Historian R. Weikart On the Valid Way to Understand Darwinism's Influence on Development of Nazi Ideology
The Darwinists claim that anyone who cites historical works in defense of the proposition that Darwin's theory influenced Nazi ideology is "quote mining." As usual, that is a cover-up. So is the straw man argument that the film Expelled is trying to blame poor old Darwin for the Holocaust or to claim that Darwinism originated anti-Semitism or that Darwinism was the sole source of Nazi ideology. Any such straw man intentionally exaggerates the message of the one segment of Expelled where the Nazi ideology of eugenics and race is explored.
Another straw man is the pretense that the film tries to stigmatize as Nazi-prone any contemporary Darwinist. Not so. The attempt here is to smear the film's star, Ben Stein, by putting words in his mouth.
And please don't say that applications that diminish the dignity of the human person merely derive from something separate called "Social Darwinism." There is no such significant distinction in the actual history of Darwinism, at least not in Europe. Social Darwinism, especially in Germany, was the dogma of evolutionism applied to public issues.
This article by German history scholar Richard Weikart of Cal State should set any fair-minded person straight. That person then should repair to the wealth of primary and secondary sources Weikart cites in his book, From Darwin to Hitler.
Oh, yes, what was that secondary title for On the Origin of Species again? As David Berlinski, author of the new book from Random House, The Devil's Delusion, reminded his audience at Benaroya Hall in Seattle last night, it was "The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."