Argumentum Ad Hitlerum

28 August 2006

Why does America rank so low in acceptance of evolutionary theory? Well it probably has something to do with the massive PR campaign that makes such claims as this:

“To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler,” said Dr. Kennedy, the host of Darwin’s Deadly Legacy.

Dr. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries attempts to link Darwin to Hitler, eugenics, the Columbine shootings and pretty much everything else that's bad in the world in his new documentary titled Darwin's Deadly Legacy. One of the many problems with this, Godwin's Law aside, is that Hitler himself made it clear in Mein Kampf that he didn't even believe in evolution.

For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties.
Even a superficial glance is sufficient to show that all the innumerable forms in which the life-urge of Nature manifests itself are subject to a fundamental law--one may call it an iron law of Nature--which compels the various species to keep within the definite limits of their own life-forms when propagating and multiplying their kind. Each animal mates only with one of its own species. The titmouse cohabits only with the titmouse, the finch with the finch, the stork with the stork, the field-mouse with the field-mouse, the house-mouse with the house-mouse, the wolf with the she-wolf, etc.

This one is my favorite:

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.

So there you have it. Dr. James Kennedy is an ass. But even if Hitler did believe in evolution, then Darwin would be no more responsible for the Holocaust than Einstein was for Hiroshima. They both merely proposed value-neutral scientific theories. The fact that species have achieved their current diversity through the process of natural selection does not at all imply that we should kill off those we deem "weak". The fact that splitting an atom results in a massive release of energy in no way implies that we should release that energy over a Japanese city.

The documentary is a transparent attempt to make the theory of evolution look like a dangerous ideology that you should protect your children against. It's meant to motivate people to oppose this "deadly idea":

Evolution is taught in every public school in America, and not without consequences, as Darwin’s Deadly Legacy documents. Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 people and themselves in the worst school shooting in U.S. history.


UPDATE: Kennedy is dead.