The Implications of Evolution:
The Dark Side of Darwin's Theory
The year was 1859. After worrying over the decision for some 25 years, an aging and sickly Charles Darwin finally published his soon-to-be-famous Theory of Evolution in his book:
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, commonly referred to today as The Origin of Species. Darwin had neglected to publish earlier for a variety of reasons, but mainly because he knew the implications of evolution. Darwin knew that his theory, if taken to it’s logical conclusions, could have a catastrophic impact on many aspects of society. Evolution and it’s implications were so ponderous and radical that Darwin reportedly once likened admitting belief in evolution to “confessing a murder.” (1)
But the vast majority of civilized societies have believed in evolution for over a hundred years, and nothing too bad has happened because of it, right? On the contrary, Darwin’s theory has laid the foundations for profound scientific problems, social evils, and spiritual dangers. As we shall see, evolution has a dark side.
Over the years, evolution has caused significant scientific problems. The theory itself has led to the confinement of science into the framework of a naturalistic worldview. It has led to a marginalization of portions of the scientific community to an extent that has never been seen before. And it has led to the forced alignment of origins research to the dogma of evolution.
Before Darwin, science had commonly been considered the study of God’s created universe and the natural laws that he had put in place to govern the workings of it. After Evolution, “Methodological Naturalism,” the belief that the universe can be explained without the existence of God or any other supernatural phenomenon, became far more prevalent, and even gradually became recognized as the worldview that all science was practically required to be performed within (2). As Scott C. Todd, of Kansas State University wrote:
Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.
Todd, Scott C. [Department of Biology, Kansas State University, USA], "A view from Kansas on that evolution debate," Nature, Vol. 401, 30 September 1999, p.423)
Furthermore, since the worldview of Evolution and millions of years has become dogmatically entrenched within the scientific community, research done to disprove and critique evolution and millions of years is hailed as “pseudoscience,” or fake science. In addition, the science acclaimed by evolutionists as “true science” is aligned to a huge confirmation bias where evidence for evolution is readily believed while evidence against it is explained away or dismissed outright and decried as false. Creationist scientists and even evolutionary scientists who disagree with, for example, the evolutionary dogma that dinosaurs evolved into birds, are marginalized and rejected by the evolutionary scientific community. As you can see, science has been negatively impacted as a result of Darwin’s theory. Scientific study is confined to a naturalistic worldview, portions of the scientific community are alienated, and evolution is held as an unquestionable fact, where contrary evidence is dismissed.
Evolutionary philosophies have also led to widespread suffering in society at large. The following examples presented in this article should not be viewed as an attempt to blame evolutionary theory for all the evils in the world, however. The author recognizes that these are complicated issues, and evolution may have only played a small part in them. That aside, evolutionary theory has provided support for sexism (3), racism and other dreaded “isms” of today (4). Although racism and sexism definitely existed before Darwin, his Theory of Evolution managed to provide scientific justification for both. As Darwin wrote in his book “The Descent Of Man:”
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is [shown] by man attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than woman can attain--whether requiring deep thought, reason or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands...Thus man has ultimately become superior to woman.
Charles Darwin, The Descent Of man
“No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man.”
Thomas Huxley: Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews (New York, Appleton, 1871), p. 20.
Furthermore, although Darwin was an abolitionist, he believed in the supremacy of the Caucasian race, and his popularization of evolution definitely inspired racism (5). Evolution certainly seemed to give scientific justification to the view that people of African and Aboriginal descent were inferior, and during the next century it was common for them to be referred to as “less evolved” and for them to be treated with condescension and dehumanizing hatred. This was exemplified by racist writings by Thomas Huxley (a main proponent of Darwin):
Another example of evolution-inspired racism was the ghastly maltreatment of Australian Aboriginals, whose skulls and skins were shipped across oceans for display in Western museums as specimens of links between apes and humans (6). Because of evolutionary philosophy, these people were not considered humans, but viewed as more evolved apes, and treated like animals. Clearly, evolution has been used to provide biological justification for racism. As Stephen Jay Gould, a professor at Harvard University, admitted in 1977:
“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, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1977, p. 127
However, no country was more poisoned by the evolutionary idea of a “master race” than Germany in the 1930's-1940's. Nazi Germany acted consistently under the implications of evolutionary philosophy and its "survival of the fittest mentality in its mass extermination of individuals and ethnic groups that those in power deemed “inferior.” Even Sir Arthur Keith, a leading evolutionary anthropologist of the time, agreed that Hitler was following evolutionary principles:
“The German Fuhrer … has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.”
Arthur Keith: Evolution and Ethics (New York, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1949), p. 230.
Today, some try to blame certain writings of Martin Luther for the nazi atrocities, saying that Luther's anti-semitism paved the way for the holocaust. However, this is simply not the case, as Luther's disagreement with the Jews was theological in nature, as opposed to the nazi's racist ideologies (7). The genocidal concepts of the holocaust were further based on the methods devised in the earlier American (and German) eugenics programs, which were primarily based on evolutionary concepts (8).
Another ruthless dictator had been exposed to, and embraced, evolutionary concepts. Josef Stalin, under whose rule millions would die, was rumored to have said in his youth:
"‘God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived. If God existed, he’d have made the world more just. I’ll lend you a book and you’ll see.’ He produced a copy of Darwin’s book.”
Montefiore, S., Young Stalin, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, p. 40, 2007
This leads directly into our final point. In addition to the scientific problems and social evils caused by the acceptance of evolution, a spiritual danger is also emerging: the rise of atheism. Although some vehemently deny that evolution leads to Atheism, no one can argue against the fact that the number of adherents to the atheistic belief system has drastically increased since the 1800's, right along with the increase of the acceptance of evolution. As stated by National Geographic (9), in the 105 years between 1900 and 2005, the percentage of the non-religious world population rose from approximately .2% to around 14%, an enormous increase. It can also be observed that countries with high acceptance rates of evolution are also highly atheistic, for instance France, where 80% of the population confidently accepts evolution, is also over 55% atheistic. After Darwin, science gradually became the ultimate authority and gained a monolithic voice among the general population that is still heard loud and clear today. When science gains so much authority, it seems that there should be a naturalistic explanation for everything, including the ultimate origins of the cosmos and life–an origin that does not allow a divine foot in the door. Evolutionary science created this ultimate authority, as Richard Dawkins said in his book The Blind Watchmaker:
“Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker
Evolution represents the ability to scientifically justify atheism, and the ability of science to become a god in it’s own right by becoming the source of ultimate truth. And when any authority is placed on the same level as God, it is only a matter of time before only one is left standing. As G. Richard Bozarth wrote in the September 1979 issue of “American Atheist:”
Atheists recognize the theological implications of evolution, and it’s about time we do too. There is spiritual danger in acceptance of the theory of evolution.
As you can see, the dark side of Darwinism is far darker than today’s society would have you believe. Scientifically, the theory of evolution is treated more and more like an undeniable fact and factions within the scientific community that reject evolutionary dogma are themselves marginalized and rejected.
Evolutionary theory has also managed to provide justification for the social evils of racism, sexism, and genocide. Although some deceive themselves by denying evolution’s link to social evils, the facts are clear that acceptance of evolution has played a part in numerous crimes against humanity. Evolution fueled the racism against Africans. Evolution led museums to display the bodies of Australian aboriginals as examples of missing links between apes and humans. And evolutionary concepts encouraged Nazi Germany to promote the superiority of the caucasian race and the extermination of those they deemed inferior. In these ways and more, evolution has led to the deaths of millions. Darwin was practically prophetic when he likened admittance of belief in evolution to “confessing a murder.”
Finally, evolution presents a near and present spiritual danger. Evolution has led to the deification of science in the minds of the people, and encourages them to place their trust in this new god. Even as many trumpet the supposed compatibility of Christianity and evolution, they are oblivious to the scriptural foundations of Christianity crumbling beneath their feet. As acceptance of evolution has increased, rejection of God has also increased and will continue to do so. In spite evolution’s claim to be enlightening knowledge, it has caused many to be lost in the darkness of atheism. However, as thousands wander off into this darkness, all is not lost, for “there is a light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Though evolution attempts to set up naturalistic science as the source ultimate truth, Jesus Christ is the Truth. Though social evils caused by evolution bring death, Jesus Christ is the Lord Of Life. Though evolution brings spiritual darkness, Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light that no darkness–even the darkness brought about by evolution–can overcome.
“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of God...If Jesus was not the redeemer that died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”
G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution,” American Atheist, Sept. 20, 1979, p. 30
Image Credits: Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons), Wix Commons, CE-DEBATE
Jonathan Schulz, 2018
1. Darwin, Charles Encyclopedia Britannica (2007 Deluxe Edition) Article- by Adrian Desmond
4. Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels: Ethics and Morality- by Dr. David Catchpoole and Dr. Mark Harwood
Comment On This Article-
Uwe Siemon-Netto's book, "The Fabricated Luther" is THE definitive resource for those who care to explore the notion that Luther "caused" the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust. I highly recommend it. Being a German who lived in Germany during and after WWII, he has some keen insights into that particular era of 20th century history.
This article from New Scientist confidently asserts the following about religion and the holocaust (emphasis mine):
"As for the Holocaust, the murder of able-bodied and able-minded people solely on the basis of their religion can hardly be called eugenics. It is incredible to blame Darwin while overlooking the role of Christianity in fostering anti-Semitism over the centuries.
In 1543, for instance, Martin Luther wrote a booklet called On the Jews and Their Lies calling, among other things, for Jews to be expelled or forced to do manual labour, and their synagogues and schools burned. The booklet was displayed at Nazi rallies. And this is how Hitler described his motivations in Mein Kampf, in which there is no mention of Darwin or the theory of evolution: 'Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.'"
The Nazi's hatred toward the Jews was not theological in nature. It was predominantly historical, political, and most of all racial. The emphasized statement above (emphasis mine) is simply incorrect. As for On the Jews and Their Lies, Siemon-Netto's book does give a good analysis of such claims. This article never says that religion was not part of the Nazi propaganda machine, but even where Christianity was used for justification by Hitler, it was used inconsistently. A criticism on my article here has been that all of the arguments in it can be used against Christianity just as well as against evolution. I counter by saying that these evils are consistent with the implications of evolutionary philosophy, but are inconsistent with Christianity. After reading the New Scientist article, assuming it is supposed to be an example of an argument for religion causing social evils that is just as convincing as the ones presented here, I rest my case.