Stein is Right: Darwinism Led to the Holocaust

Ken Ham | Answers in Genesis | Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stein is Right: Darwinism Led to the Holocaust

April 15, 2008

Ben Stein, star of the forthcoming movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” can usually be counted on to provide interesting conversation fodder.

With “Expelled,” Stein makes a compelling case that the scientific community quashes views opposing evolution. There is one thing Stein says that shouldn’t be overlooked in evolution controversies.

“Darwinism led—in a pretty much straight line—to Nazism and the Holocaust,” he declares.

Although racism of course did not begin with Charles Darwin, he did more than any other person to popularize it. After he “proved” that all humans descended from apes, it was natural to conclude that some races had descended further than others.

In his opinion, some races (namely the white ones) left the others far behind, while other races hardly matured at all.

The subtitle of Darwin’s 1859 book, “The Origin of the Species,” was “The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” The book dealt with the evolution of animals in general, and his later book, “The Descent of Man,” applied his theory to humans.

Darwin wrote that he would rather be descended from a monkey than from a “savage.” In describing those with darker skin, he often used words like “savage,” “low,” and “degraded” to describe American Indians, pygmies, and almost every ethnic group whose physical appearance and culture differed from his own.

In the 1860s, around the time of the abolition of slavery, Darwinism made its way to American shores. It was used to justify racism against blacks, as well as the elimination of “savage native tribes” who hindered westward expansion in the name of “manifest destiny.”

The fruit of Darwin’s theories was (and is) being reaped in my homeland of Australia, which was involved in a gruesome trade in “missing link” specimens fueled by early evolutionary and racist ideas. Documented evidence shows that the remains of perhaps 10,000 of Australia’s Aborigines, many murdered, were shipped to British museums in a frenzied attempt to prove the widespread belief that they were the “missing link.”

As the seeds of Darwinism continued to spread in the 1900s, the question being asked was: “Who is human and what is not?” The widely held view was that blacks evolved from the strong but less-intelligent gorilla, Asians from the orangutan and whites from the most intelligent of all primates, the chimpanzee.

Across the globe, such conclusions led to racism, oppression, and genocide. Within decades, however, evolution would be used as justification for the whites of Europe to turn upon themselves.

Perhaps the most infamous abuse of evolution to justify racism was Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, which promoted a master race and sought to exterminate so-called inferior races.

In Asia, the Japanese justified their expansionist aggression by saying that they were the most “highly evolved” race on earth. After all, the Europeans, with their longer arms and hairy chests, were clearly closer to the ape, weren’t they? Westerners, in turn, justified their acts of mass destruction by portraying the Japanese as uncivilized savages.

Today, Darwinism and evolutionary thinking also enable ordinary, respectable professionals — otherwise dedicated to the saving of life — to justify their involvement in the slaughter of millions of unborn human beings, who (like the Aborigines of earlier Darwinian thinking) are also deemed “not yet fully human.”

The murder of Australian Aborigines, the oppression of African Americans, the slaughter of European Jews — the list goes on and on and the only way humans can justify their evil actions is to abuse the truth about science, history, and religion.

As Ben Stein says, there’s nothing morally neutral about Darwinism. It is a worldview with deadly fruits.

Ken Ham is the co-author, with Dr. A. Charles Ware, of “Darwin’s Plantation: Evolution’s Racist Roots,” and president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, which operates the popular Creation Museum in the Cincinnati area.