Another "Darwin-to-Hitler" feud
Darwinism popularized the idea that death of the unfit is essential for progress. Death of the unfit prevents them from reproducing and/or makes room for the fit or the fitter. Death of the unfit in the form of natural selection created the human race from protozoa. The human race owes its existence to death of the unfit. The “fundamental concept underlying all of biology” (from the new Florida science standards) is death of the unfit. Richard Dawkins called natural selection "the most momentous idea ever to occur to a human mind." Isn’t death of the unfit wonderful? If we don’t have natural selection in the human race, let’s replace it with artificial selection. Let’s buy “I love Darwin” T-shirts and coffee mugs. Let’s confer “Friend of Darwin” certificates. Let’s celebrate Darwin Day and the Darwin-Lincoln birthdate coincidence. Etc..
Also, some basic principles about Darwinism’s influence on the Nazis are still largely being missed –
(1) Anti-semitic Nazi programs targeted fit Jews as well as unfit Jews and so were not true eugenics programs. Eugenics’ contribution to Nazi ant-semitism was to create the idea that it is morally OK to get rid of undesirables.
(2) A “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no objective and reliable ways of identifying Jews and non-Jews. Darwinism cannot be blamed for something that the Nazis did not do.
Another issue is the need for objectivity in the study of history. When the Anti-Defamation League says that we should ignore the Darwin-Hitler connection because Hitler did not “need” Darwin (”O, reason not the need!” — King Lear), that is not being objective.
Labels: Darwin-to-HItler (new #1)