On Hitler, Darwin, and Social Newtonism

In the movie Expelled, as well as a number of other sources, it is repeated over and over that Hitler’s eugenic and antisemitic views were influenced by Darwin, and thus Darwin and his work on Natural Selection are inherently evil.

It takes very little research to discover that Hitler in fact used the Bible and tenets of Christianity to justify his actions, and any association with natural selection or evolution is in name only, and not in reality.

Allow me to illustrate with an example of a made up scheme of Social Newtonism: 

According to Newton’s law of gravitation, tall people have more potential energy than short people. Now, everyone knows that having potential is a good thing, and having energy is a good thing, so clearly any tall person – with greater potential energy – is superiorto any short person. As such, it could be suggested that only tall people should be allowed to reproduce, in order to ensure the future improvement of the human race. And because this is so clearly based on physical laws, I will call this Newtonics, or Social Newtonism.

Now, should the response to this be:

Since Social Newtonism is clearly misguided and evil, we will call Newton the Antichrist, and stop teaching Physics in school.


So called “social Newtonism” has nothing to do with Newton’s laws other than hijacking his name, is a complete misrepresentation of physics, is merely an excuse to promote prejudice, and should be exposed as such. Newton’s laws should be taught more and better, to ensure this type of gross misrepresentation should never happen again.

Which is the correct response? Clearly not the first. So please tell me why it is that this is precisely what is happening with Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection? I understand the motivation (discredit Darwinism so fundamentalist Christianity can be rammed into the school system to indoctrinate children when they are young and susceptible), I mean why are people letting it happen?

To put it plain and simple, blaming Darwin for Hitler is a lie. Isn’t there something in the bible about not telling those?

10 Responses to On Hitler, Darwin, and Social Newtonism

  1. Dan says:

    “To put it plain and simple, blaming Darwin for Hitler is a lie. Isn’t there something in the bible about not telling those?”

    I’m not sure it actually says “Thou shalt not tell lies.” It is however clear, historically speaking, that it’s appropriate to torture and/or murder non-Christians. Being right or wrong becomes irrelevant.

    • One of the commandments is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour“, but also in Rev 21:8 it says “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death“, and Proverbs “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers“, which is a double-whammy.

      • Dan says:

        However there has apparently been an unwritten exemption for the “no lying rule” when it came to anything deemed heretical to catechisms and such.

      • The exemption actually is written. It’s called The Prince by Machiavelli…

      • Dan says:

        Machiavelli only (maybe) explains the lies by heads of state. Personally, I’m convinced that the unwritten exemption to not lying, with regards to defending one’s religion, is best explained by the concept of “cognitive dissonance.”

      • I think cognitive dissonance plays a role in the belief systems of the lay person, but I think the church leaders who make the big decisions must know to some extent when they are being dishonest, but justify it as being for the Better Common Good.
        The ID movement leaders are even worse.

      • Dan says:

        I think you give them too much benefit of the doubt in thinking that such leaders aren’t themselves similarly convinced that they’re being honest. They are afterall themselves a product of the culture which they propagate.

      • Could be.
        Intentionally dishonest, or genuinely deluded.
        Tough call…

  2. dawkinswatch says:

    What about Theosophy and Madame Blavastky, you guys need to read wider.

    • And what of Theosophy? Bits and pieces of various religions and philosophies rather crudely slapped together. It does not actually relate AT ALL to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection.
      And Nazism is a bastardization of Theosophy, which actually sought to unite humanity “without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour”

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