRONGLY attributed to Darwin himself.  It probably never even occurred to him that his ponderings about natural selection could be misused in such ways.  I suspect he was -- rightly -- more worried about how people were going to pounce on him for reducing human beings to animals.  I see torment in his face in the most familiar portrait of him.  It's sad when a brilliant man lives and dies without Christ.  There's no need to make him guiltier than he was.

No comments:

Post a Comment

PLEASE just register somewhere, there seem to be many options. A Google account is easy. And give SOME kind of pseudonym at least. THANKS!