The movie Expelled being released this weekend has the Darwinists in a swivet because it draws a link between Darwinian evolution and Nazism. This, the modern day Darwinists protest, is simply beyond the pale. Richard Weikert, author of From Darwin to Hitler, rejoins that indeed the connection is historically demonstrable. He offers for our consideration six key elements of Darwin's thought that were enthusiastically embraced by the Nazis:
1. Darwin argued that humans were not qualitatively different from animals. The leading Darwinist in Germany, Ernst Haeckel, attacked the "anthropocentric" view that humans are unique and special.
2. Darwin denied that humans had an immaterial soul. He and other Darwinists believed that all aspects of the human psyche, including reason, morality, aesthetics, and even religion, originated through completely natural processes.
3. Darwin and other Darwinists recognized that if morality was the product of mindless evolution, then there is no objective, fixed morality and thus no objective human rights. Darwin stated in his Autobiography that one "can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones."
4. Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality. Haeckel emphasized inequality to such an extent that he even classified human races as twelve distinct species and claimed that the lowest humans were closer to primates than to the highest humans.
5. Darwin and most Darwinists believe that humans are locked in an ineluctable struggle for existence. Darwin claimed in The Descent of Man that because of this struggle, "[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races."
6. Darwinism overturned the Judeo-Christian view of death as an enemy, construing it instead as a beneficial engine of progress. Darwin remarked in The Origin of Species, "Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows."
These six ideas were promoted by many prominent Darwinian biologists and Darwin-inspired social thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All six were enthusiastically embraced by Hitler and many other leading Nazis. Hitler thought that killing "inferior" humans would bring about evolutionary progress. Most historians who specialize in the Nazi era recognize the Darwinian underpinnings of many aspects of Hitler's ideology. . . .
Weikert's book, despite being assiduously ignored by Darwinists, is a thoroughly documented elaboration of the connection between Darwin's ideas and the attitudes toward racial purity and eugenics that were widespread among German intellectuals in the early twentieth century and which were carried to their logical conclusion by the Nazis in the 1930s and early 1940s. His book should be read by anyone who wishes to know more about the Darwinism/Nazism nexus. Ideas really do have consequences.RLC