Discovery Institute in JPost: Darwin Led to Hitler

David Klinghoffer of the anti-evolution Discovery Institute has an opinion column in the Jerusalem Post, attacking Jewish groups like the ADL for protesting against Pope Benedict’s reinstatement of Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson. Klinghoffer calls it “whining:” The wages of whining.

But the real purpose of Klinghoffer’s column is to attempt to redirect Jewish anger toward the Discovery Institute’s main target: the theory of evolution.

Meanwhile, Jewish groups continue to pillory the Christian churches for their alleged guilt in fomenting the Holocaust. That’s despite the fact that Hitler himself clearly dismissed as ineffective any fancied strategy to try to whip up Germans with appeals to punish the Christ-killers. In Mein Kampf, an influential best-seller, he relied on the language of Darwinian biology to declare a race war against the Jews.

Up pops another long-debunked creationist talking point that refuses to die: that Darwin’s theory of evolution led directly to Hitler and the Third Reich. Creationists have been violating Godwin’s Law with this canard for decades, and the Discovery Institute reveals their creationist heritage by continuing in this tradition.

The problem with this idea is simple—it’s not true. Klinghoffer claims that Mein Kampf uses “the language of Darwinian biology,” but in fact, Charles Darwin and the theory of natural selection are not mentioned even once in Mein Kampf. Klinghoffer’s claim is just short of an outright lie.

Here’s a page at the Expelled Exposed website with more information on this scurrilous and false creationist talking point: Hitler & Eugenics.

Since the 1920s, a narrow group of Christians who rejected the modernizing changes made by mainstream Protestants, have wrongly tried to blame evolution for what they see as the ills of modern society. World War I, atheism, and communism have all been attributed to evolution. After World War II, this narrow group added Nazism and Fascism to the horrors supposedly caused by evolution. Such claims occur in the writings of the young-earth creationist Henry M. Morris, a founder of the modern creation science movement, and have been repeated by “intelligent design” promoters and creationist Christian organizations such as Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, and Coral Ridge Ministries.

Understanding the history of Nazi Germany and how the Holocaust could happen is obviously a very serious, and, in an era when ethnic cleansing and genocide are resurgent, a critically important subject. The public interest is not well-served by the efforts of sectarian groups to advance their own narrow agendas through distorted and simplistic explanations of horrific events.

But Klinghoffer’s false equivalence is even more thoroughly destroyed by the fact that the Nazis banned Darwin’s books: When Books Burn: Lists of Banned Books, 1933-1939.

Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279

1. The works of traitors, emigrants and authors from foreign countries who believe they can attack and denigrate the new German (H.G. Wells, Rolland).

2. The literature of Marxism, Communism and Bolshevism.

3. Pacifist literature.

4. Literature with liberal, democratic tendencies and attitudes, and writing supporting the Weimar Republic (Rathenau, Heinrich Mann).

5. All historical writings whose purpose is to denigrate the origin, the spirit and the culture of the German Volk, or to dissolve the racial and structural order of the Volk, or that denies the force and importance of leading historical figures in favor of egalitarianism and the masses, and which seeks to drag them through the mud (Emil Ludwig).

6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

Klinghoffer’s piece is nothing more than a creepy, dishonest attempt to use this current controversy over Holocaust denial to smear the scientific theory of natural selection.

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