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John Wayne's Holster: Darwin and Hitler: Soulmates?
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Darwin and Hitler: Soulmates?


Christian Fundamentalists are in an ideological battle with science over Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Thus far, the fundies have not succeeded in getting Darwin tossed and creationism placed into the science curriculum of our public schools.

Unable to defeat the message, they have decided to go after the messenger. The fundies have taken a page right out of the politicians playbook! In this case, they have started a smear campaign to attack a man who has been dead for almost 125 years. Of course, we are talking about Charles Darwin.

Darwin’s 1859 publication, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”, revolutionized the way people thought about how man came to be.

Prior to 1859, the biblical version of creation wherein man was created in the image of God held favor. With the publication of Darwin’s theory, many began to question to factual nature of the biblical account.

Now, the Christian fundamentalists have launched a media campaign designed to discredit Darwin and, by proxy, his theory of evolution. The shots are coming from all directions. Ann Coulter has taken a few shots, both in her book Godless and her syndicated column. Not to be outdone, other authors and filmmakers have also chimed in. In thier books and made-for-TV documentaries, they have gone as far as saying that Charles Darwin should share the blame with Hitler and the Nazi’s for the millions murdered in the Holocaust.

In addition to the Holocaust, Darwin is also being blamed for the rise in euthanasia, infanticide, abortion, eugenics, and even the Columbine massacre.

Now that’s a smear campaign if I ever saw one!

Darwin was a naturalist who developed a theory to describe what he and many others saw in the natural world. He was not a politician and certainly not a genocidal megalomaniac. While Hitler may used the underpinnings of Darwinism to provide the foundation for the ideas laid out in Mein Kampf, that does not prescribe culpability to Darwin for the Holocaust. Using that logic, one would be forced to conclude that God himelf, being the inpiratation for the Bible, is responsible for all the evils carried out in His name.

This whole campaign to demonize Darwin is absolutely ridiculous! Both the fundamentalist Christians and intransigent zealots that pose as scientists must share the blame for this. In their stubbornness and close-mindedness, they have failed to see evolutionary theory for what it is. As such, they have made this battle an all-or-nothing affair.

In reality, there in nothing about evolution that is incompatible with the biblical version of creation. All that is required to synchronize the two accounts is accept that evolution may be the means by which God created man.As Cardinal John Henry Newman said in 1868, “the theory of Darwin...may simply be suggesting a larger idea of divine providence and skill.”

Well, if that’s the case, then why doesn’t Darwin’s theory address God?

To put it simply, God is not a measurable entity and therefore is not a suitable subject for scientific analysis. As Francis Collins of the Human Genome Institute states, “Science investigates the natural world….But if God exists, God must be outside the natural world and so science really is silent in terms of answering that question.

As such, scientists who cite Darwin as evidence that God does not exist are really extending themselves beyond their area of expertise. Making such statements suggests that they don’t really understand the limitations of the scientific method. To put in bluntly, the scientists don’t know what they are talking about.

Likewise, fundamentalist Christians who cite allegorical scriptures as fact - scriptures that were largely handed down as traditional folk stories (for God knows how long) prior to be put down as the written word - are equally as ignorant.


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

Nice post Joe! I agree it is troubling to me when intelligent people use their beleifs as the starting point for intellectual discussion. As you point out both scientists and religious people do this with regards to Darwin. I am surprised that the Church has not come out in support of Darwinism as proof of devine creation. It seems pretty damn devine that single cell organisms could evolve into humans, animals and plants.


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