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Criticism of ‘Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust’

Negative feedback 9 April 2001

Hello! Someone recently sent me the web address of an article at your site by Jerry Bergman, titled, “Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust.” I composed a reply that I also thought might be appropriate for Bergman himself to read.


BERGMAN: Hitler’s government relied heavily upon Darwinism, especially the elaborations by Spencer and Haeckel.

ED: Note the admission, “especially the elaborations of Spencer and Haeckel.” It’s the elaborations/interpretations/extensions of Darwinism, rightly or wrongly that most influenced Hitler.

BERGMAN: The Nazis relied heavily upon the work of Hans F.K. Günther, professor of ‘racial science’ at the University of Jena

ED: Note the admission, “relied heavily upon the work of Hans F. K. Günther,” whose “work” consisted of “proving” the “inferiority of the Jews.” Why “the Jews” you ask? Because Günther and many other Germans “knew” that the “Jews” were inferior long before Günther ever did his first “racial science” experiment (sic). In fact, many Germans believed that “Jews” were inferior for CENTURIES, because the Bible and Martin Luther told them so. So really, what DOES the Holocaust come down to? Günther’s “racial science,” a Jew-hating pseudoscience, based firmly on centuries of Jew-baiting and Jew-hating under the Christian cross.

BERGMAN: Poliakov notes that many intellectuals in the early 1900s accepted telegony, the idea that ‘bad blood’ would contaminate a race line forever, or that ‘bad blood drives out good’, just as bad money displaces good money. Only extermination would permanently eliminate inferior genetic lines, and thereby further evolution. … Darwin even compiled a long list of cases where he concluded bad blood polluted a whole gene line, causing it to bear impure progeny forever.

ED: This idea of “telegony” does not necessarily warrant “extermination” in the sense of killing people, just sterilization. I also wonder whether Darwin ever mentioned the words “bad blood” and spoke about it “polluting” a whole gene line. He probably did collect examples in which a pedigreed dog or pigeon was bred with a wild type and the children of that offspring no longer bore pedigreed offspring. But so what? Does that mean build ovens and kill Jews, homosexuals, Poles, and Gypsies? Darwin did invent a theory of inheritance that involved gemmules carried in the blood that carried physically inherited information, but it was disproven long ago. Nobody believes Darwin’s theory of inheritance any more.

BERGMAN: Hitler believed that Blacks were “monstrosities halfway between man and ape”

ED: More of Günther’s “racial science” at work? Bergman does not say. But the prejudiced idea of Black’s being mere savages goes back BEFORE Darwin’s day. The Europeans at that time looked down upon the Blacks in Africa and Indians in the Americas for not advancing technologically as fast as they had. The Europeans had guns and steel. The Blacks still had only spears. It proves nothing of course, except that races that develop technology tend to regard the less technologically advanced races with derision, and probably underestimate their capabilities. (Imagine how advanced beings in passing UFOs feel about everyone on our planet?) As for Blacks having a “mundane genetic character” that made them prone to being enslaved, see the “Biblical views” of the president of the Institute of Creation Research in America, found at the very end of this e-mail.

BERGMAN: Relatively few scientific studies exist which directly deal with Darwinism and Nazism

ED: Those wouldn’t be “scientific” studies, those would be historical studies.

BERGMAN: … and many evolutionists avoid the subject because evolution is inescapably selectionist.

ED: The word “selectionist” by itself means nothing. Bergman is just straining like the devil to connect everything the involves “Hitlerian, Güntherian, genocidal” selection with Darwin’s theory of “natural selection”—a theory that in the biological realm, even some creationists accede to, especially the ones who admit that microevolution occurs.

BERGMAN: One of the best reviews of Darwinism and Nazism documents clearly that Nazism felt confident that their programs of extermination was firmly based on evolution science.

ED: Just because someone is “confident” their beliefs are “based” on something does not mean it is. It merely tells us how “confident” that person was in their belief that it was. So believing one’s views are “based on science” doesn’t make it so. What was Nazi “racial science” really based on? Perhaps centuries of prejudiced racism? It was also based on “science” prior to the human genome project discovery that all human beings are, genomically-speaking, almost “identical twins” and that the notion of “races” is obsolete. But scientists knew that even BEFORE the human genome project which merely reinforced what they had already discovered via other types of experiments. Speaking of being “based on science,” there are still Christian groups who espouse racism and who believe their views are “based on science, or at least on what they claimed was common sense,” as did the Christian whites in South Africa, as did Christian slaveholders in the South of the U.S. (As I’ve pointed out, South Africa was a heavily Protestant Christian nation, that gave more money for missions per capita than even America, and that was during the time of their practice of apartheid, when it was also illegal to teach evolution in schools, nor did they allow the broadcast of any of Sagan’s COSMOS programs that dealt with evolution. So, creationism and Christianity in South Africa went hand in hand with apartheid.) And speaking of the idea of “things being firmly based upon” other things, what about all the crazy ideas that one Christian group or another affirms are “firmly based” on “the Bible,” and which another Christian group rejects, though both claim “the Bible” is the “basis” for all their beliefs? And the fact that such disputes have ended in excommunications, riots, murders and wars? Based on the Bible, Early American Puritans were convinced that if the native Americans would not convert, then they should be destroyed like the Canaanites, without mercy, man, woman and child. Need some quotations on that? I’ve got references. Might make a nice article at the Answers in Genesis site, “Christianity, the Bible, and the Native American Holocaust.”

BERGMAN: An assessment by Youngson concluded that the application of Darwinism to society, called eugenics, produced one of the most tragic scientific blunders of all time: “The culmination of this darker side of eugenics was, of course, Adolf Hitler’s attempt to produce a ‘master race’ by encouraging mating between pure ‘Aryans’ and by the murder of six million people whom he claimed to have inferior genes. It is hardly fair to Galton to blame him for the Holocaust or even for his failure to anticipate the consequences of his advocacy of the matter. But he was certainly the principal architect of eugenics, and Hitler was certainly obsessed with the idea. So, in terms of its consequences, this must qualify as one of the greatest scientific blunders of all time.”

ED: Taken from a book titled Scientific Blunders; A Brief History of How Wrong Scientists Can Sometimes Be. No doubt the authors of a book about “science’s” greatest blunders are going to play up the “science” aspect behind such blunders and ignore the centuries of religious intolerance and cultural egotism that preceded such blunders. Not to mention the charismatic ideologue, Hitler, and his ideological mass movement that carried out the exterminations proposed by their “leader.” I’d say; the Holocaust was a typical case of an alpha male leading his pack of gorillas. And that perhaps a lot of Christians today are being “primed” by their ideology which teaches them to bow down to a holy book or leader, to bow down to the next charismatic leader who comes along and is able to feign both “Christianity” and “science” in the name of some obviously prejudicially based plan which he assures us will “save the world,” and thereby wreck it.

Speaking of pseudoscience that is not based on Darwinism, but on a prominent creationist’s reading of the Bible check out the following:

HENRY MORRIS OF THE INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH, AND THE QUESTION OF “genetic CHARACTER.”

From Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings, Creation-Life Publishes, San Diego, 1976, I quote this passage: “Sometimes the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have even become actual slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane, practical matters, they have often eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites.” There is no scientific evidence for any “genetic character” basis for a disposition to “the mundane” (nor for a “genetic character” for a disposition to “philosophy or religion”) in certain peoples, and no biblical basis for assuming that a general distinction of this kind is genetic either. The notion of a genetic disposition to the mundane in certain populations is an utter fabrication. But it suits Morris’ view of the Biblically prophetic curse of one of Noah’s three sons, which he sees as thereby being fulfilled because he has interpreted it as being fulfilled, via his fallacy of a “genetic character toward the mundane” for an entire group of people.

ENDNOTE: Morris is careful to avoid the word “race,” but instead speaks of “genetic character”: “Note that these three streams of nations are not three ‘races.’ Though some have thought of the Semites, Japhethites, and Hamites as three races (say, the dusky, the white, and the black races or the Mongoloid, Caucasian, and Negroid), this is not what the Bible teaches, nor is it what modern anthropology and human genetics teach. There are dusky and black people found among all three groups of nations. The Bible does not use the word ‘race’ nor does it acknowledge such a concept. The modern concept of ‘race’ is based on evolutionary thinking. To the evolutionist, a race is a subspecies in the process of evolving into a new species, and this idea is the basis of modern racism … ”

This passage by Morris again demonstrates no knowledge of modern anthropology and genetics which are integral to modern evolution, and which teach that the notion of “race” has indeed become vacuous. But not because the Bible told them so.

Best, Edward T. Babinski

Mr Babinski,

All forms of racism are evil, but only a revelationist such as a Christian has a logical basis for such a moral judgment. From your writings I take it that you are a materialist. A materialist believes that there is no Creator who gave moral laws, and that concepts of morality are ultimately the outcome of the countless accidental rearrangements of chemicals that created our brain, which then plays tricks on us to make us think there are absolutes such as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, because this in some way furthers ‘evolution’. Former atheist C.S. Lewis pointed out long ago the philosophical futility of materialists trusting their thoughts, which are ultimately the illusions perpetrated on them by a cosmic accident.

We have passed on your comments to the author of the article, Dr Bergman, who is not a part of our ministry organisation, so he is under no obligation (from us) to respond to your comments. However, he may see fit to respond to you in detail.

You have read one article in isolation; an article dealing with a specific issue (how Darwinian thinking gave succour to Hitler). And it is not just Dr Bergman, a Christian, who has connected Hitler to Darwinism. Candid evolutionists who are not Christians have recognized the connection between Nazism and/or racism and evolutionary thinking. Two that come to mind are Sir Arthur Keith and (more recently) Dr Stephen Jay Gould.

Our website has quite a bit of material on racism, including ‘Christian’ racism. The book we published, One Blood, was written primarily to challenge Christians/church-goers to abandon racist notions. If you would read other articles on our website about racism you will see that we recognize that racism did not begin with Darwin. However, as Gould recognized, evolutionary thinking certainly gave impetus to racist notions, giving it a ‘scientific’ basis. When an idea has been given ‘scientific’ status/authority in the last 200 years, that idea has taken on much greater powers of persuasion. Whether that ‘scientific’ imprimatur was justified with what we now know is a different issue. The point that Dr Bergman makes is that claims of a scientific basis, based on the writings of scientists who were Darwinists, and who drew their inspiration from Darwinism, who thought in an evolutionary manner, gave succour to Hitler and the Holocaust. That is indisputable.

Yes, Luther’s unbiblical ideas about the Jews (which was a part of the State Church corruption that he did not manage to recognize, but then one man can only do so much!) was a factor in German thinking, but there was no Holocaust until over 400 years after Luther, when evolutionary ideas (‘science’) gave legitimacy to racism, eugenics, etc. The acceptance of evolution by the mainstream churches in Germany (the home of so-called ‘higher criticism’, which is merely evolutionary rationalism applied to the Bible) almost certainly helped pave the way for Hitler’s ideas. We of course campaign in the churches against ‘Christianized’ evolution, which corrupts the church and destroys the moral voice of the Christian Church (as it did in Hitler’s day). We find that those who promote racist ideas in the church almost invariably do not accept the historicity of the Genesis account (if they did, they could not be racist, as we show in One Blood). By the way, there are some in the church who oppose ‘evolution’, but who still do not accept the straightforward historicity of Genesis. Some of these people justify racist ideas by resorting to unbiblical concepts such as ‘pre-Adamic man’ as the source of ‘races’ they do not like.

I don’t know where you could get the idea that the Bible fosters anti-Semitism. You could not have studied the Bible at all to have this idea. Indeed the Bible, including the New Testament, was written by Jews. How could it be anti-Semitic!? Please read Romans 9–11, for example, written by the Apostle Paul (himself a Jew). And of course Jesus Himself was Jewish! We have also addressed such charges in the sub-article Alleged Antisemitism in the New Testament, and also in the article Genesis correctly predicts Y-Chromosome pattern: Jews and Arabs shown to be descendants of one man!. Significantly, the CMI scientist who wrote these articles is himself Jewish, and it’s hardly likely that he would work for a Bible-upholding organization if the Bible really were anti-Semitic. Many Popes have been anti-Semitic, but they did not get this from the Bible. Indeed, they were not too concerned about what the Bible taught (many people were burned at the stake for daring to want to read the Bible for themselves, such was the fear of the Church of Rome regarding the Bible’s teaching). The Reformation was needed because the Church of Rome was corrupt. Unfortunately, some of the errors of that day still persist even in some ‘Protestant’ churches (e.g. anti-Semitism and the treatment of church leaders as Priest-like authorities).

With regard to Dr Henry Morris’s views, you will have to take that up with him, although I think you have been rather unfair on him in lifting his words out of their context. Note that even the first Skeptics who cited this passage made it clear that Morris was not a virulent racist. It should be clear from all his writing, as opposed to out-of-context snippets like this, that Dr Morris is a staunch anti-racist. We do not necessarily agree with Dr Morris on everything, though we have a very high regard for him and his pioneering work in the area of creation/evolution and the authority of the Bible.

We have published material refuting the idea that today’s ‘Negroes’ (better: Black Africans) are descendants of Ham and therefore cursed in some way (e.g. in One Blood).

Dr Don Batten
CMI–Australia


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