Darwin Caused Hitler. Yes, Again.

Oi vey. The Discovery Institute and many Christian righters have long tried to blame evolution for Adolf Hitler. It’s an incredibly stupid claim, but it gets repeated ad nauseum. Jerry Newcombe tries once again at the Worldnetdaily, citing DI “scholars” and it just shows how dishonest and illogical they have to get to make the case.

The film can be seen online at darwintohitler.com, a website that deals with the “impact of Social Darwinism in Germany.” The historian behind the website is the key guest in the video, Dr. Richard Weikart, a first-rate historian on 20th century Germany.

Weikart wrote “From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004), which shows the not-so-missing link between evolution and the rise of the Nazi scheme to clean up the gene pool (as they saw it) in order to create a master race of pure Aryans. Jews need not apply. Nor gypsies, Slavs, dissenting Christians, etc.

Weikart is professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus. I interviewed him for our 2006 TV special, hosted by the late D. James Kennedy, “Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.”

Said Weikart, “Natural selection was the guiding idea for Hitler and the Nazis. … the term [selection] was related directly to Darwinian terminology that when you went to the camps, you went through a selection process. They were selecting this person to survive and this person to go to the gas chambers.”

That’s it? Darwin wrote about natural selection and people were selected to die in the concentration camps? That’s their evidence? By that “reasoning” there’s a clear tie between Darwin, Hitler and the NCAA basketball tournament selection process. If this is the kind of argument you have to make, your position must be utterly ridiculous. But the arguments actually get worse:

The new film, on Darwin and World War I, quotes Charles Darwin: “The support which I receive from Germany is my chief ground for hoping that our views will ultimately prevail.”

Yes, that’s their attempt to tie Darwin directly to Hitler. But Darwin died in 1882, for crying out loud, so he can’t possibly be referring to what was going to happen more than 50 years later. What was he referring to? To German scientists who accepted his theory and were working on filling in the details. This argument is just so dishonest.

Now, if you want to find an actual antecedent to Hitler’s attempts to wipe out the Jewish people in Germany, look no further than Martin Luther, the founder of Protestant Christianity and Germany’s most influential theologian. He wrote a book called On the Jews and Their Lies in which he advocated mass violence against Jews:

What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more…

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home…If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination…

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden – the Jews…

I bet that isn’t mentioned in this film full of lies.

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  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    ….the Nazi scheme to clean up the gene pool (as they saw it) in order to create a master race of pure Aryans. Jews need not apply. Nor gypsies, Slavs, dissenting Christians…

    Who knew dissenting Christianity was a genetic trait?

  • frankniddy

    If you’re going to be that specious and ridiculous, you may as well argue that Newton’s laws of motion made Hitler’s V2 rockets possible.

  • colnago80

    This argument, of course, ignores the fact that Schicklgruber rejected common descent in Mein Kampf. He was a creationist, just like the fucktards at the Dishonesty Institute.

  • sugarfrosted

    Not to mention the centuries of Pogromen carried about by Catholic Churches (Catholic and orthodox churches) and the fact it was official church doctrine that the Jews were solely to blame for the death of Jesus, which was the case until the 70s..

  • raven

    which shows the not-so-missing link between evolution and the rise of the Nazi scheme to clean up the gene pool (as they saw it) in order to create a master race of pure Aryans. Jews need not apply. Nor gypsies, Slavs, dissenting Christians, etc.

    This is more Mendelism than Darwinism.

    Mendel was of course, a Catholic monk and later Abbott of his monastery. Whenever you look at the roots of the Nazi Holocaust, it all ends up back at…xianity!!!

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Do Weikart’s employers at California State University, Stanislaus, have any idea what a bigoted irrational asshat they chose to put on their payroll? If I were one of them, I’d consider this guy both untrustworthy and embarrassing.

  • raven

    Wikipedia SS:

    Himmler:

    “What is your oath ?” – “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God !”

    “So you believe in a God ?” – “Yes, I believe in a Lord God.”

    “What do you think about a man who does not believe in a God ?” – “I think he is overbearing, megalomaniac and foolish; he is not one of us.”

    1. The SS was the group that actually rounded up the Jews, administered the concentration camps, gas chambers, and crematoriums.

    2. The SS prohibited atheists from joining. Himmler, the head, hated atheists!!! The vast majority of them were xians, Lutherans and Catholics.

  • frankniddy

    And wasn’t The Origin of Species one of the books that was literally burned by the Nazis?

  • raven

    I see that a lot of the deep xian roots of the Holocaust have already been covered.

    It all starts with the NT bible, which is full of antisemitism, John and Matthew. The Catholic church kept it alive for 2,000 years. A Catholic turned Protestant, Martin Luther came up with the Final Solution in his book.

    Hitler was a Catholic and creationist. His millions of willing helpers were almost all Lutherans and Catholics. Atheists were prohibited by Himmler from helping slaughter the Jews.

    The Nazis banned Darwin’s books and another evolutionist, Haeckel as well.

  • Artor

    I see Colnago80’s Schickelgruber Tourette’s is flaring up again. Hey, can you please explain why you seem to be congenitally unable to type the name “Hitler?” You do realize that’s the guy’s name, and you lose a lot of people when you spout your nonsense, right? Are you worried he’s like Beetlejuice, and he’ll rise from the grave if he hears his name? Let me calm your nerves and assure you that won’t happen. Watch:

    Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!

    See? Nothi…

    ZOMG! It’s the rise of the 4th Reich! I’m sorry everyone! I was so wrong! Colnago80 was on to something all the time!!!

  • Kevin Kehres

    Let’s see…book comes out in 2004 and nobody pays any attention to it.

    DI makes a film in 2006 and somehow the theory of evolution survives.

    Now a “new” film comes out linking Darwin to WWI by the same band of incompetents that were behind the failed book and the failed first film.

    Color me unconcerned. Besides which, even if each and every charge in the “new” film were true, how would that impact the theory of evolution? Specifically? Would it invalidate the theory even if Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, al-Baghdadi, and Obama were 100% for it? No, it would not.

    Just like the theory of relativity is not invalidated by the fact that it was used to incinerate two Japanese cities back in the 1940s.

    It’s pure “argument from consequences”. Bad things happened, therefore the thing that “caused” the bad this is wrong.

    That’s like blaming the Holocaust on Wagner’s music. Meh.

  • raven

    Do Weikart’s employers at California State University, Stanislaus, have any idea what a bigoted irrational asshat they chose to put on their payroll?

    Wondered that myself.

    1. Weikart is clearly just a routine xian hater and liar for jesus. He is not a scholar in any way.

    2. He must have tenure.

    3. Tenure only goes so far. You can get away with immense amounts of craziness. One of my professors became a hostile alcoholic, another one lost his marbles and joined an eastern themed cult. Neither ever did another experiment after that. Neither was ever fired and the department just carried them along as dead weight.

    I don’t think Weikart should be fired either on the basis of tenure. Can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. But the U. Stanislaus and his department can and should make clear that they don’t agree with him and are just keeping him on because of…tenure.

    OTOH, his whole department could be filled with tenth rate morons. Some academic departments are notorious for infighting and dysfunction. They aren’t good places to work and very little gets done.

  • chilidog99

    Ok. Darwin caused hitler, who caused WWII, which caused the post war economic boom in the US, Eich gave the former soldier, Stanley Durham the career path which took him from which it’s to Honolulu which caused hi daughter to meet a certain young exchange student. . .

    OMG! Darwin caused Obama!

  • Chiroptera

    “Social Darwinism” has nothing to do with Darwin.

    Social Darwinists are simply apply animal husbandry techniques that have been known and used for 6000 years to humans. If you want to increase desirable traits, you encourage those individuals with those traits to breed, you prevent those without from breeding. If you want to decrease undesirable traits, you prevent those individuals with those traits from breeding, you encourage those individuals without those traits to breed. Good heavens, not only have people been deliberately using these techniques long before Darwin, people already knew they applied to humans as well; people were already concerned that social welfare programs would help the “undesirable classes” outbreed the superior classes.

    What Darwin proposed was a theory that explained how new species come to be, not merely to “improve” an already existing stock according to subjectively determined criteria.

    Now if Hitler intended to create an entirely new species of human, then they might have a point.

  • Mr Ed

    #2 frankniddy

    World War II saw a huge loss of life due to the use of gravity bombs. If Newton hadn’t invented gravity none of this would be possible.

  • gshelley

    I’ve never understood this argument. Artificial selection had been known for hundreds of years, as Darwin himself described. Do they not know the difference between artificial and natural? Or do they think that there is some specific characteristic being selected against here, other than genealogy? Or maybe they think that before Darwin farmers and animal breeders knew you could select animals, but no one had ever thought that you could choose which humans could live?

    Or something else (other than linking Darwin and Hitler as scare tactics without considering if the link is valid or even makes any sort of sense)?

  • colnago80

    Ree Raging Bee @ #6

    I’m sure they are well aware of it, just like the folks at Lehigh are well aware of Michael Behe and the folks at Northwestern are well aware of Arthur Betz. Academic Freedom don’t you know.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @15. Mr Ed : “World War II saw a huge loss of life due to the use of gravity bombs. If Newton hadn’t invented gravity none of this would be possible.”

    Nope. Thankfully there’s no such thing as gravity bombs. (Yet?)

    Gravity caused the chemical explosive bombs to fall on their targets but that ain’t the same thing. (Pedant.)

    Atomic bombs – developed at the end fortunately only by the right side – were more than bad enough.

    (Would Gravity bombs be something like instant Singularities I wonder? Of what mass? Flippin’ scary thought really.)

  • colnago80

    Re #17

    That should be Arthur Butz.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Even if you accept their bullsh!t premise that Hitler was inspired by Darwin, it’s still a specious argument against evolution. It’s like that billboards that were put up saying the Unabomber and Manson believed in climate change. Just because bad people accept an idea says nothing about whether the idea is scientifically valid. Science is about facts and data. It has nothing to do with the morals of people. Like Frankniddy said, that’s like blaming Newton’s laws of motion for the V-2 rocket.

  • raven

    It’s the Fallacy of the Argument From Consequences. So old, it has a Latin name.

    That isn’t even the worst part. It’s also just a bunch of routine lies. The truth hurts them. It was a xian production start to finish.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    What a ridiculous argument! Everybody knows that Hitler was really inspired by Newton’s Theory of Color.

     

    Artor “You do realize that’s the guy’s name, and you lose a lot of people when you spout your nonsense, right?”

    Without nonsense, what is Colnago80?*

     

    raven “One of my professors…lost his marbles and joined an eastern themed cult.”

    He became a Mets fan?

     

    * Spoiler Alert: Nothing. Without nonsense Colnago80 is nothing.

  • colnago80

    Re d. c. Wilson @ #20

    Example: Johannes Stark was a fervent Nazi. Has nothing to do with the validity of the Stark Effect.

  • eric

    Natural selection was the guiding idea for Hitler and the Nazis. … They were selecting this person to survive and this person to go to the gas chambers.”

    Um, that would make artificial selection the Nazi’s guiding idea. If natural selection had been their guiding idea, the Nazi’s would’ve never set up camps in the first place, because selection by humans is not Darwin’s* ‘natural’ selection.

    *Yes, I know humans are part of nature. But that’s not how Darwin used or defined the two terms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    The scholar to go to here is Robert Richards, Was Hitler a Darwinian?:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhome.uchicago.edu%2F~rjr6%2Farticles%2FWas%2520Hitler%2520a%2520Darwinian.pdf&ei=ftAJVJ3KFMyAygSfqICoCQ&usg=AFQjCNHxOK-t5hU1azCzoTSzITtfiioQkw&bvm=bv.74649129,d.aWw

    This article is now part of a collection of Richards’s essays:

    http://www.amazon.com/Was-Hitler-Darwinian-Questions-Evolutionary/dp/022605893X

    Not much is ironclad in history, but Richards comes close, with a convincing case that attributions of Darwinism to Hitler rest mostly or entirely on Hitler’s use of the phrase “struggle for existence,” and that Hitler got this phrase from the anti-Darwinian racist, Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

    Raven, as usual, doesn’t show much awareness of, or interest in, historical nuance. She/he once again ignores the anti-Christian turn that the Nazi Party took after the Church of Strife of 1937. That Hitler remained a Catholic from that point on (or from some point before then) is debatable, to put it mildly. It bears adding here that until the Church Strife, the form of Christianity that Nazism promoted was Protestantism; the Nazis were hostile to Catholics (not for theological reasons, but on the grounds of their alleged dual loyalty). It’s also worth mentioning that Himmler, though a theist, was emphatically NOT a Christian–he and some other important Nazis professed a bizarre kind of revived paganism. For an accurate account of these and other Nazi religious complexities, Richard Steigmann-Gall’s The Holy Reich is excellent.

  • eric

    Kevin Kheres:

    Would it invalidate the theory even if Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, al-Baghdadi, and Obama were 100% for it? No, it would not.

    Here’s an ironic twist using their argument: Darwinian evolution has been misunderstood in the past, resulting in horrific social injustices and crimes. Hitler! Pol Pot! Stalin! Therefore it is critical that Darwinian evolution not be misunderstood. So because of the Darwin-Hitler connection, we must explain the TOE to you in greater detail…

    Gshelley:

    Do they not know the difference between artificial and natural?

    Accuracy does not suit their political needs, obviously.

    d.c.wilson:

    It’s like that billboards that were put up saying the Unabomber and Manson believed in climate change.

    Wow, that’s interesting in a crazy sort of way. I’ve never seen any billboards like that. Did you see them in the South? Midwest?

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson
  • http://atheist-faq.com Jasper of Maine

    Some of Isaac Newton’s discovered physics lead to Nazi Germany’s technology, therefore, gravity isn’t real.

  • http://heb712.blogspot.com heddle

    aaronbaker,

    She/he once again ignores the anti-Christian turn that the Nazi Party took after the Church of Strife of 1937.

    Yes indeed. You can start here and google (combining terms Rutgers, Nuremberg, etc) forward.

    This so often becomes a endless argument: “The Nazis were not [Darwinists, Christians]. They were, in fact [Christians, Darwinists]” To first order they were neither, but, at times, co-opted both for their own purposes.

  • raven

    It bears adding here that until the Church Strife, the form of Christianity that Nazism promoted was Protestantism; the Nazis were hostile to Catholics (not for theological reasons, but on the grounds of their alleged dual loyalty).

    Nice personal attack. I would return it but I don’t much care any more.

    In realityland, the Nazis quickly reached an agreement with the Catholic church. The Reichskonkordat which greatly aided their consolidation of power. It was signed by Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII. AKA Hitler’s Pope.

    Wikipedia

    It is frequently discussed in works that deal with the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s and the Holocaust. The concordat has been described by some as giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired quasi-dictatorial powers through the Enabling Act of 1933, though Reichskanzler Hitler himself is not a signatory to the treaty and the treaty does not make mention of Hitler, or the Nazi Party. The source document is addressed to President Paul von Hindenburg.

    The treaty places constraints on the political activity of German clergy of the Catholic Church. This contributed to a decrease in the previously vocal criticism of Nazism by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Germany, after September 1933 when the treaty was ratified.

    The RCC never excommunicated any of the Nazis except Goebbels. His crime was marrying a Protestant. The Archbishop of Berlin ordered a Mass for the Dead said for Hitler after he killed himself. They always considered him a Catholic.

    Oddly enough, the Reichskonkordat survived WWII and is still the law in Germany.

  • aziraphale

    @18 StevoR: Not wishing to descend too far into nerditude, just let me point out that “gravity bomb” is commonly used to describe an unpowered and unguided bomb. You can Google it, although for some reason you will also get many hits for “gravity bong”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    Nice personal attack. I would return it but I don’t much care any more.

    That you’re either ignorant of pertinent facts or uninterested in them is is an empirically well-founded observation–relevant here because of the confident assertions you’ve made on this subject.

    Oh, and given your own history of unrestrained personal abuse, you don’t have clean hands, to put it as mildly as I can.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    aaronbaker “Oh, and given your own history of unrestrained personal abuse…”

    I got arrested for unrestrained persional abuse, once. They had to restrain me to make me stop. But that last part is probably tangential. The first part, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360322113 aaronbaker

    Heddle

    thanks for the link.

  • briandavis

    In the end it doesn’t really matter if Hitler was inspired by Darwin, or if Darwin was inspired by a time traveling Hitler. All that really matters is that we agree they were both evil, and that they both uttered the word “struggle” (or the German equivalent). Evolution is proved false as long as we’re in agreement on that.

  • briandavis

    But that last part is probably tangential. The first part, too.

    If your part is tangential you’re doing it wrong.

  • colnago80

    Re briandavis @ #35

    Well, a creationist has shown up with a totally rubbish comment. We do not agree in any way, shape, form, or regard that Darwin was “evil”. Along with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, Darwin was one of the three most important scientists who ever lived. Even if Darwin was “evil”, it is totally irrelevant to the truth or falsity of evolution, just as Johannes Stark’s Nazi views are irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the Stark Effect.

  • John Pieret

    you will also get many hits for “gravity bong”

    I had many hits on a gravity bong once upon a time. It’s why I remember almost nothing of the 60s.

  • John Pieret

    colnago80:

    Maybe it’s just me but I think briandavis was being sarcastic @ #35.

  • colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #39

    Maybe so, however, I don’t recall his moniker appearing on this blog previously so I guess we will have to wait for an explanation from him.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    colnago80, no you shouldn’t. I got it, and I’m an idiot. I can’t imagine how badly that must reflect on you.

  • Michael Heath

    I’m reading Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man now. The attributes that I found striking and not mentioned enough by others who cite Darwin was that he was an incredibly wise, emotionally mature person.

    Darwin’s willingness to put in an enormous amount of effort to make careful compelling arguments has me thinking on how he was Jackie Robinson before Jackie Robinson. That science needed someone to lead this effort that was better than all his adversaries, someone who’d make the effort to present a near-unassailable work product given the expected blowback that the facts show the Bible is not true. This is an attribute I have seen pervasively reported.

    Yes I’m aware of that Darwin promoted some falsified hypotheses wrong. I waited to read him because I first wanted to insure I was sufficiently up to speed on the evolutionary theory, where those efforts climaxed in 2007 with all those wonderful books that came out at the 150th anniversary (Zimmer, Coyne, Dawkins, Shubin, Carroll, etc.). But the fact he was sometimes wrong misses the point when it comes to how the scientific process works and how he contributed not just to our findings and understandings of evolution, but also to how we do now do science.

    That brings us to another feature of the book that historians and scientists do sufficiently promote. That Darwin made a huge advancement in our understanding of common descent and natural selection not by merely arguing these ideas, but also reporting a plethora of observations he and those Darwin cites made to buttress those ideas. It seems herculean to me, where Darwin didn’t even have the Internet. Instead he spent decades working really hard. From this perspective Darwin followed the ideals conservatives so love to claim for themselves, such as caution, hard work, fealty to truth, and integrity. When in fact conservatives and once again, conservatives demonstrate no evidence they’re deserving of this attribute.

  • denada

    “This argument is just so dishonest.”

    and that comment is just too kind to them. the one at the end, which actually manages to mention violations of the 9th commandment, is better.

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #42

    Darwin’s present day critics like to point out that he was occasionally wrong. In particular, he was wrong about inheritance being an analog process. However, Enrico Fermi (or possible Wolfgang Pauli) once remarked that a scientist who is never wrong is a scientist who doesn’t accomplish much. Isaac Newton was wrong about his contention that a purely particulate theory of light could explain diffraction and interference. He was wrong about his belief that chemical processes could turn lead into gold. He was wrong about his contention that the intervention of the Almighty was required to preserve the orbits of the planets in the Solar System over long periods of time (it should be pointed out that it was a hundred years before Laplace proved him wrong on the last one). Albert Einstein was probably wrong about his contention that god doesn’t play dice with the universe and he was certainly wrong about the existence of black holes. The fact is that these men, the most important scientists who ever lived, were right far more ofter then they were wrong and they got the big things right.

  • briandavis

    @ colnago80

    Definitely sarcasm.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Nor gypsies, Slavs, dissenting Christians, etc.

    I got a good laff out of this. They have to bend over backwards to pretend as if Christians weren’t a part of the Nazi regime. Yes, there were dissenting Christians. The vast majority of German Christians, however, were supporters of the regime. But we’ll pretend like they didn’t exist, and that Christians were the victims instead of the perpetrators.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    What’s really amazing about all of this is how there’s virtually no evidence at all to connect Darwin to Hitler. You’d think there would be more than there is just by sheer accident. I can only imagine how hard Weikart would soil his pants if some quote from Hitler turned up thanking Darwin personally, but nothing of the sort exists. Or if evolutionists or atheists had formed an analogue of the German Christian Movement. But again, nothing. So they’re reduced to vague connections based on common words or mangled concepts. I would have actually been far more inclined to believe that Hitler was influenced by Darwin — not that it would say anything about evolutionary theory — before Weikart failed so badly to make the connection.