Call for help: Real story behind the Holocaust?


Historians, help me out here. I’ve recently become aware that many creationists have swallowed as accurate Richard Weikart’s book making Darwin complicit in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.

I have always dismissed Weikart. His claims fly in the face of history recorded by too many reputable and trustworthy hands. Others aren’t concerned with what history really shows, or are simply ignorant of history (candidates for Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segment). I am working to assemble what I hope will be a short piece showing the error of Weikart’s claims.

It seems to me there are many holes in the history case Weikart tries to make. And the history case needs to be nailed down, accurately.

Scientists already have responded. The American Academy for the Advancement of Science complains that the scientific inaccuracies in the film muddy the waters between science and religion unfairly and unnecessarily (see video here). The Jewish Anti-Defamation League has complained about the unholy Holocaust claims. Movie reviewers have not been kind to the film, with reviews like the New York Times:

One of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry.

Still there are creationists, and other people of faith out there, who grant credence to Weikart’s claims. So we need a clear rebuttal to Weikart’s claims, from the history viewpoint.

The National Center for Science Education has a brief that touches on these arguments; what other sources do you recommend on these specific claims listed below?

Weikart makes six claims (I’ve borrowed here from an article he wrote for American Spectator):

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.

That seems directly contrary to the view of Darwin presented in the better biographies. I don’t recall Darwin ever arguing this point at all. Is Weikart imagining this?

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.

Darwin never denied the existence of human souls. While Darwin made rather brilliant arguments for how morality could arise through evolution, going so far as to say that morality is necessary for the survival of a social species such as humans, at no point in his arguing for the natural processes does he deny or disavow the supernatural. Descent of Man will offer Darwin’s work on the rise of morals and art — what other sources would you recommend?

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.”

Notes from Evil Bender, Creationist quotemining of Darwin: moral relativism edition, has already called out the gross error in Weikart’s claim here — this is quite contrary to what Darwin actually argued and said. But again, there should be a few other sources to rebut Weikart’s claim. Which do you recommend?

4. Since evolution requires variation, Darwin and other early Darwinists believed in human inequality. Haeckel emphasized inequality to such as 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.

Actually, Darwin was a potent advocate of legal equality, for example in his advocacy and support for ending slavery. Weikart’s claim here completely steps away from reality. I admit to not being overly familiar with Haeckel’s work, partly because Haeckel doesn’t represent Darwin, partly because I have just never found the guy’s work particularly interesting or useful. What sources and arguments do you recommend here?

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.”

That’s a complete distortion of what Darwin wrote, of course — the NCSE site has a short rebuttal. Darwin was writing of the clash between colonists and natives, largely between Europeans and aboriginals, or between Europeans with guns and aboriginals without them. Key case in point: The Tasmanian “Wars,” which led to the almost complete extinction of native Tasmanians, a sad circumstance Darwin saw on his voyage. Got other sources you recommend?

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.”

This claim is so full of hooey I’m not sure where to start. What do you think? Can you imagine how quickly Darwin would have gotten his shotgun out for some fool who suggests, like Weikart does here, that Darwin was not grieved by the death of Annie? Are you outraged at the butchering of the last paragraph from Origin of Species?

There are a lot of Christians who should know better who have been misled by this claptrap. Will you help me make a brief against Weikart’s claims?

Comments are open. Please chime in.

13 Responses to Call for help: Real story behind the Holocaust?

  1. Nick Kelsier says:

    Whoever wrote:
    The Darwin has proposed a theory not fact .

    Gravity is a theory. Do you want to claim that gravity isn’t a fact?

    See that’s the start of why you’re wrong. You’re confusing the layman’s definition of the word “theory” and the scientific definition of the word “theory.”

    A scientific theory is something that has been proven. If it wasn’t proven it would be called an hypothesis.

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  2. Ed Darrell says:

    The Darwin has proposed a theory not fact .

    Darwin observed facts. In science, a theory explains the facts — and Darwin’s theories explain much of what is observed about living things — so much that Darwin’s work binds all the distant quarters of biology in one comprehensive whole.

    Had Darwin claimed to have gotten his inspiration from an angel, he’d be a saint in all the Abramic traditions. Instead of sniping at science like that old tart, Harun Yahya, Darwin wrote continued scientific work and wrote about it.

    Harun could learn a lot simply by reading Darwin.

    His tautology could not be proved by any undoubtedly/real true scientific evidence/fact.

    But instead is proven accurate by billions of facts. Evolution by natural and sexual selection is no tautology — Harun Yahya may be a bit taut after his conviction on criminal charges, but that’s his problem, not Darwin’s. He should have stuck to reading Darwin.

    After studying 10,000 fossils, Harun Yahya (click here to explore) a Turkish biologist has challenged all Darwinists of the world to produce a single intermediate fossil, he will pay US$100 billion .

    Yahya claims to be a djinn, making foolish offers and then refusing to pay off. In poker we’d call him a cheater, and some noble cowboy would shoot him.

    That’s why Yahya stays away from gatherings and instead huddles alone in his hermit’s lair. Yahya’s untruths have earned the wrath of truth-lovers everywhere.

    People who lie about studying fossils shouldn’t be trusted. Yahya is a liar if he claimed to have studied any of them.

    Did you see in his book how he used a fishing fly as an example of an insect that had not evolved? The idiot can’t tell the difference between a fishing fly and a live insect. Of course, he was using purloined photos instead of the real stuff.

    There’s a moral there, but Yahya is not close to any moral.

    He has proved that every species appeared in perfect shape and disappeared and new specie appeared in perfect shape.

    You’ve been suckered. I also have sold Harun Yahya the Brooklyn Bridge, but he’s now trying to balk on the payment, since he realizes the cost of the upkeep. Watch out if he tries to sell that bridge to you. He’s dishonest, don’t trust him.

    No incomplete bird can survive and incomplete eye can see. A half build eye and half build wing cannot see and cannot fly.

    What sort of fool thinks birds didn’t come with eyes already evolved? Clearly he knows nothing about biology, evolution, fossils, or birds.

    Survival of the fittest? Why love existence? Why a mother dies for her child?, Why A perfect family system of Honey bee functions?. Why Peacock beautiful colors appeared?. Darwinists have failed miserably to explain the facts of creation.

    No, you just failed to read Darwin. Darwin explains the evolution of altruism, and the evolution of peacock feathers. You’re an idiot, and you believe that you know what you have not studied.

    Is Yahya doing lobotomies now? Did you pay him for one?

    So fact of existence of creator of a perfect, very beautiful and complex creation is just like Sun on the sky but blind cannot see.

    You insult the Prophet (PBUH), God, and thinking people everywhere with such drivel. What you propose is abuse of science and knowledge, and to the extent you propose to teach children these falsehoods, it’s child abuse.

    Be gone.

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  3. Muqeem says:

    Creationist and Darwinists

    Can any body tell me? Who has made the perfect, mathematical and complex laws of Physics, laws of Chemistry and laws of biology , complex reproductive system in human and animal and plants ?. Scientists are only discovering these laws and in through obeying these law making some imperfect or semi perfect things. Yet the scientists have discovered a tiny part of the Creator’s innovative world. 99% yet to be explored. Keeping in view only a stupid or illogical persons can deny the perfect, and the wise Creator.

    The Darwin has proposed a theory not fact . His tautology could not be proved by any undoubtedly/real true scientific evidence/fact. After studying 10,000 fossils, Harun Yahya (click here to explore) a Turkish biologist has challenged all Darwinists of the world to produce a single intermediate fossil, he will pay US$100 billion . He has proved that every species appeared in perfect shape and disappeared and new specie appeared in perfect shape. No incomplete bird can survive and incomplete eye can see. A half build eye and half build wing cannot see and cannot fly.

    Survival of the fittest? Why love existence? Why a mother dies for her child?, Why A perfect family system of Honey bee functions?. Why Peacock beautiful colors appeared?. Darwinists have failed miserably to explain the facts of creation. So fact of existence of creator of a perfect, very beautiful and complex creation is just like Sun on the sky but blind cannot see.

    Click to watch video : Death of Darwinism and Win of Creationists

    Click to watch video : Fossil Record Prove Creationism

    Click to watch Video : Collapse to Ethism

    Click to Watch video : Disasters Darwinism Brought to Humanity

    Indeed Creation and ordering of the universe is seen as an act of prime mercy for which all creatures sing God’s glories and bear witness to God’s unity and lordship. According to the Islamic teachings, God exists without a place. According to the Qur’an, “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. God is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things” (Qur’an 6:103)

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  4. […] “Call for help:  Real story behind the Holocaust“ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Shame on you, Tony Campolo: Darwin was not racistMega-Post: Post-First Week of InternshipEvolution: A Digital library!Darwin, Mockingbirds and Evolution! […]

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  5. […] she provides no examples or support for her claim. But it turns out that Darwin wasn’t a “considerable influence” on Hitler, and that Hitler used a jumble of whatever he could find–often radically misused–to […]

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  6. toby says:

    Hitler borrowed his “racial” philosophy from an Englishman called Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who had married Wagner’s daughter. Chamberlain adopted German citizenship and was a German propagandist during World War I. His racism owed everything to Nietsche’s superman and nothing to Darwininan evolution.

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  7. James says:

    Nineteenth century scientists sometimes got caught up in ideologies and political causes that facilitated twentieth century crimes, but Darwin was not a Nazi.

    I’m also obligated to offer the comment that you’ve been tagged in a meme by Patriots
    and Peoples
    .

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  8. bernarda says:

    TTT, during all those centuries, xians were killing other xians whom they considered heretics.

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  9. TTT says:

    It’s interesting that Ben Stein’s extremist conspiracist American Spectator magazine criticizes Darwin for having allegedly devalued “Judeo-Christian values” and causing the Holocaust, since the very phrase “Judeo-Christian” is really a post-Holocaust term, used by guilty-feeling Christians to try to assure surviving Judeo-s that they’ve stopped killing them.

    Really, a look at the long history of religiously-sanctioned and organized purges, pogroms, segregation, deportation, and massacres of Jews by Christians throughout Europe for the last thousand years or so would be illuminating; however, if this is to be addressed to “Christians who should know better” it will probably turn them off. Hitler didn’t do anything Martin Luther didn’t want to do, he just happened to have better machines.

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  10. Ediacaran says:

    Be sure to refer to the unexpurgated edition of Darwin’s autobiography edited by his grandaughter Nora Barlow. The edition by Darwin’s son Francis omitted some of the personal and religiously provocative material that was included in the later edition, online at
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=F1497&pageseq=1

    Off immediate topic, but still interesting history – Thomas Jefferson didn’t believe in an immaterial soul, nor in an immaterial God. He thought souls, angels and his god were all material:
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/jefferson_jadms.html

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  11. bernarda says:

    I might add that I don’t know what Darwin thought of the immaterial soul, but J.G. Frazer in “The Golden Bough” described it rather well. Early people we call animists thought about why not only people, but other animals and even plants do certain things. They then presumed that inside the man, there was a little man that directed them. Of course there is no such thing as a “soul”.

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  12. bernarda says:

    These people are using discredited “social darwinism” rather than the real Darwinism of biological evolution. You could look up Stephen Jay Gould. Here is one essay.

    http://www.marxists.org/subject/science/essays/kropotkin.htm

    “This charge against Darwin is unfair for two reasons. First, nature (no matter how cruel in human terms) provides no basis for our moral values. (Evolution might, at most, help to explain why we have moral feelings, but nature can never decide for us whether any particular action is right or wrong.) Second, Darwin’s “struggle for existence” is an abstract metaphor, not an explicit statement about bloody battle. Reproductive success, the criterion of natural selection, works in many modes: Victory in battle may be one pathway, but cooperation, symbiosis, and mutual aid may also secure success in other times and contexts. In a famous passage, Darwin explained his concept of evolutionary struggle (Origin of Species, 1859, pp. 62-63):

    ‘I use this term in a large and metaphorical sense including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny. Two canine animals, in a time of dearth, may be truly said to struggle with each other which shall get food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought…. As the mistletoe is disseminated by birds, its existence depends on birds; and it may metaphorically be said to struggle with other fruit-bearing plants, in order to tempt birds to devour and thus disseminate its seeds rather than those of other plants. In these several senses, which pass into each other, I use for convenience sake the general term of struggle for existence’.”

    He concludes,

    “More generally, I like to apply a somewhat cynical rule of thumb in judging arguments about nature that also have overt social implications: When such claims imbue nature with just those properties that make us feel good or fuel our prejudices, be doubly suspicious. I am especially wary of arguments that find kindness, mutuality, synergism, harmony – the very elements that we strive mightily, and so often unsuccessfully, to put into our own lives – intrinsically in nature. I see no evidence for Teilhard’s noosphere, for Capra’s California style of holism, for Sheldrake’s morphic resonance. Gaia strikes me as a metaphor, not a mechanism. (Metaphors can be liberating and enlightening, but new scientific theories must supply new statements about causality. Gaia, to me, only seems to reformulate, in different terms, the basic conclusions long achieved by classically reductionist arguments of biogeochemical cycling theory.)

    There are no shortcuts to moral insight. Nature is not intrinsically anything that can offer comfort or solace in human terms – if only because our species is such an insignificant latecomer in a world not constructed for us. So much the better. The answers to moral dilemmas are not lying out there, waiting to be discovered. They reside, like the kingdom of God, within us – the most difficult and inaccessible spot for any discovery or consensus.”

    The last paragraph will probably be used by some ignorant theists as “evidence” that Gould “believed” in god, not being able to understand metaphor.

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  13. Mike O'Risal says:

    I don’t think you can reason with people who start from the premise that they have special access to immutable truth and purpose imbued into their lives by an invisible, self-contradictory being of infinite power and the ghost of a Jewish carpenter born under Roman occupation. People who believe this to be the foundation of human existence have already thrown away reason and truth. It doesn’t matter what evidence to the contrary is presented to them; they will always find some way to disregard it.

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