Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin's Tree of Death - Evolution News & Views

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Slouching Toward Columbine: Darwin's Tree of Death

Today at Beliefnet, David Klinghoffer has a provocative essay commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. Klinghoffer notes that Columbine killer Eric Harris was inspired in part by his fanatical devotion to Darwinian natural selection, a trait Harris unfortunately shared with many opponents of human dignity during the past century. Given the pervasive influence of Social Darwinism in our culture, Klinghoffer suggests that Darwin's Tree of Life might be more appropriately viewed as a Tree of Death:

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution with its Tree of Life is applauded by most sophisticated Americans and Europeans as a scientific idea pure and simple, without the aura of dread and terror that, properly, should surround it in our minds.

Why should we so regard it? Not necessarily because of any judgment about whether the idea is right or wrong as science, but rather because of the uncanny way evolution has had of supplying the rationale and creating the backdrop for the most twisted, monstrous social movements that have sprung up in Western culture in the past century and half.

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