by Denyse O'Leary
Here and here, historian of Nazi Germany Richard Weikart responds to yet another whitewash of Darwinism's role in helping to create a particularly malignant type of racism, this time by Darwinist Michael Ruse:
Last November at a conference on Darwinism I conversed with a graduate student in philosophy who embraced Ruse's position on the evolution of ethics, which is not all that unusual among evolutionists. He told me he believed that morality is a biologically innate response shaped by evolutionary processes. It has no independent, objective, or universal existence. I pressed this graduate student, asking him how far he was willing to take his ethical relativism. Upon his affirmation that he subscribed to it completely, I asked him if he thought Hitler was morally evil. After explaining that he personally found Hitler's views repugnant, he admitted that he had no basis for condemning Hitler and finally he conceded, "Hitler was OK."Weikart is repeatedly accused of saying things he does not say, principally, one suspects because the things he does say and can demonstrate are so damning that the only alternatives are acknowledgement or obfuscation.
I doubt Ruse would be comfortable saying that Hitler was OK, because Ruse's (and Darwin's) political views are miles apart from Hitler's. However, Ruse's worldview (and Darwin's own) does not, as far as I can see, provide any objective basis for opposing or condemning Hitler (or Stalin or Mao).
Here's an interview I did with Weikart on how he got interested in Darwin and Hitler anyway (not how you might think?).
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).
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