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He said it: G. K. Chesterton on scientism

Gilbert: The Man Who Was G. K. Chesterton

Although he didn’t quite call it that.

Recently, we quoted a longish excerpt from early twentieth century Catholic writer, G. K. Chesterton on why he didn’t buy into Darwinism. Now science historian Michael Flannery sends us another bit, Chesterton on scientism:

I found this prescient observation from Chesterton in his Eugenics & Other Evils (1927) in my ongoing research on the opponents of eugenics:

The thing that really is trying to tyrannize through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by police-that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics. Materialism is really our established Church; for the Government will really help it to persecute its heretics.

Flannery adds,

By “Science” Chesterton, of course, doesn’t mean the honest and objective inquiry of the natural world but rather scientism. A moment’s reflection on some of the comments of Steven Pinker, James Watson, E. O. Wilson, and others hypnotized by the Darwinian paradigm will remind us that the eugenic mindset is still very much with us.

You can download the book here.

See also: G. K. Chesterton on how little good five percent of an eye is

Also, here’s a an interview with the author of a book on the impact of eugenics

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3 Responses to He said it: G. K. Chesterton on scientism

  1. And these lunatics will no doubt cause history to repeat itself.

    Will they never learn?

  2. There’s nothing wrong with believing anything per se. And there’s hardly any issue to take up against believing in Darwinism. The only issue to take up is what you believe you ‘must do’ to your neighbors on the basis of your belief.

    If your belief is that we came from mud by accident rather than intention then so be it. It’s only an issue when you try to return your neighbors to mud and via force applied by the King’s Men. All for Great Justice of course.

  3. If you want to get really scared, read “From Darwin to Hitler”, which is written from German Evolutionist and Eugenic sources. The Nazi “racial hygiene” laws were copied from a law passed in California in 1919.

    Or read “Better for All the World” about Eugenics in the US. No less a person than Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes ruled that the State could forciby sterilize citizens for the crime of being “feeble minded”. In the State of Virginia, where I live, citizens could be seized by sheriffs, transported to a State hospital, and neutered for the “crime” of being a “hillbilly”. Since all hillbillies were obviously feeble minded.

    This died after WW2 only because of the EMBARRASSMENT caused when the voting public saw pictures of the insides of a Eugenics machine in full operation in Germany.

    But it was England and the USA that started all the talk of an ANGLO-SAXON Superman and the need to breed a Master Race to guarantee the “survival of the fittest”. Tarzan, Doc Savage, John Carter of Mars, even Buck Rogers, etc., etc., are all pure-bred Anglo-Saxon Super Men. The Germans just copied.

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