Monday, July 13, 2009

Evolution: Bloodiest Belief System Ever?

Does evolution really teach a future of prosperity? What has been the result of evolutionary thinking in the past hundred years? Let’s first look at the casualties stemming from leaders with evolutionary worldviews, beginning in the 1900s, to see the hints of what this “next level” looks like.

View the estimated dead and supporting documentation.


  1. "Evolution" is not a belief system. It is a scientific theory that explains genetic change and diversity in life on Earth with enough evidentiary support to convince the great majority of biologists and other scientists, including many Christian ones.

    Further, Adolf Hitler was not an athiest, and did not attempt to exterminate Jews because he believed in evolution and wanted to help it along. According to Mein Kampf, Hitler thought he was acting in God's name:

    "[the Jew's] life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previously was to the great founder of the new doctrine."


    "Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance to the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

    Finally, attempted extermiation of an ethnic group on the grounds that they are not fully human does not fit with evolutionary thought. Evolutionists think that nature changes genetic code through the natural selection of traits that help organisms survive. The unnatural destruction of a genetically diverse group does not accelerate evolution--it interrupts it and helps less useful survival traits multiply contrary to the natural order.

    In any event, arguing that acceptance of evolution as a scientific fact leads to bad consequences does not refute the theory. It is either correct or not, without regard to its social implications.

  2. Evolution is not a "belief system" that teaches "a future of prosperity." Natural selection is simply a scientific explanation for change and diversity in life on earth--supported by the preponderance of the biological evidence gathered so far--and acceptance of this explanation has nothing to do with "belief." This is no more a matter of faith than our measurement of the speed of light.

    Those of us who do accept this explanation do not think that evolution alone will make human beings more prosperous--only different and more diverse. Evolution makes us stronger only relative to the factors selected for, and does not necessarily promote progress.

    Hitler had no "evolutionary world views." Instead, he wrote about his belief that the Aryan race was a special creation of God, "the highest image of the Lord," and this was the foundation for his racism. He wrote that actions to aid the "subhumans" were an offense against God, and called his efforts to purify the Aryan race "the fulfillment of the mission allotted to it by the Creator of the Universe." Adolf Hitler acted not as an atheist who accepted evolution, but as a Christian in the name of God: "Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance witht he will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

    Lenin and Stalin rejected Darwinian evolution as well, calling it bourgeois, and embraced instead the proletarian biology of Lysenko. You might argue that their professed atheism removed a moral obstacle to the genocide they practiced, but it's not clear that gets you anywhere, since religion seems just as culpable in just as many cases of mass killing. At any rate, their pogroms had nothing to do with evolution.

    Finally, it is not clear how intentional efforts to purge human life of those unlike oneself reflects a belief in evolution. Natural selection is just that--natural--and any effort human effort to select genetic winners by through genocide is the antithesis of evolution. Leaders who commit this crime may be convinced of their own superiority, but most are not convinced they got that way by natural selection--like Hitler, they thought God preferred them.

    I therefore challenge your suggestion that "belief" in evolution could lead to a "next level" of progress that includes genocide and mass extermination of human beings.

  3. A macro view from a Baptism pastor:

  4. Scientific assumption is not analagous to faith. Scientists and other researchers make assumptions about things they cannot prove in order to build models they can test. This looks like faith at first, but differs in the sense that if the models do not explain or match observations, scientists discard them for new ones.

    The faithful do not do this. When the real world does not match what their faith tells them they should see, religious people simply explain it away as God's "mysterious ways."

    Scientists test and willingly discard core assumptions that do not fit the real world. Religious people do not. Assumption is not faith.

  5. I'm not sure debating Hitler's views are hugely edifying, it makes me feel gross. If I publish contrary evidence I feel like I'm giving him a stage again.

    This particular article, as I read it, is insulting to your worldview and I'll withdraw it. It makes several leaps of faith that betray my own belief in a rigorous appoach to evidence.

    I like how you differentiate between scientific assumption and faith. My question to both sides would be this: Do you impose your view on the evidence? I've seen this done from both sides in articles and blog posts. If so, then it's not scientific and it is an assumption.

    As you know I am not a scientist, I'm a math guy. I can't see having 3 potential proofs to a theorem and arbitrarily throwing one out because it's inconvenient or threatens my entire system. Why? I want my entire system and all its postulates to be correct. Checking and rechecking is built into how I approach life.

    Is this the ideal way to be? I can't say, it results in a very slow acceptance of proof but I feel like what I've accepted is accepted confidently.

    I may be the last kid at camp to jump into the deep end of the pool, because I have to check the temperature and the depth and see others complete the feat successfully. However, once in, I have to be dragged out. Olfactory memory: Smelling Cammack Village pool.

    If there is a God as described in the Bible, then the I cleary can't understand everything. Philosophically or pragmatically, this is an easy conclusion.

    I don't like it when religous people play the "mystery" card either if they're playing it rather than do some rational thinking. If anything is true, it must stand up to examination and how will it be examined if it isn't discussed?

    A mystery is a great thing to discuss, it was our favorite topic as children. The Shack is a fictional stab at some of the big mysteries by someone who is outside the "religious system" but a product of it. The author has deep trauma in his past, which I assume is why he flung himself headlong against some of these brick walls. His bravery (desperation?) led him where no Christian mind has ever gone, which I deeply respect.

  6. It's difficult to imagine a clearer case of "imposing your view on the evidence" than that of people who argue that what we know about the world shows that an intelligent designer created it 6000 years ago.

    "That is complicated, so someone must have made it" seems to me an obvious example of this.

  7. I've been an intelligent design guy all along, no matter my worldview. I try to stretch my brain and put myself on the other side of this but it won't go there, at least so far.

    I'll offer this: If I was the "first" man on the moon and I lined up my golf ball, swung and sent it soaring only to hear a clunk as it bounced off of an object, I might be alarmed. Upon investigation, I discover that it looks much like a space vehicle.

    I can reasonably extrapolate that it was made and that it was the product of intelligence. Why? I'm an astronaut and know something of space vehicles, though this knowledge probably isn't necessary.

    I watched a video yesterday about hummingbirds. I think they're amazing. I did not think next that this might be useful in debate, but I did think next that I was grateful to God for providing this display for me. Since my relationship to God is personal this reminded me how I imagine He might be, a wondrous display of color and ability.

    I freely concede that I brought that personal relationship to the hummingbird party which then became a personal experience. I would not argue that you should have an identical experience, because you bring your life experience to the party.

    I would argue that hummingbirds will continue to amaze me no matter the mechanism that produces them.

    If I presume that A = B and B = C then I can prove that A = C, but with the stipulations. Is it possible, that we're correctly reporting what we see given our life experience? Is there a way to peel back the layers and truly understand one another? Would that be valuable?

    It does not seem possible in general debate but this is you and I. Might we both be accurately describing a canoe floating down the river but from opposite shores?

    I will never get a look at any experiences, events or worlds that is my shared experience with you. I can only have the best friend view with you.

  8. I have no doubt that we human beings bring individual perspective and experience to the table when attempting to analyze the universe, solve puzzles, or explain the world. A central difficulty scientists face is the need to remain objective, and remember that experience and perspective are not evidence. The scientific method itself depends on objective analysis of data, with no preconceptions or effort to fit the evidence to models. Scientists attempt to fit models to evidence, and I think they do a better job of this than religious apologists.

    We have constructed different models to explain what we see in the universe. Yours includes an omniscient God, and mine does not. So no, I doubt that we are both accurately describing a canoe, but from opposite sides, because our models cannot both correctly describe the actual nature of the universe.

    But I agree that our varied experience means that we have different starting points for model construction. And it complicates our ability to be objective. Your spacecraft example is instructive here.

    If you and I separately found a spacecraft and a life form on the moon, we would classify them differently when attempting to discover their origins. You classify them in terms of complexity, and conclude that if both are complex, a designer made each one. I would classify according to whether it is a living thing, and assume that one was constructed and the other evolved.

    I think our long friendship certainly helps us to understand one another far better than most people who discuss this issue. That you--who I know and trust so well as having a powerful intellect--believes in God is a strong data point. So you hold my attention where others don't.

  9. Then we agree that opposite ideas cannot both be true. That's a starting point.

    It might serve better to consider the canoe as a piece of evidence being considered (as in the DNA post) where the sum total of our abilities might combine to add a shade of observation and/or meaning that was not possible separately.

    CS Lewis said this of one of his close friends in the pub group that included Tolkien. The friend died and Lewis said he mourned the person he was when he was around when talking to Tolkien. He could still talk to Tolkien, but he could never again be the friend he was to Tolkien when his deceased friend was around.