Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Creationism and Eugenics: A History

I've been writing a lot lately about the links the Discovery Institute wants you to draw between Darwin and evolution on the one hand, and Hitler, the Nazis, and eugenics on the other.

Discovery fellows, like John West, while drawing their pay from Christian Reconstructionist Howard Ahmanson, want you to believe that Darwin and the theory of evolution are responsible for the crimes of the eugenics movement.

Unfortunately, there's a wealth of information to the contrary.

Over at Panda's Thumb, Andrea Bottaro recounts the strange history of William J. Tinkle, a geneticist and prominent creationist:

"Tinkle opposed evolution and Darwinian theory, but was an enthusiastic proponent of eugenics, and published several articles on the subject," writes Bottaro:

In his 1939 textbook “Fundamentals of Zoology” he devotes a section to “The Need of Human Betterment”, where he laments the existence of “defective families” who “give birth to offspring like themselves” , producing “persons of low mentality, paupers and criminals in much greater ratio than the general population” [8, p. 130]. Negative eugenics via institutionalization seems to have been his preferred eugenic solution:

It is an excellent plan to keep defective people in institutions for here they are not permitted to marry and bear children.[8, p. 131]


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