Saturday, December 16, 2006


Straight Line

In an exchange of letters with Red State Rabble, Richard Weikart has denied that he draws a straight line between Darwin and Hitler in his book, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany. He writes:
Second, note my terminology carefully—“played a key role.” Nowhere do I claim--and in the introduction of my book I specifically deny—that Darwinism is the sole cause or sole factor behind Nazi ideology.

That this quibbling is not to be taken seriously has already been made clear by Weikart's participation in a widely condemned television program produced by right-wing fundamentalist D. James Kennedy on the Coral Ridge Hour which featured, among other experts, Ann Coulter.

Kennedy, of course, has no trouble making the connection:
"To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler," says Dr. Kennedy. "Hitler tried to speed up evolution, to help it along, and millions suffered and died in unspeakable ways because of it."

To this we can now, we can add the reaction of Johnathan Witt, a fellow of the Discovery Institute:
What is striking is how straightforwardly many of the horrors documented in Weikart's book follow from Darwinian principles.

To be sure, Weikart has salted this "history" with pettifogging caveats designed to shield him from criticism in the academic world, but it is nothing more than right-wing propaganda with only the with the thinnest of academic veneers. The fundamentalist audience Weikart's book is directed to knows better than to read the fine print.


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