The Corner

Darwin and Hitler

Some readers want me to pass comment on David Klinghoffer’s Darwin-inspired-Hitler piece.

As so often with creationist material, I’m not sure what the point is. Darwin’s great contribution to human knowledge, his theory of the origin of species, is either true, or it’s not. Is David saying: “When taken up by evil people, the theory had evil consequences. Therefore the theory must be false”? Is he asserting, in other words, that a true theory about the world could not possibly have evil consequence, no matter who picked it up and played with it, with no matter how little real understanding? Does David think that true facts cannot possibly be used for malign purposes? If that is what David is asserting, it seems to me an awfully hard proposition to defend. It is a true fact that E = mc2, and the Iranians are right at this moment using that true fact to construct nuclear weapons. If they succeed, and use their weapons for horrible purposes, will that invalidate the Special Theory of Relativity?

If David does not think that Darwin’s explanation for the origin of species is correct, let him give us his reasons; or better yet, an alternative explanation that we can test by observation. That a wicked man invoked Darwin’s name as an excuse to do wicked things tells us nothing, nada, zero, zippo, zilch about the truth content of Darwin’s ideas.

And, as always when the Darwin-Hitler business comes up, I note that guilt by association cuts two ways. Islamic fundamentalists are Darwin-hating creationists to a man. (And probably to a woman … but the women don’t get to say much.)

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