Darwin matters far more in politics than your history teacher ever let on
|June 30, 2011||Posted by News under Culture, Darwinism|
Here, Martin Olasky, editor-in-chief of World tells us how “Darwin matters” (June 29, 2011):
Politics.Woodrow Wilson started federal government expansion in 1912 by opposing the “Newtonian” view that the government should have an unchanging constitutional foundation, somewhat like “the law of gravitation.” He argued that government should be “accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. . . . Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.” Wilson was the president who started the modern pattern of disregarding the Constitution, and in the 2012 election we will either start a second century of governmental expansion or yell, “Stop!”
Economics. Evolutionary thinking influenced not only Social Darwinists but socialists like H.G. Wells who thought it was time to advance beyond competitive enterprise. (Karl Marx in Das Kapital called Darwin’s theory “epoch making” and told Friedrich Engels that On the Origin of Species “contains the basis in natural history for our view.”) Many books and articles have linked Darwin’s thought to Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, and Hitler: Darwin is obviously not responsible for the atrocities committed in his name, but evolutionary theory plus his musings about superior and inferior races provided a logical justification for anti-Semites and racists.
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Infanticide. I debated Princeton’s Peter Singer in 2004 and had several conversations with him about his defense of infanticide. That year* he said, “All we are doing is catching up with Darwin. He showed in the 19th century that we are simply animals. Humans had imagined we were a separate part of Creation, that there was some magical line between Us and Them. Darwin’s theory undermined the foundations of that entire Western way of thinking about the place of our species in the universe.”
* Horror at his own earlier views may be catching up with Singer now, but not necessarily with the people he influenced. Any more than John Lennon’s real views on evolution have ever caught up with the yuppies who listen to his music.
World awarded two ID books a joint first prize this year for getting real about why this Darwin stuff matters – prompting speculations that it is the new Christianity Today.
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