The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

A Worldview without a Moral Brake

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“The stereotype of a fully rational and objective ‘scientific method,’ with individual scientists as logical (and interchangeable) robots, is self-serving mythology,”[1] argued Stephen Jay Gould. Gould (1941–2002), who served as professor of geology at Harvard and New York University, stated that “no factual discovery of science (statements about how nature ‘is’) can, in principle, lead us to ethical conclusions (how we ‘ought’ to behave) or to convictions about intrinsic meaning (the ‘purpose’ of our lives). These last two questions—and what more important inquiries could we make?—lie firmly in the domains of religion, philosophy and humanistic study.”[2]

Gould is involved in a dodge by relegating religion to its own sealed box. There is no point, Gould insists, where religion and science have anything to do with one another. “Science and religion should be equal, mutually respecting partners, each the master of its own domain, and with each domain vital to human life in a different way.”[3] And yet, when it comes to the meaning of life and the “oughts” of behavior, Gould must turn to religion because he cannot account for them within the boundaries of his evolutionary hypothesis. He admits, “Today, all scientists accept materialism (at least in their workplace), and the philosophically astute realize that it poses no threat to our love for music, subjective insight, and love itself!”[4] But if evolution is true—“operating blindly and randomly”[5] as evolutionists insist—there cannot be any scientific justification for morality and meaning because these are outside the realm of science. And since today’s scientists are materialists, they cannot account for a “subjective insight” like love. In fact, materialism discounts any form of “insight.” Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, sets forth the logical implications of materialism:

Crick’s “astonishing hypothesis” declares that all of our interior states, joys and sorrows, our memories and ambitions, even our personal identity and the cherished notion of free will, are “no more than the behavior of nerve cells.”[6]

Crick and Gould use the Christian concepts of love, joy, and sorrow as labels to identify the impersonal, purely random “behavior of nerve cells.” What’s true for “interior states” is also necessarily true for morality. Michael Ruse asserts that morality developed in the same way as hands, feet, and teeth—the “ephemeral product of the evolutionary process.”[7] According to Ruse, “Morality,” like gills in fish and lungs in homo sapiens, “is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and has no being beyond this.”[8] An article published in The Sciences, a New York Academy of Science magazine, stated that “rape is a ‘natural, biological’ phenomenon, springing from men’s evolutionary urge to reproduce.”[9] Now here comes the schizophrenia. Even though rape is a natural, biological phenomenon, the authors conclude, “Plainly, rapists are responsible for rape and should be punished.”[10] Why? Animals aren’t punished for “rape” any more than they are punished for feeding their young to a stronger sibling.

In a full-page advertisement for a television special called the “The Trials of Life” showed a composite picture of six animals, one of which was the bald eagle, with the following caption: “Discover how similar the face of nature is to yours. The way you love, the way you fight, the way you grow, all have their roots in the kingdom we all live in: the animal kingdom.” The implication here is obvious: Humans are only an evolutionary step away from other animals. As Time magazine put it, “science has long taught that human beings are just another kind of animal.”[11] While channel surfing, I came across the second installment of the series about the bald eagle. With two eaglets in the nest and not enough food to go around, mamma allows the weakest eaglet to die. She then tears it apart and feeds it to the surviving eaglet.

Keep all of this in mind when you consider what the Anti-Defamation League has said about the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed in the following press release:

The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory. Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler’s genocidal madness. Using the Holocaust in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution is outrageous and trivializes the complex factors that led to the mass extermination of European Jewry.

The author of this statement is involved in a bit of sleight of hand. Technically it’s true that “Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people.” Murder has been with us since Cain murdered Abel. The history of the Jewish people is a history of persecution. On this point, history is on the side of the ADL. But here’s the problem for advocates of evolution, and those at the ADL are advocates of evolution: There is no moral brake given evolutionary assumptions. Hitler embraced the biological and moral worldview of Ernst Haeckel which was antichristian and scientific absolutist. Science had declared that evolution is the mechanism for the origin and continuation of life. Evolution knows nothing of morality. Robby Kossmann, a German zoologist who later became a medical professor, expresses a proto-Nazi view in his 1880 essay, “The Importance of the Life of an Individual in the Darwinian World View”:

[T]he Darwinian world view must look upon the present sentimental conception of the value of the life of a human individual as an overestimate completely hindering the progress of humanity. The human state also, like every animal community of individuals, must reach an even higher level of perfection, if the possibility exists in it, through the destruction of the less well-endowed individual, for the more excellently endowed to win the space for the expansion of its progeny. . . . The state only has an interest in preserving the more excellent life at the expense of the less excellent.[12]

There is no doubt that Hitler imbibed the social implications of Darwinism; it had a long history in Germany as Richard Weikart shows in his 2004 book From Darwin to Hitler. Some will say that Hitler and others “hijacked” Darwinism since there is nothing inherent in evolution that logically leads to anti-Semitism. Certainly Darwin was no anti-Semite, and I suspect that he was no Marxist either, and yet it was Karl Marx who wrote the following to Friedrich Engels: “Although developed in a course English manner, this is the book that contains the foundation in natural history for our view.”[13] As history attests, worldwide Marxism has a history even more savage than Nazism as the Black Book of Communism demonstrates, and there is no doubt that atheism and evolution were its driving forces.[14]

In the final analysis, whether evolution had been hijacked or not is hardly the issue. Evolution is a malleable worldview that can be shaped to support any worldview. There is no moral “ought” in evolution. Modern-day evolutionists swear to it:

In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.[15]

Given the above claim by Richard Dawkins, and similar statements by other Darwinists, those who object to the evolution-holocaust connection need to explain why they continue to support evolution as a scientific hypothesis when it has all the earmarks of moral relativism that never could judge Hitler’s atrocities. 

Footnotes:

[1] Stephen Jay Gould, "In the Mind of the Beholder," Natural History (February 1994), 103:14
[2] Gould, "Dorthy, It’s Really Oz," Time (August 23, 1999, 59.
[3] Gould, "Dorthy, It’s Really Oz," 59.
[4] Stephen Jay Gould, “Darwin’s ‘Big Book,’” review of Charles Darwin, Natural Selection, ed. R. C. Stauffer (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975), in Science (May 23, 1975) 188:824–826. Quoted in Henry M. Morris, That Their Words May be Used Against Them (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1999), 474.
[5] Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman, “Up From the Apes: Remarkable New Evidence is Filling in the Story of How we Became Human,” Time (August 23, 1999), 58.
[6]
Daniel Voll, “Soul Searching with Francis Crick,” Omni (February 1994), 46.
[7] Michael Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), 268. Quoted in Paul Copan, “True for You, Not True For Me”: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless(Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1998), 46.
[8] Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm, 268.
[9]
Dan Vergano, “‘Natural, biological’ theory of rape creates instant storm,” USA Today (January 28, 2000), 8D. The thesis was expanded and published in Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Basis of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000). Feminist scholars have portrayed rape as being about power, while Thornhill and Palmer claim it’s about procreation and the perpetuation of the species. Since evolution is about the survival (procreation) of the fittest (power), it’s easy to see, given Darwinian assumptions, how both can be right.
[10]
Quoted in Vergano, “‘Natural, biological’ theory of rape creates instant storm,” 8D.
[11]
Lemonick and Dorfman, “Up From the Apes,” 51.
[12]
Quoted in Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 2.
[13]
Marx to Engels (December 19, 1860) in Marx-Engels Werke (Berlin, 1959), 30:131. Quoted in Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, 4.
[14]
Daniel Peris, Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998).
[15]
Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: HarperCollins/BasicBooks, 1995), 133

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