Charles Darwin (1809-1882) And Darwinian Evolution

By Brannon S. Howse

Given that Adolf Hitler and Margaret Sanger fully embraced the worldview of Charles Darwin, at this point in our discussion it would be tempting to ask, “Need I say more?” On the other hand, if the chapters in this book were placed in order of importance of influence, Darwin would be number one. 


The spectacular scope and intensity of Darwinism’s influence on virtually every arena of thought is breathtaking. The acceptance of Darwin’s worldview and the associated “science” paved the way for acceptance of every one of the people named in this book. If rising to Darwin’s level of impact was the standard for induction into the Destructive Ideas Hall of Fame, he would be the only one to qualify for admittance. 


In a sense, Darwin “started it all.” His Origin of Species and The Descent of Man crystallized the worldview he would come to stand for. 


Survival of the Eugenicists:


The Descent of Man is essentially a call to embrace eugenics, which Darwin euphemistically called “survival of the fittest.” Although Darwin initially described a farm animal breeding program, he eventually made it clear he was talking about human “evolution” as well. The legacy of this one idea has led to the deaths of millions. 


Eugenicists, as defined by Dr. George Grant, are:


"the practitioners of an odd pseudo-science who sincerely believe that if human civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be eliminated."


 Here’s how Darwin put it:

[quote] With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive exhibit a vigorous state of health….We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. One who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will not doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself; hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.[end quote]


Darwin spins this into his prescription for how to assure the continuing upward progress of mankind:


"If…various checks…do not prevent the reckless, the vicious and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing at a quicker rate than the better class of man, the nation will retrograde, as has occurred too often in the history of the world. We must remember that progress is no invariable rule."


Now consider Hitler writing in Mein Kampf:


[quote] Every crossing between two breeds which are not quite equal results in a product which holds an intermediate place between the levels of the two parents. This means that the offspring will indeed be superior to the parent which stands in the biologically lower order of being, but not so high as the higher parent. For this reason it must eventually succumb in any struggle against the higher species. Such mating contradicts the will of Nature towards the selective improvements of life in general. The favourable preliminary to this improvement is not to mate individuals of higher and lower orders of being but rather to allow the complete triumph of the higher order. The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all. [end quote]


Dr. Erwin Lutzer in his book, Hitler’s Cross, illuminates the Darwin/Hitler connection:


[quote] Hitler also accepted Charles Darwin’s theory of “the survival of the fittest” and asserted that man had every right to be “as cruel as nature.” Detailed lectures were given in schools and to SS troops to prove the inferiority of the Jews. Aryan skulls were compared with those of Jewish ancestry to prove on a scientific basis that the latter were hopelessly inferior. Only the “fittest” had the right to survive.” [end quote]

Naturalism and Its Consequences:


Darwin was committed to naturalism, the belief that all that exists is the natural world. To him, there is no spiritual world, no Creator God. This worldview brings with it serious consequences: 


• If there is no God or Creator, then everything happens by chance or by mistake. 

• If there is no God, then man was not created in His image.

• If there is no God, then there is no right or wrong.

• If there is no God, there is only the natural world.

• If there is no God, then man does not have an eternal soul and there is no life after death.

• If there is no God, life has no meaning.

• If there is no God, man does not have a free will, for he is the product of his environment.

Yale University history professor Donald Kagan points out the consequences of a worldview that says “God is dead.” Often called nihilism and based largely on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche(chapter 7), it permeates our culture: 

[quote] [A] vulgar form of Nihilism has a remarkable influence in our educational system through our universities. The consequences of the victory of such ideas would be enormous. If both religion and reason are removed, all that remains is will and power, where the only law is that of tooth and claw. [end quote] 


Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini demonstrate the destruction that results when a leader doesn’t believe in God, life after death, heaven, hell, or a judgment day on which he will be held accountable by the righteous Judge. In their atheistic worldviews, they were the highest authority. As a result, Hitler killed as many as six million Jews and five million non-Jews during his Holocaust, and while Stalin was dictator of the Soviet Union, he killed some 20 to 40 million people. The twentieth century was the most murderous of any century in history, due largely to tyrants and dictators who did not acknowledge any authority higher than themselves. The Congressional Record noted that 135 million people were killed by Communists in the twentieth century.


Our Founders so believed in the importance of elected officials believing in a deity higher than government that Benjamin Rush, known as the Founding Father who promoted the establishment of schools in America, said:

"Such is my veneration for every religion that reveals the attributes of the Deity, or a future state of rewards and punishments, that I had rather see the opinion of Confucius or Mohamed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament."


Benjamin Rush understood that religion—or a belief in God—made for great citizens. He also knew that if America’s future educators were not firm in their belief in the Deity who rewards good and punishes evil, then our republican form of government would not last.


In 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union defended evolution in the now-famous Scopes trial. Building on the momentum started by that case, the ACLU has fought hard through the years to keep creationism from being taught in America’s public schools. The ACLU, with the aid of the NEA and other liberal groups, has been tremendously successful in their censorship of facts and reality.


Since the ACLU and NEA both are liberal organizations founded and supported by well-known humanists, we should not be shocked by their contempt for the creationist worldview. Evolution, as outlined in the Humanist Manifesto I, II, and 2000, is a major religious doctrine or tenet of Secular Humanism. Instead of a belief in God as the basis for their religion, humanists believe in nature or “natural science.” Thus, a humanist is said to believe in naturalism.


The humanists’ point in promoting naturalistic evolution is to create an intellectually sophisticated way to deny the existence of God. I would contend, however, that believing in evolution requires more blind faith than believing in God. Dr. D. G. Lindsay agrees and describes the blind religion of evolution this way:

[quote] Evolution is a religion that attributes everything to “nature.” It demands a faith that is totally blind. Since the evolutionist believes nature and its laws are the guiding force in the universe, he is totally at odds with the Christian faith and the essential miraculous aspect of creation. The miraculous events of the Bible deviate from the known laws of nature, or at least from our understanding of them. However, the evolutionist is blind to the fact that his religion, evolution, violates every known law for its own existence, making atheistic evolution more incredible (miraculous) than the Christian faith. [end quote]


The Presupposition Matters:


Man, for the humanist, is his own “higher power.” The humanist rejects God and so must accept biological evolution because the alternative is to say there is a supernatural Creator and intelligent designer. If there is such a Creator, then He is the author of the laws of nature, and we are accountable to Him. But being accountable to anyone other than self is not acceptable to the humanist. As a result, humanists reject out of hand any and all evidence that challenges their desired reality.


The liberal, then, who chooses to have faith in evolution does so not because of compelling intellectual honesty but because the alternative requires accountability to God. This renders the liberal agenda a house of cards, for if a liberal acknowledges God, then abortion is murder, homosexuality is a sin, and sex outside of marriage is fornication. Most humanists refuse to admit to God’s existence—regardless of the sound reasoning and evidence to the contrary—because of their commitment to self-idolatry and pride. But the Bible paints a clear picture of these people in Psalm 14:1: “The fool says in his heart, ‘God does not exist’.” Only a fool could look at the historical, archaeological, prophetic, philosophical, and scientific evidence and deny God’s existence.


 I admit to looking at everything through the presupposition that “in the beginning, God,” but the humanist must admit that they start with “in the beginning, man.” This means a humanist considers only theories that don’t contradict his presupposition. As the Humanist Manifesto II states:


"We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity."


That means any field of inquiry is limited for humanists. If something calls into question the original presupposition (that there is no God), it is rejected, even if it means having “faith” in an idea, belief, or theory that is mathematically impossible, or even if it contradicts known scientific facts and laws of physics. As long ago as 1929, Professor D. M. S. Watson, one of the leading biologists and science writers of his day, explained that the real goal behind evolution is to reject the alternative—a belief in God: 


"Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible."


Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist and self-proclaimed Marxist, reveals why the dogmatic humanist continues to accept the lie of evolution despite its improbability and the unscientific propositions on which it is built:

[quote] We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [end quote]


I sincerely appreciate Prof. Lewontin’s candor. Few humanists are so clear-headed in understanding and articulating what they really try to achieve by promoting purely naturalistic explanations for everything. Evolution is not based on science, despite what most evolutionists will tell you. Dr. Robert A. Millikan, a physicist and Nobel Prize winner, was equally clear when he stated in a speech before the American Chemical Society, “The pathetic thing about it is that many scientists are trying to prove the doctrine of evolution, which no science can do.” 


Yes, pathetic is a good word. It is quite pathetic when you consider the mental gymnastics a humanist must perform to defend the presupposition that there is no intelligent designer for the universe and that spontaneous, macro-evolution is scientific. Although the humanist typically mocks as unscientific those who believe in a Creator God, they are the ones who ignore facts and instead create preposterous theories when the science at the foundation of their worldview is proven to be unscientific and mathematically impossible. 


Scripture says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands” (Ps. 19:1), and a discussion of Darwin offers a natural time to look at various aspects of creation that reveal this glory and announce God’s existence.


Happily for some in the scientific community, the remarkable discoveries of the past few years have caused some scientists to reject the lie of evolution and explore evidence for an “intelligent designer.” The complexity of the human body and the orderliness of the universe are so overwhelming, that these researchers no longer believe everything we see and know happened by chance. They may not quite be ready to say, “God is,” but at least they acknowledge the necessity of an intelligent designer of some sort. 


So, the issue is not that one worldview (theism) requires faith while the other (atheism) does not—both do. The question is: Which worldview is based on a more rational faith? And to that, the answer is clear. 


There is far greater evidence for the existence of God as Creator than for the notion that everything came about by random chance. To accept the idea of a Creator God, you need to have faith in only one thing—an all-knowing, all-powerful Being. The astonishing complexity of creation is consistent with the infinitely knowledgeable, omnipotent Creator. Only such a One could have created the universe as we know it. On the other hand, to believe in spontaneous evolution, you must have faith in billions upon billions of mathematically improbable and scientifically impossible occurrences.

The real goal of evolution is not to gain knowledge about how the world came to be. The primary purpose is to explain away the existence of God. Atheists just don’t want to admit that Someone could be so powerful and unimaginably intelligent as to put together the cosmos as we know it. It’s too . . . well . . . humbling. 


They have Darwin to thank for giving them a way out.


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