Hitler and On the Origin of Species

In my post about the link between biological evolution and genocide, I quickly illuminated the powerful difference between seeing science as a descriptive tool and interpreting it as a prescriptive tool. Science is only ever descriptive. The comments section under that post hosts some gems of information. Tildeb pointed out that we have no evidence that Hitler ever read On the Origin of Species, where we do have evidence Churchill did. With that in mind, Darwin inspired Hitler to commit his atrocities, these would have been second-hand reports. I wanted to find evidence to support Tildeb’s claim, because it is interesting, and I slowly came across many articles on the issue that I implore you to read if you believe natural selection influenced the Holocaust. (I have given you two links on opposing views. Do think critically about them, now.)

Equally, Nate jumped from my trite post to argue that “Social Darwinism” aberrates Darwinism; social Darwinism is a dogmatic ideology supporting a political idea, it was not based on the real scientific idea itself. The danger is ideological dogma and totalitarian ideal. Ubi Dubium took the opportunity to argue that “artificial selection”, which is what eugenics is, is actually inspired by a long history of farmers and agriculture, not the newer idea of “natural selection”.

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4 thoughts on “Hitler and On the Origin of Species”

  1. I agree with Nate; Huxley actually wrote a book unequivocally critical of linking ‘social Darwinism’ with Darwinian evolution. That is where we encounter the famous phrase “survival of the fittest,” which Huxley took great pains to explain was understood to be the survival of the ‘best’ and often the most individually brutish yet was absolutely wrong in every sense from what Darwin’s theory expressed. Yet here we are – an hundred and fifty years later – and still this PRATT – this stupidity and ignorance – is repeated by those ad naseum with an agenda other than respecting what is true.

  2. It is just the Hitler smear. There is really nothing into it. And I wonder at what point in human history did genocide become possible? A certain amount of killing capability was required but much, much more. I have no doubt that tribes were massacred in pre-historic times, but that does not constitute genocide. Also, why Hitler was genocidal, there was no way he could have eradicated all Jews from the planet. He couldn’t even accomplish that in Europe.

  3. Himmler hated the idea of Darwinism and rejected it has having a place in the Nazi ideology. The postulation that all races were descended from the Ape family was anathema to the concept of the Aryans as being “superior.”

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