Hitler, Evolution, and Survival of the Fittest
"Darwin, Marx, and Freud helped shape the modern mind into conformity with the world view of Mechanistic Materialism."—*E.A. Opitz, "The Use of Reason in Religion," in Imprimis 7(2):4 (1978).
"The idea that evolution is a history of competitive strife fits well with his [Marx’s] ideology of ‘class struggle.’ "—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 412."
‘This is the book,’ he [Marx] wrote to his disciple Engles in 1866, ‘which contains the basis in natural history for our view,’ and he would gladly have dedicated his own major work, Das Kapital, to the author of The Origin of Species if Darwin had let him.
"At Marx’s funeral Engels declaimed that, as Darwin had discovered the law of organic evolution in natural history, so Marx had discovered the law of evolution in human history. With its denigration of non-material aspects of human life, and its mission to uproot tradition and destroy creationist concepts in men’s minds, communism remains one of Darwin’s strongest adherents . . After 1949 when the communists took control of China, the first new text introduced to all schools was neither Marxist nor Leninist, but Darwinian."—*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 24.
"Like Darwin, Marx thought he had discovered the law of development. He saw history in stages, as the Darwinists saw geological strata and successive forms of life . . But there are even finer points of comparison. In keeping with the feelings of the age, both Marx and Darwin made struggle the means of development. Again, the measure of value in Darwin is survival with reproduction—an absolute fact occurring in time and which wholly disregards the moral or ethical quality of the product. In Marx the measure of value is expended labor—an absolute fact occurring in time, which also disregards the utility of the product [and also the workman]."—*J. Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner (1958), p. 8.
"Again, Marx wrote to Engels, January 16, 1861, ‘Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural selection for the class struggle in history . . not only is a death blow dealt here for the first time to ‘teleology’ in the natural sciences but their rational meaning is emphatically explained.’ "—*C. Zirkle, Evolution, Marxian Biology, and the Social Scene (1959), p. 88.
"Defending Darwin is nothing new for socialists. The socialist movement recognized Darwinism as an important element in its general world outlook right from the start. When Darwin published his Origin of the Species in 1859, Karl Marx wrote a letter to Fredrick Engels in which he said: ‘. . this is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view . .’ By defending Darwinism, working people strengthen their defenses against the attacks of these reactionary outfits, and prepare the way for the transformation of the social order."—*Cliff Conner, "Evolution vs. Creationism: In Defense of Scientific Thinking," International Socialist Review, November 1980.
"Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was an avid, self-appointed spokesman for Darwinism in Germany . . Haeckel professed a mystical belief in the forces of nature and a literal transfer of the laws of biology to the social realm. The movement he founded in Germany was proto-Nazi in character; romantic Volkism and the Monist League (established 1906), along with evolution and science, laid the ideological foundations of [German] National Socialism. " . . English Darwinism interlinked two main themes, natural selection and the struggle for existence. Social Darwinism is an attempt to explain human society in terms of evolution, but Haeckel’s [proto-Nazi] interpretation was quite different from that of capitalist Herbert Spencer or of communist Marx. For him a major component was the ethic of inherent struggle between higher and lower cultures,—between races of men."—*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 48."Along with his social Darwinist followers, [Haeckel] set about to demonstrate the ‘aristocratic’ and nondemocratic aspect of the laws of nature . . Up to his death in 1919, Haeckel contributed to that special variety of German thought which served as the seed-bed for National Socialism. He became one of Germany’s main ideologists for racism, nationalism, and imperialism."—*Daniel Gasman, Scientific Origins of National Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League (1971), p. xvi.
"German Darwinism was shaped by Ernst Haeckel, who combined it with anticlericalism, militaristic patriotism and visions of German racial purity. He encouraged the destruction of the established church in Germany, with its sermons about ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ and compassion for unfortunates. Such a ‘superstitious’ doctrine would lead to ‘racial suicide.’ "—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 119. ("Monism" is the theory that all reality consists only of matter. This teaching is an important basis of atheism).
"Of all the forerunners of Hitler in Germany—Hegel, Comte, Nietzsche, Bernhardi, and others—the most significant was certainly Ernst Haeckel, the atheistic founder of the Monist League and the most vigorous promoter of both biological Darwinism and social Darwinism in continental Europe in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."—H.M. Morris, Long War Against God (1989), pp. 77-78.
"Only the fittest should survive."
"He [Haeckel] convinced masses of his countrymen they must accept their evolutionary destiny as a ‘master race’ and ‘outcompete’ inferior peoples, since it was right and natural that only the ‘fittest’ should survive. His version of Darwinism was incorporated in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf (1925), which means ‘My Struggle,’ taken from Haeckel’s German translation of Darwin’s phrase, ‘the struggle for existence.’ "—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 207 [also 312-313].
"In 1918, Darwin’s apostle Ernst Haeckel became a member of the Thule Gesellschaft, a secret, radically right-wing organization that played a key role in the establishment of the Nazi movement. Rudolf Hess and Hitler attended the meeting as guests (Phelps, 1963)."—Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men (1987), p. 488.
"The great German exponent of Militarism, Nietzsche, extended the Darwinian principle of the survival of the fittest in order to inspire his countrymen to fight. According to him, ‘The supreme standard of life is purely materialistic vitality and power to survive.’ The 1914-1918 war was thus the calculated climax of a policy nourished on the diabolical ideas of Nietzsche for the subjugation of the world. General von Bernhardi in his book, The Next War, shows the connection between war and biology. According to him, ‘War is a biological necessity of the first importance, a regulative element in the life of mankind that cannot be dispensed with. War increases vitality and promotes human progress.’ The summuim bonum [highest good] of life according to Nietzsche’s own words is ‘Man shall be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior; all else is folly’ " (Oscar Levy, Complete Works of Nietzsche, 1930, Vol. 2, p. 75).
"Adolph Hitler reiterated the same philosophy of life derived from the theory of evolution when he said, ‘The whole of nature is a continuous struggle between strength and weakness, and eternal victory of the strong over the weak."—H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (1966) pp. 147-148.
"In defending two young men, Loeb and Leopold, for cruelly murdering a fourteen year old boy, by name of Bobby Franks, the celebrated criminal lawyer of the day, Clarence Darrow, traced their crime back to what they had learned in the university. He argued, ‘Is there any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche’s philosophy seriously?’ His appeal to the judge was, ‘Your honour, it is hardly fair to hang a nineteen year old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university."—*W. Brigans (ed.), Classified Speeches, quoted in H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (1966), p. 146.
"The greatest authority of all the advocates of war is Darwin. Since the theory of evolution has been promulgated, they can cover their natural barbarism with the name of Darwin and proclaim the sanguinary instincts of their inmost hearts as the last word of science."—*Max Nordau, "The Philosophy and Morals of War," in North American Review 169 (1889), p. 794.
*Barzun, a history teacher at Columbia University, wrote an epic book, Darwin, Marx, Wagner, in which he clearly showed that Darwinism inflamed militarism and warfare wherever it went.
"In every European country between 1870 and 1914 there was a war party demanding armaments, an individualist party demanding ruthless competition, an imperialist party demanding a free hand over backward peoples, a socialist party demanding the conquest of power, and a racialist party demanding internal purges against aliens—all of them, when appeals to greed and glory failed, or even before, invoked Spencer and Darwin, which was to say, science incarnate . . Race was biological, it was sociological; it was Darwinian."—*Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner (1958), pp. 92-95.
"Darwin, Nietzsche, and Haeckel laid the foundations for the intense German militarism that eventually led to the Great War of 1914-1918. There were others who participated in the development, of course, including many of the German generals and political leaders, all very much under the spell of the German variety of social Darwinism. General Friedrich von Bernhardi said:" ‘War gives biologically just decisions, since its decisions rest on the very nature of things . . It is not only a biological law, but a moral obligation and, as such, an indispensable factor in civilization!’ "—H.M. Morris, Long War Against God (1989), p. 74.
"During World War I, German intellectuals believed natural selection was irresistibly all-powerful (Allmacht), a law of nature impelling them to bloody struggle for domination. Their political and military textbooks promoted Darwin’s theories as the ‘scientific’ basis of a quest for world conquest, with the full backing of German scientists and professors of biology."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 59.
"One need not read far in Hitler’s Mein Kampf to find that evolution likewise influenced him and his views on the master race, genocide, human breeding experiments, etc."—Robert Clark, Darwin: Before and After (1948), p. 115.
"[The position in Germany was that] Man must ‘conform’ to nature’s processes, no matter how ruthless. The ‘fittest’ must never stand in the way of the law of evolutionary progress. In its extreme form, that social view was used in Nazi Germany to justify sterilization and mass murder of the ‘unfit,’ ‘incompetent,’ ‘inferior races.’ "—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 412.
The undesirables had to be eliminated.
"During the 1930s, Adolf Hitler believed he was carrying Darwinism forward with his doctrine that undesirable individuals (and inferior races) must be eliminated in the creation of the New Order dominated by Germany’s Master Race."—*R. Milner, Encylopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 119.
"[Hitler] stressed and singled out the idea of biological evolution as the most forceful weapon against traditional religion and he repeatedly condemned Christianity for its opposition to the teaching of evolution . . For Hitler, evolution was the hallmark of modern science and culture, and he defended its veracity as tenaciously as Haeckel."—*Daniel Gasman, Scientific Origins of Modern Socialism: Social Darwinism in Ernst Haeckel and the German Monist League (1971), p. 188.Hitler said this:
"I regard Christianity as the most fatal, seductive lie that has ever existed."—*Adolf Hitler, quoted in *Larry Azar, Twentieth Century in Crisis (1990), p. 155."This doctrine of racial supremacy Hitler took at face value . . He accepted evolution much as we today accept Einsteinian relativity."—*Larry Azar, Twentieth Century in Crisis (1990), p. 180.
"Sixty-three million people would be slaughtered in order to obey the evolutionary doctrine that perishing is a law of nature."—*Op. cit., p. 181.
A Jewish biology professor at Purdue University, writing for the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, said this:
"I cannot deny that the theory of evolution, and the atheism it engendered, led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible."—*Edward Simon, "Another Side to the Evolution Problem," Jewish Press, January 7, 1983, p. 248.
"Adolf Hitler’s mind was captivated by evolutionary thinking—probably since the time he was a boy. Evolutionary ideas, quite undisguised, lie at the basis of all that is worst in Mein Kampf and in his public speeches. A few quotations, taken at random, will show how Hitler reasoned . . [*Hitler said:] ‘He who would live must fight; he who does not wish to fight, in this world where permanent struggle is the law of life, has not the right to exist.’ "—*Robert E.D. Clark, Darwin: Before and After (1948), p. 115.
"Mussolini’s attitude was completely dominated by evolution. In public utterances, he repeatedly used the Darwinian catchwords while he mocked at perpetual peace, lest it hinder the evolutionary process."—*R.E.D. Clark, Darwin: Before and After (1948), p. 115.
"Benito Mussolini, who brought fascism to Italy, was strengthened in his belief that violence is basic to social transformation by the philosophy of Neitzsche."—*Encyclopedia Britannica (1982), Vol. 16, p. 27.
"Darwinism was welcomed in Communist countries since Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had considered The Origin of the Species (1859) a scientific justification for their revolutionary ideology. As far as Socialist theorists were concerned, Darwinism had proved that change and progress result only from bitter struggle. They also emphasized its materialist basis of knowledge, which challenged the divine right of the czars."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 119.
"Aspects of evolutionism are perfectly consistent with Marxism. The explanation of the origins of humankind and of mind by purely natural forces was, and remains, as welcome to Marxists as to any other secularists. The sources of value and responsibility are not to be found in a separate mental realm or in an immortal soul, much less in the inspired words of the Bible."—*Robert M. Young, "The Darwin Debate," in Marxism Today, Vol. 26, April 1982, p. 21.
"Marx and Engels were doctrinaire evolutionists, and so have all Communists been ever since. Since atheism is a basic tenet of Marxism in general, and Soviet Communism in particular, it is obvious that evolution must be the number one tenet of communism. Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin were all atheistic evolutionists, and so are today’s Communist leaders. In fact, they have to be in order ever to get to be Communist leaders!"—Henry Morris, Long War Against God (1989), p. 85.
"At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist."—*E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (1940), pp. 8-9 [written and published in Moscow, by a close associate of *Stalin, while Stalin was alive].
"The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world."—*Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, p. 318.
"Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory."—*Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977), p. 127.
"The study of human origins by anthropologists was particularly influenced by racist considerations, and this situation extended well into the first half of the 20th century. It is well-known that Darwin and Huxley, as well as Haeckel, believed in white supremacy, as did practically all the nineteenth-century evolutionary scientists, but it is not as widely known that the leading 20th-century physical anthropologists also shared such opinions."—H.M. Morris, History of Modern Christianity (1984), pp. 48-49.
"The pseudo-scientific application of a biological theory to politics . . constituted possibly the most perverted form of social Darwinism . . It led to racism and antisemitism and was used to show that only ‘superior’ nationalities and races were fit to survive. Thus, among the English-speaking peoples were to be found the champions of the ‘white man’s burden,’ an imperial mission carried out by Anglo-Saxons . . Similarly, the Russians preached the doctrine of pan-Slavism and the Germans that of pan-Germanism."—*T.W. Wallbank and *A.M. Taylor, Civilization Past and Present, Vol. 2 (1961), p. 362.
"Racism is the belief that other human groups are inferior to one’s own and can therefore be denied equal treatment."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 414.
"Almost any 19th or even mid-20th century book on human evolution carries illustrations showing the progression: monkey, ape, Hottentot (or African Negro, Australian Aborigine, Tasmanian, etc.) and white European. Few of the early evolutionists were free of such arrogance, not even the politically liberal Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 380.
"Darwin postulated, in the sixth edition of his Descent of Man, that the time would come when the white peoples would have destroyed the black. He also thought that the anthropoid apes would become extinct. He believed that when these two eventualities had occurred the evidence of evolution among living creatures would not be as strong as previously."—Bolton Davidheiser, in Creation Research Society Quarterly, March 1989, p. 151.
"[Houston S.] Chamberlain wrote this prophetic statement in his Foundations : ‘Though it were proved that there never was an Aryan race in the past, yet we desire that in the future there may be one. That is the decisive standpoint for men of action.’"When asked to define an Aryan during the height of the Nazi madness, Josef Goebbels proclaimed, ‘I decide who is Jewish and who is Aryan!’"During the German Third Reich (1933-1945), the ideal of Aryan purity and supremacy became that nation’s official policy. Adolph Hitler’s program of herding ‘inferior’ races into concentration camps and gas chambers was rationalized as making way for the new order of superior humanity. Meanwhile, S.S. officers were encouraged to impregnate selected women under government sponsorship to produce a new ‘master race’—an experiment that produced a generation of ordinary, confused orphans.
"Hitler was furious when the black American Jesse Owens outraced ‘Aryan’ athletes at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, contradicting his theories of racial supremacy. And when the ‘Brown Bomber’ Joe Louis knocked out boxer Max Schmeling, German propaganda became even more vehement that white superiority would be vindicated. However, when Hitler needed the Japanese as allies in World War II, he promptly redefined those Asians as ‘Honorary Aryans.’ "—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), pp. 25-26.
"Darwin’s notion that the various races were at different evolutionary distances from the apes, with Negroes at the bottom and Caucasians at the top, was not unique to him, but rather was almost universal among the evolutionary scientists of the nineteenth century . ."It was not only Darwin and Huxley, the two top evolutionists, who were racists. All of them were! This fact has been documented thoroughly in a key book by John Halter, appropriately entitled Outcasts from Evolution."—H.M. Morris, Long War Against God (1989), pp. 60-81.
"Many of the early settlers of Australia considered the Australian Aborigines to be less intelligent than the ‘white man,’ because aborigines had not evolved as far as whites on the evolutionary scale. In fact, the Hobart Museum in Tasmania [Australia] in 1984 listed this as one of the reasons why early white settlers killed as many aborigines as they could in that state."—Ken Ham, Evolution: The Lie (1987), p. 86.
A noted Chinese scientist, *Kenneth Hsu, wrote these words concerning his feelings about *Charles Darwin:
"My abhorrence of Darwinism is understandable, for what member of the ‘lower races’ could remain indifferent to the statement attributed to the great master (Darwin, 1881, in a letter to W. Graham) that ‘at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.’ "—*Kenneth J. Hsu, in Geology, April 1987, p. 377.
"Unbridled self-indulgence on the part of one generation without regard to future ones is the modus operandi [operating mechanism] of biological evolution and may be regarded as rational behavior."—*W.H. Murdy, "Anthropocentrism: A Modern Version," in Science, March 28, 1975, p. 1169.
"Natural selection can favor egotism, hedonism, cowardice instead of bravery, cheating and exploitation."—*Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Ethics and Values in Biological and Cultural Evolution," in Los Angeles Times, June 16, 1974, p. 6."As we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless and without mercy . . The law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution."—*Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (1947), p. 15.
"As we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless and without mercy . . The law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution."—*Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (1947), p. 15.
"Evolution is a hard, inescapable mistress. There is just no room for compassion or good sportsmanship. Too many organisms are born, so, quite simply, a lot of them are going to have to die . . The only thing that does matter is, whether you leave more children carrying your genes than the next person leaves."—*Lorraine Lee Larison Cudmore, "The Center of Life," in Science Digest, November 1977, p. 46.
"Biological theories of criminality were scarcely new, but Lombroso gave the argument a novel evolutionary twist. Born criminals are not simply deranged or diseased; they are, literally, throwbacks to a previous evolutionary stage."—*Steven Jay Gould, Ever Since Darwin, p. 223.
"[Evolutionary] Science and religion are dramatically opposed at their deepest philosophical levels. And because the two world views make claims to the same intellectual territory, that of the origin of the universe and humankind’s relation to it—conflict is inevitable."—*Norman K. Hall and *Lucia B. Hall, "Is the War between Science and Religion Over?" in The Humanist May/June 1986, p. 26.
"By offering evolution in place of God as a cause of history, Darwin removed the theological basis of the moral code of Christendom. And the moral code that has no fear of God is very shaky. That’s the condition we are in."—*Will Durant "Are We in the Last Stage of a Pagan Period?" in Chicago Tribune, April 1980.
"Darwinism spawned mangy offshoots. One of these was launched by Darwin’s first cousin, Francis Galton. Obsessed, as were many, by the implications of the ‘fittest,’ Galton set out in 1883 to study heredity from a mathematical viewpoint. He named his new science eugenics, from a Greek root meaning both ‘good in birth’ and ‘noble in heredity.’ His stated goal was to improve the human race, by giving ‘the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable."—*Otto Scott, "Playing God," in Chalcedon Report, No. 247, February 1986, p. 1.
"Once almost obligatory in all biology textbooks, the promotion of eugenic programs was set back by the disastrous, barbarous attempts to create a ‘master race’ in Nazi Germany."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 156
."Nazi eugenics had two aspects: the extermination of millions of ‘undesirables’ and the selection and breeding of preferred ‘Aryan’ types. It was an article of faith that the blond, blue-eyed ‘Nordic-looking’ children would also prove intellectually and morally superior and that they would ‘breed true’ when mated. Neither assumption was correct."—*Op. cit., p. 272.
"In 1936, *Heinrich Himmler and his Stormtroopers (S.S.) founded an institution called Lebensborn "Fountain of Life." Its purpose was to create millions of blond, blue-eyed ‘Aryan’ Germans as the genetic foundation of the new ‘Master Race.’ Lebensborn children would be raised to be obedient, aggressive, patriotic and convinced their destiny was to dominate or destroy all ‘inferior’ races or nations. Galton’s well-intentioned dream of human improvement had become a nightmare in reality."—*Op. cit., p. 271.
"[Peter] Kropokin criticized Darwin’s remarks in the Descent of Man (1871) about the ‘alleged inconveniences’ of maintaining what Darwin called the ‘weak in mind and body’ in civilized societies. Darwin seemed to think advanced societies were burdened with too many ‘unfit’ individuals."—*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 259.
"Darwin often said quite plainly that it was wrong to ameliorate [to make better or more tolerable] the conditions of the poor, since to do so would hinder the evolutionary struggle for existence."—R.E.D. Clark, Darwin: Before and After (1958), p. 120.
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