Byron passes along this piece by Ben Wiker on what evolution has to teach us about morality. The closing paragraphs, in particular, caught my eye:
While he didn't call for direct extermination of the weak, Darwin did believe that the unfit shouldn't be allowed to breed at all. As for the fit, "there should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring."
What does this mean? Forced sterilization? The end of monogamy? Breeding camps for the hyper-fit and concentration camps for the unfit? Darwin was purposely vague, but ended with the ominous remark: "All do good service who aid toward this end." Well, that's morality according to Darwin. Again, it ain't pretty, but all must agree on one thing. Darwin correctly drew the logical moral implications from his evolutionary theory. It's hard for the most adamant advocates of Darwin to recall the horrors of the 20th century-to bring to mind all those who thought they were doing "good service" by the eugenic elimination of the unfit-and not squirm a bit.
In his book, From Darwin to Hitler, Richard Weikart fleshes out the connections between the Nazi holocaust and the 19th century eugenics movement which was, as Weikert demonstrates, largely inspired by Darwin. Ideas have consequences and the consequences of Darwinism have not been particularly lovely.RLC