AUTHOR: Allen MacNeill
SOURCE: Original essay
COMMENTARY: That's up to you...
There has recently been a huge controversy generated around the upcoming movie, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed", featuring Ben Stein. Rather than rehash most of this, I recommend that those who are not yet "up to speed" check out the related posts at The Panda's Thumb.
Ben Stein (a former speech writer for Richard Nixon) interviewed many evolutionary biologists for this film, including Will Provine and me. As the various threads at The Panda's Thumb indicate, he did so under patently false pretenses. Then, when some of the interviews contradicted the particular propaganda point he was trying to make, those "inconvenient" interviews were cut from the film (see here).
But that's not what I want to talk about in this blog. Ben Stein has been quoted repeatedly as saying that the underlying message in "Expelled" is "No Darwin, no Hitler". Yes, this is a particularly egregious example of Godwin's Law, but it is cited so often by creationists and ID supporters that I have prepared the following refutation (including citations, most of which I found here) Enjoy!
While Hitler uses the word "evolution" in Mein Kampf, it is clear that he is not referring to Darwin's theory. Indeed, he never mentions Darwin at all. In fact, a look at his writings reveals his sentiments on the subject to be those of an orthodox creationist.
Like a creationist, Hitler asserts fixity of kinds:
"The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi.
Like a creationist, Hitler claims that God made man:
"For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. x.
Like a creationist, Hitler affirms that humans existed "from the very beginning", and could not have evolved from apes:
"From where do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us, that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump , as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today." - Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier).
Like a creationist, Hitler believes that man was made in God's image, and in the expulsion from Eden:
"Whoever would dare to raise a profane hand against that highest image of God among His creatures would sin against the bountiful Creator of this marvel and would collaborate in the expulsion from Paradise." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol ii, ch. i.
Like a creationist, Hitler believes that:
"God ... sent [us] into this world with the commission to struggle for our daily bread." - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol ii, ch. xiv.
Like a creationist, Hitler claims Jesus as his inspiration:
"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them." - Adolf Hitler, speech, April 12 1922, published in My New Order.
Like a creationist, Hitler despises secular schooling:
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people." - Adolf Hitler, Speech, April 26, 1933.
Hitler even goes so far as to claim that Creationism is what sets humans apart from the animals:
"The most marvelous proof of the superiority of Man, which puts man ahead of the animals, is the fact that he understands that there must be a Creator." - Adolf Hitler, Hitler's Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier).
Hitler does not mention evolution explicitly anywhere in Mein Kampf. However, after declaring the fixity of the fox, goose, and tiger, as quoted above, he goes on to talk of differences within species:
"[T]he various degrees of structural strength and active power, in the intelligence, efficiency, endurance, etc., with which the individual specimens are endowed." Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi.
So, like a creationist, there is some evolution he is prepared to concede -- evolution within species, or "microevolution", to which people like Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe have no objection. It is on the basis of the one part of evolutionary theory which creationists accept that Hitler tried to find a scientific basis for his racism and his program of eugenics.
Ergo, Hitler did not base his eugenic and genocidal policies on evolutionary theory, but rather on views that are very similar to those held by most creationists and many ID supporters.
Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are warmly welcomed!